Why should we care about Ethiopia?
We should care because of our compassion for the Ethiopian people, as we witness their oppression, hardship and the great humanitarian needs of millions of people that result largely from an oppressive, abusive, corrupt and mismanaged government.
Rationale: The horror, suffering and poverty of Ethiopians and many other Africans that we see on TV is to a great extent avoidable, but not simply by doling out more humanitarian aid into a black hole so that a dictator and his accomplices can accumulate wealth. Instead, we must work to support systemic change that promotes more humane, just, transparent and responsible government. We must refuse to pump millions of support dollars into a country where this help is used to prop up a government that terrorizes and exploits its own people.
We should care because of our own self-interest in wanting a safer, more secure world.
Rationale: By promoting the justice, freedom and well-being of Ethiopians in an increasingly interconnected world, we are promoting greater stability in this strategic country in the Horn of Africa and ultimately, greater safety and stability in the world. When those in the international community support dictators who brutalize their own people, dictators like Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia, our support can backfire. It can have the undesired effect of promoting the radicalization and alienation of the victims. This can further undermine our own safety and weaken future relations once this regime ends.