Saturday, July 27, 2013


I saw an interesting item in the news the other day about Egypt getting upset with Ethiopia because Ethiopia is building a dam on the Blue Nile. The Egyptians are concerned that this might somehow interfere with the flow of the waters through the Nile River Valley in Egypt. As you might suspect, such an effort is bound to come to the notice of even our Department of State and get leaked in one of the massive leaks of State Department documents.

I'd say they're rattling the sabers except those are F-16s and there is all of Sudan between Egypt and Ethiopia and then I remembered this item

 This was written on a plaque we had hanging in the wardroom of the Middle East Force Flagship when I lived there in 1984. I have no idea how it got there but it implies that we had some sort of meeting with Ethiopian forces under the command of Haile Selassie. An interesting item from a landlocked country to be found on a warship in the Indian Ocean.

Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa and one of the oldest countries in the world. According to some: Genesis 2:10-14, "Ethiopia is the land of Cush surrounded by the river of Gihon which flows out of the garden of Eden"

I believe the Italians were the last "civilized" nation to use poison gas as a weapon of war. Against men and boys armed with spears, the Italians with tanks, machine guns and airplanes were compelled to use gas.

Back when I was at Naval Forces Central Command we had some pretty high hopes for both Ethiopia and Eritrea in the aftermath after Mengistu was overthrown and the Russians dislodged but the history of the region quickly began to resemble that of Poland between the Wars.


Buck said...

That plaque is most interesting. "Lambs to the slaughter," and all that.

virgil xenophon said...

I once read an excellent book about USN naval salvage efforts in the Red Sea post-WWII at the port of Massawa in Eritrea--fascinating reading but unfortunately I don't recall the title. The deck-plates of the hulls would get so hot the mercury thermometers set on them would burst and the ac in their huts could only cool the interiors to 90 degrees, but that it felt like ice-cold air when first entering, the temp differential was so great, lol.

HMS Defiant said...

One of the colateral jobs I had at NAVCENT was assistant country officer for Eritrea and Salvage officer and MCM officer and..... We were within about a month of starting a bilateral project to rehab a floating drydock left behind in the Massawa by the Soviets when the war with Ethiopia started and all bilateral activity was put on hold. It was too bad.