Author’s Note: In this commentary, I make the case against Tedros Adhanom, a top leader of the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front, a terrorist organization, who is a finalist for the director-general position at the World Health Organization.
This commentary demonstrates beyond a shadow of doubt that Adhanom does not have the experience, competence, skill sets, intellectual capacity, schooling, professionalism or judgment to become the leader of WHO.
The commentary further demonstrates that Adhanom is a PC (political correctness) candidate, and if selected, an appointment. WHO wants to put a black face on its logo to show how empathetic and sensitive it is to the plight of the billions of Africans and others suffering from health problems. The decision to hire Adhanom shall haunt WHO for decades to come.
I ask all who read this commentary to disseminate it using the links below, along with any other relevant ones, throughout the World Health Organization so that all personnel in that organization will be aware what kind of leader that is being foisted on them.
By mail, email, telephone, feedback, media pages by using links below:
Adhanom, the #3 leader of the TPLF
The Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) is a terrorist organization listed in the Global Terrorism Database.
The TPLF currently runs a regime that is infamous for its massive and flagrant human rights violations and for massacring tens of thousands of people in Ethiopia.
The TPLF regime, since October 2016, has ruled by a “state of emergency decree”, suspending the constitution and imposing “draconian restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression, association, and assembly.”
Tedros Adhanom is the third leading member of the TPLF.
Tedros Adhanom is one of three finalists to become the next director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), and reputed to be a shoo-in.
The WHO is a specialized agency of the U.N. whose mission “is the attainment by all people of the highest possible level of health”.
How does a leading member of a certified terrorist organization end up as a finalist to lead an organization dedicated to preserving human well-being?
How does a leading member of a brutal dictatorship end up as a finalist to lead an organization tasked to safeguard global health?
The answer to these questions is a “riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.”
The answer is a question: How does a wolf skulk around in sheep’s clothing?
The answer is a pig in lipstick, nail polish and makeup at the end of the day is still a pig.
In June 2016, I wrote a commentary on Adhanom entitled, “Guess Who is Coming to WHO in 2017?”
In my commentary, I highlighted several facts about Adhanom.
Adhanom the fibber
Adhanom is a lightweight by any standard, including education, training or experience, for the WHO directorship. Adhanom puffs about being a “globally recognized researcher on Malaria” and self-congratulates on his “leadership in the rapidly evolving field of global health”.
His overblown and padded resume is not only filled with lies, damned lies and statislies, it is also laughable.
Adhanom crows of his own achievements, “Today, Ethiopia stands as a global model for effective health system reform and governance and as an inspirational story of successful African-led development.”
Adhanom’s claim is completely contradicted by WHO:
The health status of Ethiopia is poor, even when related to other low-income countries including those in sub-Saharan Africa. The population suffers from a huge burden of potentially preventable diseases such as HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, intestinal parasites, acute respiratory infections and diarrhoeal diseases. (Emphasis added.)
Adhanom the epidemic denier
Adhanom was “state health minister” between 2005-12. During that period, Adhanom concealed, covered up, denied or failed to report to the Ethiopian public or international health monitoring organizations, including WHO, at least three major epidemics in Ethiopia.
On May 13, 2017, the New York Times reported that Adhanom had denied four major epidemics in Ethiopia.
Long before the N.Y. Times report, various international media sources had documented major epidemics in Ethiopia under Adhanom’s watch, which he denied and covered up.
In June 2006, there was a documented major cholera outbreak in Oromiya region. Adhanom denied its occurrence and covered it up.
In February 2007, there were documented outbreaks of cholera in Ethiopia. Adhanom denied its occurrence and covered it up.
In September 2009, Reuters documented cholera and other diarrhoeal diseases had infected 18,000 people in Ethiopia. Adhanom denied its occurrence and covered it up.
In July 2011, Adhanom suppressed information on a major epidemic ravaging Ethiopia.
Adhanom turned a blind eye to torture victims and political prisoners
Torture is widely practiced in Ethiopia and prison conditions there are earthly versions of hell.
Col. Michael Dewar, commissioned by Adhanom’s regime to study riot control issues in 2008, reported the prisons he visited were “filthy”, “without light, water or sanitation facilities within the compound or sufficient room for all the prisoners to lie down on a mat at once.” The prisons “stank of faeces and urine.”
Prisoners, particularly political prisoners, are routinely denied health care. Recently, former political prisoner Habtamu Ayalew has documented the shocking torture and denial of medical care in one of TPLF’s atrocious prisons. Reeyot Alemu has provided details on how she was denied medical care for her breast cancer.
The U.S. State Department reported “nearly 62 percent of inmates in various jails across the country suffered from mental health problems as a result of solitary confinement, overcrowding, and lack of adequate health care facilities and services.” The report concluded, “The deliberate physical, psychological, and sexual mistreatment of inmates by prison officials is also a persistent and pervasive issue of concern.”
Torture is a major human rights issue that implicates health. Torture, genocide, arbitrary detentions are critical public health issues. Unsanitary and overcrowded prisons holding hundreds of thousands of political and other prisoners present major health issues.
What has Adhanom done to stop or mitigate torture in T-TPLF prisons and jails?
What has Adhanom done to improve or provide the most minimal health care for the hundreds of thousands of political and other prisoners in T-TPLF jails?
Not a doggone thing!
Correction. He turned a blind eye, deaf ears and muted lips.
Would WHO hire Dr. Josef Mengele as its director-general?
Is the WHO Board so detached from reality, so trapped in their own echo chamber, that they are blinded to the fact that the man they are seriously considering to direct their organization is a member of a regime that is a flagrant, egregious and out-and-out violator of human rights?
Adhanom, the International Criminal Court extortionist
Adhanom was the ringleader of the African leaders who mounted a vicious propaganda attack of “race hunting” to obstruct justice and committed political extortion on the International Criminal Court (ICC).
In 2013, Adhanom pulled the race card and called a “special summit of the African Union to discuss mass withdrawal from the International Criminal Court” unless the criminal cases against Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto at the ICC were dropped. Adhanom demanded immunity from prosecution for African leaders declaring, “sitting heads of state and governments should not be prosecuted while in office.”
Adhanom effectively made the racist argument that white judges and prosecutors in The Hague were hunting down black African leaders like safari animals and charging them with crimes against humanity.
The fact was at that time out of the 19 ICC judges, only 9 come from Western and Eastern Europe. There were 4 judges from Africa and the rest came from Asia and Latin America. The ICC chief prosecutor was a Gambian woman named Fatou B. Bensouda.
I am proud to say that I exposed Adhanom and his minion Hailemariam Desalegn with their fraudulent claims.
Adhanom, the impostor
In his padded resume, Adhanom presents himself as an expert, a critical and high-order thinker, a transformational and experienced leader, a consummate professional and man of excellent judgement and prudence.
The fact of the matter is that Adhanom is a fraud. He is an impostor, a sham and a con man. He is a pitiful charlatan trying to scam his way to the top of the WHO leadership!
For all of Adhanom’s vaunted qualifications for the WHO top job, he has shown an abysmal lack of prudence, judgment and common sense.
When Adhanom was the foreign minister for the thugtatorship of the TPLF, he was duped, hustled and taken for a ride by a 14-year-old eight grader from the Land Down Under (Australia).
It is an absolutely amazing story I discussed in my March 2015 commentary, “A Tale of Tall Tales and Ethiopia’s Diplomat-in-Chief”.
The Ethio-Australian teenager sat with Adhanom at a press conference (see video here) in Addis Ababa and offered to spend AUD$20 million prize she had allegedly won in Australia to build schools in Ethiopia.
Adhanom bought the teenager’s lie hook, line and sinker. How the teenager was able to pull Adhanom’s leg in such a spectacular way is something for the movies: “Teen Scams a Con Man.”
This incident opens a window into Adhanom’s intellectual poverty, lack of critical thinking skills and complete lack of common sense.
Now, a man bamboozled by a 14 year-old wants to become WHO director-general. This is not only absurd but also outrageous.
The WHO Board might as well nominate Mickey Mouse for “WHO Director-General”.
If Mickey is busy doing important stuff as usual, I am sure Bugs Bunny could be persuaded to throw in his name in the director-general’s pool in exchange for a small batch of carrots.
I say, let them duke it out for the job. Teddy, Mickey and Bugs! Let the best character win!
This is not funny. It is downright craazzzy!
Adhanom is not only clueless about WHO’s mission and objectives, he also seems to have significant issues understanding simple questions put to him in simple English? Just watch this 3-minute video to behold how the next-WHO director –general-to-be gets tongue-tied and jabbers under the least amount of pressure answering “questions based on his own presentation”. Adhanom presented himself as a pathetic, dopey and downright pitiful caricature of someone aspiring to lead an international organization. How the hell can Adhanom be the public face and spokesman-in-chief for WHO when he is clueless about WHO’s history, issues, problems and needs and can barely articulate himself?
Does it make sense to hire an inept and bungling wanna-be international bureaucrat to lead an agency as it faces a real existential threat?
Does Adhanom have a clue what it will take to run an agency that could be losing 50 percent of its budget? Trump plan to slash funding for the U.N by more than 50 percent. That means WHO as a specialized U.N. agency will take a ginormous hit to its budget.
How is Adhanom going to navigate WHO though the impending perilous budgetary tempest? What experience does he have in managing a complex international organization, which is torn every which way by the nasty politics of the biggest donors who insist on giving priority to their pet projects?
Or will Adhanom be a patsy for the “Northern” powers who flex the biggest financial muscles?
That was one of the questions that tripped Adhanom in the run-up interviews when he was asked to explain “how is a development candidate”. “Notwithstanding your claim that you are a candidate from one of the developing nations, you seem to have espoused an agenda closely allied with the North, such as approaching health through a security lens…?
Like Porky Pig, Adhanom could barely stutter a response, “Th-Th-The, Th-Th-The, Th-Th… That’s all, folks!”
What is Adhanom’s emergency plan to save the sinking ship, “The Intrepid WHO”?
Simple: “Th-Th-The, Th-Th-The, Th-Th… That’s all, folks!”
Adhanom probably thinks running WHO is like running his two-bit health operations in Ethiopia. The only difference is that he thinks he can now play with a slush fund of billions instead of hundreds of millions of dollars.
When Adhanom was T-TPLF health minister, his job was to spread the cash from a slush fund provided by the USAID to his party’s supporters, cronies and friends. He likely thinks that is what it takes to run WHO, spread contributions and donations to his African cronies who will vote for him rubbing their palms in anticipation of sucking dry the international aid that is going to come their way when their buddy takes the key to the WHO cash box.
Frankly, Adhanom should not have even made the trash-can cut, let alone become a finalist.
On the other hand, all of this may not amount to a hill of beans if Adhanom snags the job because, some say, the WHO “director-general has very little control over the organisation’s budget, human resources and work in countries, including in case of emergencies.”
So, it may not all be bad, at least he will not do as much damage to WHO as he did in Ethiopia. He will get to hang out in Geneva with his gang of fellow “’medocrats’ —mediocre bureaucrats with a medical background” and enjoy life. That is the major problem of WHO. It lacks professional diversity. “In 2012 just 0.1% of non-support staff were economists, 1.4% lawyers and 1.6% social scientists, meaning it is ill-equipped to make well-rounded arguments for its policies.”
So, why get bent out of shape? A mediocre leader for a super-privileged syndicate of medocrats.
The mere consideration of Adhanom to the top WHO job is not only nauseating, but also broadly indicative of the degeneracy and decadence of the so-called international organizations that leech off and suck dry American taxpayers.
Adhanom’s nomination shines a bright light on what WHO is
The international organizations, more accurately unaccountable bloated bureaucratic empires of global corruption, nepotism and cronyism with their armies of international poverty pimps, maintain network of referral and self-referral where they can, with a straight face, nominate a guy who can barely express himself to lead arguably the most important global health organization.
It is all based on political correctness, more accurately political correctness gone haywire. The politically correct hidden agenda is, “It is time for the “African director-general”, which they euphemistically call the “development candidate”. The simple truth is WHO needs a black face to show how liberal-minded they are. What a sham!
If the WHO selects Adhanom as its director-general, it will be the equivalent of giving the job of a Fleet Admiral to an ensign. There is going to be a spectacular shipwreck at WHO with Adhanom at the helm.
Can a minor league bench warmer be a starting pitcher in the World Series? Neither can Adhanom be the director-general of WHO.
Were I a cynical man, I would speculate that the WHO Board will hire Adhanom for the same reasons the old colonial masters appointed African chiefs, to be ceremonial figureheads for the natives. Back then, the masters would give the chiefs fancy titles and flashy clothes and puppeteer them into doing their bidding.
Of course, I am not suggesting that Adhanom will be a stooge for Bill Gates or that Gates is leaning on the WHO Board and members to vote for Adhanom. Certainly not. But it is a fact that the Gates Foundation has dumped tens of billions of dollars into WHO since 2001 and can throw his weight around.
Frankly, I don’t give a rat’s behind who gives money to WHO as long as WHO does not pickpocket the American taxpayer. Straight up!
Trump tells it like it is
Trump legitimately asks why American taxpayers have to foot the bill for the lavish lifestyles of the overpaid, underworked and unaccountable bureaucrats in the U.N., the World Bank, WHO and the rest of the international poverty pimpdom.
Most of the global health budget ($8.2 billion) specified in the FY16 U.S. budget request is provided through the Global Health Programs (GHP) account at USAID and the State Department.
The silver lining in the dark cloud that hangs over WHO with Adhanom at the helm is that fewer American dollars will be used to finance that wasteful and inefficient organization. Trump says he is going to slash the USAID budget by $10 billion or roughly 28 percent to “free up funding for critical priorities here at home.”
I will be watching from the pier as Captain director-general Adhanom ditches WHO into organizational chaos and budgetary crises. Aye! Aye! Cap’n!
My personal beef with the international bureaucracies is simply this: They are completely out of control and out of touch with reality. They go on with their lavish lifestyles sipping bubbly in a bubble and talking to each other in an echo chamber, paid for by American Joe and Jane Taxpayer.
The mission of WHO is “to improve equity in health, reduce health risks, promote healthy lifestyles and settings, and respond to the underlying determinants of health.” Its real mission is to promote a healthy lifestyle for overpaid international bureaucrats and a bottomless bureaucratic vortex that sucks American tax dollars.
By the way, how well does WHO meet its mission?
During the Ebola outbreak in 2014-15, WHO sat on its duff in its posh offices in Geneva and watched twiddling its thumbs. “Once the W.H.O. learned of the outbreak, its efforts to help track and contain it were poorly led and limited… It was slow to declare its severity and come up with plans, and has still not marshaled the people and supplies needed to help defeat the disease and treat its victims.” When the deadly Ebola hit the fan, WHO ran, American soldiers stayed and risked their lives, just like they do everywhere every day.
It took 2,800 pairs of American boots to stamp out Ebola from West Africa, as an army of WHO medocrats sat on their duffs twiddling their thumbs.
What’s WHO got to say about that? America had to put not only its treasury on the line but also the lives of its citizens. Did anybody say, “Thank you, America!”?
Where was WHO when Ebola was ravaging West Africa? What was WHO doing as Ebola took out villages full of people?
I agree with Trump. The only way to stop these bloated corrupt international bureaucracies and hold them accountable is to cut their budgets to the bone; and make them mean, lean and clean bureaucratic machine.
The fight is only beginning…
I am not sure what the WHO Board was thinking when it considered the candidacy of Adhanom. That may be the problem; they were not thinking.
As Adhanom is rubbing his palms, licking his chops and salivating to become director-general, I ask the WHO Board two questions:
What is the message you are sending out to the world by selecting a terrorist-cum-human-rights violator as your leader?
Does it bother you that public face and top leader of WHO is an unrepentant terrorist and unindicted human rights violator?
The campaign to expose WHO for what it is, is just beginning. It will continue with furious intensity once Adhanom takes the helm at WHO.
Thank goodness, we have someone in the White House who sees these overpaid, underworked and bored international bureaucrats the same way we do.
Note well: Because we disagree on a lot of things does not mean we cannot agree to work on one thing. We can work with the Trump Administration on accountabiluty and transparency at USAID, The World Bank, the IMF, The WHO and whoever else.
Personally, I could not care less if Adhanom is head honcho at WHO in Geneva or the Mayor of Whoville in cartoonland.
La luta a continua!
Professor Alemayehu G. Mariam teaches political science at California State University, San Bernardino. His teaching areas include American constitutional law, civil rights law, judicial process, American and California state governments, and African politics. He has published two volumes on American constitutional law, including American Constitutional Law: Structures and Process (1994) and American Constitutional Law: Civil Liberties and Civil Rights (1998). He is the Senior Editor of the International Journal of Ethiopian Studies, a leading scholarly journal on Ethiopia. For the last several years, Prof. Mariam has written weekly web commentaries on Ethiopian human rights and African issues that are widely read online.