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Why the World Bank supports tyrants: the Gerund Defense

Meles Zenawi

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi

World Bank Ethiopia country director Ken Ohashi has a letter in the New York Review of Books responding to Helen Epstein’s charge that the Bank is supporting tyranny (which we also blogged). Ken’s letter defends World Bank aid to Ethiopia:

There are concerns about the overall governance of the country, efficiency and fairness of resource use, the risk of dependence on aid, and protection of basic human rights, as Ms. Epstein points out. We recognize these concerns, and development partners in Ethiopia take them seriously.

We start, however, with a belief that in every country people want to be self-reliant and prosperous, and to develop a transparent, accountable, effective, and efficient governance system. Ethiopia is no exception. Our task, as an external development partner, is to support that innate tendency.

However, building institutions, public and private, that assure every citizen’s right to and effective delivery of public services takes a long time; indeed, it never ends, as we can see even in the most industrialized countries. Changes are incremental, and at times they may suffer serious setbacks. It is, therefore, crucial that development partners work with the long-term process of change, always in support of it, not in control of it (which is impossible in any case).

Fascinating defense, Ken! You are saying the World Bank sees all countries with an “innate tendency” towards better governance (nicely conflating citizens’ aspirations and the frequently opposite tendencies of those in power). You can then use an all-powerful Gerund like “building institutions” to suggest that you and the autocrat of Ethiopia are benevolently working together on that “innate tendency.” The Gerund  Defense implies that any horrible tyrant can be supported under the assumption that this tyrant is merely a temporary stage in a country “in transition to democracy,” part of an “innate tendency” towards “building institutions.”

The alternative to the disingenuous Gerund Defense is to take a look at the current regime’s political, economic and human rights track record. Two weeks ago, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s party and its allies swept the elections, winning over 99 percent of parliamentary seats. Election observers from the EU found that the electoral process “fell short of certain international commitments, notably regarding the transparency of the process and the lack of a level playing field for all contesting parties.”

A report from Human Rights Watch criticized the ruling party’s “total control of local and district administration” which they have used to “monitor and intimidate individuals at a household level, punish and undermine the livelihoods of citizens who do not abide by the ruling party, and create a climate of fear that suppresses freedom of expression and opinion.”

The government’s centralized control of land ownership, banks, the internet and even the mobile telecom industry has stymied enterprise and depressed economic growth, while the regime is accused of using the food aid upon which 1/6th of the population depend as a political tool to reward supporters and punish those who dare to join opposition parties.

The US State Department went even further, citing reports of “unlawful killings, torture, beating, abuse and mistreatment of detainees and opposition supporters by security forces, often acting with evident impunity,” in their Human Rights report published last year.

At least you are being consistent. After Meles and his security forces perpetrated election fraud, jailed opposition leaders, and killed over 200 student demonstrators in 2005, the World Bank continued to provide aid.  We have it from a reliable source that your predecessor as Ethiopia Country Director won an award for keeping the lending going despite all the hardship Bank staff inconveniently had to endure.

Sorry, Ken, it’s hard to drown out these realities even with your clever use of the classic Gerund Defense.

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31 Comments

  1. Stuntman Bob wrote:
    Posted June 9, 2010 at 3:09 am | Permalink
  2. Beth Murugi wrote:

    “…..the risk of dependence on aid……”

    Risk? Here’s the risk; ‘development partners’ may end up perpetuating the reality of Ethiopia’s dependence on aid for the foreseeable future.

    Posted June 9, 2010 at 5:42 am | Permalink
  3. clay wescott wrote:

    A recent book* analyzes the rise of unelected bodies, of which the Bank is one. The use of such bodies has increased because they have advantages compared to elected institutions in gathering and presenting information, analyzing evidence and linking them to the current knowledge. The division of labor is that the unelected body makes ‘impartial’ technical judgments, and the relevant political body makes value judgments. So in the Ethiopia case, the Bank’s board, the political body, decides whether the Bank is going to engage and lend to a country. The Bank’s technical staff then find the best available technical schemes for executing the board’s decisions on engagement, as summarized by the CD statement above.

    With this governance structure, a technical critique of the CD’s statement is beside the point. If you don’t like the Bank’s engagement decisions, take it up with the Bank’s political masters.

    The Rise of the Unelected. Democracy and the New Separation of Powers. Frank Vibert. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

    Posted June 9, 2010 at 8:59 am | Permalink
  4. William Easterly wrote:

    Clay, thanks for the book recommendation. Your point is well stated, but I don’t buy it. There is no such thing as a “technical” actions. All such actions have major political effects, in this case to strengthen an oppressive autocrat, and all such actors bear responsibility for their actions. Best. Bill

    Posted June 9, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Permalink
  5. Dan Kyba wrote:

    The problems with aid begin as it starts to overwhelm a capital deficient economy; capital includes not just money but the human and social capital needed to fund and operate a market economy; aid in its totality includes not just development aid but also military assistance.

    By the time you have the triptych of total aid ratios accounting for more than ca 20% of a nation’s GNI, more than ca 100% of tax revenue and more than ca 100% of export earnings then the aid industry has created a disincentive to government making the necessary public goods investments to create a market economy and thereby expand its tax base. Any meaningful movement by government towards positive developmental change becomes blocked by the calculus of transaction costs wherein there is greater benefit to maintain the aid based system and the options for control that accrue rather than depending upon the market economy for revenue with its attendant risk to the elite of losing control.

    Mancur Olson uses very colourful language when describing such governments freed from an encompassing interest in their domains: roving bandits.

    Posted June 9, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Permalink
  6. David Carreon wrote:

    I’ve long been skeptical of words like “technical,” “scientific” and “evidence-based.” They, like shipping containers of peanut butter, are excellent for smuggling. Nobody really wants to get all messy digging through them to see if there’s anything sinister hidden in them.

    Simply claiming you are optimizing efficiency in any field begs the question, “To what end?” You may be an engineer who uses best practices and evidence-based methods to increase output by 50%. This may objectively prove you technically capable, and an excellent engineer. But you are not guiltless if you are building a Nazi gas chamber. The efficiency is at best irrelevant to the ethical question. After all, being efficiently evil is far worse than being incompetently evil.

    Efficient means do not justify all ends.

    Posted June 9, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Permalink
  7. geckonomist wrote:

    Perhaps you should start closer to home, Prof. Easterly. The strongman that the World Bank is supporting, is in the first place a reliable ally in your country’s war on terror.

    That gives him a Carte Blanche from YOUR government to do whatever he wants while your government keeps on giving him as much money as he needs.
    World Bank officials just follow up the orders from their paymasters, above.

    You may not like that piece of Realpolitik, but shooting the messenger is not very useful neither.

    I would agree to shoot the messenger though, if you’d argue that the whole World Bank must be abolished because of a manifest lack of positive results and worthy achievements.

    Posted June 9, 2010 at 5:18 pm | Permalink
  8. Raphael wrote:

    I understand that Bill is arguing against Ken’s logic, rather than the provision of aid in and of itself. But the fundamental question is whether Ethiopia would be better off with aid, with less aid, without any aid, or with a different type of aid? The answer isn’t so easy.

    First, conditioning humanitarian assistance on good governance is something I think we all agree is not ethical. No matter how odious the government, providing food aid (or cash for food and other basic needs) is necessary when there is an impending humanitarian crisis – as is the case almost every year in Ethiopia.

    Second, developmental aid is more difficult to parse. I would argue that the answer is NOT to stop all developmental aid, but rather to try to make it more effective given the circumstances – and perhaps try to change the circumstances themselves. Cash on delivery is one idea, another is to fund local civil society directly rather than govt or even international NGOs. This is where technical specialists, civil society, and others can make a contribution.

    Posted June 9, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Permalink
  9. aki wrote:

    Based on this “innate tendency” World Bank should start opposing the sanctions on Iran and deliver large support for the regime since is just a “transitional faze” and they are “willing to build a better governance” but for the moment are largely misunderstood. I hope for the people of Ethiopia that the new government does not have the same “innate tendency” like the 45 years of dictatorship in Romania and like Saddam innate tendency toward good while killing the Shia of Iraq, like Egypt “democracy” with a president that will probably die president, or like “democracy” in Saudi Arabia.

    Posted June 9, 2010 at 11:29 pm | Permalink
  10. Aman wrote:

    Thank you Prof. Easterly. I appreciate your dedication to work on the needy and fair use of aid. On your analysis of “Why the World Bank.., while most of your premises have indeed been reported, albeit with much controversy, it would have been good to look at Ethiopia’s performance in its right context. Even if one was to assume the claims are correct, one should also remember that only 25 years ago, Ethiopian did not have a choice of being a party member to survive- they were simply left to die of hunger.

    Posted June 10, 2010 at 7:21 am | Permalink
  11. Melkam Eyeta wrote:

    Mr. Ken Ohashi,

    Too old fashion and insanity to try to hide atrocities that have been existing in Ethiopia. You know the data and the story of poverty of Africans in general and of Ethiopians in particular. Moreover, you are very well informed about almost all African leaders who are very corrupted and power mongers! These are clear and crystal clear! Building basic democratic institutions are not that much difficult and taking too long time as long as there is a will and a vision from particular leaders and their collaborators. History taught us very much about democracy that had happened long ago just because of a will from good hearted leaders. As you intended to tell us democracy takes very little of any inputs if and only if leaders are longing it from their hearts! So stop your hodgepodge and try to correct your flawed theory of development or any…!We know that if all politicians of the continent Africa confront the public with too much reality, it amounts to committing political and power suicide

    Posted June 10, 2010 at 9:22 am | Permalink
  12. washeraw wrote:

    When are they going to own up?! The WB, USA and EU financed the machinery of repression at district and lower levels of government (where the ruling party is gov’t and vice versa) through the so called Basic Services Program which chanelled money directly to those peripheral levels. Ironically, this arrangement was presented as a protest measure after the government mowed down protesters after the 2005 elections!

    Posted June 10, 2010 at 10:18 am | Permalink
  13. Yohannes wrote:

    Great response to Ken Ohashi’s misleading article. Mr. Oshashi proved he doesn’t have the drive to help the Ethiopian people with World Bank aid. He should well know that poor countries like Ethiopia could develop faster if the people & the economy is free. Instead he supports a tyrant which is suffocating our political & economic freedom, keeping most of the Ethiopian people dependent on aid money. Also, he knows that he has little control on how the aid money is used. Some of the aid is used to elongate tyranny in Ethiopia.

    Posted June 10, 2010 at 10:28 am | Permalink
  14. Hunegnaw wrote:

    Thank you Prof. Easterly. And the right response for Ken Ohashi’s misleading opinion. I expect the world bank official is also corrupted. Because they knew most of the aid money went on. I was working on two governmental organization and I did several world bank funded project more than 75% of aid money goes to woynies poket through his nominal TPLF organization. And the money setteled by a false document prepaired by lower expert in one night.

    Posted June 10, 2010 at 10:46 am | Permalink
  15. nuna wrote:

    I wonder how long is a temporary stage for a country to build democratic institutions by the world bank standard, 30yrs, 4oyrs or ? The rulers in Ethiopia have been in charge for 20yrs, they are getting more dictatorial by the minute. I hear westerners that befriend a certain tyrant tell the oppressed, democracy is a process and it takes time, patience is required, they never give you a time frame, because most of their dictatotr friends have been ruling until they die.

    Posted June 10, 2010 at 11:00 am | Permalink
  16. Fred wrote:

    I just finished reading William Easterly’s fascinating book. It is a game changer. Unfortunately the rules of the aid game are written by the same World Bank and IMF economists whose primary mission is to preserve their own job. That is exactly what Ken Ohashi is trying to do in Ethiopia–keep his own job (and that of a tyrant’s of course).

    Posted June 10, 2010 at 11:27 am | Permalink
  17. Kelemu wrote:

    Mr Easterly;
    I am a bit surprized by your radical political take on Ethiopia. I expect you to rely on facts rather than on a lamentation of a reporter on a case she does not know much about. She is more into listening and echoing the views of the criminal Derg (Ethiopian military dictators of the past) elements of the past who are presenting themselves as opposition politicians in the United statesDemocracy is a pprocess and Ethiopia progresses on her own pace. It is time that know-it- alls from the West stop dictating Africa. You are an economist and you very well know that the US and other Western countries are in Ethiopia or Africa primarily for their own interest. If you think that humanitarian reasons are the driving forces, then you are way of the mark!!
    Hopefully you will see Ethiopia and compare it with its near past and provide an informed opinion.
    Regards
    kelemu

    Posted June 10, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Permalink
  18. Waaqoo wrote:

    If demcracy is a process forward why it return back to king era of ONE party after 19 years of making? When does Ghana stated that did fabloues acieviment in making dimocratic election?
    The problem in Ethiopia is not the matter of time but the will of the Tigrean manority who scare democracy to death. Those groups have demcratcal culture or history since time in memory. What ever it takes don`t expect any democracy Under Meles.The good thing is that his favourable card of “terror” is worning out.

    Posted June 10, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Permalink
  19. Azaria wrote:

    What is the mainstay of a bank? To lend money, right? And what is the mainstay of a bank employee? To approve loans, even if it means rewriting and beutifying the loan application. How else is he going to justify his entitlements like salary, promotion and bonuses? Please leave him alone, the WB Country Director is doing his job.

    Posted June 10, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Permalink
  20. Clapton wrote:

    Clapton wrote

    I agree with each comment on this post. But don’t you think we as a nation should stop contributing their mafia organisations, before trying to stop the World Bank

    Posted June 10, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Permalink
  21. Teshome wrote:

    I am not surprised to read Ken Ohashi of WB letter in response to the article. He echoes the very reason why a western manager of Aid fund should be scrutinized when they excuse or collide with a regime. His well positioned response letter did not say much and surprisingly resembles with what the government says. .

    In the case of the Ethiopian regime he defends there is no a single institution outside the control of the regime in the last 20 years. If he believes what the regime parade as an institutional progress then he is not qualified for the job or he is in it for himself. Experience shows Western Aid managers are either taken to a laundry by canning regime or in many cases corrupt themselves. It is hard to say which side the Director falls until he is scrutinizes further, but his statement “it takes time to build institutions….. even in the most industrialized countries” sounds like the regime talking.

    More scrutiny like Helen Epstein article is needed to break the cycle of corruption

    Posted June 10, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Permalink
  22. Truth wrote:

    Dear all,

    World Bank, IMF, etc. have been fooling the African people for the past 30 yrs. or so, by helping dictatorial and oppressive regimes using
    failed programmes like: structural adjustment;
    poverty reduction, NEPAD, etc, which have not
    changed the life of the ordinary people. Instead
    of course, the bank and imf officials including the officials of recipient countries are the ones who are beneficiaries. Ken is no exception. He wants to keep his post in Ethiopia by all means, hence he has to defend the indefensible.

    In short, this world is unfair!

    Posted June 10, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Permalink
  23. Helenlula wrote:

    yes its a mystery for all Ethiopians Why the World Bank supports tyrants ? here is the detail of dictator Meles Zenawi and his wife Azeb business Empire

    Company Name: – Almedan Garment Factory Established 1995, Capital 660, 000, 000, $; Headquarter Mekele, Chairman of the Board Abadi Zemu.

    Addis Engineering Consultancy: – established 1995, capital 10, 000, 000, $ headquarter Addis Ababa; chairman of the Board Arkebe Ekubay.

    Addis Pharmaceuticals Production: – established 1995; headquarter Addis Ababa; capital 53,000,000; chairman of the Board Abadi Zemu.

    Africa Insurance Axion Assn: – established 1995, headquarter Addis Ababa, capital 30,000,000; chairman of the Board Yohannes Ekubay.

    Almeda Textile Factory: – established 1995, Capital 180,000,000 headquarter Mekele; chairman of the Board Abadi Zemu.

    Mesob Cement Factory: – established 1995; capital 240,000,000; headquarter Mekele; chairman of the board Abadi Zemu.

    Mesfin Industrial Company: – Established 1995; capital 500,000,000; headquarter Mekele; chairman of the board Arkebe Ekubay.

    Sur Construction: – established 1995; capital 150,000,000; headquarter Addis Ababa; chairman of the board Arkebe Ekubay.

    Trans Ethiopia; established 1995:- capital 100,000,000; headquarter Mekele; chairman of the board Shimelis Kinde.

    Tesfa Livestock: – established 1995; capital 20,000,000; headquarter Mekele; chairman of the Board Yohannes Kidane.

    Star Pharmaceuticals: – established 1995; capital 25,000,000; headquarter Mekele; chairman of the Board Arkebe kubay.

    Selam Bisline: – establishe 1995; capital 10,000,000; headquarter Mekele: chairman of the Board Tilma.

    Sheba Tannery Factory Axion Assn: – established 1995; capital 40,000,000; headquarter Wukro; chairman of the Board Abadi Zemu.

    Segel Construction: – established 1995; capital 10,000,000 headquarter Mekele; chairman of the Board Araya Zerihun.

    Rahwa Yebegina Fiyel Export: – established 1995; capital 25,000,000; headquarter Mekele; chairman of the Board Yassin Abdurahman.

    Meskerem Investment: – established 1995; capital 40,000,000; headquarter Axum; chairman of the Board Tewodros Ayes Tesfaye.

    Mega Net Corp: – established 1993; capital 10,000,000; headquarter Mekele; chairman of the Board Alemseged Gebreamlak.

    Hiwot Agriculture Mechanization: – established 1995; capital 25,000,000; headquarter Mekele; Yohannes Kidane.

    Hitech Park Axion Assn: – established 1996; capital 10,000,000 headquarter Mekele; chairman of the Board Shimelis Kinde.

    Tana Trading House Axion Assn: – established 1994; capital 50,000,000; headquarter Addis Ababa.

    Sibhat Nega Global Auto Spare part: – established 1992; capital 26,000,000; headquarter Addis Ababa; chairman of the Board Teklebirhan Habtu.

    Fana Democracy plc. – established 1995; capital 6,000,000; headquarter Addis Ababa; chairman of the Board Negash Sahle.

    Ezana Mining Development: – established 1995; capital 55,000,000; headquarter Addis Ababa; chairman of the Board Tewodros Hafis Berhe.

    Express Transit: – established 1995; capital 10,000,000; headquarter Addis Ababa; chairman of the Board Gebreselassie Gidey.

    Experience Ethiopia Travel: – established 1995: capital 26,000,000; headquarter Mekele; chairman of the Board Tony Hiki.

    Ethio Rental Axion Assn.:- established 1995; capital 10,000,000; headquarter Mekele; chairman of the Board Atkilit Kiros.

    Dedebit Saving & Loan: – established 1997; capital 60,000,000; headquarter Mekele; chairman of the Board Atkilit Kiros.

    Dilate Brewery: – established 1995; capital 15,000,000; headquarter Mekele; chairman of the Board Kahsay TewoldeTedla.

    Dessalegn Caterinary: – established 1995; capital 15,000,000; headquarter Mekele; chairman of the Board Dr, Maru Erdaw.

    Berhe Chemical Axion Assn.:- established 1995; capital 25,000,000; headquarter Mekele; chairman of the Board Abadi Zemu.

    Addis Consultancy House: – established 1995; capital 10,000,000; headquarter Mekele; chairman of the Board Sibhat Nega.

    Birhane Building Construction: – established 1995; capital 10,000,000; headquarter Addis Ababa; chairman of the Board Bereket Mazengiya.

    EFFORT and The TPLF Business Empire
    http://www.ginbot7.org/Statement/Effort_TPLF_business_Empire.htm

    Posted June 10, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Permalink
  24. Helenlula wrote:

    Why the World Bank supports tyrants ?
    The net worth of Ethiopia’s dictator Meles Zenawi is listed as $1.2 billion in Wikipedia.org, the most referenced encyclopedia in the world. Meles is also listed as the 11th richest head of government in the world. (See here.) This has caused the Adwa Mafia (a clique within the ruling Woyanne junta that is mostly composed of close family members and friends of Meles) to scramble and remove their boss from the list. After several back and forth between those who wanted to keep Meles in the list and members of the Adwa Mafia who are terrified of the exposure, Wikipedia editors stepped in yesterday and “called off” the war until December 20.

    One may wonder why Meles Zenawi’s clique is scrambling to suppress such information. First of all, the information is correct. Secondly, the Adwa Mafia has amassed such incredible wealth during the past 18 years while most Woyanne cadres and fighters, particularly those who are not from Adwa Awraja, have gotten only frifari (crumbs). Such disparity in wealth is causing friction within the Woyanne hierarchy.

    Currently, the Adwa Mafia (a.k.a. the Meles Crime Family) controls 60 mega corporations through an organization named EFFORT (Endowment Fund For Rehabilitation of Tigray). These companies — doing businesses ranging from mining to transportiaon — are estimated to worth over $15 billion. EFFORT, which is currently headed by Meles Zenawi’s wife Azeb Mesfin, has never been audited, pays no tax, and is shielded from inspection of its books. All the profits from EFFORT go into offshore private bank accounts of Meles, Azeb, Sebhat and the other members of the Adwa Mafia.

    http://www.ethiopianreview.com/content/11785

    Posted June 10, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Permalink
  25. jmdesp wrote:

    I can’t help thinking your position here Prof is quite just the opposite of the position you had about Madagascar.

    So how do we know when continuing aid is bad because it helps the regime stay in power, and when it’s good because it helps the people and stopping it would have no effect at all on the regime ?

    Posted June 10, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Permalink
  26. Shabaka wrote:

    World Bank ? This US dominated institution used to advance US American and western interest in Africa and elsewhere ?
    IMF ? The same sh** about it.
    And add the UNO, with its 60 000 or so parasite workers who know very well that their salary comes from those western countries.

    The USA and the West have been supporting the Meles Zenawi regime, the worst in Ethiopia’s history,that committed such treasonous crimes like landlocking the country,playing the different religious,ethnic and regional groups one against the other or applying the divide and rule technic to remain in power,giving away Ethiopian land to countries like Sudan etc.
    And those dying evil western governments know that very well and still keep on supporting it.
    You see, this shows you how far moral corruption has gone in the west and why the west is dying.

    And of course the above mentioned institutions that are hated like hell in the world are going to die and will be accountable one way or another.

    peace

    Posted June 10, 2010 at 11:23 pm | Permalink
  27. koster wrote:

    If you want to know why the world bank finance “friendly tyrants” like Meles Zenawi just read the books by John Perkins – Economic Hit Men and others.
    It is all meant to control (colonize) Ethiopia not to benefit its people or the country. Tyrants like Meles does not care about the country or its people as long as their reign of terror is prolonged.

    Posted June 10, 2010 at 11:44 pm | Permalink
  28. Yielma wrote:

    The Worlld Bank’s logic towards helping tyrants could perhaps be summrized in one sentence:

    “We will help to feed the children in countries under dictatorship, so that the tyrants can kill them when they grow up”.

    Atl east that is what Mr.Ken and his friends are doing in Ethiopia by supporting tyrant Meles Zenawi who killed 200 unarmed school children in just two days in the 2005 elelction. They also seem to have endorsed the current election fiasco where the ruling party claims over 99% victory! What a shame World Bank?

    Posted June 11, 2010 at 12:31 am | Permalink
  29. Halunicination wrote:

    It is funny to see respectable prof. and the book author be mere role players of the Ethiopian Diaspora extreme oppositions[ because they are power mongers]. Now go to the real place and then report what you have seen, not what you have heard. You are implying[implicitly], that Ethiopian are incapable of thinking what a shame guys. You tend to rely on report of some so called organizations, who obviously are rushing to implement their hidden agenda, but you ignore the realty on grass root. Go and SEE and then report. That is what the World Bank head did, to your surprise this organization [b/c of pressures from fools like some HRW]is not giving aid easily to Ethiopia, they deny Ethio money for Hydro-power construction, and if they did they closely follows its implementation and challenge the government. So please be responsible in commenting or writing, don’t be followed by the flood of the Extreme Diaspora opposition.
    Best

    Posted June 11, 2010 at 6:41 am | Permalink
  30. Tadewos Tobyawiwu wrote:

    Ken is doing her job as usual – working with the devil so long as it can make a living for somebody. One thing is clear. The Bank justifies its existence on its ‘support’ to low-income countries in Africa and elsewhere. Thus Ken’s defense is simply natural and expected. It is a way of making a living. No moral. No reason. It is a mere justification of action. Time and again the Bank has shown us its skill of exolling the tyrant. Its Coutry Assistance Startegy (CAS) for Ethiopia shows that the annual budget has reached more than 500 Million US dollar. Unbeliveble. No country in Africa receives this much other thatn the ethnocrat regime of Ethiopia.

    When Ken and the likes try to defend the undefendable and try to tell us loud what they have achieved, we are noticing their lack of moral authority. God Bless Ethiopia!

    Posted June 11, 2010 at 7:19 am | Permalink
  31. Shabaka wrote:

    Warning, Halunicination is an agent of the highly unpopular,dictatorial and US puppet regime of Meles Zenawi.

    Posted June 11, 2010 at 11:01 am | Permalink

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by chemi, @mikegechter's RSS. @mikegechter's RSS said: Why the World Bank supports tyrants: the Gerund Defense: Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi World Bank Ethiopia… http://bit.ly/b7ziLc […]

  2. By Wednesday Highlights | Pseudo-Polymath on June 9, 2010 at 9:01 am

    […] Tyranny. […]

  3. […] to Bill Easterly’s Aid­Watch blog, we just ran across this excel­lent piece in the New York Review of Books lay­ing bare the […]

  4. […] Aid Watchers is unimpressed with the World Ban’s defense of lending money to the Government of Ethiopia: …any horrible tyrant can be supported under the assumption that this tyrant is merely a temporary stage in a country “in transition to democracy,” part of an “innate tendency” towards “building institutions.” […]

  • About Aid Watch

    The Aid Watch blog is a project of New York University's Development Research Institute (DRI). This blog is principally written by William Easterly, author of "The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics" and "The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good," and Professor of Economics at NYU. It is co-written by Laura Freschi and by occasional guest bloggers. Our work is based on the idea that more aid will reach the poor the more people are watching aid.

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