Targeting Eritrea and Ethiopia: Michael Rubin and his Warmongering Campaign of Disinformation 

“Rubin wrote a piece so mind-bogglingly stupid that it surpasses even his past efforts at winning a place in the Guinness Moron Book of Records.”—Bob Dreyfuss, The Mind-Boggling Stupidity of Michael Rubin.” The Nation, February 9, 2010. 

The same could be said today about each of the “mind-bogglingly stupid” articles Michael Rubin wrote about Eritrea the past four years.  Since the Tripartite Agreement between Eritrea, Ethiopia,andSomalia was signed on 5 September 2018, Rubin seems to be obsessed with the Horn of Africa. 

Rubin was among the American neoconservatives who pushed the USA into war in Iraq in 2003 based on a lie. He is also a man with a “bounty of three million Turkish lira, or nearly $800,000, placed on his head” in connection with the 2016 Turkish coup d’état attempt for “supporting and committing offenses for the Fethullahist Terror Organization.” an Islamist movement led by Fethullah Gülen. It’s this Michael Rubin who is now leading a concerted campaign of disinformation against Eritrea. 

As a hired gun, Rubin had found it expedient “to kill three birds with one stone”: regime changes in Eritrea as well as Ethiopia and keeping Somalia in a perpetual chaos. Though he has written so many nasty things about Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali and Somalia’s ex-president Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo, his worst vitriol, is reserved for Eritrea and its President Isaias. We don’t know why he is afflicted with ageism. While the current president of the US is an octogenarian, and about 10% of US senators are 76 years old or higher, Rubin loves to harp on President Isaias age, and repeats TPLF’s lies and ill-wishes about this healthy and energetic president Isaias.

This warmonger doesn’t want to see peace in the Horn of Africa whether between Eritrea and Ethiopia or between the two Somalias. Here is what he wrote about the former: “Indeed, it is not certain Abiy’s détente with Eritrea will last, nor that Ethiopia itself will remain stable and unified. Alas, Abiy appears to have let the [Noble peace] prize go to his head and, in doing so, may have forgotten an important rule of peacemaking: timing matters. Sometimes rushed reconciliation regardless of the good intentions behind it can lead to disaster.” A peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia after twenty years to merchant of death Rubin is “rushed.” In fact, at one time, he encouraged the Tigrean terrorist group to invade Eritrea and as he did in Iraq twenty years ago, he promised them they would be received with flowers in Eritrea. His own words: “The question now is whether Tigray Defense Forces will enter Eritrea to end a regime that was as much an aggressor against Tigray as Ethiopia’s Army but with even less legal justification. Isaias is old and in ill health. His people are demoralized. The rapid defeat of Eritrean forces in Tigray shows his weakness. Should the Tigray Defense Forces enter Eritrea or, more likely, organize and support Eritrean opposition forces, Isaias may find his own conscript army will dissolve and defect.”

This merchant of death, Rubin, also went bonkers at the news of peace between the two Somalis: “It has now been almost 30 years since Somalia descended into state failure. … Abiy, however, has decided that his Nobel mantle gives him a mandate single-handedly to reunite Somalia. Last week, Abiy brokered the first-ever meeting between Muse Bihi Abdi, Somaliland president, and Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo. Abiy likes Farmajo for the same reason Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan and U.S. Ambassador Donald Yamamoto do: because he is not known for an independent intellect and is pliable to their needs.”

Since February 2019 Rubin has written over 40 articles maligning and openly calling for regime change in Eritrea. His articles which covered subjects ranging from accusations against the Eritrean president of considering “attacking Somaliland in order to gain a port on the Red Sea” and malignin the Ethiopian Prime Minister stating he intends to “keep Ethiopia in a state of perpetual crisis” to maintain power. In addition to his sinister intentions relating to Eritrean and Ethiopian people and their leaders, these statements expose his ignorance of the area he pretends to have expertise on. First, Somaliland doesn’t share a common border with Eritrea, second it is not located on the Red Sea coast but along the western side of the Indian Ocean.   

As Rubin knowingly recycled and regurgitated discredited stories about Eritrea, at a conference on “Reshaping Africa’s Narratives: The Media in Perspective” in Kigali, Rwanda on 14 May 2021, where Mike Rubin was a panelist, Dr. Frederick Golooba-Mutebi, a Ugandan Professor Extraordinarius at the Archie Mafeje Research Institute at the University of South Africa had this rebuke to the likes of Mike Rubin: 

“Everything that I knew about Eritrea came from the western media. I read a lot about Eritrea in all the major western newspapers and I never heard or read a single positive thing about that country … [So], I decided to go to Asmara and see Eritrea, talk to Eritreans, and talk to Eritrean leaders and try to understand what kind of country Eritrea is. I can tell you that I came out of Eritrea feeling extremely angry. I was angry about all the stuff I had read about Eritrea and believed. … There are so many things that happen in Eritrea which I think are very good things that the rest of us in Africa should know about, but which no one tells us about, absolutely no one.” [Dr. Golooba-Mutebi visited Eritrea in 2018 and you can read what he wrote for The East African about what he found in Eritrea

·       Eritrea, the ‘police state’ where there are no cops to be seen (September 7, 2018)

·       Ignore the naysayers, Asmara is not reclusive and is open for business (October 1, 2018)

·       You can see of what he said at the  Reshaping Africa’s Narratives: The Media in Perspective panel starting at the 35:45 minute mark at ]

Rubin, however, didn’t care to take Mutebi’s eyewitness warning into consideration. Instead, he set out to promote Eritrean “Ahmed Chalabists” to help him fabricate stories like what he did with the nonexistent “WMDs” in Iraq. Along with these Eritrean Chalabists Rubin is recycling an old, discredited story of “slavery in Eritrea.” Of course, there is no slavery in Eritrea. It is Eritrea’s National Service that Rubin is tarring as “slavery.” A national service that doesn’t spare the president’s or ministers’ children from serving is twisted out of context and labeled as “slavery.” If an honored service to one’s country and people is termed slavery, then all the selfless patriots who serve their countries around the world, including members of the US armed forces he wants to deploy in the Horn of Africa are “slaves.” National Service is not unique to Eritrea, nearly one-third of world nations have some form of National Service. Furthermore, calling Eritrean National Service as “slavery” whitewashes the heinous crimes of slavery and minimizes the genocide that was committed on Africans during the Middle Passage and in the hands of slave owners in the Americas.

All in all, Michael Rubin has been a merchant of death be it in Iraq, Iran, South Caucasus, Turkey, Syria or Yemen. Now he is frantically attempting to derail peace efforts in the Horn of Africa. Warmongering remains his profession, our hope is sane minds in Washington will condemn him and ignore his campaign of disinformation about Eritrea and its neighboring countries.

The National Council of Eritrean Americans (NCEA)

January 17, 2023

Posted in: Editorial