The Second Pillar of the Biden Administration’s Policy in Ethiopia: Make Ethiopia China’s Graveyard in Africa.
An old African saying teaches, “When two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. I say, “When the dragon and eagle fight on the Ethiopian grass, there will be one and ONLY one winner. The Black Lion! Alemayehu G. Mariam
Author’s Note: I refer to my previous commentaries (Part I and Part II) on my extremely pessimistic prognostications on U.S. policy in Ethiopia under the Biden Administration. In this commentary, I shall discuss what I believe will be the second pillar of U.S. policy in Ethiopia under the Biden Administration: Defeating China in Ethiopia and thereby significantly diminishing and containing China’s influence throughout Africa. 
During his confirmation hearing, Secretary of State-to-be Antony Blinken answering Senator Chris Coons’ question said, the “issues that caused the [Tigray] conflict can actually be discussed and litigated as opposed to dealt with through violence.” (Italics added.) I accept Blinken’s offer to “litigate” any matter concerning Ethiopia, and so in this commentary. I intend to litigate against Blinken/U.S. policy in Ethiopia come hell or high water!
Blinken’s global foreign policy strategy and how it applies to Africa
Can we find a foreign policy of responsible global engagement that most Americans support, that draws the right lessons from our past mistakes, that steers between the equally dangerous shoals of confrontation and abdication, and that understands the difference between self-interest and selfishness?
In response, Blinken proposes four strategic pillars for U.S. foreign policy in a time when the American people are sick and tired of America playing the world’s policeman squandering billions of hard-earned taxpayer dollars that are much needed at home.
Blinken’s first pillar is preventive diplomacy and deterrence (a “foreign policy that seeks to prevent crises or contain them before they spiral out of control using a combination of active diplomacy and military deterrence.”).
The second pillar is trade and technology (“insist on competing in a rules-based system that protects our people from the aggressive state capitalism of modern autocracies”).
The third pillar is coordinating with allies and institutions (“the United States has European allies and Asian allies, but no institution links the Asian and European democracies [to counter] China’s Belt and Road initiative”).
The fourth pillar is immigration and refugees (“allied democracies struggling to cope with greater flows of migrants and refugees, the United States needs to address the causes and consequences of migration”).
I. Preventive diplomacy
What does Blinken mean by “preventive diplomacy and deterrence”?
While I am not sure what Blinken means by “preventive diplomacy”, the phrase is often used to describe the role of the United Nations in the prevention of conflict and fostering of global peace by taking “diplomatic action at the earliest possible stage to prevent disputes from arising between parties”.
“Deterrence” is a core element of U.S. defense and military policy. The U.S. has historically practiced deterrence in two forms: 1) “deterrence by denial” in which the U.S. has sought to “deter an action by making it infeasible or unlikely to succeed”, and 2) “deterrence by punishment” in which the U.S. “threatens wider punishment that would raise the cost of an attack.”
What Blinken today calls “preventive diplomacy and deterrence” used to be called “big stick diplomacy” over a hundred years ago. President Teddy Roosevelt once said, “I have always been fond of the West African proverb: ‘Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far’.”
In my view, Blinken’s “preventive diplomacy and deterrence” simply means use diplomacy to negotiate and mediate (“speak softly”) with the unspoken threat of military (“big stick”) action in the background.
What does Blinken’s “preventive diplomacy and deterrence” mean to Africa and particularly Ethiopia?
In my view, Blinken’s “preventive diplomacy” is a repackaging of the Roosevelt Corollary which was designed to protect U.S. interests and preserve stability in Latin America by preventing interference by European countries.
The “Blinken Corollary” applied to Africa in general and Ethiopia in particular means the U.S. could intervene in African/Ethiopian internal affairs as a function of its assertion of global police power and specifically to prevent and counter China’s expanding and dominant economic role and burgeoning military ambitions.
When Blinken tweeted his “deep concerns about the humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia, reports of targeted ethnic violence, and the risk to regional peace and security” and commanded “Ethiopian authorities to take urgent steps to end the conflict, enable humanitarian access, and protect civilians”, he was asserting and projecting U.S. global police power in Ethiopia and practicing “preventive diplomacy and deterrence”.
When Blinken twitted on February 4, 2021 and said he spoke with PM Abiy Ahmed and “urged unhindered humanitarian access” to Tigray region, he was asserting and projecting U.S. global police power in Ethiopia and practicing “preventive diplomacy and deterrence”.
Demanding “unhindered access” of a sovereign country to its territory is an unforgiveable slap in the face!
When Biden’s National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan tweeted his “deep concerns about the risk of violence against civilians, including potential war crimes, in the fighting around Mekelle in Ethiopia” and demanded “civilians must be protected, humanitarian access must be opened immediately to dialogue facilitated by the AU,” he was also amplifying U.S. global police power in Ethiopia and practicing “preventive diplomacy and deterrence”..
II. Playing by the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules
Blinken’s second pillar “insists on competing in a rules-based system that protects our people from the aggressive state capitalism of modern autocracies” is rather opaque.
Blinken is referring to the “East Asian model” of aggressive state–sponsored capitalism in which government invests in certain sectors of the economy in order to stimulate the growth of industries in the private sector. The East Asian countries include China, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, and Taiwan. From this group, China is the only country that fits the “aggressive state capitalism” bill. Japan and South Korea, at best would be friendly “passive state capitalists”.
So, Blinken’s argument is that China is an economic outlaw which does not operate on a “rules-based system”.
The question is whose “rules”?
Those who make the rules rule.
In my view, Blinken is making two arguments: 1) China is in non-compliance with the U.S./E.U. rules-based system, particularly WTO rules; 2) China should be punished for eating the lunches of the U.S./E.U. by playing with its own rules.
Blinken and his ilk accuse China of predatory economic mercantilism, a form of economic nationalism in which the private sector and the government work together to fund corporate, military, and national growth.
The Chinese government is alleged to heavily subsidize domestic companies, manipulate its currency levels to obtain unfair price advantages in foreign economies, and steal intellectual property.
Focusing strictly on the issue of not playing by the rules, it was the Trump administration that did not play by the rules, not China.
In September 2020, the World Trade Organization (WTO)– the only international organization dealing with the global rules of trade– concluded the U.S. broke global regulations when it imposed $400 billion in tariffs and levies on Chinese exports and goods in 2018.
Donald Trump’s trade war with China proved Trump was not playing by the WTO “rules-based system”, not China.
Could it be that the Chinese beat the U.S. at its own game?
What does “competing in a rules-based system that protects our people from the aggressive state capitalism of modern autocracies” mean for Africa and particularly Ethiopia?
Blinken is “tunnel-visoned”.
As he accuses China of not playing by the rules, he conveniently ignores how those same “rules” have undermined and devastated African countries.
The fact of the matter is that:
The problem is not that international trade is inherently opposed to the needs and interests of the poor, but that the rules that govern it are rigged in favour of the rich… Governments of rich countries constantly stress their commitment to poverty reduction. Yet the same governments use their trade policy to conduct what amounts to robbery against the world’s poor. When developing countries export to rich country markets, they face tariff barriers that are four times higher than those encountered by rich countries. Those barriers cost them $100bn a year – twice as much as they receive in aid.
III. Countering China’s Belt and Road Initiative
Blinken’s third pillar is a response to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) by coordinating with European and certain Asian allies.
In 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced plans to build a Silk Road Economic Belt and a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road with the aim of “encouraging greater connectivity, economic flow, the growth of job opportunities, investment, consumption, cultural exchange and the spirit of regional cooperation between Asia, Europe and Africa by creating jointly built trade routes emulating the ancient Silk Road.”
The BRI in Africa has been criticized as “debt trap diplomacy.”
Between 2000-2018, African countries are said to be indebted to China to the tune of USD$150 billion. China, as Africa’s largest bilateral creditor, presumably collateralizes its loans by tying them to strategically critical mineral resources and infrastructure projects and leveraging them to exploit African countries. China takeover of Sri Lanka’s port for a 99-year lease in exchange for $8 billion debt forgiveness is offered as Exhibit A.
What about the Western debt trap for African countries?
The is a “growing ‘wall’ of sovereign debt repayments threatening many African nations” including “obligations to national creditors and indebtedness to private creditors, fueled by recent years’ increases in foreign bond issuance.”
But the West is not trying to make it easier for African countries to reduce their debt burden or provide them fairer borrowing terms.
If China could be accused of creating a “debt trap” for African countries, the West could be equally accused of creating “debt peonage” for them.
As of November 2020, “China owned US$1.063 trillion of the total outstanding US government debt issued by the US Department of the Treasury.”
Does that mean the United States is a “debt hostage” of China just like the African countries?
Lo and behold Western hypocrisy!
Every Western country, and especially the U.S., has outsourced much of its consumer manufacturing sector to China.
Every Western country is dependent on China from T shirts to Covid personal protection equipment (PPEs) to high tech personal communication devices. We lost nearly one-half million Americans because We, the People of America, did not have the capacity to produce such simple things.
Who provided us and the West with PPEs?
We in the West use China when we need China to give us a “loan” by buying our Treasury bonds and provide us PPEs but abuse and damn China when it invests in Africa.
What is good for the Western goose is obviously not good enough for the African gander!
Why do we maintain billions of dollars in trade deficits with China if it is so evil?
In 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton charged China as a neocolonialist power in Africa: “We don’t want to see a new colonialism in Africa. We want to see people come to Africa and make investments… not undermine good governance.”
In December 2018, John Bolton, Trump’s National Security chief, charged:
Great-power competitors, namely China and Russia, are rapidly expanding their financial and political influence across Africa. They are deliberately and aggressively targeting their investments in the region to gain a competitive advantage over the United States. China uses bribes, opaque agreements, and the strategic use of debt to hold states in Africa captive to Beijing’s wishes and demands. Its investment ventures are riddled with corruption.
China has poured billions into Africa over the past decade and has become a source of investment for infrastructure and entrepreneurship in the continent.
According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Report 2020 China has the largest share of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Ethiopia, accounting for about 60 percent of the newly approved foreign projects in 2019.
The U.S./European strategy to counter BRI is to out loan China in Africa. According to one analysis, “Ethiopia received a $9 billion injection of financial aid from Western donors, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank” as a counter to the “influx of cash that could upend 15 years of Chinese dominance.”
Blinken’s proposal to counter the BRI in Africa with a coalition of European and certain Asian allies is probably too little to late.
What does “coordinating with European and Asian allies” mean for Africa and particularly Ethiopia?
The U.S./Europe alliance is unlikely to compete with the long-term BRI Chinese strategy.
The U.S. and Europe have kept Africa on a tight leash of dependence creating a continent-wide addiction to aid and loan in a bottomless vortex of debt.
China invests in Africa, just like a damn good Adam Smith-style capitalist.
China invests in Africa because China knows Africa is the future.
China knows Africa is not a continent of beggars but a land of plenty.
China knows Africa is not a bunch of “s**t hole counties” but its ace in the hole over America and the West.
European powers carved out Africa as bits of colonial territories in the Berlin Conference of 1884-85, which resulted in the total destruction of African autonomy and self-governance.
After 1960, most African countries gained their independence only to trade it back for aid dependence on their former colonial masters.
What can the West show for its investments in Africa? (I don’t want to sound ungrateful to Western taxpayers.)
Dambissa Moyo in “Dead Aid” argued despite a trillion dollar in U.S. aid to Africa over the past 50 years, Africa has been worse off as aid has failed to deliver sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction.
Ironically, as the U.S. and Europe point an accusatory finger at China for creating a “debt trap” for African countries, they should be mindful that three fingers are pointing at them for maintain an “aid trap”.
IV. Immigration and refugees
Blinken’s fourth pillar is reform in immigration and refugee resettlement policy in the U.S. and Western Europe. President Biden says he will address it domestically by issuing an executive order which will raise the refugee admissions to 125,000 persons for the first full fiscal year.
As of 2018, “The number of refugees around the world is at its highest since World War II—but the US admits less than one percent.”
Trump simply did not care about refugees.
He wondered out loud why the U.S. cannot simply round up and deport “illegal aliens” from the “shithole countries” of Haiti, El Salvador and Africa. In December 2017, Trump complained 40 thousand Nigerians had come to the U.S. and would never “go back to their huts”.
Trump’s family separation policy packaged for public relations purposes as “zero tolerance” has resulted in the separation of some 5 thousand children from their parents.
Trump capped refugee resettlement in the U.S. to 15 thousand for 2021.
Biden says he will raise refugee admissions to 125 thousand persons in 2021.
But as of January 1, 2021, there were 1.3 million cases pending before U.S. immigration courts, including about 360,000 asylum cases.
It will take years to decide these cases.
The message is clear. The U.S. will talk the talk but not walk the talk on refugee policy.
What does “raising refugee admissions to 125,000 persons for the first full fiscal year” mean for Africa and particularly Ethiopia?
Let the numbers speak. As of December 31, 2020, there are 802,821 refugees in Ethiopia.
It is the height of hypocrisy for the U.S. to shed crocodile tears for Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia while separating thousands of Central American children from their parents and imposing a harsh exclusionary policy for their refugee parents fleeing persecution.
Blinken and Kipling’s “White Man’s Burden”: What to do about the “s**hole countries” of Africa?
I can imagine some of my readers will cringe reading the following because it states a bold and an inconvenient truth!
Donald Trump used the phrase “s**hole countries” to refer to Africa and African immigrants as he rejected a bipartisan immigration deal in 2018.
Trump blurted out the phrase because he is a vulgar idiot whose arrogance is exceeded only by his ignorance. No doubt, Trump is a presidential “idiot, full of sound and fury” whose executive order “signifying nothing.”
Trump, like a Mafia boss, tried to break Ethiopia’s legs when he announced Egypt “will blow up” the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
My point is simply this. What the Emperor Nitwit of Twitterdom blurted out in a moment of arrogance about “s**t hole countries” and “blowing up” a dam resonates is also a deeply held belief of the U.S. foreign policy establishment.
It is a manifestation of a deep-rooted paternalism, patronizing and dismissive attitude and condescending ways of the U.S. foreign policy establishment regardless of party affiliation.
To me, the phrase “s**t hole countries” is a way of classifying countries in a global hierarchical structure.
The world used to be classified as the “First World” consisting of the U.S. and Western Europe. The “Second World” consisted of Eastern Europe, China and their allies. The “Third World” consisted of the “developing countries” of Latin America, India and parts of the Middle East. The “Fourth World” consists of the “s**t hole” countries of Africa and the Caribbean.”
Africa is viewed as a continent of “s**t hole countries” because the Western media propagates negative perceptions of Africa by constantly focusing on “humanitarian crises”, “democratic deficit”, “rigged elections”, “famine”, “refugee displacement”, civil and border wars and poverty.
The fact of the matter is that the “s**t hole” countries of Africa became so following the model of their colonial oppressors, indeed foisted upon them. The U.S. and Europe openly welcome the billions stolen from the “s**t hole countries” of Africa into their banking system as corrupt African leaders seek to hide their stolen loot.
Blinken’s tweets and statements are modern iteration of Rudyard Kipling’s “White Man’s Burden”. What can the U.S. do for the Ethiopia “half-devil, half-child”?
Blinken is saddled by Susan Rice to carry Tigray as his “White Man’s Burden”.
Blinken, the self-appointed White Knight messiah of the starving people of Tigray has the gall and audacity to boss around (exact punishment) the “half-devil, half child” Ethiopians how to run their politics and societies and save them from themselves.
When Blinken testified during his confirmation hearing that Ethiopia will be one of three countries (Uganda, Cameroon) in Africa that will be a special target of the U.S. policy of “active engagement”, what he really means is that he will make an example of these three “s**t hole countries” for the rest of Africa.
When Blinken commands in a tweet on November 19 (certain in the belief he will be the next Secretary of State), “Ethiopian authorities should take urgent steps to end the conflict” in Tigray, he shows not only disrespect for Ethiopian sovereignty but also contempt for Ethiopia’s leadership.
He means that he can push around the sovereign government of Ethiopia and get them on their knees begging, “Please uncle… Uncle Sam!”
Blinken’s attitude and morbid obsession with Ethiopia reminds me of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Letter From Birmingham Jail: “I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizens Councillor or the Ku Klux Klanner but the white moderate…”
I have also come to the regrettable conclusion that Ethiopia’s great stumbling block in its stride toward freedom, democracy and prosperity is not the racist and xenophobic Trump but the likes of Antony Blinken who make themselves tools in the hand of dyed-in-the-wool African dictator lovers like Susan Rice.
“Beating up on China” or slaying the dragon: When two elephants fight, what happens to the grass in Africa?
The U.S. has long treated Africa as a “welfare queen” living off the largesse of taxpayers.
Every time an African country resists or objects to a command, the U.S. response is threats of cutoff of aid and sanctions or to throw some other temper tantrum.
When Ethiopia refused to sign the Washington agreement, Trump personally ordered cutoff of US Aid. Then he said Egypt will bomb the GERD.
Europe has treated Africa as object of charity.
The EU threatened to cut off aid because Ethiopia did not respond to its demands.
I have always opposed foreign aid in Ethiopia and Africa.
In 2011, I argued foreign aid in Ethiopia creates both a moral hazard and moral bankruptcy.
Over the past couple of decades, China has been making significant inroads in Africa.
China is offering Africans an economic model that not only competes with Western liberal capitalism but likely has greater appeal to Africans.
There is no question that China poses a clear challenge to U.S./European hegemony in Africa and elsewhere.
China’s economy is the second largest in the world, and according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research will overtake the US to become the world’s largest economy by 2028.
In May 2020, Blinken said,
The United States and China are competitors. And there is nothing wrong with competition… provided… you invest in your own people to make sure that they can compete effectively and make sure that the rules of the game are fair… We are about 25 percent of the world’s GDP in the United States and with Asia and in Europe, we’re 50 to 60 percent of the world’s GDP. So, when China is engaged in practices that are unfair… we have real leverage. This is not about beating up on China…
I have been a long time and harsh critic of China in Africa.
In 2012, when China completed the African Union building, I criticized China for changing the “African Pride Land into a brand-spanking new hyenas’ den called the African Union Hall (AU). Every penny of the USD$200 million stately pleasure dome was paid for by China.”
I characterized the emulation of the “China Model” in Ethiopia as a hoax perpetrated on the people to ensure absolute political obedience and control, maximize the ruling class’ monopoly over the economy and justify the brutal suppression of all dissent.
In 2013, I lamented the disadvantages of American companies in Africa competing with Chinese state-supported enterprises unchained by anti-corruption laws, 2) the ludicrous idolization of the so-called China Model by African dictators (which to their understanding means suppress democratic institutions and civil liberties at the altar of economic development); 3) defended the idea of an “African Model” patterned after Ghana and 4) offered general ruminations on China’s creeping neocolonialism in Africa.
In 2017, I railed against creeping Chinese neocolonialism in Africa.
After hearing Donald Trump threatening to bomb by proxy the Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam and Susan Rice working like the devil in hell trying to return the criminals of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), I am no longer sure China is the “bad guy”.
After seeing the U.S. ignore decades-long human rights violations in Ethiopia documented by its own decades-long Annual Country Human Rights Reports, its protestations of Chinese nonintervention in the domestic politics of African countries sounds very hollow to me.
I have seen China building roads, rail lines, bridges and structures in Ethiopia.
I have seen China building parks in Ethiopia.
I have seen China agreeing to restructure the repayment period of loans to Ethiopia from 10 to 30 years.
I have seen the Chinese living among the people of the “s**t hole countries of Africa.
I don’t see China cutting off investments because Ethiopia is taking action to enforce the law and protect its sovereignty in one of its regions.
I don’t see China barking orders to Ethiopia to provide “unhindered access” to Tigray region or else.
I don’t see China threatening to bomb the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
I don’t see China disrespecting Ethiopian sovereignty and telling Ethiopians how to run their politics.
Is it true the old saying, “A friend in need is a friend indeed”?
It is said China’s approach to Africa represents a fundamental challenge to U.S. interests in promoting democracy, good governance and sustainable development in Africa.
The fact remains the U.S. and Europe pontificate about transparency, corruption, environmental protection, human development and better governance in Africa.
But it is all talk, talk, talk…
So, I say, spare us your sermon of hypocrisy!
I say, look in the mirror and then visit the graveyard of the U.S. State Department Annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices in Ethiopia!
Ethiopia: where the rubber meets the road for the U.S. to stop China in Africa
During his confirmation hearing, Blinken said:
President Trump was right in taking a tougher approach to China. I disagree very much with the way that he went about it in a number of areas, but the basic principle was the right one, and I think that’s actually helpful to our foreign policy.
On February 6, 2021, President Xi Jinping’s top foreign policy aide told Blinken during a telephone call the US should “correct recent mistakes, and work with China to promote the healthy and stable development of China-US relations by upholding the spirit of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation.”
The stage is set for a confrontation.
Will Ethiopia be one of the battlegrounds in a U.S.-China confrontation?
It is my prognostication that the Biden administration will try to stop and reverse China’s “juggernaut” in Africa by confronting it in Ethiopia.
In other words, I shall predict the U.S/E.U. will find a way to pick a fight with China in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia is the lodestar of Africa.
Ethiopia is the heartbeat of Africa.
Ethiopia is the diplomatic capital of Africa.
I have written about Ethiopian exceptionalism on various occasions.
Ethiopia kept the flame of freedom alive when the whole African continent was plunged in the darkness of colonialism.
When the great PanAfricanist Kwame Nkruma wrote his poem, “Ethiopia Shall Rise”, he spoke of Ethiopia as “Africa’s bright gem”, “land of the wise”, the “bold cradle of Africa’s ancient rule” and as “Africa’s hopes and destiny.”
In his autobiography, Nelson Mandela wrote Ethiopia “has always held a special place in my own imagination and the prospect of visiting… attracted me more strongly than a trip to France, England and America combined. I felt I would be visiting my own genesis, unearthing the roots of what made me an African.”
Ethiopia holds a special place in the minds of all Africans.
The English barons slapped the Magna Carta on King John in 1215.
Ethiopians wrote their Fetha Nagast (“Law of the Kings”) in 1240.
The U.S. Constitution was written in 1787.
Ethiopia was the only African country to sit on equal terms with the great powers of the world and became an original signatory to the Covenant of the League of Nations in 1922.
Ethiopia sat on equal terms with the great powers of the world and became an original signatory to the Covenant of the League of Nations in 1922. Ethiopia was the only African country to sign the U.N. Charter in 1945.
Ethiopia was the only African country to become an original signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 and the Geneva Conventions in 1948.
Ethiopia was the principal architect of the Organization of African Union in 1963 which established its headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
If China could be defeated in Ethiopia, then it will be finished in the rest of Africa.
That is why I believe the U.S. and the E.U. will make Ethiopia its battleground in its struggle to displace China from Africa.
An African saying goes, “When two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.”
But the grass is resilient, it takes a licking and keeps on ticking.
Blinken is a hawk (interventionist)
Blinken has a long history in U.S. foreign policy.
During the Clinton administration, he served in the State Department and in senior positions on the National Security Council from 1994 to 2001.
Blinken served as vice-president Biden’s national security adviser from 2009 to 2013.
Blinken was deputy national security adviser to the National Security Council under the notorious Susan Rice until 2015, when he became assistant secretary of state. He was deputy secretary of state from 2015 to 2017 under President Barack Obama.
In his roles in the NSC under Obama and as deputy secretary of state, Blinken advocated for armed U.S. intervention in Syria and Libya. He was also one of the key strategists in U.S. policy in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran. Blinken supported the invasion of Iraq as did Biden.
I expect Blinken to show his true face as a war monger as Secretary of State.
Under Blinken’s leadership, I expect the U.S. and E.U. to gang up and try to “beat on China” in Ethiopia but I doubt they can slay the dragon!
When the dragon and eagle fight on the Ethiopian grass, there will be one and ONLY one winner.
The Black Lion!