I just got a phone call from the news room and checked online to see if the story is in fact true: that there is actual official talk about using force and hostility toward Ethiopia from politicians in Cairo. Now, from what I have been reading, the President is seeking advice from a wide swathe of politicians in Egypt - many of whom, I assume, have no real political power. I don't know if anyone is quite clear about the political state of Egypt since the revolution. But what I do know is this - the President used to be the Water Minister. He has got to know the situation he is facing can be solved with technical means - meaning if there is a dam and there is some paranoia about its uses, he can discuss with Ethiopia to understand exactly how the dam can also benefit Egypt - for example to store water further upstream away from the high evaporation rate of Lake Nasser. But in my opinion, there is no way that the Ethiopian dam would stop the Nile. That is ludicrous. It would indicate that Ethiopian leaders are out of their minds. Which they are not. Maybe they make mistakes in political choices, but you learn by doing - as the Laos PDR government told me. They are in part trying to find a way to rally the people of Ethiopia out of poverty and out of a desperate situation.
Make no mistake, the situation in Ethiopia is desperate, many people there are constantly on the brink of life and death. Go visit. Tell me that the government, seeking to engage in a large scale project to provide energy and make money is doing it for some selfish reason with a straight face. Tell me that Ethiopia would even dream of wanting to cripple other people in order to feed its own. This may just be my opinion, but using force to stop Ethiopia will lead to no good end. Practically every able bodied Ethiopian person has put their own money into that dam project.
I hope that Egypt is just posturing or that this is some inflated news reporting - not a huge leap of imagination given the reporting on this project to date.