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Honors I Don’t Claim; Allegations I don’t Deny

As a result of the fear that the PFDJ created, the Internet is full of Eritreans who communicate using nicknames. It is understandable why those who oppose the PFDJ prefer anonymity; the risks are too evident. But why would the supporters of the regime hide their identities and communicate “behind a maschera” as the priest said last week in Rome? Why would they be afraid of a regime they support? I believe they are ashamed of their positions.

Eritreans have two loyalties: either to the regime or to its victims, the Eritrean people. The Diaspora supporters of the regime think Eritreans are like cattle in a Texas ranch, carrying their owner’s brand. That is why when cornered, they summon their feeble excuse: “I am not a card-holding member of the PFDJ.” They conveniently forget that most of those who oppose the regime do not hold any sort of a card; you don’t need a card to distinguish right from wrong, particularly when the issues are stark clear, unambiguous. Citizens can only oppose the actions of the regime or nod in approval. Not carrying a PFDJ card doesn’t absolve one of being an accomplice in the victimization of Eritreans. If it flies like a bug and emits phosphorus light, it is not a duck; it is certainly a Hawi-Leyto—the firefly whose life cycle is two-months only.

For the last thirteen years, the regime and its supporters have used all techniques to fight awate.com; myself and my colleagues are continuously vilified. They do not like the fact that awate.com, in a stark contrast  to the regime they support, is liberal, diverse, all-inclusive and a free medium that puts to shame all the bigots, the hypocrites, and the weaklings.

Today, I will attempt to respond to a few “accusations” leveled against me by a man who claims he is  not a card-holding member of the PFDJ (aka conveniently-neutral), as if anyone cares what card people carry! A few days ago, this man threw at me a one-liner and I invited him to a serious debate. He immediately came up with a ton of allegations—talk about premeditated crime. His opening statement, which he ended by stating “Let me stop and see what your defenses are to the points I raised. Peace,” is appended  below. Note that he has already appointed himself a judge and is ready to pass a sentence!

In PFDJ-land, a tiny fraction of what he “accuses” me of is enough to send one to the gallows; I am glad I don’t live under their rule. This edition of Negarit basically uses his argument as a launching pad. For clarity, I  have inserted 19 numbers within parenthesis (yeah, he came up with that much);  for fear of spoiling the flow of reading for  my readers, I will not address them in chronological order. But first, here is an introductory story.

An Honor I Cannot Deny

In 1971, the Sudanese communists overthrew Jaafer Numeiri’s government. Babeker AlNur, and two other leaders of the coup, flew out from London on their way to Khartoum to assume power. When their airplane reached Libyan airspace, Gaddafi’s fighter planes forced it to land. Ghaddafi immediately handed the coup leaders over to Numeiri. At the same time, another plane that was flying from Baghdad to Khartoum, with support for the communists, mysteriously disappeared over the Red Sea. In a couple of days, Jaafer Numeiri crushed the communists and regained power; a bloodbath followed and all the leaders of the coup and other suspects were killed.  The largest communist party in Africa was eliminated. There were a few senior cadres of the Eritrean liberation era who were trained under (or were members of) the Sudanese Communist Party.

In the treason trials that followed, one of the leaders of the Sudanese coup pronounced his immortal last words: the accusation is an “honor I do not claim and an accusations I do not deny.”«هذا شرف لا ندعيه وتهمة لا ننكرها»

Likewise, any accusation by a PFDJ supporter, that I work to weaken the regime, is an honor I do not claim and an accusation I do not deny.

Interviewing Meles Zenawi

For some reason, my first interview with the late Ethiopian PM, Meles Zenawi, still irritates the PFDJ supporters five years after it happened. They repeatedly misconstrue the facts because (1) I didn’t travel to Ethiopia to interview Meles; I was invited by the Eritrean Democratic Alliance (EDA) for a meeting where the agenda was to resolve the differences between its two parts. While there, I found an opportunity and I interviewed Meles. It is as simple as that. If anyone can arrange for me an interview with the Eritrean tyrant, hopefully before he is done, I would do it even if I know all his answers would be, “It is a lie!

In a usual I-don’t-care-for-facts manner, the person above states that  I (4) bought the idea that PIA is the ‘Dictator’ and Zenawi the ‘Democrat’. For the record, I never said or wrote anything like that. But since he brought the subject, I have the urge to help the card-holding and non-card-holding supporters of the regime: relatively speaking, any ruler (dead or alive) is better than the deranged PFDJ capo. My boy scout troop-leader, or the town clown, would have fared better than Isaias in running Eritrea.

Writers Write to Influence

The supporters of the regime miss that, mainly, (2) the goal of writers is to inform and influence. It is natural that different people read what is written differently; I have been writing for too long to miss that. There is nothing a writer can do to change a prejudiced reading of a content other than to ask the readers to honestly assemble their facts, reconcile their prejudice, and allow themselves a margin of self-doubt—they might have reached a wrong conclusion based on wrong assumptions and perceptions. Other than that, only the culprits who misrepresent facts can convince themselves; nobody else can convince them to change their preconceived and prejudiced conclusions.

As strange as it sounds, I am accused of (7) influencing so many Eritreans to destroy Eritrea! This is a classical example of how the PFDJ lot equate Eritrea with the regime. Here also, I will certainly not claim that honor, but I will not deny the accusation. If I have influenced “so-many Eritreans” to fight for their rights, and expose the corrupt regime, that is a great achievement to have on my bio. I am glad my name will not go in the list of those who betrayed their people in their time of need; my children will be proud I didn’t leave them a sullied name.

There is a strong reason why the PFDJ must go: (18) it doesn’t listen to consultations and doesn’t believe the people are capable of ruling themselves—and it’s is a savage clique. Now, when was the last time a tyrant listened to others? Isn’t the G15 saga enough evidence? But it’s difficult to explain the nature of tyrannies to someone who prays at the altar of Isaias. I used to suspect that many of the supporters of the regime do not have sympathy for their people; now I am certain they don’t.

The Border War

Some supporters of the regime try to argue that (2) the current sorry state of Eritrea and the indefinite conscription was caused by the border war that led to the militarization of Eritrea. Wrong: the reason for Eritrea’s current miserable situation is the totalitarian rule. (3) Forced conscription (the main reason for the exodus of the youth) started many years before the border war, which was a result of the forced conscription and the militarization of the nation. Not the opposite.

If a government forces everybody to carry cans of spray paint, everyone would look for a space and paint graffiti. If you force all the people, old and young, to carry arms, you create a situation where one lives only to fight. That is what happened to Eritrea; the PFDJ and its capo cannot imagine Eritrea outside the state of war; they created a regime of gangsters shooting aimlessly and setting the region on fire. It is because of this that (5) I firmly believe for Eritrea to progress, we need to weed out the PFDJ beast. Once that is accomplished, every corner of Eritrea requires bleaching to remove the stains of the regime’s Skunis culture and its corrupt system. I don’t think any sane person would expect me to apologize for that stand!

There are a few regime supporters who think they discovered a secret that (6) “Part of [what I do is a] project …to isolate the Government of Eritrea.” How many times do I have to state it? Whatever I do is with the intention of helping weed out the regime. I have declared that long before some of them set foot on Eritrea.

Two years ago (7) I went to Djibouti to observe the presidential elections—something that doesn’t exist in the PFDJ world. But the PFDJ operatives are still busy constructing whimsical narrations. We all have speculations, but we don’t treat our guess-work as sacred and divine truth. For example, I didn’t go to Djibouti to assess the ports as claimed, but as I do in all my travels, I observed the situation in Djibouti and compared it to that of Eritrea. I felt jealous. I felt sad. I almost cried knowing how the PFDJ and its capo have turned our bustling ports to ghost towns less lively compared to some tiny traditional fishing villages. That is a crime every caring Eritrean should be furious about.

One of the honors I do not claim is their belief that I went to Djibouti to lobby IGAD (8). Well, the PFDJ lots can believe they just had dinner with God, who is to prevent them from claiming that? But why are they showering me with honors I do not claim?

In case you don’t know, according to the PFDJ supporter’s narration, (9) I also initiated the sanctions against the PFDJ government! Another honor I do not claim—but I am not rejecting it. I seriously think they mistook me for Ban Ki Moon, the UN secretary general; I am not even Saleh Ki Moon and we do not look alike. This is why I feel the supporters of the regime do not understand the implications of the sanctions; they underestimate it thinking it was initiated by Saleh Johar and his colleagues at awate.com!

For now, (11) I do not only support more sanctions against the PFDJ, I pray God to sanction the PFDJ and deny them oxygen so that they can suffocate and drop dead. I’m wondering if anyone in his right mind expects me to apologize for that!

Travels for a Cause

I  was in Australia on an invitation by free and patriotic Eritreans who care about their people; the PFDJ Wahios would not consider inviting me—and I do not like drinking binges that are presented as “national defense meetings.” While in Australia, I did what an activist is supposed to do and I (12) called for Australian investors not to deal with the tyrant, but to establish good relations with his victims for a better relations in future Eritrea. Hell, I even assured the Australian mining corporations they would get a lion’s share in the future if they show goodwill to the Eritrean people now by severing their relations with the tyrant.

That is also what I did in (13) Qatar in my spare time. But for those who weave whimsical stories, I was invited by UCLA’s Middle Eastern Studies Department on behalf of Qatar to attend a conference (it had nothing to do with Eritrea by the way). While in Qatar, I did what any activist would do. Hint? Try to weaken the regime. No kidding! Anyone needs apologies for that?

In a circular argument, the supporters of the regime claim that (14) our struggle to remove the government hurts the people! Their solution (since they pretend to love their people!) is very simple: stop fighting the PFDJ capo and his regime. That is the best prescription they can come up with! They gloss over their knowledge that removing the regime frees Eritreans—but it endangers their petty investments, the looted properties they bought, and the cheap touristic trips they conduct every summer.

Distorted Facts

Sane debaters tend to question any statement—unless they are beamed from heaven or carried by creatures with halos and wings. Personal statements (15) are not facts unless they are supported by evidence. Distorted facts do not stand an elementary scrutiny let alone a serious challenge!

In such a weak argument, according to the supporters of the regime, myself and my colleagues are (16) instigating the young to abandon their country! Why would we help the PFDJ? It is effectively doing that on its own; it doesn’t need help. In fact, the supporters of the regime are culprits because they are helping the regime by denying the suffering of the youth, and blaming the victims. Ironically, they have the temerity to accuse those who expose the sufferings that is forcing the youth to abandon their country.

The Legacy of the ELF and EPLF

To my knowledge, (19) the ELF ceased to exist in 1982; the EPLF was done in 1991. That era is long gone; now we have to deal with the tyranny that is blooming because of the support of the unprincipled.

True, there are a few individuals who are trying hard to resuscitate the old structures of the struggle era; to me that attempt is futile. Termites have been feeding on those structures for too long; only the good and bad memories are what we are left with.

Halib-Mentel, Ashera (10), and the other villages around Keren, are places I spent the best time of my life. Leaving personal sentiments aside, all Eritrean villages and their inhabitants are so dear to me; emotional blackmail—invoking Halib-Mentel and Ashera— doesn’t work on me; facts do.

The entire country is suffering because of the PFDJ tyranny, Halib-Mentel and Ashera included; once Eritreans rid themselves of the PFDJ parasite, they will be relieved.

Finally, my apologies to my friends who might be annoyed that I dedicated an article to reply to some lame arguments. But I have asked for a license to entertain myself with at least two such pieces every year—I still think it is a fair deal.

negarit at awate.com

Saleh “Gadi” Johar is author of “Miriam was Here” a book that explains the root causes of the Eritrean predicament and why the youth are fleeing their country risking their lives, facing all sorts of death, drowning in the sea or dying of thirst in the deserts and in the way facing rape, torture and organ harvesting

Here is the post at awate forum that triggered this edition:

“…I have followed [awate.com] for a long time almost since it started. It has been one of the sites I learn about Eritrea and current development about the country.

(1) I know you travelled to Ethiopia for the first time to visit Zenawi, and you interviewed him. (2) tried to influence you readers how he was sorry about deporting Eritreans from Ethiopia etc. and his justification why he did not want to leave occupied Eritrean territories. (3) Yet you know that this occupation is the reason why Eritrea is in bad situation it has found itself and the cause of the indefinite military service in the country. (4) You bought the idea that PIA is the ‘Dictator’ and Zenawi the ‘Democrat’ and, (5) the only way for Eritrea to progress is to change the Eritrean Government by any means. (6) Part of that project was to isolate GoE.

(7) Then you went to Djibouti, you claimed that you went there to see how conditions were comparing to Eritrean ports. Really? (8) I believe you went there to lobby IGAD for the Ethiopia’s plan to put UN sanctions on Eritrea. (9) The sanctions you initiated and supported is squeezing Eritrean economy, affecting ordinary citizens, people in villages (10) such as Halib-mentel and Ashera. You perfectly know the sanction will not affect PIA or its officials of the government PJDF. (11) But regardless of its consequence you support it. Why? (12) You were in Australia to lobby with the government to disinvest in Eritrea. (13) You were in Qatar for similar mission. Don’t you think all these efforts do not have any effect on ordinary people like Miriam? I doubt it. (14) Even though you are trying to replace the Eritrean government, you clearly know you are hurting the country and ordinary people. (15) You have a website dedicated to your project distorting facts some time (16) Instigating the young to abandon their country, knowing that they will face hardship when they leave their country. (17) You have influenced so many Eritreans dedicated to destroy Eritrea as a nation. (18) Imagine if all those who are writing articles aired to destroy Eritrea at your website could have used their talent and time to suggest ideas how the country solves its centuries old problems? (19) It seem to me you are stuck on the 1970s and 80s Eritrea, still fighting the ELF PLF battles. Let me stop and see what your defenses are to the points I raised. Peace!

About Saleh "Gadi" Johar

Born and raised in Keren, Eritrea, now a US citizen residing in California, Mr. Saleh “Gadi” Johar is founder and publisher of awate.com. Author of Miriam was Here, Of Kings and Bandits, and Simply Echoes. Saleh is acclaimed for his wealth of experience and knowledge in the history and politics of the Horn of Africa. A prominent public speaker and a researcher specializing on the Horn of Africa, he has given many distinguished lectures and participated in numerous seminars and conferences around the world. Activism Awate.com was founded by Saleh “Gadi” Johar and is administered by the Awate Team and a group of volunteers who serve as the website’s advisory committee. The mission of awate.com is to provide Eritreans and friends of Eritrea with information that is hidden by the Eritrean regime and its surrogates; to provide a platform for information dissemination and opinion sharing; to inspire Eritreans, to embolden them into taking action, and finally, to lay the groundwork for reconciliation whose pillars are the truth. Miriam Was Here This book that was launched on August 16, 2013, is based on true stories; in writing it, Saleh has interviewed dozens of victims and eye-witnesses of Human trafficking, Eritrea, human rights, forced labor.and researched hundreds of pages of materials. The novel describes the ordeal of a nation, its youth, women and parents. It focuses on violation of human rights of the citizens and a country whose youth have become victims of slave labor, human trafficking, hostage taking, and human organ harvesting--all a result of bad governance. The main character of the story is Miriam, a young Eritrean woman; her father Zerom Bahta Hadgembes, a veteran of the struggle who resides in America and her childhood friend Senay who wanted to marry her but ended up being conscripted. Kings and Bandits Saleh “Gadi” Johar tells a powerful story that is never told: that many "child warriors" to whom we are asked to offer sympathies befitting helpless victims and hostages are actually premature adults who have made a conscious decision to stand up against brutality and oppression, and actually deserve our admiration. And that many of those whom we instinctively feel sympathetic towards, like the Ethiopian king Emperor Haile Sellassie, were actually world-class tyrants whose transgressions would normally be cases in the World Court. Simply Echoes A collection of romantic, political observations and travel poems; a reflection of the euphoric years that followed Eritrean Independence in 1991.

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  • Saleh
    you are great man I like you but this is the time to bush Ali abdu to speak up you can do it

  • Saleh,

    Thank you for your effort to oppose this destructive regime in our beloved country, Eritrea. You are on the right side of history. I live in Colorado. I do see the support for the regime is waning. Eritrea needs honest and courageous writers, like you.

  • shekay

    I have been reading your articles for a while and clearly reflect the situation Eritrea. Keep it up. One thing i would suggest you though, please, everything you write it has lead the Eritrean people to unity. Eritrean people needs good writer , like you and other, to challenge them to think as Eritrean and that way we can get our God given freedom.

  • Papillon

    Dear Dawit,

    Intellectuals are products of their own time. This may sound a bit of a trite but the implication emphasizes that, to understand intellectuals, it is much more easier to scrutinize the times they had lived in. Hannah Ardent is not an exception either.

    She came of age when Germany was in turmoil where Ardent’s titanic intellectual forte was shaped up by the detrimental consequences of World War I as the outcome of the war left Germany with tremendous national debt that the nation was made to pay back– a verdict rendered by the victors. More over, Germany as well lost huge swaths of land to the victors where the loss added a sense of radicalism, xenophobia and ultranationalism that was already lurking in and sprouting with in the population as minorities were targeted as scapegoats where Ardent belonged to the latter.

    The irony is the very great minds who challenged the unbridled political power of the state hailed from Germany. For instance, Immanuel Kant in one of his pioneering works talks about “Free Will” where Man is endowed to exercise the Free Will unconstrained. But of course, the state where Hobbes calls it “Leviathan” impedes Man from doing so. That is, the state or Leviathan is in a constant tension with the Will of Man. Sure enough, the intellectual rationale behind the need for a Leviathan is brilliantly illustrated when the nature of Man is taken for a savage. To be more precise, if Men or group of Men exercise their Free Will, the animal instinct in Man will be unleashed and the manifestation of life as “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short” comes in a full swing. But again, as Fukuyama put it, to escape from this perilous situation, human beings agree to give up their natural liberty to do as they please in return for other people respecting their right to life. The state, or Leviathan, enforces these reciprocal commitments in the form of “Social Contract” by which human beings protect those rights which they have by nature but are not able to enjoy in the state of nature due to the war of every Man against every Man. The government or Leviathan secures the right to life by securing peace. It is prudent to keep in mind that, when Leviathan focuses on political power, rule of law limits it.

    Against this intellectual backdrop, one can have a sense of grasp of the totalitarian state Ardent came to write extensively with an intellectual vigour. To be more precise, Germans particularly the intelligentsia community betrayed their integrity by helping the Nazis to come to power as the former not only emboldened its allegiance to Leviathan but worshiped it to the extent of weakening the rule of law–the very institution that is supposed to limit the power of the Leviathan hence Totalitarian.

    ሓፍትኻ

  • L.T

    Addis Abeba (also known as Addis Town, or more simply, town). Nothing-is over 3000 years old. Djibouti(the age structure of the Horn), but still a town would not be thinning out.
    Saleh knocked the knocker:-) the Dehai favorite melodic song “Here I’m off out any way.”
    Who can say how Saleh would have reacted to all of this, after more than ten years on the air? For many years, the answer to any question, at this stage was, “What would Saleh have done? Critics, evidence, imagination, serve…as real leader or as a statesman?
    As Swedes say, “Dansen kring guldkalven” This is a personal pencil test.

    • rodab

      You make perfect sense. I don’t understand why people don’t understand you.
      Keep up the good work.

      • Papillon

        Rodab,

        You’re messing with him. Right? The guy never made any sense at all. All he does is either blabber or gossip about people like there is no tomorrow.

  • abinet

    Nitricc, (RIP ) ante netraca!keep on crying about the border issue even your retarded dictator forgot about it. Last time I checked no one is fleeing from badime .mognina wereket yeyazewn aylekim. Ethiopians have forgotten Eritrea long time ago . The new generation of Ethiopia don’t even know you. It is very bad that Eritrea has a lot of you grew up consuming and dispensing hate and arrogance.l am now extremely happy that you are gone.(gone, gone, gone,good bye)!wake up and smell coffee if you find any.btw,do you have any idea how many eritreans regret their independence. They tell you derg was much, much better than the current gangsters of human traffickers.shame, shame, shame.you should hide. 

  • Beyan Negash

    Dear Saleh,

    Try as I might, I could never fathom why it is those on the side of Eritrean government feel the need to use pen-names. It is obvious enough for those who oppose the government, the repercussion for their family members in Eritrea could end up being too much of a sacrifice, which is unequivocally reasonable and understandable. But, such is the nature of Eritra’s political beast. Those who should be fearful reveal themselves as they show bravery and those who do not have anything to lose are so cowardice and hide behind QomimishTi of pen-names.

    Be that as it may, a number of years ago, my niece went to SAWA and around Eritrea from Europe. These European-Eritreans, American-Eritreans, any other hyphenated Eritreans have issues of identity formation, sociopolitical circumstances that uniquely applies to their respective situation and specific personal matters that compels them to visit Eritrea.

    So,some even send their kids when they find that their offspring were straying from the norm of the society in which they live as, say, in getting involved in gang or behavioral matters that are untoward, the end result to which is invariably death or prison or simply put, a cul-de-sac to nowhere; and parents as a desperate measure send their children in hopes of SAWA reforming and redeeming them and somehow making them realize how good they have it in their respective homes.

    Sure enough, there are myriad anecdotes that one can cite as an example of such success stories that SAWA helped interrupt such potential personal disaster these kids could’ve fallen into had they stayed in that predictable trajectory, to the dead-end.

    My niece was not in trouble but few years after the SAWA visit along with other kids her age decided that she was going to pursue college education in the U.S. Part of that major reason for deciding this trajectory had to do with the way Europe in general and Scandinavian countries in particular refuse to accept her and her likes with hyphenated identities as one of its own.

    Thus, when these kids came to Los Angeles area I spent a great deal of time helping them get situated to the new environment; I began to understand what it is that compelled them to spend so much money as international students when they could go to college in the Scandinavians for free or for very little tuition fees.

    Well, the resounding answer was because of this identity issues that these countries to which they were born didn’t quite accept them as its own. Part of that process of finding themselves, these kids make the journey to the homeland (places like SAWA) to understand their heritage. And quickly these kids find out that there is “no there there” in SAWA for hyphenated Eritreans either.

    Therefore, in search of that elusive identity these kids make an attempt to find themselves in places like the U.S. where they are readily accepted into the world of anonymity and individualism, a place where they can function like any other human beings. The sense of relief these kids feel when no one questions their identity other than this sheer curiosity trying to figure out how it is these Iranian European, Columbian European, Eritrean-Finish-Swedish, Arab European, Somalian European, and European-European, Eritrean European speaking one language other than English. It was quite a scene to see even for me let alone for an average American to wrap their head around it.

    As for the character Sara in your book, I found her to be on the flip-side of my niece in that she was trying to fathom what these hyphenated Eritreans saw in SAWA. But, of course, such skin deep question as issues of identity could be the reason that was not answerable by one quick visit by Sara.

    Sara would’ve needed ample time to make sense of the topsy-turvy world she finds herself in, where on the one hand, here are these hyphenated Eritreans with a choice, deciding on their own volition to grace SAWA for a brief period of time; and on the other hand, here is Sara who has no choice but to fall into that spiraling world of uncontrollable eventual demise to her person and to her future; but must fulfill if she is going to have menQesaQesi within Eritrea and perhaps to the world outside it.

    If the two-per centers in the Diaspora felt they were in a bind, well, for these young Eritreans, SAWA is either a beginning of freedom to flee the hell out of that hell-hole, because they are able to move around once they fulfilled such a mandate or it could end up being an end in itself where they will stay in this perpetual indentured servitude. There is no rhyme or reason to the madness and the arbitrary nature of SAWA.

    So, the whole point of Sara’s character for me was to illumine the oxymoron world young Eritreans within Eritrean proper find themselves in this indecipherable world, a world that force conscript them as a path to a long winding indentured servitude. And it is these kinds of characters who help the story move along while at the same time opens the reader’s eyes to a complicated and highly intricate and convoluted system that young Eritreans find themselves in; out of which seems equally complex, so complex in fact the corollaries have been tragedies at high seas and despicable experiences of the Sinai desert tragedies that you, Saleh, as a story teller, as writer helping us along as we try to make sense of it.

    Saleh, I don’t think you will be able to educate everyone and each person who lacks the fundamental understandings of what literary devices are let alone literacy. We have plenty of educated-illiterates who do not grasp the works of literary endeavors.

    I don’t envy the Eritrean artist, a writer, a wordsmith like yourself must suffer financially & socially because the audience to whom you try to communicate just shows very little reciprocity and/or appreciation or even understanding for what it is story tellers like yourself try to do. Good luck on that!

    Respectfully,
    Beyan

    • Nitricc

      I do enjoy my good friend Beyan’s wrtings. He is like the Wayne’s, he likes ” Kolel” 🙂
      If I knew how to write, I could have said it in two sentences. It is miracle though, Beyan did not mentioned few dead white people 🙂
      I love you too Beyan lol

  • Mr.Big

    I stopped reading your response after this line:

    “Forced conscription (the main reason for the exodus of the youth) started many years before the border war, which was a result of the forced conscription and the militarization of the nation. Not the opposite.”

    I was naive enough not to think you would twist facts in support of your “camp”. To write so much non-sense on faulty arguments is something that strikes me to be quite desperate.

  • haile

    Selamat Awatista

    I have no intention of using wedi tikabo’s abandoning of the brutal regime for any political mileage. He is an individual and free to decide what he pleases. But considering how IA likes to disassociate with those he arrests or those who give him the finger and walkaway (wedi tikabo being the later:), he now has to disassociate from something he loves so much, his NY visit. When the halakas were receiving him, they were playing TsmbilaliE to cheer him on. way way way…TsmblaliE keyda entay ygeber 🙂

    cheers

    • Nitricc

      Haile that makes you look a bottom feeder. Come on my dude, you are better than this.
      You don’t have to blend in, stand out.

  • dawit

    I dare Awate to allow this video to its followers, as a free and independent source of information. Can you Prove it?

    [link to defamatory video clip deleted]

    [Moderator: Last time you said you were a lawyer. Your challenge to us to collaborate with you in a crime makes us think you lied. You are not a lawyer. The video clip you send defames more than two-dozen individuals who are opposed to the regime. It is a PFDJ propaganda piece and you are aiding and abetting it defame and slander Eritreans without substantiation. Unlike you (a lawyer!) we abide by the law and before challenging us, you should have checked our posting guidelines. If you really want this clip to be posted, state your name and address and we promise to post it for you. If you are a lawyer as you claim, you should know this is a legitimate request.]

  • belay

    Dear Abinet,
    Eritrean doesn’t have to suffer under H/selassie to demand independence.
    Let me give u one Abinet,sis Abinet.
    If a child was abandoned to suffer for sixty years under slavery,and when his owner let him free,and started the taste free dom,the biological father turned up,to claim his son he can’t even recognise,and his children and grand children.
    Dear Abinet,as smart as you are what do you think?the problem is deeper than that,what Atse Haileselasie did was handeled it badley,and created Eritreans to rebel.We should have fought to librate them from fascit Italy as they have fought on our side.Remember Zeray Deres?
    All the hate you mention was mostly installed by Issayas Afewerki to scare the population and accelarate the fight.Now the hate is turning to himself any way.
    They do not have to love us anyway.we are not Angles Abinet.If Expect love and unity,we to understand the root of the cause,not half way.
    Thankyou for patient,appologise if I am wrong.

  • abinet

    Tamirat, do you realy think that eritreans ever stop hating Ethiopia and Ethiopians? In my opinion it will take a generation. They have been trained from early age .(amhara metabih,amhara belabih,amhara wesedebih …tor serawit metabih……)l also think that the dictator is using this against them because they will never be united to challenge him as long as he is not an Ethiopian.l don’t think they suffered this much under the king for them to start armed struggle.

    • Tamrat Tamrat

      Ya, i do think so, if the teaching is stopped at least in a government or political party level. Look now in Ethiopia how eritreans live. Do you know that since 2009 i think any erirean in the refugee camps can get every opportunities like any average ethiopian (can work hard and survive)if he or she has any Family or Close person to go to in any part of Ethiopia? It is not some thing to brag about to get work and residence permit in Ethiopia, but having the Choice what matters, Abinet.

    • Nitricc

      Abinet my sister, no Eritrean I know hates Ethiopia. Why don’t you ask the Ethiopians to Horner their word and get out from Eritrean land?
      Can you do that? If any Eritrean hates the Ethiopians is because they are liars.
      Once your master PMMZ, said if PIA to get a legal verification that Addis Abeba belongs to Eritrea, he will give up Addis.
      Did you see the problem Abinet, Eritreans hate liars. Just you Know Abinet: yenekonjo 🙂
      tinish Asibi dinghy ras Atihugni
      Tell the Tigryans to get out from Eritrean land

  • Papillon

    Dear Dawit,

    Let’s bring genetics to the fore so that we can have a broader understanding about the issue at hand. As you know a person inherits 50% of his or her genes or DNA from each of his or her parents (read: Inclusive Fitness). By extension the person shares with his or her siblings half of the genetic make up that he or she inherited from her or his parents. The inheritance decreases by half (25%) with in the first cousin and second cousin (12.5%) and so on. This powerful evolutionary mechanism gives rise to the notion of reciprocal altruism where family members care and stick to each other in time of detrimental circumstances. The gesture extended by the Good Samaritan to a complete stranger could be explained by the notion of Nurture as opposed to Nature.

    With in the discourse of state-building, members of a society particularly tribal or patrimonial societies remain strongly connected to their families as opposed to the common good of the entire society. To be more precise, strong family ties gets in the way of state building. The question of transforming societies from a strong linkage of a family to an allegiance to a state becomes challenging. To understand the main factors that had helped transform societies from tribal or patrimonial to a state as we know it today (rule of law, accountability, judiciary and other institutions) has become the playing field of competing school of thought ranging from Hegelian (clash of ideas as the main forces of history–thesis, antithesis which gives rise to synthesis); Marxian (Dialectical Materialism where modes of production or forces of production as the main forces behind history); Hayekian (Spontaneous evolution with in a society); religion (Max Weber–Calvinism in continental Europe, Brahmins in India and Confucianism in China).

    With in the stated school of thoughts, the idea of religion as the main trajectory in state building where it is seen in the influence of the Brahmins in India and Confucianism in China gained more credibility as opposed to the other school of thoughts. That is, the Brahmins emphasized on a phenomenal world where allegiance of members of the society to a man-made state was taken for superficial and subjecting oneself to a mirage or a reflection of the Real. In short, Brahmin teachings discouraged members of the society focusing in here-and-now where the focus and objective of the state is in here-and-now. By the same token, Confucianism as well emphasized on hierarchy with in a family where children are fiercely expected to obey their parents more than any other power including the state.

    That was more or less the reason, it became challenging to build a state in India and China through out the centuries. That is, as the state actors tried to turn the allegiance of the people to the state, the more powerful religious dogma instilled on the people got on the way as the people found it difficult to serve “two masters” as the same time so to speak.

    As I tried to elaborate on a similar thread, the Abbasids and later on the Ottomans in an effort to build a strong state, developed a policy based on taking away young people aged 12 to 20 from their families who had been recently converted to Islam for slaves. One thing we need to keep in mind is that, when we say slaves, the meaning of the term is completely different from the slavery we came to know in Europe or America. When the children were taken away from their families, they would go through rigorous training for years where they remain not only loyal to the Sultanate but some of them climbed the military ladder and became Sultans. This is in a sharp contrast to the savage nature of the slavery which was exercised by Europeans. Here again, the intention of the Abbasids or the Ottomans was to render society solely loyal to the sovereign or the state.

    The above stated as a historical backdrop or precedence, YG’s argument or rather onslaught on the pioneers or authors of Gedli can be seen on a different light and in a different angle. To be more precise, it is safe to argue that, the authors of Gedli might have found it too difficult to make the Eritrean society commit itself completely to the cause where family allegiance transcended allegiance to the cause, a cause that was trying so hard to claim legitimacy not only political legitimacy but as it found itself fighting a formidable military power.

    ሓፍትኻ

    • Thanks Papillion,

      I see that you are well-read in many subjects, from medicine to history to philosophy . I wonder if you have read “The Origins of Totalitarianism ” by Hannah Arendt. Just as you brilliantly discussed in your comment about the dichotomy of state and family , Hannah Arendt, in a similar fashion, has this to say on page 46 of her book: “The Nazi dictatorship has been so frequently connected with “state worship” that even historians have become somewhat blind to the truism that the Nazis took advantage of the complete breakdown of state worship, originally prompted by the worship of a prince who sits on the throne by the grace of God…” Here, she implies that allegiance to a state succeeded worship to a king/prince.

      Similarly, PFDJ , at the beginning, may have sought to build statolatry, worship of state, before family ties became stronger than allegiance to EPLF/PFDJ. It is this contradiction that may have prompted PFDJ/EPLF to resort to brute force.