“…….I don’t know how it is today, but in the not-too-distant past, there were distinguished people to whom abusing and denigrating victims afforded feeling similar to those of the Marquis de Sade and the marquise de Brinsvilliers. I think that there is something in these sensations that, in these people, make their heart stop in agonizing delight. There are people like tigers who long for a taste of blood. Anyone who has once experienced this power, this unlimited control over the body, blood and spirit of a man like himself, a fellow creature, his brother in Christ-anyone who has experienced the power to inflict supreme humiliation upon other beings, created like himself in the image of God, is bound to be ruled by his emotions. Tyranny is a habit; it grows upon us and, in the long run, turns into a disease.
say that most decent man in the world can, through habit, become as brutish and coarse as a wild beast. But then, the bestial side does not develop equally in all men. If the beast in a man overpowers all his other sides, he becomes horrible, monstrous. Blood and power intoxicate, callousness and vise develop; the most abnormal things become first acceptable, then sweet to the mind and heart.
The human being, the member of society, is drowned forever in the tyrant, and it is practically impossible for him to regain human dignity, repentance, and regeneration. One such instance-the realization that such arbitrary power can be exercised-can infect all society; such power is seductive. A society which can watch this happen with equanimity must itself be basically infected.
Thus, the power given to one man or group of men to inflict bodily and spiritual punishment upon others is a social sore; it is perhaps the surest way of nipping the civic spirit in the bud. It will inevitably lead to the disintegration of society.” Fyodor Dostoyevsky – ‘House Of The Dead,’ 1862
Did you watch the video in which an eight or nine years old girl (a gifted stand-up comedian) was serenading Isaias Afewerki? The one Sal was talking about?
She said that Isaias was much better than President Bush because he is multilingual whereas Bush can only speak English.
After hearing the little girl’s gig, Isaias blushed (a remnant of what used to be human) and when the innocent little girl requested if he was willing to give her a hug he hesitatingly (sign of cowardice) obliged.
The little girl did not know what will her future look like or be!
Born and raised under a incessant dark cloud of tyranny ruling over a big prison cell called Eritrea, and led by no other than the pretentious blusher/hugger Isaias, children like her (innocent, bright, assertive, artistic) will probably end up in shipping containers. And if not, they will be shot dead crossing the boarders. If they are a little lucky (the journey will not end there) and they crossed the boarders, they will either drown in one of the high seas or their skeletal remains will be found strewn in the Sahara Desert. Worse, now there arose a new ugly phenomena: rape, bestiality, brutality and absolute humiliation in far away places and in hands of recruited mercenaries and assassins.
These mercenaries could not have come out of the blue; there are hands guiding them. There are brains mentoring them. There are profiteers goading them. And surely, without an iota of doubt, the buck stops on Isaias’ table and those who collaborate with him and his tyranny in any shape or form. Even common folks who sympathize with Isaias are guilty by association.
A nation that does not protect its weakest citizens does not deserve to exist. Children and the young are among the weakest members of a society who need constant and diligent attention, grooming and protection by the state.
With the same token, a tribe that does not protect its weakest members is doomed to extinction. In other word Bhere Tigrigna is teetering towards extinction because, as a tribe, not only is it not protecting and defending its weakest members but many of its members are openly and tacitly approving of Tyranny. I do not have to go into an analytical mode because what Dostoyevsky wrote shall suffice for now.
The blushing and hugging of Isaias was a façade that hides tyranny. Tyrants like Isaias do not like children because they abhor innocence. Tyrants like Isaias do not love children because the children’s’ openness and assertion shudders them. Tyrants like Isaias do not respect children because they fundamentally reject free mind and free will.
Children like the comedian, do not have choices, but there are many (mature adults) who have freedom and abundance of choices yet some choose to support, tend, ameliorate and encourage tyranny forcefully in open—some deviously or indirectly.
To be direct (I am a son of the direct woman) this message is to my tribe: the highlanders or the Tigrigna ethnic group or simply, Deki Kebessa.
Some might ask why? Why blame the Tigrigna tribe?
My answer is that I shall call a spade a spade and not cover, twist or hide what I see for cowardice or false deference. And I shall assert the following:
In my half a century of life in this earth I have yet to see, meet, hear about or know a celebrated sadist, tyrant or kurats seitan Lowlander, or to be frank and precise, any Eritrean Moslem or any non Tigrigna anywhere in Eritrea. If you the reader know one, I shall promptly retrieve my assertion and I shall apologize.
I always respected direct (simple) folks no mater how disgusted I may sometimes be by their ignorance or their choices. For example, I respect those who volunteered to become graffiti walls and carried placards with a shameful message that read “Nsu Nhna; Nhna Nsu.” They did not hide their infection by tyranny and they will not hide their intentions either: to defend tyranny.
The good news is they are rootless therefore easy to uproot and replant.
But do you know why they do it?
The answer lies in what the philosopher Hannah Arendt and other researchers said:
The atrocities of the Holocaust were not caused by psychopaths but by ordinary people placed under extraordinary pressure to conform. But nowadays through exhaustive research it was also found that ordinary folks need not be placed under extraordinary pressure to conform. Even with no pressure folks have a tendency to conform to their tribe.
At the start of this article when you read what I quoted from Dostoevsky, your brain, without going overdrive, must have retrieved some accurate images that included the scrawny (hatyatu zibel’o) Yemane; the bulbous (I am civilized to say obese) Sophia; the grand inquisitor Wedi Gerahtu or the beardless Rasputin, Zemihret, etc.
But it is always easier to deal with these people because they do not hide what they believe in and are acting in public, with time you will surely find a viable and justifiable solution. It is from the devious and conniving people that we have to guard ourselves: people who work from the underground or who look like us.
Who is to blame for the criminal mess?
First thing first: I challenge every Eritrean and in particular deki kebbesa (who have a choice, unlike the little girl) to look at themselves in the mirror (not a see through a glass) and ask themselves if they are free of the contagion. Asking oneself such important issue is the most important and the first step towards cleansing the self. If you are infected and you acknowledge it, the healing has already started. As a consequence you also become a healer because if tyranny is contagious, so is kindness, empathy and respect to others.
There is blame and there is BLAME; and the ultimate blame goes to:
1. Isaias Afewerki.
Are you fed up and bored with me and my obsession with Isaias? For me, Isaias is not the person but The soul; The spirit; The personification; The embodiment; The blood; The brain; The processor; The chip; The system; and The driver of all the ills that has and is besieging Eritrea and its people. But because I have said and written enough about him I shall conclude my obsession with the following eulogy in a Kafkaesque style, only I will replace Prometheus with Nsu:
There will be four legends concerning Nsu:
- According the first he was clamped to a rock in Sahel for betraying Eritrean people and the gods sent eagles to feed on his liver, which was perpetually renewed.
- According to the second Nsu goaded by pain of the tearing beaks, pressed himself deeper and deeper into the rock until he became one with it.
- According to the third his treachery was forgotten in the course of thousands of years, forgotten by the gods, the eagles, forgotten by himself.
- According to the fourth everyone grew weary of the meaningless affair. The gods grew weary, the eagles grew weary, the wound closed wearily.
There remained the inexplicable mass of rock. The legend tried to explain the inexplicable. As it came out of a substratum of truth it had in turn to end in the inexplicable.
2. The ambassadors. Frankly, this subject does not need any elaboration.
3. The Generals, Colonels and security officials:
These officers are not your typical military/security officials, meaning they are not career military personnel as the modern definition goes. So, they cannot hide behind what Lin Biao (Chinese General/philosopher) said of military people: “Theirs is not to reason why; theirs is to do and die”.
The EDF officers are the product of rthe evolution and they owe Their being; Their self; Their breath; Their body; Their flesh; Their health; Their blood; Their cells; Their tissues; Their titles and entitlements to the people of Eritrea who literally nourished them with the primary sustenance of Life: food and water (two of the most precious commodities in Eritrea).
Since its inception until independence, the EPLF relied not on the false claim of “self-reliance” but entirely on the people of Eritrea for food and sustenance.
They fought eating porridge and beef given to them by the Beni Amir; Baria and Kunama people, They fought eating millet bread and peanuts given to them by Blen and Tigre people. They fought eating Gogo, barley, Teff bread, prickly pears, potatoes and flax given to them by the highlanders. They fought eating fish given to them by the Afar and Semhar people. And that was not because the people had abundance of food but they did it by abnegating their own families. Lo and behold to the people if they didn’t!!!
These officers will shoulder the heaviest blame (crime) because they have the tools and means to stop tyranny, but instead they chose either to support it or to keep silent.
Time and again they failed their revolutionary, military, security, national and citizenry duties and due diligence when:
- They stood silent when their own disabled war veterans were murdered by orders of their commander-in-chief. Everything else pales compared to this act of treason and negligence of due diligence.
- They stood silent when officers and rank and file, their comrades-in- arms were frozen, imprisoned, tortured or disappeared.
- They stood silent when young boys and girls were forcefully conscripted for endless military and serfdom services.
- They stood silent when civilians were constantly bullied, beaten, caught and incarcerated in prisons. And now…
- They are standing silent when young Eritreans are brutalized by recruited mercenaries.
So, any person or organization that places its hope on these officers shall be considered a fool and an accomplice to negligence, and shall be held accountable.
4. Meskerem website: aka house of horrors.
It is filthy and unkempt. It stinks and ratchets the soul. Simply put, it is a pig farm. If I had the means I would have disassociated all my best articles I posted in this website during its heyday of progress under the pen name “experienced” and in particular the ten open letters I wrote to the tyrant in the year 2000 under the title “cornucopias of ideas”
The owner has to come out and declare to whom the website belongs and whom it serves now. If he is sold it to Tyranny and have no hands in what is posted, then, we the Eritrean people will take the action as commercial/business transaction and forgive him even though his business dealing with the devil was Faustian. Hiding under the first amendment is not enough. If he does not declare, then he is an impostor and an agent provocateur, of the highest order, devoid of any chances for redemption.
I do not understand why the son of a rehabilitated commando wants himself to be a commando re-incarnate?
5. Micro aggressors (Tehalekti/self-appointed advocates of their tribe):
If some say “you are what you eat” or “you are what you dress”, I say “You are what you write.” One cannot escape from what one writes. Everything is there. It might need care, perseverance and unbiased look on the part of the reader to find the essence but it is lying there either in open or otherwise embedded, but easy to decipher.
These are writers who sound foreign and whose priority is grossly misplaced, thus suspicious. There is also a hint of imperial ambition in the way they write. Could they be our Rip Van Winkles? They blame everything not on what matters most (they just brush it lightly and pass) but on the victims. They save their sharpest daggers to viciously attack people and organizations who day in day out fight against the tyranny.
If you ask me why they do it, the only answer I can honestly give is, “self-hatred” and “self loathing” that emanates from the very abysmally low self-esteem whose root cause I cannot fathom.
Some of them have even run out of choices; but contrary to what they imply, it is because of their choice that they run out of choice. You run out of choice only if you are irrational or unfair, telltale signs of contagion. It is one thing to run out of bumper stickers, but to run out of good choices in this critical life and death situation is simply to defer ones due diligence as an Eritrean and as a writer.
Who are they going to blame now for the sad and heart wrenching suffering that is happening to the weakest members of their tribe in Sinai? Tadamun? The opposition? Ali Salim? Awate Team? The Afars? The Kunamas?
Dostoyevsky described such rabid individuals in his “Notes from the underground” and I want to share it with you:
…Now let’s see how things are with people who are capable of revenge and, in general, of taking care of themselves. When the desire for revenge takes possession of them, they are drained for a time of every other feeling but this desire for revenge. Such a gentleman just rushes straight ahead, horns lowered, like a furious bull, and nothing stops him until he comes up against a stone wall…A wall has a calming effect upon them; it is as though it solved a moral issue- it is something final and, perhaps even mystical….
6. Harnet website: “The House Of Errors” and I shall not elaborate.