Hard Talk: Internal Conflict & Unvarnished Truth (Part-II)
As we plunge into another political season, it is essential for me to gather my picks to challenge the group packed with boobs of conspiracy nuts. What I mean by boobs, are people who think on “conspiracy theory” that is neither “a conspiracy” nor a “theory.” Those are elites who wave “false flag” of conspiracy based on the monolithic old conspiratorial view that didn’t fit with what we have learned about the current desire of Ethiopian power structure in terms of mutual relationship. By reciting to a recessive classical manual, they are staring down to a future that looked much to their past, a classic playbook of US/Ethiopian conspiracy.
Ironically and contrary to the Eritrean people’s interest, their conspiracy views have placed Ethiopia and USA as the enemy of the Eritrean people – an old political song that defies negation and diplomatic sparks. This baseless conspiracy theory has caused, definitely the unnecessary intramural scrimmage within the boundaries of the opposition camp as we speak. Indeed, the causes of these “intramural scrimmages” are the elites, who are supposedly in the opposition camp but involved indirectly to promote the policy of the regime by uncoiling conspiracy theory we had carried on for more than six decades. Now we have the feeling, like if the PFDJ kidnapped their dog they would pay them money to return it, and of course, by subtle manipulation to say the least.
But as Bertrand Russell struck home memorably, I have found, he said, “that those who know most are the gloomiest,” and indeed the Eritrean elites are the gloomiest part of our society who hold the reverse gear of our social movement and the inevitable new socio-economic order of this era. But let me tell them unequivocally this: No US/Ethiopian contemporary conspiracy is credible on any issue based on dating and digging the geo-politics of the region for that matter. However, they are trying to “erode public confidence” on the struggle against the regime by putting “blinders on” to ignore the evidence on the ground. It reminds me when the late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan said that “everyone is entitled to his opinion but not to his own facts,” may be he was also talking about the hypercritic-elitist including our own who are fashioning their own set of facts.
Anyway let me share with my readers a speech rendered to invoke the intellects and wills of people for the purpose of change in a battle of ideas: less than a year ago, Mike Hume struck and shook my memory. Mike Hume, who is editor-at-large, gave a speech at the “battle of ideas festival” on October 30, 2010 in London. Mike revivified the motto of Antonio Gramsci quoted as “pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will” to tackle the political crises of today. He reminded us that pessimism of intellect needed to be underpinned by optimism of the will, to increase the capacity of human being to meet new challenges by “engagement” to overcome them, and move society forward. He further elaborated that optimism of the will need not be some sort of quasi-religious blind faith, but instead should be based on historical realities on the fact of human ingenuity and their struggle to extricate society from the current political crises. According Hume, pessimism of the intellect means that we don’t have to accept unquestioningly any of the doom-mongering scares. Aha, these are good lessons to watch our elites for what they do and don’t. For sure, we need to watch their veiled references they use for the purpose of “second guess” and “fear of foreigners” as an instrument to alienate our nation from regional and global economic benefits. But, never mind we will use their own self-imposed litmus test to scrutinize their xenophobic attitudes shared with the regime.
Equally and inquisitively, some sociologists also indicate that groups or classes below the highest level (below the ruling class or regime) always buy into the system in various ways and support it anyway, as far as they found a leverage to manipulate the thinking of the regime with their interest at the center. Now look at our elites, their positions and choices of negotiations which are clearly a “text book of opportunism.”They have preferred to negotiate with the dictatorial regime while at the same time throwing doom-mongering scares against the organizations in the opposition camp, whose prime objective is to dismantle the apparatus of oppression. Aren’t they bought to the system when they deflected ethnic and religious grievances, and black mailed oppositions who reside in Ethiopia? Albeit, the same song of that of the regime for rhetoric effect. In fact as the holy book says, “without us you have become king, and would that you did reign, so that we might share the rule with you” (1 cor. 4:8) and here our elites are lamenting for what they might share with the tyrannical regime by promising immunity to the clique at the helm of power. It makes us wonder more than anything when they are engaged at “crises deployment” but also claims to be “dissenters” who can’t even lend ears to “other dissenters.”
For those who are engaged for a fundamental change, history is compelling you to challenge them and tackle their position with facts on the ground. People to people diplomacy are working to bring peace and normalization between the Eritrean and Ethiopian people. The establishment of Ethiopian-Eritrean-Friendship Forum (EEFF) is a good start to build people-to-people diplomacy. I applaud Berhane G/Negus and others who are humbly engaged in that noble mission. I also fully appreciate to the Ethiopian government for the goodwill and hospitality to the influx of Eritrean refugees which will eventually serve as precursor to bring back the normal relationship between the two brotherly people.
As a matter of fact, our young have already lost faith on the regime and our elites. They are finding hopes and dreams in our neighbor country. Just for the coming Ethiopian school year, over 700 of our young will be admitted to various universities and colleges as reported by assena website. The Ethiopian government is in the right direction to heal the past wounds. These are facts our elites could not swallow it and will never stop from manufacturing conspiracy theory against these positive realities. In the end though, these elitist will find this realities as a tough quest for new nest. But, facts only don’t guarantee a winning argument unless it is coupled with enough soldiers to fight for it and ultimately secure changes. Hence forth, I will make a united front argument with my friend Yosief on certain issues of our common understanding.
Yosief (YG) has brought many topics for a debate and most of them are controversial within the standard of Eritrean politics. For sure, the dichotomy of his argument is not only familiar, but he profoundly shakes the old normal of Eritrean politics. He is regarded by some as “a night blooming narrator and myth buster” and by others as “a blanket prosecutorial history killer who tries to inhibit the positive side of our history.”Well, both sides have elements of truth. Though YG at times, isn’t prudent enough to read our social fabrics, and how the diversities should be arranged in the political equation to maintain the equilibrium of our mosaic, his contribution in the current debate is enormous that one can’t pass him without admiration.
Occasionally, I debated with him on issues of our differences. And those differences are irreconcilable at least within the current format of our debate. But there are some threads of “conceptual and pragmatic politics” we agreed to. Hence I will try, if I could add a texture to his line of argument on some issues we see eye to eye. Those issues are (a) the necessities of tough and all round sanction on the Eritrean regime (politically, economically, and militarily) (b) the importance of an external alliance to exert the necessary pressure in order to create a political explosion from inside. These are two important instruments for politico-diplomatic maneuvering to alienate the regime from international communities ready at our disposal if we are committed to do it without vacillation.
Sanction: As a Uniting Factor against Tyrant
Recently, IGAD calls for stiffening of UN sanction against the Eritrean regime [IGAD communiqué]. IGAD calls on the AU and UN security to fully implement the existing sanctions (Resolution 1907) and impose additional sanctions especially on economic and mining sectors. We recall that the Eritrean people in the Diaspora who are in the opposition camp split their position when the UN Security council imposed a sanction on the Eritrean regime on December 23, 2009. The Eritrean people are already on sanction imposed by their own regime more than a decade. Land and businesses are confiscated by the state. The Eritrean people are land locked from international diplomacy, no aide no foreign investments. Our young are entangled in the web of indefinite serfdom…all for the purpose to secure the power of the regime’s interest. The sad part is, still our young are paying their blood on uncalled extension of wars in every conflict situation the regime got his hand; Just read the tyrant’s own words regarding South Sudan [Talk with Ban Ki Moon 3role in South Sudan].The regime is in endless engagement to destabilized the region by sponsoring of international terrorism (courtesy ESMG report). Under these unbearable circumstances, our elites are calling for a targeted sanction to give room for the regime to resuscitate from its “political short breathing.”However, IGAD is on the right move to grill the regime with a sanction by bringing his contempt for the international community and the UN Security council. The Eritrean Somalia Monitoring Group (ESMG) report also reflects extensive violation of resolution 1907. The ESMG’s 415 pages report is disseminated in the three “main stream websites” awate, asmarino, and assena. We will also watch our elites to react negatively or remain in silence as the UN Security council move to tighten the sanction.
Now the tough UN-sanction noose is around his neck and it is up to the Eritrean people to pull and tighten up to collapse this regime. But once more before the upcoming decision of UN-security council, we will very soon hear that the tyrant will turn and rush to the Emir of Qatar (the big brother as he claimed in his interview) to address his case, unless the Emir isn’t disappointed by his compulsive conduct and repeated contempt to international communities.
While the regimes propaganda is working rigorously to stop the intended sanction, the opposition camp is still complacent to have a hard-wired and fixed pattern of action with an innate releasing mechanism to neutralize the regime’s propaganda. If we are really concerned with the reality of our people, this should be one of the uniting factors in the current struggle to push to the limits using international and regional leverage to undo the lunatic regime once for all.
History As Guidance
Yosief has observed the insufficiency of stamina in the opposition camp to remove the regime. Thereby, he consistently argued the importance of “Ethiopian card” as he aptly coined it, to supplement as an additional vector to produce sets of resultant forces to explode the internal friction within the Eritrean Defense Force (EDF). Whether it is from Ethiopia or other international community, the Eritrean resistance forces need to have some strategic alliances to be effective and productive in their engagement. Therefore, I will argue by seconding Yosief’s motion to stress “the importance of external alliance” whether it is an Ethiopian card or other card to expedite the fall of the regime. Now the architect of “Crises Deployment agents” will tell us all the negative thoughts that might entail in the process including the worst senario (civil war, fragmentation of the nation). In fact by various sets of probabilities, the outcome indeed will be the opposite, the major reason being the “regime’s indiscriminative oppression” to the whole society will be as the source of our unity. But for the sake of argument we will visit some historical facts, be it in the Eritrean political landscape or other Asiatic and African countries and how strategic alliance solve the seemingly intractable conflicts. To do that, I will argue by giving three examples to make my case.
[A] The Alliance of EPLF/TPLF
History is not depleted from examples even within the current governing organizations (EPLF and TPLF) of the Eritrean and Ethiopian states respectively. Two decades ago EPLF and TPLF had formulated a successful strategic alliance to overthrow the Derg regime. They had formed a united front of military operation in the 80s both inside Eritrea and Ethiopia, from “Nakfa Front” through the “Shere Front” up to the vicinity of Addis. It was a successful strategy that ends the repressive regime of the Eritrean and Ethiopian people. Unlike their current dubious position and poor political proceeds, our elites threw their full support behind the EPLF/TPLF strategic alliance at that time. Their old conspiracy theory was temporarily shelved as a political arsenal to be evoked when they deem it necessary.
From the outset, and as purpose of principle, TPLF was and is the only Ethiopian political organization that supports the right to self-determination of the Eritrean people. Rightly so, they also believe in peaceful co-existence, mutual respect, and co-partnering in economic development. Sadly though, the Eritrean regime which considers stealing as “wudubawi Haliot” threw all its tentacles to suck the economic resources of Ethiopia and eventually severed the relationship by imposing a senseless border war that cost both nations immensely. I don’t want to delve into the genesis of the border war, but it is important to note that the Eritrean regime has become the source of instability in the horn of Africa, and primarily to the nation called “Eritrea.”
Beyond our borders, the Eritrean tyrant is equally plotting mass destruction by proxy using Alshebab to attack soft targets in Addis (courtesy ESMG Report). It is an imperative and urgent matter (time sensitive for that matter) that the Ethiopian government to device a strategic alliance with the opposition camp in certain capacity, what ever that capacity might be, depending how the realities on the ground permits. It is also an early test of the “new order” in our region that whether the Eritrean and Ethiopian people can lead the region to bring peace and stability. Furthermore, time is of essence that both parties must come up with a “specified contract” which enables them to act congruently to exert the necessary pressure to the tyrannical regime of Asmara. The Eritrean and Ethiopian people need peace and stability more than anytime. Call this quest of strategic alliance [Case-One].
[B] Indo-Pakistan War
The Indo-Pakistan conflict was ignited by the Bangladesh Liberation war. It was a conflict between the dominant West Pakistanis and the minority East Pakistanis (now called Bangladesh). India involved in the war of Liberation when Pakistan army conducted genocide against Bengali population (Hindu population) of East Pakistan. Millions of Hindu population was forced to flee and take refugee in the neighboring country India. When the International community failed to respond the appeal of the Indian Government, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi gave full support of her government for the independence of East Pakistan on March 27, 1971. The Indian government quickly decided that it was more effective to wage war against Pakistan to stop the genocide and the influx of the refugees. Side by side the Bangladesh liberation army declared the independence of Bangladesh and formed government in exile on April 1971. The war which lasted 13 days, was effectively came to an end after the Eastern Command of the Pakistani armed forces signed the “instrument of surrender” on Dec 16, 1971, which finally opens the door, East Pakistan to secede as independent state of Bangladesh [Courtesy of New World Encyclopedia].
We can draw some parallel between what the Indian Government had faced then and the Ethiopian government right now. The influx of Bengali refugees and the pre-emptive strikes on 11 Indian airbases by Pakistani army on Dec.3, 1971 forced the government of Indira Gandhi to act decisively and dislodge the Pakistani army from East Pakistan. The Ethiopian government will be in the same situation, if the influx of refugees grows exponentially and the plotting to attack continues through their surrogate organizations. In the event these clouds of scenario continue to persist, the Ethiopian government doesn’t have an option except to act decisively with the opposition camp to dismantle this brutal regime for the sake of peace and stability. Call this possible war to end all wars [Case-Two].
[C] The Uganda-Tanzania War
The Uganda-Tanzania war was fought between Tanzania and Uganda in 1978-1979 which of course lead to the overthrow of Idi Amin’s regime. When Amin came to power in a military coup in 1971, the Tanzanian president Julius Neyrere offered sanctuary to the ousted president Milton Obote. Bad as it gets, Amin’s attempt to wipe out the oppositions, forced hundreds of thousand refugees to flee into Tanzania. Amin declared war against Tanzania. The Uganda National Liberation Army (UNLA) joined with the Tanzanian People’s Defense Force (TPDF) drove the Ugandan forces out of Tanzania and continue their attack to capture Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. In April 11, 1979 Kampala fell to the joint forces of UNLA and TPDF and Idi Amin fled into exile marking the end of genocidal maniac.
Interestingly enough, the Uganda-Tanzania war and the Indo-Pakistani war have three common indicators that we could relate to our situation (a) influx of refugees to the host country, in this case to Tanzania and India respectively (b) mass killing by the tyrannical regime of Uganda and by the Pakistani Army (c) provocative and pre-emptive war declared by Pakistani government and Ugandan government against India and Tanzania respectively. These overwhelming evidences being the victim of attack and being the host of forced refugee recipient, who were escaping from massacre, had put Tanzania and India in a precarious situation. Both countries had the burden to act and stop these cycles of war, mass killings, and the instability of their neighbor country, which by the way is also detrimental to their own stabilities. Call this another war to end all wars [Case-Three]
Validity of the Cases and Relevance to our Reality
The Ethiopian government doesn’t need to face another pre-emptive war by the fogey tyrant regime of Asmara to stimulate their wrath, nor do the Eritrean people want to allow the extension of their oppression and the endless serfdom of our young. Let me predict a scenario of the immediate future in that region (the horn of Africa). First in no time Ethiopia will face the burden of high number of Eritrean refugees. Second since the survival of the Eritrean regime depends on wars and rumors of war, it will still mobilize the Eritrean people using the fear of foreigners and risk of security to launch the inevitable pre-emptive war against Ethiopia. Third the Eritrean regime is already intertwined with the international terrorist for its financial interest and to destabilize the Ethiopian state. There will be no detour for the regime soon from the web of criminals. It all resembles to the situation of an individual who is engaged in mafia-rings or drug-rings but unable to extricate him self from those rings.
Currently, Meles is facing the same to that of president of Tanzania (Julius Nyrere) and Prime minster of India (Indira Gandhi). The Eritrean oppositions need to be united more than anytime to utilize the objective reality of Ethiopia and the circles of international communities to change the momentum for the interest of Eritrean people. Using sanction and regional strategic alliance with IGAD to starve the beast of the region is really important to our political and diplomatic arsenal. The ENCDC (the commission) has a big role to galvanize the Eritrean people who are organized in the political organizations and civic societies using our main stream websites to this strategic effort. It is time to act when the ball is at our hand without excuses and vacillations. Let us work the UN Security council to tighten the sanctions and stop the mining projects in Eritrea.