The Silver Thaler Dictator
“Wedi Afom Berri; Ashaakheru Nebri.” (The Son of Afwerki is Brri; and his soldiers a streak of tigers”
That is the Isaias Afwerki cult’s jingle glorifying Isaias, with an endearing and indoctrination motive.
Last week the Eritrean dictator met President Putin of Russia and provided him with generous advice on how to revive the almost forgotten Bi-Polar world order. The attentiveness with which Putin listened gives the impression that Russia’s KGB and Putin’s intellectual advice circles are so weakened that dictators who cannot manage their countries properly have an edge over Russia, even if it is a dictatorship.
Dictators are inflicted with an illusion of grandeur, and they are embarrassingly bold enough to display that in public. Just like Isaias did, they consider leaders of big powers helpless pupils, thirst for an inferior-rate strategic devises that adds nothing to humanity. Their motto seems to be: Revive the old bi-polar world order. But does that mean the bi-polar order is dead?
Isaias might not think so, but great powers do not die silently like a wounded lion. Deep inside him Isaias feels they have some life left in them, though not as vigorous as it used to be. And like any other dictator, he has nostalgia for the conflict ridden world and wishes to revive it.
Over the last decade or so, the West has seen the terrible re-emergence of pockets of fascism in many parts of the world. The world is still going through delivery bangs, trying to accommodate a benign and human world order instead of a world overwhelmed by perpetual mayhem caused by conflicts and violent confrontation whose victims are always the downtrodden.
The West is still a battleground in a confrontation between progressive forces and their traditional foes, manly described as capitalists. Most of the time the left is preoccupied with insignificant fringe behavioral matters and insignificant flagship causes. But to the rest of the Third World, nothing is as important as the wellbeing of the beleaguered humanity; societies that cannot secure their daily bread, or attain proper education for their people, or establish stability in their countries and neighborhoods. They are not interested in petty squabbles of the West when the world faces detrimental problems of life and death. However, the insignificant issues could flare up anytime with terrifying intensity, worse than it’s now.
Our topic for today is centered around Isaias Afwerki, the dictator of Eritrea, the man who thinks he is the best brain that God ever endowed the world with. His confrontational nature proves he doesn’t think much about stability; his favorite hobby is creating instability and perpetual conflicts.
Last month Isaias visited China once, and Russia twice. In both instances he clearly showed his mettle to the world, something his victims knew all along. Now it seems he is dreaming of spearheading a more serious confrontation on behalf of Russia, the same Russia that his liberation organization fought for almost two decades as the Soviet Union. But that was during the cold war era whose rule of game that many thought was over. However, nostalgia is so powerful that Isaias considers reviving it a must, even if it is his last worthy mission.
Isaias declared that Europe is in intensive care; is it? Does he think the West is so emasculated and became helplessly insignificant even poking its eyes doesn’t evoke a reaction or has consequences?
The delusional Isaias thinks of himself an expert on anything under the sun, that’s why he diagnosed the AU and NATO dead while Putin attentively listened. It’s anybody’s guess Putin was asking himself: “who does he thinks he is to patronize me?” However, the diplomatic decorum was not lost on Putin; he kept his head-of-state stature and diplomatic face intact; hisdelusional lecturer doesn’t understand any of that.
For many years, fascists have been wreaking havoc in Europe. And Isaias’ cult is imitating that fascistic behavior and diligently working to export it to the beleaguered Eritrea and its neighborhood. However, if you are thinking they don’t have the power to reckon with, here are the “Isaias-Jugend Bund” preparing for the inevitable task they envision as articulated by their cult leader. Hopefully you realize the clips circulating around and are not shot in Eritrea; they are parades and indoctrination activities (and entertainment) show-cased in the West, in Europe, the home of the AU and NATO that are in “intensive care”! That’s why the cult’s small and big children are training.
You can also watch another several clips of the Isaias-Jungen showing their fighting skills; thanks to the sound effects it is very scary. At any rate, don’t underestimate its effects: it is the conviction, the indoctrination. It’s not the behavior that is risky, not even the war sound effects or the camouflage attires but the nurturing of violence.
Freedom of speech is sacrosanct in any civilized part of the world, which seems to be mostly limited to West. But even that noble idea requires responsibility and a strict legal oversight. No sane person gives a gun to a child and complains when someone is killed.
For ages humanity has been suffocating silently because it’s risky to express one’s agonies and worries freely. The antidote, called social media, seemed to be a blessing, but the consequences of giving a loudspeaker to extremists with unlimited distribution channels impacted many societies adversely. Unrestrained hate speech, open harassment, sowing seeds of conflicts and promoting abhorrible violence are too common to miss; dictators and reckless politicians, including fascists, bigots, and terrorists found a power boost.
Compared to its benefits, social media proved it can be lethal and destructive without a proper legal safeguard—particularly in the third world countries where dictators and their cults use it abusing it to worsen the predicament of beleaguered societies.
The above-mentioned cults are wreaking havoc among many Eritrean Europeans, most of whom are either ex-refugees who escaped from Isaias’ oppression, or their foreign-born offspring. It’s a living exhibit of what ails the Eritrean society, where life revolves around militarism and around the sufferings it creates.
The following example elaborates the situation:
In the Netherlands, which until recently was relatively safe for many Eritrea-Dutch citizens, situations are changing fast. Many are being bullied and threatened if they show any opposition to the Isaias regime. Yet, the police and security agencies (as some victims testified), are treating such transgressions lightly, considering the violations as enlargeable squabbles of naughty children. They are not. One would think such creeping actions against the freedom and liberty of countries like the Netherlands, require proper protection; they must be seriously confronted with the resolve of the law. That law must be introduced to the rogue elements, be it in the Netherlands or elsewhere. Those who want to live by the law of the jungle must go to the jungle; they must not be allowed to practice their gangster laws among civilized people.
We have come to learn of many stories from victims of harassment in the West. In the Netherlands, for instance, they complain and state they are terrified by the cult of Isaias. They also claim the police has denied them protection. The police might wrongly consider that too insignificant to attend to. But law-abiding citizens wish the security forces wake up, utilize their legal powers and discharge their duties. It’s disheartening to observe the media is not giving such excesses the needed attention it deserves or investigating such cases to ascertain the root causes.
It’s sad that Eritreans are denied justice and freedom in their home countries and denied justice in the countries where they sought refuge. Such neglect of personal security may be a sign and a prelude for serious transgressions that may bring the downfall of the Western values, more than the absence of a confrontational polarized world as Isaias fancies.