December 17th, 2009 Print Print Email Email

The Argument is a very constructive provocation about skilled negotiation, global politics, economics, trecherous activities by Meles Zenawi, betrayal by the selfish west, some good ideas, thoughts written by people who shape them. (more…)

The Argument is a very constructive provocation about skilled negotiation, global politics, economics, trecherous activities by Meles Zenawi, betrayal by the selfish west, some good ideas, thoughts written by people who shape them. Recently I’ve been pondering the words of American writer, George William Curtis, who said, “A man’s country is not an area of land, mountains, rivers, and woods, but a principle. And patriotism is loyalty to that principle.” Regular readers of my articles will know that I consider myself a Patriot. Perhaps it may be pretentious on my part to refer to myself in this way but I believe it to be true. Rather than being viewed as a Patriot, over the past several years, I’ve all too often been branded by some “anonymous” federalists as a traitor. The term has been used to describe others who support and defend our homeland as well. Over time such comments have given me pause for reflection and much soul searching. So, I am happy to say that those moments of self-doubt have long since passed.

The reason is simple. The victors, not the vanquished, write history. Take the example of the American Revolution. During that turbulent period, Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying, “We must hang together or we will surely hang separately”. Today nobody questions the fact that Franklin, Jefferson and the like were indeed great American patriots, the fathers of their Nation even, not that I would put myself in their league, but the point is this: Why does history remember them the way it does? Simply put, it’s because they won their struggle for freedom and dignity. Had they lost the revolution and had America remained under the control of England, those same men who are viewed as Patriots today would now be viewed as traitors just like Meles Zenawi is now called today. They would have been tried for treason and been executed, as Benjamin Franklin clearly understood. Those same federalists who so often try to weaken the resolve of those among us yearning for a better future for all of us whether inside or outside of Ethiopia, use words like bozenewoch, tin hat brigade, Neftegna, Tebab or the like to attack our beliefs. They say we have no chance of making a difference and should “stop whining”. They may honestly believe this too but I don’t. I don’t see speaking out as “whining”, far from it. I see it as educating the masses. I see it as ensuring that our concerns are not brushed silently under the carpet. I see it as a necessary step, a first one perhaps, but a necessary step to a brighter future for our people. Some time ago, I read a novel, the title of which I no longer recall and is of no importance, but I do recall one particular passage from it. It describes the thoughts of an individual near the end of his days and goes something like this. “…A tear formed in his eye. So many people counting on us but we failed. Yet did we fail? Is it failure if you plant a seed that others nurture? Is it failure to have begun a thing that had daunted the best and bravest for decades? Is it failure to have called the attention of all humanity to the plight of your people? No, I don’t believe it is a failure. Failure only comes with never having tried like some who sit and moan. The only difference between a Patriots and traitors are their level of success.

(Africa is on Sale for $US.53, 000,000 – A million for each country. Contact Prisoner M Zenawi of Ethiopia)

For God sake, why did Africans Meles: the Somale-Tera Achiberbari Delala to represent them at COP15? Shame on the Dictators and Brainless Club of African leaders who could not find a trustworthy environmentalist to get a better deal from the Summit. Meles Zenawi is a Prisoner and Slave of the West who as said, had no negotiating skill, power and moral ground to represent African continent at Copenhagen. That became evident too, when he sold out Africa to the west through the presidents of France and the United States of America. Africa’s approach to good negotiation isn’t about winning and it isn’t about someone else losing. It is, however, about learning to ‘play the game’, because that’s what negotiation is – a game. And like any game there are rules and conventions. Great negotiators can fight tooth and nail and yet lose with good grace if and when necessary. Not only that, they are a pleasure to negotiate with because they take care of you at the same time as taking care of themselves. Good training can help you become one of the ‘good guys’. You could also have some old negotiating ‘hands’ who could use of brush up, new negotiators who find it a bit intimidating or uncomfortable, people who’d feel a lot more confident if they had some additional negotiation skills – all good reasons to give your negotiators a helping hand. Meles’s fake smile can have double meaning too. A very genuine smile can express either genuine joy or displeasure. Hence one must use caution really with his or her facial expressions. Meles’s Zenawi’s fake African Chimpanzee look alike smile can be easily misunderstood.

And information is a negotiator’s greatest weapon as well. But what does Meles Zenawi know about Global Warming or Climate Change for God sake? Nothing! This little Ape was a so-called negotiator who fooled African leaders to enter the summit picking and blowing his tiny nose without having determined his best alternative to negotiated agreement. The best negotiators know that negotiation is collaboration, not a confrontation. Remember what Abraham Lincoln said, If you are going to fight, don’t let them talk you into negotiating. But, if you are going to negotiate, don’t let them talk you into fighting. One of the best answers to a question in a negotiation is to ask a question: Why do you ask? How would you like me to answer that? I don’t understand? Huh things like that not splitting hair and spitting foul languages like Meles did to the American official last week. ? And ask to have an offer repeated. Often, it will change for the better. When asked for concessions ask, in addition to that is there anything else that we need to discuss before we…? Knowing the counters to every strategy is as important as knowing the strategy itself. Know as much about the other parties’ to best alternative to negotiated agreement as you do about your own. But what Meles Zenawi did at the Copenhagen Summit was that he was told by Presidents Obama by phone and Sarkozy to do as he was told at a cost of the entire African continent’s well-beings and lives. Negotiating meant getting the best of your opponent not selling your dignity and human rights. That was the worst treason Africa has ever experienced in centuries.

The meeting in Copenhagen was always intended to be part of a process for structuring an international agreement, not the end of it as intended. The same was true of the Kyoto Protocol, now currently the only international agreement on climate change which took four years to negotiate and seven years to enter into force. Sad! In contrast the timetable for completion of a legally binding agreement out of the Copenhagen meeting looks on a much faster track. The expectation that Copenhagen would produce a final agreement, however, was in part the work of a previous American administration. Poor countries, supported by China and India, suspect that rich states hope to use the conference to kill off the Kyoto agreement, which commits them to emissions cuts, with penalties for any failure. The developing states would like to see an extension of Kyoto, which does not make any legally binding requirements of them. They are not only pressing to sign a good deal. They are pressing simply to shift the obligations from developed countries to developing countries. That means more urgency to solve problems, not just identify them, more willingness to shift from entrenched positions and more ambitious commitments. We should take the most ambitious level of commitment to cutting emissions, from both developed and developing nations, that is on the table now, accumulate it, make it the basis of the agreement, add to it in ways that we know can make a difference within the next 10 or 15 years, especially in areas like deforestation, and get moving. Nay Sayers and sceptics argue that the steps necessary to bring the United States into compliance with a new international climate treaty will hurt our economy. The truth is that the economy will suffer if we do not capture these energy opportunities. The real truth is, such an accord would itself set the world on a new path to a low-carbon future. And guess what the Ethiopian tyrant Meles Zenawi who acted like a headless chicken said last week? He said, “Because we stand to lose more than others, we have to be very flexible and give in to others”. Criminal and Traitor! What a shame, this wrenched little Chimpanziee is called Ethiopian Prime Minister too? Shame on us!!

Myth #1: Copenhagen is already a failure. Instead of a binding agreement we’ll end up with a political deal that gets us nowhere.

Reality: We are on schedule at Copenhagen to complete the first of a two-step negotiating process designed to finish a new international agreement well in advance of the end of the first commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol in 2012.

Myth #2: The United States is doing little to stop climate pollution and has fallen out of step with the emissions reductions targets of other developed countries.
Reality: The administration has endorsed the same 2050 reduction targets as our allies and the present proposals for 2020 emissions reductions in the American Clean Energy and Security Act and the Boxer-Kerry Senate bill in conjunction with complementary measures that will meet the ambitions of other developed countries

Myth # 3: It’s impossible for the world to meet the IPCC’s targets for stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions to prevent a dangerous rise in temperature.
Reality: We are 65 percent of the way there already.

Myth #4: The United States should not have to act because China and India are not doing anything.

Reality: Both China and India are now moving forward with ambitious plans for emissions reductions and low-carbon development.

Myth #5: China, India, and other developing countries will not commit to an international agreement on climate change.

Reality: Developing countries have publically stated that they will sign a new climate agreement as long as it is equitable and does not inhibit their ability to tackle lingering domestic poverty.

Myth #6: Emissions reductions in developing countries cannot be accounted for or verified.

Measuring, reporting, and verifying emissions reductions is an issue for both developed and developing countries.

Myth #7: Joining an international agreement will leave the United States at a competitive disadvantage and jobs will go overseas.
Reality: Passing domestic climate legislation and joining an international agreement on climate change is the only way to keep America competitive in the emerging clean technology economy

Perhaps you could add as “Myth #8″ that “The US, China and India do not have any existing legal obligations to avoid dangerous climate change. That is widely assumed but a myth.

The negotiations sound more like a trade agreement than a plan to address the damage caused by our economic system. Doing something was never an objective at Copenhagen – the conclusions had been reached beforehand – no substance just lots of ‘hot air’ (sorry about the pun) and it was supposed to be a done deal. The objective was to appear to do something, And that’s what they are currently cocking up. There will be no benefit to the envioronment from Copenhagen – there was never going to be. But more worryingly for the politicians is that it is so obvious to the rest of us. The future of world’s children everywhere are at risk. Where are the willing, ready & able elders who will assume their responsibilities and perform duties necessary to preserve the Earth and its environs as a fit place for those children to inhabit in future? And Meles to decide for entire Africa too? Poor Dark Continent. What a sick joke eh?

Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate – John F. Kennedy

Capt. Woldemikael Dagnachew

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