Meles Zenawi-the Sarah Palin of Ethiopia. By Yilma Bekele
The fearless leader from Wasilla said “This speaks to a bigger picture here that certainly scares me in terms of our national security policy. But obviously we’ve gotta stand with our North Korean allies.“—Discussing Obama’s foreign policy in an interview with fellow whacko Glenn Beck. Someone should tell dear old Sarah it is South Korea that is allied with the US not the dear leader for life, Kim’s kingdom.
That is Sarah always in a hurry to say her two cents worth to find fault with anything Obama. She forgot to jot it down on her palm for easy reference. As far as Sarah is concerned the issue is exposure not content. Being a headliner has its rewards. Her net worth has gone to ‘where no one has gone before.’ It is understandable if she is delirious with this newfound wealth and fame.
Most people do not take Sarah’s pronouncements seriously. Her aim is to raise money for her Political Action Committee so she can be free to be more bizarre if that is possible, raise Fox channel’s ratings and twist the left out of shape.
On the other hand the Ethiopian Prime Minster’s attempt to be like Sarah is not funny at all. Being the de facto head of state and responsible for over eighty million people demands certain amount of maturity and self-control. As they say ‘loose lips sink ship’ or ‘careless talk cost lives.’
This last week in an interview Meles Zenawi let loose a barrage of insults, machismo behavior, unsubstantiated allegations and a dare against our Egyptian friends and neighbors. Ethiopia and Egypt, bound by the Nile and our ancient cultures are like a pea in a pod. We have cultural, spiritual, geographic bonds that date back before history. In recent years some of us remember when Emperor Haile Sellasie and Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser founded the Organization of African Unity. Our two countries are natural allies.
It is a geographic fact that the mighty Abay starts from our highlands and is the lifeline of Egypt. Without Abay there will be no Egypt. Without Abay there would be no Pyramids. For our Egyptian friends Abay is their life. For us Ethiopians it is a huge responsibility to be the keeper of such important key. Our leaders thru time have kept the promise of being good guardians.
Why then did the Ethiopian Junta leader walk the extra mile to pick a quarrel with our friends? What is the meaning of such tantrum that wants to pass as a meaningful statement?
According to Reuters this is what he said, “I am not worried that the Egyptians will suddenly invade Ethiopia nobody who has tried that has lived to tell the story. I don’t think the Egyptians will be any different and I think they know that…. The Egyptians have yet to make up their minds as to whether they want to live in the 21st or the 19th century” and after accusing them of trying to destabilize Ethiopia he went on to say ‘If we address the issues around which the rebel groups are mobilized then we can neutralize them and therefore make it impossible for the Egyptians to fish in troubled waters because there won’t be any’
Our fearless leader for life puts Sarah to shame. The Egyptians who are vented upon were both perplexed and amused by the TPLF’s boss behavior. President Mubarak’s response was ‘“We have very amicable relations with Ethiopia, I was surprised by these comments because this is something we cannot do with any Arab or African country.”
Ethiopia does not benefit from this raw. At the moment there are thousands of Ethiopians in Egypt using the country as a transit point. It is Ethiopia’s interest to keep friendly relations with Egypt for the sake of our people stuck there. Egypt is not aware that the Ethiopian regime views it with such hostility to the extent of beating the drums of war. It is not in Ethiopia’s interest to pick a quarrel with such an important country in the region.
Before going any further let us see the position where these two counties occupy in the pecking order of our planet.
Population GDP Electricity production Internet hosts Internet users Telephone Mobile
Egypt 80.4 million 469.8 billion 118.4 billion KWh 187,197 11.4 million 55.4 million
Ethiopia 88.0 million 77.5 billion 3.5 billion 151 360,000 4.1 million
It looks like Egypt has a head start on us. To achieve what they have today they must have worked hard. They must have plenty of educated people to run such advanced industrial system compared to Ethiopia. It is obvious Egyptians are good company to keep as a friend. It is just odd to see a regime daring a neighbor thousands of kilometers away when it is even unable to exert any influence in Somalia the only place on earth without a functioning government.
The question becomes why is Ato Meles doing this at this time? Or why is his communications department busy creating news out of thin air? Why is he hell bent in starting a conflict with all our neighbors? Why is our country becoming the mad dog of Africa?
I believe all this incomprehensible blabber is not an accident. It is part and parcel of the ‘modus operandi’ of a dictatorial regime. It is just like Hollywood stars or celebrities like Sarah Palin manage to insert themselves in the news no matter the content. Being quoted, talked about or photographed shows the public that they are around and are making news. They use their notoriety as leverage for more pay, better parts or good table in a restaurant.
The Meles regime uses these bizarre news and behaviors to have the population discuss their latest stupidity while they achieve another goal unseen or cover up one of their blunders. If we observe closely the ‘Egyptian issue’ created its own dynamic. Most of us were amused and it confirmed our belief regarding the sanity of the PM and his underlings. Some of us will conjure this image of belligerent Egypt sending its army to take Abay, while a few of us will even venture to say that it is a ‘Moslem’ conspiracy to conquer our country while the ‘cadres chorus’ repeats Ato Meles is ‘the man!’ the only one with balls to defend good old Ethiopia.
We are familiar with this game plan. Whenever the TPLF regime screws up they give us some bone to chew on. Of course we bite and the rest is history, that is until next weeks drama. We don’t have to go far. The last month TPLF cadres were caught with inflation climbing, their Patriarch with his statue, the Human Right report and most important of all the World Bank revelation that the regime is recipient of over 3billion dollars from the Diaspora in remittances. That is a lot of money. That is bigger than what the despot gets selling coffee, hides and skins, Kat and gold combined. We are the cash cows that help the dictator abuse our country and people.
Well my Diaspora friend take a bow, you are the reason this bunch of psychopaths are lording it over us. There is no reason to be shy about it. There is no reason to hide. Come on get some spine and admit that you were willing to buy stolen land. Of course you claim you created jobs and helped your country. I have no quarrel with self-delusion. You can believe all you want but when the bubble collapses and your pretty condominium go a penny on the dollar I know you will be heartbroken. You will cry foul. All I can say is no one gets rich and famous standing on his peoples shoulder, sooner or later the ponzi scheme collapses the question is who is gona be caught holding the bag.