My Reflections on Imru Zeleke’s The Deconstruction of Ethiopia By Elon Samson

July 22nd, 2011 Print Print Email Email

I am 38, therefore I am entitled to reflect my views on Ambassador Imru Zeleke’s letter addressed to the people of tomorrow. The People of Tomorrow , according to the Ambassador, includes those in the 20s and 30s. After reading the letter, I asked myself why the Ambassador chose to speak to the people of tomorrow only while the issues raised in the letter are serious ones and should concern every one of us regardless of time. The Ambassador may have been disappointed by or lost hope with the people of yesterday and today. I have similar frustration and disappointment with the people of the past and present, however, I feel that the people of the future can hardly do anything by itself without the support of the people of yesterday and today. The wellbeing of our country should not be left only for the people of tomorrow because first of all the people of tomorrow are the products of the people of yesterday and today, and shouldn’t be expected to make things different from their predecessors. The past is the base for future action. Second, once the damage is irreparably done by the people of yesterday and today, the people of tomorrow can’t do anything to exercise the damage. That is why the call should be for everyone regardless of age. If need be, the call should be made for the people of today because it them who are in a better position to look back and decide to the future.

Anyhow, whether we like it or not, everyone is responsible for the survival or demise of that great nation. One big lesson we learn from the Ambassador’s letter is that our history shouldn’t be a cause for division rather it should be a cause for unification and strength . I fully concur with the view of the Ambassador because, history is about the past; we can neither change nor modify it for our own consumption. We can’t invent the same Adowa or resurrect Emperor Menelik and Empress Tsehaitu . We are only capable of or entitled to seize the present not the past. It is meaningless, therefore , to fight against each other based on history that has no direct impact on our own daily life. History doesn’t bake our bread in the first place. The only thing we can do about the past is to learn from it, i.e. to replicate the strengths, but to make sure that we can’t repeat the wrongs. If we learn wrongs from history we end up being wrongs.

However, appreciating ones’ history and learning from the positives, could contribute for our strength and powerful. Countries which are now in the helm of political and economic success are those that have learned a good lesson from history. Europe was not a good student of history until the Second World War broke. However, the Continent learned a painful lesson from its war history and decided to go forward. Today Europe is more peaceful and developed than ever. The United States is a good student of history and is able to keep its power for over two centuries.

We Ethiopians are bad students of history. Because we are bad, we are busy with the deconstruction of our own history rather than constructing it. We are obsessed with the weaknesses of our history . As a result we are at a precipice for total collapse and mayhem because of the abusing of history.

What is surprising about Ethiopia is that the deconstruction of history is made by politicians and not historians. Politicians tell us that Ethiopia has this and that history; the people of such group massacred the people of that group; the people of that group colonized the people of this group. When we ask politicians where they got the facts and what methodology they used, they have no precise answer.

I am not saying that it is only the habit of Ethiopian politicians who use history for the sake of controlling power. It is common in any country that are under dictatorship. It seems that politicians who abuse history for the sake of power are doomed to be a dictator. Milosevic of Serbia abused history for power, and ended up being an absolute dictator. Isayas Afewerki of Eritrea, Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia , Mugabe of Zimbabwe etc did abuse history for power , and ended up being Africa’s worst dictators. On the other hand, those who refused to abuse history for power, like Nelson Mandela, ended up being revered democrats. I will not be too assertive if I conclude that those who abuse history for the sake of political power are cursed to end up as absolute dictators.

As a final remark, we should accept that Ethiopia is at a precipice because of its own history. It is the responsibility of the people of yesterday, today and tomorrow to save this great nation from falling apart.

  1. whocares
    | #1

    It is not falling apart!

  2. eritrean
    | #2

    The problem of the “amhara elite” is that they are preoccupied by the past and do not have room to se the present. These elite group prefer to talk all night long about the 3000 years myth than think and do about how to avert the tragedy “famine” the region is engulfed with.

  3. koster
    | #3

    Famine in Ethiopia is woyane made and the solution is to unite and get rid of woyane. Denying farmers land, agricultural inputs, credit for labelling them as supporters of the opposition; terrorizing the farmers/pastoralists by labelling them as supporters of this or that political group etc are all factors which contributed to the famine in Ethiopia and the region.

  4. yohannes
    | #4

    eritrean body you are still taking about amhara? I pray and hope woyane and people like you to go to hell.

  5. Alem
    | #5

    @eritrean
    You mean when they talk about Yohannes IV or Mereb Melash, Aksum and Punt?

  6. DRAMA
    | #6

    THE WRITER SAYS
    “We Ethiopians are bad students of history”.
    COME ON MAN. YOU ARE KIDDING ME. ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT YOURSELF? PLEASE DONT TALK FOR ME AND OTHERS. PLEAAAAAAAAAASE I BEG YOU.
    ARE YOU A CLOSET “DECONSTRUCTIONIST” WANNA BE?
    I HAVE NOT READ IMIRU’S PAPER. IT MIGHT EVEN BE WORSE THAN YOURS IF YOU ARE CRITICIZING IT. HOWEVER, THE ONLY PEOPLE THAT I KNOW THAT TALK ABOUT DECONSTRUTION AND ETHNIC DIFFERENCES, BLA BLA ARE
    1. PAID FOREIGN AGENTS THAT ARE FORMER OR PRESENT ETHIOPIAN CITIZENS.
    2. ETHIOPIAN PERSONAS WITH ETHNIC COMPLEXES THAT HAVE BEEN FED WRONG ANCESTORIAL HISTORY EITHER BY THEIR FAMILIES, FRIENDS, BRAINWASHERS, MISSIONARIES ETC..
    3. PAID WOYANE AGENTS.
    4. ETHIOPIAN HATERS.
    5. HODAMS THAT HAVE NO COUNTRY LOVE SIMPLY FOR THE MONEY.
    6. HODAMS THAT ARE SIMPLY BRAIN DEAD.
    I DON’T THINK I NEED TO CONTINUE….

  7. DRAMA
    | #7

    BY THE WAY, THERE IS NO POLITICS OR POLITICIANS IN ETHIOPIA. POLITICS IS NOT GUN HUNDLING AND BANDA BUISNESS. IT IS A CIVILIZED GAME WITH RULES TO IMBETTER THE LIVES OF PEOPLE ECONOMICALLY AND SOCIALLY. THE SO CALLED DECONSTRUCTION BY POLITICIANS YOU ARE BLOBBING ABOUT SHOULD BE CHANGED TO THE REPRESSIVE GOVERNMENT YOU ARE CHEERING FOR IN THE CLOSET!!

  8. Anonymous
    | #8

    I agree with you.Thanks.

  9. MotLeWoyane
    | #9

    Good message no. 6 !

    Former ambassador Imru,
    i must correct you that Amaras do not live only in Gonder,Gojam,Wollo and Shewa, but also as one of the leading groups in Harerghe, Bale, Arsi, Sidamo, Wellega and other places.
    Do not buy the ethnic label given to Ethiopians by woyanes and their teleTafi parties. Please do not excuse also former “Amara” rulers because there is not much to excuse, in particular after experiencing 20 years of Tigre or northern(tigres from Tigray and Eritrea)rule.
    Not to mention the millions victims of Oromo invasion of the 16th and 17th centuries.
    No sir,Amaras are the founders of modern Ethiopia,the largest group and who,unlike in many other countries including USA,allowed ethnic groups to keep their language, culture and religion.
    Former ambassador Imru should rather try to explain the anti-Amara propaganda of the ruling tigrian group with it’s insecurity and envy in view of the huge achievements of Amaras and as a strategy to gain power and keep it. The ruling group spreads Amara hatred also because that is what its anglo-american masters want to hear.

    Believe me,if their land was not poor and barren they would not have gotten such an idea.

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