ANOTHER DIMENSION OF DISRESPECT TO THE PEOPLE OF ETHIOPIA – By Alemayehu Zemedkun
If you happened to have watched a video clip recently posted on Aigaforum.com or Waltainfo.com on November 27, 2007, the ruling party chairman and Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Mr. Meles Zenawie responded to question directed to him by members of the Ethiopian parliament pertaining to the war in Somalia, the recently enacted bill known as HR2003 which was passed unanimously by the United States Congress and the border conflict with Eritrea that could spill into a full blown war any moment now. The Prime Ministers response on the war in Somalia, HR2003 specifically the role of some opposition leaders for supporting HR 2003 was laughable at best comical. The audacity of the Prime Minister in accusing opposition party members for supporting HR2003 who are currently member of the parliament, the possibility of war with Eritrea was theatrical display that even Hollywood best directors couldn’t not muster.
The premier is obviously trying to distort the public by providing false information and misleading facts which does not reflect the reality on the ground. This is deliberately designed to evade the public’s attention from the culminating storm since the elections in May of 2005. Let’s examine some of the points:-
1. Prime Minister Meles Zenawie, attempted to reduced the whole mission of HR 2003 as a bill designed to just establish an independent election board which comprises of opposition party members. He deliberately didn’t want to recognize other crucial points which are in the bill, such as bringing an independent, equitable and transparent justice system. Bringing to justice those who are responsible for the massacre of over 200 innocent people after the total crackdown of the peaceful protest following the May 2005 elections. Finally his attempt to compare apples to oranges by distorting the American election system providing facts which are not compatible with the Americal electoral system. You don’t have to be a legal scholar or an election expert to know that the United States political system had a Federal Election Commission that monitors the financial as well as some administrative procedures during elections. Moreover, each state has an election board that enacts election procedures and work to resolve election disputes.
2. The premier, criticized member of opposition parliament members who supported HR 2003 as “shameful”. The Prime Minister justified his critics by referring to these elected representatives as authors of legislative or rather “law makers” of the country yet are traveling abroad to plea with leaders of foreign countries to enact laws on their behalf. Can the Prime Minister point to one specific incident in the history of EPRDF that opposition party members got the opportunity to initiate, debate freely and finally enact a law for the better of the country?
3. The Prime Minister boasted of his government’s patience and restraint for not throwing CUDP leaders in jail for being invited to testify in front of the United States congress on behalf of HR 2003. According to his analysis, testifying before the United States Congress is a crime but, the government prefers to wait in patience even if they have the right to express their idea in whatsoever manner. However, we all know the main case here is that the government has no choice but to refrain from arresting the CUDP leaders because nothing else can reinforce better what the world has know all along that the EPRDF government is dictatorial and brutal. Second incarcerating the CUDP would bring down the wrath on the US Senate on the Prime Minister and would be the final nail in his coffin.
4. His points on the war with Eritrea, that as long as the Eritrean government does not hamper Ethiopia’s economic development plans, the Ethiopian government will not go to war for minor provo vacations by the Eritrean’s according to the Prime Minister. In the case of Somalia his defense was Ethiopia’s involvement in Somalia was to curve the possible future danger from the “Islamic extremists” which must be confronted before it gathers into a storm. This analysis by the Prime Minister clearly reflects the double standard foreign policy of the Ethiopian government and subjugates Ethiopians to server the interest of foreign nations. Second, the war on terror as has become a lucrative business and will win you many friends in the West these days as long as you can stomach mowing down and torturing innocent civilians.
Going to war with Eritrea will result in huge consequence for both sides and with the Ogaden crises, political tensions and growing numbers of rebel’s fighting throughout in Ethiopia the Prime Minister is left with fewer and fewer choices.
In conclusion I believe that President John F. Kennedy said it best “The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.”