Merchants of Death and Destruction – By Yilma Bekele

May 15th, 2008 Print Print Email Email

Some things are said to be unthinkable. They are beyond the norms of any behavior. They fall into the territory of No and Never. Unfortunately in today’s Ethiopia nothing is off the table. The regime is open to any and all bizarre, strange and odd happenings. What was reported by the French paper Lemonade is one such story that you would think the reporter was making it up. You actually wish it could be proven to be untrue. Alas, we are dealing with the Ethiopian government where the gulf between fact and fiction is a very razor thin line. (more…)

Some things are said to be unthinkable. They are beyond the norms of any behavior. They fall into the territory of No and Never. Unfortunately in today’s Ethiopia nothing is off the table. The regime is open to any and all bizarre, strange and odd happenings. What was reported by the French paper Lemonade is one such story that you would think the reporter was making it up. You actually wish it could be proven to be untrue. Alas, we are dealing with the Ethiopian government where the gulf between fact and fiction is a very razor thin line.

A report by Alain Lallemand of LeMonde claims that the Ethiopian Army and Ugandan ‘Peace Keeping’ force are the major merchants of arms to the resistance forces in Somalia. Yes you read it correct. Our government and the Ugandan Army are supplying arms to the people they are supposedly fighting against. If this is not strange enough for you the so-called Somali government Army is also part of this unholy alliance. They are gunrunners in their own right. They resale the arms seized during raids.

You can read the English translation at:(http://www.ethiopianreview.com/content/2477)
According to LeMonde ‘This arms bazaar has taken such a looming twist in the last six months that it has developed not one but seven markets — six in Mogadishu and one in Afgoi.’ It does not make sense does it? You send your troops to fight and win, but turn around and supply arms to the other side. Thus the Somali resistance militia is using weapons furnished by Ethiopia to kill Ethiopians. How many Ethiopians god only knows.

Our government does not consider the people are entitled to such information. We have no idea how many Ethiopians perished in Badme. Somalia is another front where the death and maiming of our people is of no consequences to our enlightened leaders.

The only way one can reconcile this bizarre situation is by understanding the nature of the ‘cadre’ government lording it over our country. A little background information is called for. Before the history book was revised concerning the victory of TPLF over the Mengistu regime the real facts were a little different. Telling and retelling of the fiction by the regime have sort of convinced the liars of their own make believe world. We all know they were invited by Herman Cohen and US intelligence to take the mantle of power. The butcher Mengistu was escorted out of Addis with all the loot he can fit in the specially furnished Boeing plane.

The rag tag militia entering Addis was more of a shock to themselves than the residents by the turn of events. If you remember they were mostly young kids completely disoriented and lost in this Metropolis of millions of people. What they found was a city with no leader but willing and hopeful people to start a new era of peace and justice. They welcomed the militia as one of their own. They showered them with flowers and love. There was no single organized resistance to the new ‘liberators’.

It was a most confusing moment to the cadre leaders. Their very being requires the presence of contradictions and animosity. They are used to asserting themselves by using force and terror. Love and acceptance is not part of their programming. They were forced to create phantom enemies. Thus burning the ‘weapons’ depot and random shooting through out the night was their way of making themselves at home.

They proceeded to dismantle and destroy anything and everything that was not in accord with their psudeo Marxist outlook. Where there was unity they created division, where there was love they replaced it with hate, tolerance gave way to intolerance, hope was gone and hopelessness took its place. The Flag was changed without consultation, the Constitution was approved without due process and the country was divided among ethnic lines. This in a nutshell is the basis of our current situation. The Somali invasion is just another chapter in this grand scheme of staying in power by any means.

We invaded Somalia to curry favors with the Bush administration in general and the Pentagon in particular. Ger ger le leba yemechal, it was another situation which the regime took advantage of. The underlying philosophy was no problem for TPLF. Its chameleon nature has already been recognized. Power is its only central theme. All others serve the need for power. It started as a Marxist Leninist Party, replaced it with Enver Hoxa when the Derg allied with the Soviet Union, replaced that with liberal democracy when the Soviet Union and the Derg withered and now replaced that with ‘soldiers for hire’ in the name of fighting terrorism.

The gun running in Somalia is part of the pattern of lawlessness the regime encourages in the country. Respect for the law is the pillar of democracy. In the absence of that the ‘law of the jungle’ takes over. Those who have the power dictate to those who don’t. In today’s Ethiopia the power is in the hands of a few TPLF cadres. Everything is up for grabs. Thus it is no surprise that military commanders dabble in as weapon merchants as a payment for hazardous duty. Their civilian counterparts are amassing a big fortune selling anything and everything of value in the country. Yesterday’s cadres who entered Addis Ababa with nothing but an AK 47 are today’s millionaires and highly respected entrepreneurs. They are the same geniuses who build five story with water only going to the second floor, beautiful imported chandeliers but no electricity, rows of condominiums but no road and no waste disposal system, commodity exchange but no commodity. The cadres are all form and no essence.

Myopia is a Greek term for short sightedness. For the myopic distant things appear blurred. Our leaders suffer from thought myopia. They do not seem to see what happened a short time back. Wealth amassed using questionable means does not seem to have a lasting value. It usually ends up returned to its rightful owners. In today’s small world it does not travel far. It is traceable. It does not matter where. Geneva is no different from Indonesia, Cayman Islands is the same as Luxemburg. They all cooperate for a fee and legitimacy.

Thus if this business of gun running is to make profit, profit will be made. The unfortunate part is for the poor foot soldier that is thrown into this situation so others can stay in power. The US has made it clear to all who can hear. ‘We fight them over there before they come over here”. The Ethiopian regime benefits by being a recipient of spare weapons and a few good words by the West to IMF, World Bank etc. for loans and grants. The looser in this equation is the poor peasant regarded as a sacrificial lamb so others can live and thrive temporarily. So you think you have seen it all. Patience my friend, TPLF wills mange to come up with more.

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