The IFs of History

February 17th, 2007 Print Print Email Email

Afura Burtukana February 19:-When I was a student in Ethiopia, some years back, I had a History teacher whom I respect to this date. He had just graduated and it was his first year as a teacher. Yet, unlike many others who has PHD’s and decades of experience; he was a master of the subject. Besides being alluring and friendly, he was sharp, bold and imaginative. That’s why he always used to have a pack of students in his class room. From this kind of teachers, you always take something, not only for the purpose of the class but for far beyond that, even for life. I remember, in almost each class, he used to say “˜It is Hard to Deal with the IF’s of History’.Among those who like to debate, there have been intensive and extensive debates on the importance of History for the modern/post-modern society. Politicians almost always want to spin history and use it in a way they think would benefit them. The “˜100 years 3000 years and beyond history of Ethiopia’ debate is a case in point. Some politicians, like Isayas Afeworki, would prefer to totally deny the importance of history by saying “History is a High School Boy Non-Sense”?.

But history does matter. If you are able to control your past, you are more likely to be able to control your future much better than those who are utterly confused. Simply put, understanding the past allows persons to learn from their mistakes. Without knowledge of the past, we would be forced to constantly relearn scientific discoveries, warfare tactics, etc. in a continuing recycle. David Crabtree from the institute of Gutenberg on his Essay: The Importance of History said; “History is a combination of thesis, antithesis and synthesis in constant motion connecting the past, present and future. It can also be understood as a widespread, intricate web that is interlocked through cause and effect as well as accident. “¦Society itself is constantly changing in a manner similar to Hegel’s thesis, antithesis and synthesis. History, the thesis, is combined with the modern day antithesis and produces the future, synthesis”?.

Ethiopia, historically, was at the apex of the development pyramid at the era of the Empire of Axum in the 5th century BC. Thereof, for a combination of reasons, the Business Cycle of the country’s development has been fluctuating but constantly declining.
Politically, we have been struggling, may be not successfully, to bring about peace and stability, democracy and the rule of law, and respect for humanity in Ethiopia. More recently, The Emperor introduced the First Constitution and amended it in his political life time. For whatever its worse, it was an attempt.
Would the country be in a different course now, had the King actually practiced what was written in the constitution? Would the country be in a different course now, hadn’t Italy decided / for the second time/ to invade and colonize Ethiopia? Would the country be in a different course now, hadn’t the emperor decided to flee and seek the assistance of the British Empire? Would the country be in a different course now, had there not been a quo attempt, by the Neway Brothers, on his government? Would the country be in a different course now, had the quo of the Neway Brothers been successful? Would the country be in a different course now, had there been no Popular Revolution in the early 70′s? Would the country be in a different course now, hadn’t the Military Junta taken power? Would the country be in a different course now, hadn’t the Dergue chosen to side with the Eastern Block? Would the country be in a different course now, hadn’t there been the White, Red or Terror of any color? Would the country be in a different course now, hadn’t the handful of peeved friends decided to engage in a guerilla fight against the Dergue? Would the country be in a different course now, had Mengistu not been at odds with his own generals? Would the country be in a different course now, hadn’t the quo attempted by the generals failed? Would the country be in a different course now, hadn’t the Dergue lost for Shabia and Woyane? Throw in any historical event that you deem to be important.
Would we have been talking differently now, IF Woyane/Meles didn’t allow the May 2005 election to be a bit free and fair compared to all the other “˜elections’ the country ever held; for whatever reasons he thought would help him but obviously miscalculated? Would we have been talking differently now, IF the four parties didn’t form the Coalition /CUDP/? Would we have been talking differently now, IF the oppositions had decided not to take part in the election? Would we have been talking differently now, IF the opposition had firmly demanded to have an independent Election Board as a minimum pre-condition to be part of the election? Would we have been talking differently now, IF there were enough election observers to cover not just the urban areas but also the rural areas? Would we have been talking differently now, IF Meles hadn’t taken the infamous pronouncement of putting Addis Ababa under military siege and the military under his command on the same night he learnt /surprising/ that he /his party/ lost? Would we have been talking differently now, IF Woyane/Meles hadn’t rigged the election? Would we have been talking differently now, IF the opposition /the majority of them/ have decided to join the Parliament? Would we have been talking differently now, IF there had not been any civic disobedience by the public at large? Would we have been talking differently now, IF the Agazi hadn’t been put in to action? Would we have been talking differently now, IF Meles hadn’t decided to incarcerate the leaders of Kinijit /many of whom were elected by the people to be Law Makers/, journalists and members of the free press, and human right activists? Again throw in any other important IFs.
Here is yet another Big IF. Would Ethiopian politicking, both in and out of Ethiopia, be different now, IF the second and other layers of leadership which the ranks and files of Kinijit were talking about before they were kept under lock was put in order, up and running?
Like my History teacher used to say repeatedly, it is hard to deal with the IFs of History. The country has experienced many IFs. Depending on who you talk to, some were opportunities and some missed opportunities.
Currently, we are in a time where history is in the making. Since all the back door peaceful negotiations failed, Meles/Woyane and the opposition have, once again come out face to face in public and every eyes and ears are on the ruling of the court come February 19. Meles has the military / from which he is loosing ground slowly as the support is fading and high ranking officials and foot soldiers are defecting/, the government machinery / from which a growing number of judges, diplomats and government officials are defecting/, the whole budget of the country, some foreign countries including the US and Britain / for all the wrong reasons/ and the support of some opportunists here and there, on his side. The opposition have only / but the most important one/ the support of the people of Ethiopia. The turn out will depend on how well both sides play their cards. So far, I dare say, Meles is playing it “˜smarter’ and the opposition has yet to organize, re-organize, stand united and be able to rally the public behind their cause at least to the level it was before the leaders of kinijit were arrested and put out of active action.
My yearning is for the country to come out of this as a winner. My desire is to see all the political and non-political concerned bodies, including Woyane, to come back to there senses, put the interest of the people before and after their own, and come to the round table of discussion. My wish is to see a united country irrespective of ethnic, religious, identity, ideology or any other kind of differences. My prayer is to see a prosperous and developed Ethiopia which has her rightful place in the socio-economic and political happenings of, mostly, Africa and the Middle East but even the world.
February 19, like all the other mile stone dates in the History of Ethiopia will come and go. It may happen that Meles/Woyane decide to postpone the ruling, for any silly reason as one of the judges felt “˜sick’ on that day. That will set another important date to wait for. It also may happen that the court rules for the incarcerated to defend themselves. That also sets another date to wait for. Another possibility is that, some of them, if not all could be set free.
In conclusion, will February 19, or any other date set for us by Meles/Woyane pass as one of the IFs in history? Will it be possible, this time around, for Ethiopia to emerge as a winner? Every people will have a government it deserves.
God Bless Ethiopia!!!

  1. 21st-Century-Ethiopian
    | #1


  2. Mesfin
    | #2

    Hey, the so called “21-Century-Ethiopian” a couple of points on your respond to Mr. Burtukana’s article. First of all, the CUD leaders didn’t play the Zero sum game. They won the election. The vast majority of the Ethiopian people vote for them so the can take the country out of the pit that Meles/Woyane puts it. However, they offer to participate in the Parliament Meles as a leader (after he rigged the election) only the Meles regime agrees to work on the democratic institutions. The institutions included free media, independent election board and legal system. You can see the whole 8 points that they present as a precondition to participate in the parliament. Meles/Woyane said no to that. Meles/Woyanne rigged the election and refuses the establishment of any democratic institutions at all. Not only that, he jailed the very popular CUD leaders in jail. Now, who is playing the Zero sum game? I just hope you know the real answer to that just for yourself. The other point that you mentioned is that “February 19 will come and go. It will be just another day. That is the reality. Just another day.” Well, I am sure you have noticed that the Ethiopian people have rise up to see a real democracy, unity and peace in Ethiopia. Ethiopians are moving in the right direction both in Ethiopia and in Diaspora. I am sure you are feeling the heat. I see Meles’s recent picture. He got some sort of map on his face. That is (madiate). He is working his butt off for no good. I am sure he is in a living hell right now. On February 19 he will release all the political prisoners and start to dialog with them or even turn more heat on himself and prolong his own misery. That makes February 19 no ordinary day that comes and goes.

    By the way the so called “21-century-Ethiopian” one more time I would like to tell you that Woyannes are primitives and they hate Ethiopia. So if you are Woyanne or support Woyanne, you just can be neither Ethiopian nor contemporary. In 21 century people prefer dialog over hostility.

  3. Mussa Ghedi
    | #3

    Mesfin, I hope you realise tolerance to diffence in opinion and outlook are some of the basics to fulfilling democratic rights. I also believe that that is what Ethiopians are struggling to achive basic democratic rights because the tyranic woyane regime has bridled their democratic rights. After opening your reply with mature and to the point a few sentences you tended to fall in the same pit as the 21st century or whoever has found himself. Ethiopia is a large country that encompass differnet peoples and the woyanes are part of it and I am sure they will remain in it in the future as well. From the development point of view we are all in the same boat so if you label one segment of your own society primitive it will reflect on yourself as well. We have every right to denounce ideas but in so doing we have also to respect the humanness of the person who shared the idea. I believe that is what mature and seasoned citizens would do otherwise it would be complying to the Amharas saying ‘teditu wode matu’.

  4. Mesfin
    | #4

    Hi Mussa, I totally agree with you interims of having tolerance for different kinds of opinion that we may have about our country. I also agree with you the fact that Ethiopia is a mother of many different people, and there should be a place for every Ethiopian in every aspect of Ethiopia’s political, economical and social structure equally. However, I stand by my word that Woyannes are Ethiopia and Ethiopian’s enemies. I am convinced that they have Nazi style thinking. I believe that Woyannes represent neither Ethiopians in Tigray region nor any Ethiopia interest what is so ever. What they have been doing to our country and to us is gross. I believe is that Woyannes are Cancer for Ethiopia very existence. Now, if we need to be cure from this cancer, the first thing we should do is admit that we have Cancer. Once we got the courage to admit that we got a serious problem, the next step will be find out the way to treat it. I believe one of the main reasons for Woyannes to be where they are at right now is that not a lot of people knew what Woyannes are to begin with. Early treatment could have done the job for us. Now, they are well spread Cancers, but if we still weak up and do some thing, there is a chance we will get our full health back. I know that my words may sound strong, but when I think about my brothers and sisters who got shoot on the head by Woyannes, when I think about the Ethiopian fathers and mothers who are mourning the loose of their children for Meles’s death squad, when I think about the thousands and thousands of Ethiopians who are languishing in jail, as we speak, just because they express themselves peacefully, I fill strong word is not even strong enough to describe how I feel.

  5. 21st-Century-Ethiopian
    | #5

    Ato Mesfin, if weyanee is such a nazi regime, I am not sure why you support them with tax money with your constant visits to Ethiopia. Your flight is taxed, the goods you buy is taxed, the money you spend is what is used to buy the bullet that shot your relatives on the head. Oh I forgot, you don’t have enough of a commitment to even restraint yourself from going to addis to sleep with those teenage girls. Hodam. Weyanee has nothing to fear with Hodams like you and your like. A black Jonny Walker, Tere Siga, and a young virgin is all it takes to have you betray your cause. You will never understand the manhood of Weyanee cause I have never see a HODAM MAN. Bitch.

  6. | #6

    HERE U GO 21st-century.u tel thos HODAME’S like it is and i agree 1000% with u.let thos M****f saffer who car’s any way.HAPPY 32yers ANVERSERY to my beloved let’s pop da bottel and selebrat this HISTORICAL day.W4LIFE.

  7. Mesfin
    | #7

    Listen the so called “21st-Century-Ethiopian” you called yourself like that after you notice that you have no where to go. You have learnt a good lesson. Now, the second lesson that you should learn is how to live with the rest of Ethiopians peacefully, and equally. A real democracy is the best instrument for that…You just need to pay attention, open your mind up and see what the Woyanne Nazi type thinking brought to Ethiopia and to yourself. We all know that all Woyannes life is full of uncertainty and night mare. I saw Meles’s recent picture. I tell you the (madiate) on his face tells me how many sleepless night Meles has been having. I am sure that he is in a living hell, and he will go to hell for the blood that he shied over the years.
    The so called “21st-Century-Ethiopian” when you say “A black Jonny Walker, Tere Siga, and a young virgin is all it takes to have you betray your cause.” you use the typical Woyanne trade mark. However, I have a question for you. You Woyannes, instead of killing peaceful protestors on the day light in Addis and other parts of Ethiopia, instead of jailing the CUD leaders, the free press journalists, human right activists and ten thousands CUD supports, why don’t you try them with black Jonny Walker, Tere Siga and the other staff you mentioned? Wouldn’t that be better for short sighted Woyanne diplomacy? What about the hundreds and hundreds of diplomats, judges and military officials that left the Woyanne administration? The fact of the matter is you Woyannes tried and you are still trying to corrupt Ethiopians, so they would abandon their struggle. One thing you should know that your stupid tricks don’t work always and do work on every body. The problem is you Woyannes are full of Nazi ideology and you think you are better than everybody else. The way most of Ethiopians and I see you is that you Woyannes are the offspring of the Ethiopian historical enemies. You gained Ethiopians enemies’ huge support and sized power when the communist governments, such as Soviet Union and the then Ethiopian government collapsed. I regret deeply that we have had a government such as Derge. Among other things what I regret the most is that Derge passed Ethiopia for Nazi Woyannes. As I said before you Woyannes are Nazi’s except you are stupid and ugly. You are digging your own grave deep and deeper. No Nazi has a place in the 21 century.

  8. Tigist
    | #8

    Good job Mesfin! You are not only lecturing the Woyannes. From your deep knowledge of Woyannes and their Nazi way of thinking we are learning a lot. The language that the Woyannes use, when they respond to you, also proves the nature of Woyannes that you want us to see.

  9. Mimi
    | #9

    I like the hot issue here. I am a cheering for Mesfin. Go Mesfin, go Mesfin, go Mesfin…

    I love you! (Angete Kebe Teta)

  10. j.p.h
    | #10

    “ž21st bla.. bla..Ethiopian (sorry Nazi/weyane)
    and “Mamo”? sorry “Agazi”? are no match to Mesfin.
    They both and woyane as a whole are knocked out
    Unconscious, by Mesfin.
    We need such great Ethiopians Who defend
    their mother land from such hyenas!

    N.B the word “weyane”? should not represent
    Tegrayan Ethiopians.

    Here is a poem I read in some web sits:
    Please give your opinion on it.

    Prayers of Meles !
    “Abate hoy, begehanebe esat yemetnor”?

    My father who lives in the hell fire,
    Thank you for the gift ““ Somali war,
    And for the “Parliament lambs”? you gave me so far,
    To be sacrificed for me, in need of other affair.
    I use them and throw when their time comes,
    They camouflage my daily duty of massacres,
    Give me my daily bread I beg from foreigners,
    “?For a country”? with hunger while in excess,
    That gives me milk and honey,
    to become rich in Indonesian Banks?
    In the name of the most I hate – Ethiopian masses.
    O my lord the master of hell,
    Keep me away from the opposition leaders in jail,
    They snatched from me the peoples will.
    What is the death of 200 people?
    Even the hidden hundreds of thousand bloods I spill?
    The Ethiopian wealth I stole?
    Hear me my hero of the hell.
    Give my “AGAZI Army”? more time to kill.
    I put the youth in the “Nazi camps”?,
    The old, the young, pregnant ladies,
    I killed their children and was pleased,
    Then journalism, Radio, TV, Internet closed,
    To make the news of my own to the world,
    Thank you my master for the “Somali warlord”?
    But why can’t I buy the peoples will?
    When the spirit is kept in jail?
    Tell me Lord, king of kings of hell,
    Deceiving the US, the UK, and all,
    Is the support from UE, UN, AU, to fail?
    I lobbied many in the US as well,
    From the blood money of the poor I pile,
    Is that all to no avail?
    O Lord, I need courage in my future place to come,
    Why people scare me with “COURT in HAGUE”??
    Is that where they kept Milosevic?
    Charles Tailor’s place?
    The place of justice, rule of Low my nightmare?
    But the scariest things of all to me,
    Facing the Ethiopian people – the enemy,
    I sold my mother land to “sworn enemies”?,
    Fear of war at the East African borders,
    Abandoned by Amharans, Tigreans ,Oromos, Sidamas”¦
    Save me my master from the Unity of Ethiopians! AMEN my hell creator of all evils!

    (From unanimous Ethiopian)

  11. Mimi
    | #11

    Wow, what a poem j.p.h. You and Mesfin help me to see a clear portrait of Meles and the woyannes.

    Thank you! Pleas keep it up, because your short description of weyannes and the current affairs help some of us to know more about our country. You see not everybody has time to read the PhD’s long analysis all the time. I like those long analyses from our scholars, but when I get busy I prefer to read the short once from you guys. j.p.h you are doing the PhDs job for the busy Ethiopians. Pleas keep it up. Make it a regular type of thing.

    Thank you again!
    Your sister Mimi

  12. geremew
    | #12

    Before we jump to calling names, we should stop and think for a while what Woyane is and why it’s so hard to break by “internet arbegnoch”.

    Unlike CUD the phantom, Woyane is a real organization with functioning organizational structure and was founded because of the decade long injustice, discrimination, deliberate starvation of the Tigrean people in two famines.

    The word WOYANE means simply REBEL it was founded by people who sucrifieced their everything for what they belive, something which CUD is really missing.
    Woyane is a result of the bad policy which Hailesilasie and Mengistu INFLICTED ON THOSE POOR PEOPLE FOR DECADES. CUD wants to bring back the same kind of political culture which WOYANE fought for 17 years.

    Woyanes are not people of TALK but people of ACTION cuz it speaks more than word. Wether you fools like it or not, Woyane is here to stay and if you wanna be part of Ethiopian politics, you need to recognize Woyane as a legitimate political party that represents MEMBERS OF THE ETHIOPIAN SOCEITY.



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