I would like to start writing this piece, centered on respect for basic human rights, with this quote derived from the address to the European Parliament by His Holiness Pope Francis on 25 November 2014:- “Promoting the dignity of the person means recognizing that he or she possesses inalienable rights which no one may take away arbitrarily, much less for the sake of economic interests.” These are immortal words delivered to the August EU Parliament received with standing ovation and warm applause of the distinguished audience.
It is needless to elaborate that genuine fighters for freedom, unity, equality, democracy and prosperity under the supreme rule of law should understand the alignment of global powers at play in terms of politics, economics, and social affairs – noting that the fighting is carried out in a rapidly changing and perplexing global environment in which 15% of the top rich of the world’s population possess a whopping possess 85% of the wealth in our global village. It is even worse in Ethiopia where the tiny rich (top civilian officials, generals, businessmen allied to TPLF regime, and their cronies) hailing from a minority ethnic group comprising only 6% of the Ethiopian people possess 94% of the national resources. And this filthy- rich group trade in the name of the valiant and impoverished people of Tigray.
The French Revolution (1789 -1799) gave a bright hope for the supremacy of social justice to reign in human civilization. But it was followed by two world wars and a nasty period of a cold that the world community celebrated its end in 1989/1990 .But it was after all pregnant with a new cold war to the utter disappoint of this generation in the 21st century. The perplexing question is why Europe has been the epicenter of these wars!
The seed of the advent of a new cold war was planted by former President George W. Bush Junior when he and his coalition of the willing invaded Iraq without the mandate of the United Nations. The ex-President took the unfortunate course of action because he knew that the UN Security Council and the world at large would not support the invasion. At least Russia and China would have vetoed any resolution to that effect.
But in spite of costly setbacks, the aspiration of humanity for a law-abiding and compassionate world is alive and the struggle to achieve it will continue!
Unipolar power in decline
According to Lundestad referring to Henry Kissinger, the U.S.A., USSR, EU, Japan, and China comprise the Pentapolar power world order. Lundestad portrays China, with its vast resources and expansionist attitudes, as a true superpower in the making. Source: “The Rise and Decline of the American “Empire”: Power and its Limits in Comparative Perspective” by Geir Lundestad – published by Oxford University Press on 8 March 2012.
India as the largest democracy in the world and based on quantitative measurement of its resources – human, natural, industrial or military – would qualify as a candidate in the emerging “superpower club”. So a “Hexapolar” world order is on the offing!
His Holiness (HH) Pope Francis uttered His conviction that the EU should be one of the superpowers. I surmise that the Pontiff made His persuasive and powerful speech to that effect to the European Parliament. Some very interesting excerpts from the speech are provided below for ease of reference to my esteemed readers:-
- My visit comes more than a quarter of a century after that of Pope John Paul II. Since then, much has changed throughout Europe and the world as a whole. The opposing blocs which then divided the continent in two no longer exist, and gradually the hope is being realized that “Europe, endowed with sovereign and free institutions, will one day reach the full dimensions that geography, and even more, history have given it”.
- As the European Union has expanded, the world itself has become more complex and ever changing; increasingly interconnected and global, it has, as a consequence, become less and less “Eurocentric”. Despite a larger and stronger Union, Europe seems to give the impression of being somewhat elderly and haggard, feeling less and less a protagonist in a world which frequently regards it with aloofness, mistrust and even, at times, suspicion.
- “It is a message of encouragement to return to the firm conviction of the founders of the European Union, who envisioned a future based on the capacity to work together in bridging divisions and in fostering peace and fellowship between all the peoples of this continent. At the heart of this ambitious political project was confidence in man, not so much as a citizen or an economic agent, but in man, in men and women as persons endowed with transcendent dignity.
- I feel bound to stress the close bond between these two words: “dignity” and “transcendent”. “Dignity” was the pivotal concept in the process of rebuilding which followed the Second World War. Our recent past has been marked by the concern to protect human dignity, in contrast to the manifold instances of violence and discrimination which, even in Europe, took place in the course of the centuries. Recognition of the importance of human rights came about as the result of a lengthy process, entailing much suffering and sacrifice, which helped shape an awareness of the unique worth of each individual human person. This awareness was grounded not only in historical events, but above all in European thought, characterized as it is by an enriching encounter whose “distant springs are many, coming from Greece and Rome, from Celtic, Germanic and Slavic sources, and from Christianity which profoundly shaped them”, thus forging the very concept of the “person”.
- Only if it is capable of adopting fair, courageous and realistic policies which can assist the countries of origin in their own social and political development and in their efforts to resolve internal conflicts – the principal cause of this phenomenon – rather than adopting policies motivated by self-interest, which increase and feed such conflicts. We need to take action against the causes and not only the effects.
- In the end, what kind of dignity is there without the possibility of freely expressing one’s thought or professing one’s religious faith? What dignity can there be without a clear juridical framework which limits the rule of force and enables the rule of law to prevail over the power of tyranny? What dignity can men and women ever enjoy if they are subjected to all types of discrimination? What dignity can a person ever hope to find when he or she lacks food and the bare essentials for survival and, worse yet, when they lack the work which confers dignity?
- Promoting the dignity of the person means recognizing that he or she possesses inalienable rights which no one may take away arbitrarily, much less for the sake of economic interests.
- Here I cannot fail to recall the many instances of injustice and persecution which daily afflict religious minorities and Christians in particular, in various parts of our world. Communities and individuals today find themselves subjected to barbaric acts of violence: they are evicted from their homes and native lands, sold as slaves, killed, beheaded, crucified or burned alive, under the shameful and complicit silence of so many.
- I encourage you to work to make Europe rediscover the best of itself – “A Europe which bestrides the earth surely and securely, a precious point of reference for all humanity!”
The above is a deadly blow to the beggar EPRDF shunning self-reliance and riding roughshod on basic human rights; it is a humiliating shame to foreign donors giving direct budgetary and political support to the brutal regime that they know so well for its flagrant violation of fundamental human rights.
His Holiness in His moving speech underlined freedom of the individual and exalted the family as a building block of society. He also cautioned that freedom of the individual is not ‘absolute’ in that it is incumbent on that individual to respect the freedom of other individuals.
I strongly recommend that readers refer to the entire speech, which will found on Google.
The AU versus emerging multipolar world order
Part of Geir Lundestad’s approach to the question of whether the US’ sphere of direct influence or domination can rightly be characterized as an empire consists of a quantitative measurement of its resources – human, natural, industrial or military – as the most obvious elements of national power.
According to my understanding from Lundestad’s paper, qualification for becoming one of the emerging multipolar powers will be based on “quantitative measurements” [or criteria] of resources including:- human, natural, industrial or military”. In terms of human and natural quantitative measurements, Africa has the potential to be reckoned with as a formidable power in the long run – provided visionary, energetic, patriotic and competent leaders are put in place. The continent is far behind in the development of its industrial resources. The policy in the establishment of military institutions and acquisition of military resources is pathetically wrong in that it does not directed the long term goal of the AU. What the continent critically needs is a unified African Military Command structure appropriates to its needs – such as averting regional conflicts under the direct operational orders of the AU. As things stand now, exposing the continent as a dumping ground for obsolete military equipment amounts to a grotesque wastage of resources and missing the goal of defending the goal of stabilizing and protecting the continent by a long shot. What is now needed is more reliance on foot soldiers and much less spending on fighter jet airplanes.
Prospect of “New Cold” War
The 25th Anniversary of the demolishing of the 15 kilometers long Berlin Wall was celebrated on 09/11/2014. The glamourous jubilee was marked by releasing 8000 illuminated balloons into the night clear sky watched by thousands of jubilant spectators.
Gorbachev underscored that he and George Bush Senior signed the agreement ending the Cold War on 09/11/2014. He complained that the Western powers used the agreement as a tool to discredit the USSR’s policy in order to advance their expansionism instead of managing the change for fostering world peace. He blamed these powers for the present situation of putting the world on the brink of new cold war. He said that some say that the new cold war has already started.
In view of the above Mr. Gorbachev expressed full support for President Vladimir Putin’s policy in defense of Russia’s national interests.
I am one of those convinced that the new cold war has already set in. The tension over Ukraine between Russia on the one side and the USA and its allies on the other is a glaring example. Add to this the increasingly souring tension between China and Japan (a staunch ally of the U.S.A.) emanating from their respective claim of sovereignty over the islands in South China Sea. Readers are invited to identify hot spots on the global map and determine which other smaller counties align with the bigger powers.
The new cold war is here in my opinion. The point I want to make at this juncture before I go to the next section is that the beggar EPRDF regime will be forced to walk on a tight rope of choosing between political alliance with Communist China or economic reliance on donors of the Western world, especially the U.K. and U.S.A. that keep it afloat.
EPRDF in fear
The ruling regime is gripped with fear … It is sinking wearing a heavy albatross of heinous crime around its neck. This is because the legacy of the dead tyrant Meles Zenawi amounts to gruesome package of gross violations of fundamental human rights of Ethiopian citizens including genocides, war crimes and crimes against humanity not to mention in detail colossal damage to vital national interests on a scale unprecedented in the long history of Ethiopia. As a result of the brinkmanship of the Zenawi Era Ethiopia is land-locked paying close to one billion US$ dollars annually to tiny Djibouti for the use of its sea port.
Notwithstanding the heinous crimes committed by the Derg junta, one should be exceedingly worried of even the worst crimes of the EPRDF regime bent on selling Ethiopia to greedy scavengers. The article by Professor Alemayehu Gebremariam titled “The de-Ethiopianization of Ethiopia” dated … 2014 brilliantly captures the draconian damage done by the TPLF/EPRDF regime to our national interest during the last 23 years, and counting, of its tyrannical misrule far worse than that of its predecessor. Therefore, the top echelon in the leadership of the brutal ruling regime has every reason to fear accountability in the face of mounting awareness of the international community about its gross human rights violation, pathological lies, incompetence and endemic corruption.
As His Holiness Pope Francis, Leader of 1.2 million Catholics in our global village stated, that “Today, the promotion of human rights is central to the commitment of the European Union to advance the dignity of the person, both within the Union and in its relations with other countries. This is an important and praiseworthy commitment, since there are still too many situations in which human beings are treated as objects whose conception, configuration and utility can be programmed, and who can then be discarded when no longer useful, due to weakness, illness or old age.” Let us sincerely heed His message and apply in our daily lives!
Let us share the Pontiff’s concern that “… there needs to be a united response to the question of migration. We cannot allow the Mediterranean to become a vast cemetery!” The victims are mainly Africans including Ethiopians and Eritreans!
Pope Francis puts “Humanity comes first” in human civilization; and so do the opposition democratic forces, civic organizations, and the entire suppressed citizens at home and in the Diaspora. So the latter must combine their resources to dethrone the EPRDF regime without further delay.
Let us appreciate the profound sympathy of the Pope with the frustration of unemployed youths and the loneliness of the old.
Let us listen to the call of our own patriotic Archbishop His Holiness Melketsedeke – Secretary General of the Holy Synod of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Exile – that all Ethiopians pray in earnest for the ending of tyrannical governance in Ethiopia in the year 2017 (2014/2015 European Calendar).
My daily Prayer:- All political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in Ethiopia including:- Andualem Aragie, Eskinder Nega, Andargachew Tsige, Abraha Desta, Bekele Gerba, Reeyot Alemu, Temesgen Dessalegn, Leaders of the Ethiopian Muslims, the 9 bloggers and 3 Journalists, et al should be released immediately and unconditionally!
Long Live Ethiopia!