By Robele Ababya — Those who think that all military leaders are not apprehensive about war are invited to ponder this quotation: “The world has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants”, attributed to General Omar Nelson Bradley. This concern is similar to that of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712 – 1778), one of the most influential philosophers whose intellectual works made significant input to the French Revolution. He was renowned for his incisive argument that moral virtues should take precedence over the development of the arts and sciences.
Indeed is needles to recount the phenomenal strides that the arts and sciences have made to date since the death of death of Rousseau in 1978 and the famous French Revolution of 1979 one year after his death. For the purpose of this piece suffice it to say that the arsenal of sophisticated military weapons in the hands of humankind is more than adequate to destroy Planet Earth many times over – and the moral decay at the present level makes this grim situation an unfortunate possibility to those who care for the survival of our world in which to live in peace.
It is morally reprehensible that technologically advanced countries have been providing destructive military weapons and training to mentally derange leader of Libya, Muammar Gadhafi during the last 42 years of his dictatorial rule over the Libyan people that he now calls rats, cockroaches, dogs and traitor only because of their legitimate demand for change to democratic dispensation.
It is ardently hoped that the present uprisings sweeping across the Arab world is the start of a new era of revolution to usher in the precedence of moral values to reign in advances in the arts and sciences so that human liberty, freedom, and dignity are assured. To this end, the UN Resolutions Nos. 1970 and 1973 should be strongly supported and the effort of Western powers and the Arab League to enforce the specifics of those resolutions, in the best interest of a united and democratic Libya should be accepted.
The betrayed slogan of the 1974 Ethiopian uprising
Self-reliance was the slogan of the Ethiopian revolution of 1974 betrayed by the aristocrat Mekonen Indalkatchew regime, the coward Mengistu regime and the Marxist-Leninist groups of the time that were unable to unite around the motto of putting Ethiopia first; each group was vying to retain or capture state power and rendered the country as a scene of internecine carnage and abject poverty. Such was the sad saga of our past that made us wholly dependent on the Socialist camp for more than seventeen years until 1991. Conditions are far worse during the reign of abject poverty, torture, intimidation, and terror perpetrated by the brutal TPLF that one would earnestly wish an Ethiopian popular uprising to take place urgently not necessarily like the one triggered by the self-immolation of Mohammed Bouazizi of Tunisia.
Poor Ethiopia has been under tight grips of colonial and neo-colonial intrigues for decades and is still tied to paltry donor aid rendered to a brutal puppet TPLF invader regime. The USA and UK provide aid to the genocidal leader Meles Zenawi given his record of heinous crimes known to the duo and do so at this time of raging popular uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East where citizens are paying heavy sacrifices craving for freedom and dignity. Ethiopians should take inspiration from the renowned Egyptian human rights activist, Professor Nawal El Saadawi, to reconfirm that the slogan of self-reliance of the 1974 Ethiopian was so right. Here below is an excerpt from her interview with Al Jazeera at Tahrir Square:
“Anyway, the people in Tahrir Square, the millions of men and women who made the revolution and who are continuing the revolution, they know what the United States did to us, since Sadat. Sadat and the U.S. ruined the economy of Egypt. They ruined our dignity by aid, American aid. And we said, from the beginning, “We don’t accept American aid. We need free trade, and not aid.” They brought the fundamentalists, because usually I say bin Laden and George Bush are twins. Sadat and Mubarak and America and Israel are—encourage the most fanatic Islamic and Christian and Jewish fundamentalism to divide us, to fight against socialists and feminists. So we are aware of U.S. role in Egypt, U.S. government, since Reagan, since all of George Bush and Obama. They ruined our economy. And they gave us aid, so-called aid, which went to the pockets of regime people, men and women, and to the U.S. again. So we are not—we were not deceived by what America, U.S. government did to us.”
“Now Egypt is a new Egypt, independent Egypt, dignified Egypt, not accepting aid. We are going to depend on our production, agricultural production, and industrial production. We are regaining our dignity and freedom and justice.”
The above bears a striking similarity with the slogan of the 1974 Ethiopian Revolution let down by its various stakeholders. Therefore, it would be quite in order to revive that spirit of self reliance and say adieu to paltry economic assistance from the USA and the UK.
Unrewarded Ethiopia’s good intentions in world affairs Ethiopia was a founding member of the defunct League of Nations; she is a founding member now of the United Nations and most of its specialized agencies. She is a founding member and active leading participant of the now dormant Non-aligned Nations.
Ethiopia sent a military battalion to Korea to fight USA’s war against communist North Korea in the name of collective security. Then again she sent a sizable military contingent including combat airplanes to the Congo to depose the country’s left-leaning leader, Patrick Lumumba, because the USA did not like him. In both of the wars mentioned afore, Ethiopia paid in terms of human lives and costly equipment. Perhaps many Ethiopians may not know that one of our jet pilots disappeared in the jungles of the Congo together with his fighter airplane and the crush site was never discovered. We keep fighting America’s wars the latest example being the naked invasion of Somalia. As an ally of the USA in so many instances one would have expected substantial development assistance, but sadly that did not happen. It is heart-breaking to note that the Obama Administration announced $583 million aid to the brutal regime of Meles Zenawi just before the popular uprising in Egypt. But, President Obama has publicly stated that his Administration did nothing to engineer the Egyptian revolution, which remark seems to assure the world that the USA genuinely supports the transition to true democracy in the Arab world
Adverse British roles in Ethiopia’s internal affairs
It is to be recalled that Ethiopia’s plea to the League of Nations against the invasion of Fascist Italy was categorically rejected by Western powers in spite of the victim being a founding member of that body. The Hitler-Mussolini axis in World War II burnt the fingers of the British thus serving as a much needed incentive to attack Italian colonial interests overseas including in Ethiopia. Thus Ethiopian patriots won victory over Italy with the assistance of Great Britain, which seized on the moment for revenge over Italy.
But the colonial mentally of senior British officers in Ethiopia created the idea of a Greater Tigray and caused the problem haunting us to this day. At the time Emperor Haile Selassie complained to Sir Winston Churchill regarding the ill-intentioned behavior of the British officers and succeeded to stop the intrigue. Thank God the Emperor was successful because conservative Prime Ministers like Margaret Thatcher and David Cameron were not in power at the time.
The Zenawi regime is top recipient of British foreign development aid at this time that the coalition government of David Cameron is embarked on the domestically unpopular cost-cutting spree to save its plummeting economy. It is a weird move outside the ambit of generosity or compassion to spend British taxpayers’ money to keep a genocidal dictator in power.
To the defense and security forces of TPLF
The defense and security forces under the direct command of the genocidal leader Zenawi have a moral and legal obligation to stand on the side of the poor Ethiopian people that in the final analysis foot the bill for expenditures. For, as the most famous General of World War II, Genera Dwight Eisenhower, said: “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.” So please do not bite the hands of the poor that feed you. Be on the side of the poor taxpayers that you are supposed to protect. Follow the examples of the armed forces siding with protesters in the uprisings in the Arab world. Follow the example of the armed forces of Yemen, a stone throw away from you, to withdraw support from Zenawi and his tribal fat Generals pitting you against the Ethiopian people and save yourselves and your families from wrath of the brewing popular uprising
To opposition forces
It is a shame that we in the opposition have not yet united in a meaningful way to confront the brutal TPLF regime. Our only chance now is to join the impending uprising with a positive mind. To that end this quote: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit”, attributed to the late President Harry S Truman (1884 – 1972), would help us rethink our respective diverse positions in the run up to the inevitable uprising.
In the crucible of the impending Ethiopian uprising
Ethiopia is on the brink of collapse; uprising is inevitable as it is the only way to rectify the multiple wrongs of the last decades since the outbreak of the 1974 Ethiopian Revolution. Citizens and stakeholders of Ethiopian origin of all creeds, every ethnic groups, civic associations and political affiliation or persuasion will bring their ideas to the crucible of the uprising for test. There shall be action and reaction in that crucible. It goes without saying that liberty, freedom of expression, the right of the individual, dignity, democracy, the supreme rule of law and justice in a secular society will pass the test. The overall outcome will be a secular indivisible Ethiopia with Addis Ababa as her capital and non-ethnic-based federal government structure; independent pillars of democracy and neutral defense and security forces guaranteed by a new constitution of the people, by the people and for the people.
In the impending uprising in Ethiopia, it is assumed that President Obama’s publicly stated that his Administration did nothing to engineer the Egyptian revolution, which remark seems to assure the world that the USA genuinely supports the transition to true democracy in the Arab world, would apply to peaceful democratic changes globally including Ethiopia.
In closing: Yes to “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”, a quote attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt (1884 – 1962), First Lady to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the most influential member of the UN’s Commission on Human Rights.
Therefore Enough to paltry donor aids!
LONG LIVE ETHIOPIA!!!
Release all political prisoners in Ethiopia!