Bertu E. (25 Jan. 2009) Today we herald a new day in the way we see the world through the prism of Ethiopia’s long standing asset and what it means for the new order. We need to look inward to find what our limitations has been so far to leave a blank stage for Woyane in making the case representing Ethiopia. The relationship established by nations such as the US and Ethiopia invariably revolves around mutual interdependence and benefits.
There are however many aspects of the relationship between western powers and woyane that came to existence apparently due to lack of clear presentation of what Ethiopia and her history represents. Collectively we chose to either be ambivalent or remain ashamed of our asset that reside deep in our long history and articulate its relevance in combating global terrorism. Until the opposition groups comes to grips with this fundamental issue, we are simply are leaving the playing field for this argument to a known genocidal thug Meles Zenawi. Here is what I am talking about:
One of Ethiopia’s unique virtues is its multi century tradition of the coexistence of people with various Semitic faiths which exist to the present day of Ethiopia. Religious conflict has long affected mankind before any political discourse ever descended to armed conflicts and indeed the subjugation of any nation by conquest of war even in today’s modern geopolitical theater. What makes today’s terrorist conflict more dangerous is it mushrooms not from super power ideology of the cold war, but indeed from long unresolved religious conflicts that has reignited with such unprecedented zeal for global domination. From the world snapshot and especially the geographic location where our nation lies, Ethiopia remains the only independent nation who has contained these elements of highly explosive mixtures to live together side by side in peace and tranquility for hundreds of years.
By in large, The Ethiopian Christians, Moslems and Jews together have long recognized the individual right to worship free from any coercion and persecution as the only way to social cohesiveness of the nation. Throughout Ethiopia evidence of common inter-religious marriages, co-observation of holidays, social assimilation, mutual dependence for trade and even the gallant sacrifices shared to defend the freedom of the country is a rare find anywhere on earth. It is a unique model in play when considering the approximation of the very region to where these religions originated from, and thus remains the great wonder of Ethiopia’s history. This virtue is in our genes passed on from our fathers, and it is truly Ethiopia’s greatest gift to the world.
The current ruler of Ethiopia represents a self obsessed ethnic faction, who has sworn to dismember the very state it rules and purposely planning to create civil conflict in its final days as it retreats to the cliffs where it all began. The Woyane regime who rules with impunity is devoid of the tiniest drop of national interest thereby relinquishing the mandate for Ethiopia’s history or its consequential legacy. The people of Ethiopia and only them who collectively continue to exhibit these important elements for peaceful coexistence among different religions groups are the only owners of such asset. Ironically, those were the Ethiopians who in 2005 went out in unprecedented numbers to give the opposition party the clear choice, and more importantly the necessary democratic mandate to govern them. There lies the unique opportunity and the necessary tools to fight global/regional terrorism which the world was never privileged to see under Meles.
Therefore it will be up to us to articulate the benefit of such unparallel virtue of a nation at the time when the world is desperately seeking to combat global terrorism. The number one issue for the US is National Security aka war against global terrorism. The knee jerk reaction of 911 and its aftermath combined with the jingo foreign policy of the Neo-Cons is for everyone to see. It led to the adventure of the US to get involved in the Persian gulf all while provide blind support to Meles like dictator such as the ex president of Pakistan with nothing to show for. Similarly, with a desperate attempt (madness) by Woyane has led the invasion of Somalia which has spiral out of control on land and sea. This accumulated result is a byproduct of adventurous foreign policy based on self deceiving relationship devoid of populous support and as well as long term sustenance. Therefore, to date the sum total of the current foreign policy of the US may be summed as reckless, bankrupting and counterproductive and even the most ardent supporter of this policy now start to question it altogether.
That is where president elect Barack Obama comes in. In his inauguration speech he said, “To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.” Furthermore, he is well aware that the candidate of change cannot continue a policy that has proved to him and the American people that it will never work. As for Ethiopia therefore, it will be up to us to sell him the two distinct choices before him. Continue the same disastrous support to a criminal thug despised by his people and expect different result; or execute a new foreign policy based on democratic principles worthy of an ally. If internationally recognized political space opened and the subsequent democratic election is to be held, the US can source this great virtue of the Ethiopian people built for centuries as the bed rock foundation for fighting terrorism in the Horn of Africa. The emancipation of 80 million Ethiopians establishes a valid parallel in supporting democratization in the region which in turn will have a far reaching effect to the the national interest of the US itself.
On the other side of the equation, the reckless behavior of Meles in hopes of getting US favor once more has now essentially ended with defeat in Somalia. However, the aftermath of his action is now affecting the maritime safe passages of world goods and possibly launching a new menace front in the Indian Ocean. The weapons being carried by pirates today are in part possible thanks to petro dollar, which in the past were used to destabilize Ethiopia and strengthen Woyane’s hold on power via Sheik Al Amudi. Ethiopian observers should never lose sight the significance of such unexpected development including the rapid fall of the Agazi army in Somali which undoubtedly will remain as a major concern for the US for long time to come. I am sure everyone remembers the recent collapse of US support to Musharaf, once they realize he is a dead horse although over $10 billion have been vested in his name.
Today, however, in the backdrop of US historic election, I call on all the opposition groups to be clear in addressing what Ethiopia brings to the international table without Woyane. If one does not have it one cannot sell it, and in the same fashion one cannot expect for one to buy its asset if one has not taken the lead to inform and surface its hidden value. Self interest is the motivation of any nation to invest in other nations and our opposition leaders need to seek wisdom buried deep in our history and reconnect it to the present. This is particularly true where century’s old religious tolerance governed by democratic system is the most effective tool fighting global terrorism anywhere in the world.
I have no illusion that the last act of ridding this alien force out of the country can only be achieved by a united front of the Ethiopian people. For those important potential allies in the global theater, however, the opposition need to articulate why and how the alternate government plans to provide Ethiopia’s strategic position to counter global terrorism, all while create a national security force free from any political party. Among all other factors which are being addressed by many thoughtful political leaders, it will be to the interest of the nation to pay particular attention on why the US chose to continue to play ball with Meles. The reason squarely falls in part on the deafening silence by the opposition and the subsequent vacancy Meles saw to take advantage of Ethiopia’s Historical virtues as a bargain chip for his own benefit. Although he may have benefited in the short term his actions are showing sign of incurable lesson ‘never to bite the hand that feeds you’ in the form of a new hostile front opening through Somali, Eritrea and even possibly Sudan.
I believe the successful articulation and its execution of Ethiopia’s unique virtues will force the great powers to deny Woyane the very reason they want to stay in power.
Long Live Ethiopia