By Dilwenberu Nega, June 04, 2012
In the 21 years since a relatively unknown Ato Meles Zenawi acceded to the seat of power, once occupied by the famous and the infamous, Ethiopia has become a peaceful place to live, to visit, to do business with and to invest. There is freedom as well as democracy unseen in the nations long and chequered history. It's national image of famine and poverty is receiving a face-lift. To be brutally frank, many people think that, than think the opposite.
Yet, there are clusters of Ethiopians and foreigners of Ethiopian origin particularly in various parts of the United States, Canada and Europe who do not share the above stated views. There's nothing wrong or sinful about denying the undeniable or about opposing the ruling EPRDF. However, more often than not, the dread these people have for any thing good said about Ethiopia or taking place in Ethiopia, has turned their sporadic street protests into unmitigated Ethiophobia. And that is the real reason behind the toxic's failure to turn 'radioactive' over the past two decades. Ethiopians abroad are at long last avoiding "the Toxics" like a plague as they find out for themselves the futility of the aim and goal of the incorrigible toxic diaspora.
Why is it then that this group of people continue to hang on to their ineffective opposition to EThiopia in general and to Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in particular, knowing too well that it has only served them to showcase their inadequacies. Even the cowboy journalist cum mascot of the opposition at large, Abebe Gelaw, was left with no choice but to concede to his new-found admirers that the oppositions sporadic demonstrations outside The White House, Whitehall or the EU Headquarters, has neither stopped Ethiopia's growth and transformation, nor has it succeeded in halting the rise and shine of workaholic Meles Zenawi at international forums.
The answer, therefore, lies either on the assumption that the Toxics are on an ego trip, or Ethiopia's hotchpotch opposition parties abroad suffer from a dearth of vision and alternative ideas similar to opposition parties in Ethiopia.
To dream in sleep is a natural phenomenon, but to day dream - which the Toxics are practicing on hourly basis - is a sickness the medication for which is not available over the counter. And with the Toxics refusing to admit that day dreaming, like sleep walking, is curable with the help of a physician, it's not likely that they will stop day dreaming until their dying breath. The history of the toxic diaspora over the past 21 years is replete with lies, fabrications and character assassinations, the heap of which dwarfs Dubai's Burj Khalifa. Moreover, the Toxics penchant for using recent uprisings against unmitigated tyrants as a template to oust a democratically elected Meles Zenawi, simply portrays their hallucinatory state.
Just because one of G7's American Collie barked at Prime Minister Meles Zenawi at a very important Symposium on Food Security and Agriculture, the Toxics got so elated, secure in the knowledge that world leaders will henceforth eschew Meles Zenawi. This is nothing more than a scoundrel's futility. I am reminded here by what I recently learnt from a source close to G7's Andargatchew Tsiege. At the thick of the Arab spring, Andy, the naieve, wrongly concluded that G7's moment has finally arrived and hurried to talk to a junior officer from Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office. A confidence oozing Andy went out of his way to equate Meles with fallen unmitigated tyrants, and tried to broach the idea that it was now Ethiopia's turn to get foreign assistance in G7's efforts to oust Ethiopia's dictator. Before Andy even finished his sentence, the officer interrupted and declared in no uncertain terms:" Whatever his drawbacks, Meles Zenawi is not Ben Ali, is not Hosni Mubarak, is not Moammer Gadafi and is certainly not Ali Abdullah Saleh. Many Ethiopians in the thick of things couldn't agree more. I think Andy was thinking in line with British forces helping to restore Haile Selassie to his Solomonic throne by dislodging Italian forces during the second world war.
I think it helps to be brutally frank with the Toxics, for up to now they had enjoyed free rein over the silent majority. Enough is enough. Let's, for the sake of argument, now try to address their oft repeated accusation that Meles is a dictator. I unabashedly argue that it is a misnomer to brand Meles a dictator. I am not pedalling to philistinism, but rather to putting down the irrefutable truth in black and white.
Tell me, if you would, of a dictator who had the magnanimity of mind to pardon all those who through a binge of street violence - the fatalities of which had dented his reputation - had made a determined effort to seize state power? The Birhanu Negas and Birtukan Mediksas of the toxic diaspora would have been rotting in prison had it not been for the good heart and foresightedness of Meles Zenawi. Let me give you, yet, another example to highlight the fact that the accusation that Meles is a dictator is at odds with his performance as a prime minister of a very difficult Ethiopia. Conventional wisdom tells us that when a brutal dictatorship is overthrown, the first job of the victor is to mow down the perpetrators of heinous crimes. But, instead, Meles ' the dictator ' would have none of this. He made sure that justice was seen to be done, and after the due process of law, pardoned the former Derg members. Where in Africa, or any where else for that matter, have you witnessed such magnanimity coming from a dictator?
With all odds stacked against them the incorrigible Toxics refuse to abandon their ludicrous attempt - not at opposing the Meles administration - but at directing their indignation and chagrin at the common good, at Ethiopia's national interest. As if their anti-Ethiopian Airlines campaign was not enough of a child's play, the Toxics have now unilaterally declared the establishment of a Syrian kind "Transitional Council" secure in the knowledge that it will give them a semblance of authority in world capitals. What they seem to either deliberately ignore or forget is the fact that the governments of their respective host countries know better than they do that status quo in Ethiopia is a galaxy away from that of Libya or Syria. On the other hand, they very idea of expecting a panacea for Ethiopia to come from a gathering of warring parties, is what makes the whole affair an interesting soap opera to watch if you have nothing better to do during your leisure time.
You and I, of course, know what transformation here refers to. It simply means back-formation. Back to square one with the dismantling of the federal system and the suffocation of our distinct identities, languages and cultures. And the democracy that continues to serve us well will give way to mobocracy. Just imagine Ethiopia under the rule of popinjays, quislings, chauvinists, cowards,loonies and cowboy journalists. Don't you think, as I do, that this would signal the end of Ethiopia as we know it.
On the other hand, while the Toxics are getting busy as a bee with their machinations against Ethiopia, Meles's Ethiopia continue to stand four square behind its proven pro-poor policies. Contrary to the Toxics' claim, therefore, the people who matter most to EPRDF, homeland Ethiopians, see Meles Zenawi not only as a leader of a liberation movement which emancipated them from the hellish rule of the Derg, but as the architect of Ethiopia's growth and transformation. That explains why the Ethiopian diaspora in general, but the toxic diaspora in particular, is rubbished by homeland Ethiopians as utterly inconsequential. Who can blame them when they hear a cowboy journalist pontificate " We don't need food, we need freedom." How, they are bound to ask themselves, could such a naive American, notorious for his gargantuan appetite, be the voice for Ethiopians? Whatever next with the antics of the toxic diaspora!
Meles' Ethiopia remains safe and sound. Pity, instead, the toxic diaspora.
In less than two weeks period the shameful Diablos barking dog transformed himself into a church preacher. Now after listening to the bouncer with a cross what do you think about the Ethiopian extremists? These toxic extremists are hiding in the church from Waldba to Seattle.