Heroic Devotion for the Sake of Freedom and Justice

Cadres of TPLF/EPRDF in the Diaspora

By T.Goshu

Heroic Devotion for the Sake of Freedom and Justice

It goes without saying that the struggle for making a concerted and relentless effort to make the dream for freedom and justice a reality is now at its very turning point. I do not think there could be any convincing reason to dispute this historic phenomenon than witnessing the heroic steps being taken by sons and daughters of Ethiopia at this critical moment in time. Yes, there could not be any other deeply sensible reason that could make us believe that we are at a very critical turning point than the heroic devotion which is being delivered by those Ethiopians. Yes, there cannot be any other convincing reason for us to stand together with those truly patriotic Ethiopians other than witnessing their incredible determination to accomplish a very noble cause (freedom and justice) to the extent of leaving their decent and well-to-do life styles and their families they do love just like any other loving parent or family member behind. I strongly believe that any Ethiopian with his or her right mind cannot afford not to be deeply inspired by the heroic devotion of those sons and daughters of Ethiopia who are committed to ending the general crisis this generation is facing and bringing about the change the people of Ethiopia truly deserve. Needless to say, there is nothing so honorable and nobler than making a commitment to bringing about a system in which freedom, justice, and human dignity and socio-economic fairness for all citizens should be built on unshakable rule of law, not on the will of individuals and political groupings. Let it straight-forwardly be clear that what I am trying to say does refer to a truly patriotic move by the leaders of Arbegnoch Ginbot 7 Movement for Justice, Freedom and Democracy who are interpreting their words of commitment into concretely verifiable deeds.

I sincerely believe that as the challenges we have come across throughout our political history and particularly for the last two decades of ethnic-based divide and rule are so deep and complex, it would be wrong for us to simply expect kind of miracle from those truly patriotic sons and daughters of Ethiopia who are at the fore-front of the struggle. But, I strongly believe that the very dedication exemplified by those heroic Ethiopians at this political juncture is a very precious opportunity to be seized and exploited appropriately in such a way that not only to get rid of the ethno-centric tyrannical ruling circle but also to change the political culture of non-democratic and tyrannical vicious cycle once and for all. To put it in other words, the only thing that those Ethiopians who genuinely and courageously are dedicated to the realization of a democratic society can do is to show how they are willing and cable of leading by example, not replacing the decisive role to be played by the people themselves. Needless to say that there is an absolute need to rationally and courageously accept that we are at a very critical moment to stand and act together and side with the leadership of those Ethiopians who are ready to pay all the necessary sacrifices needed. Simply put, we cannot afford to continue being victims of the political mentality of wait and see if somebody or certain political groups or great political personalities could make us free and dignified. It does not work that way at all! Yes, history can make its own heroes who do play a role of leadership that is indispensable not only to get rid of the greatest enemies of freedom, justice and human dignity but also to build a system in which the coming generation could live with a real sense of liberty, peace, equal opportunity, rule of law, integrity, and shared prosperity. Put simply, a real sense of leadership is to help the people becoming the sovereign powers of their own destiny. That is what is terribly missing in our political culture. I sincerely believe that that is what those heroic sons and daughters of Ethiopia such as leaders of Arbegnoch Ginbot 7 other opposition movements are committed to paying huge sacrifices for – making sure that that terribly missing critical element of a truly democratic political system is created and built on the foundation that should not be shaken whenever governments come and go.

In the book, BLACK SKIN, WHITE MASKS he wrote it sixty years ago (1952) Frantz Fanon says, “If the question once more arose for me about showing solidarity with a given past, it was because I was committed to myself and my fellow man, to fight with all my life and all my strength so that never again would people be enslaved on this earth.”

I really don’t know what Fanon could exactly say if he would rise from the dead and see the people of Ethiopia who have an exemplary role in the history of anti-colonial and anti-fascist struggle being enslaved by their own indigenous ruling masters in this 21st century. But I would say for sure that he could deeply be shocked and would once again commit himself to fighting on the side of those heroic Ethiopians who put themselves at the very fore-front of the struggle. I sincerely believe that the struggle being carried out by those heroic sons and daughters of Ethiopia, Arbegnoch Ginbot 7 and all other genuinely concerned opposition forces is as powerful and critical as Fanon’s dedication to freedom and justice was. Yes, the heroic sons and daughters of Ethiopia have put themselves at the very practical front of the struggle to bring the very dangerous political game of ethno-centrism to its end once and for all. As there could not be any excuse for not to march together with those truly heroic Ethiopians and shorten the untold misery the people of Ethiopia are suffering from, it is absolutely high time to talk less but to act more, and more, and more.

I do not think we need go far to find words or phrases to express how those compatriots have proven that they are sons and daughters of their motherland (Ethiopia) in deed at this critical moment of in need. Why? Because the very action they have taken speaks loud and clear than words. Put simply, the way they are proving that what they do say is what they do mean is incredibly phenomenal. Will there be setbacks and ups and downs? Of course! Could the setbacks and serious up and downs and their consequences be protracted and unacceptably painful? Well, this necessarily depends on the persistent and decisive participation by the people of Ethiopia who are victims of total dehumanization in their own country of which their forefathers and mothers have paid ultimate sacrifices for its exemplary role in the history of the struggle for independence. Yes, we are and should be proud of the glorious history made by our forefathers/mothers and handed down from generations to generations. But, we must courageously and honestly admit that it is terribly disturbing not to make the glorious history of independence much more glorious with concerted efforts towards establishing an internal political system in which we could live in a real sense of freedom, justice, human dignity, moral values, equal opportunity, and shared prosperity. Agree or disagree, until we courageously and honestly admit that we have to do something meaningfully effective in this regard ( freedom and justice), there is no any reason not see the glorious history of political independence and being proud of one of the sources of ancient civilization will continue badly compromised. Needless to say, it is this generation’s responsibility to resolve this and all other vicious cycles of paradox. History is a root which serves as the source of knowledge where we came from and how we came about, of which in its turn greatly helps to know where we are now and where we want to go, and how we should go about it. Put simply, each generation has its own history to make and its own fate to determine. The very challenging test for this generation is essentially to bring about the political and socio-economic system it truly deserves through a struggle that could require paying all the necessary sacrifices.

Advancing Deadly Bestlike Self-Interest in the Name of Development

There is no doubt that those individuals either in Ethiopia or in the Diaspora who do fall in love with the political system that perpetuate itself by any means including its killing machine are victims of a beastlike mentality of “be part of the plunder whenever your father’s or mother’s house is being plundered regardless of any moral value or real sense of conscience.”

Although the level of scope and intensity differs from one period of history and place to the other, the history of politics in general and the political history of our country in particular have never been and would never be free from the struggle between those who do devote themselves to freedom, just and human dignity on one side; and those who do stand against these and other precious values because of their beastlike self-inserts to be fulfilled on the other side. Yes, it is a very sad reality of yesterday and today to see those individuals and groupings selling themselves to any regime that has taken political power regardless of the very question of just or unjust, law of civility or law of savagery, moral or immoral, innocence or guilt, humane or inhumane. Nowadays, we are witnessing the involvement of those victims of senselessly voracious self –interests extremely getting worse than ever as far as the scope and intensity of ethnic –based political suppression and socio-economic cronyism are concerned. It is self-evidently clear that those notoriously monstrous enemies of freedom and justice such as the ruling elites of TPLF/EPRDF are still able to cheaply buy individuals or groupings who are hungry of fulfilling their beastlike self-interests and become carriers of the deadly political virus. It goes without saying that those vectors of a deadly political virus are being bought at the very expenses of the very lives of millions of innocent Ethiopians.

To be straight-forwardly clear, the annual diaspora “festival” which took place in Addis at the national level from August 12-14, 2015 was nothing but the event at which the called diaspora investors would dance with those ethno-centric tyrannical ruling elites for the sake of getting their voraciously beastlike self-interests fulfilled. Simply put, this festival was nothing but a stage at which those Diasporas expressed their thankfulness with their “fantastic” tail-wagging dances to those ruling elites of TPLF/EPRDF for their “generous offer”. It is also true that this was an event at which the inner circle of the ruling elite extended their “great rewards” in appreciation of the unconditional sympathy and support demonstrated by those Diasporas for the perpetuation of ethic –based political suppression and economic plunder. What we as genuinely concerned Ethiopians should be worried is that this evil-driven partnership between the tyrannical ruling circle and those Diasporas whose very common human senses are blinded by beastlike self –interest hunger will go out of control and entail devastating consequence if it is not meaningfully diminished if not stopped right now, not tomorrow. Yes, this incredibly evil-driven festival at which exchange of promises between the ethno-centric tyranny and those dangerously self-centered Diasporas to keep advancing their mutual interests by employing any means including the political killing machine must not only be aborted but it should also be radically rotted- out in such a way that its deadly infectious behavior should not be transmitted to the political system the people of Ethiopia are desperately aspiring and decisively fighting for.

As a matter of fact, the very majority of those who travel to Ethiopia every year, get-together and perform their tail- wagging dances are dangerously parasitic members or cadres of TPLF/EPRDF in the Diaspora. But it is also true that the rest of those who dance every year with the brutal ruling elites and their cadres in the diaspora are victims of their own wild or beastlike self-interests. It is terribly stupid for them to fool the people that they have to dance with the ruling elites and the deadly parasitic cadres in the diaspora because they are interested in investment and helping the “miraculous development”, not in politics as such. Alas! How partnering and dancing with a regime that has no any regard to the very critical factor/master of development (human being) could be a justifiable excuse whatsoever? Are those “investors and developers” telling us that innocent journalists, human rights activists, peacefully dissent members and supporters of opposition parties, activists of religious freedom, and those who are forced by the ruthless ruling elites to wage both civil disobedience and armed means of struggle deserve inhuman treatment because TPLF is showing some sort of investment here and there ? By implication, are those Diasporas telling us that they do not mind who is being victim of a deadly political game and who is carrying out the politically motivated killings as far as their beastlike self-interests are fulfilled? Is this not a very disturbing insult to the innocent people of Ethiopia who are experiencing unprecedented socio-economic destitution as the result of horrible political agenda and practice? Is it not so idiotic for those ruling elites and their cronies in the diaspora to continue their trash propaganda of investment and development where-as the people cannot afford to put something to eat in the hands of their starving children and families leave alone satisfying all other basic necessities?

We constantly hear a very nonsensical argument even from those who claim themselves apolitical intellectuals (I do not really know if it is intellectuality in the real sense e of the tem) that it is wrong either to criticize or blame those Diasporas because they are positive factors of “developmental state” or “developmental ruling elites.” This is really to be much more idiotic than those Diasporas who keep dancing in the glory of an evil- driven political agenda and practice to get the blessing from the inner circle of TPLF/EPRDF to become beneficiaries of chronic cronyism and corruption. Does an argument about helping the people to develop in this kind of horrible environment make any sensible sense? How an “investor or developer” who sympathizes and supports an ethno-centric regime that maintains its power by all ruthless means including its killing machine can be said a partner for advancing the betterment of people’s lives? I strongly argue this is absolutely nonsensical.

It is an ABC of political economy that it is strongly desirable to provide any investor or developer with any opportunity of taking part in any appropriate aspect of socio-economic activity leave alone to those Ethiopians either by citizenship or by birth. That is not what the reality in Ethiopia is if we are not stupidly shrewd and cynical enough. Do those Diasporas have any convincingly justifiable answer if we ask them: why they do choose to stay being allies of a tyrannical and extremely corrupt political system instead of allying themselves with the struggle that is aimed at establishing a system in which all citizens could live with freedom, equal opportunity and shared prosperity? I do understand that they may keep repeating the same nonsensical argument – “we have nothing to do with politics but development.” I once again reiterate that this is absolutely nonsense if not terribly wicked. How any person at least with a real sense of morality can justify the argument about development while he or she sympathizes and supports the state machinery that perpetuate itself by intimidating, harassing, dehumanizing, terrorizing, arbitrarily jailing, torturing, and most disturbingly by killing a human being that has been created to act upon all other naturals resources and to enjoy the fruits of its labor? It must be underscored that even in a kind of benevolent dictatorship (fill up your bellies like any other animal but do not touch my political power) is vulnerable to unrest and rejection leave alone a very extreme case of ours because human beings are not dogs or other animals which are submissive to their masters as long as they are well-fed and well-sheltered. And that is how the very ugly propaganda of showing buildings, roads, dams, selected green sites of agricultural fields , the good for nothing buildings of higher education institutions ,etc. should be exposed and replaced with genuine way of doing things.

Let me sum up by saying that we are at a very critical moment of registering historic victory of freedom that could be achieved only through the victory of heroic devotion over beastlike ambition for voracious self-interest. I am reasonably optimistic that things would change for the better and all the horrible experiences the people of Ethiopia have gone through for so long will be things of the past.