At last, Wufer Tebeges sounded loud! The path is clear now. What the Tigrean people have been waiting for has manifested. Tigreans are not strangers to humiliation. The ostracization, the imprisonment, the torture, the killing, and the bombing: they been through it all! It suffices to read, the outsider yet the preeminent geopolitical thinker, Kaplan’s book: Surrender or Starve! There’s also Fire from the Ashes”, John Young’s, Paul Henze’s books, etc. etc. Above all, the Tigrigna fiction (?) Minkuhquah Zeiterfo Geza tells it all.
Tigreans been through it all! The Tigrean oracle resembles the marathon athlete. The long-distance runner starts with his crew. She seems as vulnerable as everyone in the crew. She seems vulnerable because how much every competitor trained for this moment is never disclosed. Tigrai has prepared for this moment 27 years ago, i.e., ever since Meles said: “Ti’ kunetatmistefetre...” back in 1991. They knew about entropy (everything goes from order to disorder) before they every became literate (leave alone master thermodynamics). That is why Tigreans always remain humble. They make no presumptions for they’ve deciphered the abstract law of nature embedded deep. The ordinary peasant asks: “Who would believe me if I told them I defeated the best equipped, best trained, best populated force in black Africa?” and concludes “No one!” So, he stays humble because he/she respects the fallen: reverence to the price paid.
The concern was lest the current Tigrean generation inherited the Spartan zeal of its adroit uncles. This is no longer a concern for Tigreans today. The vain and conceited have fracked this potential without involving the TPLF. Without meaning to do it, the vain and the boisterous, drilled Tigrean fuel using their open declaration of genocide (ESAT), fabricated documentaries (PP media), betrayal (PP leaders), and targeted imprisonment (PM’s initiative).
Today, every single Tigrean is aware of the magnitude of the conspiracy. The local conspirators aren’t just plotting against developmental state. Developmental state has, understandably, many ideological rivals across the globe. Nor are they singularly bent towards dismantling federalism. Federalism has supporters all over Ethiopia. The local conspirators aren’t just against TPLF. TPLF has few detractors within Tigrai. These people are, as Temrat Negera and Haileyesus whatever put it: against Tigrigna. Not Tigrai, but Tigrigna speakers as such. They seek to subdue every Tigrigna speak that Afework Gebreyesus battered in his Atse Menilik book 100 years ago.
I think the Oromo and Eritrean personality cults are focused on their qualm against TPLF. They know, from experience, that TPLF is a force to be reckoned with. They know they can’t subdue it through ideas. TPLF is the first to notice and declare the fact of diversity and nothing can’t be done about it. So, they wish to restore their lost honor by claiming TPLF’s head. Well, TPLF has learned from Yohannes IV. There’s no one head to take but millions to reckon with.
These personality cults are so obsessed with TPLF’s death that they are willing to coalesce with the devil. The Eritrean dictator coalescing with the force that wants to retake Massawa (watch Tamerat Negara thanking Isaias for retarding Eritrea). The aspiring Oromo personality cult (we know who it is) is trying to take the federalist lane that PM has abandoned lest the TPLF jumps in. It seems all Oromo politicians want is power by any means. There is no Amhara force that pursues federalism. There is no Tigrean force that pursues assimilationism. But there are Oromo forces (except few conscious scholars/activists) that pursue both. And, they congratulate each other for winning external accolades (like the unearned Nobel Peace Prize, for example). Well, all past dictators, whether monarchies or military rulers, wanted was power. And the pursuit of naked power is a toxic addiction that leads to humiliation and rehab.
Regardless, all the so called Oromo leaders (except few scholars/activists) want is amaze coalition. They still behave like a minority who, in actuality, is a majority. They form a coalition with Amhara even when they abhor Menilik and his neftegna army. They pose as federalist forces even what they really want is independence. I think this force has a huge “confidence issue” it needs to work out. TPLF may be anything- but it never lacked confidence. Over 90 percent of the army that buried the Derg came from Tigrai. TPLF never relied on anybody except its true constituency. This is not, I think, because the Tigrean people are made of gold. Tigreans are human beings too. In my view, the TPLF trusts in the Tigrean people as an end in itself. It is not to defeat this or that force. TPLF trusts in the Tigrean people because it is true to its nature. Its not because Tigreans are better citizens or better warriors. It is because TPLF is genuinely made in Tigrai.
TPLF doesn’thope to dance in victory; it looks to die for the right cause. As much as its detractors fail to believe it, TPLF looks forward to dying when the true Bourgeosie takes over. This is what Aristotle called virtue in his Nocomethian Ethics. While describing virtue as honor, Aristotle said: “there are conditions where life’s not worth having!” Plato talked about Aristotle’s predecessor: Socrates. As stated in Plato’s Apology, Socrates chose to dring hemlock. His disciples arranged for him to escape before his fated execution. But Socrates told them a 73 years old guy has nothing left but “honor”. I’m not talking about age here. Jesus Christ knew who would betray him ahead of time. Ghandi, Che Geuvara and P. Lumumba knew what faced them.But all (including Amora and Keshi Gebru) were smart enough to know the fact that existentialists coined, namely: life was ephemeral!
All that matters, for TPLF, is making life meaningful. This is what makes TPLF an outlier. TPLF doesn’t sacrifice principles for comfortable longevity. For TPLF, commitment to justice is not a means to an end. It is an end per se. I think, it is this resolute commitment to justice as fairness (per Rawls) that makes TPLF the indisputable leader of the Tigrean masses. There’s a popular song titled: “wureseni Tegadalai iluka’lo…h’zbi Tigrai”. I also think it is this responsibility to millions that made TPLF’s victory an imperative and not a choice. An organization delegated to look after the lives of millions can’t afford defeat but victory.
I think TPLF’s “success” recipe has two ingredients. The first is a strong commitment to justice as fairness. The second recipe is the legitimacy it inherited from the Tigrean masses. The first ingredient forces TPLF to stand for the oppressed-hence, the “prime” reason for supporting ethnic/religious peripheries. The second ingredient obliges it to emerge victorious.
TPLF doesn’t subscribe to Benthamite’s view of justice as utilitarianism. It doesn’t see happiness as gifted for the majority. Instead, the TPLF sees justice (I think) for the down and out. It wears Rawl’s veil of ignorance to ask: “what if I was born among the least disadvantaged?”. Had TPLF pursued the dominant (majority) script; it would have shined more than the vain, the boisterous, and the pretentious.
After all, Tigrai is the origin of the Ethiopian “civilization (history, literature, etc.), Solomonic dynasty (imperial claim) and religion (Islam and Christianity”. Even the so-called access to sea was actually secured by Yohannes IV. Menilik abandoned it. Tigrai would have shined better among the fake had TPLF wanted to substitute the fake assimilationist fairy tale over the true federalism that reflected Ethiopia, it would have had a better narrative among within the vain and boisterous club. Everyone knows who has the longest history in Ethiopia. That’s is, in my view, why many within the vain and boisterous camp used to say: “Meles is a genius only he didn’t invest his energy to the assimilationist idea (claim Assab, worship Menilik, deny ethnic diversity, etc.)”.
There is hardly a party that can claim unlimited support from the people as the TPLF. That is why some called Tigreans factory products (B-29 soap in 2005). But TPLF rarely abused this support. And, when it did, it openly apologized to its masses. TPLF never undermined the great deal of trust it inherited from its constituency. That is why it never stops prevailing. If a parent would do anything to do whatever it takes to take care of her few children; to what lengths would an organization entrusted with the lives of millions go? I say, such organization would do whatever it takes to protect its constituency. An objective observer would concur the TPLF has never failed Tigrai. I say its because it never can!
In any event, the TPLF decision to stand for the truth against all odds is something Tigrean Thucydides’ will recount for time immemorial. But it is not going to be about why Athens fell; but why Tigrai prevailed. For Tigrai never had Helots to worry about! There’s a lot to learn from the Peloponnesian War that I don’t bother to elaborate here but it all boils down to fear, honor, and interest!