Al Mariam caught with his pants down


By Shashu Habtu – March 9, 2010

A restless hyena bites into a horn .  “Ye jib chekule kende yinekis” is the Amharic translation.  Al Mariam with his usual contemptuous article wanted to be the first to tell us “I told you so” taking Martin Plaut’s unfounded report regarding the alleged “laundering” of the money donated for famine victims in Tigrai. 

Yes, Al Mariam deserves to be acknowledged as a good writer but having a good command of the English language doesn’t necessarily translate as Al having a good command of sound reasoning. 

Why is Al Mariam so hateful and only complains ad nauseam.  Could he be in his first stage of rebellion since he skipped his teenage rebellion years?  I know Al Mariam personally; however, I never knew the hate he was filled with.  This is not an expression of love towards one’s country and people.  This is a reflection of some unexpressed anger which Al Mariam wants us to believe that it emanates from a great concern for his people.   Give me a break. 

According to Al’s reasoning Mengistu’s era was better if it had not been for the TPLF.  No wonder, that this has been harbored for so many years, I get it, Al is venting out.  His silence when we were marching in the streets of New York and Washington DC exposing the horrors that the Derg was committing against our people was actually due to his allegiance to the Derg.  Where was Al when genuine Ethiopians were raising fund and standing on the side of the Ethiopian people to expose the terror in Ethiopia?  If he is guilt ridden because he didn’t participate in raising fund and helping the famine victims in 1984/85, if he has nightmares for not having uttered a word or protested when many of our Ethiopian youth were dying in the red terror, if he never marched to expose Mengistu’s dark era, if he never condemned the Derg for the plight of Ethiopian immigrants due to suppression of freedom then Al Mariam only has to blame himself.  Those of us that were standing for justice and the great cause of our people toiled day and night to expose and organize ourselves to be part and parcel of the struggle of our great people.  It is an insult to our intelligence when Al Mariam runs off with unsubstantiated report and aligns himself with some bigot reporter that sees no humanitarian act in the hearts of Africans. 

It is a shame for Al to call himself a professional when he is blinded by his subjective hatred and doesn’t even stop to question the facts.  This kind of behavior only originates from hate towards himself and no other person or entity.  What Al writes and projects is simply stories to justify his guilt for not having contributed an iota towards the progress of Ethiopia.  I would like to advise Al to go visit Ethiopia and maybe learn.  Sitting here in the US and simply complaining will not help or assist our people.  Get up and do something.  Be a result oriented person.  Victimhood is not what ousted and dismantled the Derg regime but the sweat and blood of Ethiopians from every nationality.  Today too, it is the sweat and blood of Ethiopians of different nationality that is moving and putting Ethiopia in a different map.  I am proud to stand for the cause of the many heroes that made today’s Ethiopia possible.  Until my last breath I will without fail serve my people and continue the process that many of my Ethiopian compatriots died for.  What Ethiopia has achieved today will not be destroyed.  Ethiopians will praise what has been gained and achieved and will create and continue to create a country that every Ethiopian nationality will benefit from.  

There is a great saying “Life is not about reaction, life is about creation”.  Al Mariam’s continuous articles only focus on being a victim.  Victim mentality has never transformed anything.  A person with creativity brings forth what never existed before.  That is what we are seeing in every region of the country.

Victim oriented thinking paralyzes and makes one have tunnel vision.  It is time the creative and the empowered continue with the development.  It is time that we break the cycle of victimhood and join the ranks of empowered individuals that don’t repeat history but make history.  History is in the making in the land of our forefathers and foremothers in our diverse Ethiopia.  It is high time that we create the language, the dance, the song that tells the world that the country that was once the cradle of civilization is going to astound humanity.   Through the labor of its own people it is moving towards creating a better Ethiopia, an Ethiopia where every nationality is seen as a contributing force solidifying the unity of the country.

Al has declared war on all fronts.   He makes it seem as if the West was developed with no ups and downs.  It is time for educated Ethiopians to go and serve Ethiopia and help build institutions that will serve the people for generations to come.  It is high time that the victim oriented individuals wake up and make history instead of quoting Gandhi and Mandela.  Change agents walk the talk and stand on the side of the people to make history.  Ethiopia is not hungry for armed chaired revolutionaries. Our people and our country are in need of genuine dedicated, principled, courageous and unstoppable Ethiopians.  Those that want to wallow with fear oriented victimhood will have to do their soul searching and inquire within.  The answer lies within and no finger pointing is going to make a difference in the lives of our people.  Hard and smart work is the norm of the day in Ethiopia today.   The historic and hard earned gain that has situated Ethiopia to elevate itself is appreciated by the majority of Ethiopians. 

The process has started. The question is “Is one ready to propel or curtail the process”?    Al seems to have made a choice to frantically scribble without validating and blindly accepting politically motivated lies.  I suggest that Al first visit his country and be current with where his country is.  Then I encourage him to humbly accept his shallow knowledge of where Ethiopia is today.  I recommend he learn to accept the fact that he doesn’t know and be open to learn. 

Whatever choice Al makes it really does not matter.  However, those of us that have stood and still stand on the side of our people will not be silent when some lunacy is being expressed in the name of our people.  I suggest he read the “Independent”.  There is an article by Paul Vallely where Bob Geldof is “calling for the director of the BBC World Service, Peter Horrocks – who is also the BBC's director of global news – to be sacked”  and for Martin Plaut including another reporter to be fired from the BBC.  Now Al Mariam really got caught with his pants down.  Just yesterday he was applauding, little did he know that for every false action there is an equal and opposite certifiable reaction.   Haste leads to waste and hate.  My advice to Al is “Don’t hate because hate will be a source of unhappiness to you and will ultimately hurt no one but yourself.”