OPPOSITIONS’ AND SUPPORTERS’ ENDLESS SMEAR CAMPAIGNS

PART 17

By Mathza 

 

Most of the oppositions’ leadership and their handful supporters, particularly the minuscule vociferous Diaspora, and some individuals obsessed with lust for power and hatred against Prime Minister Meles Zenawi have been and are doing anything to get rid of him, the TPLF and the EPRDF. They are intimidated and demoralized by his intelligence, capability, competence and the respect he commands in the international community. Their hatred is limitless. In their obsession and desperation to snatch power, they have crossed the line of treason by compromising and endangering the sovereignty, security, territorial integrity and national interests of Ethiopia. The following are examples supporting this statement:

 

·         They condemn Ethiopia’s defense against jihadists;

 

·         They praise, congratulate, defend, encourage and support—instead of denouncing—the atrocities committed by separatists and jihadists;

 

·         They condemn Ethiopia’s reaction to such atrocities;

 

·         They collaborate and scheme with the Eritrean government which has been and is trying hard to destabilize and disintegrate Ethiopia;

 

·         They belittle EPRDF's sound government policies and strategies, which have proved successful;

 

·         They deny and ridicule the double-digit economic growth, a remarkable progress and performance in socio-economic development in the last five years; and

 

·         They unashamedly accuse the Prime Minister of being a stooge of developed countries because of, among others, his success to mobilize foreign assistance (For example: by not giving in to pressure from such countries to allow foreign banks to operate in Ethiopia he not only shielded the development of local banks but also saved the country from the devastating impact of the current global financial crisis).

In short, these hate-mongers and anti-Ethiopia elements do not care at all about Ethiopia and Ethiopians. Their only desire is to be in power by any means—in the driver’s seat—without any concern on how that might impact Ethiopia and its people, enie kemotku serdo aybqel.

One of their tactics is a negative smear campaign portraying the country's image and, in particular, it’s dedicated Prime Minister with all kinds of monstrous adjectives and pictures. Among the methods used include politicizing everything, outrageous allegations, lies, exaggerations, wild generalizations, spinning, misinterpretation and spreading rumors. Practically all of the writings of these-diehards are replete of despicable descriptions and character assassinations, all intended purely to bring down the government. This writing ferrets out examples of statements that do not make any sense, are illogical, are concocted, or are not supported by facts—purely intended to misinform and mislead readers, particularly the Diaspora silent majority. It is a modest attempt to expose those bigots who have been hoodwinking and continue to hoodwink the Ethiopians and the international community. (In the future, there will be a series of matrixes like the one below, each proceeded by the current two paragraphs). 

 

 

Title/Source/Date

Author’s Statement

My Comments

1. Ethiopia - The sick betrayal of a grouchy-old-man Hailu Shawel, by teferi_7@hotmail.com, nazret.com, 11/02/09

Meles Zenawi, known to be the most brutal and traitor in Africa who has slaughtered over 6 million of his own citizens and threw many thousands into Nazi-style prisons and still terrorizing the entire tolerant nation?…

 

 

 

 

The writer is extremely furious at Eng. Hailu’s signing the Ethiopian Electoral Code of Conduct and implementation guidelines as well as the joint council to handle problems related to election disputes. In his 6 page write up he rambles on and on denouncing and accusing Hailu of treason and all kinds of wrongdoings. He rants about and attacks him left and right using uncivilized and vindictive words and expressions. He calls him as well as Lidetu and Ayele opportunists and traitors.

 

Apparently, the writer appears to be one of those cyber Diaspora warmongers who wish to see the country in turmoil and the people suffering and in the process usurp power. Mind you, they and their families are in safe heavens thousands of miles away from the carnage they want to unleash on the people of Ethiopia. Any sane person with good intentions for Ethiopia should welcome the new development: a culture of democracy and political tolerance that entails understanding, trust, respect, dialogue, consultation and negotiation which were absent among the parties, particularly the oppositions. What the four parties did is what the country badly needs: devising means of ensuring free and fair national and regional elections. Their civilized action is an essential input to peace, democratization and development. These are among the critical preconditions for wiping out hatred and suspicion, improving the pathetic standard of living of the people and eradicating backwardness and hunger from the face of the country.

 

2. Keep your eyes on the prize by yilma bekele, ethiopianreview.com, November 4th, 2009

 

The last few years have shown the ‘Diaspora’ to be an agent of positive change in the affairs of our homeland. So much has been accomplished in such a short time.

 

…Democracy, Rule of Law and respect for Human Right’ are still the main demands today…

 

 

 

The same write up was posted on ethiomedia.com under the title “Hailu Shawel: The ultimate betrayal.” The reason or purpose is anybody’s guess.

 

An agent of positive change—really!!!  The writer does not say a word of the Diaspora’s accomplishments in the so-called positive change. On the contrary, the Diaspora has been a disruptive element since day one, i.e. since the EPRDF took power. With all its endless demonstrations, pleading to governments and international organizations to deprive Ethiopia of aids badly needed to improve the lot of poor and suffering Ethiopians, its war mongering, etc. it has not achieved any laudable accomplishments. If in his own words “Democracy, Rule of Law and respect for Human Right’ are still the main demands today” where is the positive change that he claims the Diaspora brought about? Isn’t he contradicting himself? 

 

3. Ethiopia to develop biofuels to cut oil imports

By Tsegaye Tadesse, ethiomedia.com,

November 5, 2009

 

Editor's note - The following report sounds OK on the surface. But it is a field littered with landmines. Ethanol is produced from grains and sugar crops while vegetable oils are squeezed to produce biodiesel. The report says what is being allocated in Ethiopia is an arid land. But common sense tells us grains, sugar crops and vegetable oils don't grow on arid lands. Are we missing something here?

It seems that the writer has purposely lumped two kinds of biofuel sources and told us “grains, sugar crops and vegetable oils don't grow on arid lands.” This is true and relates to group I. Group II which includes jatropha and castor oil, particularly the first, can and are grown on marginal lands not suitable for those in group I. The lands being offered and/or negotiated are in the sparsely populated low lands. Therefore it is evident that the two groups do not compete for arable land. The good news is that 15 of the 68 investing in jatropha have started production and one of them is set to start refining its oil into biodiesel in 2-3 years.

Note that the government has no intention to produce ethanol from grain and sugar. The ethanol being produced and planned to be produced is from molasses, a byproduct of the sugar industry. In other words, there is no plan to produce ethanol from sugar itself and therefore no sugar plantations and mills for this purpose.

 

4. Washington Update November 5, 2009, by Mesfin Mekonen, ethiolion.com, 11/06/09

Our goals should include: …To establish a national Health Service for all Ethiopians…

 

The writer’s support for negotiations following the four parties’ agreement on the Electoral Code of Conduct is welcome.

 

He has listed a number of goals (apparently AEUP’s goals), one of which is “To establish a national Health Service for all Ethiopians…” Isn’t he advocating for something fait accompli? The health service coverage is over 89%. According to Dr.Tewodros Adhanom, the Minister of Health, the number of health stations rose from 600 to 1,800 and is expected to increase to 3,200 in about a year. The number of health workers stands at 30,000, two for each kebele. The centers manned by trained staff are scattered throughout the country and are within reach of the inhabitants. So what is the goal of the writer and his party? They need to spell it out if it is any different from that of EPRDF.

 

Oppositions and supporters continue to tell us this and that should be or should not be done. They are practically saying nothing new. They are trying to impress us by supposedly introducing “original” ideas which the government has already implemented and continues to plan and implement.

 

5. Ethiopia may not reach anti-poverty goals Posted in November 7th, 2009 by Editor in Current News, AbbayMedia.com

 

Migiro [U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro] said Ethiopia’s 2009 economic growth is expected to be just 1.7 percent.

 

 

 

As pointed out by nazret.com the statement in the middle column is wrong. The following is what one reads in the opening speech by the U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro at the opening of the Regional Coordination Mechanism Meeting, Economic Commission for Africa:

“Africa’s growth is projected to fall from an average of over 5 percent in recent years to a paltry 1.7 percent increase in 2009.”

In other words, the latter figure is for Africa, not for Ethiopia. Knowingly or unknowingly UPI stated or implied that the figure was for Ethiopia. Groups and opposition supporters who deny the validity of statistical figures on Ethiopia cited by international organizations would unhesitatingly accept it if it serves their objective. The writer deliberately did this in order to misinform readers and score a political point. He unashamedly titled his writing “Ethiopia may not reach anti-poverty goals” with a view to make readers understand that this was the title of the original article. 

 

6. J'Accuse!, By Alemayehu G. Mariam, ethiomedia.com, November 9th, 2009

 

 

 

Reuters’ Barry Malone: “Most Western governments want Meles to continue because there is no alternative in the opposition…”

 

…For the past two decades, Western governments have been confounded, hoodwinked, bambozzled, bluffed, duped, manipulated, seduced, beguiled, flim-flammed and sandbagged by a master of deception into believing that there is “no alternative in the opposition”.

 

…Those genuinely in the opposition must accept responsibility for their inability to come together and articulate a vision for the country…

 

The writer is as usual fuming, this time because of Reuters’ Barry Malone’s statement in the middle column. That there is “no alternative opposition” is a fact. What are the Western governments supposed to do to confirm this fact?

 

Generally, Ethiopian parties are groupings of disgruntled elements. Some of them are organized and lead by former regimes’ officials with vested interest in maintaining the status quo of the archaic system of governance. They and others have grudges against the EPRDF, especially the TPLF, for depriving them power and all the fringe benefits that came with it during past regimes.

 

Most opposition parties have, by their own admissions, statements, declarations, pronouncements, speeches and actions, shown they are not capable and trusted; they are ill organized and undemocratic; and have no notion of what it takes to administer a complex society such as Ethiopia. The writer has, by his admission, confirmed this. He also unintentionally admitted the success of the Prime Minister who, he claims, confounded, hoodwinked, bamboozled, bluffed, duped, manipulated, seduced, beguiled, flimflammed and sandbagged the Western governments. In other words, he is telling us the Western governments are fools—of course not. The Western countries are simply convinced that he is on the right track and doing well. They have been rewarding the country for his job well done.

 

7. Ethiopia opposition says food aid kept from members, ethiolion.com, Wed Nov 11, 2009

 

"The government is trying to control what parties people join," Medrek's Gebru said. "Food aid should not be used as a political weapon."

 

"Our members can't get on the food-for-work scheme," Gebru Asrat, spokesman for the opposition coalition Medrek, told Reuters. "Only ruling party members can now join the programme, so it forces desperate people to leave the opposition."

 

 

 

 

 

Did Ato Gebru Asrat speak on behalf of all opposition parties? It does not look like it.

 

Government interference in the freedom of people to be members of parties of their choices is one among many accusations hurled at the government by some oppositions. It might, at most, be based on few incidents by low-level officials in the countryside. Time and again it has been proven that most of the complaints are hyped or did not happen. The same applies to complaints regarding jailed opposition party members most of whom were detained for violating the law, including criminal activities.

 

As to denying food aid to the people this cannot be true. First, it is immoral and inhumane to deprive a person of food. Secondly, one cannot expect EPRDF members who know what hunger means to deprive the    people of their most basic need. Thirdly, the government is not a fool to arm the opposition with such deadly weapon against it. Whether the oppositions admit it or not, the EPRDF government is a resolute and dedicated government guided by very clear principles aimed at improving the well being of the people. One would ask why such a government took the initiative for formulating the electoral code of conduct and its implementing strategy if it had, as alleged by Medrek, been using food aid as a political weapon? It should be noted here that at the grassroots level it is the community that decides who should be covered by the food-for-work program, not the government.

 

8. The West Oppresses Ethiopia Through Zenawi Support
By Alemayehu G. Mariam, nazret.com,
12 November 2009

 

'No alternative in the opposition,' they [Western governments] whispered anonymously. What a disgusting phrase to use in justifying support for a ruthless dictatorship.

What a disgusting objection to Western governments’ admittance to the absence of alternative opposition to EPRDF. Why is the writer so furious about them stating a fact? The Western governments know the opposition parties are mainly vindictive feudal and Derg remnants and former members and supporters of EPRP and Meison who got together to wrest power and take the country back to the former centralized authoritarian governance. Some of them long for the good old days; most of them are power-mongers; most of them lack the inkling of democracy; most of them are groups of relatives and friends who do not necessarily confess the same ideologies. The Western governments have observed the many unsuccessful permutations and combinations that the parties went through to create united fronts. There is no alternative—nil. There is also no alternative to the Prime Minister leading the country if the country is to peacefully continue and accelerate sustainable development and improve the standard of living of the people. At present, none of the oppositions are viable.

 

Readers who looked at the picture attentively may have noticed the absence of the Prime Minister. The picture is captioned “Meles Zenawi a[t] G20 Summit in London.” It appears the writer purposely cut him out. At the right side of the picture the right shoulder visible is likely that of the Prime Minister. What a cheap act! This is an indication of why the Western countries admit there is no alternative.   

9. Why Hailu Shawel chose a shameful defeat By Captain Woldemikael Dagnachew, ethiopianreview.com, November 15th, 2009

 

 

…human rights are systematically violated, resulting in the disappearance and death of over 6,000,000 Ethiopians since TPLF seized power without being elected by the people & for the people of Ethiopia…      

 

…This time, it is do or die time for the opposition. TPLF’s drama must end or be stopped with blood and sweat if at all necessary…

 

6,000,000 Ethiopians dead and disappeared! This is nothing but “bere wolede.” Was the writer thinking of the six million Jews killed by the Nazis during World War II and concluded they were Ethiopians? By this count the whole Ethiopian population would have been wiped out during the Derg era as the actual number of people killed during the current government is miniscule in comparison to those during the Derg era.

 

The above figure was cited by another writer (see item 1 above: Ethiopia - The sick betrayal of a grouchy-old-man Hailu Shawel, by teferi_7@hotmail.com, nazret.com, 11/02/09). I ignored it as something not worth commenting upon because it is a pure fabrication. Now I see the usual tactic of echoing the same false information (“over 6 million”) with the mistaken thinking and hope that it will eventually stick as factual information. If citing such an incredible figure does anything at all it will end up discrediting the writers. 

 

10. WORLD LEADERS MEET FOR GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE TO INSTIL SHOCK WAVE AND FEAR THROUGH PEOPLE’S BLOOD VEINS AND MILK CITIZENS’ HARD-EARNED MONIES THROUGH VARIOUS TAXES, by Capt. Woldemikael Dagnachew, nazret.com,
7 December 2009

 

…the evidence [for “Global Warming”] is at best circumstantial… The earth has warmed and cooled many times in the past, this is a continual cycle, but what governments are attempting is to alter nature just to feed their greedy pockets and all at our expenses…

 

…I shall be glad when this baseless obsession with the mythical hot air affect finally becomes just another one of history's great follies, which this generation can rightfully laugh at us for taking so seriously…

 

… unproven theories of human-caused global warming…

…. Climate Change has always happened and mankind has adapted to either hot or cold changes…

… The hoax of global warming has captured the attention of the gullible news media, which now serve as minions to the hucksters. Global warming controls will not save the planet and provide a better future for the children…

This new and big Ethiopian dam [Gilgel Gibe]…It would be a disaster in this climate change period…is fatally flawed…

Apparently, the writer is of the school of thought, a minority, who deny that there is global warming. Based on his repetitive and forceful assertion of the myth and hoax of global warming, it seems that he is more Catholic than the Pope. He ridicules the majority who do believe in the danger of global warming. These include world leaders and governments, national and international institutions, scientists and demonstrators demanding tough measures currently converged in Copenhagen, Denmark, to support and/or participate in adopting solutions and strategies to the destructive climate change threatening our earth.

 

He tells us that what is happening is the continuity of the warming and cooling cycle of the earth. May be, but there is one crucial difference. In all those past cycles the current destructive action of man— fossil fuel-based power plants, factories, mining, transport and shipping, massive deforestation, intensive cultivation, incredible population density, etc.—was not there. It was purely a natural phenomenon, with practically zero man-made emission levels compared to the present. The following quote from A Brief History of Ice Ages and Warming says it all:

“Approximately every 100,000 years Earth's climate warms up temporarily. These warm periods, called interglacial periods, appear to last approximately 15,000 to 20,000 years before regressing back to a cold ice age climate. At year 18,000 and counting our current interglacial vacation from the Ice Age is much nearer its end than its beginning.”                          The last sentence contradicts the writer’s and his school of thought’s theory. The earth’s temperature is increasing fast instead of cooling.

 

The writer, like some of his likes and foreign advocates with ill intentions towards Ethiopia, objects to the building of dams and generating electricity in Ethiopia. In his own words, building the Gilgel Gibe dam “It would be a disaster in this climate change period.” I am not sure what he meant by this. Anyway, the natural phenomenon that he said was what was happening is an evolutionary process and its effect should not be felt for countless generations to come.

 

 

PART 16: Click here to read Part 16