Sunday, February 12, 2012

Of Hyphenated Ethiopians and the Pathetic Defense of Criminals

የሚታየው የወያኔ ገበና ማህደር አዲሱ መጽሐፍ ለመግዛት $30.00 ዶላር ሲሆን ይድረስ ለጎጠኛው መምህር መጽሐፍ ደግሞ $25.00 ሓይካማ የሚለው የትግርኛ መጽሐፌ ደግሞ $15.00 ዶላር ብትልኩ መጽሐፎቹን ማግኘት ትችላላችሁ።

Getachew Reda P. O.Box 2219
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Of Hyphenated Ethiopians and the Pathetic Defense of Criminals

Tsige Amberbir
For all those who are crying vociferously in defense of the dictator Mengistu, a question must be asked. Where were they when thousands were being slaughtered? High time citizens start asking who was doing what when the battle for democracy and human rights was being waged. It is indeed very easy to be a champion of democracy and change today when most have become aware. Those who are pontificating today should be honest enough to look back and ask themselves why they never spoke up for the voiceless then. Why they did not join the fighters when they gave up their lives. Who was it who said the main engagement was not to clap for the gladiators but to be with them in the circle to face up to the lions.

Take a pinch of a pompous and hollow intellectual who is ashamed of his Ethiopian name,  add a blue uniformed and pistol strapped Isepa (WPE) cadre, add a dash of a foreigner who thinks he is more Ethiopian than the Ethiopians themselves, and who is more of a pedestrian chronicler than the anthropologist or historian he pretends to be, pour in a dilettante of the so called free press, mix with a pungent spice of a die hard Weyane who tried to mobilize people against the Amharas, served as a Weyane propagandist and is now a Shabiya (Eritrean) stooge and what do you get? A stinking pot pourri of inept people arisen to defend a mass murderer called Mengistu Haile Mariam.

As Gedamu Abraha wrote decades ago in the Ethiopian Observer, in a scathing criticism of the Donald Levine pretentious book called Wax and Gold, hyphenated Ethiopians are a sad mess. Ethio-Americans like Al Mariam, Americano self declared  Ethiopians like the pro Weyane (Meles) Donald Levine, Oromo-- Ethiopians like…….., Americo ----Ethiopians like …. In short, all hyphenated individuals who, as Gedamu wrote many many years ago, are neither this nor that and between a rock and a hard place and pretending to enjoy both. Donald Levine trying to chastise Ethiopians, and especially the EPRP, on being un-Ethiopian is a brazen example of what we Ethiopians say “when they told her she has some knowledge and capacity she washed the Bible (aweksh aweksh biluat  metshaf Kidus atebech)”. Donald Levine is supposed to be an expert on Ethiopia but as Gedamu  explained so precisely years ago Levine is but a scribbler, a superficial and shallow chronicler ( not a Historian at all). Levine supports Meles Zenawi. His knowledge of Ethiopia is as shallow as some fools who proclaimed recently that Amharas breathe differently. (The monsters! How come they breathe differently?) . Take Al Mariam, the pathetic fellow who praises the Western controlled ICC and thinks America is the savior of the world, came to politics, in his own word, in 2005 but is unashamedly preaching to all as the supreme expert on Ethiopian and world politics.  I heard this fellow talk publicly during the last Millennium conference in Washington and I had to go out to deal with my nausea! The man is a sham and if he has friends they should advise him to take time to learn more of his own country’s history instead of prattling about America and its supposed worthy mission to bring democracy to all mankind! The other professor who was the member of the ruling WPE/Isepa party of Mengistu and wore the blue uniform and packed a pistol (Makarov or Togarev?) is now preaching to all and sundry that the generation (his of course though he does not say it) made many mistakes and so on and on. The self proclaimed journalist who strived so hard to pit Oromos against Amharas and officially peddled the disgusting lies of the ruling Tigrean front , TPLF, through articles and books also raised his head to attack those who dared to call Mengistu a fascist. He even tried to recycle the old and exposed lie that accusse the EPRPAdd to this the president of the defunct free press association, an incapable man tainted with accusations of corruption and we observe the rats of the noxious Derg sewer screaming in defense of the main criminal and architect of the infamous RED TERROR. All these have coalesced to attack those whom they allege printed Mengistu’s dirty memoir in pdf and made it available to all for free.

Donald Levine is a wretched and pathetic example of the arrogant foreigner with enough contempt for the “natives” as to preach to them on who they should be and on how they should behave. A long time ago Levine imagined he knew the Amhara (a delusion shared by Meles, Sebhat Nega and other fools) and wrote a controversial book, ( fatally critiqued by Gedamu Abraha and many other worthy intellectuals we miss so much today), but given the assumption that one could have about his intellectual honesty he should not have attacked the EPRP without proof. Who told him that the EPRP ordered whoever they maybe to scan Mengistu’s rag of a book? Who informed him the Debteraw web site belongs to the EPRP? Elias Kifle has attacked Eyasu of the EPRP (his favorite target) but then again Elias is the fellow who chose Isayas Afewerki as Ethiopia’s Man of the Year and legitimate questions have been posed about his identity, loyalty and even sanity. Levine, on his part, has exposed himself for the fake “non partisan” that he is—he is just another Weyane “old agasses”, a little less self exposing than the late and unlamented Paul Henze. The EPRP should take him to court for libel. That he tries to preach to Ethiopians on what being an Ethiopian is only shows how much he has deluded himself into the morass of contempt for the “natives” that he considers all of us to be. The so called professor Al Mariam, or Alemayehu as he parents named him, is so silly as to make one weep. I think he blames his parents for not being American when they gave birth to him. This is the protagonist of “siltun politika”, the blind admirer of America, the very man who praised the ICC and hopes this body will bring sad omen to African dictators, the pretentious word spinner who writes on and on to say nothing, the man who vilified Ethiopian women as dead wood, the professor who denigrated those who fought for Ethiopia for so long as backward, etc. Professor Al Mariam should take time out to learn about Ethiopia and the struggle made for her sake instead of ululating for America and its stooges and servers of whom he has become part of. One wonders who gave this pathetic fellow a degree in the first place. For decades, Ethiopians have been fighting against dictators and the Meles regime did not take power in 2005 when the puffed up and vain fellow discovered politics and rushed to condemn those who had been fighting for decades. Professor Mesaye should have made a vow of silence like the Catholic priests. He is a Mengistu cadre of ill fame and no screaming on his part can cover up his filthy past. His present alleged concern for copy rights and the right to read is only a comedy of tragic proportions.  The advice to him is to repent or to close his mouth and withdraw from politics. His crimes of acquiescence need to be dealt with by the victims in the first place. Those who claim to defend the “human” rights of mass killers and dictators but have never been heard to raise a protest on the fate of their thousands of victims are criminals and ought to be brought before a court of law just like the tyrants.

Hyphenated people are neither here nor there. Confusion dominates. Are they Ethiopian or are they American? Are they American or Ethiopian? The hyphen is no solution but only a trait that highlights the dilemma. Problems of identity. Almariam or Alemayehu? Donald or Gidey or Getachew? Mesaye the Isepa or Mesaye the political virgin? TGA the Weyane or TGA the Oromo rights advocate? The hyphen is no solution but a mark of the confusion. At issue is nothing that has to do anything with the freedom of the press. Printing in pdf somebody’s book is at best a copy right issue and has nothing to do with the free press and the repression against it. And if copyright be the issue “bitsaye” TGA cannot utter a word as he had been publishing for the ruling front the short stories of the opposition in GOH without asking permission. His Weyane buddies had been violating the copyright laws for years and he had said nothing. One wonders why one so called representative of the free press distinguished by his profound silence for years has now suddenly woken up to join the chorus of the dubious elements crying against those who are accused of scanning and distributing for free the memoir of the very man responsible for the murder of hundreds of thousands. The motives of the Shabiya stooges are clear on the other hand. And yet Elias Wondimu is an honorable man and if he falsely and repeatedly alleges that the scanned book is posted in Finote Hibret site of the EPRP (such a site does not even exist) and claims Mengistu is not getting a cent from the book he should only be told that we know his trips to Harare did involve discussions over money and the contract to be signed. If Elias W. has helped the free press, those whom the fellow who still calls himself president of the defunct EFJA accuses as anti free press had done more for him and the EFJA, while he was in Addis Ababa, and he should have been wiser than prodding the wasp’s nest.

 Elias Wondimu is not the issue and those who argue like lawyers in three or four different tongues are very dishonest. “ Mengistu does not need the money, Mengistu is not paid any money, those who scanned hurt the publisher, those who scanned helped Mengistu by making his book available to more readers, the free press is attacked” and so on and so forth only highlight their lame defense of the despicable mass murderer called Mengistu. Shame on them all. If Mengistu is not benefitting then all the victims of the horrible Red Terror should try to bring Elias Wondimu to court. Has anyone heard or read from Al Mariam, Levine and Mesaye a condemnation of the crime against humanity by Mengistu ? Zilch, nada, zero, bado mechem keto. Has anyone heard from the self declared president of the EFJA any persistent comment castigating day in day out the Weyane attack against independent journalists? Has this pitiful fellow ever replied to the serious accusation that he did not account for the money contributed to the Ethiopian Free Journalists Association? Nope. Has Mesaye, the pistol packing top cadre of the Mengistu party, apologized for backing and serving the murderous regime? NEVER! Has the self declared journalist and writer, who served Meles before and is now serving Isayas, ever raised his voice against the crime of Mengistu, Meles or particularly Isayas in Eritrea whete TGA was residing for quite some time? Welehanti as they say in Asmara. And these are the “honorable men” now screaming against the EPRP for something that they cannot prove it had anything to do with! We are right to wonder who is behind all of these vermin. Shabiya? A foreign entity? Mengistu? Another organization ?

Levine attacks the EPRP leaders. They should take him to court on blasphemy and libel charges and I am sure they will get a more able lawyer than the mediocre Al Mariam . Levine is a Henze no 2 and no more, a pro Meles scribe of no importance sliding into political senility. A crude ferneji trying to tell Ethiopians what being an Ethiopian means.  Al Mariam is an empty vessel making too much noise—it is in the nature of the empty ones to make the most noise. Take time to learn modesty, know about Ethiopia and decide if you are Ethiopian or American is the best advice to be given to him. There is no shame in saying you are in reality and deep down in your soul not an an Alemayehu but an Al Mariam and an American. Mesaye the armed cadre of Mengistu and a hypocrite par excellence seems beyond salvage.  To come back to the main issue:

  • The whole issue of scanning and posting the junk book of Mengistu the butcher has  nothing to do with journalists and right of the free press  and those who screamed otherwise did so for their monthly dole;
  • It has nothing to do with anyone’s right to read anything including filth and junk;
  • It has nothing at all to do with Mengistu getting money or not and nothing to do with thorny issue of the “human “ rights of monsters like him, a right defended by Al Martiam and other riff raff ;
  • It has little to do with the publisher than to chastise him for trying to make money for and from the memoir of a mass killer and for writing a disastrous preface.

Just a reminder to Levine, Elias, Al Mariam and others like them:

  • Mengistu’s Red Terror killed more than 250,000 Ethiopians and it was a horrible and a generation wiping mass murder that none of the victims have forgotten;
  • Mengistu’s crime against the Ethiopian people continued till 1991;
  • Thousands of Ethiopians seek justice and closure;
  • None of his collaborators and hirelings can cover up the brutal crime of his regime;
  • Mengistu is no ordinary chronicler like Levine or the every Monday shouter called Al Mariam but a mass murderer who should be judged and punished;
  • As one daughter of an Ethiopian compatriot so aptly put it: the question is not does Mengistu has the right to write but has Mengistu the right to live?
  • As we Ethiopians say (Levine read and learn) “yalderserbet gilgil yawkal” (Levin, have your friends in Chicago translate it to you if they can).
  • Have Levine, Al Mariam, Mesaye and KM, to mention just a few, ever uttered a word of sympathy or protest for the thousands of victims of Mengistu and even for those disappeared and persecuted by Meles even in Tigrai?

    More can be said. If Elias Wondimu hoped to make “best seller money” from the murderer’s book he is to blame not only for his naivety but for his complicity with a mass murderer he visited more than once in Harare o talk money and contract. All the Derg scum who are screaming along with their white friends only tell us that the criminals are within us and we should engage in tidying up the camp of the people.

All the hue and cry proves that Mengistu is a mass killer and his accomplices are around pretending to be innocent and talking nonsense about human rights and copy rights and the right to be accomplices of fascists.  If they want the focus to be on them they are welcome and victims will rally to hound them and bring them to trial where ever they may be.  Their crimes will be propagated like that of Kelbesa and they will be asked to account for their brutal crimes or complicity therewith. Alarf yalech tat!