Monday, June 13, 2005

Democratius Interuptus

“Apart from the Kingdom of the Lord there is not on this earth any nation that is superior to any other. Should it happen that a strong Government finds it may with impunity destroy a weak people, then the hour strikes for that weak people to appeal to the League of Nations to give its judgment in all freedom. God and history will remember your judgment.”

Emperor Haile Selassie.

Appeal to the League of Nations

June 1936

Geneva, Switzerland

That was after Mussolini rained mustard gas on Ethiopians. The League of Nations decided to look away.

That is why I decided to come myself to bear witness against the crime perpetrated against my people and give Europe a warning of the doom that awaits it, if it should bow before the accomplished fact.

A few years later, World War II erupted and Europe was set ablaze.

In 2005, after witnessing the EPRDF pump live ammunition into an unarmed crowd in the name of preserving democracy, the world’s greatest nations are asking the Opposition party to “show restraint”-- the same languid “can’t we all get along” reprimand they gave the Italian government as it continued gassing civilians.

Meanwhile at the ranch…

Since before the elections Robo-Cop Prime Minister Meles and his hideously indifferent Cyborg sidekick Minister of Information, Ato Bereket “Baghdad Bob” Simon, have been strumming the notes of one of the most incendiary songs of our time: that the Opposition harbors lofty Hutu-style Interwhame dreams of death and destruction:

Ethiopia's Minister of Information, Bereket Simon, tells VOA the comparison of the Hutu rebel group's actions during Rwanda's genocide to the actions of Ethiopia's opposition parties is fair and accurate, especially after Sunday's opposition rally in the capital, Addis Ababa. "They are preaching for violence and for kicking out the ruling party out of Ethiopia. This is what they are saying. So this is the way exactly what the Interahamwe was doing in Rwanda.

Perhaps we should all chip in and buy Prime Minister Meles & Associates a copy of “Hotel Rwanda” because it does not appear that they are familiar with what actually happened in Rwanda in 1994. And since reality is a figment of someone else’s imagination for them, maybe the Hollywood version of things will help clarify the matter of what it means when 800,000 people are slaughtered in an ethnic cleansing campaign, and what exactly they are accusing the Opposition of aspiring to.

So why… WHY in the world would a government charge its (unarmed) opposition of wanting to reduce Ethiopia to a bloodbath of such magnitude? If I were the opposition I’d keep asking the government to defend that statement—ask Bereket, actually… he’s terminally programmed for inanity. He’ll probably say something like, “Yes, we still think the Opposition is like the Hutus—but our Interahamwe is better than their Interahamwe.”

So everybody wants the opposition to show “restraint.”

The strongest condemnation of what happened in Addis… er, Finfinne came from Chris Smith, a Republican Congressman from New Jersey who:

has called on Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi to call off security forces, who by Wednesday evening had killed scores of peaceful protesters, wounded at least 100 others and jailed more than 400 Ethiopians protesting the results of the recent elections in that East African nation.

You see, Jimmy Carter, that’s how it’s done. And that’s all we wanted from you. You can still be best friends with PM Meles. He can still show you his war plans. We just wanted you to say that what happened was more than just “acts of violence that appear to be the result of a lack of restraint on the part of some government security forces.” You used forceful language when you wanted Gitmo closed. How is it that Ethiopian lives fare less?

Congressman Chris Smith, school Mistah Jimm’ah, please… in your own words:

The European Union, which monitored the Ethiopian elections, declared that there were significant irregularities. Clearly, there are legitimate concerns about the results of the May 15th elections, and citizens should have the right to challenge results they feel to be incorrect. Those challenges must be taken seriously, and if the evidence shows there was fraud that skewed the results, those elections should be rerun so that citizens have their right to vote honored,” Chairman Smith said.

Hmm. Go Monmouth, NJ! You picked a good guy. All subjects of the Kingdom of ET-Wonqetti are advised to un-restrain themselves to say thank you to Congressman Smith by leaving a message for him via David Kush (202) 225-3765. (David has an uber sexy voice, if that serves as an enticement in any way.) Congressman Smith will be running for his seat in 2007. We shall remember his kindness.

But Congressman, you have more to say?

President Bush must take all necessary steps to persuade the Ethiopian government to immediately halt the state-sponsored violence in Ethiopia, which it has declared to be a strategic country for America’s Africa policy.

Cherub faced White House spokesperson Scott McClellan must not have gotten that memo since he, um, urged restraint.

"Everybody needs to refrain from violence and exercise restraint. The threat of violence is unacceptable and we urge students, civil society leaders and opposition supporters and members of the government and political leaders to refrain from violence and maintain a peaceful atmosphere in Ethiopia,"

That would be nice if actually killing people was considered just a “threat of violence.” Call me old fashioned but when bullets pierce through flesh… we’ve gone beyond a “threat of violence.”

But listen, Opposition- your peddlers of really, really violent… press releases, a little restraint, please? Use the time during your house arrest to write a poem. Organize your sock drawers.

Sweet Lord.

On June 7, at a joint press conference with Tony “Can help but love me them Africans” Blair, President Bush stated that the way he courted Condi Rice to the position of Secretary of State was by promising her to pay attention to Africa. We are waiting, Condi.

So…

Prime Minister Meles gave an interview to Reuters on Friday and The Society of All Two-Bit Dictators with Pronounced Inferiority Complexes around the world rejoiced. They have a new leader.

It is a morbidly skin-crawling experience, but let’s see what the Prime Minister has to say.

Meles said it was his government's duty to extend a ban on demonstrations in the capital expiring next week but he saw no risk of violence spreading across the country and there was "no turning back" from democracy.

No turning back from democracy?? Er, would freedom of assembly BE one of the tenets of a democracy? And wouldn’t the capricious banning of it for an indeterminate period of time be… what’s the word people use… insanely undemocratic? Either the Prime Minister’s bullshit filter needs changing or he has stopped caring how he comes off. “I am banning demonstrations! Long live democracy! Next?”

You know? Now I am beginning to understand the reticence felt by Tony Blair and Jimmy Carter towards condemning their buddy. They must feel exactly the same way guests at the Michael Jackson/Lisa-Marie Presley wedding ceremony must have felt. I mean, you know the whole thing is bullshit, you know Mike would rather be cuddling with a 7-yeal old-boy, and you know that the whole thing is more than a little unsightly, but… whachagonnado? You have already told people you are his #1 fan, and you’ve already bought him an expensive wedding gift? What CAN you do? There is only one thing TO do: you try not to look directly at the spectacle that is bride and groom kissing. You muster up a smile and say, “You two make a beautiful couple,” through clenched jaws even as you make a mental note to burn your “Thriller” album. I mean, c’mmoon… you KNOW that when Michael Jackson says he loves children, you know what he means is that he LOVES children--- who are of the adolescent boy variety. Much like when Meles says he loves democracy, what he really loves is the Albanian Marxist version of democracy—namely, the one that says it’s ok to put your opposition in jail in the name of preserving democracy. And heck, as long as Michael doesn’t want to share a bed with YOUR son, who are you to judge?

I get it.

So, when PM Meles says “there is no turning back from democracy,” you know he is audaciously sullying the sanctity of the institution, you know that he has molested the very concept of democracy, and he looks creepy saying it, but at least he is TRYING. Much like Michael tried to be a family man. And these days, when it comes to African politics, trying is as good as doing. Now, where can we get a piece of that lovely wedding cake?

But back to the thoughts of the Prime Minister:


My guess is that the worst is behind us, both in terms of the scale of disturbances and most certainly in terms of deaths involved.

By which the Prime Minister means “the worst is behind us… in Addis Ababa!” Other parts of Ethiopia, not so much. The rest of Ethiopia is still in dire need of…um, strident democracy.

Here’s some of the items checked off on Meles’ “To do” list for the week of June 6-12:

  • Order militia to kill first and not ask questions
  • Tout the merits of democracy (remember, I am FOR democracy!)
  • Take call from Kofi Anan and stifle yawn as he lectures me
  • Blame opposition for making me kill people
  • Make sure Bereket says something dumb (recurring event.)
  • Blame opposition for making me kill people.
  • Avoid call from Condi Rice
  • Call Tony… again! Ask when the next Africa Commission retreat is.
  • Blame opposition for making me kill people
  • Place opposition leaders under house arrest and tell people they are only under “intense surveillance.”
  • Oh, rough up diplomats who want to visit the opposition leaders.

That’s a full schedule. No wonder he looks exhausted. About the last item on that list:


Diplomats who arrived [at Opposition leader Hailu Shawel’s house] were searched under protest and at least one was pushed and shoved by soldiers.


"This is absolutely disgraceful," Clarke said of the behaviour of the soldiers. In a phone call to Information Minister Bereket from outside Hailu's home, Clarke could be heard saying diplomats had been assaulted.

Um. Not exactly something you’d wanna put on the Ethiopian Tourism Commission’s pamphlet… “13 Months of Sunshine… now spread ‘em!”

Anyway, if the Meles government had the nerve to commit the kind of atrocity in Addis (do we call it Addis still or Finfinne? Addis Finfinne?), can you imagine what his goons are doing in the countryside where people have to fend off brutality without the aide of an AP cameraman? Reports are filtering in from Gonder and Bahr Dar of sweeping imprisonments and killings. The Ethiopian Human Rights Council says that:

Ethiopian police have arrested more than 3 000 opposition supporters in a crackdown following deadly clashes last week during protests over alleged election fraud, a human rights group said on Monday.

Ah, the Meles democracy... over 74 million served. Tangy.

There IS no turning back from democracy, is there?

But speak, oh fearless leader.


We deeply regret that lives have been lost, and if there has been an instance of excessive use of force, that is obviously something we will look into.

Right. You know what would have made that statement a scoch bit believable, Mr. Prime Minister? If you hadn’t qualified it with “if” there has been”, and “an instance” of excessive force. There appear to be several instances of excessive force (some of us call it killings, but don't mind us). And while you are looking into matters, could you also look into not killing more people. Just.. would… be.. nice. Oh, and of course, you will "obviously" look into that rare occurence of "excessive force." Will you let us know when you make a deretmination?

He said he had received calls from U.N. Secretary-General

Kofi Annan, Britain's Development Minister Hilary Benn and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice in recent days.

Tonnnnni, you not calling the most progressive leader of in Africa? That’s so wrong.

And what did these callers say to you, Mr. Prime Minister?

"Their advice has been that we should be restrained, as far as the circumstances allow us, and these are views and opinions, we share with them completely," he said.

Restraint as far as circumstances allow you?? To which the Prime Minister replied, “Well, the circumstances has thus far allowed us to only kill 36 people.”

Oh God.

But Meles said he remained ready to take "preventive action" to keep things from getting out of control and added a security risk in the capital of more than 3 million remained. "There is no risk of generalized violence in Ethiopia. There is some risk of violence in Addis and perhaps one or two other towns but that is as far as it goes," he said.

Well, aren’t we glad then that the worst is over. And who knew that the best “preventative action to keep things from getting out of control” was to, hello, imprison everyone! Seriously, isn’t that the pinnacle of “preventative actions”?

Meles: Look, there’s no disturbances in the country.

The World: Yeeeahhh.. well, everyone is in prison, Mr. Prime Minister.

Meles: There is no turning back on democracy!

Of course there isn’t.

But Meles said his push for greater democracy remained on track, describing the elections as "a watershed." He added: "It's an indication that our democracy is maturing. And I believe there is no turning back."

Mmmmm. Question: I know Albanian Marxists have a different concept of democracy than say… the rest of the world, but, is it democratic to… I dunno, place your opponents under house arrest? Answer: Listen, little uppity miss. There is no turning back on democracy!

Oh, okay.

Meles confirmed opposition reports that some of their leaders had been prevented from leaving the country. "We have said you're not leaving while you're inciting violence and starting fires here. They (the opposition) have been under police surveillance just in case.

Yeah just in case they want to speak and move freely, let’s not let them. How can we? That would be turning our backs on democracy. And, pardon my ignorance about goon-tactics, but when you post hoodlums at an Opposition member’s house and cavity search his guests, heck, I would have thought that would be considered more than “police surveillance.”

But let’s not squabble over semantics. I interrupted you, Mr. Prime Minister.

If things get hotter they will be detained without any question. If that's intimidation, so be it."

No. No, that would not be intimidation. Thuggish? Maybe. Hooliganish? Ehhh. Gangsta Democracy? A little. But intimidation? Naaah.

The idiot in me wants to ask, “Well, Mr. PM… if they are inciting violence and setting fires, um, why NOT let them leave? A few more fires you wouldn’t have to stomp out/shoot at… maybe? No?

So, Prime Minister, now that you’ve lost all the seats in AddiFinfinne, when are you going to Disney World?

"I thought we would do better. I think it's more a protest vote than a vote for the opposition," Meles said of the EPRDF performance in Addis Ababa, noting that there were about half a million unemployed in the capital.

Lesse now. In his own diabolically cute way, the Prime Minister seems to be saying that the unemployed, ruffian constituency carried the opposition in Addis Ababa. After all, at the EPRDF rally on May 7, over a million people showed up to express their support, at least according to the Ethiopian News Agency.

Prime Minister Meles told journalists after the demonstration that the Participation of the entire residents of the city was a victory for EPRDF and an embarrassment for anti-peace forces, who claim that the city is their backyard when in fact it is not.

(See “Premature Evaluation: A recurring Theme”)

Soooo, what happened to the entire city’s votes? Well then let’s look at the numbers:

Addis Ababa (it was Addis Ababa at the time of voting not Finfinne)

ZONE4 Constituency Woreda 1/9.

Ato Mesifin Mengsitu Dabulo CUD 77.77 %

Ato Dawit Yohans Afework EPRDF 18.35 %


Mmm. But that’s not fair… you know those Wordea 1/9 people. 77.77% hooligans. Let’s see another results.

Let’s try Woreda 15.

Pastor Tsehay Tadesse Ali CUD 77.38 %

Ato Birhane K/Mariam Yihidego EPRDF 17.43%

Well, we KNOW who lives in Woreda 15! Jobless whack jobs.

Zone 5

D/r Hayilu Araya W/Gebrel CUD 84.95 %

Ato Aychew Tefeta Wedaje EPRDF 10.06 %

(Aside: wouldn’t the Grand Wizard of the KKK get more votes than that if he ran in Crenshaw?)

GaaaadddEm!

Try Zone 4 Woreda 11:

Ato Mesifn Ayalew Ali CUD 82.35 %

Dr.Tesifanesh Belay Adal EPRDF 11.76 %

(That’s awkward because people in Ethiopia devotedly vote for anyone with the title of “Dr” in front of their name…Dr. of Teeth Cleaning- definite vote clincher!)

No.. no.. no…Go to Zone 2, Woreda 20

Ato Kifele Tigeneh Abate CUD 89.75 %

Ato G/Wahid W/Giorgis W/Michael EPRDF 4.20 %

Okay, okay… another unfair comparison. Granted G/Wahid W/Giorgis W/Michael – not a catchy name, but 4.2%??? Zone 2 Woreda 20 must be where all the hooligans live.

But did I say Zone 2 Woreda 20?

I meant Zone 2, Woreda 21/22

Ato Ledetu Ayalew Miheretu CUD 75.47 %

W/ro Genet Zewede Biru EPRDF 21.16 %

Waitadamnminute! Same Genet Zewdie, Education Minister poseur? She… is not a “Dr”? I could have sworn she had a PhD in Grand Mismanagement. Bummer. She only lost by 75.47%? I want a recount. How does a Minister of Education, honcho EPRDF-er lose her district by 75.41%? They should dissolve the Addis Ababa Administration today! Funny coincidence, Ato Lidetu (who is the #1 baby-daddy candidate in the political groupie crowd) is one of the opposition leaders put under “police surveillance” by the EPRDF. Ato Lidetu was made to spend 30 hours in his office surrounded by trigger happy raging lunatics, surviving only on tap water. Yeah, he was a democratically elected official, but democracy has to be protected against someone like him.

But back to the numbers… the sa’siss’tix:

What about the “Battle of the Drs” in Zone 2, Wodera 24?

Dr. Befekadu Degefe Weredafa CUD 80.72 %

Dr. Tofik Abidulahi Ahimed EPRDF 11.85 %


But… but… Zone 1, Woreda 4—the beacon of non-hooliganism:

D/r Tadeyos Bogale Degefa CUD 83.48%

W/ro Bisrat Gashawutena Tirfe EPRDF 14.72 %

(Anyone with a name Gashawutena, you would think, is a shoo-in. Alas.)

I have a question:

Innaye millew-- CUD voteroch yemannachew dereqosh? (Law school... it makes you ask poignant questions like that.)

…and so on… and so on… So, with all due respect, Mr. Prime Minister, and granted “I thought we would do better. I think it's more a protest vote than a vote for the opposition" will be as gracious as your nature will ever allow you to be, but this just ain’t a protest vote. It was a good old fashioned trouncing! Ask your former No Education Minister.

But nice try. Now stop acting like an abusive husband and stop terrorizing they who dared reject your love.

And the Prime Minister concludes:

Asked if he would extend a month-long ban on demonstrations that started on May 16, he replied: "It would be irresponsible not do to so. We are considering our options: Whether we extend it for a month or a week is something we are still studying."

There you go. Prime Minister Meles: warden of responsibility. Caretaker of democracy. Guardian of justice. Sleep well, world.

Eventually, after the dust settles and some of the bleeding stops, the little matter of resolving the contested votes will resurface and the EPRDF will have to contend with 300 constituencies being under review by the embattled NEBE.

Now that it has blown off some steam by killing some people and flexing its muscle, perhaps the EPRDF will sit down to try a new version of Democracy- capital “d”… the non-Marxist version.

In a feresum/mEdawum declaration the opposition has offered this avowal:


The CUD would like to once more unequivocally and without reservations declare that it accepts all the provisions of the Declaration it signed on
10 June 2005. It further undertakes to implement forthwith the provisions of the agreement.

And I guess

In a constructive spirit of compromise and mutual respect, the CUD would like to propose to its joint signatories that in addition to the meeting due to take place on Monday June 13th under the auspices of the NEB to discuss the complaints and appeals procedures, a meeting should also take place as soon as possible to explore how the commitments entered into by all signatories, notably in respect of commitments to non-violence and incitements to violence, can be respected

is diplo-speak for “get the hell over yourselves and act like civilized human beings!”

Ah, yes. Finesse—a lost art on the EPRDF.

The Opposition has effectively called the ERPDF’s bluff. So, you want democracy, let’s have Democracy; let’s sort out the contested votes and see where it takes us. The EPRDF will have none of that. Not when it can keep on blaming the Opposition for inciting violence—but now, with the CUD’s “we are ready to tango” proposition, it is going to be pretty hard to sell that line to the world. The chance that EPRDF will step up to that challenge is nil at this point. It has lost too much face, and it will punish the Ethiopian people for it.

And isn’t that really the difference between statesmen and despots? Compare the opposition’s statement above to “if that is intimidation then so be it!” The Prime Minster should be reminded that he is a running a country and not a second-rate football stadium.

What we have not had in Ethiopia for a long time is statesmen who believe in Ethiopia. We are so used to ruffian behavior that we have become immune to it. So much so that we have an Information Minister who tells the world that:

"Anyone who incites violence, other than those elected, will have to face the law"

without him being called to task about it. We have forgotten that leaders are not supposed to spray a crowd of people with live ammunition. We have forgotten that honor, above all, is the difference between a head of state and a leader. We have forgotten to seek leaders who hold Ethiopia above covetous holding on to power. We have forgotten what it is like to have statesmen lead us.

It was constantly repeated that there was not merely a conflict between the Italian Government and the League of Nations, and that is why I personally refused all proposals to my personal advantage made to me by the Italian Government, if only I would betray my people and the Covenant of the League of Nations. I was defending the cause of all small peoples who are threatened with aggression.

That was Emperor Haile Sellasie in Geneva. No amount of wishful thinking or the most strenuous stretch of the imagination can allow me to visualize Prime Minister Meles uttering those words. Instead, we’ll depend on him for flippant sound bites and comparing the Ethiopian flag to a piece of rag.

How did we get used to leaders like this?

The EU and the Carter Center have a vested interest and a grave responsibility to make sure that the Ethiopian Elections are well-accounted for. If they fail here, it will set back election observing a century. They need to tell us what it means when the body that is responsible for deciding the elections, the NEBE, proclaims the EPRDF the winner on May 21, when it only had the results of 17 out of the 547 constituencies? They need to help us trust the NEBE will be honest when it gets ready to mediate the 300 or so contested constituencies.

It is collective security: it is the very existence of the League of Nations. It is the confidence that each State is to place in international treaties. It is the value of promises made to small States that their integrity and their independence shall be respected and ensured. It is the principle of the equality of States on the one hand, or otherwise the obligation laid upon small Powers to accept the bonds of vassalship. In a word, it is international morality that is at stake.

The same that was true in 1936 is true today.

Hopefully the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute as well as the International Foundation for Election Systems, all of whom were kicked out of Ethiopia after having been invited to observe the elections, will be allowed back to observe whatever re-voting the NEBE deems necessary. Incidentally, no state has ever expelled NDI, IRI and IFES except Ethiopia.

We also need the EU and the Carter Center to explain to us what NEBE official Ato Mekonnen Wondimu meant when he said:

Voting was interrupted in 16 polling stations in these six constituencies and so the electorate have to be allowed to exercise their democratic right," said Mekonnen Wondimu, the NEB's registrar of political parties.

Why in the world would voting be interrupted in the first place?

Emperor Haile Selassie:


At no time, and under no circumstances could sanctions that were intentionally inadequate, intentionally badly applied, stop an aggressor. This is not a case of the impossibility of stopping an aggressor but of the refusal to stop an aggressor.

Taps on Prime Minister Meles’ government’s wrist in the form of tepid “we are shocked.. shocked” communiqués and deliberately tortuous diplomatic statements are not enough--. just like the sanctions against the Itallian agression were a mockery. Congressman Chris Smith knows that… as do the White House, 10 Dowing Street and the Carter Center. The abuses of the EPRDF stretch well into the rest of Ethiopia—where Ethiopians are dying for Democracy. Why are you letting the EPRDF get away with it?

It is international morality which is at stake and not the Articles of the Covenant.


This is the man that the EPRDF calls a ruthless dictator. I supposed he didn’t have a knack for saying “only the elected can incite violence” or “if that is intimidation, so be it” with their kind of insolence.

This is a government that holds its opponents under arrest and then heralds how there is no stopping democracy. It is a government that has so far killed 36 people in broad daylight and assert that that is an “indication that our democracy is maturing.” It is a government that cannot stop protestors without firing and killing people. By definition, this is a failed government.

It IS international morality at stake.

My favorite quote from Ethiopundit:

Ethiopians will remember who they have always been and not what they have been told to be at the point of a gun.

How long before the EPRDF finds another excuse to scrap any plans for a wide re-voting? 3…2…1.

(p.s. I will be travelling next week... any guest bloggers interested in upholding the 100% fara free dogma of Wonqittedom?)


21 Comments:

Anonymous not Genet Zewdie said...

wonnnqqqiiiiiTTE,

i was just about to give us thinking that you had lost your will.... waited and waited for a new blog...pheeewww... a new blog....finally.

shut up and let me read.

4:45 PM, June 13, 2005  
Anonymous Abebe Besso Lebesse said...

wonkki (has the ETegE WonqiTTE resolve been ratified?)

this was sublime. you forgot to mention that the treaty of non-violence was signed on Friday... eplf gangstas put Lidetu under house arrest on... saturday.

you shore can't turn your back on democracy.

5:37 PM, June 13, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Wonkette

I have to admit that I find your weblog entertaining. However, there is something about the whole tone on the discussion on the events of last week that bothers me. Let me explain. I have lived through the troubles of April 2001 in Addis. As you may remember, the whole thing started when University students protested, which they had every right to do. I condemn the action that was taken against them. However, the next day, the city descended into chaos and the looting began. I would suppose you would not have wanted the police to stand idly by when shops were broken into, a goverment institution was burnt and cars were set ablaze. People expressing their right to self assembly? I have heard accounts of a mob armed with sticks pinwheeling through Piazza. If you were the Police (which had no rubber bullets, no water cannon..) what would you have done? Stand idly by while shops get looted? I am not advocating mowing people down. However, as far as I am concerned, if a person comes to attack me with a big stick and I am a police officer with a gun, I would shoot him IN THE LEGS. Unless, of course, it is his democratic right to attack me (but wait, is it not my democratic right to live? And is it not also my responsibility to protect property? )

Fast forward to 2005. Again, I am no advocate of Meles and co and think that they should go IN AN ORDERLY MANNER. The Opposition had been using strong language to disparage Meles and Co [ words like Anti-Ethiopia, "We have definitely won the election except that EPRDF has taken it from us", "EPRDF is the great satan set loose on Ethiopia..." ]. Did they think for a second that people could take these comments too far?What about comments like "We will not accept election results that show we have lost" ? I agree that fraud had been perpetrated but how about saying... " We continue to urge the goverment and concerned bodies to look into the allegations"? Too WIMPY? Their words and language are as responsible in inflaming supporters as EPRDF was responsible for beating them. And since the Opposition do not have weapons (except the 'pen'), who is say that they have not used their 'artillery' irresponsibly? THAT is what the "ALL sides to show constraint" statement is all about. But your posts are all about how the poor Opposition, through no fault of its own is 'victimized' as a result of a problem it helped create and let itself fall into EPRDF's trap [I do not want to use the word 'Woyane' because, like it or not, they are the government now; they are not rebelling against anybody]. All your posts have been about the evils of EPRDF; I wanted to urge you to look at the irresponsibilities of the Opposition as well.

Regards

5:37 PM, June 13, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey, anonymous,

you wrote:" I wanted to urge you to look at the irresponsibilities of the Opposition as well."

Irresponsibilities? Huh?

And *I* would like to urge you to look at this paragraph in today's blog: "Listen, Opposition! You peddlers of really, really violent press releases! . . .Use the time during your house arrest to write a poem. Organize your sock drawers."

Ok, anonymous, would it be acceptable to you if the Opposition were to limit its press-releases to updating the public on the status of them sock-drawers?

6:45 PM, June 13, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Winq: I'm sooo confused. You say "democratius interuptus", Meles says: "It's a sign that our democracy is maturing." One of you is telling a tale.

P.S. I know Michael Jackson is glad he didn't have YOU on his jury.

6:53 PM, June 13, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lessi...

a store being looted... vs... shooting the looter in the head...

a government who cannot control a crowd (we are talking about a small crowd, annonymous) without shooting live ammunition INTO it is by definition unfit to rule. As it was mentioned before, the haile selassie regime did not rain bullets on protesting students-- who just happen to be some of teh same people who are giving orders to shoot students. (hehee... you think the eprdf has a policy of saying "ye shall only shoot at them in the legs.")

You are right, wonqetti.. something has happened to us that we can say "but they were looting!" in response to murder. something's very, very wrong.

blog on, girl.

7:03 PM, June 13, 2005  
Anonymous tadios said...

can someone tell me why a city that is as metropolitan as addis (condos left and right, one gaudy-ass hotel, the ECA, the AU) does not arm its police with rubber bullets and tear gas? doesn't that fact in itself tell us much about the government?

7:08 PM, June 13, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Abebe Besso Lebesse,

If you're inquiring about MY resolution, I'd appreciate it Mucho Grande if you'd kindly refer to it by its proper/legal name.

It's "ETege Wonkitu-uu" as in ETege Taitu-uu and not
"ETege WolqiTT-EE" as in
FFFFinFFFinE-EEE.

C'mon now!

7:14 PM, June 13, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tadios! alena, kibru yisffa!!

Sorry, tadios, I misread that as "tadias," . .anyway, rubber bullets?

That wouldn't be prudent at all. What to do with all the left-over bullets from the Derg-era? Them are bullets that kill you DEAD you know! You gots to put them to good use!

7:42 PM, June 13, 2005  
Anonymous not Genet Zewdie said...

rubber bullettzzzzzzzzzz? tear gasssssi?

wouldn't that be a sign of an immature democracy? we can't make a democartic U turn now!!

btw, m'ts... can we lay off MJ, benatachiu.. a better, and less exploited example would be Liza Mannelli and that guy she married... the one who looks like someone is pulling his face back with a clear festal. now that has set back several democracies.

(why does everybody comment as annonymous? how much effort does it take to make yerself up a clever nic. abo!)

7:55 PM, June 13, 2005  
Anonymous Certainly NOT Genet Zewdie said...

gosh wonkki.... you telling us that we once upon a time we actually had leaders who liked us?? geddadahere!

i missed being liked by my leaders.

can't wait until july 8... when the resolve to ETgiyayeeeee Wonkitu-uu is ratified.

8:56 PM, June 13, 2005  
Anonymous Lovin' Albania said...

Selam Wonqitte,

and with that one post you hit the nail with a silver lining (if bereket simon can mix metaphors so can i!)

"what happened to us?" is the million dollar fish out of water (you see? you can mix cliches too.)

What happened to us that we have forgotten the value of honor in our leaders?

Simple: communism happened to us. 14 years of Mengitu's mind f***ing, then these guys and their Marxism... we have sadly accepted that we can only aim as high as a government that admits to only kills 36 people in response to student protests and supposed looting.

i cringed when i read your last blog 'cause i had to ask myself "what happened to *me*?" as well.

i don't know whether to thank you or curse you for making me go through some long overdue introspection.

laughter is the best c'est la vive.
thank you.

8:34 AM, June 14, 2005  
Anonymous Kebericho said...

Dearest ET-Wonkette,

Originally I had no intention of joining your fawning cabal, but this blog has convinced me to at least pen you my thoughts. I am old enough to remember a government that wouldn't fire into a crowd, but I have been numbed by the subsequent two govenments.

You brought to light the Ethiopian dilemma in one short blog... maletim, "what has happened to us?"

ke akbrot gar,
Kebericho

1:46 PM, June 14, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

kebericho,

What happened to us? There’s something about that which eludes me too. But, my thoughts:

We lay claim to being descendants of a fearles people celebrated for death-defying valor, but we ain’t no chip off the old block!

What happened to us is, we are not made of the same stuff as our forefathers were. That’s happened to us.

Simply put, we’re scared to death of dying, because there’s something about death that kills.

We are the generation that refuses to pay the ultimate price for such intangibles as honor, democracy and mnamin.

When you show me pictures of 30 dead bodies piled up at Menelik Hospital, shit, go bring out the Tabot . . .see if I go . . die!

4:30 PM, June 14, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just heard that the relatives of the brutally murdered youth have to pay more than a thousand birr to collect the bodies. In addition, the relatives are requested to sign a paper that claims the person was murdered while stealing from shops and creating chaos in the city.

Could anyone in Addis check into this?

7:15 PM, June 14, 2005  
Anonymous not Genet Zewdie said...

Anonymous, (the one who responded to qebericho.)

I respectfully disagree. I think this is more than valor and the concept of "dying for a cause." In the new century the whole "akaki zeraf let me recall the valor of my forefathers" is anachronistic… especially for those of us in the Diaspora. I read Qebericho's and WonqiTe's sentiment "what happened to us” as “what happened to us mentally and emotionally?" There is something about having lived under tyranny for so long that has numbed us. In fact, I would argue that there is plenty – too much-- “akaki zeraf let me die for this”… if you are in DC I’ll take you to any spot on U Street and you can get your fill of bravado. Anyway, what happened to us that we are silent? What happened to us that there has not been a “Byte Me Revolution” until now? “What happened to us that we lost the concept of honor?” “What happened to us that we are allergic to introspection?” “what happened to us that someone can justify the killing sof last week by blaming it on looters…” Lastly, “where is our humanity?”

I like Wonqi’s version of “akaki zeraf” better – fighting back with our minds. That’s how I read “what happened to us.” And like Qebericho, when you ask that question calmly you start a frightening journey. I did.

But then again it might have been the wine.

Always,
Be fiqir,

7:31 PM, June 14, 2005  
Anonymous not Genet Zewdie said...

... p.s.

seriously... can we not find clever nics instead of always using "anonymous"?

ewnetim what happened to us!

7:32 PM, June 14, 2005  
Anonymous Ye Filwiha Lij said...

Dear Wonki... you seem to be buying the resolution about your "kingdom" already -- actually, I think, the author of the Resolution seems to be a good candidate to fill in your shoes when you hit the road -- it's not just him though -- I must admit, most of the comments in your blog are unlike any other -- it sure looks a 100% fara free zone and I love it....

not genet zewdie -- anchi demoo woyinishin kemkimesh metesh alitechalikum bileshal -- talk about nics, can we do a little house cleaning first that means YOU -- yeah, YOUR OWN -- kalitefa simm minew lije .. why do you have to remind us about her?

beyy eski gudd yitayi..let's see your creativity and you come up with a better nic

Ye Filwiha Lij

8:19 PM, June 14, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some of us heard only the partisan accusations of vote rigging and intimidations. Well, now we have seen the intimidation part at least in the cities.

But what about the rural Ethiopia? Here is a detailed report of Norwegian human rights group from the University of Oslo that monitored the Hadiya regional elections of 2001. From this report you will also understand why Meles said privatization of land will be done only over his dead body, his words - not mine!

http://www.humanrights.uio.no/forskning/publ/nr/2002/03/nordem_report-contents.html

8:26 PM, June 14, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yidres lemiwedat..Adegenya Bloggerray! Woizero Wonkette..

Bloggiyay!!

Min? You are not here neck-ist weekuh? Ancheem demo chimaree Interuptus lay ttileshin lithejee? Iwnetim Wuche Good. Ke Goodim Good! Someone, please dial 991 (Where is a bloody imba ttebakee when need one ABO!)

How I would love to read you writing about our good times. (these ARE the good times?)

Anyway, you are comfforrtable to me (timechinyalesh) and until you get back, I'll be waiting to exhale injalign..injalin...

Bey Bey Keldoon tey..tolo dersesh ney.

9:30 PM, June 14, 2005  
Anonymous not Genet Zewdie said...

Inday! no more brilliant a name has graced the blogsphere than "not genet zewdie" gudnewbakkachu!

who is guest blogging next week?

5:20 AM, June 15, 2005  

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