Tuesday, September 20, 2005

We Ask You Not to Interrupt This Suicide

Took a break from blogging for the highest of High Holidays—Fashion Week, Spring 2006. And yes, there might be anti-Fashionista fascists in Wonqville, but before we get all political, here is my summary:

First impression: where are all the black models? This year was particularly less diversified, except at the atrocious, at-ro-cious L.A.M.B (not even the liberal use of the colors of the Ethiopian flag- minus, thankfully, that hideous blue pentagram that the EPRDF has plastered on it- could make this show bearable!), and at the perennially ghetto fabulous brainchild of Kimora Lee Simmons. But, at the risk of being flogged by fellow-Fashionistas, the greatest disappointment: Vera Wang! Tragedy. She was supposedly inspired by the HBO show Deadwood. Hm. And here I thought the only thing that that show should inspire is heavy drinking and slurring out of profanity.

Best shows: Luca Luca—new favorite in Wonqettedom… beautiful cuts as usual, with stunning muted colors. (Incidentally, Luca is married to a Nigerian model.) D00-Ri (Geoffrey Beene protégé): Yes, she lives up to the hype. Really. And although I could not get tickets, buzz on the street was that the Oscar collection was astonishingly fabulous, as was Esteban Cortazar and Alice Temperley. (Temperley London dresses: so must-have.) But the best of the best, and the best 13 minutes I’ve spent in the last few days… Narciso Rodriguez. Thank God for the classically beautiful. His colors for spring are mucho muted—someone write an obituary for hot pink and neon green. Also toned down are accessories, especially handbags—and none too soon. Worst trend: the metallic colors of this winter might extend to spring. Somebody shoot me if I am seen in silver boots.

Okay. That’s my take.

So, I see that Mistah Jimmah Car’ra came out with his final report about the Ethiopian elections. Poor EPRDF. When even your best friend can’t quite come out to say that you ran free and fair elections… Hmm. But of course, Mistah Jimmah could not quite get himself to give the EPRDF the finger.

While pre-election and election day processes were generally commendable, the post-election period was disappointing. The period following May 15 was marked by highly charged political tensions, several days of protests and electoral violence, delays in vote tabulation, a large number of electoral complaints, and a prolonged and problematic electoral dispute resolution process.

Oh, well. That’s as much as we can expect from Mistah Jimmah: he’s disappointed.

However, in retrospect the CRB/CIP process did not provide an adequate means for a fair resolution of all electoral disputes.

At this juncture, the EPRDF desperately needed for Mistah Car’ta to come out unequivocally endorsing these elections without the usual “on the one hand… on the other hand” discourse. Alas, even Carter could not summon up the bile.

Then came the kiss of death:

Therefore, it is incumbent upon dissatisfied political parties to file appeals to the High Court in an expeditious manner in those cases where they feel that there is credible evidence. If parties decide not to file court appeals, the NEBE’s announced results should be accepted as final and legitimate.

At first, this recommendation might seem like the usual diplomatic “out” for the Carter Center, but look closer with your Diplo-speak magnifying glass that reads between the lines. What Carter just told the EPRDF is that the game is not over yet… The EPRDF needed that as much as it needed a hole in its head. It was hoping to put an end to the political process by simply flying on Mr. Carter’s blessing and go on about with Plan B—arresting opposition members and starting the violence it hopes will paralyze the people. A little bump in the road.

Then came the French-kiss of death:

Overall, the CIP mechanism did not provide an adequate remedy to ensure a fair resolution of all electoral complaints, and it did not serve to increase general confidence in the election process.

Hmm. I wonder if the Prime Minister is drafting a 13,257 word letter calling Mr. Carter “the good man who is acting like a self-appointed Imperial Viscount.”

But, Carter could not quite get himself to proclaim the Meles regime dead.

In the spirit of the expressed will on the part of the electorate for furthering democracy in Ethiopia, we urge the leaders of the new parliament, both ruling party and opposition, to work together to devise new rules and practices to ensure that all voters’ interests are represented in parliament, and that the upcoming 2006 woreda and 2010 national elections build on the gains made during the 2005 elections.

Of course. We’re back to “Good Enough for Africans” democracy. Basically, after Mr. Carter detailed the government’s thuggish post-May 15 behavior, and after concluding that the CIPs were not a wholly adequate apparatus, Mr. Carter is still telling Ethiopians to suck it up.

Here’s the last word on Mr. Carter: In the larger scheme of things, it doesn’t matter a bit what Mr. Carter says. But we in the Diaspora would be thought less of if we did not point out these glaring contradictions from people like Mr. Carter and Jeffrey Sachs, who think that Africans are undeserving of the kind of democracy that they expect in their own country. Again, if 42 people who were protesting the war in Iraq were gunned down in broad daylight, we could have expected Mr. Carter to squeal in disgust. But when 42 people die in Ethiopia, it is tempered with Diplo-speak and made somewhat palatable. Neo Poverty Pimps like Jeffrey Sachs even go as far as presenting Prime Minister Meles with a “Green Revolutionary” award. It must be our duty to call these people on their condescension and contempt.

The elections have deprived the EPRDF of the bragging rights to a “free and fair” election, not that Ethiopians were under any delusion that the EPRDF was even remotely interested in anything democratic. But it’s so-ooooo good to see that the international press no longer refers to Ato Meles as “enlightened and progressive.”

The beauty of it all is that Ato Meles lost in a game he rigged to win. He so fancied an image of a statesman, that to him the elections were merely an exclamation mark to this whimsy. Ato Meles and the rest of the EPRDF cabal realized the importance of not being seen as jungle boys out on a power trip. And for a while the world believed it.

Now, Ato Meles stands bereft of his cloak. He is reverting back to the very image that he had taken painful steps to disguise, that of an astonishingly unsophisticated thinker and a pitiful parvenu who is just another trigger happy guerilla. The opposition, by engaging him in the political process, by filing appeals to a court it knows is rigged, and by proposing a “unity government” it knows the EPRDF would never agree to, has cleverly left a paper trail. Fortunately, Ato Meles and the EPRDF were not smart enough to pick up on this, and, like all uncivilized warlords, took it as a sign of weakness.

What the opposition has been able to brilliantly accomplish is to carefully push Ato Meles into a corner. And now, the only way out for Ato Meles is to start unleashing violence on the Ethiopian people, thereby cementing his image as a garden-variety tyrant. The violence is inevitable because that’s the only thing the EPRDF is adept at, and violence is the only way Ato Meles can hold on to power. Ato Meles and the EPRDF have been excruciatingly out-witted and out-maneuvered in these diplomatic wranglings, so, like the spoiled brat who topples the chess set when he knows he is about to be check-mated, Ato Meles is on the cusp of unleashing his signature violence. Thankfully, the longer he wants to hold on to power, the more absolute the EPRDF’s demise will be.

What would have weakened the opposition, had EPRDF possessed an ounce of fortitude, was to have been “reasonable” and calm in the aftermath of the elections. If the EPRDF had taken the initiative to propose pointless meetings and discussions (knowing it would never honor any agreements), and if it had come off looking even a little magnanimous by taking a few hits (by letting the university students protest under strict supervision instead of... I dunno, killing them), the opposition would have been significantly weakend. What the opposition was very much depending on was Ato Meles' base gut reaction to being taunted. So it taunted him, and he chomped on the bait. Classic. Meanwhile, all Ato Meles’ friends in the west wanted was to not appear like they was backing the wrong guy. Oops.

Fortunately, Ato Meles’ visceral instincts of an innate bully who also pulls double duty as the village idiot, legitimized the opposition, making it look like the party of reason and intellect.

In short, the Prime Minister was seriously punk'd.

In the next few weeks, those in EPRDF who have any sense at all and who don’t want to be associated with a government that inflicted so much pain on its own people will start jumping ship. But I might be wrong on this since the EPRDF is chock full of yes-men who have not had an original thought since 1991. But maybe someone will summon up the guts to break loose… some pseudo-intellectual in charge of, let’s say a…university…? Or.. or.. the head of a religious institution. No? You don’t think so? Oh, well.

But, one after the other, the EPRDF is making unbelievably uninspired and amateurish tactical mistakes, and eventually even those within its higher echelons will start to abandon it.

In what could possibly be the most stupefying and inept political move made by the EPRDF so far (and boy, those are not slim pickings), last week it reached out to the OLF, an organization that it has labeled as “terrorist.” Those of us who don’t have amnesia or have an IQ higher than 20 remember the unconditional vitriol the EPRDF has been leveling against the OLF, an, ehem, armed struggle movement. In fact, whenever it needed to “clean house”, the EPRDF has used the excuse that those it was mowing down were members of the OLF. Well, what a difference a botched election makes. (This clumsy move was mostly meant as a threat to the OPDO to stay on message.) Man, it must be hard being an ethnic monger these days. For those of you who don’t know the background on this, imagine, say, if Phyllis Schlafly baked cookies and invited Planned Parenthood and the ACLU to a fireside chat. Yeaaaah. Now you get it.

It would all be funny were it not so tragic.

As the EPRDF slowly disintegrates, its next illogical step will be to reach out to Ato Meles’ former buddy and present recipient of his venom, the EPLF and Issayas Aferwerqi. Believe me, birds of the same “LF” flock together. People think that this scenario is absurdly unimaginable, but a few months ago we would have emphatically said the same thing about the new and convenient "love affair" between the OLF and the EPRDF.

What the EPRDF doesn’t have the prudence to calculate is people asking: Yo! If you can reach out to an organization you’ve labeled “terrorist”, how come you can’t talk to a bunch of unarmed, geeky professors in the opposition? And if you can sit and negotiate with OLF, why aren’t you doing that with the CUD? Why are you instead killing people who participated in a democratic movement?

Ato Meles is “Dr. Kevorkian”-ing the EPRDF, and only he could have done it with such precision. My guess is that eventually, some people in the EPRDF will say, “You ain’t takin’ us with you.” In the meantime, the opposition should keep filing lawsuits and appeals and sit back and watch. Going apoplectic about joining or not joining the parliament, to me, is a very superfluous squabble. The fact is, it doesn’t matter.

The era of Meles is over. The best thing the opposition and its sometimes know-it-all supporters in the Diaspora can do now is help the EPRDF tighten the noose around its neck. The worst thing the opposition and its bordering-on-the-hysterical supporters in the Diaspora can do now is interrupt the suicide.

Sit back, relax and enjoy the show. Please be courteous to other viewers and shut off your cell phones.

14 Comments:

Anonymous Yohannes said...

Wonqiyye,

FINALLY a new perspective on the "to join or not to join" question: although i am pissed that i had to read 3 parag's on fashion week. (How come you come to this side of the coast and you don't even pop in to say "herr-row"?)

can you get a transcript of enj.. hailu shawel's npc press conference? you might have to put him back in the time out corner.

11:04 PM, September 20, 2005  
Anonymous l'il kim from the clinker said...

thank god you are a girlie wonkette as well. i had conjured up images of someone in baggy clothing and very sensible shoes. shoot me. eeefoye! (michael kors all the way.)
intellect is a devalued commodity at the eprdf, and i agree with you that the opposition was very smart to exploit meles’ weak point. the end of meles is the end of severe faraocity.

be blessed.

12:40 AM, September 21, 2005  
Anonymous Zenebe Z/Mariam said...

If you're ever in Barcelona... http://www.vialis.es

It's all getting a little too obvious, carter issues a slightly more nuanced statement but it all comes down to the same sh*t -- a unanimous fu.

What a vicious circle we live in, everyone wants to cash in on these elections -- a fragile truce that'll turn the country into a giant lab for experimental economists like Sachs or anyone else who needs to mass-test ideas, products, etc. Monsanto's already got Meles' ok, so now if only the opposition can take their "parliamentary" seats, turn off their cell phones and watch the show. Silence is golden (tm).

2:25 AM, September 21, 2005  
Blogger kuchiye said...

So you are not a geek after all? ...but the dictionary defines "wonk" as "nerd".

You continue to amaze us!

8:23 AM, September 21, 2005  
Anonymous DAGIG said...

You are a gifter writer with varied interest. However, I have to tell you that though I enjoy reading your blog, I have to read a piece of a substance yet. I think like most of the internet warriors, you are full of hate towards the EPRDF. I would like to hear from you to look at them as a party that has some positive contributions to the country as well as committed a number of errors. No matter what we wish, Meles and Co. are not going to disappear into thin air. They are Ethiopians who believe (right or wrong)that are entitled to govern.

What I would like to see you use your talent is to creat an atmosphere of reconcillation instead of division and may be articulate an all inclusive way out instead of aways bashing a party or a single ethnic group.

9:02 AM, September 21, 2005  
Anonymous nobless/oblige said...

what was it with i.o.c and the handcuffed models?

i like-kee the zenebe. "let them eat genetically modifiyed seeds," i say. (much easier than letting them own the land.)thanks to meles and the gang, we have plasma tvs educating kids who are hungry. but soon, they can have green colored non-popping popcorn as a mid-day snack.wei ityopiyaye.

question is: how did we let this happen?

9:59 AM, September 21, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tadias Wonqy,
Thanks much for the beautiful blogg. Ghetto glamour is just an accurate characterization of
Kimora Lee-Simmons.
On the political said of your blogg, while I truly hope and prey day night that your predictions of Meles’s descent to hell happened VERY SOON, I think it is more of a wishful thinking. So what the world recognizes he is a thug? Do you think that will really make a difference? Look at the moron to the north (hint: Meles’s spiritual leader), his arresting, torturing, and killing activities have been happening with the entire world watching, but nobody is doing anything about it. To even make things stranger, he has virtually declared a war on the U.S., but gain, nothing is happening. My point it, in the end, I think it is us that will have to bring change. We must be organized everywhere, and do everything we can to free our country from fetal parasitic infestations.

Ethiopia Forever!!!

8:35 AM, September 22, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

euffffff...you tell our story.
egzer yibarkesh/h

9:00 AM, September 22, 2005  
Anonymous molq said...

waitagodamnedsecond! meles has managed to even radicalize et-fashionistas? *now* he is in trouble!

you go on ahead, sistah!

3:47 PM, September 22, 2005  
Blogger ye_nege_sew said...

For the most part your blog is vindictive and stuck in the past. To me personally Hailu Shawel is the biggest punk around. can't articulate his thoughts, is totally irrational, constantly undermines his own team mates, has no sensible vision, thinks idiots of ethiopians, to top all that he is damn racist.

How convenient for you kiss ass and pretend like one side is full of angels and other demons.

I am glad you are not of the generation that is going to take care of the nation in future. Total failures!

12:02 PM, September 23, 2005  
Anonymous gud new zendro said...

ye-negew sew,
If you presented evidence just like wonkeye does, maybe, just maybe some might believe you.

Wonkey for sure has put Hailu Shawel in the time out corneri the past. His latest outburst also deserves another time out. But as for wonkey, she's been on the money right from the start.

minalbat she should put you in the other corner until you can malameT what you've read around here

-gud new zendro

2:57 PM, September 23, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonqiye,
where is the next one? dying to read it.

4:57 AM, September 27, 2005  
Anonymous Teddy said...

I think the dogs of Bereket are also comiing to this site.
If thay are sound of mind , there will come a time when they will regret what they are doing to day-under any circumstances. They are either deluded or are paid liers, both cases do not allow reason, facts and analysis.
What a pity Berket and little Melse have turned a once great country into one gigantic lie manufacturing industry, always active to propagte hate, and pathological lies, whether it isthrough ADDSI ZEMEN , Ethiopian TV, AIGA, REPORTER, DEKIALULA, ETHIOPIA FIRST,WALTA, FANA, NATION, and even caming to the rempte Wonquete blog.
Imagine what resources, time and energy is expneded through 24/7 barrage of lies, hatred and bigotry, sponored by a govenment. Perhaps this will be the unique contribution of Woyane to Modern statehood- the main preoccupation of a government being misinformation.
WOYANE is certinaly an anomaly in world politics. I hope historians will find out why, but the fact remains that little Meles is the only political leader in the world who dislikes his country and is bent on destroying it.

Again I say forever Ethiopia
Addis Abeba

11:14 AM, September 27, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Melles and EPRDF's last trick on their sleeve is to declare Tigray a separate independent country and then wage war to weaken or control the rest of Ethiopia from their base. What will Wonqiyye say then? Will that be a suicide on the part of Melles or Wonqiyee (the wuy wuy gal) who will contemplate suicide.
Shiferaw

7:40 PM, October 01, 2005  

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