New Year, Same Rant
It’s probably intellectually injurious to start off the New Year with this but …
What the hell is wrong with the EPRDF?
Before I go any further let me say that I hope 2006 will be the year we finally decipher why sycophants such as Jeffrey Sachs have been so smitten by the unsmoldering intellectualism of Prime Minister Meles and his entourage of solecistic courtiers. Let the choir say ‘amen’.
I just don’t get it. When finally pushed into a corner, Ato Meles made a complete fool of himself by writing a vay-wee skittish three-part response to the EU-EOM report about the not so free and fair Ethiopian elections. Oh, that response. So giddy and illiterate in ways we cannot start counting.
So can I ask one last time what it is that has gotten Tony Blair and Jeffrey Sachs and Jimmy Carter swooning like pubescent girls at a boy band concert? Seriously. Are we missing something, or do they see something we don’t? I look at
But then you have the personalities that the EPRDF parades around to defend it, and the situation gets even more dismal.
You have the Ambassador of Ethiopia in Washington DC being churlish on CNN, embarrassing not just himself but Africans in general; you have some poor EPRDF pencil pusher and academic, Ato Tekeda Alemu, having his rear end handed to him by a grouchy English professor; and of course we had the institution that is Bereket Simon, the Paris Hilton of spokespersons, former Minister of Information and parliament seat loser who is responsible for making barbaric illiteracy cool again.
I’m not being condescending here. Can someone point me to the intellectual arm of the EPRDF? Someone who can do some ‘splaining without spinning into the featherbrained netherworld.
I have become mildly addicted to VOA-Amharic—even the Saturday music program which features a high fructose, trainwreck-y DJ who spins God awful pop songs.
The best thing about VOA is that it is where we hear from actual EPRDF officials, away from their natural setting: the sanitized, mental lock up that is the EPRDF “Fact Factory.”
Taking a break from goose-stepping to some really, really bad talking points was one Dr. Yohannes Gebre Selassie, an EPRDF, um, development wonk (yeah... I know… I get the irony) who was put in the increasingly cumbersome position of defending the EPRDF.
For those of you who understand Amharic, the December 29 and 30 VOA program that pitted poor Dr. Yohannes against one Dr. Getachew Metaferia, a political science professor at Morgan State University, is a must listen. (Maybe the people at Tayetu can do their thing and make it permanently available for us.)
For the rest of you, here is a summary:
It all started when the Dr. Getachew wrote an article, The struggle of the Ethiopian people for democracy and the reaction of the totalitarian regime: A briefing to the academic community, and industriously distributed it to 37,000 of his nearest and dearest friends. It is an article unabashed in its condemnation of the EPRDF, written to deftly illicit American sensibility about freedom, democracy and the pursuit of happiness. Bingo.
So VOA, taking a much needed break from worshipping Satan, decided to have a discussion on this article, the author in tow. VOA also thought to include an EPRDF official to offer counterpoints. Now I know that the EPRDF has been very bitter about VOA and its devilish one-sidedness, but believe me, oh EPRDF, when I tell you that you were better off when you believed VOA was not paying attention to you. Now look at what you have been forced into: piecing together your intellectuals and showcasing them in public so they can be ridiculed by featherweights like me.
And into this den was thrown EPRDF’s latest braindrain, Dr. Yohannes- apoplectic, unfocused and misty.
Dr. Yohannes keeps referring to the article in question as “the article published on ‘Ethiomedia kom’” and “with all due respect to his scholarship” how he did not expect “this kind of paper from an intellectual.” It was, he said grandly, “one sided and bias.”
Zippity doo dah.
The question of the Diaspora came up and either my sarcasm radar needs recalibrating or Dr. Y has no sense of irony.
Speak, oh Herr Doktor:
Ihadih le diasporaw yaladeregew neger yelem.
(There is nothing that the EPRDF has not done for the Diaspora.)
I don’t know if the EPRDF still does this, but it used to be de rigeur that the government hold a “how can we get you to invest in
If I have said it once I have said it a thousand times, take the boys out of the jungle…
So, yes, Dr. Y. There is nothing the EPRDF has not done for the Diaspora.
I would think that the EPRDF would have advisors like Jeffrey Sachs who can tell Ato Meles that his neophyte intellectuals need to… calm the hell up because Dr. Yohannes gets so animated at one point I wondered if I should send him sedatives, decaf coffee or both.
Dr. Y is most “Barney” like excited when he talks about the present 'peace and democracy' awash in
I am no psychologist. But I am gonna go ahead and say that Dr. Y might need to seek the assistance of one.
Here’s the best part of Part One, the nugget of wisdom that will make listening to Dr. Y worth the screeching in your ears.
When asked about the 2005 elections, Dr. Yohannes pointed out that there were 30,000 independent observers who witnessed the EPRDF winning the elections. Yes. 30,000. Don’t ask. But that wasn’t the coup de gras.
Dimocracy relative new
(Democracy is a relative matter.)
Yes, that would be the new rallying cry of EPRDF. My, how far we have come: first it was “elections that are not just fair by African standards, but by international standards.” That tanked. Then it became an… “emerging democracy” with a few glitches. And now, hear ye, hear ye… “Democracy is relative.” How long before it becomes, “Democracy is overrated” or “What democracy?”
Part two (broadcast on Saturday, December 30) is when Dr. Yohannes becomes properly unglued.
Kept referring to “the article in Ethio Media Kom”.
Asked about the reports by human rights organizations about the camps in Dedessa and Zewai, and the tens of thousands of people who have been rounded up there, Dr. Y asks with bewildering aplomb: “Do these human rights reporters report when people have been released?”
You think I’m making this up, doncha? Doncha?
According to Dr. Y, the
Regarding Prime Minister Meles winning his parliamentary seat in
Tekerakrew ashenefu. Be and hager wusT and sew eko bichawun liwedader yichilal.
(He campaigned and won. You know, one can run uncontested.)
Dr. Y kept asking the Professor from
When discussing ethnic politics, and I am not sure how this all came up, Dr. Yohannes invited Dr. Getachew to come to Tigray province. Oookay.
[Ye Tigrai Hzb] le zelalem ye Ityopiyan nesanet andinet yaskebere, ke ityopiya wendimoch ina ihitoch hono, yasikebere jegna hzb new.
[The Tigrai ethnic group] has brought about and secured
Yes. Dust off the violin.
Asked about how Ato Meles has managed to charm the west into knighting him as a “renaissance leader”,
Esachew eko, be amerrarachew qertro inna be Ityopiya w’sT, be afica w’sT be alem dereja bzu shilimat yagenubet huneta new…
Prime Minister Meles, let alone in
Hm. July 17, 2005.
The Board of the Yara Foundation has chosen to award the first African Green Revolution Yara Prize, to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi, for his contribution to improved food security and human nutrition in ways that also protect the environment. The Yara Prize will be presented by Professor Jeffrey Sachs, director of the United Nations Millennium Project at an award ceremony in
Yara wins Ethiopian contracts after handing out prize
Oslo-based Yara International, one of the world's largest fertilizer makers, has won some major contracts in
Yara's communications director Arne Cartridge called that "speculation" and downplayed any connection between Yara's new fertilizer contracts in
Cartridge conceded that Yara was aware of the situation in
Um, um, UM!
One point here, I don’t know if I understood Dr. Getachew correctly, but at some point I think he says that the Ethiopian constitution is oppressive and divisive. I disagree, as much as I am loathe to disagree with anyone who can so calmly and rapaciously bitch slap an EPRDF hack with extraordinary competence. The Ethiopian constitution is actually geberally wonderfully worded. The problem is, how do we stop the EPRDF from jerking off on it.
Question from the reporter: How can you say, Dr. Yohannes, there is democracy in
Answer from Herr Doktor Yohannes, who manages to calm down from a series of meandering fits:
Ingidih democracy relative new. Iyadege iyedabere yemihed new biyalehu.
I have said that democracy is relative. It is something that grows and flourishes.
Yeah, baby. Grows like fungus, stings like a bee. We get it.
More quotable quotes:
The 2005 election under the monitoring of the “renowned
I am going to say that the
Yes, CUD won Addis, but “terekebu teblew alterekebub.” (They were told to take over and didn’t.)
Damn CUD! Can someone ask the new mayor of Addis why the hell he ain’t taken over? Hasn’t he heard of running a city from jail?
There are over 100 opposition leaders in parliament and therefore there is democratic process.
Get a grip.
Schools have opened and students are learning. Universities are open. High schools are open. Middle schools are open. Kindergartens are open.
I swear to you he said kindergartens were open. The evidence of that are news reports of elementary school children being carted off for showing the ‘V’ sign. Pictures shown here are damning.
Makes you wonder…are Pre-K’s open? Those infants are likely to gurgle “C-U-D” while sucking on their sippy cups. Damn kids. I blame videogames.
The VOA reporter managed to steer Dr. Y to the subject of those in jail facing treason charges and the death penalty.
I am not a judge. It is up to the courts. If they are innocent they will be set free. (Nesa kehonu, nesa yihonalu.)
Ah. Ask an EPRDF ‘development expert’ about the basics of jurisprudence and all of a sudden he is not an expert. But check out this ‘by the way’:
By the way, when they [the prisoners] are seen on TV they talk in their own language (“be’rassachew q’wanqwa”) and they say that they can see relatives and journalists.
That’s probably something the EPRDF can put on its campaign buttons. “We let the opposition we imprison live and talk in their own language. Vote early. Vote often.”
Okay. I need an Amharic expert for the following. Now I understand that by this time in the interview, Dr. Yoni is suffering from scholastic muscle spasms. But still, people, still. Can someone help me out?
When trying to explain about how the unrest that never happened, um, happened, Dr. Y was a tad, ambiguous shall we say?
gn yihE neger yetebeTebeTew, be and sew meda lie weTo ye hizbin nibret, ye hizbin hiwot, ye polisin entin megdel inna entin madgreg… yihE yetim hager yemyfeqed neger new.
Verbatim that’s what he said.
My attempt at translation:
But this situation has been stirred, by one person who went on the field (in public), and peoples’ properties, peoples’ lives, killing police’s thingy [is entin thingy?] and doing thingy… this is not allowed in any country.
I disagree. They do it all the time in the
The interview winds down… thankfully. But not before Monsieur Yohannes hauls a few more nuggets of puerile intellect from his Vessel of Crazy.
He was asked what was needed to get
There is no political qwess. These come from the lie factories in the
It is a known fact that only the qwess don’t know that there is qwess around them.
Dr. Getachew did not mince words when stating his final thought. The EPRDF has got to go.
Dr. Yohannes could not resist. He, again, extended an invitation to Dr. Getachew to come hang out in
So let me ask one more time: what the hell is wrong with the EPRDF?
In case you missed it:
Dagmawi tears Michela Wrong a new one.
Ethiopundit is back.
I’m loving Zimbabwe Pundit.
Jeffery Sachs is Kenyan Pundit’s “favorite rant targets.”
Happy New Year!