By Ephrem Madebo
In May 2003, President George Bush addressed the world from the Aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln and said the following: “Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country”.
Today (Tuesday May 15), four years after George Bush’s speech, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi addressed reporters from Menelik Palace and said the following: The "organized resistance" of the Islamists had now been broken. Things have improved significantly in Mogadishu”
The United States and Ethiopia may be countries of different political and economic significance, but the public lie and the rhetoric by their two leaders are the same. When political leaders are determined to carry on their personal agenda, they take no notice of reality, they ignore the lessons of history, and pay no heed to the difference between military power and the people’s power. Historically,humanity has witnessed great armies decisively defeat another army, but no one has ever heard any army defeating the will of the people. If Military power by itself was a means to an end, Alexander the Great’s Macedonia would have been the largest country of the world, the northern expansion of the Moors could have ceased the existence of Churches in Europe, or Adolf Hitler could have ruled Europe at least for the duration of the war.
The inability of mighty US to heal its own mess in Iraq could have given a clear lesson to the Ethiopian aggressor not to plunge his poor nation in to the internal affair of another country. Both President Bush and PM Meles sent their military forces to another country in the pretext of protecting the interest of people in those countries. Well, a good cause, but not quite true. When one uses force to change the status quo, the changed state of affair of the entity should by no means be worse than the status quo. In Iraq, more Iraqis died after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and in the last16 years, more Somalis died in Mogadishu after the recent Ethiopian led military surge. Both Iraqis and the people of Somalia are fighting the presence of foreign forces on their land.
AU Commissioner Oumar Konare, and US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Jendayi Fraser, warn that the Ethiopian forces must stay in Somalia until the AU force jumps in, an incident that could take months. In December 2006, the Ethiopian PM told the world that his forces will withdraw from Somalia within weeks, but more Somalis and Ethiopian soldiers were killed after the Prime Minister’s promised withdrawal timetable. Ethiopia is a poor country with multiple social and economic problems; it can not afford a continued proxy war, more over, Ethiopia should be a responsible peaceful neighbor to all. Our history in Congo and Korea shows that we died for the freedom of others. We Ethiopians should not die to just kill Somalis, if we have to die; we should die to give them new life. As of now, the Somalis don’t see it that way; therefore, the Ethiopian force must withdraw from Somalia starting today. Mr. Prime Minister, you are the one who sent the Ethiopian troops to Somalia, please call them back immediately and unconditionally.