Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Touched by an “Angel”, the Fairy Tale of Washera_2000

By Ephrem Madebo

I was born and raised in south Ethiopia where most of the people have less or no knowledge of monasteries, or monastic life. However, the famous Waldiba monastery in Gondar where monks are believed to be jamming once in a blue moon [Andeande Waldibam…] and the exclusive “qene” school of Washera- Mariam in Gojam have been part of my memory since I was 13 years old. Today, I’m not here to tell you about Washera-Mariam, yet line after line of this article deals with “Washera”. Confused? Please don’t. I promise, I will never live you in the dark. When you’re done with this article, you will definitely be aware of the difference between Washera-Mariam and “Washera- Washo”.

As there are many hoi polloi supporters of the TPLF gangs, obviously, there are some zealous and irrefutably articulated defenders of the TPLF regime whose articles are worth reading to gauge the strength of the forces of tyranny. One of these fanaticals is a person who writes by a pen name of Washera_2000. Please read Washera’s article before you start reading this article.

Last week I visited aigaforum.com and read Washera’s latest piece on the “intelligence” of PM Meles Zenawi. This is what I read at the beginning of the 2nd paragraph: “It has been a while since I concluded that the PM is a hard working and very intelligent individual”. At the first glance, I thought “Washera” was applying the lessons he learned in Washera Mariam; and I started looking for the hidden word until I realized that the trans-Atlantic “biographer” was trying to immortalize a desecrated person. What I actually read was not even a biography; it was a “White Paper” on the intelligence of Ethiopian leaders. I applauded his “noble” start and top-down analysis, but condemned his motive and dissipated intellectual paralysis. I’m one of the most animated opponent of Meles, but I’ve never questioned his intelligence because Zenawi’s problem is not his intelligence; it’s his arrogance and his atrocious attitude to those who oppose him.

Josef Mengele is a person that I believe is more intelligent than Meles, but he is also a person who engineered a methodology to wipe out non- Germans. Is Mengel intelligent? Yes, he is, but despite his intelligence; today the world calls him “Angel of Death” Is Meles intelligent? Well, let me say yes, but our children and grand children will remember him for his nonsensical street killing, not for his intelligence.

Here is another excerpt : “He [Meles] refers to this as a Democratic Developmentalist Paradigm and backs it up with an impressive argument for the establishment of a dynamic agrarian democracy; much like the one advocated by Thomas Jefferson” Mr. Washera, I live in Virginia where memories of Thomas Jefferson are still alive in places like the University of Virginia and Monticello. I don’t think Meles should be mentioned in the same page with Thomas Jefferson, not even in the same book. Meles, who once was a drifter in Tirana, still carries Enver Hoja’s blue print of communist land policy. Thomas Jefferson is a person who idealized private ownership of farmland as a prototype of republican virtues in America. How dare do you put the name of this great state man along side a person who confuses a nation with a locality, and history with a fairy tale?

As your own subliminal phrases indicate, Meles’s land policy is highly influenced by the now defunct communist ideology. Jefferson is a person who believed and stood for private ownership of property. Zenawi’s place in history has yet to be determined, but I can sense it is closer to Chauchesco than it is to Thomas Jefferson. For Meles, there is TPLF ownership, public ownership, and private ownership of property. Had they lived together, I don’t think Meles would have qualified to carry Jefferson's manuscripts of the declaration of independence.

Washera said: “For PM Meles, that coalition building starts with the rural agriculture-dependent population which will be responsible for much of the work of accelerated growth. Whether through his socialist leanings....” (Italics and line by me). Washera, I believe you live in the US and you know how this great nation transformed its agricultural sector. If your prodigy is brave enough to put his money where his mouth is, why doesn’t he start a real agrarian transformation by distributing land to farmers? If his priority is the rural farmer, then the rural farmer has no other priority, but land. There is no economy in the world that fully transformed its agricultural sector without privatizing farm land. The policy of Public ownership of land was a complete fiasco in the former USSR and its satellite states of East Europe. Do you think a student from Albania [Comrade Meles] will succeed in an endeavour where Lenin, Stalin, Chauchisco, and Mao failed? If you do, you’re like a man who snobbishly keeps on ditching a ditch with a scoop when everybody else puts the earth back to your ditch.

Ethiopia’s agricultural sector makes up for about 85% of the country’s population. This sector must supply labor, capital, and raw material to the industrial sector, but due to Zenwi’s ill-advised land policy, Ethiopia’s agricultural sector can’t even feed it self. Zenawi wants the peasantry to remain in rural areas dependent upon the state for its basic needs. Farmers who don’t own their own piece of land can not borrow capital and have little or no incentive to improve a government owned land. All in all, the invisible hand is non-existent in rural Ethiopia. Yes, there is abundant supply of labor in the agricultural sector, but capital and land, the two indispensable factors of production are absent. Such an absence is the biggest obstacle to the development of agriculture and industry. Washera, I’m sure you might have bought a residential place here in America, if you didn’t, so many of us have. Look Washera, our fathers, mothers, and brothers do not have the same right that you and me enjoy here on a foreign land. Yet, you are proud of man who is the corner stone of a failed agricultural policy. To me, you sound like a good Christian who denies the death and resurrection of Christ.

Did I hear you saying that Ethiopia is in the right direction with Zenawi behind the wheel? Washera, this is a shame of all shames that lingers over to posterity. You have the right to be proud of Meles, you can even worship him, but I can assure you Meles is not the right direction to heaven. Ato “Washera”, I think articulating the truth is more of a “Latin” to you than economic terminologies are to average readers. By the way, why did you choose the word Latin? Your choice could have been French, or even Navajo. Anyways, Latin, French, or Navajo; the average Ethiopian farmer needs his own share of private farm land, not Meles’s doctoral dissertation, or your doodles on his intelligence.

Washera said: “It behooves Ethiopian political opposition groups to understand this man very clearly and articulate an alternative vision for the country if they disagree with him, or stop wringing their fingers and join his efforts in tandem” Oh my God! You’re making me sick to my bone. Did you say join Meles? What a ridiculously ludicrous call ! Are you re-writing Malthusian theory of population? If so, please reverse your call. The mission of the opposition is to save Ethiopia from Meles, and most importantly; Meles doesn’t need the help of the opposition to kill more, he knows how. Your pseudo name insinuates that you’re from Washera-Mariam, and we all know your prodigy is from “Dedebit”. So which school is the opposition supposed to go to understand Meles? Do you jointly own a school with Meles? Please say no, I don’t want to know what a joint school of Washera-Mariam and “Dedebit” looks like.

You also talked about a zero-sum politics of the opposition. Washera, how can the opposition reach to a win-win situation when Meles is the rule maker, the player, the official, and the spectator of the game? I don’t know about your math skill, but I thought you were good in “addition”. In Ethiopia, there is only negative-sum politics (Loss-Loss). By the way, thank you for positioning the opposition in the middle of the number line. Washera, you can write about Meles, but please don’t magnify what ever he spits, let the dust take care of that.

You said: “His [Meles's] own personal experience and dedication to see the establishment of a healthy democratic pluralism of a broadly based agrarian democracy that is capable of evolving into a mature urban-based democracy is to be applauded” Washera, when I read this statement, I stood still like the late comedian Redd Fox [Sanford & Son], and started calling my version of “Elizabeth”. Is this a go-and tell them urban legend from 4 Kilo? Washera, I have seen so many fools, but I haven't seen, or heard of a fool that applauds when he is cloned to produce another fool like him. The Meles way of democratic pluralism is to make sure that every party in the country is genetically tied to his TPLF party (clone of TPLF), anything else is doomed to be suffocated to death. The truth is that Meles fights pluralism by far more than he fought the fascist regime of Colonel Mengistu.

You said you’re proud to know that Meles is at the helm of the Ethiopian state steering it in the right direction. If you think Meles is steering the nation in the right direction, I believe you need a powerful GPS device to augment your lost sense of direction. Washera, I am not worried for Meles, I am worried for you. Meles is a totally lost person, he doesn’t need GPS; he needs a new direction, or a new beginning. GPS is for people like you who know where they are going but don’t know how. The choice between hell and heaven might be a Devine choice for the people of faith, but the choice between right and wrong is a choice for humanity; and no human being should be proud of her/his bad choice knowing that he/she is wrong.

Washera, what else are you proud of? Are you proud of a land locked Ethiopia? Are you proud of a young boy whose mother was killed in front of him? Are you proud of the mass killings on the streets of Addis, Awassa, and Ambo? Are you proud of millions of poor land less farmers ? Are you proud of thousands of Ethiopians who died defending Bademe in vain? Eight years ago the Ethiopian heroes decisively crushed the Eritrean invaders. Today, Eritreans are considered winners of the 1999-2000 war. Well, we won the military phase of the war, but thanks to Meles, we lost the political cause of the war when he negotiated on the blood of thousands of Ethiopians. Is this the man whom you said you’re proud of? “Kezihis Sewerign” Washera, it’s much better to admit shame with dignity than to be proud of your own nudity.

You also talked about Pareto Efficiency. Well, since I am one of those average readers, It took me a while to understand the concept. As you correctly summarized it, Pareto Efficiency, or Pareto Optimal is a condition where given alternative allocations of income for a set of individuals, a movement from one allocation to another that can make at least one individual better off without making any other individual worse off.

The economic divide between the rich and the poor has polarized our nation, living the majority of Ethiopians in abject poverty. Today, poor land policy, uneven economic development, and lack of political stability in the Horn of Africa coupled with international economic crisis have pushed millions of Ethiopians far below the poverty line. The IMF and World Bank Annual Reports show some economic progress in Ethiopia, but the beneficiaries of this trumpeted economic progress are those who are closely associated to the ruling TPLF elite. A variety of economic indicators show that the economic development in Ethiopia has not trickled down to the poor. What we see in Ethiopia is the making of “Brazil” in Africa. Is this what you call Pareto Optimal? Signor Vilfredo Pareto might have been dead for decades, but he will definitely look down at you and cry – “Oh mio Dio… Non è questo che mi hai insegnato”. [Oh my God, this is not what I taught you ]

By the way, did you hear that the Ethiopian army and Police forces are on a stand-by to fight Inflation? I think we need to tell this to Jay Leno so that America giggles for a week. Washera, aren’t you ashamed when a man to whom you proudly tip your hat off acts like a mad-cow and uses force to solve every problem including Inflation? Yes, you heard me right; Inflation! This reminds me one of Megistu’s slogans – “Eyetewagan Enamertalen”. Well, no wander, Mengistu and Meles are heads of different evil regimes planted by bayonets. Capitalism is the best alternative for development that the world has seen so far. However, we all know that without any kind of over site, capitalism could be a cancerous cell that feeds on itself. Inflation, recession, stagflation, and uneven distribution of income are some of the down sides of capitalism, however, none of these shortcoming of capitalism are corrected by using force like Zenawi. If guns were solutions for inflation, the Federal Reserve (Fed) would have controlled military contractors, not the money supply.

Washera,our country Ethiopia finds itself in one of the most defining moment in its long history. I’m not sure why you support the minority TPLF regime, as to me, I am with the opposition because the choice given by Meles is between bad and worse. If we choose bad, we will be headed to the worst. If we chose worse, we all are domed to die. My fellow country man Washera, If we want to survive as a nation and make Ethiopia a better place to live, what better alterative do we have other than the opposition? I am not talking about this or that party, I’m talking about a much better alterative to Meles. Washera, you may dislike some opposition parties, so do I. The opposition is a large puzzle while any single party is part of the puzzle, so why dislike the whole puzzle? To you, to me, and to millions of Ethiopians, Ethiopia must come before Meles and before any one in the opposition. If you agree with this, then your shame should be my shame and my pride should be your pride. May God bless Ethiopia.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ephraim:

Truely, you don't have to waste your pracious pen on a nut head like Washera. He is just is a confused soul who is clamoring for attention and possibly handout from Zenawi & company. It is a shame Virginia gives shelter to an idiot like Wahsera

Ephrem Madebo said...

Anonymous,

I do take your advice word to word. I thought just like you when I read many of his articles. But, I decided to say something when I saw him on ETN and read his ugly bio of Meles. I don’t reply to many of the TPLF idiots, but some of them need a well-thought response, otherwise, they tend to contaminate the innocent. Trust me this is the first and the last on Washera.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Madebo, I think you need to tone down the level of arrogance you have been showing. You said “I was born and raised in south Ethiopia where most of the people have less or no knowledge of monasteries, or monastic life”.

Wow, you are saying most of the people do not know this simple fact and you know that for a fact? Any census or survey to support your claim? More mesmerizing is your stated arrogance that something you knew when you were 13, was something most people in the South did have less or no knowledge about. Read again your outrageous claim “However, the famous Waldiba monastery in Gondar where monks are believed to be jamming once in a blue moon [Andeande Waldibam…] and the exclusive “qene” school of Washera- Mariam in Gojam have been part of my memory since I was 13 years old.”

Frankly speaking, I have sensed your self exalting and arrogant behavior a little bit eralier with your unchecked outrageous and outlandish writings, but these recent ones are over the top of the roof. You must have been deliquent when you were writing this. Do not jott down stuff after you read something that does not agree with your beliefs. It is cood to cool off first! Plus, at least re-read what you have written and edit. It is a bit unEthiopian for me to brag about something that could not be easily verified. You have been saying, since you were a teenager you got Mandela prize, blah blah … and now you are telling the world that you knew stuff that most of the people (over 20 million people) did not when you were barely 13! How musch sarcastic can you be?

Like your southern bro (for got his name) who did not even recognize if Mohamed Tawil’s popular song was Oromoigna or Somligna, you seem to know very little about what you are talking about. Had it not been for your arrogance, you would have shut your mouth. Please check your facts and be polite. I remember saying to you at some point that “yes, commentary is free but fact is sacred!“

More over, because you live in the state of VA you seem to make it a convincing argument that you become automatically an expert on Jefferson or other VA related issues. That must be a hilarious weak argument. Or because you live near to where Larry Sabotao works, it does not entitle you to be Larry Sabato. Because you followed Mesfin Woldemariam from Lounge to Lounge (God knows if Mesfin allowed a person with a name of Madebo could be around him at that crunchy time) does not entitle you to claim to be an expert in Mesfin or Ethiopian politics. Unfortuntely that is the type of logic and argument that you are using to support any conclusions about the political dynamics and leadership of Ethiopia. For that matter you are making the same unsabstantiated bashing on anyone who does not agree with your filthy political stand.

Finally, I could say that your sweeping conclusions are unrealistic at best and uninformed at worst. It is good to open your eyes and heart and see what an average person could see instead of burrying your head in the sand not to see any thing positive about Ethiopia. I believe that Ethiopia is on a good start towards becoming a prosperous and democratic nation.

Anonymous said...

M2008

Anon 4/01/2008 11:38 PM apparently is unhappy with Mr. Madebo's response to Washera's article posted in Aiga. The article in essence contends that Mr. Meles has done well delivering good leadership. I could not comprehend why contradicting that contention should surprise anyone. After all, the fact that Meles failed the nation in more than one way is the consensus.

Unfortunately, Anon 4/01 simply failed to explain to the reader his own position in regard to the issues. Instead, he dwelt entirely on Mr. Madebo's arrogance and how he is "Like your southern bro (for got his name)"; or how "your sweeping conclusions are unrealistic at best and uninformed at worst."

I suggest that Anon go back and read the article in Aiga (even if he was the author)and start all over again on Mr. Madebo's. Sometimes a second look helps to clarify matters. This time, please leave out his "southern friends."

Anonymous said...

M2008, the simple reason why I would not even read past Mr. Madebo’s first two paragraphs is that because his opinionated essays are nothing but just simplistic opinions and insults that result from his hatred towards the leadership of the Ethiopian Government and especially Meles Zenawi. I do believe in reasoning and that is why I care to read the materials posted on ENSET. However, time and again I think that Mr. Madebo is failing to have a grip of reality and you should not blame me for not reading through something that does not have any factual basis.
Frankly, I agree with you that it is worth responding to what this guy has to say if he had the courage to weigh at least the very obvious developments that the country has been registering over the last few years. Unfortunately, Mr. Madebo is continuing bizarrely to blackmail anything that comes out of the Ethiopian Gov’t. No body needs to be a supporter of the regime to appreciate the facts on the ground.

Let me ask you these very simple questions. Who give Mr. Madebo the authority to judge whether Meles is intelligent or not? By what metric or measure is he capable of judging people’s intelligence or lack thereof? For instance, if Meles is to be judged, he will be judged by all Ethiopian children, not only Mr. Madebo’s VA born and raised children. And what the hake, how is that very important what his kids or grand kids have say than those millions of Ethiopian kids (strictly speaking!)? At least, we have information and data from respected personalities about how they judge Meles. For instance, many world leaders (Bill Clinton, Carter, Blair, etc) and academicians (Prof. Sachs) many times have praised for his achievements. Due to his accomplishments he has been invited to be a member in the Blair commission, his invitation to the Clinton foundation conference (BTW, he was a panelist along big names so Mr. Madebo should be ashamed of even suggesting Meles’s legacy is a fairy tale). I feel sorry for making me say stuff that I would not have dared to write about.

Let be truthful, writing opinion pieces from somewhere in the US/VA (I have no idea how long this guy might have been outside of the country for that matter to even be in a position to write about anything Ethiopian let alone to do reliable analysis) is very easy, what is hard is to be able to confront the malaise of development on the ground like what the people he tells are “desecrated” have been doing through out their youth life. So, Mr M2008, you better tell Mr. Madebo to be a man!

Anonymous said...

To begin with I do not buy some of the arguments of Mr. Ephrem, specially he gave much attention for single poor cadre called Washere. However, I am one of guys looking for humiliating death of Meles Zenaw Like Sadam Hussien for the crimes he has done against the people of Ethiopia and region in general for my people of South in particular.

What is your measurement for his intelligence? Yes, he was given the chance to attend single medical school that country had at the moment. He with advice foreign agents from east and west left school and provoked the war for the sake of secession of Eritrea; I think that is the intelligence you are talking about? Now or then I do not mind secession of Eritrea, and Tigray, I would be more than happy if Tigray joins their Eritrean cousins as per original plan Meles led TPLF- plan. I remember how many people were died and destabilized in my village so that Tigray may remain as part of Ethiopia. Should I blame Mengistu for death of my brother who shed his blood in Tigray. Should I forget the man who killed many Ethiopians by money and weapon collected from Egypt and CIA, who were fighting for economic interest and ideology, respectively? Should I forget youth of south who are dying in Somalia as we speak for meaningless war or the war that your puppet "intelligent" self appointed PM is fighting? Should I be surprised if Bill Clinton or Blair applauds their slave servant- who is ready to serve their interest at any cost? Should we join you and chant "Meles is intelligent", that is on our grave. I am just student, son of farmer from South-I was high school student when you're "intelligent" man was taking over Mengistu. I hope you won't call me dergue. Therefore do not be surprised with "verbal arrogance" of kind of Ephrems, that is what is supposed to do - that is gives step for practical action for my generation - rather think about what kind of hate TPLF is buying for Tigray.

Ephrem Madebo said...

Anonymous,
What is your point here, the essence of the article is not about monastic life, it is about a person whom I believe is taking my country in to the hole . You forgot the essence and pointed your gun on a minor point. Isn’t that why we are poor? Having people like you who spend most of their time and energy on peripheral issues. I don’t think I need statistical figure for every claim I make; some things are universally accepted facts. “Ethiopia is a Christians Island” Is this true? No! Ethiopians were Christians before England was known as a nation. Is this a true statement? Absolutely. History might not have been written they way I stated the above statement, however, my statement can be derived from many historical facts. In my article, I did not put a numerical fact; I just made a general statement that I can always repeat with full confidence. Can you tell me the name of a monastery in South Ethiopia established by southerners? In the Ethiopian context, isn’t monastic life closely associated with Orthodox Christianity? Except in urban centers, southern Ethiopians are not Orthodox Christians (you can read any population survey or history books). Southern Ethiopians are Protestants, Muslims, and indigenous religion followers. So how do southern Ethiopians know about something that is not part of their culture? I think arrogance is part of your DNA that should not be allowed to pass to the next generation. I don’t want to play dirty games with you, I am not in to that, however, I live the burden of proof on you. Please use any statistical fact, population survey, or history books to disprove my claim, if you don’t, you are publicly proving your arrogance. I repeat, most South Ethiopians do not know or know less about monastic life.

Ephrem Madebo said...

Anonymous,

I don't need the testimony of Tony Blair or Bill Clinton to not believe that I have a butcher in 4 Kilo. Isn't Tony Blair a man who was forced to resign because he would never listen to his own people, but Bush? So why would I listen to him. A closer association with US leaders doesn't make you a good leader or person. Think of Mobuto and Bin Laden. These two evils were close friends of past US leaders, and the current US leaders do not have a different stand. The US and England stand for what is good for them, not for us. You said: “(God knows if Mesfin allowed a person with a name of Madebo could be around him at that crunchy time)” What is Porf. Mesfin’s preferred last name? Gebre Mariam? Habte Selassie? Or Zenawi? Shame on you! This is exactly what you learn when you join the ethnic school of Meles Zenawi!

Ephrem Madebo said...

Anonymous,

I don't need the testimony of Tony Blair or Bill Clinton to not believe that I have a butcher in 4 Kilo. Isn't Tony Blair a man who was forced to resign because he would never listen to his own people, but Bush? So why would I listen to him? A closer association with US leaders doesn't make you a good leader or person. Think of Mobuto and Bin Laden. These two evils were close friends of past US leaders, and the current US leaders do not have a different stand. The US and England stand for what is good for them, not for us. You said: “(God knows if Mesfin allowed a person with a name of Madebo could be around him at that crunchy time)” What is Porf. Mesfin’s preferred last name? Gebre Mariam? Habte Selassie? Or Zenawi? Shame on you! This is exactly what you learn when you join the ethnic school of Meles Zenawi!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Madebo, you are soooo funny. You would like me to get back up data for your unsubstantiated claims? Where did you learn that? In what kind of world is that the critic asked to bring data to substantiate some one's claims. You make general statements and you tell me that they are derived from historical facts. Please find a better analogy than what ever you blurb about christianity. I had hopes that you might have read some things (you said you live near to VTech and hence to its library) but now I know. You are not talking to some bulshit here. Get your facts and audacious claims right before you blurb your shit. More audacious is your reference to some of us as TPLF idiots, come on ... this is like the monkey telling the tiger to cover its butt. You probably are more familiar with "melke tifu besim yidegfu..if you at all got a "sim").

You seem to hate Meles's ethnic politics, but the core beneficiaries are the people whom you say you belong to. Count the number of universities they were able to construct with the better environment that they created for themseleves since 91. Of course there is more into it than counting infrastructure development. Get over your ethnic bias and your hate towards a certain group and that will free to see things. It is the only way you could get solace for your self. I would never forsee any person who would be saved by your hateful propoganda from "contamination" by Washera's writings. Save your self first!

ZAZU said...

Annonymous, you blabber on and on and you yourself do not read what you have written. Ephrem has said "I’m one of the most animated opponents of Meles, but I’ve never questioned his intelligence " and you ask in your post "how you do you measure his intelligence?" in a way that makes it look like he was questioning the stupid dictator's intlligence. You also write "… and now you are telling the world that you knew stuff that most of the people (over 20 million people) did not when you were barely 13! " What? What is the big deal about a 13 year old Ethiopian knowing about a famous monastery...atleast he could have heard his father go like..."be waldibam yezefenal" and asked about it and someobdy explained? why do you try to make it look like such an outlandish claim just to serve your end of discrediting him because he attacked your aigaforum crackhead....Come on, let's try to be reasonable, and keep your poisonous ethnic lessons from the 'maestro' to yourselves. We have had enough of that in 17 stupid years...And you have shown on atleast on two occasions in your posts that you are a good student of the Melesian ethnicist school...I don't want to repeat them...but you should not spit out your poisonous, divisive,
EPRDF-esqe ethnic notions in the same breath that you uttered the name of Mesfin W.Mariam....Good work Ephrem...Ignore the nutheads in the likeness of Anon and keep on writing ....