Exporting tyranny to Washington, DC

By Abebe Gellaw / April 9, 2010
The audacity of Meles Zenawi and his vultures has reached a new low. In his recent press conference, the tyrant was not hesitant to declare his disdain for the basic rights of the people of Ethiopia. After jamming the Voice of America, the charlatan ruler felt no shame whatsoever when he accused VOA of trying to instigate genocide, an idea that is dangerously playing in his evil heart.

“We have been convinced for many years that in many respects, the VOA Amharic Service has copied the worst practices of radio stations such as Radio Mille Collines of Rwanda in its wanton disregard of minimum ethics of journalism and engaging in destabilizing propaganda," Meles said. Alas!

It appears that the Obama administration has been trying to figure out the cost of propping up a tyrant who bites the fingers that feed him. Though it is hard to feel sorry for the Americans as they have made significant contributions to prolong the lifeline of the tyrant in power, they have now started to speak out against the misdeeds of their tyrannical friend. In a recent editorial reflecting the official position of the US government, VOA has declared that silence is not golden in Ethiopia at a time when Meles is muffling America’s voice.

“While a friend and supporter of Ethiopia, the United States nevertheless cannot remain silent on such actions and censorship, which run counter to the country's constitution. It is watching with great interest and encourages all parties there to act responsibly during the election campaign. An election cannot be run under the guise of democratic process if all candidates cannot participate freely and state their case or if political news is suppressed,” the editorial said.

The statement is unprecedented by itself due to the fact that the US has chosen to turn blind eyes and deaf ears for nearly two decades. Mr. Zenawi has been committing gross human rights violations and atrocities without any serious criticisms from Washington and its allies, which are known to be too quick to condemn unfriendly tyrants in countries like Burma, Zimbabwe, Iran and Cuba. But it appears that the US is once again learning a hard lesson, i.e., tyrannies are the same. There are no friendly and unfriendly tyrannies. In fact, selective outrage, reserved only for unfriendly tyrants, has seriously undermined the credibly of America’s image as a “beacon of freedom”. This is a reminder of the fact tat the US should be consistently true to its values and creeds.

The tyrannical regime in Ethiopia and its paid agents know no bounds of shame. After they have jammed VOA and crashed any dissenting voices in the country, they are now working 24/7 to disrupt any meetings and workshops even outside Ethiopia. The tyrants think that nobody can hold meetings without their permission. Nobody has a right to discuss issues about their country. Nobody has a right to make their voices heard, whether it be in Ethiopia or Washington DC. They have been bombarding potential participants and the sponsors of the conference on the Horn of Africa with outrageous allegations and threats.

Look no further than the voice of tyranny and intolerance called Aiga Forum. The supremacists, who believe that suppression is their birthright, have been making a fool of themselves by accusing every decent Ethiopian of being “Dergist” and terrorist. As a matter of fact, what is on display is the arrogance and tyranny of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which has already taken Ethiopians hostages in their own country. What is even more outrageous is the fact that the tyranny of Meles Zenawi is following Ethiopians to foreign lands where they have taken refuge and solace.

One mouthpiece of tyranny called Zeru Hagos scribbled: “But these are dying souls who are trying to distract the innocent and lure them in to their dogma…It is high time they resign unless they have chosen to die a slow death and have their names be engraved in the history books as the main players to deter Ethiopia from moving forward!?” But what Zeru cannot see is the death of tyranny, rejected from North to South. His hero, the looter tyrant, is a dead man walking loathed and cursed by millions. His gun is the only hope he has in this world. He has no life without his machetes. Poor Zeru is only worshiping a false god who does not even know his fate when justice catches up with him.

The organizers of the conference on the Horn of Africa should not take this matter lightly. They should actively identify those who are spreading false allegations and pass the information to law enforcement as the majority of these agents of tyranny are only in the United States under false pretence that they are persecuted in Ethiopia.

As President Obama said last year in Accra: “Africa is not the crude caricature of a continent at perpetual war.… There are wars over land and wars over resources. And it is still far too easy for those without conscience to manipulate whole communities into fighting among faiths and tribes.” Those without conscience are happy to see us divided and fight among ourselves rather than peacefully discuss ways of claiming our destiny.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend this august meeting due to other pressing commitments. However, my message is simple. Let the vultures hover above the roofs but they will have no chance of wreaking havoc in meeting halls where decent men and women talk about facts, truths, anxieties and hope for the future. After all, freedom, not tyranny, is a birthright for all in spite of the fact that tyrants may have neither the capacity nor the will to understand this self-evident truth.

With their clumsy and disruptive efforts, Meles Zenawi and his agents are only making it plain that they desire to export tyranny to Washington DC. After all, the United States in a land of freedom where anyone can exercise their constitutionally guaranteed rights. Any effort to undermine freedom is not only futile but also an expression of ignorance of the highest order. Nothing less, nothing more!