Friday, June 9

Reality Check

In 1998 when Eritrea invaded Ethiopia (as the Meles-Issias alliance in their war against both Ethiopians and Eritreans collapsed) the ensuing information war gave us an interesting lesson. Certainly, neither government was capable of coherently presenting its case, but Ethiopia's interests were pursued with a criminal ineptitude until Dagmawi took on that task from that familiar URL at geocities.

Suddenly, sober logic & fact became a possibility amidst the shrill din of cadres, spokesmen and information ministers. The world of Ethiopian commentary and opinion is still playing catchup. In Chimpanzee Politics and the Alliance for Dismemberment we are reminded why this is so.

The opposition alliance is a bad idea. In the end, Ethiopians are the ultimate losers and Meles Inc. the winners in every form of ethnic / regional / religious politics. The concept of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" has been stretched a bit too far in this case.

While supporters of the government speak with one voice always (unless they are infiltrating the opposition and afterwards undergo ritual cadre re-programming) - it is healthy and hopeful that supporters of the opposition and all opponents of the government have normal political disagreements - even over the most serious issues.

Unlike the bloodshed & chains that define the classically bolshevik tribal permanent revolutionary front at the core of the government - peaceful and reasoned but principled and stubborn opposition is more of a nightmare for the regime than a massive guerrilla uprising would be.

The maturity displayed by the opposition at every stage while regularly disagreeing with each other without purges and murders and life long enemies being made is what we most admire about the opposition. The way they react to disagreement today is the way they will treat their own opposition once they are in power and it is reassuring.

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