By Hama Tuma
The Western machine of demonization and disinformation is huge, very, very huge. The absolute control of the media and its unhealthy impact on the world has been documented by the likes of Chomsky and Michael Moore and I have little to add to all that. You run a murderous regime but if the West likes you, definitely you will be enjoying much slack and tolerance. And even praise from the World Bank, the IMF and the Western ambassadors. The West hates you, then you become a demon and the huge machinery rolls over you. Check out many of Americas allies that have been demonized when their luck changed.
The disinformation also knows no bounds. Saudi Arabia crushed a demonstration in its own land with brutality and not much was said about it. Bahrain has done the same and the invasion by the Saudis is glossed over. Yemens Saleh has burnt himself and is now being abandoned as Washington becomes the kingmaker aggressively saying this or that ruler has to go and must be replaced in this or that way. When Khadafys turn came Libyans under his rule were almost being presented as the most destitute in that part of Africa! No one cared to explain why thousands of foreign workers flocked there. Where did the Obama promise to treat others with respect and not to arrogantly strut and ride roughshod over their sovereignty go to? The American president is telling every Saleh and Gbagbo to leave. Who gave him that right especially when he cuddles pro American tyrants from Ethiopia to Equatorial Guinea to Saudi Arabia and beyond?
Khadafy is Jewish said the Western media fearing no ridicule whatsoever. We are being told also that some of his sons are plotting against him and all of them are at one anothers throats. The man called The Guide is now being called a tyrant as if the West discovered his nature just last February. On the other side of the ideological divide, Hugo Chavez ridiculed himself recently calling Basher Al Assad a humanitarian, a good doctor trained in London! Goebbels was Dr. Goebbels, no? What has being a doctor trained in London got to do with it? Basher, son of Assad, presides over a military-security junta of sorts described by polite Syrians as dictatorial. In other words, by declaring Basher a humanitarian Chavez has exposed the sad truth of the deficiency and warped state of his concept of humanitarianism.
The tin pot dictators allied to the West have learnt from all the disinformation and the double standard. Have oil and reign supreme is the underlying motto and for those that got the oil it is working just fine. Gabon, Congo Brazza, Eaquatorial Guinea, Saudi Arabia and more are examples. Those without oil can sell and peddle themselves to the West and serve as canon fodder and mercenary. The Meles, Museveni, Ben Ali, Saleh and Mubarak regimes come to mind. In any case, they all try their own pathetic disinformation aided and abetted by the West. Take an example: American ambassador to Ethiopia, Donald Booth, has expectedly joined his predecessors in praising the butcher of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi and his regime which benefit annually more than a billion dollar of aid from Washington.
Ethiopia is an island of stability in a very troubled region, Booth said explaining that the US is keen to continue working with Ethiopia to promote regional peace and stability. We look to Ethiopia to help resolve regional conflicts, to contribute peacekeeping forces where those are needed in Africa, and for cooperation in countering terrorism and violent extremism, the ambassador elaborated.
Do not be mistakenBooth does know what is going on. He knows the regime he is endorsing directly and otherwise is a repressive and violent regime that has massacred thousands and is far from being stable. The Meles regime is actually the problem par excellence in the search for the regions stability. A war mongering regime like many, the Meles regime praised by Booth has remained alien to peace. But all this does not matter. The dictator is on the right side of the alignment, taking orders from Washington, proving itself the obedient baby of the West, corrupt and malleable to boot. Arent Meles, his wife and many officials keeping millions of stolen money in America, Britain and other Western countries?
Meles Zenawi has in the past committed one the most heinous acts of national betrayal in Ethiopian history by forfeiting strategic land. The ceding of Ethiopian land to the Sudan and the ongoing land grab by foreigners constitute more treasonous acts of high perfidy. The damage that foreign companies engaged in the land grab have brought to the land and the environment is known by the world at large and even criticized by the UN itself. And yet, the regime has the chutzpah to wash its eyes with salt, as we say in Ethiopia, and to formally and openly declare the following:
Land deals in Ethiopia bring food self-sufficiency, and prosperity
Foreign investments help Ethiopia to develop, and provide knowledge, skills and taxes. The Ethiopian government’s absolute prime concern is ensuring food self-sufficiency at both national and household level. The first has already been attained and we are now working towards the second.
Khadafi is Jewish? Fantastic! How come then he is not treated as such? We never saw Israel being bombed for bombing Gaza or the Palestinians. And no less than 10 million Ethiopians under the Meles regime are not surviving through food aid but are self sufficient in food at the national level. As we say in Ethiopia beje! Ewinet? lelas?what else is there to say? Fiction of the fantasy genre. Disinformation to be effective must base itself on a portion (however tiny) of the truth. It must appear believable enough to dupe the victims. Disinformation does not mean spinning wild tales and macabre stories so much so that the listeners and readers break into a frenzy of laughter or disgust. Still, Khadafy being Jewish is more believable than arguing land grab brought self sufficiency and that now Ethiopians are nationally self sufficient in food. Mind you nationally but not individually which must mean the country is awash with food and the citizens are as hungry as ever. Oh yes, and to declare boldly, as Booth did, that Ethiopia is an island of stability in the troubled region and a bulwark of peace falls within the realm of Newspeak. To add insult to injury, Meles says Ethiopia will by itself fund a US $ 4.7 billion dam project which is, among other factors, very close to the Sudanese border and thus security wise very stupid. Who will pay? Not Meles and his cronies from their stolen millions, no. The very, very poor people are going to be forced to buy bonds, to hand over a months salary and to give up their provident funds and savings.
Teret Teret is all this talk of national food self sufficiency as the land of Ethiopia gets auctioned for cheap and millions survive on food aid. The days of the Meles regime are numbered and it is not disinformation at all. Khadafy is not Jewish but he did tell the world Meles Zenawi is an Arab from Yemen. This can be believed as it was Meles himself who told him that Ethiopians are Arabs from Yemen, Ethiopia would join the Arab League, and that even his fathers name Zenawi is a Yemenite name. Now, this is an interesting and amusing statement which can be made to fly every which way you can.