By Zenebe G Tamirat
The impressionists were said to have been the most courageous but untalented artists in the mid 18th century of France. They claimed themselves to be revolutionary insisting to change the course of art forever.
When I first heard of the TPLF from a transmission that seems to be hidden in a faraway forest I was doing the listening hidden & with great caution so that no pro-Derge Agents would notice what I was doing. Listening to propaganda other than that of the Dergue used to end in a slash off the neck during that time. What really impressed me then was the situation in which the Dergue killed the king who armed it with rifles to use in defense of the people against external enemies. The king had believed that his soldiers would not turn the muzzle of the gun to the sacred royal family. I thought the Dergue was mighty and indubitable, for, it was bragging scary propaganda.
The TPLF on the other side was assuring the people that it would kill the army under the command of the Dergue and enter the capital city soon victoriously. I was impressed so much. I said that the leader of the TPLF must have been terrible. I was longing for their arrival at the capital city to bless them with my support! When they arrived I was stunned to see what they were looking like and with what they were up to. They were even more terrible than I expected them to be.
The first thing the TPLF did when entering Addis was clash against a crowd that rejected its red flag with the sign of the hammer and the sickle. Next day I saw a contingent of the TPLF Militiamen wrapping some bread and enjera with Ethiopian Flag. My feeling to this show was both anger and sorrow. Anger because the act was outrageous, sorrow because I was unable to do anything against these ignorant peasants because they were armed to the tooth with machine guns and grenades.
When Melese Zenawi was asked about the disrespect that his Militiamen and other members of his party were exposing he said rhetorically, he does not care about the Cherque, (piece of rag). I was disgusted. Yesterday, I was more impressed to see his dregs, wrapped and honored by the same object he called Cherque, the Ethiopian flag, pulled by the Imperial Cart, and surrounded by a flock of Bishops and Archbishops heading to the Holy Trinity Cathedral, its final resting spot. It is all amazing and perplexing. Melese Zenawi, a Guerrilla fighter, a communist, a capitalist, a Christian, a Prime Minister an Emperor, a dictator and what not was indeed the enfant terrible of the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF).
The expression enfant terrible, is a nick name given to Edouard Manet (1832-83 ) for stealing the show in the famous Impressionist Salon (where they exhibit their works) with his amazing art work, the Lunch on the Grass, a Summer picnic set in the woods, in which two business men are entertaining two node women. He did that in an exhibition Salon of great respect that allows only the few and the selected artists like Degas, Pissarro, Renoir and Birth Morisot. The painting caused such a stir that it placed Manet in an instant notoriety. Since then, he became the enfant terrible of the art world by which he was distinguished for most of his career.
Like Edouard Manet, Melese Zenawi was distinguished by his notoriety. Some of the characters he exhibited in his persona include , disposing hatred to Pan-Ethiopianism, advocating ethnic nationalism, disintegrating national unity, destabilizing Ethiopia and fervor to building the Axumite Empire over the precedence of Tigray superiority, spreading ethnic animosity between the various tribal sectors including Tigray itself like between the contending children of Adowa and Axum, Shire and Makale and Tembien.
Like the impressionists the TPLF closes its doors behind non-members and makes it difficult for participation. Non-Impressionists that were refused to participate in the Salon however were lucky at least they were given an alternative by the then Emperor Napoleon who established what was known as the Salon de Refuse in response to the outcry of those rejected to expose their artistic works at the Impressionists Salon because they were not accepted as members. Unfortunately in the case of the opposition here there is no one to listen to their outcry. TPLF and Zenawi are two faces of the same coin. Emperor Zenawi does not provide the Salon de Refuse for those who are refused of human rights. So the opposition is left to look for its own Salon de refuse all by itself. Unfortunately such a salon once almost achieved was quickly demolished by the lethal arms of the TPLF led by its enfant terrible.
Contrary to the Impressionists Zenawi was talented with the art of flip flapping and was also extremely pretentious. When he entered Addis Ababa he said, the peoples he fought for were hardworking what they needed was freedom; freedom to speak, freedom to write, and freedom to choose what is best for them. But when he stood firm in power he accomplished none of his promises. Instead he imprisoned those who wrote, intimidated those who spoke and reversed the choice they made as best for them. This was overly demonstrated in 2005. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=u-V7oMke1Fo&NR=1
When he entered the White House, the nauseating Marxist of the Albanian type that served as the head of the School of Revolutionary Cadres there in the jungle, flip flapped to be a disciple of Adams, Hamilton and Jefferson, the fathers of American capitalism and democracy. He lectured George W. Bush in the Oval Office, on the disputes of the Federalists and the anti-Federalists. He consulted him on how to sprint from Ethiopia and hit Terrorism in the Horn of Africa and beyond; in North Africa and Yemen.
When Tony Blare, struck out his name from his list of African Model Leaders, he challenged him inviting China but in the meantime lobbied for his reinstatement through Nicolas Sarkozy, the French President who believed that Meles Zenawi was the person to work with business in Africa. When Blare, remade his mind to reinstate him, he refused to work for him unless he pays his due and to the astonishment of the multitude, Blare had to pay the due required immediately in millions of Euros. People thought Melese was smart; but how can you call him smart when he left Eritrea with Ethiopias only outlet to the sea and made his own country landlocked later to become a headache to his dictatorial rule? And how can you call him smart when he filthily entertained Chinese with resettlement land for their troubled citizens, endangering the nation with a force equipped with nuclear weapon? And tell me how you may call him smart while he submits to the demand of the West to let thousands of Ethiopian Soldiers die in neighboring lands?
The US does not like his matrimonial with the Chinese but does not want to lose his services either. He does what he is told to do in neighboring Somalia, the newly independent State of South Sudan, even in North Sudan, soothing his friend Al Beshir, and working as a middleman between Africa and the West. So the U.S. prefers to take its share bitterly swallowing its jealousy of China. To keep its share alive, it betrays its constitution derived from its forefathers that rejects dictatorship and kept on feeding Zenawis authoritarian government budget in billions of dollars. With the aid collected from the U.S. and Europe amounting to about 4mln a year, a miracle could happen in Ethiopia. Using this money Zenawi did insufficiently to the growth of the nation and yet it was highly exaggerated by Western Government leaders and Western Media simply because Zenawi was the perfect boy to take their orders. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-19454803
In her Eulogy speech delivered at the funeral ceremony of Zenawi, Suzan Rice applauded Melese saying that he has done a lot to her personally and to her country. She called him passionate, uncommonly wise, tough and unsentimental and most of all a person who loves his country. There she goes mendacious! Melese never loved his country and he had demonstrated his hatred to Ethiopia repeatedly. Rather Melese is sweet to Tigray, sweeter to the West, sweetest, to China and nasty to Ethiopia. The reason as to why Suzan was applauding him excessively has been obvious from her speech; it is because he has made a lot to her personally and to her country. I do not think that there will be anyone who does not agree to her statement here. But she blows the dust on the eyes of many when she talks about the love she was saying that Melese had to his land.
I do not understand how Rice, a distinguished Rhode Scholar, the doctoral thesis of whom had won the Walter Frewin Lord Prize for Outstanding Research in the field of Commonwealth History plus the Chatham House International Studies Association prize makes such rubbish mistakes. She admires the dictator who killed more than 200 peaceful demonstrators in the streets of Addis Ababa just to rig an election, murdered 400 Agnuwak citizens in Gambela for refusing to sell their land to foreigners. She insults opposition party members who differ from Melese in political outlook officially calling them fools and idiots. She says she is always struck because Melese is consistently reasoned by his judgment. Which one of the above judgments is consistently reasoned to really struck, Dr. Suzan, God only Knows! Ethiopians are really annoyed by her unbalanced statements. Some opposition members even accuse her for referring them to as Idiots. What a diplomat and what a failed diplomacy is genius Suzan playing here? She mingles passion with politics & emotion with wishes.
Dr. Suzan is considered to be a respected diplomat as a representative of a great nation in a great world body; but by committing such silly mistakes the respected diplomat has indeed degraded her honor and reverence that the people of Ethiopia have had for her and her family. Moreover for the unprecedentedly irrational view she echoed about Melese Zenawi the people of Ethiopia have begun questioning the integrity of her scholar parents and the judgment of President Obama for assigning such eerie person to represent the great nation of the U.S.A. in the UN. The elite consider her as Persona non grata. The people of Ethiopia have begun to ask how can Rice raised and brought up in a scholastic family consider a twenty years iron-feet-dictator a democrat and the act of killing of hundreds in a manner that equals the act of genocide as an act consistently reasoned by judgment. I am sure the people of the United States will join their counterpart, Ethiopians in demanding explanation to this faulty deportment.
Out of Ethiopia many, including journalists disagree with her on the statement that she equivocally exaggerated in outlining the nature of Melese Zenawi who is noted for his abuse of human rights all over the world. Diplomats and foreign Media may agree on the economic achievements they claim he gained though the people of Ethiopia are still starving, but not for the nature and behavior described by Suzan Rice.
The links above were attached here with for contrast between what Suzan says and what the people of Ethiopia say. The people say Melese is nasty to Ethiopians that he ruthlessly killed their children. Suzan says Melese is a sweet darling. Yes, we know! Melese the Enfant Terrible of the TPLF is sweet to Tigray, sweeter to the West, sweetest to China and nasty to Ethiopia. But we, as Ethiopians are prohibited to blame dead persons by culture. As we respect the laws of culture and traditions, and as we obey the law of God, love thy enemies, we pray May God rest the soul of the King in peace and God save the Ambassador!
The writer Zenebe G. Tamirat is available at email@example.com. Also you may follow the writer on twitter, Neguodguadzeneb@twitter.com and/or like Zenebe Tamirat @facebook.com