By Prof. Al Mariam
Author’s Note: The irony of ironies is that Barack Obama and I now share one thing in common. The hate-mongering birthers in America sought to cast doubt on Obama’s identity and birthplace to delegitimize his presidency by spinning a conspiracy theory that he was born in Kenya. The T-TPLF hate-mongers are now spinning a birther conspiracy theory to de-Ethiopianize me and delegitimize my unrelenting human rights advocacy in Ethiopia by claiming they have “doubts” about my Ethiopiawinet (Ethiopian-ness). The T-TPLF birthers say “some of my writings over the past several years raise doubt” as to whether I am a “real” Ethiopian.
In this commentary, I offer my reply to the hate-mongering T-TPLF birthers. I am not just an Ethiopian. I am a PROUD Ethiopian. That is one thing the T-TPLF fake, fair-weather Ethiopian wannabes can never, in a million years, say!
The ultimate litmus test for true Ethiopiawinet is total and resolute opposition to the T-TPLF mercenaries.
The T-TPLF responds to me in person for the first time ever!
Last week I gave an interview to Voice of America- Amharic Program regarding my letter to President Donald Trump asking for targeted sanctions against the T-TPLF regime similar to those the U.S. imposed in September on South Sudanese regime leaders, their supporters and business entities engaged in human rights violations, undermining democracy and contributing to instability. In that interview, I recapitulated a number of the essential points included in my letter for the benefit of listeners in Ethiopia including references to the T-TPLF Irreecha Massacres in October 2016, the 2005 post-election Meles Massacres, the Ogaden Massacres of 2008, the Gambella Massacres of 2003 and the ongoing massacres in various part of Amhara “kilil”.
In one segment of the interview, VOA journalist Solomon Kifle asked me to comment on a statement purportedly issued by the Intergovernmental Development Authority (IGAD) opposing any kind of sanctions against South Sudan. In my response, I stated that it is the T-TPLF and not IGAD that is opposing sanctions against South Sudanese leaders principally out of concern for their vast investments in that country. I underscored the fact that the T-TPLF cares as much about South Sudan as it does Ethiopia. I argued the T-TPLF is hiding behind IGAD’s skirt to give the appearance of legitimacy to its own self-serving opposition.
Solomon Kifle managed get the T-TPLF’s reactions to my comments on sanctions against the T-TPLF itself and IGAD’s purported opposition to sanctions. Meles Alem, a T-TPLF troll-cum-spokesman in thugspeak said,
We don’t need to respond to that [Prof. Al Mariam’s comments]. But we will respond because listeners need to hear the evidence. Beyond that Prof. Al Mariam over the past several years has published numerous writings. Some of them raise doubt as to his Ethiopian-ness. I don’t want to respond to him, but in general Ethiopia has done much to seek peace and stability in South Sudan…
Alem did not address any of the points I made in the interview. Instead, he pretended to be dismissive of my comments and blurted out the T-TPLF’s “doubts” about my Ethiopian-ness. The implication was that he need not respond to the comments of someone with doubtful Ethiopian-ness.
Well, well, well!
After 12 years of silence, the T-TPLF finally decided to respond to me for the first time ever not by challenging me on the facts, the evidence or the arguments in any of my writings but on my Ethiopian-ness.
It is a challenge I accept here with gusto, exhilaration, and pleasure.
I must confess I am somewhat amused that T-TPLF for the first time decided to respond to a statement I made in an interview on South Sudan while exercising their right to remain silent to my 800-plus weekly commentaries on Ethiopia spanning a period of 12 years.
In the interest of accuracy, back in 2010, the T-TPLF issued a statement on an interview I gave to Al Jazeera debunking the make-believe T-TPLF election that year. In the statement, the T-TPLF said I had misrepresented the fact of their 99.6 election victory by suggesting it was the actual percentage of votes cast instead of parliamentary seats controlled. Apparently, that made a big difference to them. Their logic was that they won 99.6 percent of the seats in “parliament” by winning a minimum of 50.1 percent of the votes cast in all election districts. It was one of those surreal T-TPLF donkey logic moments.
Before launching my reply, I want to make a few preliminary observations about the T-TPLF birthers who are challenging my Ethiopian-ness and some ironies in the whole situation.
First, I find it ironic that Barack Obama, my nemesis, and I have found ourselves defending against “birthers” who question and doubt our true origins. The hate-mongering birthers in America claimed Obama was not a real American deserving of being president because he was born in Africa (Kenya). The T-TPLF hate-mongers in Ethiopia are now claiming that my “Ethiopian-ness is to be doubted” because of my Ethiopia human rights writings and advocacy living in America. Have I become the Barack Obama of Ethiopia for the T-TPLF? (“God! Banish the thought.”)
Second, I am offended that my Ethiopian-ness should be challenged by a gang of lowlife thugs who literally sold Ethiopia down the river (to Karuturi on the Alwero and Baro Rivers) and on the Red Sea when they declared the port of Asab belongs someone else and Ethiopia does not need a port. That is what they told the U.S. mediator Herman Cohen in 1991. That is how they landlocked Ethiopia. These holier-than-thou (we-are-more-Ethiopian-than-you) gang of Ethio-phobic thugs used to travel the world over as citizens of Somalia, Libya and what have you “fighting their war of liberation” against Ethiopia itself. Indeed, it is the same gang of thugs who ran into the bush to create a separate country called the “Republic of Tigray”, separate and apart from Ethiopia, who are now questioning my Ethiopian-ness.
I find it laughable that these dyed-in-the-wool anti-Ethiopians should question my Ethiopian-ness.
Third, I am pleased to know the reason the T-TPLF did not directly respond to me for nearly 12 years was not because they were too ignorant to understand what I was writing about but rather because they were studying and assessing my writings to gather evidence to disprove my Ethiopian-ness. But I am also puzzled how the T-TPLF could logically conclude someone who is not an Ethiopian or whose Ethiopian-ness is in doubt should write long and expansive commentaries about human rights in Ethiopia for 12 years unless, of course, he is a dyed-in-the-wool Ethiopian. Suffice it to say, I have never understood the donkey logic of those who have purchased their degrees from online diploma mills.
Fourth, I am inclined to think that the T-TPLF chose not to respond to me personally for nearly 12 years because I have told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about them. The T-TPLF would be dancing in the streets if they could prove I have lied or presented falsehoods in any of my commentaries or verbal statements. What the T-TPLF thugs do not understand is that I would rather lose an argument than win it by lies and misrepresentations. That must be an incredibly difficult thing to understand for those born and condemned to live in a world of lies, damned lies and statislies (statistical lies). For those learned in the ways of satyagraha, it is just “another day at the office”.
Fifth, I am gratified to know that at least “for the last several years”, the T-TPLF bosses, cronies and trolls have been my “students” reporting for a human rights class every Monday morning. If they should object to the term “students”, Meles Alem, T-TPLF spokesman, has certainly affirmed they are devout followers of my Monday “sermons” looking for evidence of my doubtful Ethiopian-ness.
Sixth, I am somewhat disappointed that the T-TPLF learned absolutely nothing from my commentaries and “sermons” after spending so much time and effort scrutinizing them. Because if they had, they could have benefitted immeasurably. It is true one cannot teach the willfully ignorant.
Seventh, I am gratified that the T-TPLF should question my Ethiopian-ness for a very special reason. They said “some of my writings raise doubts about my Ethiopian-ness.” Logically, that means the vast majority of my writings raise no doubts about my Ethiopian-ness. What I find supremely gratifying is the fact that the T-TPLF singled me out of 100 million Ethiopians to partially question and substantially affirm my Ethiopian-ness.
For the T-TPLF there is no such person as an Ethiopian, whose Ethiopian-ness could be doubted and questioned. There are Oromos, Amharas, Tigreans, Gurages, Somalis, Ogadenis… For the T-TPLF, there are nations, nationalities and peoples living in a place called “Ethiopia”. For the T-TPLF, there are no such people called “Ethiopians” living in Ethiopia.
To be singled out of 100 million people and have my Ethiopian-ness questioned by the T-TPLF is the greatest honor I can possibly imagine in my life. I have never believed or practiced ethnic politics. I do not consider myself Oromo, Amhara, Tigrean, Gurage, Somali, Ogadeni… I am all of them. In other words, I am Ethiopian. And by God, PROUD as hell Ethiopian!
By doubting and questioning my Ethiopian-ness, the T-TPLF has unwittingly affirmed it. Thank you, T-TPLF!
Eight, the T-TPLF while questioning and doubting my Ethiopian-ness has not questioned or doubted the body of evidence in any of my writings or public statements. They can never say that I have ever used false or fabricated evidence (the kind they cook in their statistics office to claim “double-digit growth”) to make my case. For instance, the T-TPLF did not say my assertion that they have extensive economic investments and holdings in South Sudan is a patent falsehood. They did not challenge any of my factual assertions and conclusions in my request for targeted sanctions. They copped out by claiming they just want to share “evidence” of their activities under IGAD in South Sudan.
Ninth, what the T-TPLF has done by questioning my Ethiopians-ness is affirm my steely resolve about my Ethiopian-ness and love for Ethiopia and the Ethiopian people and reinforce my implacable opposition to their crimes against humanity and genocide.
Tenth, I don’t give a rat’s ass what the T-TPLF thinks about my Ethiopian-ness. I could not care less what a bunch of ignorant bush thugs think about my Ethiopian-ness or my writings (assuming they have a clue about what I am writing about).
But if the T-TPLF birthers insist on doubting my 24-carat Ethiopian-ness, I am prepared to produce my birth certificate signed by 100 million Ethiopians, along with a demand of the people of Ethiopia that T-TPLF make its way speedily to the trash bin of history.
I am responding to the T-TPLF herein for one, and only one, reason. Now that they have publicly confirmed they read every word I write, I want to school them in what it means and what it takes to be a true green-yellow-red Ethiopian.
Why does the T-TPLF question and aim to raise doubt about my Ethiopiawinet/Ethiopian-ness?
I am rather curious why the T-TPLF after nearly 12 years of uninterrupted weekly commentaries wanted to engage me in public debate by raising questions about my Ethiopian-ness. As I contemplate the T-TPLF’s timing and impulsive reaction, other questions came to mind.
Did the T-TPLF choose to respond to my commentary on targeted sanctions because they feel vulnerable to such actions by the Trump administration?
Why did the T-TPLF choose to respond to my facts and arguments by focusing on my “Ethiopian-ness”?
What was so important about my sanctions commentary and VOA interview that forced the T-TPLF to come out and respond to me personally when they had kept their silence for 12 years?
Why didn’t the T-TPLF deny directly or indirectly my assertion that T-TPLF is hiding behind IGAD’s skirts to protect its economic interests in South Sudan and not out of concern for the peace and stability of that country?
Why didn’t the T-TPLF affirmatively state its leaders, military and security officials and top supporters have no direct or indirect investment interests in South Sudan?
Did I hit a raw nerve in the T-TPLF nerve center by asking Trump to impose targeted sanctions against them?
Did I hit a raw nerve in the T-TPLF nerve center by exposing their business operations and political machinations in South Sudan?
Did I get under their skin with the painful truth?
“Ouch, ouch, ouch”, cried out the T-TPLF. “Prof. Al Mariam is telling the truth about us. We can’t disprove any of his facts. So, we will divert attention from the issues to his “Ethiopian-ness”. Is this one of those simple-minded T-TPLF PR diversionary tactics?
Why would the T-TPLF want peace, stability and democracy in South Sudan? Isn’t South Sudan one of their biggest meal tickets to U.S. aid. By keeping South Sudan at war and unstable, the T-TPLF can pickpocket American Joe and Jane Taxpayer. The T-TPLF panhandlers can beg for money as U.S. counterterrorism partners.
What was the real purpose of questioning my “Ethiopian-ness”? Is it an expression of their depth of frustration with my relentlessly hammering weekly commentaries? Is it a manifestation of their inability to openly debate the issues in the court of public opinion?
Why would the T-TPLF religiously follow the writings of someone whose Ethiopian-ness is doubtful or questionable?
Does the T-TPLF really think that by questioning my “Ethiopian-ness”, they can portray me as someone who is against Ethiopia and Ethiopians?
What does Ethiopian-ness mean to the T-TPLF? What is the T-TPLF’s standard of Ethiopian-ness? Sucking Ethiopia dry and selling of what’s left for pennies?
Ethiopiawinet or Ethiopian-ness
The T-TPLF troll-cum-spokesman, Meles Alem, was specifically directed by the top T-TPLF bosses to respond to my comments not by responding to the issues I raised but by using the opportunity to cast doubt about my Ethiopian-ness. This is an old T-TPLF trick. Whenever the T-TPLF faces a direct and vigorous challenge, they resort to name calling and disinformation to discredit that person. It is an old T-TPLF trick to raise questions of ethnicity and religion whenever they are challenged. A couple of weeks ago when the protocol chief of the T-TPLF prime minster defected, the T-TPLF mounted a disinformation campaign portraying the man who served them loyally for decades as an “office boy” whose duty was to shuttle refreshment for the “prime minster” and his foreign guests. What they did not reveal is the fact that “office boy” was also their late thugmaster Meles Zenawi’s confidant. It is a stupid game the T-TPLF likes to play when it finds itself challenged.
By the same token, from the first days of my involvement in Ethiopian human rights struggle, the T-TPLF and its trolls have futilely tried to use my “doubtful Ethiopian-ness” in their effort to “discredit” me as not a “real Ethiopian” T-TPLF trolls would say I have not been back to Ethiopia for decades and that is because I hate or do not care about Ethiopia. (Truth be told, they have no clue if I had been back to Ethiopia once or more than once over any period of time. Let them assume I have not.) Nonetheless, they think that by raising doubts about my Ethiopian-ness, they could distract attention from their crimes against humanity, genocide and corruption. They think they can diminish my public stature and influence by raising questions about my Ethiopain-ness.
Saying something does not make it so. The burden of proving my questionable Ethiopian-ness is on the T-TPLF. The T-TPLF troll-spokesman said the proof of my questionable and doubtful Ethiopian-ness is manifest in “some of my writings over the past several years”. Of course, the T-TPLF has not produced a single piece of writing or statement to substantiate their claim of my doubtful Ethiopian-ness.
So, I will do the job of proving doubt about my Ethiopian-ness for the T-TPLF by reviewing “some of my writings”.
I will start with my October 1, 2017 letter to Trump requesting targeted sanctions against T-TPLF leaders and their cronies involved in human rights violations. Does requesting targeted sanctions against T-TPLF officials and their minions responsible for crimes against humanity and genocide raise doubt about my Ethiopian-ness?
I have written extensively about the T-TPLF’s Masters’ Addis Ababa Plan aimed at incorporating contiguous farmland in Oromiya with the capital city of Addis Ababa. I have vigorously defended the property rights of the struggling farmers in Oromiya facing expropriation and eviction from their lands against the T-TPLF’s naked land grab. I have shown unwaivering support for the urgent demand of the Oromos for justice, equality, democracy, rule of law, accountability, human rights and first-class citizenship. Does that cast doubt about my Ethiopian-ness?
I have written about Ethiopia under the T-TPLF’s state of emergency decree beginning in October 2016. I have relentlessly opposed the T-TPLF’s establishment of a full-fledged police state using that emergency decree outlawing freedom of expression, association, and assembly. Does that cast doubt about my Ethiopian-ness?
I have written about the great Teodros (Teddy Afro) Kassahun and promoted his philosophy of Ethiopian-ness (Ethiopiawinet) based on love and respect for each other. When I listen to Teddy Afro’s title song of his latest album, “Ethiopia”, I feel it in my bones. “Even if I pass [die] away/ My motherland [Ethiopia]/She [remains] is my honor/Indeed, [she is] my [mother] country…. Ethiopia, you are the land of heroes/ [Land] Where Adam left his footprints…” Does singing Teddy Afro’s “Ethiopia” raise questions about my Ethiopian-ness/Ethiopiawinet?
I have written commentaries and a letter to President Trump not to partner with the T-TPLF in its counterterrorism effort in Africa because 1) the T-TPLF itself is a terrorist organization listed in the Global Terrorism Database, and 2) the T-TPLF is using counterterrorism to pick the pockets of American Joe and Jane Taxpayer. Does reporting a certified terrorist organization to the U.S. government raise doubts about my Ethiopian-ness?
I have laughed at the T-TPLF’s “Space Program”. The T-TPLF beggars are running around begging alms to feed starving Ethiopians while announcing to the world they are launching a “space program.” I fully supported and even mobilized Diaspora Ethiopians to support the T-TPLF’s “space program” hoping that they will take their space ship back to “Planet T-TPLF”, just outside of the solar system. Does supporting the T-TPLF’s Space Program and the eventual departure of the T-TPLF for their home planet raise doubts about my Ethiopian-ness?
I have defended and demanded the release of all political prisoners in Ethiopia convicted under a copy and paste anti-terrorism law including, among others, the world-renowned Ethiopian journalist Eskinder Nega who is serving an 18-year term in T-TPLF prison, Habtamu Ayalew who was tortured by the T-TPLF, Reeyot Alemu who served nearly 5 years in T-TPLF prisons and Temesgen Desalegn who has served his 3-year sentence as of today and yet is illegally forced to remain incarcerated. Does my unrelenting defense of these young Ethiopians who have suffered at the hands of the T-TPLF raise questions and doubt about my Ethiopian-ness?
I have written and advocated against the conferral of an honorary degree on the T-TPLF prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn for no other reason but the fact that his trip to the Finnish university to receive that degree would cost over one million dollars. I have pled with university officials that money could feed thousands of starving Ethiopian babies. Does standing up for starving Ethiopian babies raise doubts and questions about my Ethiopian-ness?
I have written about the bogus statistics of economic growth reported by the T-TPLF and its partners in propagating false data including the World Bank and the IMF. I proved beyond a shadow of doubt that the T-TPLF was cooking false statistics to claim “double-digit economic growth over the past ten years.” Does proving beyond a shadow of doubt that the T-TPLF uses lies, damned lies and statislies (statistical lies) cast doubt on my Ethiopian-ness?
I have written about the $2 million lobbying deal the T-TPLF signed in January to influence the Trump administration. I wrote a letter to President Trump requesting denial of U.S. aid to the T-TPLF regime because it uses U.S. aid to pay millions to fat cat lobbyists while millions of Ethiopian babies die from starvation. Does standing up for starving Ethiopia babies raise doubts about my Ethiopian-ness?
I have written about disastrous T-TPLF white elephants including the now bankrupt Chinese-built rail line and light rail at a cost of billions of dollars. I have written about the T-TPLF’s so-called renaissance dam as a vanity make-believe project aimed at glorifying the late T-TPLF thugmaster Meles Zenawi. I asked a simple question: How can anyone believe a regime that cannot run a 756km rail line for a few months be able to operate the “largest dam in Africa”? Does asking hard questions about T-TPLF fraud, corruption, waste and abuse cast doubt my Ethiopian-ness?
I have written extensively about the T-TPLF’s weaponization of famine and use of disinformation to deny famine killing hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians. I have frequently challenged the T-TPLF on its self-declared measure of regime success. In 1995, Meles Zenawi declared the litmus test for the success of his TPLF regime should be whether Ethiopians were able to eat three meals a day. Do Ethiopians in October 2017 eat three meals a day? Does holding the T-TPLF accountable by its own self-declared standards cast doubt on my Ethiopian-ness?
I have written extensively about the T-TPLF’s use of the “law”, particularly the “anti-terrorism law” to perpetuate state terrorism against the Ethiopian people over the past 2 years. Does that raise doubt about my Ethiopian-ness?
I have written extensively about the T-TPLF’s secret land giveaway to the Sudan. I have tried to save the T-TPLF from a lot of criminal and regulatory liability in the United States by advising them not to sell unregistered bonds to finance their renaissance dam. They did not listen to me and ended up disgorging (paying back) $6.5 million to those they extorted. They should thank their lucky stars they did not go to jail. Does that raise doubt about my Ethiopian-ness?
I have written extensively on Chinese neocolonialism in Africa and particularly in Ethiopia. I have presented substantial evidence showing that the Chinese built rail line between Addis Ababa and Djbouti and the so-called light rail in Addis Ababa which cost nearly USD $5 billion are in bankruptcy today. Does my exposition of Chinese neocolonialism raise doubt about my Ethiopian-ness?
I have written numerous commentaries on T-TPLF Empire of Corruption including those examining the findings of the World Bank’s report, “Diagnosing Corruption in Ethiopia”. I have summarized and presented World Bank data and analysis on T-TPLF corruption in the health, education, land, justice, telecommunications, mining and others sectors. Does exposing T-TPLF corruption raise doubt about my Ethiopian-ness?
On numerous occasions, I have dared Ethiopians to dream with me about a free democratic Ethiopia where the rule of law prevails and human rights are respected. I have asked them to dream about life without the nightmare of the T-TPLF murderers, thieves and criminals. Does that cast doubt on my Ethiopian-ness?
For many years, every November, I have remembered the victims of the Meles Massacres in the aftermath of the 2005 election. I have listed the victims by name so that history will never forget their sacrifices to establish a democratic Ethiopia where the voices of the people are not stolen. Does crying out for justice to the victims of the Meles Massacres raise doubt about my Ethiopian-ness?
When the T-TPLF launched repeated propaganda attacks against Ethiopian Muslims and sought to portray them as “terrorists”, I stood up for them time and again defending their right to free expression, religious belief and assembly. Does standing up for and defending the rights of my Ethiopian Muslim brothers and sisters raise doubt about my Ethiopian-ness?
I have written about how the T-TPLF “is bleeding the people of Ethiopia dry. No matter how hard they try to fight their way out of absolute destitution and poverty, they will be swimming upstream against the current of illicit capital leakage”. Does reporting the daylight robbery of the T-TPLF to the people of Ethiopia raise doubt about my Ethiopian-ness?
I have written in defense of Ethiopian history when the T-TPLF ignoramuses declared, “Ethiopia is only 100 years old. Those who claim otherwise are indulging themselves in fairy tales.” Does defending the long and proud history of the Ethiopian people, unbowed by colonialism, raise doubt about my Ethiopian-ness?
I have written about the T-TPLF plunging Ethiopia into crushing foreign debt ($40 billion in 2016 representing 54.8 percent of GDP) as reported by The World Bank-ruptcy to be paid by Ethiopians whose “per capita income of $590 is substantially lower than the regional average.” Does reporting to the Ethiopian people that their future and their children’s and grand children’s future has already been mortgaged to the Chinese, the World Bank, the IMF and a whole slew of international poverty pimps raise doubt about my Ethiopian-ness?
I have written extensively about what the opposition needs to do to prepare itself for a post-T-TPLF period. I have written about the need to create solidarity, satisfying the hunger and thirst for power with love of people and country. I have written about constitutional reform. Does that raise doubt about my Ethiopian-ness?
I have written about the neglect, lack of health care and mistreatment of Ethiopian mothers (and Mother Ethiopia) under the T-TPLF regime. Does that raise doubt about my Ethiopian-ness?
I have written extensively about Ethiopian Cheetahs (young people). I have told them they were born free and have a God-given right to live free. Does this raise doubt about my Ethiopian-ness?
I have written extensively about the T-TPLF regime operating black apartheid rule in Ethiopia. I have demonstrated the T-TPLF has been able to modify the white apartheid Bantustan (black homelands) in Ethiopia by creating ethnic kililistans (ethnic homelands). Does this raise doubt about my Ethiopian-ness?
I have exposed the T-TPLF’s politics of ethnic hate and particularly hatred for the Amhara people and traced that hatred to their manifesto. Does this raise doubt about my Ethiopian-ness?
I have written extensively about the T-TPLF’s de-Ethiopianization programs and campaigns over the past 26 years. I have condemned their historical revisionism, historical falsification and fanciful historical accounting. Does that raise doubt about my Ethiopian-ness?
I can go on and on and on… but I will leave the rest to the T-TPLF.
I challenge the T-TPLF to produce one single piece of writing, one paragraph, one sentence, one phrase, one clause, one word that I have written that is against Ethiopia or the Ethiopian people.
Of course, the T-TPLF is suffering under the same illusion the absolute monarch of France Louis XVI suffered. He said, “L’Etat, c’est moi. (I am the State.)
The T-TPLF is saying, “We are the State. We own Ethiopia lock, stock and barrel. We are the masters of Ethiopia. We say who is and is not Ethiopian. There is no such thing as Ethiopian, only nations, nationalities and peoples in a place called Ethiopia. We are the masters of Ethiopia. Anyone who opposes us is anti-Ethiopian.”
My response consists of two words, “Up yours!”
I demand an apology from the T-TPLF
I hereby serve public notice to the T-TPLF to 1) prove their claim of my doubtful and questionable Ethiopian-ness by any evidence of their choice or 2) make a public apology to me.
In 12 years of uninterrupted weekly commentaries now numbering over 800, I have proven beyond a shadow of doubt my claims about the Thugtatorship of the Tigrean Peple’s Liberation Front.
I now demand that they prove their claim of my doubtful Ethiopian-ness in just one single, solitary case.
If I can do it in over 800 times, the T-TPLF should be able to do it just once.
But I will make an offer to the T-TPLF they can’t refuse.
I will publicly commend them and withdraw my demand for an apology herein if the T-TPLF makes the following pronouncement in public.
We love Ethiopia and the people of Ethiopia. There is only One Ethiopia home to its diverse peoples. We believe in the indivisible unity and oneness of the Ethiopian people. There is no Tigrean Ethiopian. There is no Oromo Ethiopian. There is no Amhara Ethiopian. There is no Gurage Ethiopian. There is no Afari Ethiopian. There is no Somali Ethiopian…
There is ONE and FOREVER will only be ONE Ethiopia and ONE Ethiopian people.
For the record, let it be known forever more that the foregoing declaration is my credo.
I know the T-TPLF can neither prove its claim of doubt about my Ethiopian-ness nor offer me an apology. I am tempted to say to the T-TPLF, “Put up or shut the hell up about my Ethiopian-ness.” But that would not be nice.
I am not keeping my fingers crossed waiting for T-TPLF evidence or apology. It takes class to be able to apologize. The T-TPLF can’t and won’t offer me an apology for their scurrilous allegation because they ain’t got no class. Apology is not a virtue taught and learned in the bush nor commonly practiced in the society of thugs and in the land of Thugistan.
Of things I have absolutely no doubts
In the T-TPLF’s narrow minds and warped imagination, to be against them is to be of doubtful Ethiopian-ness. I have news for them. The ultimate litmus test of true Ethiopian-ness is total and resolutely opposition to the T-TPLF mercenary regime.
The T-TPLF has doubts about my Ethiopian-ness. I have NO DOUBTS about their fake, Ethiophobic and wannabe-Ethiopian Ethiopian-ness.
I pride myself in speaking truth to power and power abusers.
Here is the truth about the T-TPLF of which I have no doubts:
The T-TPLF are to becoming Ethiopian as a hyena is to becoming a lion.
The T-TPLF is a gang of mercenaries whose sole purpose is to loot and dismember Ethiopia.
The T-TPLF is a gang of murderous thugs that are responsible for untold crimes against humanity.
The T-TPLF is a gang of corruptoids who have sucked dry the blood of Ethiopians for the past 26 years.
Where is the mountain of evidence supporting these assertions. It is all available at almariam.com
Thank you T-TPLF!
I want to end my reply on a positive note.
I want to thank the T-TPLF for doubting my Ethiopian-ness for three reasons: 1) They have now given me a new platform to advocate, defend and mobilize Ethiopians to rise up and assert their Ethiopiawinet and teach the true meaning of Ethiopiawinet to the T-TPLF Ethio-phobes and Ethiopia haters. 2) I am grateful to the T-TPLF for doubting my Ethiopian-ness in their twilight as they gaze at their permanent home in the trash bin of history. 3) The T-TPLF has made me acutely aware that the one and only thing that will save Ethiopians from the T-TPLF’s prophesy of civil war, ethnic warfare is ETHIOPIAWINET!
I want the T-TPLF to know that I am prepared to engage them in discussions of human rights issues and any other issues of their choice in the public forum. I do not believe engaging in a pissing contest about my Ethiopian-ness will yield much public relations fruit for the T-TPLF. The millions of Ethiopians who have read my commentaries over the past 12 years and the millions more who have heard and seen me on Voice of America Amharic program and Ethiopian Satellite Television know who I am. Proud Ethiopian. Not a fake, fair weather, Ethiophobic wannabe-Ethiopian.
I am not bothered in the least by the T-TPLF’s attempts to de-Ethiopianize me by raising doubt about my Ethiopian-ness.
But we can go beyond Ethiopian-ness and ethnicity to discuss and debate real issues. I will let the T-TPLF choose the issues. If they don’t want to talk about human rights or corruption, we can talk about something else. How about federalism or constitutional governance? How about Ethiopia’s $40 billion debt? Famine and starvation? Spending millions on lobbying in the U.S.? Double-digit growth?
I do not know if the T-TPLF will take my challenge, but I am hoping they will. There is no need to reach out to me in private and tell me how I can be helpful to Ethiopia and serve my country and all that. Let’s keep it all in pubic view.
Regardless, I will continue to write and with greater gusto now that I know the T-TPLF is reading and listening attentively to every word I say. It is the professional duty of the teacher to teach and enlighten. It will be be my pleasure and honor to enlighten the T-TPLF on the joys and bliss of being an Ethiopian.
I shall be setting up a special page on my website dedicated to “Ethiopiawinet” in Amharic and English. I invite my readers and others to write poems and short personal reflections on what “Ethiopiawinet” means to them personally. We will post representative samples for all to share.
LONG LIVE ETHIOPIA. LONG LIVE ETHIOPIAWINET!
To be continued, “A Hard Lesson for the T-TPLF in Ethiopiawinet (Ethiopian-ness).”