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Ethiopia: Beyond Derailment and Canonization: Assessing Meles' Rule



  12:16:36 am, by admin   , 2291 words  
Categories: Ethiopia

Ethiopia: Beyond Derailment and Canonization: Assessing Meles' Rule

Dr. Messay Kebede is an Ethiopian Professor of Philosophy at the University of Dayton. He taught philosophy at Addis Ababa University from 1976 to 1993. He also served as chair of the department of philosophy from 1980 to 1991. He earned his Ph.D. from University of Grenoble, France

Ethiopia: Beyond Derailment and Canonization: Assessing Meles' Rule

By Messay Kebede

Scholars loyal to the Woyanne regime, often for the sake of ethnic solidarity, but with some scruples left for the objectivity of scholarly studies engage in a risky project when they undertake the assessment of Meles’s rule of Ethiopia. While their main intention is to bring out and defend what they consider to be undeniable achievements, their scholarly bent prevents them from simply overlooking or painting in rosy terms his obvious shortcomings and failures. So they adopt an approach that presents the good and the bad sides of Meles with the hope that the positive aspect will significantly outweigh the negative one. Unfortunately for them, even their modicum objectivity ends up by sneaking drawbacks so toxic that the general picture becomes that of a colossal fiasco.

A case in point is Medhane Tadesse’s paper titled “Meles Zenawi and the Ethiopian State,” recently posted, to my surprise, on Aiga website. The paper is a commendable attempt at an objective assessment of Meles’s accomplishments. Medhane first explains the rise of Meles through the defeat of all his opponents, which rise he attributes to his personal qualities, such as quick intelligence, communication skills, impressive erudition, and remarkable aptitudes in political maneuvering. In view of these qualities, his rivals, who often had impressive military records, could do little to stop his rise to absolute power, which became effective in 2001 when he defeated an influential splinter group within the TPLF.

Medhane does not hesitate to say that Meles’s victory was a “serious blow to democratic centralism and collective leadership” and that the consolidation of his absolute power was done at the expense of the TPLF as a ruling party. He rightly argues that Meles marginalized the TPLF by centralizing all power, notably by uniting state power and party leadership in his person, thereby creating a power base independent of the TPLF. Clearly, the assessment is moving decisively toward a critical appraisal of Meles’s rule, and so is in line with the view of the splinter group ascribing the numerous problems that Ethiopia faces today to the missteps of a dictatorial deviation.

With great pain, Medhane manages to find the positive side in the alleged economic success of Meles’s policy. Even so, his assessment falls short of being affirmative: he does speak of the theory of developmental state as a promising orientation, but nowhere indicates that it produced notable results. Instead, his skepticism transpires when he writes: Meles “attempted to reorient Ethiopia’s political economy by carrying out far-reaching reforms, and in particular introducing the fundamentals, for what it’s worth, of an Ethiopian version of a developmental state.” Not only do we not feel any enthusiasm for the “far-reaching reforms,” but also the whole economic orientation of the country is greeted with a marked skeptical tone.

By contrast, Medhane underlines the democratic shortcomings of Meles’s regime and its “wholesale offensive against any form of independent centers of power such as free media, free organization, free business, persecution of critical journalists and enactment of repressive laws.” Thus, if on top of stifling democratic changes in the county, Meles did not score any appreciable gains in the economic field, what is left to say except that his 20 years rule was a total failure? Hence my puzzlement as to the reason why the pro-Meles Aiga website posted the article. Is it because Aiga people did not understand the content of the article? Or is it the beginning of a critical look at Meles’s alleged achievements, especially now that it becomes clear that he left the TPLF in disarray?

But no sooner did I hope for such an evolution than I noticed that the article was removed from the website. Instead, a new paper of 20 pages criticizing the analysis of Medhane was posted, as though Aiga was correcting its mistake and forcefully reaffirming its pro-Meles stand. Written by Habtamu Alebachew and titled “Tadese Madhane and his ‘Post-Meles Reform Agenda’: Quest for Logic and Relevance,” the paper reasserts the customary position of Meles’s supporters. The paper rambles through 20 pages about political reforms and the developmental state with the clear purpose of metamorphosing preconceived ideological positions into serious theoretical insights. It denounces contradictions in Medhane’s article and is completely devoid of any critical appraisal of Meles.

It is really not necessary to go into Habtamu’s arguments because they provide nothing more than a smoke screen destined to confuse readers by tired rhetoric and laudatory exaggerations. To give you an idea, we find such laughable statements as “in clearest terms, Meles Zenawi is both a regime breaker and a regime founder as much prominent as Moa and Lenin were.” Habtamu qualifies the post-2010 government of Meles as “a dynamic and functioning regime or the developmental state in action probably as exactly intended and designed.” He defines the government as a “success story” and entirely dismisses its so-called democratic shortcomings.

Unsurprisingly, in light of the undeniable success of Meles, Habtamu concludes that any talk of reform must assume one direction, which is that it must be “a reform proposal within an undergoing and unfinished reform project.” In other words, reform must deepen and perfect Meles’s project; it cannot be an advocacy of a different path or a return to a previous model of economic and political development. Here the author cannot refrain from sharing his major worry about possible reversals when he writes: “I have every reason to get alarmed about the possible abortion of this reform.”

When one contrasts the two assessments, despite obvious differences, one finds an underlying common belief. Indeed, Medhane’s criticisms presuppose the belief that Meles had a genuine desire to develop Ethiopia but failed. To validate this assumption, Medhane portrays Meles as a leader fascinated by the economic development of East Asian countries and suggests that “the main objective” of his conversion to the ideology of the developmental state “was to secure regional prominence as a stabilizing force, raise the status of the country, and increase its relevance which will in turn would attract international finances.” Thus, to make sense of Medhane’s paper, we have to keep in mind the underlying assumption, to wit, that Meles had the good intention of developing Ethiopia and that his good intention was derailed by a mistaken ideological belief in the phenomenal potential of the developmental state.
For Habtamu, the so-called derailment is actually a prerequisite for the realization of the developmental state so that what is required is not to change course but to relentless pursue the same path until all the fruits materialize, one of which being the progressive democratization of the country. Simply put, Meles had to suspend democratization in order to create the condition of democracy, especially in view of the fact that reactionary forces almost gained political prominence in the 2005 election.

Clearly, the two approaches agree on the good intention of Meles: the one maintains that it was derailed, the other claims that it was unfinished, but both agree in saying that Meles wanted the economic and democratic blossoming of Ethiopia. The fact that they share a basic principle (good intention) and yet end up in conflicting analyses questions nothing less than the feasibility of the basic agreement. Their divergent evaluations indicate that their point of departure is untenable and hence invite a different thesis. Since the truthfulness of the different thesis solely lies in its ability to explain the conflicting interpretations, it distinguishes itself by its coherence, which is the mark of a sound theoretical approach.

Medhane denounces the gap between theory and practice, that is, between the good intention and the actual outcomes. Habtamu retorts by saying that there is no gap; there is simply a misunderstanding of the theory, notably of its requirements. The truth is that, every time that there is a conflict between practice and theory, we should suspect the presence of what Karl Marx diagnosed as false consciousness. Far from theory guiding practice, the reverse works for false conscience in that practice guides theory but in such a way that the gap between the two is legitimized, excused, or masked.

Thus, Medhane posits good intention and interprets the gap of practice as derailment. But what if said derailment is in reality the realization of an intention that was not originally blameless? This means that Meles opted for the developmental state because it enabled him to justify a dictatorial rule, which is then the original intention. Accordingly, Meles was consistent all along: he wanted dictatorship, which he however masked by the discourse on developmental state. In justifying dictatorship as necessary to bring about development, the discourse effected a transmutation, for what serves a good cause can no longer be characterized as evil.

This is exactly how Habtamu argues: he metamorphoses the shortcomings of Meles into prerequisites for the implementation of a good cause. Consequently, there are no shortcomings or deviations since they are necessary steps in the actualization of the project. Above all, there is no dictatorship because it is the progressive actualization of a benevolent cause. The road ahead, it follows, must be the continuation of an unfinished project, and not its criticism in the name of immature concern.

Clearly, only the replacement of the good intention by a malicious one can correct the contradiction between the two approaches. The substitution explains the option for the developmental state and portrays the shortcoming, not as postponed future benefits, but as inherent outcomes of a dictatorial goal. Meles neither missed nor paced an alleged initial good intention: he implemented what he originally wanted, namely, absolute power and control.
In this regard, Meles did not see the 2005 electoral defeat of his party as “a pointless disruption,” as Medhane claims. Nor did he perceive it as a setback caused by “internal failures” and an occasion to deepen “aggressively . . . the reform,” as Habtamu puts it. Rather, he reached the realization that his dictatorial project could not go hand in hand with democratic opening, however small the opening may be. The point is that Meles’s dictatorial project, essentially driven by his narcissistic personality, craved for popular approval, obvious as it is that his hunger for personal grandeur needed popular confirmation through regular democratic elections.

The rise and popularity of Kinijit made him realize that the quest for a democratic approval was no longer achievable. The 2005 election result was therefore an awakening from his illusion about his popularity and underestimation of the opposition. Predictably, profoundly humiliated by the electoral success of the opposition, he reacted violently and since then opted for an attenuated version of the North Korean type of dictatorship in which he would obtain the popularity that he wants by silencing the opposition and subjecting the people to brainwashing and personality cult.

I thus agree with Medhane when he says that the reversal of democratic opening in 2005 was a strategy to “change the national mood and turn the opposition into a fringe movement and the margins of society.” Where I differ is when Medhane assumes that he planned to obtain the change by developing the country economically so that ordinary people will support him as they see improvements in their conditions of life. To say so goes against the general consensus describing Meles as well-read and smart. I do not deny that he had such qualities, but I also raise the question of knowing how a well-read and smart person launches a developmental state while perfectly knowing that he has none of the necessary political conditions, not to mention the fact that he surrounded himself by corrupt and incompetent people (on this issue, see my article Meles Zenawi’s Political Dilemma and the Developmental State: Dead-Ends and Exit,

Again, what Meles liked in the developmental state is not the economic prospects but the dictatorial aspect, that is, the centralization of all power in the name of economic development. Otherwise, he would have tried to create the necessary preconditions which, as indicated in the above cited article, include a turn toward a genuine nationalist policy and the championing of leadership competence and integrity in all decision-making apparatuses. The truth is that Meles’s grandiosity could not be content with a petty dictatorship; it needed the appearance of serving a noble cause. Since the decline of the socialist ideology and the prevalence of liberalism, what else is left of forms of dictatorial rule with some usable prestige but the developmental state?

This is so true that his successors, aware of the hollowness of Mele’s legacy, cannot see any other way of protecting their status and interests than by glorifying to the point of ridicule his person and “achievements” and vowing to continue his policy in the hope of acquiring some legitimacy. This is exactly the message of Habtamu’s article: let us not undermine by critical appraisal the form of dictatorship guaranteeing the protection of our positions and interests. The only way forward for us is to canonize Meles and to present ourselves as the disciples eager to continue the crusade for the developmental state.

To sum up, the only consistent evaluation of Meles’s rule is the one centered on his fundamental goal of absolute power. Nothing of what Meles has done is intelligible unless we relate it to absolute power as his driving ethos. Any other working thesis lands nowhere but in the contradictory idea of derailment or the abuse of mystification. It is high time to call a spade a spade, especially for those who are beginning to wake up from the illusions of ethnonationalist discourses.


Comment from: [Member]

Why do most of diaspora intelectuals resent PM Meles Zenawi?
Why do they want to deny his legacy and achievments, which is even admired by world leaders?
Why are these so called intelectuals now after our PM even passed away continue their smear and defamation campain?
Are they victims of their own ego, which they felt been overshadowed by PM Meles’ great legacy?

11/01/12 @ 01:27
Comment from: Gondar [Visitor]

Messay Kebede thank you,thank you SORRY




11/01/12 @ 02:12
Comment from: sufu [Visitor]

First I see that your writing appears rhetorical, verbatism and a type of fanciful assertive where it does not meant for average reader. I respect your effort but you appears “intellengential". Please get the exact meaning of this word what I quoted.

Second, basically, you may not get an answer from Meles because he is not reading your article but you may give him sometimes-I am unsure whether you will meet with him so. Either you or Habtamu or TPLF should not demean or applaud for the seek of political agenda. It is better for anyone to continue on the economic activities that were planned by Meles if it will be useful. Simply, build on what was started positively. Your concluding remark is, indeed, far from the reality. We cannot deny the road constructed, car industries established etc. I fail to see your entire denunciation.

I also astonished the administrative state issues you have raised- ethnicity. As you well aware that every one should speak what they like to do so. If you disagree, do you accept that oromia language to be a national language of the country? Alternatively, are you happy to impose Amharic language across the country as that was used to be? I am surprised when other ethnic singers have been going to south part of the country and try time sing a mixture of language. I think that Amara still try to expand his language at the expenses of other. But I don’t see when Sidama and others go to the Amhara region and try to expand his language by mixing it.

You also stated that Meles economic development was to get praise from the poor and for the seek of exercising power. I doubt this claim again. Anlogically, often, someone who is living abroad too …

What is important here is the current regim should focus on development activities. It should stop to abuse others like the Junedin’s wife. It should praise a real work, give reward to trade activities: construction, mining, natural gas and oil etc. Cheap talk, and alone love singer will not bring a change for the country.
Please notice that I am trying to be unbiased. I don’t appreciate you both writer much because it us simply blah blah… Then what?

I have deep sorry to the people who lost their life due to politics. It is immoral and ignorance to kill human being by any government. I think that this undesired action may cause bitterly criticism against Meles while others are trying to defend that Regim. The current regim must learn from the past, free market to promote a real entrepreneurship, and ignore cheap talk that even market cannot offer a price to it.

11/01/12 @ 03:44
Comment from: YHD [Visitor]

Instead of wasting your valuable time reading this useless trash, if you happen to have the time, my recommendation to you is reading a draft paper (extracts of a monograph) that was written by the the late PM Meles Zenawi, entitled “AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT: DEAD ENDS AND NEW BEGINNINGS". I have found it very interesting and insightful.


11/01/12 @ 03:54
Comment from: werner2010 [Visitor]

Dr. Messay was providing the Mengistu cadres with Marxist ideaological bla bla in Addis, at the time Meles was fighting for his ideals. Dr. Messay wants us to forget how many brilliant Ethiopian young people have to drop out of AA University because of his Marxist Leninist philosophy course.
The author must first look back at his own biography and apologize for his participation in schooling red terror monsters.

11/01/12 @ 04:03
Comment from: Zk [Visitor]

Some people really want Meles to rule the country from his grave. That is pathetic the least to say. Meles was not a good leader by any measure. He used his power to divide and oppress the people for the sake of his selfish interest which were promoting the interest of his tribe and people who supported his ideology. He was afraid of the country’s intellectuals because he did not have education to much with them except later getting his diploma in online education which by the way anybody can achieve. (copy and paste). His motto never was education but whoever supports tplf agenda can be a leader. That is why we have bunch of ministers and whatnot in crucial positions that they don’t deserve. That applies to the dead PM

11/01/12 @ 05:16
Comment from: Heny [Visitor]

ante yejejeh shimagle. Leave the brilliant man alone. trota wettehal meselegn. min yahl gize stagegn new endezih aynet chemlaka tshuf stchemalik yemtwlew. chemlaka tshuf from a chemlaka old man called messay.

11/01/12 @ 07:11
Comment from: [Member]

Meles devised the developmental state as a pretence to veil his longstanding scheme of clinging on to power for as long as possible. He used the “economic development” to build a power-base at home and at the same time, portray himself in the international political arena as a charismatic leader who “transformed” his country from the ashes of abject poverty in to modern day commercial hub. In reality, he importunately implemented his marxist ideology by nationalizing land only to auction it to foreign inverters at a minimal rate or in some cases free of charge. Come corruption, it goes without saying that every one in Zenawi’s circle owns a multi million dollar businesses and expensive villas not to mention the notorious enterprise known as EFFORT, which is managed by Zenawi’s widow. As a matter of fact, it is on record that one of his Generals was interviewed by ESAT not to long ago about the multi-story commercial building that he owns which the General himself corroborated as saying that the property was given to him as a reward for his “lifelong service” as a fighter. This ain’t the figment of my imagination rather some thing the General himself admitted. Messay Kebede, the patriarch of Ethiopian intellectuals, has nailed it once again with a superb analytical aptitude. Were Meles a nationalist and unifying figure, perhaps history would have been told today fifferently but for all intents and purposes, he only did what he did in order to engrave his name for the sole purpose of self-centered foile-de-grandeur.

11/01/12 @ 10:04
Comment from: Alem [Visitor]

To understand how dishonest and self-aggrandizing ethnic scholars could be you need to read articles by compatriots GHELAWDEWOS["Meles Zenawi may also be remembered for his failures, which is only human. Failures and successes are organic attributes to humans; we are genetically engineered to make mistakes and learn from them, while other animals cannot do that. Animals cannot afford to fail; if they do they simply die. Therefore, one’s failures should not be exaggerated vis-à-vis the successes."]; TEODROS KIROS ["The recent death of Meles Zenawi, the architect of Ethiopian modernity has sent tremors of moral shock to the Ethiopian state and other African states, engaged in the murky business of capitalist modernity."]; ASAYEHGN DESTA[“Meles was a gifted and empowering moderator, he was loved, trusted and respected by the members of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front which then unanimously recommended to Ethiopian Parliament that he should be the Prime Minister of Ethiopia… In quantitative terms, it is remarkable to notice that Ethiopia has almost achieved universal primary education in line with the “International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights,” (Article 13.2a). Based on the lessons learned from the 1995 Agricultural Development-Led Strategy, the 2002/03 to 2004/05, Sustainable Development and to End Poverty (PASDEP), Ethiopia launched the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) for the period 2010/11 to 2014/15, which is expected help Ethiopia achieve not only the Millennium Development Goals but also make it as one of the middle income countries by 2020-2023″; GORFU [“We see how messy democracy can be when we watch the political process in America where it had been exercised for over two centuries, and yet we see them pass regulations to Gerrymander and re-district some areas, or to demand an ID at the voting booth, thereby discouraging and preventing some minorities from voting, or by the outright rigging of the elections as was done in Bush’s time. Is that democracy?…for the first time in the history of Ethiopia, the common peasant has become the owner of his land, the owner of his produce, and in control of his own destiny. This is the fact…PM Meles Zenawi did the right thing to throw these couple dozen of political pundits and would be journalists into prison and focus on the real work of taking care of the masses. The need of the majority trumps up everything, every time. That is not dictatorial, that is the true meaning of democracy!”; etc.
Note: If you want to get a better picture of what was going on go back 10, 15 years and read articles by these same scholars. Save anything you read immediately you see them posted; I have observed articles pulled down, altered or revised. Another time for showing evidence of tampering with first time articles.

11/01/12 @ 11:26
Comment from: Belay [Visitor]

I wish I could understand your messages: the expressed ones or implied ones. You picked two writers who happen to be Tigreans but of different opinion with regard to the achievements of Meles, you condemn both for supporting Meles for the sake of “ethnic solidarity". One was writing to critique Meles’ legacy, the other was writing to critique the one who wrote critically about Meles. And yet you put them together as Tigrean scholars who wanted to support Meles not because of merit but because of ethnic solidarity. You judge them for ethnic loyalty even if they differ significantly on evaluating Meles’ intentions and performances. You acknowledged that Medhanie’s article was so much against Meles such that you were even surprised to see it posted at Aiga. But then, you didn’t want to spare even Medhanie suspecting his motive might have been the hope of giving Meles a net positive balance by appearing balanced. If you judge all scholars that happen to be Tigrean to be supporters of Meles regardless of what they write, then how the hell can any Tigrean convince you that he can also be a neutral or an independent analyst? By being non-Tigray? Call it a guy of intellectual cliff, here you are suffering from a twisted logic of mistaking your thoughts born of a blanket hatred to be the standards of sound judgement. Sometimes, calling it a life and disappearing from any discourse is the best option for guys like you, Messay who have long been on the path of intellectual deminishment.

11/01/12 @ 11:31
Comment from: Solomon [Visitor]

The brutal Derg regime’s super star and Bankrupt Philosopher Mesay KeBt says “Scholars loyal to the Woyanne regime, often for the sake of ethnic solidarity…” Well, well if you just reverse this statement: “Scholars who hate the Greatest ever, most visionary, World class brain holder, economic transformer, voracious reader, brave and selfless leader Meles, often for the sake of his ethnicity…” then you will clearly understand who the likes of BIG TIME LOOSER Mesay are.

11/01/12 @ 12:11
Comment from: Azeb [Visitor]

Dear Belay and Solomon,
What exactly is your point? You seem to be making it personal. For all I know Messay is not a “bankrupt philosopher.” I googled to find out he teaches at U of Dayton and has produced several books since he left Ethiopia. You both need to spell out your differences with him so people like me could benefit from the discussion. Thanks.

11/01/12 @ 12:47
Comment from: Extraterrestrial [Member]

Azeb [Visitor]

Messay is one among the many “fools and an idiots".

11/01/12 @ 13:06
Comment from: Dawit W. Gabriel [Visitor]
Dawit W. Gabriel

Messay Kebede, the illusionist and master of false consciousness - all along!!

You should be stripped of all your academic credentials because you are crass and utterly unscientific. How could they keep you in your present post this far? It is unbelievable.

All you are churning out is mere propaganda like anyone else from the street. What you are doing is utterly irresponsible!! I was your student at AAU when you were the chief proponent of Marxism-Leninism and in support of the murderous Mengistu regime. You also used to conduct your classes in the same dictatorial and menacing way as Mengist. I do not know when you discovered democracy, or are you just pretending because you have an axe to grind in America?

You were trained in speculative philosophy, and you are not properly acquainted with scientific thinking methods. That is perhaps where everything is falling apart for you when it comes to the reality of Ethiopia.

As the Gojames say, “Weynim inde timtimwo yinageru, weim inde anegagerwo yatemtimu!!” One way or the other, but not both.

Just a piece of kind advice, please have your head examined for your own good and so that you may no more confuse people because you seem to be detatched from reality. When you get a clean bill of health, we shall then consider anew what you have to say, not now.

You are a wanker. Meles Zenawi is the real hero. He died of hard work before his time trying to deliver the Ethiopian people from poverty.

It is better if you shut up your filthy and un-academic mouth man!!

11/01/12 @ 14:20
Comment from: Solomon [Visitor]

Dear Azeb,
You want civilized discussions, let us begin. In Mesay’s weird world anybody who appreciates or dislikes Meles’s extraordinary achievements has got to do with Meles’s ethnic background. This simply shows Messay’s PhD and several years of life in the most advanced & democratic USA could not help this Derg loyalist “Philosophy ASTeMaRi” to move out of his narrow mentality even for a single millimeter. Since that cruel, tragic, untimely and sudden death, the whole World has spoken highly of Meles and according to Mesay it is for the sake of ethnic solidarity. Do you think the following people who spoke so highly of Meles are all stupid? Azeb, don’t you think these people have a better brain than that of Mesay’s twisted one? Read below carefully and judge for yourself.

Raila Odinga, Kenyan PM (Tigrian):
Meles Zenawi was a great leader, an intellectual, someone who was very dedicated to pan-Africanism. One will remember him for the great effort he put in to transforming the Ethiopian economy.

Jacob Zuma, South African President (Tigrian):
It is an absolute tragedy for Africa and the people of Ethiopia to mourn such an exceptional leader who contributed as an active role-player in various continental and global initiatives. Prime Minister Meles Zenawi had been a strong leader, not only for his country but on the African continent, acting as mediator on numerous talks, particularly in the Horn of Africa region.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia (Tigrian):
Meles Zenawi was an economic transformer, he was a strong intellectual leader for the continent. In our regional meetings he stood out because of his intellect and his ability to respond and to lead dialogue on matters relating to African development. He will be missed in all of our meetings and all of our endeavor.

Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General (Tigrian)
Prime Minister Zenawi will be remembered for his exceptional leadership and advocacy on African issues within and outside the continent, as well as for overseeing his country’s economic growth and development. The Secretary-General is grateful that Prime Minister Meles’s administration was a strong supporter of United Nations peacekeeping and peacemaking efforts.

Barnaba Benjamin, South Sudanese Information Minister (Tigrian)
It’s a very, very sad day for the people of the Republic of South Sudan and the people of the East African region as a whole. This has been a tremendous nationalist leader, a president who had always let peace come to his neighbors.

European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso (Tigrian)
Prime Minister Meles was a respected African leader. He demonstrated his strong personal commitment over many years to improving the lives of not just his own but all African peoples, through his work on African unity, climate change, development and in promoting peace and stability, particularly in the Horn of Africa.

Kenneth Kaunda, Zambia’s independence leader (Tigrian)
He’s a young man who has contributed a lot to the development of Ethiopia, ever since he took over there has been some stability there, development in the economic field, there’s been development in the social field.

David Cameron, British Prime Minister (Tigrian)
Prime Minister Meles was an inspirational spokesman for Africa on global issues and provided leadership and vision on Somalia and Sudan. His personal contribution to Ethiopia’s development, in particular by lifting millions of Ethiopians out of poverty, has set an example for the region. Our thoughts are with his family and with the nation of Ethiopia. He will be greatly missed.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair (Tigrian)
It is with great sadness that I learned of Meles Zenawi’s death. He was a hugely significant figure in Ethiopia’s history, in particular helping guide his country from extreme poverty to an era of economic growth and development.
My deepest condolences go to his family and the people of Ethiopia.

President Obama (Tigrian)
Tribute to Meles

Ambassador Susan Rice (Tigrian)
More tribute to Meles

Tabo Mbeki (Tigrian)
More more tribute to Meles

President Kageme (Tigrian)
More, more, more tribute to Meles

President Museveni (Tigrian)
Much more tribute

Bill Gates
Much and much more trinute

the list goes on….I do not think there has been and will ever be death of any head of state that shocked the whole World like Meles did. Unfortunately, few of Meles’s country men are so intoxicated and blinded by hate. These weird creatures found it too hard to appreciate the wonderful deeds of their own blood and flesh while the whole grieves by the loss of one of the best leaders this planet has ever seen.

11/01/12 @ 15:54
Comment from: Azeb [Visitor]

Dear Solomon:
All the people you mentioned are foreigners and diplomats speaking at a time of PM Meles’ death. None of the non-African leaders [Bill Gates, Obama] would agree that a leader should remain in power for 21 years as did our late-PM; none would agree to a one-party system. On the other hand, Professor Messay is Ethiopian and writing as a scholar. I do agree with you that PM Meles has made many contributions to Ethiopia - especially his ability to bring in billions of aid money. My one wish was that he had retired in 2005 as well as dealt with corrupt army generals and officials.

I went back to re-read Professor Messay’s article in case I missed out on some things. He is talking about selected scholars who happened to be Tigrayans and NOT all Tigrayan scholars or even Tigrayans in general. And he is talking about being objective; that is, not being afraid to critique where that’s due and not simply whitewash glaring mistakes. One problem is that the late Prime Minister spoke and wrote so much that he was the one who gave his opponents ammunition to criticize him. Few examples are his defense of Eritrean interest over those of Ethiopia in public or his report of two-digit growth and no jobs for thousands of young graduates and tens of thousands more forced to run away from their homeland, etc. Here is how Messay’s article begins:
“Scholars loyal to the Woyanne regime, often for the sake of ethnic solidarity, but with some scruples left for the objectivity of scholarly studies engage in a risky project when they undertake the assessment of Meles’s rule of Ethiopia. While their main intention is to bring out and defend what they consider to be undeniable achievements, their scholarly bent prevents them from simply overlooking or painting in rosy terms his obvious shortcomings and failures. So they adopt an approach that presents the good and the bad sides of Meles with the hope that the positive aspect will significantly outweigh the negative one. Unfortunately for them, even their modicum objectivity ends up by sneaking drawbacks so toxic that the general picture becomes that of a colossal fiasco.”

Thank you for responding. Best.

11/01/12 @ 16:27
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]

Afterall Agazi Bandits ,Tigre Mafiosis ,Aderby Bandas and also the Agazi Sinodos have already canonised the crime minister by calling him Moise and even Jesus .Why not Krishna ,Siva ,Confusius and even Dalai Lama…LOL !!!!Even Mrs Rica has recently seen his Oracle at the Ethiopian Baptist Church …LOL!!!

11/01/12 @ 16:53
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]

adgi the TPLF village Idiot ,the Shabyan Ass Hole Banda .Refering your stupid ETV journalists a university student ,plus your own supporter ,makes laugh the assembly telling them that ETV journalists have never studied journalism but Jokaiism …He is absolutly right ,the fact that you and your Thuggy bros never studied political ideologies but daily Ideoties…LOL !!!Hyena antchin bilo
azawunt nekaffi ,tersesh regfo be didish dengay megat aketoshi be melaseshi kwatign kwatignun le melas yetedaregshi ,TPLF BIGOT LEKAMMI WUSHA BANDA !!!!!!

11/01/12 @ 17:03
Comment from: My2cents [Visitor]

The Tigreans’ deep seated jealousy, rivalry and hatred have brought them so far. They know they can’t rule forever. They know they can’t occupy other tribes’ territories forever. All the treasures, dollars/birrs, lands, resources, material wealth, justice, systemic displacement, aphartied, division, victimization etc on massive scale have not change much to alter the country as they expected. What happened in the last decade since TPLF took over was that the good standing of Tigrean people as christans, defenders of the country and as one of the blessed tribes is gone, maybe gone forever. There will never be an opportunity for them to make up for the wrong they have done. Even the crimes of the Eritreans pale by comparison. All the rest of the tribes have been sold wholesale, arbitrarily killed, displaced as if there is no tomorrow, looted mercilessly, driven out of the country and away from their heritage deliberately. The whole Tigreans, and particularly the so called elite Tigreans, who orchestrated the coup d’état, power usurpation and unrest of the country of the last 70-years are responsible. God will repay each and every one of the tribes and raise them up while the rebellious Tigreans will lose their standings once and for all. You can thank Meles for it as well as your own behavior.

11/01/12 @ 17:27
Comment from: Extraterrestrial [Member]

Azeb [Visitor]

The idiot professor is a communist, he is opposing Meles not because of democracy but revenge for defeating him as a derg cadre.

11/01/12 @ 17:31
Comment from: Kifle [Visitor]

Congrats Mr. Mesay. As one of the aging machines of Mengistu H. Mariam,you ultimately admitted that Woyane or Ethiopia for that matter has a few scholars. You remember what you were telling your students in a broad light when u were teaching us, including Tadess Medihine,ur non-existing trash with a gold plated name “philosophy” in AAU towards the end of 1980s. Let me quote your own words: “A for God, B for Marx, C for Mesay (i.e for yourself) and D for the most intelligent student in Ethiopia". What you are writing these days are as trash as what you were teaching us in those days. God knows how many times you steal our precious time from our age. When I was learning under you for four years, your teachings were nothing but trashes you were collecting from the main gate of AAU or more specifically from the then Yekatit 66 Political School at the front door. Thanks that school was shut down. but we are still unlucky for some of the decaying ruminants like you are still trying to poison us from a distant place. I long for that poisonous tongue stop functioning. ,which is totally unfitting to advocate for democracy.Your trash could not hide your Hippocratic nature. You might have not been one of the murderers of the Mengistu era. But you were certainly one of the daggers. The sheep does not have an enemy other than the fox. But in the display of its irritating behavior, it usually visits the sheep only to tell them that they need to pray and it is ready to support them. But the sheep know well that the solution is very simple: not to pray but to kill their lone enemy, the fox. you got what i mean.

11/01/12 @ 18:04
Comment from: Jemal [Visitor]

is it really bad for an Ethiopian leader to be respected by foreigners and diplomats? If I told you that I am a non-Tigre Ethiopian who is grateful for Meles’s leadership and his vision to transform Ethiopia, you may call me a woyane cadre.
Anyway, I don’t believe that Dr. Messay has the impartiality and capacity to judge Meles, because of what he had done in Ethiopia to fellow Ethiopians before he left the country. One personal example: one of the brilliant young Ethiopians who had to drop out from Addis Abeba University because of his dogmatic marxist leninist philosophy classes was my uncle, who had to flee the country and is now an accomplished physician lecturer in the west. Messay would never ever mention his personal role in providing the ideological ammunation for Mengistu’s regime and the red terror thugs. Messay would never write how he had enjoyed life in Ethiopia back then in the late 70’s and 80’s, and how he used to play a cynical communist god in Addis Abeba University.
If you still prefer to get further intellectual guidance from Messay, good luck.

11/01/12 @ 19:36
Comment from: Solomon [Visitor]

Hi Azeb,

I brought to your attention the testimonies of world leaders just to disprove Mesay’s narrow minded chatter. Unless you are living in denial like Mesay, we all know that our nation grieved and wiped for weeks for loosing its greatest ever leader. Mesay will say those millions of Ethiopians who grieved for days are either Weyannes or “Hodam” citizens. Now, you said the people are foreigners. But the main point is why are all these people from different corners of the World speaking so highly of Meles? If you ask our good for nothing Mr. Prof. Mesay, he will weirdly tell you it is because of ethnic solidarity. Can you tell me if there has been any head of state who received such a huge international sympathy? Is there any world leader who was invited to G7, G8, G20, World Economic Forum, Climate change, many times as Meles was invited? Why is it so hard for few of our countrymen to appreciate the World Known fact of Meles’s greatness? All of these World leaders said the same thing. Meles has been an exceptional leader, super intelligent, lifted millions of Ethiopians out of poverty, and transformed Ethiopia’s economy! ARaT NeTiB. Period. The future is even much brighter for Ethiopia thanks to the great deeds and visions of Meles. They haven’t said much on Meles’s democratic credentials. But who is to blame for the reserved level of democracy that we have now in Ethiopia? You talk much about 2005 election but you do not have the courage to state all the facts. I have said this before, in 2005 BRAVE Meles opened all the space for the opposition including the media for the first time 3,000 years old Ethiopia. The so called opposition that was assembled in less than 6 months time from here and there, often with diametrically opposing views, abused these rare opportunity Ethiopia ever had and used it to seed racism and narrow mentality. In stead of focusing on important issues, preached hate and vowed “to return the Woyannes to where they came from.” In any case, they won the whole Addis and about 170 parliament seats, mainly due to disapproval of EPRDF than approval of these shameful bullies. However, this massive victory was not enough for these 6 months part time politicians, and they wanted the whole power that was achieved through a whooping 17 years of hard work and scarifies. Overall, 2005 was one of the lost best opportunities for Ethiopia thanks to these power monger and uncivilized creatures. Hence, the so called opposition takes the lion share of the blame on the slow progress of democracy in Ethiopia including the 200 people who died due to the election violence. EPRDF has time and again proved to the world that it is democratic at least within itself. The recent smooth and seamless power transition is just a great example. Can U mention any such example for the so called opposition? They are and will continue to be in disarray because they are undemocratic. If they can’t live by the rule of law within their party, how are they going to lead our great nation of over 85 Million people, very complex, poverty hit, fully surrounded by enemies? I could write pages and pages but sorry I have to stop here for now due to time constraints.

11/02/12 @ 03:04
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]

Azeb and Solomon ;who cares who said this or that .This a diplomatic habit to honor a colleague or another world leader who pass away .Secondly paid lobbyists shall put also their usual silly words…Moron DEDEB Bandas !!!Extrapente for your information your dead baboon Tyrant Master was the head of Tigrai Marxist Leninist League within TPLF
for a communist you have the right one…LOL !!!TCHINKILATEBIS WUSHA BANDA !!!!

11/02/12 @ 03:29
Comment from: Dani [Visitor]

Meles and eprdf are good at .lien .dishonest .Cheting .pretinding .falsefing .try to convincing .beging …etc

11/02/12 @ 09:24
Comment from: Blacky [Visitor]

Professor Mesay..Thank you for the brilliant analysis. Keep the good work. We need more people like you to enlighten the youg generation of Ethiopians who have so far been bombarded by the TPLF aphartied ideology.

11/02/12 @ 12:56
Comment from: Gobena [Visitor]

Melese died when people started comparing him with Mengistu.
Melese died when a graduate cannot feed himself as he was feeding himself during Mengistu’s time
Melese is dead when the emperor that he called reactionary gave more freedom to him while he was in the university than what he gave to university students when he was a leader
Melese is dead when he took the land that Mengistu was plaughing through the state farmand gave it to foreigners,
melese for many reason is dead dead long ago

11/02/12 @ 15:18
Comment from: [Member]

***to All***
Today is the 2nd of november and my thoughts goes to those who were affected the hurricane Sandy ‘Wrath".
It is friday the weekend is here. On that note, I see some of the pro Weyane Cyber cadres in full force.
If they are not bad-mouthing and “regurgitating” their bosses “propaganda” then they are making a joke for their local ” Pub/ Bar” to amuse the patrons.

What jokers they are!!!
In as much as the Northeast United States region is recuperating from the hurrican devastation some may need an amusing weekend to forget their problems, even temproarily, by listening such “Comedian Aga***s” from the weyane circle.

Have a great weekend everyone

11/02/12 @ 16:24
Comment from: [Member]

***to Teddy***
these “scumbags” who are mentally challenged can’t comprehend Dr Messay’s article. They are the ‘Zombies” from the looting weyane circle.
They are “The Living Dead”
and follow their masters’ order from the TPLF gangs at Arat Kilo.
FYI - Halloween party is going on around the nation(U.S.A that is) and the best “Custome” is that of the late shifta, - Meles the Ag***!!

These Weyanes are running out of “trick” fro they are on their last few days at the helm!!

11/02/12 @ 16:58
Comment from: Dawit W. Gabriel [Visitor]
Dawit W. Gabriel

Mesfin B,

What you are saying does not make sense at all, and the language is not there anyway. Are you alright?

Please think!!

11/04/12 @ 13:26
Comment from: Teka [Visitor]

Messay has 101 reasons to resent Meles.First and foremost,he was much younger than him without Phd, like himself, who showed up to get some power from derg.Meles got it through struggel.Messay presented himself as a unique communist to earn the attention of the former government,which he was denied and he was limited to teachers association.
secndly,because of his affliation to Derg,the EPRDF /Meles put him in prison for months.
Thirdly,he was fired from AAU.Even though he had little knowledge a bout Ethiopia,while he was living there,his ignorance reached the max after living more than a decade in diaspora.Now he writes his nuisance at every oppotunity.
The good news is Ethiopians living in Ethiopia,who are busy in building their country,do not listen what he has to say.They know who is a pseudo promoter of Democracy(Messay) and who had sacrified his precious life for the cause of the people and to the people,despite astonoshing and unmatched intellegence to do more than Phd:PM MELES.
We are in proud of Meles.We are embaraced by Messay.

11/04/12 @ 22:14
Comment from: [Member]

***To Dawit G/maskel***
Except for a couple of typos, it really does make sense.

The language is there as well!

I am fine and thank you for asking!
You may be pro-TPLF, Dawit!!!
I can sense that!!!

11/05/12 @ 11:32



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