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Ethiopia, Famine and the Oxford Dictionary

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07/25/11

  04:57:14 am, by admin, 1909 words  
Categories: Ethiopia

Ethiopia, Famine and the Oxford Dictionary

Ethiopia, Famine and the Oxford Dictionary

By Alemayehu G. Mariam

Oxymorons (figures of speech that combine contradictory terms) can sometimes provide unique insights into the cognitive process. Consider, for instance, the phrase “honest politician”. Is there such a thing? It sounds so comical to talk about “efficient government”? How about an “emerging democracy”? That’s like saying a “little bit pregnant.” If there is such a thing as a “benevolent despot/dictator”, then there are hyenas that do not eat carrion. How about “dictator with conscience”?

Recently, dictator Meles Zenawi responding to an interviwer’s question made a public confession of shame and regret over the fact that the Oxford Dictionary uses Ethiopia as a prime example of famine.

Interviewer: In the mid-1960s something was revealed in our country. Many people were waging struggles. You were in the struggle. In the Oxford dictionary, for the word famine, the example given is Ethiopia. How does that make you feel as an Ethiopian?

Zenawi: It is a mixed up situation. On the one hand, like any citizen, I am very sad. I am ashamed. It is degrading. A society that built the Lalibela churches some thousand years ago is unable to cultivate the land and feed itself. A society that built the Axum obelisks some 2-3 thousand years ago is unable to cultivate the land and feed itself. That is very sad. It is very shameful. Of all the things, to go out begging for one’s daily bread, to be a beggar nation is dehumanizing. Therefore, I feel great shame. In the end though these things are not the mistakes of a single individual. They have their own long history, and cannot be eliminated through anger or regrets. In a similar way, it requires a long struggle and determination and defiance of not just one but 3 or 4 generations. I understand that is what it takes. Until that is removed and eliminated, until I finish playing my role in it, all I can do is say Amen and accept this shame and degradation. This is the kind of feeling it creates in me.

In 1995, Zenawi was self-effacing but cocky about his vision of a nation that is well-fed and -clothed in a decade or two with people dancing in the streets, at least living not too far from paved streets. Responding to a question from what appears to be an audience of friends and supporters, Zenawi envisioned:

Questioner: In 10 or 15 years from now, is there a vision that you see that would make you happy. Can you tell us two or three things about that?

Zenawi: Ten years from now (laughter). Let me start with ten years from now. One big thing I think will happen and dream about is that all Ethiopians will get three meals a day (applause). After that may be, if everything works out well, my hope is that Ethiopians will have two or three changes of clothes. If everything works out, all Ethiopians will live within two hours of a paved road. If we do this, we would have done a miracle (laughter). If we go to twenty years, we would have clinics, schools, access to roads of less than two hours, not just eat three times a day. We may even have a choice of foods and selection of clothes. I hope in twenty years, we will have good outcomes (applause).

Sixteen years later in 2011, the Black Horseman is standing at the gate. Zenawi stands alongside with folded arms feigning shame for the fact that Ethiopia is perceived to be synonymous with famine. Recently, the U.N. predicted the “worst drought in the last 60 years” for Ethiopia and neighboring countries. UNICEF warned “millions of children and women are at risk from death and disease unless a rapid and speedy response is put into action.”

The world dreads to see once again the haunting skeletal figures of Ethiopian famine victims splattered across the television screen reminiscent of the 1970s and 1980s. Blame history Zenawi bleated philosophically: “In the end though these things are not the mistakes of a single individual. They have their own long history….”

Shame Without Guilt

Zenawi's declaration of shame and regret for famine and chronic food shortages in Ethiopia is reminiscent of those American televangelists who publicly confess their sins when caught in a shameful scandal but take no responsibility for their transgressions. The devil did it or made them do it. For Zenawi, the blame should be placed on history, drought, climate change, heartless donors and divine retribution. Famine is not something he could have anticipated or planned to prevent. Famine just happens. No one is responsible.

Shame and guilt are often trivialized in the modern world. After the fall of the Third Reich, few came forward to express shame for their callous indifference to the acts of inhumanity committed in their name, and even fewer felt or admitted guilt for their own criminal acts. They conveniently dissociated themselves from the inhuman acts by adopting a shockingly matter-of-fact attitude: “It was what it was.” Nothing more. Of course, they had their regrets. The super-state that was to last a thousand years lasted only twelve.

During the Truth and Reconciliation hearings in South Africa, many of the officials who perpetrated atrocities “felt” ashamed for torturing and mistreating black South Africans, but few openly admitted guilt and took full responsibility for their actions. They said they were acting in the name of the government or simply following official orders. They were not personally responsible.

The street criminal also feels shame for robbing or assaulting his victim, but rarely admits legal guilt, and even more rarely moral guilt and take responsibility. He too feels regrets, for getting caught.

It is common for dictators to acknowledge the fact of their wrongdoing without feeling shame or guilt. Stalin unapologetically declared, “A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.” In 1959 during China’s Great Famine Mao casually remarked in a speech: “When there is not enough to eat, people starve to death. It is better to let half of the people die so that the other half can eat their fill.” After the massacre of hundreds of unarmed demonstrators following the 2005 elections in Ethiopia, Zenawi feigned pangs of conscience: “I regret the deaths but these were not normal demonstrations. You don't see hand grenades thrown at normal demonstrations.” When his own handpicked Inquiry Commission determined after a meticulous investigation that the demonstrators were unarmed and carried no weapons of any kind, Zenawi ignored the report and did nothing. Today, 237 killers still roam the streets free.

In the final analysis, when famine consumes hundreds of thousands of people or untold numbers of people die for simple lack of food, it is the responsibility of the man at the helm, the guy in the driver’s seat. But never in Ethiopia. Emperor Haile Selassie said he did not know about the famine in 1974 until it was too late. He was not responsible. Junta leader Mengistu Hailemariam said he was not responsible for the famine in 1984 because there was no famine. Over a million people died in that famine. Zenawi says the famine in Ethiopia today is not the responsibility of any one individual. No one in leadership position has ever taken responsibility for the recurrent famines in Ethiopia.

One must have a conscience to feel shame, admit guilt and take responsibility. To say dictators have conscience is like saying snakes have legs. Dictators are the quintessential narcissists who care about and love only themselves. They are incapable of feeling shame, guilt, compassion or appreciation. Their raison d’etre (reason for existence) is the pursuit of power at any cost to dominate and control others.

Our conscience is that “inner voice” or “inner light” that helps us distinguish right from wrong, good from evil, guilt from innocence, love from hate and virtue from vice. Guilt is the flip side of shame. The bifurcation of shame from guilt is the clearest manifestation of the lack of conscience. But if one feels shame and admits guilt (moral or legal) for the actions (or omissions) producing the shame, he experiences an inner transformation which compels him to make amends. The painful feeling of dishonor, disgrace, humiliation and self-criticism transforms the shameful act into an honorable act or at least produces genuine atonement. Real admission of guilt is always followed by moral self-redemption and salvation.

Eastern philosophy teaches that “when the mind is face to face with the Truth, a self-luminous spark of thought is revealed at the inner core of ourselves and, by analogy, all of reality.” When we come face to face with the truth of our shameful act and our conscience is awakened, we naturally and effortlessly make efforts to make amends.

Confession Time?

While we are on the subject of shame, regrets, guilt and all that, I have my own confession to make. I am ashamed Ethiopia is a country

that has become the butt of famine jokes (not just an entry in the Oxford Dictionary).

known primarily for its poverty.

where elections are stolen in broad daylight.

where the rule of law and human rights are trampled every day with impunity.

where 237 security thugs walk free after killing 193 unarmed demonstrators and wounding nearly 800.

with the worst prison system in the world.

classified as the world's worst backslider on press freedom.

with lowest internet penetration in the world after Sierra Leone.

I am ashamed Ethiopia is classified together with the worst countries in the world on the

Corruption Index (most corrupt countries).

Failed States Index (most failed states).

Index of Economic Freedom (economically most repressive countries).

International Bank for Reconstruction and Development Investment Climate Assessment (most unfriendly to business).

Ibrahim Index of African Governance (most poorly governed African countries).

Bertelsmann Political and Economic Transformation Index (most in need of reform).

Environmental Performance Index (poorest environmental and public health indicators).

But I am also proud, mighty proud. I am proud of the unity of the Ethiopian people despite the efforts of those who toil day and night to divide them by ethnicity, region, religion, language and whatever else. I am proud of Ethiopia's culture of respect, compassion and tolerance. Most of all, I am super proud of Ethiopia’s young people. They are the only lifeline to the survival of that nation.

I wear a badge of shame on the left and a badge of pride on the right. But between my pride and shame lies my overwhelming sense of gnawing guilt. It is guilt that manifests itself in a moral quandary about what I could have done, can do now and in the future, particularly for the young people of Ethiopia to reclaim their destiny. The solutions to Ethiopia’s famine, poverty, disease, illiteracy and the rest of it will not come from self-adulating, forked-tongue dictators who cling to power like ticks on a milk cow, but from Ethiopia’s young men and women.

Zenawi says he is ashamed of the recurrent famine in Ethiopia and is resigned to accepting it with an “Amen.” The crocodile also sheds tears. But a dictator professing shame without admitting guilt is, to paraphrase Shakespeare, “an evil soul producing holy witness, a villain with a smiling cheek, a goodly apple rotten at the heart.”

But can you hear the silent screams of the starving Ethiopians? Can you see their quiet riots against tyranny? If you can’t, what a crying shame!

Previous commentaries by the author are available at: www.huffingtonpost.com/alemayehu-g-mariam/ and http://open.salon.com/blog/almariam/

41 comments

Comment from: henok [Visitor]
henok

Almariam,
What happened to you old man? What is wrong with our Prime Minister replies with regard to the recurrence of famine in the country. What this astute and wise leader said is 100% true. How nonsense you are to try to mud the good words of the primier with your shaky knowledge of literray words and figires of speech? It is utter ignorance or better arrogance of yours to to try deliberatey misconstru what Meles said. I think you senility is getting worse each day.

07/25/11 @ 05:22
Comment from: C'moi senait [Visitor]
C'moi senait

Throw out all these parasites charities and NGOs from ethiopia soil like shabia did. No more beggerisem!!!! No more breeding like a fly and hoping that oxfam,redcros,usaid will feed you or bring you free food. Sterilize those who have more than 3 childerns specially in north.

Gather all these beggers weyannes in to Addis parlament house in Arat kilo. GAS them all !! Feed their bodies to hyna and use it as fetilizer.
The so calld HR. Smash them with basball tree.

Now listen you begger!! That is what we are as long as this chiggaarams are in power.

My solution is the best solution to my pure ethiopia not to be called begger nation.
Those who oppose me are beggers, and crac-heads with pusy guts.

07/25/11 @ 06:20
Comment from: Chala [Visitor]
Chala

Altemarem you will never learn but I have to say it.
1. there is no famine in Ethiopia as you and your boss Shabia wishes. Its drought that can happen any where if no raining for years. its happening in America now.
2.Ethipia is a big country which feeding more than 20 African Countries as much as 80 million people right now.
So What melas saying is lets work together and make a change on this country.
In short lets stop talking as you do and work hard to make real change.
So When melas spent all his young life on dessert for 17 years you were enjoying life in America and he is now trying his best to make change. but you still sit and talking for 20 years.
I really feel sorry people like you.

07/25/11 @ 06:53
Comment from: JonesHenry [Visitor]
JonesHenry

The population is now around 90-million, and GROWING!

Ethiopians have blamed “evil whitey” for almost all there problems over the past 70-years! Shoulnd’t we say openly, that the government doesent want to do anything about the population issue? That it greatly ENJOYS selling babies and farmland away! Stop pretending, that the government EVER cared about helping the people! They have sold babies for 40+years, now they are selling farmland! Lets stop pretending this is, or has ever been about “helping the people”

07/25/11 @ 07:00
Comment from: Ampul [Visitor]
Ampul

Well,after all that,if the good professor can tell us is he for or against to remove the word famine as a synonym to Ethiopia in the Oxford dictionary?Can this guy stick to the title of the article,please! D`nt waste our time by diverting us to read his discourse on famine history,when the title is clear.

07/25/11 @ 07:27
Comment from: Mahber [Visitor]
Mahber

Dear Ethiopians, I am a member of EPRDF. What Meles saids in that interview is wrong. But he is misled by the foolish interviewer. Meles is most times genious but he make mistake because he is not perfect. nobody is perfect. This interview has made a lot of us shame. It was made by amatur boys and girls who has no idea about our struggle. They just mix up everything thinking they are helping. I sorry for what happen. Our party need to select journalists carefully next time.

07/25/11 @ 07:29
Comment from: BPR [Visitor]
BPR

I agree with most of the indicators you have put with regard to ethiopia, I must thank God,because i feel desensitized, and if some ask me my origion and I tell them that I am ethiopian & they stop asking more by saying Ohhh…
But here is my point, it is time to listen to each other, to engaged positively, to build up on what is started, and to be part of bigger and better picture for the country. If you don’t want or don’t know to work together with others how do you think will you be able to enfluence others to work with you,

07/25/11 @ 07:51
Comment from: woldeyesus [Visitor]
woldeyesus

Professor, God bless you for persisting on writing about what needs to be talked about and confronted.

If any of my woyane friends attempt to ridicule the professor, know that you will be dishonest and selfish openly. This same issue caused the downfall of the Ethiopian empire as we know it four decades ago. And you know what? It was primarily the children of people in the ruling aristocracy that spearheaded the struggle to topple a regime that was found to be responsible for all the problems of the day. And you know what? Young Amharas, that you are calling names day and night, showed their care and bravery by joining and leading the struggle even at the expense of losing their inheritance. I would expect no less from Tigres at this time.

God bless Ethiopia!


07/25/11 @ 09:08
Comment from: Chala [Visitor]
Chala

Almariam favourite TV Show is ETV. Monday to Saturday following what melas eat, drink speak then make a call to Eritrea embassy and get some advice then the last job of the week writing lecture for extremist Diaspora that will take them until next week.
Life will go like this until you die as Melas will do the job you sit down and gossip about it.

07/25/11 @ 09:57
Comment from: zella [Visitor]
zella

Quote from the BBC Africa analyst Martin Plant July25,2011

“Many people at the heart of the current disaster in Etiopia have emerged relatively unscathed.This is because the government of Addis Abeba has such an extensive safety net in place,he says.
Pre-positioned supplies mean the Ethiopian authorities could respond rapidly once the extent of the drougt became clear.
Communities are suffering,but the famine that has hit neighbouring Somalia has so far been avoided in Ethiopia and over all the disaster management system , built up since the 1980s has worked”
Mr.Alemayehu you should ashamed of yourself because you have been poking your own country on the eye time and time again.
As an Ethiopian we are not asamed of any thing no matter what,most of us known for a long who you are and we are disgusting of you.
You should use your pen to confront “international water” and the so called environmentalist groups who are targeting our country day in day out to keep us in poverty,instead of throwing your poisonous arrow at the current government who try everything to advance the the country to a successful future.

07/25/11 @ 10:12
Comment from: tezibt [Visitor]
tezibt

I couldn’t find many mistakes in this articles but one, “interviwer’s” should have been interviewer’s. The writer is very articulate in the way he constructs the grammar. The words, though at times seem to sophisticated for the average reader, they carry the thoughts of what they writer aims to transmit. The biggest problem with this articles like many of this writer’s articles before is that he is that he spends too much time focusing on one single person instead of at the whole EPRDF system. I expect better from a political science professor and a lawyer. Where is the critical thinking. It sounds like the man is too obsessed with hatred than looking for a solution on how to tackle serious problems.

07/25/11 @ 12:32
Comment from: Windows [Visitor]  
Windows

Al,
You tried to come up with two statements given by Prime Minister Meles that seemed to contradict but they don’t contradict at all:

When PM was asked about his vision 10-15 years from then, he stated the following

“Let me start with ten years from now. One big thing I think will happen and dream about is that all Ethiopians will get three meals a day.” Nothing wrong about envisioning/dreaming such a wonderful goal. Professor, Martin Luther king dreamed of equality for the blacks and whites….he was not lucky enough to see the result….but nobody can take the fact that he laid the foundation for the struggle. Meles may not see his dream fullfilled 100% but he sure did make a difference. He sure did turn things around and laid the foundation for future generation to build on what he started.

What have you done Professor other than repeating what is in the oxford dictionary? Have you changed one person’s life? Have you contributed to the solution? Have you tried to mobilize your followers to have an impact in a positive way?

“A person who moves a mountain starts by moving a rock". Nobody can deny the fact that our PM started moving the rocks but nobody can vouch for you or your likes who consider themselves elites of our society who did nothing but blame the government for the past 10-20 years while our PM was working towards achieving his dream.

What he said after 20 yrs is the following:

“In the end though these things are not the mistakes of a single individual. They have their own long history, and cannot be eliminated through anger or regrets. In a similar way, it requires a long struggle and determination and defiance of not just one but 3 or 4 generations. I understand that is what it takes.” I believe him when he says that because he is atleast on the ground working trying to make a difference. So, for me those statements go hand in hand. You work to achieve your vision…I still support his vision. We haven’t achieved it in 20 years but we are closer than where we were 20 years ago to achieve it. Let God give the strength for those who actually work!

07/25/11 @ 12:53
Comment from: kul [Visitor]
kul

Did I hear Meles saying he is ashamed of being a leader of a beggar nation? Really? Wow!!! I am laughing out loud. If he is ashamed of leading a beggar nation, he should have either changed the situation for the better or resigned longtime ago. But we all know that Meles knows no shame at all. He amassed millions of dollars from donors for the last 20 years in the name of starving Ethiopians. He doesn’t want to change the precarious situation in Ethiopia as it has been his livelihood for the last 20 years. So, the current famine is just another perfect opportunity for Meles and cronies to cash in by abusing the aid money and food.

07/25/11 @ 13:16
Comment from: Honest [Visitor]
Honest

Well Proff. Al you have raised a great daughter who likes to help those in need, she is going to be part of the next generation of Ethiopian Americans who in my opinion will help raise Ethiopia from rut it is layin now. I hope you realize that it is a great achievement.

07/25/11 @ 13:21
Comment from: Merid [Visitor]
Merid

Why do Ethiopians act surprised when famine strikes ? There is nothing new about famine in Ethiopia . It has been part of Ethiopian history for so long . The surprising thing would have been if famine do not strike at any given Ethiopian leader’s time of leadership within Ethiopia.
It is not like the people in power care about the people of Ethiopia . In all cases the powerfull gets to power and keeps it’s power by killing it’s own citizens , as it has been seen all throughout Ethiopian history. The kiler is worshiped and admired for being a winner while the dead is regarded as a looser and disrespected . That is how it was , that is how it is and that is how it will continue to be in the Ethiopian political system . Famine happens to be an easier way of killing it’s own citizens for the government and is really wanted by the powerfull ,so that the powerfull stays in power . More famine means less wasting of bullet for the powerfull . This is nothing new for the politicians of Ethiopia and that’s why Ethiopia and the danger of famine are collarated together .

07/25/11 @ 14:24
Comment from: Shalom [Visitor]
Shalom

Mr. Dr. do nothing,

Can you stop whining for a second and do something that goes to the belly of a single Ethiopian Somali who is enduring the cruelty of hunger as we speak.

Don’t be sad about Ethiopia you pathetic lazy; Ethiopia is doing just fine. We have a drought and we are mitigating it with our own reserves. Feel sorry for yourselves and of your kinds who do nothing but make a full-time job out of a demonic envy of the PM Meles.

We all know that, in your silly heart of hearts you perfectly understand that this guy is doing a great job; a job that had never been done by his several blood-sucker predecessors.

So, please be a man and leave him alone. BTW, could it be love? May God forbid that.

07/25/11 @ 14:45
Comment from: mesfin_b [Member]  
mesfin_b

አቶ አለማየሁ ገ/ማርያም አሁንም ሳትሰለች የ አረመኔው መለስ ዜናዊን ስህተት እናም ጥፋቶች እያወጣህ ስትተነትናቸው በጣም ደስ እያለን ነው የምናነበው ::
መለስ ዜናዊ ከ እብሪትም ይሁን ከሌላ መነሾ የሰጠው መልስ በጣም አስደናቂ ብሎም አሳዝኝ እንዲሁም እትዮጵያዊን አናዳጅ መልሶች ተናግርዋል::
አለማችን በ ታሪክ ቅርስዋ ውስጥ ክብር ሰጥታ ያስቀመጠችውን የ እትዮጵያን መሪዎች መዝለፍ ማንቅዋሸሽ ያተለቀው ይመስል መለስ ዜናዊ ጥፋት እንዳጠፉ አግሮ ስማቸውን ማንሳቱ ከ አገራችን ጠላቶች አንደበት የሚወጣ ንግግር ነው ያደረገው ብዬ አምናለሁ::
ሴውየው ለዶላር ከተገዛ መቆየቱ ቢታወቅም አሁን ደግሞ ከድፍረት ጋር የ እትዮጵያን ጀግኖች መሪዎችን ማንኪያኪያስ ከ እብድነት ያላነሰ አስተሳሰብ ነው ::በ ህ አ ዴ ግ ይውደም
ህዝባዊ መንግስት አሁን

07/25/11 @ 18:54
Comment from: Ewnetu [Visitor]  
Ewnetu

Chala, first reveal your identity. For sure,you have another name. Instead of discussing Prof. Alemariam’s point you attacking his personality. So let’s grow up and discuss the point presented.

07/25/11 @ 20:16
Comment from: gashe_mamo [Member]  
gashe_mamo

Dear Sir
I like how you started your article oxy moron….LoL Yes we have no respect to a guy who lies infront of the whole world and who become a dictator on this digital age he is a Dunder headed , tyrant moron

07/25/11 @ 20:56
Comment from: Belachew Taye [Visitor]
Belachew Taye

I have been a supporter of Meles Zenawi for long time. But, these days I have noticed that PM Meles is not a kind of person who is working hard for the development of the country and also for the development of democracy. I am also tired of this drought that is happening more frequently than ever. Therefore, I have started reading what the Professor is writing. I have seen what the professor is explaining as the real problem of the country. Guys I dont think we need to be blind all the time. Lets hear what the professor is saying and start understanding the situation we are having in the country. people are starving (including people in the main cities). After all the professor is a Professor. we have to respect him. I believe in respecting people. for that matter, under the context of Ethiopia, ANYBODY CAN NOT BE A PROFESSOR. BUT ANYBODY CAN BE A PRIME MINSTER!!!!! we have to respect the professor.

Thank you!

07/25/11 @ 22:14
Comment from: osman [Visitor]
osman

ATO MELES play with fire ,i do not know what would be the consequence
of all use less interview which is made by this silly nasty creator,

07/26/11 @ 00:58
Comment from: men [Visitor]
men

Again , Again and Again attacking by Ch , A, T … and others to this Ethiopian well educated honest professor for his analysis of his finding about the worst things from the Ethiopian children killer, why all this? we are person and we all are testimony whats going up in our Ethiopia, one commentator tell us/who said clearly he is a member of killer grope , MHEBER/ this guy is wrong because of the amateur interviewer girl and get in ashamed.
That’s the important things that the girl without any preparation of large experience could out to outside the interior of this evil man and contributed for help Ethiopian people from this wild and racist killer.

My recommendation to MAHEBER is Change interviewer is not the real
solution, you need to act to change the killer to protect your Ethiopian family and get out from to be ashamed and responsible from historical justices.

07/26/11 @ 02:54
Comment from: tefera [Visitor]
tefera

I can’t believe it even my Nagerian friend just told me that he wanted to help Ethiopian famine victims, as Ethiopian i am very ashamed to hear from another black African country who are not much different. All this because of the past and the current irresponsible leaders of Ethiopia. The only time i feel proud being Ethiopian is when our athletes wins.

07/26/11 @ 05:08
Comment from: dork [Visitor]
dork

Wow! AL MARIAM,I want you to be honest and answer my quwstion. What if Meles said ” I am not ashemed of anything, or not a big deal” what was your article will be? Others like Mesfin, Merid..What did you guys contribute to this problem in Ethiopia? Is someone tell me who will be the best leader? Listen guys, I do not think all these pensil pushers can lead Ethiopia, why don’t they go Ethiopia and fight the real fight/ Professor Al, you are not mandella or some kind of hero..why didn’t have the gut to go back home and confront Meles and go to prison for the sake of the Ethiopian people if you are real? You do not know how many diasporas in US tired of you and other so called politicians. Don’t you see the number of diasporas attend on different occasions in different states? What does that tell you? We are tired of the nothing doers for the last 20 years opposing this government. No one is follish any more to contribute money for oppositions in diaspora. Don’t you get it? Do not make yourself a foolish. We work hard to support our own family here in the United States and Ethiopia. That is the most important thing for us than weak a… oppositions who always cry like a baby man. We are out.

07/26/11 @ 05:55
Comment from: Tagess Belew [Visitor]
Tagess Belew

Altemarem: Yes, there is no “Honest Politician” and we can see that in you. We see you attacking one man and trying to build your own image at his expense. Trust me your image will remain dark and blurred since there is no honesty deep inside you. Drought & famine are no strage things to Ethiopia & unfortunately we have it this year as well. But the person that you are attacking has at least put in place with the help of the international community a system that responds to an early warning of drought and avoids famine and migration. We have not heard of migrating Ethiopians due to famine and so give credit to all who have put such a system. Drought and famine will continue until we start to effectively & efficiently use our water resources and fully develop our agricultural system. So trying to isolate current drought and famine in the Horn and consider this as something specific to the government and the man you hate is absolutely absured and foolish. There was, there is and there will be drought & famine in the future in Ethiopia and the region and more so now with “Climate Changes". So, my advise is just sit and think and analyze things before putting your pen on a paper or your fingers on a keyboard. Everybody knows that your articles are based on hatred of an individual and so it is time to think and talk beyond hatred by focusing on the broader picture of better Ethiopia and its citizens. Tagess.

07/26/11 @ 06:12
Comment from: inga [Visitor]
inga

ethiopia progress under meles more than any leader in history of this country. It’s ok to dream sometimes but some dreams may not come true after all. so if u dreaming to the old regime mengistu or any amhara keep dreaming but we’ll not allowed that to happen. some ppl are great in doing business in this country and they sould be allowed to do so and tplf are good in leading this country and we’ll allowed ourselves to do the same.
long life tplf

07/26/11 @ 08:14
Comment from: abel [Member]  
abel

Our nationalist’s like Alemayehu G. Mariam, Birhanu(tesfegna),Tamangn(shaebia) where hopping catastrophic famine in Ethiopia.They don’t mind to see hundreds of thousands perish as long as it contributes one step closer to power.
Pm Meles had at least good intentions and in fact is doing his best,unfortunately the so called supper Ethiopians Amhara elite are working hard to dismantle and destroy every thing accomplished.That is the truth.

07/26/11 @ 09:31
Comment from: 200 Tanks!!!! [Visitor]
200 Tanks!!!!

It is an irony that a county who can afford to put in 100 Million dollars to buy Tanks from Ukraine can’t afford to buy food for it citizens…..

Meles, if you really care about your people, why not to cancel the above order and buy food for those dying children?

How many children can one save with 100 million dollars?

07/26/11 @ 10:38
Comment from: addiszemen [Member]  

“FAMINES WERE SENT AS AN EFFECT OF GOD’S ANGER AGAINST A GUILTYPEOPLE” 2Kings 8:1,2

Why is this deranged almaria wishing again and again a FAMINE to hit Ethiopia? Is he really a sane person who can tell the difference between right and wrong? Or is it just a total stupidity grown out of self petty and jealousy towards our PM?
Whatever it is, Ethiopian people will never forgive him for wishing all kinds of disaster to happen in Ethiopia, just for the sake of proving his point and arguement. And ofcourse he is one of the culprits with elias kifle, who tried to cut power lines in big towns of Ethiopia to disrupt the ongoing developmental projects.

I suggest a new entry to Oxford and Webster dictionaries the word…..
DERANGED= crazed, driven insane, like almaria and elias kifle.

07/26/11 @ 12:17
Comment from: guest [Visitor]
guest

I come around Nazret once in a while and read a few articles to catch up with the latest at home, then i scroll down to the comments to read. I shake my head with disgust. I notice the hate between two groups that are supposed to be one. You know, you don’t have to hate a person to disagree with him. I think that is the most fundamental requirement to build a civilized society. If you are dogmatic, uncompromising and illogical in your ways a child can easy take advantage of you let alone a government. The powers that be knows that and will exploit any fanaticism like a berried treasure that knows no bottom.

07/26/11 @ 12:37
Comment from: Dr. NO [Visitor]
Dr. NO

Alemayehu,

Is there more hated mozaza than this moron. I hate him more than I hate Isayas Afewerki and that says a lot. Is there no one to advice him to see a psychiatrist. I am ashamed that he is an Ethiopian.

07/26/11 @ 13:02
Comment from: wubet [Visitor]
wubet

MR CHALA ARE YOU LOSING YOUR MIND WHEN YOU SAY THERE IS NO FAMINE IN ETHIOPIA ?I KNOW YOU DO HAVE SOME REALATIVES IN ETHIOPIA JUST CALL THEM AND ASK HOW LIFE LOOK LIKE IN ETHIOPIA THAT MAY HELP YOU TO KNOW SOME THING .

07/26/11 @ 13:29
Comment from: Lima [Visitor]
Lima

I just read the comments, not the article because I know what Prof. Almariam will say. Since I believe he has the same problem which I have, the person of Meles Zenawi.

Some people say, why Meles? If people cannot understand that Meles is the core of a problem, they do not understand Ethiopians problems.

We know Ethiopia has had entangled and interwoven problem variables. But to praise Meles is to praise a Devil. What is the difference between Meles and a Devil?

1. Meles demanded the whole world, Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, North America,… that he wanted his country to be landlocked? Only on this case, Meles was supposed to be hanged in public in Mesqel square or aboyet Adebabay.

2. Because of Meles, starving Ethiopians pay around 2 Billion dollars each year for port services to DJibouti, Kenya, Sudan,… this is because of Meles only.

3. Leave alone the above, Meles has assassinated his own finest general Hayelom and he has built for him a statue and there was no even any legal proceeding about it.

4. Not only that, Meles has executed his finest intelligence Minister Kinfe in broad-day light?

5. Meles did throw his own another finest Defense Minister Siye Abraha for 7 years in prison? Can you imagine guys? Meles participated only in two wars in the 17 years struggle, twice he betrayed his comrades and run away. But after getting to Arat kilo, he started killing them and chasing them and imprisoning them as if they were his enemies all those who fought and got him to Arat kilo, u can see the degree of selfiness in him?
He is born the most selfish human being on the planet earth. His greed has no limit.
5. Meles did not stop there. Meles advocated or supported the invasion of Shabia Ethiopia and he opposed any defense against the invasion. The defensive offence could not stop because of him, and after his comrades went to war, Meles was weaving traps to kill, imprison his own comrades. He aborted the victory. He took Ethiopia to Europe and he signed Alger’s agreement?

According to me, Meles has to be hanged whenever time allows. He must not be even charged with multi degree murder. But he must be hanged in public. Actually Both Meles and Mengistu must be hanged in public and other leaders will know they will face the same fate if they treat their people with subhumanity.

Wow, guys, be informed that Meles has signed a secret document with EEBC during the EEBC commissioning. Meles is now getting ready to hand badme.

Be informed Meles happiness lies in destroying Ethiopia and inflicting Ethiopia. According to reliable sources, Meles is getting ready to hand badme to Shabia now. I think Meles is scared that he might die or leave power before he completes his traitorness degree. Meles is studying PHD in destroying Ethiopia. Destroying Ethiopia means give away its lands to Indians,Arabs,… and selling babies for Adoption, and shipping little girls to Arab to be Arab work, sex slave maids. Giving Badme is also part of the PHD of destruction of Ethiopia.

Meles Ethiopia destruction PHD focuses on:

1. Landlocking Ethiopia 100% and make sure it will never get its ports

2. Selling its lands and making its people slaves to Indians and Arabs

3. Selling little girls who graduated from his maid training Universities to Arabs

4. Accumulating money

5. Dividing Ethiopia

Guys, this is the man who imported a dead language Latin from Europe? Meles, no man, I do not even understand why we allowed such low rate personality to run our country?

Meles Zenawi needs to

07/26/11 @ 13:40
Comment from: Umn [Visitor]
Umn

As i was reading the article it seemed like the PM was mocking the Ethiopian people as always. What i feel like everyone with their comments is forgetting is that Meles as being in power for 21 years and no change has being seem by the Ethiopian people. This article is just giving as the facts and there is no need to twist what the PM is say. He envisions Ethiopians to have 3-meal, this should’ve been accomplished along time ago.Also someone who is supposedly ashamed that Ethiopia is an example of famine in the oxford dictionary would have done something about it. So instead of worrying about what others label us with we need to work to better our country for the sake of our people…..

07/26/11 @ 14:45
Comment from: Mario [Visitor]
Mario

Why should dictator, traitor and master bully Meles Zenawi feel shame when it is big harvest time for him in the name of starving and hungry Ethiopians? If he really does, that will be the greatest contradtion of his life time.

I say the above based on his own track records. His movment, party and government are all built on the exploitation of the misery of the people he leads from the beginning to the end.

To end our peoples’ suffering and misery, it is the responsiblity of the rest of us to name, defame, shame and inflame Meles Zenawi for he has no guilt and conscience of any kind what so ever.

Thanks Prof Alemayehu for saying it all. I am proud of you for leaving PMMZ absolutely disgraced and naked.

The more PMMZ is left disgraced and naked, the more his blind supporters bark in defense of him. That is already a given. That should not bother us a bit. What bother us most should be if the mother of all despots is not left disgraced and naked ENOUGH.


07/26/11 @ 15:25
Comment from: shiberu [Visitor]
shiberu

bla bla bla

so what?

do us all a favor and write about how we can work to address the problems for change

07/26/11 @ 16:02
Comment from: Gobez [Visitor]
Gobez

All your articles are same in content and style: HATE. Hate doesn’t feed our poor people. If you are honest to yourself, tell to the people of Ethiopia one thing you’ve done so far other than posting endless, non-sense, and garbage articles (if you call them articles at all!!!).

07/26/11 @ 17:43
Comment from: Amhara Princess [Member]  

How about “Meles Zenawi is Ethiopian” for oxymoron? :)

07/26/11 @ 17:59
Comment from: joe [Visitor]
joe

“Any publicity is good publicity” as it has been said , therefore I am not amazed that Meles takes every opportunity that he has to say what he thinks. Most of us disagree with him but does he care. I do not think so, after all we did not vote for him to begin with. The issue here is not only what Meles is saying via the means at his disposable. The issue is the regurgitating of what Meles is saying week after week, to get recognition and keep on spitting and throwing up by the so called “professor” . He could be working for Meles, for all I care, to keep him on the spot light or he is looking for something from him, like a post, or even may be has his own ax to grind. But all these at the expense of the docile Ethiopian readers and ,off course with the full support of Nazret.com and Ethiopian review where they sensor others idea. So “professor”, the field is yours and so gallop your horse wherever it is taking you. Just remember your audacity of being shamelessly a gong.
joe

07/26/11 @ 22:41
Comment from: ment4you [Visitor]
ment4you

addis zemen / chala

I like to think you two have a better thinking brain than blind and unconditional love for no other reason you appear to be from the same region Meles came from. It is evident from your responses critical t5hinking and rationalism are not part of your vocabularies. Grow up already!

C’moi senait

Hate is not family value! Grow up!

07/27/11 @ 02:38
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]
TEDDY

Hey Adgi banda and Chala ,chabian garbage Tigre Mafiosis ass holes .Even
a blind a deaf know perfectly that actually there’s Famnine affecting Horn of africa Countries as Somalia ,Kenya ,Eritrea and Ethiopia .
You’re just laughing on yourselvesese
Ignorant ,Lekeskes ,Kerfafa Bandas !!!

08/01/11 @ 08:04

rebtel

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