The not so ample room in our culture to arrive at a consensus has been monumental problem amongst Ethiopian scholars and politicians. It appears that the so called elite participate or engage in discussions to disprove their peer’s point of views regardless of its substances. Deep train of thoughts and their consequences are hardly taken into consideration. Debates, fierce disagreements and concerted efforts to convince others are not uncommon. What is uncommon is the deliberate refusal to accept defeat and reach consensus. The recent and the ongoing antagonistic, hostile and unprovoked attack on the National Defense Forces by TPLF is the classic paradigm.
Formal disagreements and exchanges of opinions go back to the days of Greek scholars like Socrates, Aristotle, and Plato. The age of reasoning, ideology, and the Greek Myth demonstrated dialogues and fierce debates of the era. The idea that prevailed became the winning concept and the guideline. Unjust defiance or retaliation against their competitors or opponents was considered uncivil even back in those days.
Even the scholars in the spiritual community like Paul, Peter, Martin Luther and Thomas Aquinas disagreed over the interpretation of the Holy Scripture often protested and created numerous denominations called Protestants. Though some of the defiance was labeled as blasphemous, the debates laid solid foundation for the contemporary philosophical, theological and social basis, ultimately encouraging freedom to people to believe in whatever they deemed to believe in.
Scientific discoveries and their applications manifested human ingenuity. They too had their fair share of disagreements over whose theory or hypothesis can be practical. But the objectives were not merely to disagree and disprove trivial ideas and frivolous theories and gain recognition ultimately marching to senseless wars. It was pursued to set genuine standards with no personal grievances. Such civil culture is grossly missing in our elite community and politicians. Bitterness, anger, greed and resorting to resentments and violence are the overwhelming outcomes. Intolerance and refusal of accepting loss graciously are the cause and effects of the current condition in Ethiopia. None of the disagreements were worth human lives’ and distraction of property to further perpetuate poverty.
Considering the rigged election history of TPLF dominated ruling party (EPRDF), the extension of the National Election for a year due to COVID or for whatever reason is not an earth shattering crime to declare war causing national chaos. TPLF is a group that just recently held an election and claimed 98% victory. Considering the number of opposition parties in the region, it is highly unlikely to win with such margin. Statistically speaking, it is almost 100% victory. Claiming this cowardice performance as free and democratic election is disgraceful and pitiful. So such pathetic background doesn’t give them moral ground nor political justification to invalidate the existing government after September 30th causing national disaster.
Plenty of golden opportunities were suggested and offered to avoid such catastrophic ending. The country is going through sensitive and delicate period in its history. It would have been highly critical and prudent to consider the internal and external factors and elements that are detrimental to the security and sovereignty of the country. The unwillingness to consider this volatile period and transitioning the past overdue power peacefully to the current leadership triggered undesirable armed conflicts leading to devastating loss.
The quest for cultural mediation was pursued by highly influential religious leaders, neutral academicians, ordinary concerned citizens and parents cried and pleaded within the limits of their capacity with no avail. TPLF vehemently rejected and disregarded these pleads with arrogance and resorted to an all out war. Not having justifiable cause, and not knowing their battle was a gross miscalculation.
So how do we refrain from such acts of insanities going forward? Yes, yesterday is gone. It is history. But how are we going to deal with the unknown tomorrow? Have we gained any truce from this embarrassing and costly chaos? Have we done the mathematical calculation of the material, psychological, and emotional losses? We live in the world of number games, and numbers don’t lie. These reckless behaviors caused severe damages that would take years to repair.
Have we measured the spiritual loss caused by evil acts and cruelties from people presumably citizens of old nation of deep faith and tranquility? Are we still in the state of self deceit and denial? Are we comfortable sitting around our TV’s with our children and grandchildren listening to the news of espousing hate and romancing wars? Folks, these patterns of savagery acts beg for deep and honest soul searching phenomenon.
Furthermore, it is a travesty listening to TPLF’s people (followers) calling for mass divorces of Tigreans who married outside of their ethnic group. Well, the army itself is a combination of different ethnic groups. Most of them are married to the local girls and boys. But here comes hateful and disgruntled so called activists telling them to nullify and abandon their marriage ultimately dismantling their children, grand children, in-laws and every possible family ties. Marriage is a Holy Matrimony between a husband and a wife. It is nobody’s business to interfere and make decisions for them. Unfortunately, there are some who listen to such trash talks risking their family. Which part of the world or the planet do these kinds of people come from? The degree of insanity and ignorance is beyond my comprehension.
Also, there is another issue aggressively floating around the innocent Tigrean citizens of Ethiopia. They are advising them not to conduct any sort of commercial activities singling out one ethnic group. First, it is stupid and juvenile. Even at a higher level of marketing schemes, allowing the artificial and the invisible hands to meddle in the business transactions are doomed to goods and services limitation. They fail to realize that it is the law of supply and demand issue, enhanced by service efficiency, quality, and honesty.
True, these old tactics have been used and doomed to failure time and time again. Besides, it is getting out of fashion. Today’s smart buyers apply their own cost and benefit analysis formula. They refuse to be micromanaged by some ignorant lunatics with no clues about the degree of scarcity, unemployment, and the plight of poverty. These types of individuals living in affluent nations such as USA, Europe and Australia are totally detached from the day-to -day life challenges of ordinary citizens in Ethiopia. In spite of all the years of advocating hate and turmoil between innocent people, they neither created a single job opportunity nor shared the enduring misery and destitution. Of course, they are living comfortably while exploiting ordinary people’s misfortune via propaganda.
The distorted information (propaganda) targeted one particular ethnic group. This is a typical nature of prejudice people who stereotype individuals by making blanket judgments. But I wonder if these buyers and sellers ask for some sort of identification prior to their purchase of goods and services or business dealings. Obviously, these service providers don’t wear a special emblem or a sign written on their forehead stating they belong to a certain ethnic group believing in a certain way. In fact, to the contrary, it is counterproductive and destructive.
TPLF’s people are the products and by-products of people who adamantly refuse to look at the bigger picture and reach consensus by agreeing to disagree and still live harmoniously. In the grand scheme of things, these are individuals who refused to grow up and always play with swords. As the saying goes “you live by the sword, you die by the sword.” Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened. But the question is where does this madness lead us going forward? Again, it is beyond my comprehension.
Ed.’s Note: The views expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect the views of The Reporter.
Contributed by Yonas Assefa