Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Dear Professor Al-Mariam:
Greetings and best wishes as you celebrate thanksgiving, christmas, new year and perhaps add some Ethiopian Christmas and Tikat on you way.
First things First! Defend your people and then talk about Good Governance! The time is to defend your blessed people from external invasion.

This is no boggy man, there is a real Jihad and Alaqueda at Ethiopia's door knocking!

What is your response and mine is the real question!
I read with interest your article about the Jihadists and the many adjuctives you used to classify them. I love your passion but feel it is a little misplaced inthe current context.

1. Yes, there is a man by the name Colonel Huseine Dahir who invaded Ethiopia in 1977 and made it all the way to Awash Valley and the outskirs of Nazareth. You might be a young man and not fondly remember this. But, my family who live in Diredawa and Harar were massacred.

Sure enough at that time too, we had young peeople like you, who said oh! no. This is not our war this is Mengistu's fabrication. So, the youth under the banner of the Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Party (EPRP) literally led the enemy into our homes and villages. My family told me some of these youths were our neighbors.

Now, this criminal colonel is very clever and has converted himself into a Sheikh. Imagine, a communist Mulah. What a contradiction. So, today like he did during the time of General Said Bare under whose leadership he invaded Ethiopia, the Colonel is declaring Jihad against Ethiopia, against the very religion he pretneds he upholds, where the Prophet Mohammad, blessed be His name,admonished all His followers "Never to declare Jihad against Ethiopians, the Just ones as he calls us then who gave refuge to his first followers or the First Hegira.

So, in your language, the Colonel or the Jihadist does not even know his religion. Why, because he is not a true Muslim in the first place.
No back to your call about Freedom, Democracy and Human Rights in Ethiopia. I can sing some of your songs, but to be true to you, No American has given or supproted Ethiopia's freedom at any time in history. Read the history of the American Naitonal Security Operations, their first practice zone is Ethiopia in the Kagnew Sahelqa Station in Asmara.

True to form, Mengistu demobilized the most highly successul 3rd Brigade in Harar where they are known by the Somalis as the Lions of the Ogaden, because Alqaeda in Asmare in its initial form of ELF was busy engaging the Ethiopian Army and the Jihadist Colonel found the Eastern Brigade open and he demolished many lives and protperties, to which my own families testify to date.

Do we need Good Governance in Ethiopia? Oh! Yes, but not American Good Governance, where you pay your congressman to do your job in the first place and you have to lobby him or her to remind them to do their job. Since you are an excellent lobbyist, you understand what I mean as one of the most sucessful campaigns of HR 5680 failed perhaps you guys did not pay enough as your competitors.

Should all political prisoners be free? Oh, yes. Here again, America is not the country that makes that happen. It is our own Judicial system or alternative traditional system of democracy of peace making and amnesty.

Was Excessive force used to quell the demonstrations after the elctions? Oh, yes but here again, the two reports say so, and the Carter, African Union, EU Report say so. What can be done, follow the rule and ensure those who committed the crime come to justice. How? In Ethiopia and not in US Congress.

I admire your eloquence and I said so at the American University Law School at the end of one of your brilliant lecutes. Here again, I wish you could do those lectures in Ethiopia both in Court, the Menelik Palace and Kaliti Prisons, when these leaders come out they understand what Christ Smith's Africa Expert- Gregory Simpkins said so passionately at the same meeting that " the Mandela Legacy demands forgiveness and reconciliation and not retribution.

Is the Somali fiasco a bugy man as you claim. No way. This is the same man with track record of demolishing so many lives all the way to Nazareth in the early 1977. Oh! yes, he is an old man now, but he has all the Middle East boggy Jihadists behind him. To start with the Alqaeda from Asmara, Egypt, Libia, syria and Iran.

You do not think this is a clear impending danger, then go and visit your people in Harar, Ogaden and come back and report your evidence based report.

Now, to your most articulate passion of changing Meles Zenawi and your assessment of His or His party's leadership. Here again, you have a lot going for you, as he does not seem bothered to repond to you.
We all believe Democracy is about election. Ask Gore, Kerry and more recently Allen of Virginia, they will all tell you they won. But the record shows otherwise. Let us have another election and finalize once for all if all of us agree, the Ethiopian People are wise and can choose their leaders.

Afterall 90% of them, better than any recorded electrorates turned out at the last election. Given the chance they will do it again.
I personally like you and amire you and I read all your articles.
Please appreciate that I am not against you nor defending what you are trying to explore. I merely responding to you as I have never seen others giving you response and you seem to seek one from our last conversation.
Can Ethiopia do better? Oh! yes, and always. We need to give alternative ideas.

A group of us organized a half a day conference at the George Washington University Law School just one day before the Ethiopian Election, where we invited different American and Ethiopian Polical groups that included UEDF and Ethiopian Ambasador Kassahun Ayele, you can read the report on www.Tecolahagos.com for your reference.
We had two young Ethiopians aged 7 and 11 speaking at this conference. I remember, young Demis of 7 years speaking by quoting a famous Ethiopian quote for the day..

.."Wise people learn from the mistakes of others, Clever ones from their own and fools will continue to repeat the same mistake over and over and live in ignorance, poverty and misery"...

Please learn from each other exhorted Young Demes of 7 Years of age.
My own daughter Abigail Beali at 11 admonished the speakers by quoting from a wise African saying....

…..”An educated mind prepared to dialogue with potential adversaries is the most powerful weapon and tool to make sustainable change that is based on cultural and economic convergence for win-win synergistic partnership….” Young Abigail encouraged the participants to dialogue for change.

So, let us not mix up the issues.

Yes, we want democracy and good governance in Ethiopia, but Security and Peace preceeds Good Governance. When we are at war- First Things First, we defend our country, then we have a chance to bicker or argue or parlamentarize or debate. So, I say first thing, first let us defend our holyland and covenant with out people.

Please read on my perspective and vision from the attached articles for your review.

Here is the conference summary for your information and I have added my earlier paper for your information.

The Ethiopian American Constituency Foundation held a successful half a day conference on Saturday, 14 May 2005 between 12:00 and 20:00 hrs at the George Washington University Law School Moot Courtroom, 2000 H Street NW, Washington DC.

The purpose of the conference was to initiate dialogue on Good Governance, Millennium Development Goals by exploring Global Governance over time from stakeholders’ perspective with a focus on the role of the Diaspora,political parties and US-Africa policies, etc.
The conference was opened by two young Ethiopian Americans, Menelik Demis Belete (7 years old, first grade student) and Abigail Belai Habte-Jesus, (11 years old, fifth grade students). Both youths were clad in their classical Ethiopian dress and gave key advice by quoting Ethiopian and African proverbs.

……”Wise people learn from the mistakes of others, clever ones from their own,and fools continue to repeat the same mistakes over and over again and live in ignorance, poverty and abject misery…” Young Menelik exhorted the conference participants to learn from each other.

…..”An educated mind prepared to dialogue with potential adversaries is the most powerful weapon and tool to make sustainable change that is based on cultural and economic convergence for win-win synergistic partnership….” Young Abigail encouraged the participants to dialogue for change.

The meeting was opened by an interesting session entitled Governance in Africa/Ethiopia- Past, Present and Future 0utlook, with speakers focusing on Global Governance, Governance in African and Ethiopian setting as well as US-Africa policy on good governance with a focus on Millennium Challenge Account and Global Millennium Development Goals, etc.

The conference opened by the welcome and introduction of Dr Belai Habte-Jesus, Overview of EACF by Tamrat Medhin, chair of EACF and the goals and future of EACF by Ms Mariam Fikre, Executive Director of EACF. A very interesting and historical slide show on the Return of the Axum Obelisk was made by Andrew Laurence a member of the Conference Organizing Team and president of Ethiopian American Cultural Center.

The first session was led by Dr Belai Habte-Jesus (Conference Chair), with power point presentation of the Role of Stakeholders in the Shifting Paradigm of Good Governance.

This was followed by the second session with a panel on Governance in Africa /Ethiopia and US/Africa Policy, Past, Present and Future Outlook. The panelists included Ambassador David Shinn, Ambassador Kasahun Ayele, Ambassador Koby Koomson and Professor Alem Ante Gebre-Sellassie who made very pertinent points on the historical development of governance in Africa with a focus on Ethiopia and the current elections.

The third session was on the State of Ethiopia: Addressing development indices and progress with Millennium DevelopmentGoals. This panel was led by Dr Gezahegne Bekele, Ms Fana Aragaw.

The fourth session was on the role and responsibilities of the Diaspora. The panelists included Mr. Tamrat Medhin, Mr. Shlomo Bacharach and Ms Yodit Beyene where they addressed current and future role of the Diaspora at their adopted home here in the US and Africa.

The fifth session was on Future Ethiopian Government- roles and responsibilities. The representatives of the key contending parties, i.e. EPRDF, CUD and UEDF were invited. However, only the UEDF was represented by Ayalsew Dessie who made a passionate plea for change by identifying the key critical issues on the current elections. He then responded to questions from the audience which was complemented by the Community Counselor of the Ethiopian Embassy where a lively discussion took place. As the only representatives present he was given the opportunity to respond to specific set questions on what his party will do in the first one hundred days if elected and addressed competently some of the key challenges of the country.

The sixth session was on futureDiaspora Dialogue sessions and the role of EACF in identifying youth leadership and identifying issues for the next 20 years to galvanize the Diaspora on new immigrant and host community issues.

This was a very interesting conference, first of its kind where key contending parties such as the representatives of the Government of Ethiopia and main opposition groups sat side by side on a panel and undertook a very lively and informative dialogue with the community. We believe this is an excellent example the current politicians at home in Ethiopia could learn from as they await election results and makearrangements to form a new viable government.

EACF is planning to host a series of Diaspora Dialogue sessions post election to address US- Africa policies, by inviting key policy makers, advocates and representatives of the Diaspora (New Immigrants and Host Communities) to address the pressing challenges of the community. Currently, EACF is actively engaged in the dialogue with Business and Professional Groups by leading a task force on “Little Ethiopia-Millennium Village” where hearing testimony was made by Tamrat Medhin and Andrew Laurence of EACF and Ethiopian American Cultural Center at the recent Council meeting of the District of Columbia.


"All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you." - President George W. Bush "America stands with oppressed people on every continent." - U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

The winds of democracy are sweeping all parts of the globe. The recentRose Revolution in Georgia and the Orange revolution in Ukraine are testimonials of the universal quest for freedom and democracy. Ethiopia is no exception.

It is to be recalled that prior to the election there were widespread Government and EPRDF-sponsored virulent actions including killings, abduction, imprisonment, beating, forced migration, and otherstate-directed terrors. These were replicated on election day and in the immediate post-election period in more atrocious fashion across the country, notably, in Wolayita, Sidama, East Gojam, South Gondar, and Shashemene. In these electoral districts massive election irregularities have occurred. In spite of this, Ethiopians turned out in record numbers on May 15 to vote for their preferred candidates. On election day there were massive irregularities in a number of regions. There were also a large number of areas where people did not vote and elections were suspended.

As voting was coming to an end, the Prime Minister gave a speech on state media. The speech declared a state of emergency and was fullof threats to the opposition parties. The PM through his illegal state of emergency banned all public gatherings and peaceful rallies for one month.

As election returns started showing decisive victories by the opposition the ruling party muzzled the media. This was an attempt to severe the link between the opposition and the public. In the meantime, the EPRDF continued using the media to misinform and mislead the public with respect to the processes and results of the election.

Early returns showed significant gains by the opposition. The ruling party lost all seats in thecities and major town. The rural areas were no different. The trend was clear and unmistakable. The opposition was wining and ruling party was losing!!

At this critical juncture the government changed tactics to avert the looming defeat. Opposition poll watchers were jailed, beaten, threatened or killed. Election boxes were burned and stolen. Recounts were taking place in the absence of the opposition.

The situation has been deteriorating. The government seems to continue inits ways to steal the elections. The European Union has expressed its "regret at the way in which the counting of the votes is being conducted."
We ask you to support the stand by the Ethiopian people in their fight for the full realization of their right. We ask you to support the struggle for democracy. We stand for democratic and ask you to stand with us.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------The 2005 Ethiopian National Election Committee, CUD and UEDF Joint Task Force. Contact us @240-505-1926 or 202-386-3037
Belai Habte-Jesus, MD, MPHGlobal Strategic Enterprises, Ince-mail:globalbelai@yahoo.comTelephone: 703 933 8737

Vision for a Prosperous Ethiopia; An Alternative Agenda for May 2005 Elections

By Belai Habte-Jesus
Objective: To design an alternative paradigm for a prosperous Ethiopia based on private ownership, transparency, accountability and good governance. To change the election paradigm towards real choice of direction for change.

Approach: Setting the agenda for 2005 elections by focusing on investment, ownership to eradicate poverty via change in policy and electoral system. The elections should be about choice.

Choosing change in direction. The elections should be about choice in direction. The current series of political arrangement be it fronts or coalitions both in government and opposition are leftovers of the Marxist Leninist left who do not have alternative vision from disaggregating the nations resources into ethnic, racial and linguistic differentiations that lead into poverty and dictatorship. The choice is between investment and poverty. This paper advocates for private ownership, rule of law, transparency, accountability and good governance as an alternative to the current scenario of all of the same old Marxism, Terror and Poverty all over again. Change is what is needed and all competition should about offering change.

Expected outcome: Vigorous discussion at intellectual, policy and political campaign towards rejecting poverty for ownership and investment. Challenging the current poverty ridden ideology and policy that does not trust nor respect its own citizens. Take back what are your land, property and citizenship into your hands for prosperity and good governance. Change from poverty, aid and hopelessness towards productivity, business and enterprises that attracts local and foreign investment.

Discussion: The left ideology of distributing poverty has reached its zenith of incompetence and need to be challenged once for all by productivity and competency. The political elites and cadres of the past 30 years have focused on ethnic based geographical localization that reminds one of the Apartheid eras of homelands of genocide and poverty.

Empowerment of the people. The current trend of dictatorship and outright terror of the fabric of our society has crippled the economy as well as the fabric of society towards hopelessness, crime and terror under the guise of liberation fronts of all sorts. All resources continue to be in the hands of few people in authority who do not know how to use the resources themselves nor allow others to utilize it. Instead, they continue to beg for IMF, World Bank and Bilateral donations while impoverishing their own citizens. Once land and resources are returned back to the people and are transacted with clear-cut legal process, the citizens can put them forward as collaterals for investment and development purposes.

Government and Business should be separated. The current conflict of interest where a party owns the whole country and behaves, as the landlord and tenant at the same time, denying citizens from productivity or legal competition will be changed as the good governance will demand transparency and accountability at all levels. The current poverty among plenty due to incompetent leadership will change as even the role of governance will be challenged and competent people will compete for every position in the country.


This paper looks at age-old patriotism, enterprise, productivity based competitiveness under the rule of law as the only option for a vision of prosperous Ethiopia. The notion that the farmer will sell all the land and migrate to the cities is a myth created to blunder the wealth of the nation towards both material and spiritual poverty. Who is really selling Badme and Ethiopian Red Sea Coast, the farmer or misguided communists?

Empowering the youth and our future. The youth who are not educated cannot be productively engaged. The fountain of the future are kept prisoners in their own homes and made criminals by a shortsighted philosophy of poverty. One can only get rid of poverty by productivity and investment. Land ownership and the ability to use it as collateral for business enterprises is the only solution of the current crisis. The May 2005 election should be about choice, poverty or prosperity, ownership or tenancy that leads to economic slavery.

Belai FM Habte-Jesus, MD, MPH
15 January 2005