[DEHAI] Against All Odds

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From: Hailemelekot, Jonathan (Jonathan_Hailemelekot@cable.comcast.com)
Date: Mon May 18 2009 - 14:13:02 EDT

I would like to propose, for the next 6 days leading up to Independence
Day, for our esteemed dehairs and all other Eritreans who visit this
website, to post positive Eritrean articles about our history, culture,
triumphs, accomplishments ect. They may be recycled articles or new ones
that you may wish to post as long as we keep it positive and add to the
euphoric fervor already building up to this most significant day in
Eritrean history.


Jon H.



Eritrea a bad example for Africa

Written by Biniam Tesfaldet

Sunday, 19 October 2008 18:15


Eritrea has faced many challenges in the past and is still facing
tremendous obstacles in its young history. It has been criticized on
many fronts including human rights, democracy, freedom of press and slew
of other subject matters. On top of these criticisms comes a
shuddersome attempt by the current Bush Administration to place the
young country on the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. The Eritrean
people have endured 30 years of war and several colonial regimes that
have looted, abused and stifled the right of the people. Despite the
traumatic history of the country it has emerged unyielding and continues
on its path to build a strong and self sustaining economy and society.
So why is it after all these courageous struggles that the Bush
Administration sees fit to list this young nation as a State Sponsor of
Terrorism? The answer to this question is much simpler then people
think. Eritrea represents an idea that the U.S political/business
system has been trying to dismantle for the past hundred years; self
reliance, an idea that threatens its hegemony on the world political and
economic policies.

Eritrea and the revolutionary front that brought about its existence
have been prophesying the idea of a self reliant society prior to
independence. Imagine a nation that did not depend on the aid of other
nations but thrived through its own hard work and cooperation with
neighborly nations. Of course this would mean that this nation would
also be free of any outside influence or interference. To be self
reliant would mean that you would not have to fear anyone or any
organization. Many of us would believe this to be a noble idea, but to
those that provide the "aid" this is truly troubling. In the eyes of
U.S policy maker any nation that is outside their "sphere of influence"
is a "rogue" state. These policy makers will utilize every weapon in
their arsenal to eliminate this threat to U.S world hegemony. The U.S
will stifle any signal of hope of an oppressed people and prop up
regimes that commit atrocities, and protect U.S business and political


Cuba as we know it today came into existence after a Revolution that
toppled an appalling regime that catered to the rich elite and many U.S
multinational companies at the expense of its people. The
revolutionaries that came to power brought with them an ideology that
catered to the needs of the people at the unthinkable expense of these
U.S multinational companies and in doing so incurred the wrath of U.S
policy makers. Since the establishment of the Monroe Doctrine it was a
clear U.S policy that no other power should have any influence on the
western hemisphere, but the revolution in Cuba brought with it a
defiance of this establishment. Internal documents of the
Kennedy-Johnson years reveal that a leading concern in the case of Cuba
was its "successful defiance" of U.S. policies. It was feared that
Cuba's "successful defiance," particularly if accompanied by successful
independent development, might encourage others suffering from
comparable conditions to pursue a similar path.


In its declaration for "self reliance", Eritrea is announcing not only
its geographic independence but also its economic, political, and social
independence. This is truly unprecedented in Africa, a continent
brimming by nations that are continuously fed and given aid, yet who
fail to meet the needs of the overall population. This aid continues to
be supplied despite the fact that it continues a cycle of poverty and
ignorance. Had this aid been properly utilized and reached the people
it would have been justified but it's almost always the case that it's
looted by the government and rerouted to the nations elites and
military. The U.S policy makers don't mind this cycle as long as the
people in power "know their place" and continue to further the interests
of the western multinational companies.


Refocusing the discussion on Eritrea and the Horn of Africa in general,
one might question the presence of multinational companies. If the
presences of these companies are not validated one might argue that my
premise for the aggression of Washington towards Eritrea is
counterfactual. The reasoning behind the Bush Administration case for
listing Eritrea on the list of Sponsor of State Terrorist is Eritrea's
role in mediations in the conflict in Somalia. Most "good willed"
policy maker would see this as a positive step, but those who are in
power see this as a threat not to their security interests but to their
financial interests.


Somalia lies on geographic waters that are revered for its teeming
aquatic life and potential of shore oil reserves. It has long been
reported that several large European countries have for years illegally
fished on Somali waters. In some instances the waters have been used
for chemical and in some U.N reports, nuclear waste dumping. Allegations
of waste dumping off Somalia by European companies have been heard for
years, according to Somalia watchers. The problem was highlighted in the
wake of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami when broken hazardous waste
containers washed up on Somali shores. Companies profited billions of
dollar every year from these illegal fishing, as well as saving millions
more by dumping wastes in these waters. But world attention has
recently focused on piracy off Somalia, which has taken epidemic
proportions since the country sank into chaos after warlords ousted the
late president Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991. Piracy had come to a virtual
halt under the rules of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), who took strict
measures against the pirates, but since Ethiopian troops helped oust the
ICU, the phenomenon returned to Somali shores.


This has all been possible because of the lack of stability in Somalia
for nearly the past two decades. So the possibility of having a
political system that might bring law and order, while simultaneously
controlling the Somali waters is of great concerns for western policy
makers who have interests in these European companies. According to
these policy makers it's completely unacceptable of Eritrea to play a
progressive role and bring peace to a land and people who have been
living in strife for nearly 17 years. Eritrea found it to be its moral
obligation to help in the reconciliation of the Somali people but
certain policy makers are seeing this as a clear defiance of U.S
hegemony in a continent that has been under its grip due to its
continued "aid." To allow Eritrea to succeed on its own and bring peace
to its neighbors is to admit the impotence of U.S influence in the horn
and unmask the nefarious nature of foreign aid. This would make Eritrea
a bad example for Africa.


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