When good people keep silent
By: Abeba Isahac
Oct 18, 2003

What kind of a world are we living in these days, where leaders of nations tell blatant lies, and twist the truth in broad day light, and where, out of exhaustive repetitions, they end up sounding as though they have convinced, even themselves, in the switching of the places between lies and truths. And unless good people act immediately, one dreads to think of the types of new generation of people that will spring up in the near future under such an exposure, from those they would normally have looked up to for guidance.

Out of sheer repetition, the woyane seem to have finally convinced their people and even themselves, that Eritrea actually invaded their land and that they had to go to war in its defense, therefore their relentless claim of Badme, despite the final ruling which says otherwise. On the other hand, we have George Bush, and Tony Blair who also seem to have convinced themselves that Saddam Hussein was an imminent danger to them, even if the famous weapons of mass destruction have not been found, and all allegations of his buying Uranium from Niger, or his affiliation with those who destroyed the twin towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, were all proven to be false, by their own admission. Nevertheless, they still insist and defend their actions despite the absence of any basis for it.

It was also so interesting to read about the interview that was conducted in Ethiopia with the UK Ambassador to that country. Based on what would the British ambassador say that Eritrea needs Ethiopia more than Ethiopia needs Eritrea? The whole world knows that any nation blessed with outlets to the sea could never go wrong, especially with the corruption free leadership that Eritrea enjoys, while a perpetually famished, diseases ridden and constantly dependent on hand outs nation like Ethiopia could hardly help its own people let alone its neighbors. Where, pray tell, is the need here? And how could the ambassador so confidently, and with a straight face, say that the woyane had their people's interest to consider when taking decisions, while he portrayed President Issaias as a leader who would take decisions without giving any consideration to his people? But the ambassador, knowing the contrary to be true, shamelessly, said it anyway.

It was only six or seven months ago that the prime minister of Britain and the president of the United States defied the voices of their own people including the rest of the world's protests against the invasion of Iraq, and ignoring it completely went ahead anyway with their illegal acts, now burdening their tax payers for the rebuilding of the damages incurred both financially and even in human life. And now we have the ambassador of the same country shamelessly trying to blemish the name of our president for his courageous acts in defending Eritrean properties which had cost much too much in Eritrean loss of lives. Is the ambassador trying to tell us that the Eritrean people would gladly have handed over Badme to the woyane if only president Issaias would allow them? It sounds like that is what he is saying, if he could only distinguish the difference between a lie and the truth.
So here we have prime ministers, presidents, ambassadors, all expected to know better, shamelessly lying through their teeth, to the extent that what they say makes no sense whatsoever, for reasons even they perhaps do not understand. They have created for themselves mangled minds.
And what is this thing about dialogue? What is it that they want Eritrea to tell Ethiopia, or vice versa? It seems like all that had to be said, has already been said, and as far as telling lies and spewing insults, it is already, and has always been in motion. So what is it that we have to talk about? Do we need to hear anymore about how Eritrea invaded Ethiopia, or how Ethiopia won the war, and Eritrea retreated with its tail between its legs? Do we need to hear anymore of the reversal of who did what, or do we need to hear more about how democratic Ethiopia is, while Eritrea is depicted as a dictatorship? If only they would give us a topic with an iota of truth in it, to talk about, we might just consider it.

But currently our immediate concern is not whether these rogue people choose to lie or not, or whether they want us to have a dialogue or not, or even whether they call us a democracy or not. Eritrea just wants to put all this behind her and go forward in development, once demarcation is completed and each nation goes its own way. For this to happen, we have to keep reminding the guarantors of the peace agreement to do their part in its implementation. Of course, with the degree of decadent behavior that we are witnessing all around us, they too could and might make it difficult for us and they might very well even deny that they ever witnessed or guaranteed such an agreement.

Nevertheless, we have to keep trying, because, no matter how noisy these few rogue people sound, the world is still full of good and principled people who unfortunately keep silent too often, but who we hope, this time around, will come out in full force in defense of truth and decency.