By: Haileab Luul Tesfai
June 10, 2004

Last month, in the VOA debate between the ambassadors of BOTH sides, the former ambassador of the US to Ethiopia, David Shinn appeared during the introduction giving snippets of his "authoritative" perspective into the conflict between BOTH SIDES. Who both sides? Isn't that trivial, yet this term has now evolved to have a meaning of its own. It starts from the realm of the ambiguous extending right into total obusfication of facts, which finally leads into unpredictable territory of dreams and fantasies. From that perspective, the former ambassador as an "observer" of the BOTH SIDES and that of the Woyanes as part of BOTH SIDES have BOTH shown to be totally immersed in the extreme end of the BOTH SIDES mischief. Isn't that confusing? Well, Ambassador Girmay did the least of the talking clearly pointing to the fantasies in the political and economic dreams of both men and whoever they represent to.

As the ambassador of the US to Ethiopia during the preparation of war by the Woyanes and also during the actual invasion ensuing gross human rights violations, David Shinn has seen it all, to say the least. In his capacity as an ambassador of a super-power, he had a political and economic leverage that could be used either way. And in the final analysis, what he did was trying where the former Undersecretary of State for African Affairs, Herman Cohen failed to accomplish with respect to Eritrea and its guarantor institutions. It is slowly coming to light that Eritrea and its guarantor institutions constitute as an antidote to the design or perception of those who have vested interests in our region.

Taking into account past records, from those clips of David Shinn one can sense as someone giving a prelude to a grandiose platform for our region comparable to the failed scheme of the nineties hosted by the Bashir regime in the Sudan. It is a dream of the highest order that supercedes by a larger degree that of the Woyanes. In fact those entities have invested much into the Woyanes and their likes because they find that the dream of the Woyanes can be manipulated to fits into theirs. Despite their influences, like the Woyanes, those entities represent themselves and their exclusive circles, let alone to speak for the promotion of mutual benefits among peoples and nations.

In his Independence Anniversary message to the nation, his Excellency President Issayas Afeworki said:

<<In short, without the encouragement of the international community there would not have been all this spoiled-child behavior by the TPLF. It is a known fact that all kinds of unjustifiable encouragement is given to the TPLF regime in the form of various assistances such as debt forgiveness, development aid, budgetary support, relief aid, financial assistance for the purchase of relief food from inside the country and the cost of transportation, etc. Neither is the political, media and diplomatic support rendered to the TPLF hidden from anybody. It is also an open secret that some countries encourage the TPLF regime in its war preparation, advising it as to what to say and how to act, and letting the world know that there won't be sanctions imposed on the regime. In order to divert and derail the closed case from its main direction, claims are being made day-in day-out that "the UN peacekeeping mission has been hindered from free movement", while at other times issues of "freedom of religion" and "terrorism" are also raised; all these fabrications and attempts to confuse the issue are not solely the creation of the TPLF. On the contrary, it is obvious that a futile campaign is being waged to starve us and threaten us into submission. >>

I believe, the so-called experts or politicians like David Shinn that have obsessively defended the lawless Woyanes, could serve as a window for us, ordinary citizens who has been wondering about the artificially constructed confidence of the Woyanes and their imperial predecessors. Mind you those entities don't wield real power, but know how to steer its levers for their selfish interests, no matter what damage it may cause to peoples and entire nations. Such entities have great --and at times a total influence-- at the State Department. Playing as interlocutors between the US and the Woyanes, they have an agenda of their own skillfully presented as the interests of the former. Who ever is on their way has to be dealt with using everything at their disposal, legal or illegal; the Woyanes, from way back have been a useful tool in all such evil exercises.

In those snippets, David Shinn starts with an outright lie about the relationship of the Woyanes with Eritrea prior to the proclamation of war by their major client:

<< Eritrea who thought that they should be the industrialized country, Ethiopia could produce the cheap labour and raw materials before it was kept down, the Tigrean for sure didn't see it at all. >>

Ambassador Ghirma was quite polite to avoid calling David Shinn a liar. Instead with a sly grin on his face exuding confidence, ambassador Ghirma briefly stated that he himself was there in Ethiopia as an ambassador; no such idea has ever been contemplated by the state of Eritrea.

By the way, those wild comments are in tune-like their dream-with that of Ghebru Asrat, the former Woyane governor of Tigray, who was at the lead deceptively accusing SHAEBIA, of ill intentions towards the people of Tigray. That is only the superficial side of their racist arguments and schemes, which was supposed to foment, who knows in their dreams a holocaust of the Rwandan proportion. However, contrary to their expectations, and true to our history, we dealt with those responsible accordingly and decisively.

Deep inside, Shinn's comments convey anxiety about the industrialization of Eritrea and also of our region, which he and his likes wish that we be condemned instead to providing the cheap labor and market for their goods. Moreover, Eritrea built on justice and democracy undercuts those groups who have been deceivingly selling to the international community and especially to the American public, repressive and lawless governments like the Woyanes as democratic.

That is typical of neocolonialist and fundamentalist elements who look down at those that they consider weak or different, but skillfully use them to undermine others that they perceive contradict their interests or belief systems. David Shinn is indirectly appealing to the inferiority complex of the Woyanes to keep on doing their dirty work of arresting-trying to-- the development of Eritrea and that of our region.

David appears again explaining with a tone of a bought witness-the common knowledge being the Woyanes buy politicians and journalists, which in this case is substantially the opposite.

<< The real cause for the serious conflict was the invasion on May 12 of the Eritrean troops into Badme.>>

The conflict, especially at its early stages, was described as an insensible war. That description has had a tinge of ambiguity that played into the hands of the BOTH SIDES advocates. And David is "authoritatively" explaining the REAL cause of the war, which he ambiguously puts it as a conflict, a serious at that.

<< Ethiopia refuses to accept. That was where the battle has originally started and thousands of Ethiopians a..nd Eritreans died.>>

There was a hesitation of including Eritreans; it doesn't make sense that the Woyanes, even if they were not as sadistic haters of Eritrea as they are, refuse an internationally sanctioned verdict because of the death of their enemies. But a delayed inclusion of Eritrean deaths seems to come from his pretentious presentation of himself as a neutral observer touched by the thousands of deaths from BOTH SIDES. .

As Wedi Afewerki often refers to the Tigrigna adage " stick of truth", under the circumstances, David Shinn cannot avoid to spill the truth even if he tries to rail it down the tracks of the BOTH SIDES pit.

<< ..both countries sort of arguing in parallel terms going their track and both can sound reasonable; and fair to say that Eritrea the law has worked in its favour.>>

Why then do we then have the law? And why do parties in conflict go to court?; isn't it a tool of the civilized world, as we understand it, so that those nations in conflict or otherwise are constrained or lead to go along the track of co-existence or cooperation? Actually, David Shinn is deceivingly stating "can sound" which can only make sense, if at all, before BOTH SIDES went-were forced to go-- along the civilized path of the law to find out which of "their tracks" is just and/or legal. Of course, Eritrea has had the upper moral ground, which the Shinns tried to bury with a pile of dollars and lies. Again, my humble appreciation to the Commission jurists who upheld the "Stick of Truth."

Finally David Shinn brings in the classical "not withstanding " clause that was made irrelevant when the Eritrean flag alluded the Shinns by crossing the Red Sea across the Atlantic Ocean to officially represent the blood and tears of its precious ones.

<< There are many landlocked countries; there is non as populous as Ethiopia-70 million-not a long term tenable situation. >>

Ambassador Girma concealing his wrath with a gentle grin threw a stone that echoes the chambers of civilization and human coexistence. He succinctly said, " The presence of the United Nations is to protect smaller nations from [wanton] expansion of larger states."

If one is to follow his logic, the sovereignty of nations has to be determined or revised, in certain cases, based on population sizes. It sounds like the law of diffusion, which governs the relative motion of particles, also applies to populations as determined by how close they are to bodies of water! Just measure the population density of a landlocked country; if that exceeds or equals that of Ethiopia, that given nation is automatically entitled to a sea outlet. Otherwise it is not a tenable situation that the population of the relatively populous nation would eventually force itself "diffusing" towards the closest body of water; hence, a cause of war and instability. One can easily explain now why the Woyanes venture into Somalia, Djibouti, and the Sudan and sometimes to Kenya. Bingo! Who knows, next time, David Shinn might come up with a scientific explanation about the biblical story of the parting of the Red Sea.

This generalized law, as implied by David Shinn applies to the physical world as well as to international relations. With this phenomenal synthesis to causes of conflicts, especially the senseless ones, one finds a "scientific" explanation in place of the discredited narrative as has so far been in the Eritreo-ethiopian wars. No need for arguing along the lines of 3000 years -or is' it 3013? -History of Greater Ethiopia; or that Menelik's umbilical cord was cut along the banks of Mai Bela; or that Ras Allula had property in the environs of Asmara and Badme; or that the personality clash of the two president cousins-according to Fetha Negest-can be resolved through dialogue under the Pearsonian political psychoanalyst from Canada.

The Woyane ambassador, with a sense of uneasiness, actually tried hard to indirectly dispels the open argument indirectly justifying expansionism. He sheepishly repeated the word principle more often reiterating that Ethiopia has accepted, once and for all, the boundaries between the two countries including Assab. "But.." he continues.... You don't need to know, well you already know, about the vows or statements of a Woyane and his likes. What is really important to know and act upon is the source or sources of the miseries in our region. Who are the actual supporters of the Woyanes who have been giving them the financial, political and diplomatic cover to carry out those series of wars that is costing the especially the peoples of Eritrea and Ethiopia enormous price? It is time to fill in the dots, as they say.

Wodi Afeworki in his Independence Day message was more explicit than ever. Why? Because, Eritrea is now standing on a higher moral and legal ground forcing the worthy and the worthless of its enemies to admit truth in public. Among other things, when the Woyanes where expelling illegally and inhumanely Eritreans and Ethiopians of Eritrean origin, the offices of David Shinn along with other SD officials were at the forefront undercutting several diplomatic initiatives from disinterested parties to peacefully resolve the conflict. He, David Shinn gave the Woyanes a "thick" cover of an ambassador of the United States, mitigating the Woyanes atrocities, as necessary actions for national security. What followed after is now history, but also at the same time, history is also being made and repeated.

Eritrea so far has had no other way except the hard way of asserting itself to claim what is its due. Now, with the status that we have attained through blood, tears and brains, we have to forcefully refute and expose those that misrepresent themselves as agents of peace and stability.

Indeed, anything is tenable unless one is not guided by principles of a civilized behavior that values humanity across its depth and width.

Eritrea will flourish!
Peace to the Peoples of the Horn!

Wetru awet Nehafash!

haileab luul tesfai.