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NO ROAD IS TOO LOW FOR THE TPLF It has stepped up its sinister smear campaign against Eritrea

When lives of innocent people are at stake you would expect
governments to take the high road and resist the temptation to try to
take advantage of the tragedy.  But, the minority regime ruling Ethiopia
today never misses the opportunity to take the low road.  In fact, when
it comes to Eritrea and the Eritrean people, no road is too low for the
TPLF-run regime. Anything goes if it ensures the regime another day in
the Menelik Palace.
When the recent “kidnapping” of Europeans and their Ethiopian
drivers and guides hit the news, naturally people’s minds focused on the
lives of the kidnapped.  But, the TPLF, using its low-level and
regional operatives, went into the blame-game in full gear.  In fact,
the first-day story of the incident led off with the TPLF’s charges that
Eritrea was behind the kidnapping and the story came out without
Eritrea’s response to this outright fabrication (More on this later).
What is more, the incident was not an isolated case; it is
part of a sinister campaign of relentless flow of fabrications the Meles
Zenawi regime has been waging against Eritrea. The recent campaign
seems to have at least three distinct features: the frequency of these
charges has increased; the charges are focusing solely on global
terrorism, Meles Zenawi’s most marketable commodity these days; and the
regime seems to be stooping hard to draw—militarily—big international
players into the quagmire of Ethiopia’s internal and external conflicts.
Let us look at this pattern of groundless charges against
Eritrea and the Eritrean people (Meles in 1998 called all Ethiopians of
Eritrean origin and Eritreans then living in Ethiopia spies to pave the
way for their mass expulsion and to steal their wealth!).

  • First, there seems be a noticeable increase
    in the frequency of the Big Lies—the TPLF generates lies about Eritrea
    and Eritreans a dozen a minute.  So, here we are talking only about the
    Big ones, the ones that cross the bounds of shamelessness.
    • (Item): Three weeks ago, the
      regime accused Eritrea of waging “terror attacks” in Ethiopia and it
      added: “There is convincing information about Shaebia’s strategy, plan
      and network aimed at wreaking havoc in Ethiopia through the orchestrated
      terror attacks.”
    • (Item): Three weeks before that
      this was the story coming out of Addis Ababa: “Ethiopia says it foiled
      Eritrean attack on African Summit.” The regime said, “It has foiled a
      bomb attack….against an African leaders summit.” A statement from
      security and anti-terrorism department of Ethiopia’s federal police
      said, “The terrorist attacks had been planned to be carried out during
      the 8th African Union Summit.” Adding, the statement
      said, “Police apprehended the alleged masterminds of the alleged attack
      ‘just ahead of the summit.”
    • (Item): Throughout the fall, the
      regime and its Western enablers, put out tons of fabrications charging
      that Eritrea had 2,000 soldiers in Somalia to support the Islamic Courts
      Union. The lies, orchestrated by players from Nairobi, Addis Ababa,
      Washington, and New York, tried to fortify their fraudulent claim with
      all sorts of details about the departure, travel, and the final
      destination of the  troops.  In fact, one had to be embedded with the
      troops to give those kind of details. However, the fact is that to this
      day, they could not find a single Eritrean soldier in Somalia.  The
      lesson is that no amount of fabricated “evidence” or “details” can stand
      in the face of the truth.
    • (Item): And now this—in which
      the TPLF tries to pin kidnapping charges on Eritrea.  Right from the
      start it was clear this was another outrageous fabrication.  Even the
      professional spin masters of the regime and its supporters could not get
      it straight. Every few minutes the facts surrounding the incident
      changed. The media had to know it was groundless; yet, they kept
      repeating the charges.
  • Second, these lies seem to be
    centered on “global terrorism.” One thing you can say about Meles Zenawi
    is that he knows what sells, and where and when it sells.  He knows
    that the West is buying wholesale anything with a “terrorism” label on
    it. Meles and his ruling party—the most sinister regime the region has
    ever seen—have been flinging “terrorist” mud on Eritrea hoping some of
    it will stick.  The most despicable dictators across the globe know that
    the best way to get Western attention and assistance these days is to
    shout “terrorism” and call your enemy a “terrorist.”  Clueless Western
    policymakers do not seem to know what this is doing to the real war
    against global terrorism.
  • Third, the overuse of the word “terrorism”
    in what the regime puts out or its officials utter has as its ultimate
    goal to draw big Western players, especially the United States, into the
    quagmire of Ethiopia's internal and external conflicts.  History tells
    us that this is not something we should  dismiss outright. Ethiopia’s
    foreign policy specialists are extremely adept at getting foreigners to
    fight their country’s wars. An American advisor to Emperor Haile
    Selasssie wrote that Ethiopian conflicts are "often resolved by foreign
    dei ex machina." The American advisor, John Spencer, who was the late
    emperor’s primary foreign advisor for decades, “traced this pattern of
    Ethiopian behavior from the 16th century when the Portuguese stopped the
    Gragn invasion in the East.” During this generation we saw how they got
    the Soviets and the Cubans to fight for them in the 1970s against
    Somalia and the Eritrean liberation forces. During its 1998-2000
    invasion of Eritrea, the TPLF received a great deal of tactical support
    from its Western patrons. So, there is too much historical evidence to
    dismiss this as Tigrayan delusion.
    An important dimension to this web of lies is the role of
    the international media, especially those members of the press that are
    based in Addis Ababa, in perpetuating the fabrications and encouraging
    the lying liars to give one lie after another, the last more outrageous
    than the one before it. The journalistic cover the Addis Ababa based
    foreign press--some are represented by notorious TPLF operatives
    masquerading as journalists--used when the first-day kidnapping story
    broke was: “Calls to Eritrea's government spokesman rang unanswered
    Saturday.” But, this is irresponsible journalism, especially when the
    story is based on a shameless charge of kidnapping by a government
    against another government, a provocation that should be addressed by
    the United Nations Security Council.  There are two groups of reporters
    here: those—most of whom are Westerners--without real understanding of
    the complexities of the issues they are covering and susceptible to
    manipulation by TPLF operatives, their NGO supporters and foreign
    intelligence enablers; the second group is made of local stringers
    working for the wire services who sing for their dinners under little
    editorial supervision by the international news agencies for veracity,
    fairness, balance, and integrity of the story. We can understand the
    notorious Ethiopian News Agency making such wild accusations against
    Eritrea. But, we expect a higher standard and integrity in the stories
    that come out in the name of Reuters and the Associate Press
    (AP)—written by their local stringers who should be working under the
    supervision of professionals whose allegiance is to the truth and not to
    Meles Zenawi and his criminal ruling party. 
  • Finally, the picture that emerges from
    this campaign of despicable lies is that of an immoral minority regime
    that has long gone beyond the bounds of decency, a regime that is almost
    totally consumed by and preoccupied with its own political survival,
    and that is at the service of anyone,  any group or any government that
    will help it stay in power.