Sunday, March 19, 2006

Why Meles Zenawi is doomed?
The much-maligned PM of our great country is adept at creating sound bites which are unceasingly repeated by his dimmest political friends. In the letter to European commission this week Meles was at it again. "What concerns the government most," he writes," is whether it is being evaluated with the same yardstick as others in the region." Mark my words; the reporter will soon start parroting this new sound bite (so feathery to call it an argument). So Meles wants the EU to doll out money to Ethiopia because his humanitarian credentials are more glowing than, well, stateless Somalia and genocidal Sudan. Why the hell should he care? Didn't he say that his government never thought the opposition posed "existential threat"?
Meles Zenawi had lost opportunity after opportunity to be our nation's great leader. Excluding the three years long Ethio-Ertirean border war, he had, unlike most past Ethiopian leaders, 11 years of relatively peaceful reign. Even the most nationalist Ethiopians accorded him benefit of time despite their suspicion that he longed to destroy Ethiopia. No more. He stole election; killed and jailed Ethiopian Heroes, assaulted the bulwarks of our society like the Orthodox Church, entrenched state-sanctioned corruption and so on and so forth. These days the closest thing that Meles has to a religion is wounding the Ethiopian dignity and sensibility.
So can this man continue to wield power, cooking sound bites and killing people? How many more years does he have? It seems very optimistic; but I think he has a maximum of 2-3 years left.
First, the regime's financial support is weakening. The eruption of more violence being a dead certainty, the support will decline even more. The civil servants who undertake the day-to-day government business here tell you how bleak the reality is. The country's foreign currency is dwindling. Export earning will surely go down if and when the expected campaign for the boycott of Ethiopia's exports start. I know this brings more misery on us. But ask many Ethiopians; and they will tell you that if economic collapse brings down the government, they will shoulder the misery. That is how much Meles Zenawi is hated.
Second, leaders of the people's movement are relentless in their quest for freedom even in jail. The way these leaders are handling their imprisonment has become morale-boosting for most of us.
Third, technology is fast-becoming the number 1 nemesis for our dictator...And he has no control on it. According to a study by one newspaper, 69% of the population which participated in May elections in urban areas are under the age of 30. This group is increasingly logging on to the internet, reading news, opinions and blogs. The country's rumor mill takes the web content and spreads it further. By jailing journalists, Meles thought he could control the flow of info. I can't deny that it had short term effects. But news and now slowly getting to the people. Tec. has also made wiring money easy. With the Diaspora ready to support the home front, the struggle will gain financial muscle.
Fourth, Meles Zenawi's pillar of power, the military, will crack when the killing increases by the day and the government suffers financial collapse. There are signs that it is happening (I will come back to the issue of the military in my other writings.)
I know many need more convincing to accept my arguments. I, however, keep them as articles of faith.

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