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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Hail Cæsar! Those who are about to die salute you!

(By Ethio-Zagol)
Meles is still trying to extract apology from the CUD leaders under duress. The latest version runs like this:

Meles is ready to admit that he regrets the killing of civilians by the
police when the institution was enforcing constitutional order while the CUD
leaders will admit that evidences in government hand show that their
supporters and members have committed unconstitutional acts and, therefore,
they will vicariously apologize to the government and the Ethiopian
people for the acts of third parties.

Of course, this is a non-starter. The leaders have rejected it . The court's decision las week was a set-back as far as justice and rights go. Yet the leaders' steadfastness shows that the decision can't be used to bully them to make apologies for the acts they didn't commit.

The Roman gladiators used to show their allegiance to the king before they fought by saying Ave cæsar! Morituri te salutant!. Roughly translated it means; Hail Cæsar! Those who are about to die salute you! What it doesn't mean is Hail Cæsar! Those you will put to death salute you! Just in case Meles misinterpreted the salute.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

That was exactly what most of us were expecting to happen, to use the bluffed-at court-room joke of last week as a stick, of course as usual without the carrot.

I hope that history will remember all these evil tricks of TPLF and the heroic and firm stance of our beloved leaders in the jail.

Let the Almighty judge them all!!

sony said...

What is he trying to do now? Didn’t he say they are in the hands of justice and he has nothing to do? Is he trying to show the world, that the justice is but in his hand? This double jeopardy shows very clearly, that the prisoners are also harassed. The most important thing here is, it is not Melese but the prisoners who can decide how the struggle goes. They can either betray the Ethiopian people or let the Ethiopian people stand toll. They should completely forget what the Woyane boss say and does if they have a principle!!!!! Forget him and make him powerless.

Anonymous said...

Good one, EZ. Keep up the good work.

Gooch said...

To begin with, let's not forget the parties' negotiating positions. The CUD leaders have little short-term leverage. Lots of long-term leverage, but that's not something the EPRDF has the ability to understand, such is the nature of a party in its position.

Second, no deal will take place that does not 'save face' for the EPRDF. The CUD leaders will have to show some sort of contrition, no matter how contrived!

With this in mind, this proposal is not bad - it's getting better. At least it doesn't ask CUD leaders to lie say they did things they didn't do!

Now, no doubt some CUD supporters 'committed unconstitutional acts' (broke the law, in other words). Burning a bus is breaking the law.

There is a good argument to be made that calling for peaceful civil disobedience in a society that has little experience in the discipline and perseverence required by peaceful civil disobedience was perhaps ill-advised, even though the EPRDF gave them little or no choice. So expressing regret for calling for civil disobedience is not completely out of order.

As for the other side, of course, it would be good for the EPRDF to, in essence, accept the findings of the 'protests' commission, but of course the EPRDF doesn't understand this. Simply expressing regret for the death of civilians, which Meles has already reluctantly done, will do them and the country no good.

And, whatever message the EPRDF wishes to convey, conciliatory or not, if Meles is the messenger, it will do no good. He has clearly established himself as a PR liability.

So, all in all, CUD leaders expressing regret for what happened during the demonstrations or for having called for demonstrations, or something of the sort, with of course no attachment of responsibility, would be a decent deal.

Anonymous said...

TPLF can do whatever it wants, our resolve is firm and our leaders are not about to falter now. Their imprisonment is not acceptable, the Americans and those who want to be friends with TPLF are going to regret it in the long run.

Our CUDP leaders are innocent and they won the May 2005 National election. TPLF IS A CRIMINAL ORGANIZATION, Meles has ordered the killing of hundreds of Real-Ethiopians JUST BECAUSE THEY DEMANDED FOR ACCOUNTABILITY by PROTESTING PEACEFULLY.

As if that was not enough trouble, they went into a sovereign nation to cause more deaths and more damage, who dies? Ethiopian young men, who benefits Meles and his outlawed TPLF(hitman) organization He also told his commanders to do all the raping and vioalting Somali women. The Ethiopian people have spoken we do not like TPLF, we want them out of our country!

There will be no deal of any kind, whatsoever. CUDP leadership is innocent and TPLF is guilty. The deal is TPLF handed in power and leave the problems you started to us Real-Ethiopians, we will find remedies to all the problems TPLF create.

Anonymous said...

Gooch,
you got all wrong! the voters whose
votes were stolen have a constitutional right to protest
peacefully. You don't know who
burnt those busses.

Get off your high horse!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Meles and the people around him need to remind themselves that the detention of the CUD leaders is illegal and continues to be such. It is in fact bordering crime against humanity. These prisoners are political prisoners who hold political beliefs and opinions that led to them to their detention. The action against CUD and its leaders is an "act committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against a civilian population, with knowledge of the attack: ………..imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law" this is part of a definition of crime against humanity.

Any delay, be it with the cover of the court order or other wise, will only make things more serious for meles and those who are involved in this decision.

The way forward is simply finding political solution to this political problem. Release all political prisoners now and begin an honest reconciliation process.

The world is getting smaller. The Rome statute and the establishment of the International Criminal Court have changed a number of things. One has to learn from Taylor, Milosevic etc

It is in the best interest of Meles , the people around him and of course all Ethiopians to bring this madness to a quick resolution and move forward.

Mela

Anonymous said...

is better that they accept this deal.once they are out these beloved persons can do a lot.people lost hope and because of these u do not see any one who talk about them here in addis.even many do not know what ruling have been passed.the cud leaers abroad must encourage them to accept this kind of deal as these peoples health and well being are important

Anonymous said...

Gooch
I agree with you most of what you said, including the leverage issue and the deal getting better.

But I disagree with your claim the CUD has called for demonstrations.
They did not call for a demonstration in June or November. It was spontaneous combustion of the underlying frustration of the urban youth as a reaction to the actions of the Federal Police and the Agazi. The initial spark in many instances of the Novemeber chaos was the Agazi/Federali beating the drivers who were honking their car horns in response to CUD's call.

The Government failed to contain the actions of civil disobedience and random riots through non-lethal means, that is not CUD's reponsibility.
I will give you an example from the TPLF history; does TPLF bear responsibility for the Hawzen Massacre? It was the alleged presence of TPLF fighters that prompted the strike.

Gooch said...

Last anon,

You are right, CUD had nothing to do with the June demonstrations. But they did call for certain peaceful civil disobedience actions in November, though street demonstrations were not among these actions. Nevertheless, they were heading in that direction, though reluctantly, which is why they started with small actions.

Of course, there's nothing illegal in this at all, and all the EPRDF newspeak in the world can't change that fact.

However, in hindsight, CUD leaders may feel moral culpability for calling for, supporting, or even not opposing, civil disobedience. If they do, all the more easier it is for them to justifying signing such an agreement.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand what the argument is all about. WHO MURDERED THE YOUNG ETHIOPIANS PROTESTING PEACEFULLY? THEY HAD NO GUNS OR ANY WEAPON, it was TPLF that odered AGAZI SOLDIERS (Especial force, only made up of Tigres) to shoot and kill. Some were seen shooting from roof tops, aiming like a HUNTER does, but TPLF soldiers were aiming to pierce a human head with life ammunition while hunters kill animals in the forst, even then you have to have permission to hunt. But TPLF soldiers were told to kill with impunity.

SO DON'T EVEN MENTION CUDP LEADERS TO HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN ANY OF THE KILLING. IT WAS TPLF THAT PANICKED AND MURDERED ETHIOPIAN YOUTH AND EVEN 4-YEARS OLD CHILD WAS MURDERED.

kuchiye said...

Gooch is right. Real Politics is breathing down the necks of EPRDF and Kinijit with equal zeal.

Meles, like any other African tyrant, can sentence the leaders to long prison terms and weather sporadic public and international outcry. Being the egocentric maniac that he is, Meles knows this option denies him sability, longevity, and the legacy he yearns for himself and the minority ethnic group he unabashidly calls golden race. He understands he can not count on short-winded American support & flirtations for long. On account of the real national and international political realities, a negotiated settlement is the best option for him. This is neither short-sighted nor wishfull thinking. It is pragmatic.

Lets take the case of CUD. The release of its leaders is the salvation to the continued democratic struggle, the only way to fill the leadership vaccum, the prescription to end the confusion in the party and its support organizations. It is also one more opportunity for kinijit to demonstrate to the world that it's way is a civilized way, a magnanimous way and a peaceful way sworn to resolve differences through democratic and negotiated means.

Granted, leverage is a key ingredient in any negotiation excersice. But to assume the negotiating parties must have equal negotiating power at any particular time is insane. That is not how real politcs manifests and certainly not the ideal environment diplomats are blessed to work in. Kinijit's political leverage is bound to grow with its leaders out working their b** off rather than locked in Kaliti. They have sacrificed enough already, they have demonstrated to future generations that one should stand for what one beleives in. But it is also time for them and for their supporters to look ahead, make tactical sacrifices to gain strategic advantages. Wisdom in politics is about building on your strengths and expanding your leverage parameters. I cringe when I see people using their religious righteous frame of arguement in a 21st century political setting. The time context is almost 2000 years apart. Lets step out of our emotions, comfort zone arguments and practice pragmatic politics.

Kinijit's is the Way!

Anonymous said...

AMEN TO THAT! kuchiye

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