Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
December 21, 2014, 07:44:00 pm
HomePredMockPollEVCalcAFEWIKIHelpLogin Register
News: Don't forget to get your 2013 Gubernatorial Endorsements and Predictions in!

+  Atlas Forum
|-+  General Politics
| |-+  International General Discussion (Moderators: Peter, afleitch)
| | |-+  Forty years.
« previous next »
Pages: [1] Print
Author Topic: Forty years.  (Read 1059 times)
Governor Varavour
Simfan34
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 11216


Political Matrix
E: 2.45, S: 5.91

View Profile
« on: September 11, 2014, 10:49:55 am »
Ignore



(Well, tomorrow)

Never forget the two million killed by preventable famine, avoidable war, or government death squads, especially the 60 loyal and esteemed servants of the nation gunned down on November 23. Never forget the other victims of both the brutal junta and the regimes that succeeded it, whose subjects enjoyec, even today, less rights, fewer freedoms, and less democracy than they did before that tragic day 40 years ago.

Let us also not forget the millions more who had to flee their country, my family included, the country divided, and whose people were soon made to fight against themselves in a war of near-sadistic uselessness, at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives more. Let us remember the once proud nation and people deprived of their dignity and honour, a leader of the nations of its continent, that was reduced to a byword for poverty. Perhaps most of all let us not forget the inummerable opportunities lost and millions upon millions of lives cut short by poverty, disease, and other strife, all of which could have been avoided if a few power hungry and selfish army officers, egged on by a handful of extraordinarily arrogant, entitled, and ungrateful university students, had remembered who they served and who had created and allowed for, in most cases singlehandedly, the opportunites that allowed for them to achieve the stature they did. It was not a revolution. It was a coup of ingrates.

More relevantly, I need to make sure it's at least on the front page of Wikipedia, and I might actually pull an all-nighter to actually write the article I started on the coup.

My God, why did I put this off?
« Last Edit: September 11, 2014, 11:24:35 am by Governor Varavour »Logged

Governor Varavour
Simfan34
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 11216


Political Matrix
E: 2.45, S: 5.91

View Profile
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2014, 09:59:18 pm »
Ignore



Quote from: Address to the League of Nations, 1936
I assert that the problem submitted to the Assembly today is a much wider one. It is not merely a question of the settlement of Italian aggression.

It is collective security: it is the very existence of the League of Nations. It is the confidence that each State is to place in international treaties. It is the value of promises made to small States that their integrity and their independence shall be respected and ensured.

Apart from the Kingdom of the Lord there is not on this earth any nation that is superior to any other. Should it happen that a strong Government finds it may with impunity destroy a weak people, then the hour strikes for that weak people to appeal to the League of Nations to give its judgment in all freedom. God and history will remember your judgment.

I ask the fifty-two nations, who have given the Ethiopian people a promise to help them in their resistance to the aggressor, what are they willing to do for Ethiopia? And the great Powers who have promised the guarantee of collective security to small States on whom weighs the threat that they may one day suffer the fate of Ethiopia, I ask what measures do you intend to take?

Representatives of the World, I have come to Geneva to discharge in your midst the most painful of the duties of the head of a State. What reply shall I have to take back to my people?

Quote from: Address to the United Nations, 1963
On the question of racial discrimination, the Addis Ababa Conference taught, to those who will learn, this further lesson:

That until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned:

That until there are no longer first-class and second class citizens of any nation;

That until the colour of a man's skin is of no more significance than the colour of his eyes;

That until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race;

That until that day, the dream of lasting peace and world citizenship and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion, to be pursued but never attained;

And until the ignoble and unhappy regimes that hold our brothers in Angola, in Mozambique and in South Africa in subhuman bondage have been toppled and destroyed;

Until bigotry and prejudice and malicious and inhuman self-interest have been replaced by understanding and tolerance and good-will;

Until all Africans stand and speak as free beings, equal in the eyes of all men, as they are in the eyes of Heaven;

Until that day, the African continent will not know peace.

Quote from: Address, 1963
Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted, the indifference of those who should have known better, the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most, that has made it possible for evil to triumph.

Quote from: Opening of the first Parliament, 1932
You must know and understand that besides your own birthplace, there are others next to you, and that besides your own cities, there are others around you, and that all these places and cities together make one big nation and those living in it are all sons and daughters of one Ethiopia and that these people from time immemorial lived as one family and one people thus being members of the greater family of man. You must, therefore, realize that besides issues concerning your own birthplace there are greater issues concerning all provinces and all families which, when put together, are of common interest to all, and that the protector of these common interests is the Government while the Emperor is the source of enlightenment to all.

Quote from: Remarks to the Council on Foreign Relations, 1967
It is a truism that self-help, hard work and initiative are requisites for any nation's economic and social advancement. Yet it is equally true that there still are outmoded international arrangements which seriously limit the efforts of developing countries to develop their potential.

So long as there remain impediments to the free flow of international trade; so long as there is no guaranteed price of primary goods at remunerative level without discrimination, the economic and social development of the developing nations will remain seriously handicapped. It is in this connection that the economically advanced nations can render valuable contribution. Such nations could, as an instance, extend further bilateral or multilateral assistance and waive obstructing arrangements such as preferential tariffs as well as other protective systems which, in the long run, prove ,a disservice to the economic and social progress of developing nations.

It is here that the economically advanced countries can make maximum contribution and thereby help to usher in a great new age, an era of "economic liberalism."

Quote from: Address on the occasion of Commencement at Haile Selassie University, 1971
A hungry person cannot be appeased by merely being told about his hunger; similarly, what Ethiopia needs is not a person who can talk about her problems but someone who is determined to serve her with enthusiasm, re-inspired by her long and glorious history and spurred by the present gap. This can best be manifested not in words but in deeds.

Your conviction to help the country must be demonstrated in your determination to work. To do that, you must, instead of working for personal ends, toil for the community and common results. This would, in turn, call for dedication to live, work and serve in the rural areas where it is less comfortable. This again would be seen in the fruits of your undertakings and not in what others say about them or see in them.

You should, therefore, be guided by the courage, determination, loyalty and honesty passed down through generations, translate what you have acquired from school into action to help your country and your people.

You are expected to participate fully in the national struggle for development, to exploit the natural resources and till the green, fertile land of our country, lest Ethiopia be a 'have-not' when it actually has all the potentialities for development.

Quote from: Remarks on Ethiopiawinet (Ethiopianism), 1965
Ethiopia is an ancient land and her civilisation is the result of the harmonious alchemy of the past and the present, upon which we confidently build for the future. This heritage is the bedrock of modern Ethiopia.

In it the people have chosen to distil from the past that which is useful and enduring, to adapt those worthwhile attributes of our present day world, and to fashion this modern ethiopianism - the foundation of our social order that has served so admirably the purpose of the nation's steady advance.

Be it recognised that while the institutions which Ethiopians have inherited from their forefathers still proudly carry their ancient designation, the contents of these valued institutions have been adapted to meet the rising expectations of the present generation of Ethiopians ;

Be it known to all who judge our institutions by the labels We have inherited from our past civilisation, that Ethiopian institutions, regardless of their nomenclature, are the fruits of Ethiopianism - this optimum combination that the people of Ethiopia themselves have fashioned to serve the fulfilment of their national destiny ;

Be it understood that while we Ethiopians are justly proud of Our national heritage, we do not look backwards to find our national purpose but forward to the full realisation of Our national goals.
Logged

Governor Varavour
Simfan34
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 11216


Political Matrix
E: 2.45, S: 5.91

View Profile
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2014, 10:25:25 pm »
Ignore


Haile Selassie signs the act reuniting Ethiopia with Eritrea, 1952.


Haile Selassie cuts the artificial and colonial border dividing one part of Ethiopia from the rest of the country.

Quote
In ancient times, when Ethiopia enjoyed the unencumbered rights of her extensive coastline, such a name as Adulis, the thriving port on the Red Sea, was a recognized gateway for a flourishing maritime commerce. One of the underlying motives for Our journey to Europe in 1924 was to secure at whatever cost a free port for Ethiopia even if it meant securing one on lease. And as a result of Our discussions with the then Italian leader what was proposed to be given to Us as a concession did not exceed a few thousand square metres of land on the coastline. But today, by the grace of God, Ethiopia is master of her territorial waters and of her own ports. Today, We stand here at a moment when history is to repeat itself, when Ethiopia will again have her own appropriate role to play in international commerce. With the inauguration of the port of Assab, which accords so readily and significantly with Ethiopia’s expanding trade, the ocean-borne carriers of international trade will again shelter and service in Ethiopian waters.

The opening of the Assab Port is the capstone of a significant chapter in the history of modern Ethiopia – the fulfilment of a long-desired dream. The history of the return to Ethiopia of her seaports, which this ceremony vividly recalls, is well-known. Only ten years ago, Ethiopia’s commerce through the international sea-lanes was subject to the wishes and dictates of others. Not only was Our country’s economic life stifled but being left without any outlet to the sea, Ethiopia was barred from enjoying the fruits of normal and unencumbered international trade. Only those who have been required by geographical position or historical circumstance to live without a port opening on an international waterway can appreciate the full measure of the restrictions which are attendant upon a land-locked life. It is unfortunate that even today, certain countries of the world suffer from the same predicament. As We said on this very spot years ago when We here laid the cornerstone for the construction of this now happily completed project “No Ethiopian of this or future generations can afford to forget the disadvantages under which Our country suffered in the days when We had no access to the sea.”


Statue of Haile Selassie in Massawa, Ethiopia.


The Emperor looks at Ethiopia's sea shore in Massawa, Ethiopia


Banknote of the time.


Haile Selassie at a ceremony for the Ethiopian Navy at the Naval Headquarters in Massawa, Ethiopia.


Haile Selassie Avenue, Asmara, Ethiopia
Logged

Governor Varavour
Simfan34
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 11216


Political Matrix
E: 2.45, S: 5.91

View Profile
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2014, 11:28:48 pm »
Ignore

Haile Selassie: Freedom Fighter - shooting at Fascists








Quote from: Paul Robeson
Yes, all Africa remembers that it was Litvinov who stood alone beside Haile Selassie in Geneva, when Mussolini's sons flew with the blessings of the Pope to drop bombs on Ethiopian women and children.

Quote from: Nelson Mandela
Ethiopia has always held a special place in my own imagination and the prospect of visiting attracted me more strongly than a trip to France, England and America combined. I felt I would be visiting my own genesis, unearthing the roots of what made me an African. Meeting the emperor himself would be like shaking hands with history.

Quote from: Zhou Enlai
His Imperial Majesty has greatly enhanced and made new contributions to strengthening the cause of the Afro-Asian peoples' cause of unity against imperialism.

Quote from: Mao Zedong
The Ethiopian people have a glorious tradition of resisting aggression from abroad. Since the 16th century, they have been waging unyielding struggles against foreign aggressors... The Chinese and Ethiopian peoples have always supported each other in their common struggle against imperialism.

Quote from: Leon Trotsky
The victory of [Haile Selassie], however, would mean a mighty blow not only at Italian imperialism but at imperialism as a whole, and would lend a powerful impulsion to the rebellious forces of the oppressed peoples. One must really be completely blind not to see this.

Quote from: Ian Donovan
Selassie was the leader of a progressive, national struggle, despite his social origins. Selassie's struggle had a democratic content, and was no different in essence from any other of the anti-colonial struggles for nationhood and independence that were characteristic of the period. lassie built hospitals and schools. [He] systematically sought to promote industrialisation and economic growth, to lead his backward empire to modernity and international legitimacy.

Quote from: Oriana Fallaci
Among today's Italians, when treading upon Haile Selassie's memory, the sense of guilt and shame is such that they react by seeing only his positive traits: the merits of his past actions. His portrayals always brim with excessive deferance, unwarranted admiration and delusion. They go on and on about his priestly composure, his regal dignity, his great intelligence and his generosity towards former adversaries.
Logged

Governor Varavour
Simfan34
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 11216


Political Matrix
E: 2.45, S: 5.91

View Profile
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2014, 06:13:56 pm »
Ignore

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94V5EFu4uHo

"In his old age, it appears Haile Selassie has routed all his enemies at last, to emerge supreme, as if the all-wise and benevolent Lion of Judah has prevailed".

Cry
Logged

jaichind
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 2214
United States


Political Matrix
E: 9.03, S: -5.39

View Profile
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2014, 08:43:34 pm »
Ignore

If  Mugabe falls from power, do you think the new regime will hand Mengistu back to Ethiopia?
Logged

Chinese from Taiwan Province.  Now in New York City suburb of Scarsdale.  Ex-GOP now Libertarian.
The important thing is not how they vote but how we count.             - Stalin
Governor Varavour
Simfan34
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 11216


Political Matrix
E: 2.45, S: 5.91

View Profile
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2014, 11:22:12 am »
Ignore

If  Mugabe falls from power, do you think the new regime will hand Mengistu back to Ethiopia?

I believe Tsangverai said he'd do so, so I'm inclined to think whoever it was would, yes.
Logged

jaichind
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 2214
United States


Political Matrix
E: 9.03, S: -5.39

View Profile
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2014, 01:26:02 pm »
Ignore

Since Eritrea's union with Ethiopia was mentioned, the split of Eritrea from Ethiopia which was consequence of the fall of the Derg regime is a complex and interesting one.  I was always interested for the reasons why TPLF went along with this.  Of course TPLF gained large amount of aid and support from EPLF so one could argue that it was payback.  Even at the time I was wondering if TPLF really believed in Eritrean independence or was just biding its time to consolidate itself before turning on Eritrea again which it eventually did in the mid to late 1990s.  There is a case to be made that TPLF truly believed that the split of Eritrea was for the better but as it became the ruling party of Ethiopia, it had to evolve its thinking on its topic to align with the majority non-Tigray population of Ethiopia on this topic.
Logged

Chinese from Taiwan Province.  Now in New York City suburb of Scarsdale.  Ex-GOP now Libertarian.
The important thing is not how they vote but how we count.             - Stalin
Governor Varavour
Simfan34
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 11216


Political Matrix
E: 2.45, S: 5.91

View Profile
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2014, 08:00:33 pm »
Ignore

TPLF was rather dependent on the EPLF. It wasn't really a choice. There were several opportunities for an agreement on decentralisation or federalism that would have allowed Eritrea to remain part of Ethiopia- all of which the TPLF rejected out of hand. Having the EPLF as a force in a united Ethiopia would not allowed the TPLF to enjoy the free reign over the country it did after separation.

Even during the war, Meles resisted calls to press towards Assab, Asmara, and generally take over the country.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2014, 08:03:26 pm by Governor Varavour »Logged

jaichind
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 2214
United States


Political Matrix
E: 9.03, S: -5.39

View Profile
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2014, 09:25:59 pm »
Ignore

TPLF was rather dependent on the EPLF. It wasn't really a choice. There were several opportunities for an agreement on decentralisation or federalism that would have allowed Eritrea to remain part of Ethiopia- all of which the TPLF rejected out of hand. Having the EPLF as a force in a united Ethiopia would not allowed the TPLF to enjoy the free reign over the country it did after separation.

Even during the war, Meles resisted calls to press towards Assab, Asmara, and generally take over the country.

Thanks.  Never thought of it in that way but what you said makes a lot of sense.  Another question I have would be what is the TPLF opinion/position of Haile Selassie.  Obviously a common enemy of Derg would make TPLF have a positive opinion of Haile Selassie, but if I remember correctly the entire TPLF uprising was justified as an echo of an earlier Tigray uprising in the 1940s of which the opponent was the Haile Selassie regime. 
Logged

Chinese from Taiwan Province.  Now in New York City suburb of Scarsdale.  Ex-GOP now Libertarian.
The important thing is not how they vote but how we count.             - Stalin
Governor Varavour
Simfan34
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 11216


Political Matrix
E: 2.45, S: 5.91

View Profile
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2014, 03:20:45 pm »
Ignore

Yes, their common nickname of "Woyane" alludes to the insurrectionists of 1942-3 in Enderta (now part of Tigray) that were known by the same name.

You must keep in mind a few things. The old guard of the TPLF (Meles, Sebhat Nega, Seyoum Mesfin, Siye Abraha, etc.) were almost uniformly university students who fled to the hills after 1975 to fight the regime. They, like most of their peers, besides being entitled ingrates (Meles, in fact, had received a scholarship from the Haile Selassie I Prize Trust), were Marxist-Leninists of one sort or another. Indeed, their early semi-vanguard party, the Marxist–Leninist League of Tigray, was an overtly Hoxhaist outfit. They patterned themselves after the EPLF as left wing secessionists- their goal was an independent Tigray. Why they dropped that goal is not entirely clear, I'd hazard that they realised they could enrich themselves more by controlling a whole country rather than a small province.

In contrast keep in mind that the Derg was, at its core, non ideological. This seems surprising considering we all known Mengistu as a "Communist despot", but the Derg simply appropriated the "scientific socialism" popular amongst the students a good deal after the fact (the monarchy persisted, without Haile Selassie, until 1975), when it became apparent that the US would not back the new regime. Of course, they killed the students anyway. So come 1990, with the Soviets faltering, Mengistu renounces communism, the already impotent "Workers' Party" declares its support for market liberalism, and so forth. The effect of this that the Derg comes across less as some sort of revolutionary movement rather than just a faction of the ruling group... your "Amharas".

So, in the eyes of some, both Mengistu and Haile Selassie were simply two "Amhara chauvinists" focused on oppressing minorities and centralising authority. This is a view appreciated by the ruling regime because 1) it allows themselves to present their regime as an inclusive regime in marked contrast with the past and 2) it creates tension between the "Amharas", ever eager to take control of their country once again, and other groups, namely the Oromo, that can be exploited to preserve the dominance of the Tigrayan elite. This "divide and conquer" strategy is also mirrored in the "ethnic federalist" arrangement and the idea Ethiopia is a state composed of separate and discrete "nations, nationalities, and peoples". The idea that Amharas constituted an actual ethnic group is a rather novel one, dating perhaps no earlier than the 1970s, and it's not one that has truly entered popular conception. The idea that the Oromos were a single group, as opposed to a number of related ones, is as well fairly new.

Of course all this ethnic fragmentation has had its consequences. A proposal to expand Addis Ababa's (an "Amhara" city, as the majority are, almost by definition, which surrounded by the Oromo Region) territorial boundaries sparked a number of violent protests in the Oromo Region. The government claimed that the cause of the riots was not their plan, but in fact the statue of Menelik II in Addis Ababa. This followed a Twitter campaign against Heineken's sponsoring of a tour by a popular singer, Teddy Afro, whose most recent big hit was a song ("Tikur Sew", or "Black Man") praising Menelik and his (ethnically diverse) generals for the victory at Adwa. Some Oromos (mainly living abroad, a point missed by many) were offended by this, as Teddy Afro had (supposedly) remarked in an interview that he considered Menelik's campaign to re-conquer the southern (and mainly Oromo) parts of the country a "holy war". The government seemed more than happy to have this whole charade play out, and was eager to shift the blame onto the long-dead Menelik and Teddy Afro (who had been jailed on blatantly trumped-up charges a few years prior, having had a reputation for criticising the government). Last year a monument was even built in the town of Ankole to commemorate the "victims" of Menelik's brutality.

Of course, this is all nonsensical, not to mention hardly conducive to stability and development. A great many Ethiopians are ethnically mixed, and the idea of being able to divide the country neatly on "ethnic" lines is a fools errand (there is an Oromia Zone in the Amhara Region!). Perhaps this why the government has mooted the idea of making a good many of the country's major cities "chartered cities" akin to Dire Dawa and Addis Ababa. To me it seems like a way of weakening the power of the regions by taking away their biggest cities and their capitals, which in Bahir Dar, for example, they've just put a lot of money into. It is a tacit admission their experiment has failed.

This all goes back to Haile Selassie- they feel somewhat lacklustre in terms of stature (there was a flap as to why no statue of him was erected at the AU when one of Nkrumah was, and a conference about his contribution to the AU last year wound up mysteriously cancelled) but for the most part he is dead and not a threat. The country is so young hardly anyone remembers the "old days". The claimants- quite extant- are virtual unknowns. It is not a positive opinion but there is no active demonisation.
Logged

Governor Varavour
Simfan34
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 11216


Political Matrix
E: 2.45, S: 5.91

View Profile
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2014, 03:49:32 pm »
Ignore

This map (unfortunately in Russian) shows the overlap between the old shaded provinces and the outlined modern regions:



As you can see every province, sans Arsi, is multiethnic. This is not by chance, as this next map of the provinces before 1936 shows, a great many smaller provinces were merged to form heterogeneous provinces:



And a note on Menelik's conquests: they are often presented as a take-over of vast regions that had never been under Ethiopian control, whether in Fascist propaganda, the pseudo-historiography of proponents of the terrorist Italian colonial entity, or even misguided historians



(There was an Fascist propaganda piece that literally presented the same case)

But this is not actually the case:

Logged

politicus
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 5998
Denmark


View Profile
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2014, 04:11:13 pm »
Ignore

Good points Simfan, but wouldn't you say that most of Menelik's conquests were basically bad for Ethiopia, making the country harder to keep together and nation building tougher to accomplish?
Logged

Governor Varavour
Simfan34
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 11216


Political Matrix
E: 2.45, S: 5.91

View Profile
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2014, 04:24:34 pm »
Ignore

Good points Simfan, but wouldn't you say that most of Menelik's conquests were basically bad for Ethiopia, making the country harder to keep together and nation building tougher to accomplish?

Had the country not been taken over by ethnically-obsessed left wing student radicals, this would not have been a problem. Development, education, and communication would have helped forge a nation the same way they did in, say France. Like I mentioned, towns, particularly in the south, were almost as a rule "Amhara"; it makes sense to conclude assimilation would follow with urbanisation or through formal education. Haile Selassie did not fall because of ethnic strife, although certain elements of his nation-building strategy, of which I am not an expert, were admittedly too narrow- marginalising the figure of the Tigrayan hero of Adwa, Ras Alula Engida. A broad based nationalism, stressing the roles played by diverse figures such as Ras Gobena Dacche, Ras Balcha Safo, Ras Mengesha Yohannes, and so forth, is the way forward.

Indeed I'd suggest many of the "Oromos" were assimilated by southern invaders into that culture, and their adoption of "Ethiopian" customs could have been presented as "reclaiming" their identity- they likely spoke semitic languages such as Harari, Silte, Zway, or Gurage that survive as linguistic exclaves. One could even be quite innovative and present the Ethio-Semitic languages (sans Tigrinya) as a singular "Ethiopian Language" and the Amharic spoken in Addis Ababa merely as "Modern Standard Ethiopian" or something like that. Thus they would "speak Ethiopian, like their ancestors".
Logged

How Erg the Self-Inducting Slew a Paleface
Kalwejt
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 38022


View Profile
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2014, 04:33:48 pm »
Ignore

During the Italian invasion, Warsaw street was signing song for Haile Selassie.
Logged

It's a good thing to be laughed at. It's better than to be ignored

Harold Macmillan
jaichind
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 2214
United States


Political Matrix
E: 9.03, S: -5.39

View Profile
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2014, 03:19:46 pm »
Ignore

Thanks for your insights, they were very useful.  Even as these events were taking places back in the 1980s I never saw Derg as some sort of true hardcore Marxists.  It was clear that was a way to scam some aid from the USSR to help them deal with the EPLF and Somalia back in the late 1970s.  Ethiopia was going to fall apart in the late 1970s if it was not for that military aid from the USSR.  Of course it was mostly because of Derg that they were in that position in the first place.  Another clue that shows how I felt was correct is of course, as it is pointed out, TPLF has a Hoxhaist background and if I recall correctly EPLF had dealings with both Maoist PRC and the USSR.  In this context Marxism was merely a proxy slogan to project a goal of social justice while in reality the goals were regional and indeed personal aggrandizement.   
Logged

Chinese from Taiwan Province.  Now in New York City suburb of Scarsdale.  Ex-GOP now Libertarian.
The important thing is not how they vote but how we count.             - Stalin
Governor Varavour
Simfan34
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 11216


Political Matrix
E: 2.45, S: 5.91

View Profile
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2014, 08:15:00 pm »
Ignore

Well I'm sure many of the rebel fighters started out with ideological goals, but, you know, as they say, power corrupts.

Yes, the Eritrean separatist movement was moribund by late 1973. This was primarily because of the conflict between the (primarily Muslim/lowland/Arab-oriented) ELF and the (primarily Christian/highland) EPLF, which had sapped the two movements of manpower, money, and strength generally. The EPLF was largely composed at that time of political figures who had wound up marginalised one way or another, one might call them "victims of discrimination" while another might call them "sore losers". ELF's objectives are self-evident, although they did have support from highland Tigres (not Tigrayans or "Tegaru"- the native exonym-, they are different) and did not have support from the Afars, as the Sultan was a staunch vassal of Haile Selassie (You can read more about him on Wikipedia, and I can vouch for the quality of the article as I wrote it).

Also this shooting war between the two factions did not do much to increase their appeal amongst the local people. Eritrea, contrary to what the EPLF might say, the Haile Selassie years were ones where the province generally had a robust economy, which was often subjected to attacks by the separatists. Had Haile Selassie not been overthrown the movement would have almost certainly have died out, following the successful imposition of martial law in 1970 that knocked the wind out of the movements reduced them to the state of infighting I mentioned before.

But the Derg and its military cadres very swiftly decided to crack down hard, on Eritrea in particular, and killed a popular Eritrean general who had been the nominal leader of the junta. The brutality of the new regime inflamed the local population, which swelled the ranks of the EPLF, allowing it to assume supremacy over the ELF and gain strength. The problem of the perception of Eritrean oppression under Ethiopian rule is that it was not a uniquely Eritrean phenomenon under the Derg, and under Haile Selassie it didn't actually exist (or at least nowhere near the degree it is presented as, and again, not a unique phenomenon).

There are some interesting, if rather complex articles reappraising Eritrea under Haile Selassie:

http://asmarino.com/articles/2046-the-eritrean-oblomov-loving-asmara-the-superfluous-way

http://asmarino.com/articles/1621-qindependent-eritreaq-a-crumbling-nation-and-a-tragedy

http://asmarino.com/articles/1798-part-iii-independent-eritrea-a-crumbling-nation-and-a-tragedy-the-architects-of-destruction

One hopes more Eritreans take a critical look at the historical narrative they've been fed and come to the fairly... unspoken conclusion the above pieces come to. If what I mean is not apparent, look at my signature. Tongue

Also reading these pieces one wonders how on earth the idea of Haile Selassie as some reactionary absolute monarch opposed to change is still held by people. I mean, God, just pick up a book, any book, that deals with him in the 20s, or the 30s, or the 40s, or the 50s... and so forth. But the 20s are remarkable for his power struggles with real reactionaries (Zauditu et al), and the 40s-50s remarkable for the immense efforts made to establish institutions of all sorts.

Had Haile Selassie truly been an absolute monarch who didn't have to seriously contend with the aristocracy (who were the real reactionaries) or provincial revolts and such, there'd have never been a revolution. Or at least no grounds for one (the big thing being land reform- which would have been done). Several land reform bills were floored in Parliament... which were voted down. Perhaps he was too deferential to Parliament, in 1972 or so there was a such a bill proposed when Parliament was not in session... it was expected he would decree it into law (and thus challenge Parliament to defy him), but he instead deferred to them, and they voted down the bill. Indeed, on one occasion Parliament vetoed an approval of an Italian loan to build the Koka Dam, on the grounds they had not yet returned the Axum Stela, and he had go to them and pretty much tell them "don't be stupid" and approve the loan... which they then did.

One might question if Haile Selassie was too cautious and overestimated the power of the aristocracy to resist him in his later years, but their power isn't really ever taken into account by people, and you must remember he cut his teeth clashing with those in the aristocracy who opposed any kind of modernisation. There was one book I once read that criticised him for encouraging people to wear shoes.

(note on phrases:

Ghedli = EPLF/PDFJ (the political party EPLF became)

Jebha = ELF

Kebessa = Highlanders )
« Last Edit: September 21, 2014, 08:33:09 pm by Governor Varavour »Logged

Governor Varavour
Simfan34
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 11216


Political Matrix
E: 2.45, S: 5.91

View Profile
« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2014, 08:35:14 pm »
Ignore

Ah, forgot about this old gem:

Logged

jaichind
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 2214
United States


Political Matrix
E: 9.03, S: -5.39

View Profile
« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2014, 09:24:56 pm »
Ignore

Thanks for all this info.  It was also my impression that one of the mistakes Derg made in their late 1970s USSR backed offensive in Eritrea which almost finished off both ELF and EPLF was that it concentrated on ELF when they should have realized that the EPLF was the graver long term threat. 

On the point that that Eritrean independence movement would have died out if Derg have not taken over, I am not so sure.  For sure this is a topic where I do not claim any expertise.  But just the fact that ELF and EPLF had the time and energy in the early 1970s to start turning on each other meant that the combined ELF and EPLF strength must have been significant even before 1974.

I do find it interesting that things have gone full circle and ELF now is backed by Ethiopia although this I am sure hurts their credibility within Eritrea itself.
Logged

Chinese from Taiwan Province.  Now in New York City suburb of Scarsdale.  Ex-GOP now Libertarian.
The important thing is not how they vote but how we count.             - Stalin
Pages: [1] Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  


Login with username, password and session length

Logout

Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines