The purpose of this article is to show the propaganda games Capo Meles plays has reached its culmination point. It is ineffective and has reached maximum audience penetration it can influence. The message is depressing because it is based on stoking hate, fear and ethnic divide and rule system. There is no hope but human strife and destruction ala Somalia. His credibility is zero because he fails to deliver what he claims he can achieve.
For over ten years Meles Zenawi applied different propaganda strategies to attack Eritrea and her leaders vigorously and consistently. He attacks mercilessly never placing the feelings or views of the Eritrean people into account unless he intended to manipulate it. There is no attempt or desire to compromise, verify facts, or need to work with credible sources as he delivered constant blistering lies contrary to his consistent deceptive plea for a phony-dialogue.
The objectives remained the same while the audience outreach programs changed frequently with tremendous flexibility. Various mediums targeted Eritrean youth, The Diaspora and Eritrean public general. The international community at large remained the primary target in an effort to set opinion and frame the issues toward a larger aim. It is typical to see a think-tank throw an idea that seems factual, fair and genuine while it is laced with language or opinion that can derail the Algiers agreement.
However, every attempt failed because Eritreans learned how to spot deception and in effect killed every message rendering the PR and propaganda budgets a major waist.
Nothing in this article is new news to Eritrea. But at this stage, it is evident the only arsenal Meles Zenawi has left against Eritrea is, PROPOGANDA. Nothing more! Because if he has the power, he will do what he did in Somalia, destroy Eritrea. However, over the last year his voices are fading like a radio with dying batteries and for a good reason; he is loosing his talking points fast.
Meles Zenawi used religion, education, military, diplomacy, economy, history, and freedom of speech, stability, immigration, TERRORISM, OAU, UN, EU, IGAD, UNMEE, Arab League, Somalia, Oromo, Ogaden, State Department, US agents and UN envoys as talking points and propaganda tools. The idea is to throw any thing that sticks in the hopes that it will inflict a permanent damage. He enlisted PR firms and paid huge sums of money for worthless efforts from the mouth of hungry kids. He used think thanks to peddle opinions in order to help him rally international opinion against Eritrea. He hired Eritrean mercenaries to amplify his empty noise.
However, every attempt failed or is fading for good reason because; it failed the idea of “doing good for goodness sake!” It failed because it is not founded on sound principles that put people’s interests first. He is corrupt in ways reminiscent of the crime families of the Mafia and his primary intent is to inflict damage based on agendas inconsistent with needs of the people. It fails because it is based on lies. Time and again he is assured that he should never throw stones from with-in a glass house. It is beyond comprehension and a sure sign of desperation why he attempts to paint others in a bad light from with in deep-dark places as he frequently tries.
We can take many examples of his fading voices but for the sake of this paper and for simplicity, Democracy/Election and UNMEE will do. He used terrorism excessively but that is a subject-matter for a different day.
Prior to the sham election of 2005, undermining Ethiopian disdain for him and emboldened by the West; Capo Meles stepped out into the streets of Addis Ababa to show off. He waived his white baseball cap to his supporters as a victor. He smiled to the crowd and bragged a new wave of democracy in Africa. It worked for a while, the positive publicity looked promising. Some Eritreans were fooled into believing why not Eritrea, even if it is to temporarily appease the world into leaving Eritrea alone.
We all remember what followed. The freedom of speech disappeared overnight, the opposition was placed in jail, mass killings in the streets of Addis, and political openness in Ethiopia ended ending any hopes of a democratic future with Meles at the helm. Looking back, it is easy to conclude that Ethiopia was saved by the State Department; and in effect the American embassy in Ethiopia became a de-facto leader of the country. Ambassador Donald Yamamoto was the chief mediator, motivator and spokesperson while Dr. Jendayi Frazer acted as a TPLF lawyer in the US congressional offices by defending his every action while using Eritrea as a scapegoat. This was in total contradiction to the EU observer’s conclusion that the election was rigged. This ended Meles’ diplomatic upper hand.
Ethiopian unity with Meles against Eritrea faded and TPLF leaders became the object of ridicule every where they went. This is important because in the past Eritrea served as a scapegoat for every problem that ailed Ethiopia. Ethiopian anger turned on Meles, focused less on Eritrea and more on their pressing issues. As a result, Meles lost his secondary voice, the Ethiopian voice against Eritrea.
In addition, Ethiopian problems are becoming insurmountable by the minute, making it difficult to wage any propaganda campaign against Eritrea. It is actually sad to see tremendous victory of Ethiopian Olympiads in Beijing overshadowed by famine, inflation and conflict related news. Fighting negative publicity is making it difficult if not impossible to wage effective propaganda campaign against Eritrea, suffocating his voice slowly but surely.
The United Nations Mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia (UNMEE) served as a major propaganda tool. It also served as a major diplomatic tool against Eritrea by Ethiopia with the help of the US. Every statement made and steps taken by UNMEE were used as a diplomatic and PR traps against Eritrea. The onslaught was brilliantly conceived, methodical and relentless. Secretary General Kofi Annan helped by throwing every damaging statement and envoys he could send to side-step the Algiers Agreement. Even belligerent mistakes by Meles were used as propaganda tools and as stages for bargaining. After he rejected The Hague decision as “unjust and illegal,” the US convinced him to “accept it in principle” and later pressed the idea of “Dialogue.”
Eritrean people faced tremendous onslaught of propaganda directed at them in a daily basis. The barrage of propaganda that hailed over Eritrea would have brought down any nation. But everything thrown at Eritrea including the deportation of 75,000 Eritreans from Ethiopia was met with defiance. In Unisom, Eritreans in Diaspora echoed their brilliant leader’s views and voices while the leaders of Eritrea picked apart every trick in the book and exposed the underhanded approach. Eritrea stood firm based on principles that are farsighted and exemplary. Therefore, the departure of UNMEE from Eritrea represents a relief from propaganda.
What’s next for Capo Meles?
It must be frustrating for the TPLF propaganda people to try to compete in many fronts.
In one hand they need to convince/show the people of Tigray that they are ahead of Eritrea in all aspects of life. However, they must also try to avoid looking like they are doing too much for Tigray at the expense of Ethiopia. In the mean time; they have to try to provide equal time to the other ethnic groups while appearing engaged to meet the interests of Ethiopia as one nation. It is a fascinating dilemma and a no-win position no matter what. Because, Ethiopians are witnessing the looting of Ethiopia in bright day light and resent the double standards TPLF plays.
Moreover, it is by far the most magnificent perplexity one can fathom regarding the position Tigray is in vis-à-vis where it wanted to be and where it is. There is no Semi-Nation Nation category, there is no Want-be Nation category, there is no Nation I can be when I want to be Nation category, and there is no Nation that is ruled by one province. That is where the people of Tigray are; in the land of confusion. And this shakes the foundation of Ethiopian nationalism and puts the nation in a precarious and dangerous position. The question is what kind of future do the people of Tigray envision? Under Capo Meles they are or believe they are at the helm, but what about after his ouster?
Capo Meles put his own people in limbo with out direction and worse, he put his people at odds with the rest of Ethiopia! This does not put into account the roller-coaster ride and the blood spilled with Eritrea. This position denied the people of Tigray a unified voice thus choking Capo Meles’ voice tighter.
Throughout all these, Meles/TPLF remains seized with their big quest, Eritrea. They try to strong arm the handful Eritrean Bambinos to damage Eritrea by any means necessary but, that always meets the Eritrean walls of steel and concrete. Their vocal tentacles keep getting cut every time they try. As a result of repeated failures, Capo Meles and his Bambinos are relegated to reactionary propaganda from their cocoons. It is amusing to see them try to emulate every thing Eri.TV; if President Isayas visits Eritrean villages you are certain to see Capo Meles do the same almost instantaneously. Developmental achievements by Eritrea seen on Eri.TV will be countered in the same manner, in other words every thing Eritrea does will be replicated for sure.
Capo Meles failed in many ways, but thanks to the US and Western funds he lived a lot more than Nine-Lives. However, his inability bring stability and garner support for his diplomatic efforts in Somalia, his failures in Eritrea, his inability to infiltrate Eritrea using anti government elements abroad and his inability to fight hunger and starvation in Ethiopia makes Capo Meles vulnerable.
But, the most important reason why capo Meles is in trouble is because of his image and the outgoing failed Bush Policies. Meles Zenawi’s image is deliberately being trashed by Western media as a person who is letting millions starve, as someone who is giving a blind eye to starvation and economic woes of the country and by accusing him for turning Ethiopia into a ticking time bomb, a sign that he may have outlived his usefulness. In the past, these very media outlets propped-up Capo Meles by supporting his lies with out challenge and sold his false claims to turn Ethiopia into a middle-income nation in few years. They echoed his lies to the world with out facts to back it up. They touted his fabricated 10% economic growth rate. They buried reports of human growth index rates that put Ethiopia in the bottom.
This time however the stakes are much higher, because no matter how much financial, political and military might is brought to bare the Horn keeps moving in a different direction. This is troubling to his masters because the Horn of Africa is way too important to their geopolitical agenda; and it is clear that Capo Meles can not deliver and thus sealing his fate. That is the fact, and thanks to Warsay-Yikaalo the Center of Gravity shifted North-Bound!
As a result his Eritrean Bambinos will lose their crumb stipends and do what they did after they were kicked out of Sudan, CRY! That is a certain fate awaiting all. In the mean time, we must remain vigilant and not allow a dying snake to spew his last venom. Taking cues from our leaders will help a great deal.