Why are the minority TPLF led regime of Ethiopia lives in fear

Why is the Ethiopian Regime Afraid of its Own Shadow?

News Politics
Why are the minority TPLF led regime of Ethiopia lives in fear
Why are the minority TPLF led regime of Ethiopia gods of FEAR, TERROR and DREAD afraid of their own shadows in 2015?

By Alemayehu G Mariam,

ON MAY 24, 2015, a “parliamentary election” is scheduled in Ethiopia. “Election” as in rigged.

Five years ago on May 23, 2010, the ruling Tigrean Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) “won” that “parliamentary election” by 99.6 percent. That puts the TPLF a hair behind Saddam Hussein who won his “election” by 100 percent in 2002.

Will the TPLF win the May 24, 2015 election by at least 99.6 percent? Does the spotted hyena have spots? But they tell me the TPLF is scared shitless in the run up to “The Election”? 

What election?

It is reasonable to fear defeat; but fear of ‘winning’ again by 99.6 percent plus is downright nuts.

The TPLF is “really scared” this time around, they tell me.

“They” are, surprisingly, members and dyed-in-the-wool supporters and followers of the TPLF. So they claim. I have no way of corroborating if they are or not. I know some of them to be mere TPLF minions and groupies. They shuttle freely to Addis and back “on business”. “They are really scared this time around,” they assure me.

Would “they” go out of their way to give me a bum steer?

Why they would tell me intimate details about fear and loathing in the TPLF camp is a mystery to me. Perhaps disinformation, I remind myself. But “they” know I am too damn jaded to be a sucker for disinformation. Why then would they “confide” in me? Frankly, I don’t know and don’t care to know.

I am curious though. “They” must feel comfortable for some reason to become “informants” as we say in the legal business. “They” know I will let it all hang out. The man who proclaims to speak truth to power cannot speak truth by holding back on the truth. “They” don’t seem to care. No names. Just the facts, please.

The thought crosses my mind. Could “they” be feeling desperate? The quiet desperation of the high and mighty is sometimes thunderously louder than the hushed and monotonous moans and groans of the powerless and hopeless.

“They” tell me there is a pervasive sense of quiet desperation – a malaise, angst, disquietude — enveloping and blanketing not only in the TPLF leadership but also its rank and file.

I just don’t get it. How can the mighty TPLF that imprisons hundreds of thousands at the drop of a hat find itself trapped in a prison of its own quiet desperation?

That’s not all. There are the other “They”; the hard core TPLF opponents and detractors. “They” tell me the same thing. “This time the TPLF is really scared.” What in the world is going on?

Is the TPLF conducting some sort of disinformation campaign, running an elaborate game of deception, I wonder. Perhaps the TPLF is playing out a Sun Tzu stratagem: “Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.” Pretend to your enemy you are scared _ _ _tless when you are cruising at the peak of your power?

It is all a bit jarring. Listening to sworn “supporters” and sworn “enemies” of the TPLF saying exactly the same thing about the gnawing fear that is corroding the confidence of the TPLF leaders and rank and file is like watching a total solar eclipse. It does not happen all the time.

It is a rare moment. “They” tell me that “they” (the TPLF leaders) are “in fear”. “Of what”, I keep asking. “What are they afraid of?” No straight easy answers.

It is disconcerting.

Here is the mighty, mighty TPLF sitting imperiously on its wooden throne (they sold the golden throne long ago). The mighty TPLF has “over 5 million members”. So said the late Meles Zenawi, the demi-god of the TPLF. That was five years ago. Today, they could have doubled or even trebled their membership. Money may not buy love, but it sure as hell buys votes and party members.

The TPLF has a chokehold on the economy. The TPLF totally controls the bureaucracy. The TPLF totally dominates the police, security and military. The TPLF has America eating out of their dirty hands. The TPLF even got the fourth highest U.S. foreign policy official to declare recently, “Ethiopia is a young democracy.” Now, that’s chutzpah! I wish I knew how they manipulate these highly educated and experienced diplomats to make fools of themselves in public by talking like blubbering idiots. “Ethiopia is a young democracy that is about to have an election,” said Evelyn Sherman, the fourth highest foreign policy official in the U.S. Government.

The TPLF flexes its military and police muscles at will to harass, arrest, jail and kill their opponents and ordinary citizens. The TPLF flaunts its stolen loot in the faces of those it has ripped-off for nearly a quarter of a century. The TPLF has everything – money, guns and drugs.

But “they” and “they” (on either side of the TPLF) badger me that the T-TPLF “this time is really in fear”?

What does it mean to say “they are in fear”. They have no peace of mind? They toss and turn at night in fear wondering if the end is near? They sleepwalk through the day into a nightmare every night?

“They” tell me they have nightmares about losing all of their shiny buildings. They have nightmares about not being able to get away and escape when “The Time” comes. They have nightmares about massive uprisings. They have nightmares about street protests turning into mass riots, turning into upheavals, revolts, rebellions, insurrections and all out insurgencies.

They have nightmares of mutinies, soldiers refusing to take orders and ordering them to take the final bow. I suspect the TPLF draws practical lessons from Burkina Faso, Niger and Burundi. They are too smart, too clever to let a military putsch happen.

They wake up in cold sweat every night dreaming about taking long term residence in the very dungeons they have locked so many thousands for so many years.

I don’t believe it. But perhaps it is not so farfetched to believe the TPLF is “in fear.” After all, the TPLF built an Empire of Fear in Ethiopia.

The TPLF god, the late Meles Zenawi, lived in fear. When his limo drove around town, roads on his route were barricaded for prolonged periods. His disciples fear to go out in public freely and show their faces.

The TPLF loves to be feared. They have made an art of creating and propagating fear. They have created a nation of fear. They have created a regime of fear. They thrive in a culture of fear. They think fear. They breathe fear. They dream fear. They monger fear. They live fear. How can the masters of fear fear FEAR? But they find themselves imprisoned in fear.

The fear-mongers fear. Could it be that they have internalized and act on the principle that there is nothing to fear but FEAR itself. So they FEAR.

The tale of TPLF fear is fascinating to me. The TPLF Phobos and Deimos (the Greek gods of fear, dread, terror, panic and flight) are themselves consumed by dread, terror, panic and flight. How is possible for the gods of fear to be haunted by demons of FEAR? I keep asking the same questions.

A saintly man once wrote, “Those who love to be feared fear to be loved, and they themselves are more afraid than anyone, for whereas other men fear only them, they fear everyone.”

Does the TPLF fear because they fear the wrath of the Ethiopian people being visited upon them? Is their fear of FEAR rational?

I listen to the tales of TPLF “fears.” I listen without my usual grain of salt. I remind myself of the old adage: “Those who know don’t talk, and those who talk don’t know.”

So I tell myself figuring out the TPLF’s “FEAR” is a simple question of what is known and unknown. That is fear of what is known and unknown. Actually, it is a bit more complicated than that.

I am going to borrow one of Donald Rumsfeld’s (former U.S. Defense Secretary) conundrums (riddles) to package what I am told are the sources of gnawing, corrosive, cancerous and toxic “fears” eating away at the TPLF body politics and soul.

Rumsfeld once remarked, “There are things that we know that we know (known knowns). We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don’t know we don’t know.” There is another category Rumsfeld omitted, unknown knowns (denial of the known knowns).

So here goes.

The TPLF Fear Factor: The known knowns

There are things the TPLF knows that it knows and fears.

It is a known known to the TPLF that nearly a quarter of a century ago it came to power by force and by the luck of the draw; today it clings to power by force and is running out of luck by the day. It fears it could be removed by force at any time. It is an objective fear. It is a matter of not if the TPLF will be removed.

It is a known known to the TPLF that it has no legitimacy in the eyes, hearts and minds of the Ethiopian people. The TPLF knows that it clings to power not by the consent of the people but by coercing the people. Regardless of how many rigged elections the TPLF puts up, it will never be regarded by any fair-minded Ethiopian that the election is free, fair and credible. A legitimate government represents the interest of the people. TPLF represents the interest of the TPLF and its clients.

It is a known known to the TPLF that “The Election” in May 2015 is about TPLF’s legitimacy in the eyes of its bankrolling donors and loaners. Money talks, everything else walks. If the U.S. says, “Ethiopia is a young democracy”, who is there to say Ethiopia is a cruel dictatorship. Actually, Helen Epstein said that. No matter, the legitimizers of the TPLF are the U.S., the EU, the WB, the IMF and the USAID. “The Election” is intended to give the U.S. and others a moral excuse to lessen the pangs of conscience they may experience supporting a bunch of thugs. “Ethiopia is a democracy that is moving forward in an election that we expect to be free, fair, credible open and inclusive in ways Ethiopia has moved forward in strengthening its democracy every time there is an election. It gets better and better,” said Undersecretary Evelyn Sherman. What a crock!

Well! Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay. My, oh my, what a wonderful election day in May.

It is a known known to the TPLF that they are alien forces in the mainstream Ethiopian culture. They know they do not know Ethiopian history, society or culture. They know they do not know the complex character of the Ethiopian people. Why else would they say, “Ethiopia has only one hundred years of history”? Why would the TPLF’s anointed leader, the late Meles Zenawi, say, Ethiopia’s flag is a piece of rag. Perhaps his views are traceable to family allegiance to Benito Mussolini who said, “For us the national flag is a rag to be planted on a dunghill.”

It is a known known to the TPLF that they are deeply resented and totally rejected by the general population. They thought they could control and exploit the people by dividing and pitting them against each other. They calculatingly politicized and weaponized ethnicity. They now harvest universal resentment and antipathy.

It is a known known to the TPLF that over the past 24 years they have built a sandcastle in Ethiopia. They know it takes only one swift wave of popular fury to sweep them up and dump them into the dustbin of history. They proclaim double-digit economic growth, brag about a “young democracy” and all manner of other rubbish to demonstrate they are stable and immovable force. They know they are as immovable as a sandcastle by the sea shore.

It is a known known to the TPLF that it is a highly organized criminal enterprise not unlike the well-known international crime syndicates. The TPLF organizations is founded on the business of corruption. It thrives in a racketeering culture of theft, fraud, scams, graft and extortion. Corruption is the gorilla glue that holds the TPLF.

Is there a “private” organization in Africa that has the “business” networking, capital, official protection, exemption from taxation, capacity for money laundering and immunity from legal accountability than EFFORT (“Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigray”)?

The TPLF as a criminal enterprise engages in crimes against humanity in addition to white collar crime, financial crimes, political crimes, war crimes and state crimes. Its structures and networks parallel the infamous international criminal syndicates. The TPLF is tightly-knit, fraternal and nepotistic. It engages in a lot of personalized and ethnic activity. They have internal “family” rivalries and share entrenched belief systems. Just as the Mafia bosses vie for power, influence and dominance and eliminate each other, so does the TPLF. How many of its top leaders has the TPLF cannibalized to date?

It is a known known to the TPLF that they have no ideology or core political beliefs. Like the Mafia, the pursuit of economic gain by corruption keeps the TPLF alive and humming. Everything is for sale to the lowest bidder or given out “freely” (I would not suggest any exchange under the table.) The TLF handed Karuturi Global millions of hectares of land for virtually pennies a year. Karuturi went belly up. Tens of thousands of poor Ethiopians in Gambella now hold the empty Karuturi bag. Somebody made off with millions in the Karuturi deal!

It is a known known to the TPLF that the ONLY way they can remain in power is by pitting one ethnic group against another and creating sectarian and religious divisions, strife and antagonisms. To maintain itself in perpetual power, the TPLF proclaims the country will disintegrate into civil strife and chaos if they are not at the helm. Deep down they know the people of Ethiopia will never war against each other because of the accident of their ethnic birth of their choice faith.

In the fictional story of Frankenstein, a crazy scientist experimenting to create a human form ends up creating a vile monster. Not fully aware of the evil he has brought in creating the new-human-form-turned-monster, he spends his entire life trying to destroy his creation.

The TPLF tried to create their own personal “new” Ethiopia in their own image by experimenting with a toxic political formula called “ethnic federalism”. The TPLF created “kilils” (reservations) or glorified apartheid-style Bantustans or tribal homelands. After 25 years, the TPLF faces its own Frankenstein.

It is a known known to the TPLF that the TPLF will destroy ethnic federalism or ethnic federalism will destroy the TPLF. It is a known known to the TPLF that there can be no ethnic federalism without the TPLF and no TPLF without ethnic federalism.

It is a known known that the late Meles Zenawi, “Dr. Victor Frankenstein”, was the brain and brawn in the TPLF. It is a known known that the combined intellectual capacity of all of Meles’ disciples does not approximate four-tenths of Meles’ intellectual candlepower. Dr. Frankenstein is dead but the half-witted TPLF Frankenstein clones he created live on in a living nightmare of fear, dread, panic and terror.

It is a known known to the T-TPLF that the Frankenstein it created in its so-called ethnic federalism is about to chew and spit it out.

It is a known known to the TPLF that they have no skills to run a country. They decimated the ranks of the university’s professoriate on the pretext that they were fomenting student opposition. They cleansed the bureaucracy and military with functionally illiterate cadres, party hacks and lackeys. Experienced and capable administrators were put out to pasture. The top TPLF leaders today sport diplomas and degrees purchased from online diploma mills as recent revelations have shown.

It is a known known that TPLF leaders and rank and file suffer from fatal educational and professional deficits. They can’t help it. They spent much of their youth in the bush. They graduated from Bush University where they majored in brutality, torture, murder and crimes against humanity. Courses on the rule of law, good governance, accountability, transparency, etc. were never in the catalog at Bush University.

Who in their right minds would appoint a malaria researcher without any diplomatic training, education or experience to become a foreign minister, the diplomat-in-chief, of a country literally overnight? The TPLF.

Who would appoint a bumbling sanitation engineer “prime minster” (even if in name only)?

The TPLF has a wicked sense of humor!

It is a known known to the TPLF that they are a bunch of thugs (nothing personal; see my commentary, “Thugtatorship: The Highest Stage of African Dictatorship”. They dress up in designer suits and pretend they are not. The truth is you can take the thug out of the bush but you can’t take the bush out of the thug. So the TPLF thug lords do what they will with absolute impunity.

It is a known known to the TPLF that it will continue with business as usual after the bogus May 2015 election? American taxpayers will pour billions in aid. If Gayle Smith, recently nominated by Obama to head USAID and an ardent supporter of the TPLF from the early 1980s, is confirmed, the TPLF will be rolling in the dough and living high on the hog. Talk about a lucky break! After ‘The Election”, the loans will be flowing from the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, China, the European Union and others like a river. Life is really good for the TPLF!

Is it really?

TPLF Fear Factor: The known unknowns

There are some things the TPLF knows it does not know. So it fears.

The TPLF knows it has millions of fair weather friends. It is unknown to the TPLF how many of those fair weather friends will sell it down the river at the blink of the eye when The Time comes.

Addisu Legesse, “deputy prime minister”, last year spoke candidly to his group about fair weather friends and “The End” in a leaked audio clip (at about 1:09:00):

Looking at it from our situation, it is already getting out of our hands. There is no question about that. We can see that from the way the teachers’ organizations are doing things. When 2/3 of educators are our members (of our party), and they are going out and demonstrating against us, that is the end of the story.

Second, I don’t think it is only Arena (party) that is [fomenting trouble]. There is Ginbot 7. There is also Bahr Dar, I think. They are also distributing [critical] flyers. Isn’t that right? Haven’t you received it? It is in Bahr Dar also. We don’t know the source. They are distributing flyers and it is seen [by the public]. I think they have gone to the cell level all over the place. It looks like there is a force that has organized itself.

The TPLF knows it has millions of friends, but it does not know who its friends are among its friends. It does not know which one of its many fair-weather friends will be its hard-core enemies when “The Time” comes. So, it remains in fear.

The TPLF knows ESAT television and radio transmissions dominate the airwaves and are the overwhelmingly preferred source of information. TPLF leaders, members and supporters actually represent the highest concentration of viewers and listeners of ESAT by TPLF’s own calculation. The TPLF does not know the transformational and structural impact of ESAT has on the hearts and minds of the people. So, the TPLF spends hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to jam ESAT transmissions into the country with little success. On a number of occasions, TPLF leaders have admitted in public that the radio and television media they own and control is largely ignored by the population.

TPLF Fear Factor: The unknown unknowns

There are things the TPLF knows it does not know.

It is an unknown unknown to the TPLF what the ultimate outcome of the ethnic fires they have set across the “kililistans” (“kilils) will be. The TPLF thought the “kilils” will serve as political asbestos insulating it from the fires of revolt and perpetuate its rule forever.

Today, the TPLF knows the ethnic federalism of kililistans is no longer viable. However, it is an unknown unknown to the TPLF what the melting temperature of its “kilil” asbestos is. It is an unknown unknown to the TPLF how powerful the blowback and backdraft will be when the “kilil” asbestos melts down and a high compression induction of the people’s wrath and anger ignites a conflagration.

The TPLF does not know that it is sitting atop a huge powder keg with a lit fuse. It is unknown unknown to the TPLF when the fuse will make contact with the powder in the kilil keg. The TPLF does not know it can short-circuit the fuse because they are blinded by arrogance and ignorance. The burning fuse continues to burn slowly.

It is an unknown unknown to the TPLF that regional instability could spell disaster for its rule. The TPLF does not know how the political and religious ferment in Yemen, Somalia, Eritrea and South Sudan could seep into Ethiopia despite what appears to be a predictable trajectory. It is unknown unknown to the TPLF how and when that disaster will unfold, not if. So it sits twiddling its thumbs and scratching its head.

It is an unknown unknown to the TPLF how the sectarian fires it has stoked could very likely evolve in to a seven-alarm national fire. The TPLF has tried to appoint religious leaders for both Christians and Muslim. They have tried to stoke sectarian warfare among religious groups and destroyed religious institutions. It is an unknown unknown to the TPLF why the religious conflict they tried to spark fizzled out.

It is unknown unknown to the TPLF that the sectarian fires they stoked would eventually and inevitably consume them. A forest fire does not discriminate; it consumes everything in its path.

It is an unknown unknown to the TPLF what the youth will do. It is unknown to the TPLF how much they have been able to win the hearts and minds of the youth by trying to buy them off with advantages and opportunities. They do not know if they have succeeded in buying the “loyalty” and “love” of the youth through patronage and party membership, save perhaps a small segment of that population. It is unknown to the TPLF that money cannot buy the love or loyalty of the youth. The youth want freedom more than anything else.

I have spent much of my professional life interacting with youth from across the world. Above all things, the youth are interested in two things: equality and freedom.

My view is supported in a multi-country survey of “Youth Voices on a Post -2015 World”.

Ethiopia’s youth do not want to live in a society where their citizenship status, life chances and destiny are determined by their membership and loyalty to one group or organization. It is an unknown unknown to the TPLF that the youth prize personal freedom to become themselves and to take control of their own and their country’s destiny. The youth want an egalitarian society based on the rule of law and full protection of individual rights.

It is an unknown unknown to the TPLF whether opposition forces will coalesce in time to remove them from power. Gadhafi was telling the press, “The people love me!” as he was hunted down and killed like a sewer rat in a tunnel. No one sent Mubarak a memo or email informing him that an uprising will be taking place in Tahrir Square to dump him. When “The Time” came, it came. So “The Time” will come to the TPLF when it comes. But it is an unknown unknown to the TPLF when “The Time” will come. They spend endless sleepless nights trying to predict the date of their doom and downfall.

It is an unknown unknown to the TPLF that democracy will eventually arrive in Ethiopia and cast them onto the dunghill of history. It is unknown to them when democracy will arrive with its army carrying shields of rule of law and spears of legal accountability.

TPLF Fear Factor: The unknown knowns (denial of the known knowns)

There are truths the TPLF intentionally refuses to acknowledge that it knows. So it fears!

The T-TPLF leaders pretend not to know that they will, sooner or later, be brought to the bars of justice for all of the crimes they have committed. They pretend not to know “justice is like a train that is nearly always late.” The TPLF pretends late means never. In their ignorant arrogance, they pretend they will never be held accountable for the untold crimes against humanity they committed on the people of Ethiopia. They are absolutely sure that they will get away with the murders of 193 innocent unarmed protesters and attempted murder of nearly 800 others. When “The Time” comes, they will be held accountable. That is as sure as the sun rises in the morning because “The arc of the universe is long but it always bends towards justice.”

The TPLF leaders fought tooth and nail for Uhuru Kenyatta to escape justice at the International Criminal Court (ICC). They even attempted to organize a mass walkout of African countries from the Rome Statute which authorizes the ICC to investigate and prosecute criminals against humanity, genociders and others. It was an unknown known to the TPLF leaders that if Uhuru went down in the ICC, they will be next in line. Justice is sometimes like delayed train. It is necessary to wait for it as it chugs into the station.

Is the TPLF really “in fear” as they say?

I don’t believe the TPLF is “in fear”. It is not rational for a force that controls the military, the economy, the bureaucracy, and with “over five million members” to be “in fear”.

Paradoxically, it is FEAR that drove the TPLF in the first place to control the military, the bureaucracy, the economy, etc., in the first place. The TPLF seized power to overcome their fear; and now that they have been in power for nearly a quarter of a century, fear have overcome them.

But then again, fear is personal not organizational. The individual leaders and members of the TPLF are in fear. But the sum of all fears of the TPLF leaders, members and supporters makes the TPLF organization Fear, Inc.

Fear springs from the natural impulse for self-preservation.

From my days in graduate school, I have been fascinated by the writings of Thomas Hobbes. Not to the exclusion of Locke, Machiavelli, Aquinas, Descartes, Marx, Russell and quite a few others. Of course, there is Tom Paine with his irreverent and iconoclastic self as he “pamphleteered” (blogged) against tyranny.

As a human rights advocate, I am particularly keen on Hobbes ideas championing “absolutism of the sovereign” and the fear that justified absolutism. Hobbes offers invaluable insights into what we may call “dictatorships” (he would call it “absolutism”). Hobbes was interested in forming a monarchical form of government in which the monarch exercises absolute power over his subjects. The Hobbesian absolute monarch would be the equivalent of a modern absolute dictator.

Hobbes argued fear pervaded the state of nature (the “imaginary” place humans inhabited before they formed civil society). In the state of nature, humans were plagued by “continual fear and the danger of violent death” and the “life of man [was] solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” Hobbes argued civil society was held “not by mutual good will of men towards each other but in the mutual fear they had for each other”. In the absence of a power that keeps them from acting out their fears, they find themselves in a “condition called war” in which every man is against every man.” An absolute monarch would guarantee life without fear.

I believe over the past 24 years, the TPLF has transformed Ethiopian civil society (civilization) into a Hobbesian “state of nature”. When the TPLF took power in May 1991, they imported the way they did things in the bush (state of nature) into Ethiopian civil society. In the bush, they lived by the law of the jungle (bush); today, they refuse to substitute the rule of law for the rule of the bush. So, they harass, intimidate, jail, torture and kill their opponents, just as they did in the bush. They even commit terrorism on civilians and falsely blame their opponents. Of course, they do it in designer suits not fatigues.

Over nearly a quarter of a century, the TPLF has reverted a highly sophisticated civil society into a Hobbesian state of nature. In the Hobbesian state of nature the TPLF absolute dictators have created, they live beset by constant fear of uprisings, rebellions, insurrections and revolts. They live in a state of primal indeterminate fear of the known known, known unknown, the unknown known and the unknown unknown.

The TPLF’s primal fear is CHANGE.

Change means the TPLF will lose powers and privileges it accumulated over the past 24 years. They fear change because change means, well, who knows?

Change is inevitable. It is the only constant in the universe. Change will come whether it is a known known, a known unknown, an unknown known or unknown unknown.

Because the TPLF leaders have little insight and foresight, they fear not only the present but also the future.

Ignorance breeds fear. Fear demands endless security. How does one deal with an indeterminate and objectless fear, a primal fear of the known known, the known unknown…?

So the TPLF is condemned to face a formless FEAR. Indeed, they try to find form for it. It is Ginbot 7. It is Andinet Party. It is Blue Party, Arena Party…. It is terrorism. It is the Ethiopian Diaspora, the “extreme” Diaspora, of course.

The TPLF never fails to raise the specter of civil war and anarchy in Ethiopia without it at the helm of power. They want to scare the people with the ghost of a civil war to come. That bunk sounds like the fox pleading to guard the chicken coop so that he can give the chickens “tender loving care”.

In the “Arab Spring” people lost their fears and confronted the dictators. It did not happen overnight. It fermented and brewed for decades. The Arab dictators ruled with an iron fist for decades. The wrath of the people in the end engulfed the dictators in a flash. It took days to get rid of Ali in Tunisia; a couple of weeks to dump Mubarak; a few months to get rid of Gadhafi; and five years, and still going strong, to sweep up and dump al-Assad in Syria onto the dunghill of history. These dictators cast a long shadow of evil for decades. In the end, the shadow of their own evil cast them out of power.

History has condemned the TPLF to primal FEAR. The wall of fear The TPLF built is falling brick by brick. Those falling bricks are forming a wall of fear for the TPLF to hide behind. But there is no wall that can withstand the tsunami of the people’s wrath.

Even the boldest criminal who has evaded justice looks over his shoulder. That is because he knows what he has done. He is spooked at the sight of a uniform. Is that the police coming after him? He becomes paranoid seeing people taking under their breaths. Are they talking about him? He sees a police car with flashing lights and panics. Are they coming to get him? The TPLF gangsters are always looking over their shoulders.

My final verdict on the fear enveloping the TPLF is a simple one. The Holy Grail for the TPLF leaders is something few would be able to predict. It is not money they want. They have too much of it. They have all the power they want. They don’t want fame. The one thing they want, but will never get, is the simple opportunity to walk and talk among the people and get their respect.

I don’t know for a fact if the TPLF leaders, members and their lackeys are living “in fear”. But I know for a fact the people are gaining courage day by day. I know for a fact the TPLF is sinking deeper into the abyss of fear it created for the people of Ethiopia. The people are rising. The TPLF is going down.

The TPLF has two choices.

They can choose the path of Nelson Mandela, “The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” The TPLF can conquer its fear by making peace with its real and perceived adversaries.

The alternative is to remain in a sandcastle behind a wall of fear afraid of fear itself. As Franklin Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself–nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”

Such is the choice of the TPLF!

What about the thuglection of May 24, 2015?

I think the TPLF will show the rest of the Africa how an election is won. That scoundrel Omar al-Bashir of the Sudan a couple of weeks ago announced he won his election by a mere 94.01 percent. That’s nothing!

Five years ago, after the TPLF won by 99.6 per cent, Meles said,

We understand that there are people who have not voted for us. I would like to confirm to those who did not vote for us that we will work hard to look into your reasons for not voting for us with the view to learning from them and correcting any shortcomings on our part. We will work day and night to obtain your support in the next election.

So the real issue, the battle for votes, in the May 2015 election is to win over those voters who did not vote for the TPLF in 2010, each and every one of the four-tenths of one percent to make it a perfect 100 percent “win” in 2015. Al Bashir, eat your heart out!

In May 25, the TPLF leaders will come out and tell us, “We were so doggone scared of losing the election, we busted our tails. We won by 100 percent!

CONGRATULATIONS, TPLF ON YOUR VICTORY. I want everyone to know that I was the first to congratulate the TPLF on its crushing victory!

When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson.

Fear the PEOPLE! Fear the TRUTH!