ERITREA: The Modern Day Carpetbaggers and Scalawags-Part 2

Carpetbaggers and Scalwags collage 2It is summer… and that means the western carpetbaggers and the Eritrean scalawags in their employ will be out once again, trying to intimidate and harass the Eritrean people, try to dissuade them from visiting their beloved country. They will produce “articles” and “research” to undermine the self-reliant government and people and their miraculous achievements against all odds, and insult Eritreans who celebrate with them. It is a ritual that the Eritrean people, especially those living in the Diaspora have become accustomed to. The anti-Eritrea agitations start around independence in May and reach a crescendo on or around September 18. They have become boringly predictable and their self-serving messages, nauseating.

These scalawags burn the midnight oil churning out letters and making calls to venues, threatening them if they didn’t cancel the Eritrean Community Festival and other events. The NED sponsored groups have gone as far as labeling the Eritrean Communities as being “supporters of terrorism”, of being anti-Christian etc. as they attempt to convince venue operators to deny them service. The Eritrean Diaspora have a track record for being honest, hardworking and resilient. Eritrean Festivals and events around the globe have always been peaceful and successful and many Eritrean Diaspora communities have established a 40-year old relationship with hotels and other Festival venues that have hosted their events in the past. These childish and cheap attempts to disrupt Eritrean Festivals and other celebrations are a sign of desperation and reflect the lack of moral fortitude in their anti-Eritrea campaigns…for some it is a reflection of their sorry upbringing (ata’ababiya zibedelom).

Realizing their intimidations and harassment of venue and service providers was not achieving the results that they sought, they have now resorted to insulting the festival goers, beating helpless old men and women and other shameful attacks. When Eritreans in the thousands descended on the quaint town of Bologna to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Eritrean Festivals there, the anti-Eritrea elements accused them of “celebrating and dancing”. Today, Araya Debessay joins the naysayers and echoes the same sentiments in his “Open Letter”. He takes cheap pot shots at the many Eritrean academics and scholars that are providing their expertise and knowledge, by returning to Eritrea and providing service to their beloved people-something he can’t do, and seems to have issues with:

“…Eritreans in the Diaspora parading with joy expressing their support to the government at government sponsored events and festivals in various countries of the world…”

The good professor must know that there are even more Eritreans living in Eritrea who are seen on Eritrean television “parading with joy expressing their support to the government”. Only someone blinded by hate and denial could miss the millions during the many national events who celebrating on the streets of Asmara and other cities. Only his ilk- “like minded academics & intellectuals”- could have missed the extraordinary performances at the 6th Youth Festival in Sawa in which thousands celebrated with their leadership and friends who came from all over the world. The people are not hiding in their homes, they are openly celebrating in cities and towns across Eritrea. The Diaspora Eritrean Communities who are very much conscious of what they are doing, and why they choose to celebrate in grand style, year after year, the impressive developments in their beloved country of origin, do not need advise from those who have no relations with Eritrea and its people-from those who do not represent them or their compatriots back home.

Those of us who remember Araya Debessay during the Eritrean struggle for independence remember him, not as a scholar or an intellectual, but as the man who jumped to the dance floor as soon as the music started. What was going thru his mind then, how did he dance then when the Eritrean people were still under the ruthless genocidal Ethiopian Derg regime? From what this author knows first-hand, he has also not given up dancing at weddings and other events hosted by the so-called opposition, yet he takes issue with Eritreans celebrating their cultures and traditions and celebrating their nation at Festivals and other Community events. As for the Eritrean Festivals, they are a hell of a lot more than just song and dance, they are about unity and perseverance of the Eritrean people, they are about traditions and history and most of all, they are about educating and preserving Eritrean culture and passing it on to future generations of Eritreans. Those who deny their culture and history are doomed to perish…

Long before Eritrea became independent and when it looked like the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front was winning the war for independence, some external forces set out to have a presence in Eritrea. One way of assuring that presence was through the many “missionaries”, “NGOs”, religious and aid groups (usually tied to one of the established churches) in Eritrea. But there were also those who posed as tourists, journalists, researchers etc. searching and recruiting nationals who would play the role of the scalawags. Lessons learned from the plight of the newly independent African states served as a good lesson for the newly independent State of Eritrea. There was another group, longtime residents of Eritrea, mostly Ethiopians, whose true colors were exposed during the 1998-2000 Eritrea Ethiopia border conflict. So the potential carpetbaggers and scalawags in Eritrea were easy to identify.

For Eritreans, both in the country and in the Diaspora, the potential “scalawags”, the opportunists, were always known. Obsessed with self-aggrandizement, seeking notoriety and presenting themselves as better than others, these opportunists stuck out like a sore thumb, so when they pounced in 2000, with their gutter politics bag of hate in hand, they were summarily rejected.

A key component-the “African Faces”, whose minds remain colonized –help drive the western economic and political agendas in African states. In the case of Eritrea, there are the self-professed “academics, intellectuals and professionals”, led by Bereket Habte Selassie[1] and Paulos Tesfagiorgis served as scalawags for the carpetbaggers during the struggle for Eritrea’s independence and in post-independence Eritrea. Fortunately, the opportunist tendencies of the Eritrean scalawags were known to the majority of Eritreans, thus making their illicit agendas Dead on Arrival (DoA). These two scalawags played a key role in recruiting and organizing the Eritrean Quislings League:

“…an alliance of jilted and scorned individuals, of like-minded defeatists, self-serving defectors, deserters and draft dodgers, disgruntled runaway diplomats, pedophiles, rapists, deceitful counterfeiters, information launderers and an assortment of shameless scandalous opportunists disguised as “journalists”,  “human rights” and “democracy” activists, pawns who serve as runners for western fundamentalist Christian cartels and Western agencies and NGOs, self-professed “intellectuals and professionals”, and pseudo-intellectuals who call for academic freedom while engaging in academic dishonesty, a loathsome miscreant mercenary Eritrean elite who have spent the last 14 years slavishly parroting prepared anti-Eritrea propaganda, in exchange for pitiful stipends…”

Judging from the declassified records and information available on the National Endowment for Democracy and other sites, it is obvious that these two were recruited long before Eritrea’s independence and the Eritrea Ethiopia “border conflict” which was escalated into an all-out war of aggression and invasion of Eritrea, provided the opportunity for the modern day carpetbaggers and scalawags, to launch their coordinated campaigns against the state of Eritrea and its people.

It should be recalled that when the Emperor Haile Selassie’s regime was overthrown and the military dictatorship of Menghistu Hailemariam took over Ethiopia, Bereket Habte Selassie said that he had “resigned” form his job at the World Bank and was returning to Ethiopia. In the early 70s, when Eritrean students in North America and around the world were leaving the comforts of their homes to join their comrades in arms in Eritrea, who were struggling for Eritrea’s independence, Bereket Habte Selassie went instead to Ethiopia. He said then that he was responding to “yenat ager tiri”-the call of the motherland. He left his job at the World Bank and returned to Ethiopia where he served as Co-Chairman of the Inquiry Commission.

The purpose of the Commission was to investigate alleged corruption and breach of responsibilities by officials in Emperor Haile Selassie’s regime in the aftermath of the Ethiopian famines. While the record shows that he was appointed by the Ethiopian parliament, in absentia, to serve in the newly established Inquiry Commission, he says the late General Aman Andom prodded him to return to Ethiopia and serve the Derg regime. Let us see what the US government 10 July 1974 cable[2] says about that issue:

“…MEDIA JULY 10 ANNOUNCED THAT PARLIAMENT, BODYGUARDS, POLICE AND TERRITIRALS HAVE SELECTED THEIR REPRESENTATIVES ON THE COM- MISSION OF INQUIRY WHICH IS TO INVESTIGATE CHARGES AGAINST MEMBERS OF THE FORMER CABINET AND PERSONS BEING TAKEN INTO CUSTODY PER REF A AND PREVIOUS, AS FOLLOWS: PARLIAMENT: PROF. MESFIN WOLDEMARIAM, MEWAEL MEBRAHTU, BEREKETE-AB HABTE-SELASSIE, ASSEFA LIBEN, JEHAD ABA QUOYAS, AND ZENEBE HAILE; POLICE: LT. COL. NEGASH WOLDE MIKAEL; IBG: MAJ. ALEMAYEHU SEYOUM; TA: CAPT. SELAME HIRUY…”

According to the cables, Bereket Habte Selassie was not keen on having Professor Mesfin Woldemariam on the Commission.

There are many questions that remain unanswered to date and may have been buried with General Aman Andom, but recently released US government cables may shed some light on Bereket Habte Selassie. Of particular interest to this author is how closely the US State Department monitored his activities and how they seemed to know more about his movements in Ethiopia and Eritrea.

A 23 July 1974 cable[3] is about a 19 July that Bereket Habte Selassie had with Assistant Secretary Donald B. Easum. According to the cable:

“….BEREKET-AB STATED THAT HE HAD REQUESTED APPOINTMENT TO DISCUSS U.S. ETHIOPIAN RELATIONS AND INFORMALLY SHARE IDEAS. HE SAID HE WAS EXTREMELY RELUCTANT TO ACCEPT THIS NEW TASK FOR FAMILY REASONS AND BECAUSE HE GREATLY ENJOYED HIS CURRENT POSITION WITH THE WORLD BANK. NEVERTHELESS, HE HAS RESIGNED FROM THE BANK EFFECTIVE AUGUST 30 AND WILL RETURN TO ETHIOPIA DURING THE WEEK OF JULY 28. BANK OFFICIALS HAD GIVEN BEREKET-AB OPTION OF LEAVE OF ABSENCE BUT HE RESIGNED SINCE COMMISSION LIKELY TO INVESTIGATE CORRUPTION CONNECTED WITH WORLD BANK LOANS AND HE WISHED TO PRECLUDE ANY POSSIBLE CONFLICT OF INTEREST. BANK PRESIDENT MCNAMARA KINDLY TOLD HIM, HE SAID, THAT HE MAY RETURN TO BANK AT ANY FUTURE TIME. BEREKET-AB’S FAMILY WILL REMAIN IN U.S… BEREKET-AB FULLY CONSCIOUS OF DIFFICULT BUT RESPONSIBLE ROLE HE WILL PLAY UPON RETURN TO ETHIOPIA…”

Difficult but responsible role? Wonder if all Worl Bank employees are accorded this kind of treatment. What was Bereket Habte Selassie’s assignment in Ethiopia-more importantly, who assigned him that role?

It should be recalled that the Commission led by Bereket Habte Selassie resulted in the death of 60 prominent members of the Ethiopian government. According to the cable[4] that contained their names:

“…60 EXECUTED DETAINEES PLACED IN FOLLOWING FOUR CATEGORIES: (A) FORMER GOVERNMENT LEADERS GUILTY OF “INJUSTICES,” “DIVIDING PEOPLE ON TRIBAL AND RELIGIOUS LINES,” “FORGETTING THEIR RESPONSIBILITY AT TIME OF FAMINE,” “FOR DISTURBING PUBLIC SECURITY,” ECT.? (B) HIGH MILITARY PERSONNEL OF ARMED FORCES AND POLICE; (C) THOSE WHO FOUND GUILTY OF TRYING TO DIVIDE MILITARY AND DISTURB “SMOOTH STRUGGLE OF PRESENT MOVEMENT AND IMPOSE BLOODSHED;” AND (D) MEMBERS OF PMAC “WHO TRIED TO IMPOSE BLOODSHED…”

The killings of the 60 prominent Ethiopians including the Emperor’s grandson was followed by the killing of Aman Andom, supposedly a close friend of His. How did Bereket Habte Selassie manage to get away and make his way to Eritrea? If he was a private citizen, why did he feel compelled to contact the US State Department? This is what a 25 November 1974 cable[5] says about his whereabouts:

“…DOCTOR BEREKET-AB HABTE SELASSIE, FORMER BANK STAFF MEMBER, WAS PLAYING SENSITIVE ROLE AS INTERMEDIARY BETWEEN MILITARY COUNCIL AND GENERAL AMAN UNTIL THE LATTER’S DEATH ON SATURDAY. HE WAS AMAN’S CLOSE FRIEND AND ADVISER. HE NOW IS CONCERNED FOR HIS OWN SAFETY AND HIS FAMILY’S FUTURE. HIS WIFE AND CHILDREN ARE STILL IN WASHINGTON. HE MAY WISH TO COMMUNICATE SECRETLY WITH BANK BY TELEX VIA MY OFFICE. WE WILL REFER TO HIM BY CODE NAME “FINSAAS” TO PERMIT COMMUNICATION IN CLEAR…”

FINSAAS…nice… rhymes with feshfash!

There ae still many unanswered questions about Bereket Habte Selassie and his “work” on the Ethiopian Inquiry Commission. But as soon as the executions were done, the man was ready to get out and once again, FINSAAS contacted his handlers to notify them of his plans, The 24 December 1974 cable, “WHEREABOUTS OF DR. BEREKETE-AB HABTE-SELASSIE”[6] says:

“…HIGH IBRD OFFICIAL TOLD DEPT THAT SHORTLY AFTER NOVEMBER 23 EXECUTIONS, IBRD PRESIDENT MCNAMARA HAD PERSONALLY SENT CONFIDENTIAL MESSAGE TO DR. BEREKETE-AB ADVISING HIM THAT HE WAS WELCOME BACK AT THE BANK AT ANY TIME. WHEN IBRD ADDIS ABABA RESREP MALONE PASSED MESSAGE TO BEREKETE ON NOVEMBER 29, BEREKETE INDICATED INTEREST IN RETURNING TO WASHINGTON. HE SAID HE WAS GOING OUT OF TOWN FOR WEEKEND AND WOULD CONTACT MALONE WHEN HE RETURNED. MALONE HAS NOT HEARD FROM HIM SINCE, NOR HAVE IBRD OFFICIALS IN WASHINGTON…”

So let’s see what else they had to say about FINSAAS. A 17 February 1975 cable[7] had the following:

“…SOURCE REPORTS THAT DR. BEREKET AB IS NOW IN KASSALA AND PLANS TO RETURN TO US. ACCORDING TO SOURCE DR. BEREKET AB HAS TAKEN MANY PICTURES OF ERITREAN SCENE IN PAST MONTH. SOURCE’S SISTER FLED ASMARA WITH DR. BEREKET AB IN LATE DECEMBER…”

Wonder what he intended to do with those pictures? What information was he providing about the Eritrean liberation movement? For some reason, there are still some cables that mention Bereket Habte Selassie that have not been declassified…but that does not mean they are not accessible. The author will share them as they come….

Thousands of Eritreans were displaced from their homes and villages during the 30-year struggle for independence, many were tortured and killed. Yet the World Bank and the State Department, their interests at stake, were compelled to track the whereabouts and safety of Bereket Habte Selassie and his family. It seemed the family was familiar with US officials and even included them in their family decision making. Why would this family seek external intervention in a family matter? As this cable[8] shows, his brother reached out to US officials to pressure Bereket’s wife:

“…ELIAS HABTE SELASSIE, BROTHER OF BEREKET-AB HABTE-SELASSIE, TOLD EMBOFF MARCH 30 THAT BEREKET’S WIFE WAS APPARENTLY AGAIN PLANNING TO RETURN TO ETHIOPIA (SEE REFTELS). REPORTEDLY, SHE TELEPHONED HER BROTHER HERE DURING THE WEEK OF MARCH 23, STATED THAT SHE WAS NOT MAKING ENOUGH MONEY TO SURVIVE AND PLANNED TO RETURN TO ADDIS WITHIN THE NEXT TWO WEEKS. BROTHER STRONGLY ADVISED HER TO STAY IN THE US AND PREDICTED THE ARREST OF HERSELF AND HER CHILDREN IF SHE RETURNED…YOU SHOULD CONTACT BEREKET’S WIFE IMMEDIATELY AND EXPLAIN ONCE AGAIN THE GRAVE RISKS SHE WOULD BE TAKING FOR HERSELF AND HER CHILDREN IF SHE RETURNED TO ETHIOPIA AT THIS TIME… ELIAS SAID THAT HIS MOTHER WAS WELL AND LIVING IN ASMARA…”

As long as they were letting us know of the others, how about Elias, the brother? Did they also know where and what he was up to? Of course they did. The 11 November 1975 cable entitled “FLIGHT OF ELIAS HABTE-SELASSIE” says:

“…A RELIABLE SOURCE HAS INFORMED EMBOFF THAT ELIAS HABTE- SELASSIE, AN ERITREAN WHO WAS FORMERLY A LEGAL ADVISOR ON LAND REFORM AND AN EMPLOYEE OF AWASH VALLEY AUTHORITY, FLED TO NAIROBI SEVERAL MONTHS AGO. ELIAS IS ALSO THE YOUNGER BROTHER OF FORMER WORLD BANK EMPLOYEE BEREKET-AB HABTE SELASSIE WHO IS CURRENTLY A RANKING PLF OFFICIAL. SOURCE UNDERSTANDS THAT ELIAS IS COMING TO THE UNITED STATES AND MAY BE IN NEW YORK NOW. FOREGOING SUBMITTED FYI AS ELIAS COULD TRY CONTACT DEPOFFS…”

Araya Debessay, in trying to explain the Berlin 13 and the “secret meeting” in Berlin, mentioned a meeting in Nairobi, but his name meant nothing to us back then. Here is what the good professor wrote:

“…The reason the meeting was held in Berlin was because it was logistically convenient particularly since the headquarters of the foundation that funded the meeting is located in Berlin. There should be no cause for cynicism about the foundation or the venue. By the way, the foundation that funded the meeting, the Heinrich Boel Foundation, has previously funded similar meetings of Eritrean scholars, journalists, women, including one such meeting as recently as last December in Nairobi…”

As someone who has attended and participated in over 100 Eritrean Mekete meetings around the world, attended over 20 Y-PFDJ Conferences in Europe and in North America, participated in several conferences and events in Eritrea, all organized and paid for by Eritreans themselves, this author is perplexed as to why these obviously well-paid “academics and intellectuals” need handouts from western institutions such as HBF, who are there to promote the interests of their own nations, to fund meetings in which they claim to be discussing urgent matters relating to Eritrea. Or is it because their colonized minds prevent them from doing anything without the blessing of the west and its carpetbaggers…

It was learnt later that it was Elias Habte Selassie that organized the meetings in Nairobi. What was the urgency of having such meetings during the Eritrea Ethiopia border conflict in 1999, when the Eritrean people were fighting for their lives and their nations’ sovereignty? Who were the “journalists, scholars and women who attended that meeting? What was the outcome of that meeting? What was the relationship between those who participated in that Nairobi tete-a-tete, the Berlin 13 and the G-15? More importantly, what is the Heinrich Boel Foundation, it’s agenda, its relationship to the tentacle organizations that have funded various groups and individuals in the Eritrean political sphere? According to their site:

“…The Heinrich Böll Foundation (HBF; German: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftunge.V., HBS) is a German, legally independent political foundation. Affiliated with the German Green Party, it was originally founded in 1987 and rebuilt in 1997…”

That is what they say.

Let us take a look at what Tony Cartalucci, an investigative reporter says about HBF and its activities around the world:

“…HBF is a shameless promoter of supranational governance, pushing the verified fraud that is the “climate change agenda,” and even helped Soros’ Global Voices in networking and training Arab bloggers in 2009 to prepare them for the upcoming “Arab Spring”…HBF’s 32 page 2009 annual report is a globalist progress report that includes funding and supporting fake progressive-liberal projects and outright worldwide sedition… IMS literally trains foreigners to report the news according to Western standards & values, or in other words, according to the Western narrative. It is not surprising to see IMS active in every nation the US State Department is feverishly attempting to create unrest via its National Endowment for Democracy and Freedom House organizations, including Belarus, China, Iran, Ukraine, and across the Middle East…”

Cow towing to narratives on their “proper” roles in society (as defined by western scholarship), afraid to be branded as “EPLF groupies” and “arcadians”, some self-professed “academicians, intellectuals and professionals” have been reluctant to add their voice to what they have been told is the “EPLF’s version” of history. The silencing of Eritrea’s educated elite in the West was the most transparent and effective. It began immediately after independence with this from Patrick Gilkes, the British advisor to the regime in Ethiopia wrote the following in 1991:

“…Much, indeed, of the writing on Eritrea has been at the level of the polemic or a product of the ‘guerilla groupie’…A surprising number of eminent scholars and journalists have taken the leading Eritrean movement, the EPLF, at its own evaluation, and its historical claims as fact…The results have impoverished the literature on Eritrea and have created a distorted national mythology…”

So the Eritrean intellectuals, fearing isolation from their cozy coterie of anthropologists and historians, “peers” in western academia, have relinquished their right to write Eritrea’s history and define their nation, have essentially deferred that right to western anthropologists and historians who have an interest in its variation. In the first few years of Eritrea’s independence, they were bubbling with pride as the western media showered praises on Eritrea and its leadership. Today, they are falling all over themselves and their credentials to distance themselves from the Eritrea and its leadership.

The scalawags remained silent as Eritrea’s cultures, history, traditions, and especially the role of the EPLF in Eritrea’s liberation from the clutches of colonialism were being undermined and vilified. It was after all, their history too. In any case, their irrelevancy long assured, Eritrea’s illustrious history has been meticulously documented in timeless books, songs, dramas, poetry etc. by those who carried multiple arms on their shoulders-and volumes in their hearts and minds. Anyway, it is their loss…as there are thousands that will ensure that Eritrean history, in all its brilliance, will be passed on for generations to come.

It has been close to 14 years since the end of the Eritrea Ethiopia border conflict and the signing of the Algiers Agreements, and 12 years since the Eritrea Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC) delivered its final and binding delimitation decision which unequivocally awarded Badme, the casus belli for the Eritrea Ethiopia border conflict, to Eritrea. The anti-Eritrea campaigns have been going on for just that long. What happened in 1998-2000 that would make the scalawags and carpetbaggers change their tune on Eritrea? What were they saying about Eritrea back then?

For those who followed Eritrea’s development since independence know that until the 1998-2000 border conflict with Ethiopia, the carpetbaggers had nothing but praise for the Eritrean people and their leadership. When the war did not give Ethiopia the win that US led international community had hoped would, as they had provided the minority regime with diplomatic (shield and support) economic (food aid and budget subsidies), military (arms and intelligence) and political (including media cover), they resorted to blackmailing & threatening Eritrea using various pre-texts. Here are some of the comments made by the carpetbaggers and their surrogates back then:

The Wall Street Journal, 31 May 1994

“…Postwar Promise: Africa’s Newest Nation, Little Eritrea Emerges As Oasis of Civility. Eritrea is Africa’s newest nation: …has become an unlikely oasis of peace and civility … Secretary of State Warren Christopher calls Eritrea…a beacon of hope astride the Horn of Africa…..Perhaps even more astonishing, Eritrea is beginning to develop without the corruption so common else where on the continent. Nobody to Bribe ‘You can’t find anyone to bribe here,’ …That makes one U.S. aid official wistful. Of more than 20 countries he has worked in, he says, ‘Eritrea: is the one where you feel comfortable that every nickel you put into the place is going to be used properly….’They’re on a takeoff here,’ he says. ‘All they need is a little wind.’…”

Financial Times, 18 January 1996:

“…Proud, principled and impoverished, Eritrea is virtually without peer in Africa as it pursues its own model of development and vision of democracy. And when Eritrea’s army won its war for independence, demobilized fighters handed in their weapons. Weapons were not sold to criminals, or stashed in expectation of further political conflict, as happened in southern Africa. The foreign investor trying to clinch a deal in Eritrea may experience many things, but the knowing wink and outstretched palm common to so many African encounters are unlikely to be among them. Irritation? Maybe. Exasperation? Possibly. But corruption? Almost never….’They have created a climate where if a businessman tried to pay a bribe, he wouldn’t be able to do business,’ says Mr. Robert Houdek, the US Ambassador. ‘They know what an asset they have in establishing a reputation for cleanliness and they’re going to work hard to maintain it.’… Given Eritrea’s grim legacy, its challenges are formidable. But thirty years ago most observers doubted that Eritrea would even win its war for independence. Who is to say that Eritrea will not again surprise the world as it seeks to liberate itself from poverty…”

Washington Times, 14 September 1996:

“…Though one of the world’s poorest nations, with an annual per capita income of $150, Eritrea is being seen as a model for the regeneration of a whole continent. So many African countries are struggling to recover from ruinous onflicts-Mozambique, Angola, Sera Leone-yet few exhibit Eritrea’s enthusiasm. “We have all seen so much waste and loss in Africa,” says Glenn Anders of U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the development agency of the U.S. government that has made Eritrea its biggest per capita aid recipient on the continent.” This country could be one of the biggest success stories. The nationals’ sense of purpose, the discipline of its people, the hard work, which is evident in the countryside, gives us cause for hope. The government has also been financially responsible in the use of its resources…”

The Globe and Mail 26 April 1997:

“…While many Africans are asking themselves what went wrong over the last three decades, Eritreans are embracing the future. While ethnic and religious conflicts make many African nation-states fragile, Eritreans are nationalistic and cohesive to a fault. While almost every African country depends on foreign aid, Eritrea in some cases refuses it. Now, four years after becoming independent, Eritreans are bringing to government the same confident, do-it themselves approach that helped them win the war. Government officials many of whom are former fighters now talk about the need to achieve “real freedom.” They don’t want to be slaves to any foreign donor country. They want economic self-sufficiency and they want to do it their way and with their own blood and sweat…”

Africa Today May-June 1997:

“…Eritrea, Africa’s youngest country, is embarking on a campaign to abolish food aid and stand on its own feet four years after its independence from Ethiopia. From the ruins of war, which cost more than 250, 000 lives (on the Eritrean side alone), the Eritreans are transforming their new nation into a country that works…”

Los Angeles Times, 27 April 1998:

“…As the program converts warriors into workers, it also addresses a major global challenge of the 1990s: With the end of the Cold War and several little hot conflicts, oversized, big-budget armies are being downsized or demobilized. And governments from Maputo to Moscow are scrambling to figure out what to do with the soldiers. Little Eritrea, about the size of Pennsylvania and with 3.6 million people, has proved to be a  model–especially compared with highly publicized efforts in Cambodia and Angola, where the United Nations spent millions to restore peace and sent thousands of troops to keep it. Both efforts eventually imploded… Eritrea’s success is all the more striking because the new government fended for itself for the most part–and succeeded. Last year, it completed the phased demobilization of about 60,000 of 95,000 troops. The only outside funding came for retraining–and then only in small amounts. ‘The Eritreans bring a lot of positive things to the nation-building experience, including a strong sense of self-reliance,’ said Gregory Craig, a senior U.S. State Department official. The odds were against success on many fronts: Ethnically, Eritrea has nine groups roughly split between Christian and Muslim–a formula for disaster from Africa to Eastern Europe, the Middle East to South Asia. Politically, Eritrea–the biblical land of Punt, later the Aksum kingdom and, over the past century, an Italian colony and an Ethiopian province–had to start from scratch…”

Toronto Sun, December 27, 1998:

“… In Africa, a continent racked with wars, revolutions and repression and increasingly regarded as an economic and social basket case, there is one country that is reversing the trend and today is the democratic hope of the continent. It is Eritrea, the newest African state and UN member, about the size of England (or Florida) with a population roughly that of Toronto (3.5 million), situated on the Red Sea, above the Horn of Africa, bordered by Sudan, Ethiopia and Djibouti. …Since it won independence at a cost of some 250,000 lives, Eritrea has confounded experts and reversed a trend in Africa that has been depressingly and persistently gloomy since the first country (Ghana) achieved independence from British colonial rule in 1956. As one who has reported from a score of African countries over the past 40 years, I’ve no hesitation saying that Eritrea is unlike anything I’ve encountered in Africa. After his first visit to the capital of Asmara, journalist Frans van der Houdt, with 14 years of covering Africa for a Dutch news agency, remarked: ‘I’d just about given up on Africa as hopeless, until seeing this country. Now I have renewed hope.’ Eritrea has no political prisoners (itself an oddity), there is no corruption in high places, no government limousines, bribery is unknown, and all the ‘leaders’ live modestly — some without pay. Eritrea refuses to accept unlimited foreign aid, which it feels is corrupting; …Religious aid is accepted only if it’s secular…”

Merrill Findlay,in her 1989 article “Eritrea: the miracle” wrote:

“…Take one small strategically placed former Italian colony, deny its four million people education, health care and their right, under international law, to self-determination; give it no military assistance but let both East and West supply its adversary with military and/or economic aid; bombard it, attempt to starve it, degrade and deforest it – and what do you have?…Against all odds, you have one of the world’s most remarkable social transformations being effected by arguably the world’s most sophisticated liberation movement, the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front…”

Robert Houdek, the U.S. ambassador in Asmara. (1995)-now working closely with the scalawags:

“…This is the cleanest government by far I have ever had the pleasure of being associated with anywhere. I haven’t heard of one piece of corruption…”

U.S. consul to Eritrea, Joseph O’Neill:

“…the Referendum Commission schooled everyone so well in the democratic process that it would be difficult for anyone to hold fraudulent elections in the future…”

US diplomat Mark Baas:

“…The birth of the State of Eritrea was not a miracle but rather the product of “wisdom and foresight” by patriots who abided by a transition process that led to a non-violent process of Eritrea’s independence…”

Herbert M’Cleod, representative of the UNDP:

“…There is a big difference here compared with the rest of Africa…”

Considering the individuals who make up the government of Eritrea have not changed-why such hostility and relentless, unprecedented, unprovoked orchestrated campaign of defamation and vilification-the kind that has been witnessed in the last 14 years? What gives? Who is behind them and why?

The scalawags and the carpetbaggers (their handlers) have gone to great lengths in a futile 14 year campaign, to provide the public with a new “narrative” on Eritrea. Whilst the western public may have been swayed in its opinion of Eritrea, its leadership and people, they have had very little if any influence the people that matter- the conscious, patriotic and united people of Eritrea around the world. They may have spent millions churning out ‘research’ papers (over 50) on the Eritrean Diaspora, but have not been able to win its heart and mind. On the contrary, they have contributed to the Eritrean people’s understanding of world politics, realpolitik and its nuances, diplomacy and the impotent UN and its tentacle organizations etc. etc.

The Eritrean people had no qualms with the new fad, the founding of the many funded Eritrean “human rights” and “democracy” groups and organizations that mushroomed in cyberspace since 2000.  The Tigrinya saying, “miblae mibl’u, zib’e adina yiblaayo”-loosely translated as- if it is for the eating, let our own hyenas eat-applied. As long as their activities didn’t infringe on the rights of all the other Eritreans in the Diaspora, but most importantly as long as they did not infringe on the rights of the Eritrean people to development, peace and security, they could set up as many NGOs as they pleased.

But today, these eating hyenas have not only gone crazy in their anti-Eritrea activities, some (the 2% activists) even openly working with the minority regime in Ethiopia in its campaign against the Eritrean Diaspora, there are others who are running projects funded by Ethiopia against the State of Eritrea and its people. The hyenas have turned on the people of Eritrea. NED CollageThe people of Eritrea are now saying enough! Enough of the idiocy and contempt. Eritreans are not intellectually deprived and know what is best for their own country and people.

These scalawags are using the suffering of their sons and daughters (Eritrean youth), human trafficking victims, in the Sahara desert, Ethiopia, Sinai, Lampedusa, Israel etc. in their anti-Eritrea campaigns. The havoc and pain they have caused will not be easily forgotten or forgiven and they will answer for their role in the trafficking and dispersing of Eritrea’s youth. The magnanimous and conscious people of Eritrea can differentiate between their true friends and enemies, between those who are working in defense of the nation’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and those who are working to undermine both. As they have in the past, they also know the role of the “intellectual and scholar” in the political life of their beloved nation and recognize the true scholars and intellectuals, from those who possess a “western education”, but whose minds remain colonized.

Judging from the activities of the scalawags and the carpetbaggers- western “anthropologists”, “humanitarian NGOs”, the NED sponsored organizations such as Freedom House and the western media organizations such as Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and individuals who presented themselves as “longtime friends of Eritrea”-it is not hard for any Eritrean to decipher their true agendas. A look at that in the next segment…

In the next segment of Eritrea: The Carpetbaggers and the Scalawags Part 3, the author will look at the individuals and groups that constitute the carpetbaggers, and how they sought to undermine Eritrea’s economic, social and political development…and their surrogates in the Eritrean Quislings League, the scalawags, who were always  not far behind…ready to do their bidding…ready to serve as the “Eritrean faces”, ready to serve as minesweepers in the psychological war against Eritrea and her people.

Part 3 will take a closer look at these and other individuals (who serve as carpetbaggers) and their relationship with Eritrea and the EQL:

Tricia Redeker Hepner- Amnesty International-self professed expert on Eritrea

Dan Connell- Grassroots international and Freedom House-presents himself as a friend of Eritrea

Frank Smyth-Committee for the protection of Journalists (CPJ)

David Bozzini-self professed expert on Eritrea

Victoria Bernal-self professed expert on Eritrea

Maryan Van Reisen-European External Policy Advisors (EEPA)-self professed expert on Eritrea

[1] http://horn-africa.blogspot.com/2011/10/bereket-habte-selassie-head-of-eritreas.html

[2] https://search.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1974ADDIS08028_b.html accessed 05/22/2014

[3] https://search.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1974STATE159026_b.html accessed 05/22/2014

[4] https://search.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1974ADDIS13968_b.html accessed 05/22/2014

[5] https://search.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1974ADDIS14029_b.html accessed 05/22/2014

[6] https://search.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1974STATE280280_b.html accessed 05/22/2014

[7] https://search.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1975ASMARA00216_b.html accessed 05/22/5014

[8] https://search.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/1975ADDIS03751_b.html accessed 05/22/2014

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