ERITREA: The Modern Day Carpetbaggers and Scalawags-Final

On 5-7 September 2014 Jay Faber’s Counterpunch article, “Imperial Civil Society, False Fronts for Wall Street”, Jaber writes about “compromised NGOs” such as Avaaz and Amnesty International, the foundations and other entities that fund them,  and how they have become “imperial civil society” cow towing to Wall Street, and being used to “justify privatization, austerity, and military aggression by NATO and the US”.

In his article, Jaber writes about the relationship between these international NGOs, Corporate America and the Government. The two salient points presented are:

  1. “…With corporate and government funding, often laundered through banks and foundations, international NGOs inspire pathos by constantly producing images of despair—thus allowing them to dominate discourse from an emotional vantage point. As a market-oriented institutional apparatus, this vast bureaucracy works hand in hand with military and finance authorities, thus functioning as Trojan horses on a par with transnational organized crime…As a fifth column of fascism, imperial civil society – funded by such entities as Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Ford Foundation, and Soros Open Society Institute – operates worldwide (in tandem with official false fronts like USAID, National Endowment for Democracy, and U.S. Institute for Peace) to subvert sovereignty and derail democracy in favor of US hegemony…”
  1. “…Overthrowing and destabilizing governments, using NGOs like Avaaz as provocateurs, puts authentic non-profits and journalists at risk. Indeed, the imperial network of financiers like Soros makes NGO entrepreneurs in the pro-war champagne circuit accomplices in crimes against humanity. As frontline opportunists in the psywar waged against public consciousness, these false fronts legitimate “humanitarian warfare” and “free-market environmentalism,” employed against indigenous peoples and independent states…”

So the reader might be asking what or how that has anything into do with Eritrea and in this sitting, the author will present the facts and allow the readers to make their own determinations…

The Carpetbaggers

Carpetbaggers and Scalwags collage 2The bulk of the articles, reports, books that advance the narrative on Eritrea disseminated through academia, media and policy making institutions in the United States and Europe have been generated by a handful of individuals and the “NGOs” that they are associated with. There may be others, but these are the repeat offenders…and the “wonks” who have made Eritrea their forte-lucrative one at that…and who work and collaborate with each other on the Eritrean Project…

  • Tricia Redeker Hepner– Funded by the Social Science Research Council and the Wenner-Gren Foundation began her research of Eritreans in the Philadelphia area and today, as Eritrea expert at Amnesty International has been at the forefront of the anti-Eritrea campaign. Her involvement with Eritrean politics is fishy from the get go. How is it that a young American college graduate on her very first trip to Eritrea finds herself entangled in Eritrean politics?
  • Dan Connell– Grassroots international, RootsNet and the Cape Ann Forum and Freedom House-Recipient of several grants including the MacArthur Foundation. This is the same Foundation that funds Human Rights Watch and other “NGOs”.
  • Frank Smyth-Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ)-Too numerous to list here-Annual Report[1] has details of the individuals and corporations that fund this outfit-with Dan Connell, is a staple in the Eritrean political scene
  • David Bozzini-self professed expert on Eritrea- Funded by the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, which is funded by the federal and the 16 state governments of Germany
  • Victoria Bernal– Bernal has been the recipient of grants and fellowships from Wenner-Gren, Fulbright, the Rockefeller Foundation and others
  • Maryan Van Reisen-European External Policy Advisors (EEPA)-self professed expert on Eritrea-Clients include the European Parliament, various organs of the UN, various NGOs[2] including Caritas, Human Rights Watch, Action Aid, Save the Children etc. etc. Might explain the reluctance of the UN to conduct an independent investigation into the trafficking of Eritrea’s youth. As we shall see later, Van Reisen, like her counterparts, also has an interest in prolonging the agony of asylum seekers and Eritrean migrants.
  • Jennifer Riggan-Came to Eritrea through the Peace Corps as an “English Teacher” in 1995-but now is an expert on Eritrea, and like the others “prepares affidavits and testifies on behalf of asylum seekers. Eritrea’s education system is her main target
  • Sara Dorman-Came to Eritrea as an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Asmara.  The new graduate claims “They needed a political scientist and I needed a job. It seemed like a great way to bridge the transition from student-hood to the real world”.  Today, she “studies” the behavior of Eritreans in social media and judging from the papers produced about Eritrea in the past, she will insist on painting a bleak picture of Eritrea and its leadership.
  • Kjetil Tronvoll-A Norwegian researcher with the  Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights (OCPHR) is in a new “Struggle for Freedom in Eritrea”, and has worked closely with the EQL-His papers, books and articles on Eritrea are too numerous to list here. He is also one of the first western anthropologist to enter Eritrea in 1991-to conduct “research”. An avowed anti-EPLF westerner, he insists on defining Eritrea and the needs of her people.

Those who have followed developments in Africa and especially the Horn of Africa for the last 25 years are familiar with these agencies and their “work” in Africa, but none has experienced as an aggressive campaign by groups funded by the “false fronts”, as the State of Eritrea and its people…(Zimbabawe comes close)

The carpetbaggers, dual hatted researchers, “anthropologists” by day, and “hired intellectuals” by night, have become a staple at every conference, forum, meeting, seminar, workshop etc. held about Eritrea. The many “by invitation only” conferences and presentations are made at academic institutions and forums and are never known with the Eritrean people in Eritrea or in the Diaspora. The idea is to “sensitize” the American and European public so that any actions of their governments will then become easily accepted.

Sometimes, one gets the feeling that Eritrea is a European state… as those around the table are almost always Caucasians, with the members of the Eritrean Quislings League (EQL) serving as the “Eritrean faces”. Most of the papers are placed in “academic journals” and other repositories not easily accessible to the general public, and if they were, the Eritrean public was not aware of their existence. Heck, even the Eritrean Studies Association is run by scalawags and carpetbaggers…hence its slow demise.

In “GOOD INTENTIONS-Norms and Practices of Imperial Humanitarianism”[3], Maximillion Forte and his colleagues discuss:

“…the many ways in which the new imperialism involves partitioning the world into tutors and wards, saviours and victims. Underlying the seduction of imperial elite-lore are established modes of socialization and enculturation, ranging from the elaborate and persistent demonization of chief opponents of US empire to the lionization of military actors commonly rendered as heroes…Western NGOs, and especially those in receipt of government funding and whose work abroad meets with the approval of the US and/or the EU, have been instrumental in promoting topdown solutions that strengthen “civil society” at the expense of states in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean…”

Well, Eritreans know a thing or two about “elaborate and persistent demonization of chief opponents of US”, as Eritrea has been subjected to a number of defamation and vilification campaigns coordinated by the western media and NGO networks. It was not difficult for Eritreans to see through the gimmicks and ploys (as they mimicked others-especially the regime in Ethiopia) in their band wagon campaigns (terrorism, “religious freedom”, Diaspora Tax, forced labor and now human trafficking). There was nothing creative or imaginative in their copycat campaigns. More importantly, their campaigns proved how disconnected they were from Eritrea and her people.

Eritreans in the Diaspora were introduced to the carpetbaggers and scalawags in 2001 when they organized, participated in and advanced the orchestrated campaigns against the State of Eritrea and its leadership. While Eritrean “civil society” groups were mushrooming in cyberspace, the carpetbaggers were setting the groundwork for their long term agenda against Eritrea. Silencing/co-opting of the Eritrean academics, scholars and intellectuals was the first step.

While these “research” papers were accessible to the many Eritrean academics and scholars at the various educational institutions in the United States and Europe-but for some reason-they have not been able to respond to the deluge (see below for a list of some of the published items on Eritrea). As has been stated in the past by this author, the silencing of Eritrea’s academics and scholars, to turn their backs on Eritrea and its newly established government, was the first transparent method used by Eritrea’s detractors as they set out to undermine Eritrea’s economic, social and political development.

It was a simple case of using the Peter Principle-wherein, the carpetbaggers label the Eritrean Intellectual/Scholar, and then, as if to prove that he/she is not what they say he/she is, decides to remain silent, or worse, participate in the anti-Eritrea chorus. Let us take a look at what 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…”

Judging from the literature on Eritrea that has been disseminated through academia and the media, the distortion was by design-and by silencing the Eritrean intellectual- the new narrative on Eritrea could be produced and the silence of the Eritrean academics, intellectuals and professionals was guaranteed.

So what is the purpose of writing about Eritrea and Eritreans, when there is very little input from the majority of Eritreans in Eritrea or in the Diaspora?  The carpetbaggers pretend to care more about Eritrea, or presume to know what is best for Eritrea and its people, than the Government of Eritrea and the people of Eritrea, yet very few Eritreans in the Eritrean Diaspora communities around the world have ever heard of these “researchers” or read any of the papers they have produced on Eritrea-with the exception of the scalawags in their coterie.

The author also finds it interesting that with over a million Eritreans in the Diaspora, these “researchers” rely mostly on information laundered by the NED sponsored individuals and groups or, asylum seekers and refugees, who can hardly be considered as being credible or neutral. The many articles, papers and books about Eritrea were written mostly to influence American and European public opinion.

The Scalawags

The EQL has over the years discounted the role of the CIA in Eritrea and have tried in vain to convince the Eritrean people that the cyber “struggle” is being waged on their behalf by genuinely caring individuals and groups. Prima facie evidence points to the contrary. There is very little doubt that members of the Eritrean Quislings League are groomed, financed and promoted by Ethiopia, Washington and its allies in Europe.

The 14-year long defamation and vilification of Eritrea and its leadership, the Anti-Eritrean-People-Hooligans-620P (1)coordinated media blitzes, and the many articles and reports being generated about Eritrea, her people and her government come from individuals and groups who are directly or indirectly funded and supported by the Albert Einstein Institute (AEI), the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), Amnesty International (AI), Human Rights Watch (HRW), Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ) and George Soros’ Open Society and others. So no matter what their stated agendas and covers…in the end…He who pays the piper picks the tune!

CSW adn Release EritreaEritreans are also familiar with the many petition sponsored by Avaaz, whose vast network is used to garner support. These groups who do not represent the people of Eritrea or the Eritrean Diaspora, partner with Amnesty International, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), Human Rights Watch (HRW), Avaaz and others to take advantage of their access and vast networks. The innocent individuals and groups that are signing these petitions have never even heard of Eritrea, let alone know of its leadership and the conditions of its people. These petitions and letters sent though the “networks” have been used as evidence of discontent by some governments, and agencies such as the US Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Eritreans are capable of speaking for themselves and do not need others to do their bidding…

The external “false fronts” also need internal “false fronts” and there have been many created in the last 12 years.  Let us take a look at some of the groups that mushroomed in cyberspace since the Eritrea Ethiopia border conflict (1998-2000) and at the various articles and reports produced in the bid to create “images of despair” and the desperate narratives on Eritrea. At one point there were over 50 cyber groups and organizations, and that is when the author baptized them as the Eritrean Quislings League[4], as it was becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of their alphabet soup titles and bandwagon causes. Most have since vanished, and some have transformed into the more lucrative “refugee assistance” and “asylum services” NGOs.

Arundhati Roy in her 8 September 2014 article, “The NGO-ization of Resistance”wrote the following:

“…In the long run, NGOs are accountable to their funders, not to the people they work among. They’re what botanists would call an indicator species. It’s almost as though the greater the devastation caused by neoliberalism, the greater the outbreak of NGOs. Nothing illustrates this more poignantly than the phenomenon of the U.S. preparing to invade a country and simultaneously readying NGOs to go in and clean up the devastation… They unwittingly reinforce racist stereotypes and reaffirm the achievements, the comforts and the compassion (the tough love) of Western civilization. They’re the secular missionaries of the modern world… It depoliticizes resistance. It interferes with local peoples’ movements that have traditionally been self-reliant….Real political resistance offers no such short cuts. The NGO-ization of politics threatens to turn resistance into a well-mannered, reasonable, salaried, 9-to-5 job. With a few perks thrown in. Real resistance has real consequences. And no salary…”

Here is a list of some of the groups established by the Eritrean Quislings League in the last 12 years or so. Almost all receive some kind of support from the “false fronts”:

  1. Eritrean Human Rights Advocacy Group (EHRAG)- -Awate team
  2. EHDR-UK/NECS Europe- Dawit Mesfin(Berlin 13) and Elsa Chyrum
  3. Citizens’ Initiative for the Salvation of Eritrea (CISE)-Paulos Tesgiorgis grouping
  4. Horn Peace Engagement (HOPE)-Paulos Tesfagiorgis (Recipient of multiple NED grants)
  5. Citizens for Democratic Rights in Eritrea (CDRie)-Gaim Kibreab, Petros Tesfagiorgis and others
  6. Eritreans for Justice & Democracy, Benelux (EJDB)-Habtom Yohannes
  7. The Association of Eritrean Journalists in Exile (AEJA)- Milkeas Mehreteab and Semere Taezaz
  8. Network of Eritrean Professionals in Europe (NEPE)-Elsa Chyrum
  9. East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP)-Elsa Chyrum founding member and focal person for Eritrea.
  10. Human Rights Concern Eritrea (HRCE)-Elsa Chyrum, funded by NED and others
  11. Release Eritrea-Selam Kidane and Berhane Asmelash
  12. Agenzia Habeshia- Mussie Zerai
  13. Eritrean Movement for Human Rights and Democracy (EMHDR)-Simon Weldehaimanot, Daniel Rezene Mekonnen, Meron Estefanos, Yonas Mehari and others. Funded by NED and others
  14. Eritrean Youth Solidarity for Change (International Commission on Eritrean Refugees (ICER)-whose Commissioners include Yebio Woldemariam, serves as ICER President, Yonas Mehari, Tricia Hepner, Nunu Kidane, Meron Estefanos

Supposedly, by having many different organizations, they hoped to make it look like there was “widespread” discontent with the Government in Eritrea. In 2001, the author had dubbed these “cyber” activists as being “FUDists”-those who insist on spreading Fears, Doubts and Uncertainty about Eritrea and its future- unable to respond with hard facts, they chose instead to resort to scare-mongering to cast a shadow of doubt over Eritrea and its leadership.

Tricia Redebeker Hepner, has used her position and access at academic institutions in the United States and the United Kingdom to disseminate numerous articles, books, reports and papers on Eritrea and works closely with the EQL and strives to give them the prominence they seek. Writing about the Astro Turf Eritrean cyber groups parading as human rights and democracy activists, Hepner said:

“…A cursory search on-line for all things Eritrean returns an overwhelming array of acronyms, each representing a group somewhere along the continuum of inception to disintegration. After the establishment of mission statements, by-laws, and listserves, many of these organizations seem to wither away rapidly. The Eritrean cyberworld is littered with the empty shells of well-intentioned ‘civic societies’ whose names are the only remaining reflection of the passion with which they were conceived…The ephemeral nature of Eritrean exile organizations demands that analyses of their activity and any assessment of their potential impacts be undertaken with caution. Most of these proliferating groups (or individuals masquerading as groups) exist only in the internet public sphere and rarely hold meetings or events in real time and space…”

But that did not stop Tricia Hepner and her “partners in crime” from providing them with unfettered access and multiple forums from which to spew their filth. After all, it was more palatable if it came from Eritreans themselves…even if the “how to” manuals were produced elsewhere. These organizations and groups also work very closely with the minority regime in Ethiopia and have campaigned and petitioned governments and international organizations to sanction Eritrea, stop development and humanitarian assistance, isolate Eritrea diplomatically, economically and politically.

Eritrea, whose name was purposefully banished from all western media during the bitter 30-year struggle, a country whose people were massacred and its infrastructures brought to rubbles as the powers to be took turns arming Ethiopia during the long and bitter struggle for independence, peaked little interest in the halls of western academia, or even the various human rights and religious institutions, that are falling all over each other to pen articles, reports, thesis papers, and all sort of research on Eritrea today. But as soon as Eritrea became independent, using various pretexts and opportunities, the carpetbaggers descended on Eritrea like vultures, with their various “research” projects.

Let us take a look at some of the many papers produced on Eritrea, nationalism in Eritrea and most importantly, its Diaspora populations:

  • Eritrea’s Diasporain Regional Peace and Human Rights-Simon Weldehaimanot
  • The Eritrean Diaspora: Myth and Reality-Redie Menghisteab
  • The Role of Women in Post- Conflict Transformation in the Horn of Africa: A Case Study of Eritrea-Daniel Rezene Mekonnen and Mirjam van Reisen
  • Human Trafficking in the Sinai: Refugees between Life and Death-Miryam Van Reisen and Meron Estefanos
  • The Eritrean Diaspora, the War of Independence-Post-Conflict (Re)-construction and Democratisation -Gaim Kibreab
  • Refugees, Ransoms and Revolt-Dan Connell
  • The Eritrean Diaspora: Savior or Gravedigger of the Regime? Diaspora Responses to the Imposition of UN Sanctions-Nicole Hirt 2013
  • The Eritrean National Identity: A Case Study-Peggy Hoyle
  • Out of the ‘memory hole’: Alternative narratives of the Eritrean revolution in the diaspora-Bettina Conrad
  • Reconciling Ownership of Development and External Assist-Rachel Hayman
  • Eritrea’s Nation and State-building: Re-assessing the impact of ‘the struggle’-Sara Rich Dorman
  • Narratives of nationalism in Eritrea: research and revisionism-Sara Rich Dorman
  • Born powerful? Post-Liberation Politics in Eritrea and Zimbabwe-Sara Rich Dorman
  • Tourism and the Eritrean Diaspora- Anna Arnone
  • Diaspora, cyberspace and political imagination: the Eritrean diaspora online-Victoria Bernal
  • From Warriors to Wives: Contradictions of Liberation and Development in Eritrea-Victoria Bernal
  • Pittfalls of Nationalism in Eritrea- Tekle M. Woldemikael
  • Introduction: Postliberation Eritrea-Tekle M. Woldemikael
  • Soldiers, Martyrs, Traitors, and Exiles-Political Conflict in Eritrea and the Diaspora- Tricia Redeker Hepner
  • Religion, nationalism, and transnational civil society in the Eritrean diaspora-Tricia Redeker Hepner
  • Transnational governance and the centralization of state power in Eritrea and exile-Tricia Redebeker Hepner
  • Mobilizing the New African Diaspora: An Eritrean Case Study-Khalid Koser
  • African diasporas and post-conflict reconstruction: an Eritrean case study-Khalid Koser
  • Modes and Potential of Diaspora Engagement in Eritrea- Clara Schmitz Pranghe
  • Journeys to Exile: The Constitution of Eritrean Identity Through Narratives and Experiences-Anna Arnone
  • Eritrea goes global: Reflections on nationalism in a transnational era-Victoria Bernal
  • Diaspora, cyberspace and political imagination: the Eritrean diaspora online-Victoria Bernal
  • Please forget democracy and justice: Eritrean politics and the powers of humor-Victoria Bernal
  • Sacrificial Citizenship: The Eritrean State and Modes of Belonging-Victoria Bernal
  • “We Are the Warsay of Eritrea in Diaspora” Contested identities and social division in cyberspace and in real life-Bettina Conrad
  • “We are prisoners of our dreams”-Long-distance Nationalism and the Eritrean Diaspora in Germany-Bettina Conrad
  • A culture of War and a Culture of Exile: Young Eritreans in Germany and their Relations to Eritrea-Bettina Conrad
  • Shape-Shifting Mediascapes: Social Change and Diasporic Media Online-Bettina Conrad
  • The lasting struggle for Freedom in Eritrea-Kjetil Tronvoll
  • The African Garrison State: Human Rights and Political Development in Eritrea (Eastern Africa Series)- Kjetil Tronvoll, Daniel R. Mekonnen
  • Being Eritrean in Milan: the constitution of identity-Anna Armone
  • In Between Nations: Ethiopian-Born Eritreans, Liminality, and War-Jennifer Riggan
  • Old Sins Cast Long Shadows –Andreas Mjelva-(Master’s Thesis)
  • En-gendering theatre in Eritrea: the roles and representations of women in the performing arts- Christine Matzke (PhD Thesis)
  • Extending Sovereign Reach into Diaspora: Croatia and Eritrea in Comparative Perspective-Donovan Kavish (Master’s Thesis)
  • Exploring the Eritrean diaspora in Italy and in the United Kingdom- Marialibera Iavasile
  • Etc.

These papers are not widely published as they are not meant to garner attention of the Eritrean people in Eritrea or in the Diaspora-who will no doubt debunk the inaccuracies contained in these narratives.

This is also, not by any means, an exhaustive list of all that is being churned out about Eritrea the various information launders-“anthropologists”, “journalists”, “photographers”  “humanitarian workers” etc. etc. who claim they just happened to stumble on Eritrea…A quick look at their Curriculum Vitae will provide the readers of the many other publications and presentations on Eritrea. It is mind boggling and unprecedented.

They write about EPLF’s narrative on Eritrean history and why it should be discounted, but the irony here is that members of the EPLF have yet to pen a single article or book to tell that story. Eritrea’s gallant and unparalleled struggle has yet to be told in full. So what narrative are they complaining about? They have also distorted Eritrean identity, culture and nationalism. These western “experts” and “researchers” also write extensively about the “militarization of Eritrean society”. Interesting concept coming from the very descendants of those who introduced “militarism” to Africa and who themselves rely heavily on their own military capacities to advance both domestic and foreign policy agendas.

The themes are similar-the notion is to undermine every single budding Eritrean institution. Each one has been targeted for attack and ridicule.  First we were told that the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) was “anti-intellectuals”, and then we were told that the EPLF and now the Government of Eritrea were “afraid of intellectuals”, and then we were told that they were incapable (not qualified) of governing Eritrea etc. etc.

Since they do not know the people of Eritrea (marrying an Eritrean does not mean they know what every Eritrean needs or wants), they have relied on their anonymous “informants” and the scalawags to craft the narratives on Eritrea. Let us take a look at some of the comments made by these scalawags, no doubt these sentiments are repeated often amidst the carpetbaggers.

Andeberhan Woldeghiorghis in his self-serving book, “Eritrea at a Crossroads, a narrative of Triumph, Betrayals and Hope” sheds some light on his perception of the Eritrean “intellectual” and his contempt for the people of Eritrea-the peasants-who sacrificed life and limb in defense of their beloved nation. Woldeghiorghis was one of the many Eritreans from the Diaspora that joined the armed struggle for the liberation of Eritrea. He writes:

“…During the war, most of the country’s tiny educated elite had joined the liberation army or fled into exile. Eritrean professionals, technicians, mechanics and workers left home and Ethiopia in droves to escape repression, joined the armed struggle of seek refuge in the Middle East, Europe, North America, and Australia. Many graduates and students from the University of Asmara and Ethiopia, European and US universities flocked to the Field to fight for liberation…In the field, certain senior members of the EPLF political bureau viewed successful university graduates with deep apprehension and disparaged independent thought. They felt more at ease and self confident in the camaraderie of the dropouts, the less schooled, and half baked…Having committed ‘class suicide’ in order to integrate themselves into a predominantly peasant liberation army and overcome subjection to constant suspicion, surveillance and subordinate positions in the leading organs of the Front and the army, Eritrea’s revolutionary intellectuals were instrumental in the internal capacity of the EPLF…”

Class Suicide?

But the contempt for the Eritrean people seems to be the one thing the EQL have in common-other along with self-aggrandizement, greed (power and money).
Elsa Chyrum seemd upset that the Eirtrean Diapsora was able to garner over 200000 signatures in protest of the illegal, unfair and unjust US-Ethiopia engineered sanctions against the State of Eritrea. This is what she wrote in her NED funded HRCE[5] site:

“…There has recently been a concerted campaign to rally Erirteans in diaspora in protest against the Security Council sanction imposed on Eritrea…Diaspora Eritreans sent more than 200,000 petitions through e-faxes, emails and telephone calls to all members of the UN Security Council and the Foreign Ministries of their respective countries….It is possible that some of these Eritreans believe their own propaganda. It is possible, also that some of the illiterate citizens who signed unread petitions also believed that the sanctions affect Eritreans in Eritrea…”

No Eritrean is illiterate about issues concerning his or her country. Ms. Chyrum ought to know that it was not just the tiny “elite” that brought Eritrea’s independence and defended Eritrea’s sovereignty-it was the act of a conscious and patriotic peasant population. It is the same population that is fighting the sanctions that her funders engineered.

Simon Weldehaimanot is another one that seems to find discomfort in the ordinary Eritrean… evident in almost all of his writings-I find them to be nothing more than a collection of other peoples (almost all of them westerners) thoughts and opinions, as he has none to offer that is original or his own. The rule of law is a subject that is a staple in almost all of the papers, books etc. written about Eritrea and Weldehaimanot had the audacity to write in several of his papers that law is non-existent in Eritrea. Not wanting to abide by the rule of law does not mean they don’t exist. Eritrea is one of the few countries that had/has its own written customary laws for centuries and the people of Eritrea are recognized for their lawful behaviors and cultures.

Weldehaimanot seems to have a problem with the status of judges in Eritrea. He writes:

“…In reality, judges are public servants in terms of their salary and employment conditions. Thus, they have no prestige as in other countries…”

A little education is indeed dangerous…

Seems Weldehaimanot uses forums availed to him to advance the causes of the EMHDR and EYSC, as opposed to presenting academic and scholarly papers on the issues he presumes to know about. He says:

“…Trade unions and civil societies are two of the many missing institutions in Eritrea…”

In case he missed them while he was busy searching for notoriety and prestige elsewhere-the National Union of Eritrean Youth and Students, established in 1979, the National Union of Eritrean Women, now celebrating its 35th Anniversary, and the National Confederation of Eritrean Workers established in 1979 are examples of grassroots organizations in Eritrea, right under his nose. I suppose for Weldehaianot, if they are not linked to one of the “false fronts”, they are not legitimate…or worthy of notice by the “elite”…

So who can blame the “false fronts” and carpetbaggers when there are scalawags that are willing to do their bidding and belittle and undermine their own kind?

Weldehaimanot’s contempt for Eritrea and its people, especially the Eritrean Diaspora that has been the target of several campaigns by his groups, is evident in this excerpt from this, one his many monologues:

“…Even though the size of this group tends to be exaggerated by agents of the PFDJ’s regime, estimating from the size of the crowd at PFDJ’s events, they are significant in number…Their support of the PFDJ’s regime emanate from different considerations one of which is material interest and opportunism…Some of these are too gullible or sheer opportunists…”

Opportunists? This coming from someone who has literally lived on the backs of the Eritrean people and US tax payers. It was the magnanimous government and people of Eritrea that afforded him his education in Eritrea and South Africa in his early days. Once he was recruited by Dan Connell and Paulos Tesfagiorgis, other “opportunities” came his way and has had the privilege of having his entire law school education paid for by the Government of the United States through its many tentacled organizations and scholarships. While Eritrean American’s born and raised in the United States are struggling with college tuition and others are saddled with exorbitant student loans, this scalawag wants to insult the Eritrean Diaspora for not following his ilk…

Finally, let us take a look at an excerpt from an article to see what Milkeas Mehreteab, a “journalist”, a scalawag awarded by the “false fronts” for his treasonous activities against the State of Eritrea, says about the Eritrean people:

“…Taking in to account the low level of consciousness, education and over all awareness and the docile law abiding and meek nature of the majority of Eritreans, it was not difficult to spread and plant rumors, defamations and false accusations against the Independent press journalists. In a tribalistic and ethnicity sensitive and regional crazy society like Eritrea, the PFDJ cadres start dispersing rumors and MISTR (secret) about the journalist’s ethnicity, family background and genealogy…”

Eritrea is known for its harmonious and respectful culture of ethnic and religious tolerance. From where I sit, it sure sounds like this scalawag is suffering from a case of debilitating inferiority complex…

To conclude the series, “Eritrea-the Carpetbagger and Scalawags”, in this sitting the author endeavored to present prima facie evidence for the assertions being made about the repeat offenders in the Eritrean political scene and hopes that it will raise the consciousness of the impressionable youth-who are the main targets of the propaganda today. There is much more that can be said about the carpetbaggers and scalawags, but this will suffice for now…

Allow me to end with this from Jay Faber:

“…With help from Ford, Rockefeller, Gates and Soros, imperial civil society is admittedly a formidable foe, but not an invulnerable one. Built on a foundation of fraud, the power of moral sanction they have hijacked can effectively be turned against them. While false fronts are able to dominate social media, they do not own our minds; they are merely social engineers operating under false pretenses that we can reject at will…”

From where I sit…They could all use a healthy dose of humility, lest they really begin to believe themselves….The carpetbaggers and scalawags are no match for the conscious and resilient people of Eritrea.


[1] Accessed 9 September 2013

[2] Accessed 9 September 2014

[3] accessed 9 September 2014

[4] Eritrean Quislings League (EQl)- A dubious association of disgruntled runaway diplomats, reporters san couth, pedophiles, rapists, “silenced intellectuals”, self-professed “intellectuals and professionals”, and other treasonous mercenary individuals and groups parading as “human rights” and “democracy” advocates

[5] Accessed 13 September 2014

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15 Responses to ERITREA: The Modern Day Carpetbaggers and Scalawags-Final

  1. Pingback: ERITREA: The Modern Day Carpetbaggers and Scalawags-Final | Wrong Kind of Green | the NGOs & conservation groups that are bargaining away our future

  2. Dear Sofia,
    Your research skill prove again to be of the poorest quality… and nevertheless you feel to dictate what reality is. Just search for information! For your knowledge, since you cannot even make a successful google search, I was never financed by the MPI. My research fundings came so far from the SNSF (I let you google that if it is okay for you… in case:, but you can also choose other flavours or other search engines like duckduckgo which is much better) and the University of Neuchâtel where I completed my PhD. Hope this help you to discover the final truth of your propaganda… but please, in any case, keep close to the FACTS not to be more ridiculous than you already are. Or tell your ghostwriters to provide you accurate fact-based articles. Cheers! David Bozzini

    • sophietm7 says:

      Dear David,

      No need to get all bent out of shape…I’ll let my readers be the judge of my skills, let’s stick with the facts. What are the chances that an independent “researcher” could replicate the same “research” project and come up with the same conclusions about Eritrea as you have? At least, I am not insulting the intelligence of my readers by making definitive statements about you and your colleagues, I aim to provoke them to question your motives (or that of your funders)…

      So you were a Guest research fellow at the Legal Pluralism Group, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology-but your research was funded by the Swiss National Scientific Foundation (SNSF)-I stand corrected. Hope my readers appreciate the difference.

      By the way, I like to spell my name Sophia-that is what my father chose…who are you to alter it:-)

      Have a good weekend Dawit…don’t get mad, that is David in Tigrinya.

      Sophia-(no ghost, just me)

    • Bini tes says:

      David seems to know more about Eritrea, their 30 years struggle for independence and their history than the Eritreans and its government who fought the war and brought the independence. Well, we cannot blame him as he is doing what he is paid to do so. Tell me where you come from (where you get your fund) and I will tell you where you are going (what you write about). As simple as that. What a shame for a scholar.

  3. Pingback: Militarization: It’s All the Same, Everywhere. Or Is It? | ZERO ANTHROPOLOGY

  4. meriet says:

    I had to contemplate for more than one hour to search for an adequate adjective to describe my admiration to your present article and all previous ones, I failed; it is not easy to describe you, you magnificent patriotic sister of ours but since I’m old enough to bless, thence, ‘May the good Lord always be at your side and protect you from evil.’

  5. Mary says:

    I like to Thank the author for the wonderfully articulated, well researched article. It was easy to understand layman’s term. This article not only articulate the “Wests’ intentions” for Eritrea (NED’s mission statement), but gives you direct evidence of their manipulating ways; of course this is not limited to NED or AI. Reading this article, I remember hearing from my dad and grandfather about the days of my great grand parents before, during and after colonization. I was aghast to see the same tactic being used today to manipulate, to divide, to disillusion, to confiscate/usurp, …. and to deny Eritrea of it’s sovereignty. Like in the days of Haile Selasie, Eritrea’s fate was decided by everyone except Eritreans! Today, the media and all those who thinks they know whats best for Eritrea voice their opinion never really asking a REAL Eritrean, except the ones with self interest.

    Like in the days of colonization, annexation, and derg occupation no one cared for the people of Eritrea. No one cared when Cohen from the U.S state department knowingly supplied Ethiopia with arms that killed and slaughtered innocent people (Massawa). No one cared when Isreal armed Ethiopia with cluster (sp ?) bombs that wounded, maimed innocent people. No one cared when Tanks given by the Russians wiped out an entire village of mainly women and children by running over them. It is up to care or not. What I want to know is why can’t you leave it alone and don’t interfere with our nation.

    Tell me what nation in Africa has prospered as a result of these organizations- NGO’s, AI, NED to name a few. The only ones gaining are these such organizations and those gaining from it- Elsa Chyrum, AWATE group, Daniel Rezene Mekonnen, Meron Estefanos… The list goes on.

    Eritrean brothers and sisters, lets keep moving. Our nation building is a continuous effort. We have and shall overcome any obstacles. No more of these scare tactics that manipulated our fore fathers.

  6. Pingback: On Eritrea: Cross-Talk Without Dialogue | ZERO ANTHROPOLOGY

  7. Bini tes says:

    Well, thank you Sofia for putting my minds and thoughts into scientific documentation and publications. The paper simply tells the truth and the minds of the people of Eritreans. Eritreans usually do what they do and don’t talk. Let’s us remember, the NGOs are doing their job, the job they are getting paid to do. This is how they earn their living. The funding governments have short and long term plans of conquering the world and looting its resources. The work of the west governments and their NESs is not democracy or peace of the poor and powerless nations and people. If it was, they would produce similar publications about the misery and agony of Palestinians at least. Let’s us remember as long as their funding governments wanted them to produce the same materials against Eritrea. Exposing them like what Sofia did is what we need to do. Thank you Sofia.

  8. Thanks my dare Sister Sofia..We love you

  9. Semere says:

    Thanks for your wonderful article. Let all the enemies cry full. We know what we are doing and for sure they know what their job.
    Eritrea will prevail.

  10. Alex Mesfin says:

    Sofia, keep up the good work.

  11. HIDROM says:

    Read for knowledge is power and our reading assignments for the last week of September shall be the educational, informative, and penetrating articles by Sophie Tesfamariam with titles listed below

    Log on to the links below and let us sit down and read; for knowledge is power

    1. ERITREA: The Modern Day Carpetbaggares And Scalawags.

    2. ERITREA: The Modern Day Carpetbaggares And Scalawags- Part 2

    3. ERITREA: The Modern Day Carpetbaggares And Scalawags-Final

    Sophie, the “ሓራስ ነብሪ”,here are the wounded hyenas hauling in front of your door steps. Here are the mad dogs ውሕ ውሕ ይብሉ after they heard the “lioness” roar. It is entertaining to see the rabies-infected “mad dogs” are not Eritreans but westerners who could not even locate Eritrea on the map. And here they are barking like a dog from across the Atlantic Ocean. And here are the Desperados and born traitors knocking their head against the solid concrete wall. How about the foxes that we see in the streets. As usual the foxes are to wait for scrape of bones after the hyena is done. The question when is the hyena to be done?

    Sophie, “ሓራስ ነብሪ”, thanks a million for making 6,000,000 Eritreans all over the the world proud. Then again, you cannot help it. “ጓል ሓራስ ነብሪ”, ናይ መን ድኣ ክትወስዲ! Wisdom and patriotism is in your blood!

  12. Vincent says:

    Thank you very very much for this!!!!! I am a Black American, I was born and raised in the “West” I know them very well, I see you do too!!!!
    Thanks sister for telling the world the truth!!!
    I am adding a link about a book called Yurugu by Dr Marimba Ani
    An African-centered Critique of European Cultural Thought and Behavior

    by Marimba Ani
    (Dona Richards)
    Africa World Press, Inc.
    ISBN 0-86543-249X
    ISBN 0-86543-248-1 (pbk)- 636 pages including bibliography and index

    As one reviewer writes, YURUGU removes the mask from the European facade and thereby reveals the innerworking of global white supremacy: A system which functions to guarantee the control of Europe and her descendants (the few) over the majority of the world’s peoples (the many)……..Dr. Marimba Ani exposes the roles of both the academic and Christian establishment in proselytizing as “universal” that which is indeed culturally specific to Europe and which therefore functions in the interest of European dominance.,

    Sister Dr. Ani’s mentor, Dr. John Henrik Clarke, who recently joined the ancestors, characterizes YURUGU as “a pioneering and ground-breaking work dealing with a neglected aspect of European culture. He says Professor Ani “has analyzed the European influence on the world base on what they think of themselves and how this thought affects most of the world. For during the 15th and 16th century Europeans not only colonized most of the world, they also colonized information about the world.

    “This study of Europe is an intentionally aggressive polemic. It is an assault upon the European paradigm; a repudiation of its essence. It is initiated with the intention of contributing to the process of demystification necessary for those of us who would liberate ourselves from European intellectual imperialism.

  13. Pingback: From the NonProfit Industrial Complex with Love » McKibben’s Divestment Tour – Brought to You by Wall Street | Part X: Targeting Millennials: The 30 Trillion Dollar Jackpot

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