Stop Rationalizing Tyranny. Tyranny must be condemned unequivocally and eradicated at once. Get DIA dead or alive now. Semere T. Habtemariam

Stop Rationalizing Tyranny.

Tyranny must be condemned unequivocally and eradicated at once.

Get DIA dead or alive now.

Semere T. Habtemariam

I like the Tigrinya proverb ምእንቲመጎጎትሓልፍኣንጭዋ (Spare the mouse; spare the mogogo, the Enjera-making clay griddle) because it accurately depicts the relation between the tyrant and the nation. Most people, all over the world, would not think twice to exterminate the sewer-dwelling and disease-carrying rodents, but there are few who are smitten by them; and make pets out of them. As long as their eccentricity does not harm others, we should be okay with their choice, but we should not, under any circumstances confuse the exception with the rule. The default setting of our moral software should remain the same: original.

In Eritrea we’ve a common saying that exhorts us to spare the life of a mouse in order to spare the mogogo because the collateral damage of destroying the Enjera-making clay griddle is far worse. It is the classic justification of committing a bad deed to avert a worse deed. True, not all deeds are equal; and less evil is better than more. It is for this reason that a doctor, who has taken the Hippocratic Oath, would not hesitate to cut off a finger of a patient to avert the spread of a malignant cancer or a forester who burns a field of crops to stop a forest fire. But as in everything else, context matters; so, does wisdom. Be as it may be, we need to be extra careful of when and where we invoke the precept; otherwise it will be like the Arab saying: a truth uttered by a knave loses its luster.

Sparing the mouse; sparing the mogogo only works if the proverbial mouse was a temporary passerby which will not take over the mogogo and deny us our life-sustaining nourishment. But, how about, if we do what we have always done: start a fire or add more firewood to make more enjeras so the mouth would either run away or burn to death. It is a desirable outcome: a dead mouth and no harm to our mogogo. Bad for the rat but great for the mogogo and us. We can then even start to think outside the box and build a door which would make it hard for other mice to come in. The Arabs say, “close the door that brings in the wind and relax:( البابالذييأتيكبالريحسدهواسترح).”

There is no cause more noble than the fight for freedom and human dignity and we are in a fight of a life-time. Tyranny and freedom cannot coexist together; one has to die for the other to thrive. It is a zero-sum game. We will defeat tyranny and rid Eritrea of the evil we call Isaias Afwerki.

I love freedom with all my heart and soul and hate tyranny with equal passion. I refuse categorically to make excuses for tyranny under any circumstances, time and clime. The Clarion call of life-in-liberty or death-fighting-for-liberty is the ultimate self-evident truth that we do not and should not put a price tag on our dignity and freedom. Anyone who rationalizes and enables tyranny is no lover of freedom and, make no mistake, cannot be our comrade in the struggle for freedom. These confused souls are worse than our bona fide enemies because they are wolves in sheep’s clothing and harder to detect. They confuse their lack of clarity with impartiality and even worse with independent thinking. They criticize the tyrant here and there and support him likewise.

The middle ground, the practitioners haven of striking deals and compromises, is not for those who lack clarity but for those who have clear and opposite positions to make necessary deals to move the carriage of progress forward. It is the willingness and readiness to compromise, dictated by necessity, that makes people of polar opposite views moderate. Unfortunately, the middle ground has become the swamp where intellectually lazy people crowd making it hard for the real thinkers to shine and be easily spotted. I’ve no respect for these people; they muddy the waters of public discourse with their half-truths, sophistry and wobbly moral stand.

My goal is to bring clarity, so we can be resolute in our core beliefs but pragmatic in our actions. Whether we opt for a negotiated settlement or overthrow the regime with force will depend on how the regime responds. President John F. Kennedy once said, “those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

Those of us calling for the immediate end of the regime do so with moral clarity and courage and not as a sign of bravado or even worse machismo. We understand, like the Arab saying that, “opinion comes before the bravery of the braves.الرأيقبلشجاعةالشجعان.In the final analysis, as the Tigrinya saying goes: a policy prescribed by many will be executed by one.  ሽሕዝተማኸርዎሓደይውርውሮ። The one will be a hero, and I will gladly defend the one who slain the tyrant. “Sic semper evello mortem tyrannis” Thus always I bring death to tyrants.

The recognition that we, in the absence of impeachment and elections, have the right to rebel against the regime and change it though coups, uprising and assassinations is the first step to reclaiming our popular sovereignty now and it will serve as a deterrence in the future. It is our way of building a door to prevent the wind coming in and relax.

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