Can the Chalabis of Eritrea learn from the Chalabi of Iraq?
Eritrean Chalabis: From left to right: Saleh "Gadi" Johar, Dr. Bereket Habte Selassie, Amb. Andebrhan Welde Giorgis
By Abel Kebedom
The late Ahmed Abdel Hadi Chalab was an Iraqi exile who provided the United States with fabricated information about weapons of mass destruction and illegal ties to al-Qaeda. That information led to the US invasion of Iraq. Although later most of the information turned out to be false and he was called chief fabricator, by then the damage to the state of Iraq and its people had already been done.
Chalabi was blinded by his zealous ambition to be the president of Iraq and hatred to Saddam Hussein. Hence his wild ambition for power and extreme hatred did not allow him to see the consequences of his actions to the Iraqi people. He did not have time to analyze the potential scenarios that may emerge after the fall of Saddam Hussein.
As an Iraqi, he should have analyzed the fault lines in the Iraqi society and the ambition of its neighbors. For that matter any sane citizen would have understood the dangers of the grievances of the Shia over Sunnis, the grievance of Kurds over Sunnis, the political and territorial ambitions of neighboring Iran and the rivalry between Sunnis and Shiites in the wider region. However Ahmed Chalabi, blinded by personal ambition and extreme hatred, did not have the time to think about those important issues.
The sad part of the story is currently those issues are not scenarios but constant realty to the Iraqi people. As a result of the irresponsible actions of Ahmed Abdel Hadi Chalab and his Iraqi National Congress, currently any Iraqi citizen would tell you that he/she preferred the Saddam rule by many folds. The carnage of civilians in the streets of Iraq, abuse of innocent civilians, rape and inhumane treatment of the Iraqi women by self appointed religious zealots made Iraq literally the hell on earth. As a result of the actions of Ahmed Abdel Hadi Chalab and his Iraqi National Congress, fifteen years later, Iraq is still a failed state with no hope of return to normalcy.
The Iraqi case could have been a typical learning opportunity for the Chalabis of Eritrea. However the Chalabis of Eritrea are not any different from the Chalabi of Iraq. They are blinded by the strong erg for power and extreme hatred to Isaias Afeworki. Hence similar to the Iraqi Chalabi, the Eritrean Chalabis want Woyane to invade Eritrea. They provide intelligence that is harmful to the national security of Eritrea to the Enemy. They consider the invasion of Eritrea by Woyane as their only ticket to power and they will do anything, without reservation, to see it happen.
Because they are blinded by the strong erg for power and extreme hatred to the person of Isaias Afeworki, they do not see the dangers of their actions to the Eritrean society. They do not see that Eritrea is a multi ethnic country located at a very sensitive and volatile region surrounded by neighbours that have competing interests. They do not see the consequence of their actions to the virtually but not yet practically demarcated border between Ethiopia and Eritrea. They do not see the Woyane ambition for the greater Tigrai with its own outlet to the sea as a catalyst to declare a new country in the horn of Africa called The Tigrai republic.
Without a strong leadership they do not foresee the danger of Islamic and Christian religious fanatics could pose to the harmony and unity of the Eritrean society. Like the Iraqi Chalabi the Eritrean Chalabis are blinded and can only see their rise to power after the fall of the PFDJ. Do the Somalis, who are supported by Woyane, have taken power in their country? Do the Somalis have freedom in their country? Can the Somalis ask Woyane to leave their country at any time they want? Do the Somalis have a say in the administration of their country?
As a matter of fact, Somalia has become today a virtual colony of the Woyane. Then, what evidence do the Eritrean Chalabis have to their claim that they are the only proven medicine to the current problems in Eritrea? Don’t they think Wayane is the major source and cause of the current problems in Eritrea? Do they think Woyane occupies sovereign Eritrean territories out of respect to Eritrea and its Citizens?
The truth is any party that is supported by Woyane and holds power in Eritrea cannot be a solution to Eritrean problems. Rather it is a threat to the overall existence of Eritreans as a people and Eritrea as an independent nation. Every Eritrean knows that Eritrea under the Chalabis will be nothing better than the Andem’s and the OPDO’s of Ethiopia. Thus the Chalabis of Eritrea could not be an alternative force to govern a sovereign and independent Eritrea and they should be rejected automatically.
It is true that we Eritreans need change. We also know that to bring change we do not need to destroy what we have but reform it and continue to build on it. We need Eritrea to have a constitution, rule of law and freedom to its citizens. We need the current government in Eritrea to be transparent and accountable to its people. In return we, all Eritreans, need to understand the unresolved national security problems of the current government is facing and provide unconditional support to its effort to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country.
That is the way forward for Eritrea. Bringing change not by destroying what we have been building for the last fifty years but by building on what we have and continue working to improve it. The experience, strong defense capability and unique Eritrean culture gained from the liberation struggle is not a liability but a very precious asset that needs to be preserved at any cost.
Had the Iraqis did that, they wouldn’t have been in the current desperate situation they are now. The only factor that makes Eritrea different from Iraq is simply because Eritrea is poorer than Iraq.
For the rest the fundamentals are the same. Hence it is time for the Chalabis of Eritrea to learn from the Chalabi of Iraq.
Awet N’hafash Zelaalemawi Zikri Ne Siwaatna
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