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R is for reform and R is for reality too…

R is for reform and R is for reality too…

…I sometimes think that every new Eritrean group that emerges is so intently focused on giving the last organisation to form before them a headache and the then make the rest of us slightly senile by the day… if you need proof look at EMC and EYSNS… and then EYSNS and EYSC … EYSC and EYGM… (ok… ok I am only being provocative here… please don’t tell me off just ignore me… my head is still reeling from being told off for daring to look at Medrek in the way I did a couple of weeks ago…so I intend to make this entry free from provoking organisations… ‘anything for a peaceful time’… is the slogan here today )

So let me say a few words about that dirty R word that everyone talks about, these days,  instead… I am asking: ‘ what is wrong with reform?’

WARNING: I told you I am an equal opportunities irritant  (or as my teachers in everything irritating taught: ‘it’s the voices inside me’….

Here is what I am thinking…

Not many people think pfdj is good anymore (many say it has never been any good)… so the case for change is a case that no longer needs making (unless you are a no brain pfdj Groupie…but there aren’t that many of that lot left…)

By this point in time… the Issias Afworki regime like all matured dictatorships throughout history is, headed by a paranoid lunatic and surrounded by: many cowards, an increasing number of crooks, an ever dwindling array of groupies and a tiny cohort of pragmatics many on the verge of cowardice. Once upon a time the regime had a not negligible cohort of ideologues (NB I am not referring to cadres here), who kept the significantly well proportioned, ordinary pfdj/EPLF members, supporters and adherents connected to the regime. But ideologues tend to generally be the first to be purged under dictatorships as they soon see the veering away from primary principles, and if they are genuine ideologues they’d have to take the dictator to task over their plain hypocrisy.  If they do that, they don’t survive… if they survive it is most probably because they have made a switch to being pragmatics at best… more often they will either dissolve into cowards or crooks… think of any ideologue committed to the Eritrean Revolution (of any era)… you know the hard nosed uncompromising dogmatic, for whom the front came first, second and last? Now think of where they are…the really lucky ones are in exile, the less lucky ones are in EraEro and other prisons (dead or alive) but the really unlucky ones have sold out and are seeing their days out as a very faint shadow of their former self (the Zemehret Yohanesses, Yemane Monkeys and Yemane Charlies of this world… they are pathetic creatures who know that we know they don’t believe a word they are saying!) …it is a shame really because a reform movement by a committed ideologue would have given us the depth (ideology) and the breadth (popularity amongst the masses and organic consecutiveness)

pfdj hasn’t got a single ideologue…that is why Sophia sounds the way she does!  Therefore reforming, reviving or resuscitating under the auspices of someone really committed to pfdj is an impossibility …

In the absence of no other political organisation (or any other form of organised politics)… what do we really mean by ‘change from inside’?... of course there might be another Wedi Ali, in there still but as we have seen with Forto2013 Wedi Ali minus a top official from the inner pfdj circles was just a: heartbreakingly tantalising ‘coming real close to making it’….

I have already said the ideologues are out of the picture…

So who does that leave? The worst case scenario is a Groupie (a fan of IA) taking over!

Groupies … are incapable of thinking and hence incapable of leading or even being part of any positive change… Fortunately as groupies are usually part of a personality cult based on the actions of the dictator… and as our dictator in question has been everything but heroic for good many years, loosing a member of his gang of groupies with every passing year, the prevalence of viable Groupies to replace him is low….

In the unlikely event that a Groupie (the only Groupies I can think of are outside the country!) takes over… as they are loyal only to the dictator and what he stands for … they will take it out on anyone and anything that they see as an enemy to the dictator…and institute an era of revenge rather than reform… (if you see an IA t-shirt wearing crony warm up to the helm… ask your mum and all her friends to pray and pray very hard!)

If a Coward takes over there will be a revolution sooner or later after the takeover. But first the country will stagnate even more than it has currently and get worse… think more Sinai disasters more Lampedusa disasters, bulging refugee camps and certainly no reprieve for our people inside.  With General Wuchu dead Eritrea is potentially minus one such coward (or maybe he was a crook like the other Generals)…the other cowards in the scene are many of the ministers… but looking at them in the muted ‘cabinet discussions’ is knowing that none of them are would be leaders (at best they are potential asylum seekers in the waiting… Ali Abdu style… or they have joined the ranks of the greedy crooks already!)…

Now the crooks…

If a crook takes over… a crook is unlikely going to cause as much headache for the rest of the world as the focus will be on stealing and accumulating more of the country’s resources. There might be a bit of liberalisation of the economy (remember the ‘investment’ conferences last year?) everyone with more than two pennies to rub together and conscience to quell will be encouraged to make their money and their country work for them…The risk here will be the fact that thieves always fight when they divide their loot… This is what they mean by the Somalisation of Eritrea… and I think this is the scenario that IA is using as a scarecrow tactic against change… this indeed is the scenario that should be avoided if at all possible… but a scenario that is more likely than not… particularly given the rise in the number of crooks in the country. A crook in Eritrea is easily identifiable by the amount of inexplicable wealth they have accumulated over a short space of time. Their recent track record of infighting (using their respective civilian generals) is a sign of things to come should any of the crooks take over in our ‘change from within’…

Is positive change from within still possible in Eritrea?

…Yes it is and it might be the only viable way forward in Eritrea… there are one or two pragmatic up there in the inner circle…in Eritrea – people who do recognise that Eritrea is better off without the dictator, but they also know opposing the dictator can prove to be too costly (they have seen far too many purges)  and are hence looking for a way out… an easy way out to get rid of the dictator…IA knows this (and he knows them too) but he needs these pragmatics to keep things going and/or save things from imploding (the cowards won’t do anything… the crooks are busy otherwise and the groupies don’t have the intelligence to do anything)  … if anyone can bring about any viable reform that would provide us some form of a launching pad to make things in Eritrea right again it can only be under the auspices of some pragmatic official… whether we like it or otherwise (and I am very much otherwise!)… such is the trouble with reality…

Incidentally this is the kind of ‘revolution’ that is taking place in China following Mao Zedong’s  death… but the pragmatics will have, to get over the cowards and the groupies and deal with the crooks before they effect the change….

Here is me taking a deep breath and saying the unthinkable:

Change in Eritrea is inevitable… change from inside the country is likely … change under the auspices of someone (or a collective) from the dictator’s inner circle more probable…  We can either bring Eritrea back from the realm of reform because we have concluded that the crooks v pragmatics battle would be lost to the crooks or because a revolution from the ranks and files minus the inner circle is possible… or we can hold out in the hope that the diaspora based opposition groups (us lot)… will finally start producing something more than press releases… and counter press releases about annual conventions and launches of ‘new’ and splinter organisations… biannual preparatory committee meetings for annual reunion meetings and quarterly vigils outside deserted embassy buildings.

Reform is a distinct reality and as with all other realities we can always refuse to accept it… but it doesn’t make it any less realistic...

 

 
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