Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, August 9, 2011

The other day, I was talking to an Ethiopian friend of mine who found himself apologizing for the minority regime’s latest diplomatic faux pas. He was referring to the latest Ethiopian “diplomatic” charade at the UN Security Council. He was having a hard time understanding how any Ethiopian would stop so low as to deprive Eritreans of the right to development. No apologies necessary. I told him that Eritreans know full well that the people of Ethiopia never harbored such evil and willful thoughts about Eritrea or Eritreans. I explained to him that the “crab mentality” was unique to the minority regime in Ethiopia and its ignominious leaders.

For those who don’t know about “crab mentality” is, it’s an attitude that afflicts those, such as the regime in Ethiopia and its Tigrayan leaders, who suffer from inferiority complex. The term “crab mentality” is used to describe a kind of selfish, short-sighted thinking which runs along the lines of “if I can’t have it, neither can you.” This term refers to people who pull other people down, denigrating them rather than letting them get ahead or pursue their dreams. The regime’s delusions of grandeur prevent it from facing the facts on the ground and for facing its own inadequacies.

This concept references an interesting phenomenon which occurs in buckets of crabs. If one crab attempts to escape from a bucket of live crabs, the other crabs will pull it back down, rather than allowing it to get free. Sometimes, the crabs seem almost malicious, waiting until the crab has almost escaped before yanking it back into the pot. All of the crabs are undoubtedly aware of the fact that their fate is probably not going to be very pleasurable, so people are led to wonder why they pull each other back into the bucket, instead of congratulating the clever escape artist.

For the last 10 years, the minority regime in Ethiopia and its mercenaries have undermined Eritrea’s development and food security policies. It ridiculed Eritrea’s National Service program, the Warsay Yikaalo program for development and labeled it “slavery”. Today, instead of learning from Eritrea, which has managed to develop its war torn economic infrastructures using its own human and material resources, built hospitals, clinics and schools to improve the quality of life for its citizens, and built the necessary agricultural infrastructures to ensure food security for its people, the regime, in what has to be the ugliest forms of jealousy, is now trying to strangulate Eritrea’s economy and prevent it from reaching its potentials. Inflicted with this “crab mentality”, the minority regime is hell bent on destroying Eritrea and if need be, taking all of the Horn of Africa down with it.

As an Ethiopian, he was embarrassed by the regime’s attitude towards Eritrea and its people. He recounted the time in 1998-2000, when the bigoted minority regime expelled over 80,000 Eritreans and Ethiopians of Eritrean origin because Meles Zenawi did not like the “color of their eyes”. He mentioned the terror experienced by Eritrean fathers, mothers and children when they were awoken by security officers in the wee hours of the morning, yanked out of their beds and thrown out of their homes, to be rounded up and deported across mine filled borders. He recounted the agony and fear experienced by Eritrean children who were left to fend for themselves, breastfeeding infants abandoned in empty homes. Some Ethiopians tried to help their neighbors, but many watched helplessly as the ruthless genocidal regime abused and tortured Eritreans living in Ethiopia.

Today, Ethiopians are once again watching helplessly as the ruling junta in Ethiopia commits genocides in the Gambela, Ogaden and Oromia regions of Ethiopia. They watch helplessly as their fellow Ethiopians starve as Ethiopia’s fertile lands are “rented out” to feed populations in other countries, and as the regime begs for food aid on the hand while buying weapons with the other. Ethiopians watch helplessly as young Ethiopian men are used as cannon fodder and minesweepers in the regime’s destructive and deadly wars of aggression and invasion of neighboring states and beyond. Ethiopians watch helplessly as US lawmakers send billions of dollars of US tax monies to the regime through various schemes, and watch as the regime diverts aid to buy deadly arsenal to be used against its own people, to suppress their voices and cower them into submission. Meles Zenawi might very well be the darling of the West, but he is the cancer that is bleeding Ethiopia and the Horn.

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