Much Ado About Prime Minister Tweedledee Tweedledum in Ethiopia [Professor Alemayehu G. Mariam]


The Thugtatorship of the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (T-TPLF) has done it again!

The T-TPLF’s latest scam is the equivalent of a children’s Easter egg hunt for “prime minister”.

It is a con game called, “The Search for a New (C)Prime Minister”.

The T-TPLF bosses have been scheduling, cancelling, rescheduling and cancelling time and again party meetings to select their puppet prime minister.

Of course, it is all a show, silly political drama intended to distract and create the impression that the T-TPLF bosses are really doing some deep soul-searching about their 27-year-old career as criminals against humanity and their earnest efforts to make things right.

The whole “prime minister” search is a big con job. It is all a public relations game.

Without a doubt, the T-TPLF bosses know who they are going to appoint as puppet prime minister. The gang of four or five – the T-TPLF state within the state, the T-TPLF deep state – have already made their decisions about who is going to be their prime minister, but they must put on a public show and make it look good.

They have to make it look like they made their selection after they had a knock-down, drag-out, no holds barred, mano a mano fight to select the “prime minister”.

The T-TPLF bosses have been cranking out disinformation telling the public they are so divided they can’t select a prime minister. They are so splintered they could not come up with a consensus candidate. There is so mush distrust among the so-called EPRDF make-believe coalition that the whole thing might just go up in smoke.

Of course, it is all fresh T-TPLF horse manure.

They are just putting on political drama hoping to bamboozle folks into believing they are really searching for the “right prime minister”.

I am afraid the T-TPLF bosses have succeeded in confusing the gullible and unschooled. I hear a few in the Diaspora media seriously talking about “Who is going to be the next Ethiopian minister?”

I have made an avocation out of unravelling and dismantling T-TPLF scams, disinformation, hypes and con games. I have good reason to believe that they don’t like it whenever I rain on their parade, but my credo is speaking truth to power and abusers of power. I just rain truth on their parade and they can’t take cover.

But I do give full credit to the T-TPLF bosses for their relentless efforts at mass distraction. Just in the past month or so, they cranked out some nice comedic acts to distract public attention.

Six weeks ago, the scam for mass distraction was the big hoopla about the “resignation” of their puppet prime minister who is still in office.

As Ethiopians and others in the international community talked about possible political changes and opening of political space with the “resignation”, the T-TPLF bosses sneaked in their “state of emergency declaration”.

That was vintage T-TPLF sleight of political hand magic trick.

To add smoke and mirrors to the magic trick, the T-TPLF bosses started releasing political prisoners they claimed never existed.

At the same time, they were convicting dozens of others in their monkey courts and sweeping innocent young people off the streets and jailing them.

Just yesterday, the T-TPLF jailed 19 university lecturers, journalists and professionals in Bahr Dar.

Today it was reported that the T-TPLF “detained” Eskinder Nega, Andualem Aragie, Temesgen Desalegn and other recently released political prisoners for flying the Ethiopian traditional flag at an event instead of the T-TPLF’s pentagrammed flag generally associated with devil worshipers.

I will hand it to the T-TPLF bosses. They are slicker than a can of grease.

They just don’t stop. Like all con artists, they roll out one scam after another and try to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes.

So, here we go again with the con game du jour, “Who’s going to be the next prime minister?”

In my commentary last week, “Mercenary Military Command Post Reign of Terror in Ethiopia”, I complained about how the T-TPLF has made suckers of the Diaspora Ethiopian media by duping them into becoming their disinformation agents and propaganda peddlers.

There are still quite a few in the Diaspora talking about the T-TPLF’s “search” for a “prime minister” and all the hell they are going through to find the right man for the job.

I can’t believe anyone who even pretends to be reasonable could seriously talk about the TPLF’s search for “prime minister”. It is nonsense, rubbish. It is clever mass distraction.

There is one and only one question about the T-TPLF’s search for “prime minister”.

Will the T-TPLF bosses select Tweedledee or Tweedledum?

Is it going to be Debretsion G. Michael? Perhaps it is Demeke Mekonen? Could it be Siraj Fergessa? How about Shiferaw Shigute? Don’t forget Workneh Gebeyehu Negawo?

The T-TPLF searching for a new prime minister is like the Mafia searching for a new capo di tutti capi (boss of all bosses). It is like La Commissione [the governing body of the American Mafia] searching for a titular head to run their criminal syndicates.

That is exactly what the T-TPLF is searching for, a nominal capo di tutti capi to enable them to run their criminal syndicates.

Debretsion, Demeke, Siraj, Shiferaw, etc., are the T-TPLF Tweedle quadruplets. They are T-TPLF children by birth or adoption. Regardless, they are thug-to-the-bone T-TPLFers.

The funny thing is that the international media has also jumped on the “search for prime minister” bandwagon.

Al Jazeera asked, “Who will be Ethiopia’s next prime minister?”

BBC asked exactly the same question.

Reuters announced, “Ethiopia ruling coalition to nominate new prime minister”.

“Tensions rise as Ethiopia struggles to pick a new leader”, headlined the Washington Times.

The Washington Post speculated, “The question now is whether the new prime minister will continue to pursue rapprochement with the disaffected segments of society or initiate a crackdown.”

For crying out loud!!!

Who the hell cares?

Who gives a rat’s behind about which thug is selected by the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front to become the next make-believe prime minister?

Who the next make-believe prime minister is going to be is a done deal, fait accompli. The T-TPLF gang or four or five are just waiting to build up the suspense and make the announcement.

Whoever the T-TPLF names “prime minister” is not going to make a difference.

The T-TPLF bosses will still be the powers behind the throne; they will be the puppet masters.

Did it make a damn bit of difference when Hailemariam Desalegn was T-TPLF prime minister?

They had Hailemariam wrapped around their little fingers as they puppet mastered him.

The T-TPLF state within the state does not give a damn who the prime minister is because whoever he is, they will tell him what to do.

In July 2017 Hailemariam himself said that he made decisions as prime minister as directed by his T-TPLF masters.

The next prime minister is going to be one of the boys from the TPLF thugdom.

Here is the bottom line: A thug in a designer suit wearing alligator shoes, carrying an ostrich brief case and sporting the label “prime minister” is still a thug.

Does it really amount to a hill of beans if the “prime minister” is going to be Tweedledee Debretsion? Tweedledum Demeke? Tweedledee Siraj? Tweedledum Workneh?

Or the Tweedledee and Tweedledum of fantasyland?

Indeed, the T-TPLF search for a prime minister reminds me of the battle of Tweedledee and Tweedledum in Lewis Carrol’s “Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There”.

In Carrol’s fantastical world, the fat little Tweedledee and Tweedledum brothers never contradict each other and shower each other with complements. But one day they decide to have a make-believe quarrel because Tweedledum says Tweedledee broke his new rattle. But they never actually fight because they saw a big crow swooping down on them.

The T-TPLF fat cat Tweedledees and Tweedledums are always self-promoting. They are a band of brothers whose hands are soaked in the blood of innocent citizens. Yet, they spread rumors about the internal battles they are having. They shift around their Tweedledees and Tweedledums from one position to another and pretend to fire and dismiss each other.  They pump out disinformation about who would be their “prime minister” to create suspense.

In fact, like Carrol’s Tweedledee and Tweedledum, they never fight. They pretend to fight because they see Ethiopian Cheetahs (young people) swooping down on them. They huddle secretly trying to devise ways of defeating Ethiopia’s invincible Cheetahs.

Try as they may, the T-TPLF will NEVER, NEVER, defeat Ethiopian Cheetahs UNITED!

So, it does not matter whichever Tweedledee or Tweedledum the T-TPLF makes prime minister. It is all a huge T-TPLF scam, political drama to distract the people and the international community.

Did it matter when Hailemariam Desalegn was “prime minister”?

The life and times of the T-TPLF puppet prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn

Does it matter who the T-TPLF names as “prime minister”?

The answer to that question is self-evident in the five-year “prime-ministership” of Hailemariam Desalegn, handpicked by the late supreme TPLF thugmaster Meles Zenawi.

Meles believed he could prolong the life of his TPLF by designating a stooge from a minority ethnic group in the country.

That was a clever strategy on two levels. First, it avoided rivalry between elites of the major ethnic groups in the EPRDF (the front organization the TPLF uses to create the impression that it has a coalition) thugdom.

Second, because Hailemariam as a representative of a minority ethnic group does not have his own substantial constituency, he would be easy to control and manipulate.

But at the time of Hailemariam’s appointment, I did not write him off as many did. I cut him a whole lot of slack. I gave him the full benefit of the doubt! I wanted him to succeed as “prime minister”, not fail.

This was what I had to say in my September 2012 commentary, “Ethiopia Finally Has a New Prime Minister?”:

I believe there are many doubting Thomases today, particularly in the opposition, who are likely to be dismissive of Hailemariam because he was Meles’ protégé and the unanimous choice of the shadowy and secretive group of kingmakers. Some will likely perceive him or portray him as a “Meles’ Clone” and a puppet who could be easily manipulated and blindly and unquestioningly do the bidding of the powers that be who made him prime minister.

His detractors will likely argue that Hailemariam can only be a figurehead since true power will remain with those who control the military, the police and security forces and the elites who have a chokehold on the economy. Others will opine that Hailemariam’s appointment is all a trick and a scam by the powers that be to get themselves out of a constitutional jam and hoodwink the people and con the international donors into continuing to dole out billions in aid.

Still others will argue that Hailemariam is just a seat warmer installed until the power brokers could buy more time and appoint one of their own. If push comes to shove, they can kick him out of office at any time and replace him with another puppet; and if need be impose martial law just to cling to power. There will be some who will cynically predict the kingmakers will use him and lose him. I suspect there will be umpteen reason given to discredit and dismiss Hailemariam.

I did not dismiss or condemn Hailemariam as a T-TPLF puppet just because he was handpicked by the thugmaster himself. I was magnanimous, scrupled and fair in my hopes for Hailemariam. (Yes, just as I pride myself for speaking truth to power anywhere, I also  pride myself in being fair, as fair as humanly possible, to everyone!).

I refused to prejudge Hailemariam.

At this time, I am not inclined to be dismissive of Hailemariam’s potential to become a good and sensible leader. I reserve judgment not out of naiveté or because I do not have constitutional questions about his succession or political misgivings about the secretive process that led to his appointment. I shall give him the benefit of the doubt because I believe fundamental fairness requires that he be given a chance to prove or disprove himself as a capable and effective leader. When one is gnawed by an overwhelming sense of doubt not based on facts, it is important to strive and keep an open mind and make informed judgment. I do not believe in guilt by association and will not hold against Hailemariam the fact that Meles was his mentor.  I also aim to avoid the “soft bigotry of low expectations”. I do not know what Hailemariam is capable of doing in the future. I do not have evidence that Hailemariam has an atrocious record of human rights violations individually or in concert with others. Nor do I have evidence that he flouts the rule of law, is hostile to press freedoms or schemes to suppress democratic institutions.

Fairness requires that I judge him by his deeds and words. I shall reserve judgment. I trust Hailemariam will be wise enough to refrain from and avoid the inflammatory rhetoric of Meles as he begins his new office. I hope he will show humility and not display the belligerence, arrogance and hubris of his predecessor. I hope he will do more to reach out to his opposition and try to work with them, and not trap himself in a bubble surrounded by sycophants. I trust he will be more conciliatory than confrontational; more understanding of the opposition and their frustrations and less condemnatory of those who may disagree with him. I hope he will have the wisdom to understand the inebriating power of power and the corrupting nature of absolute power and learn to use power wisely by tempering it with justice and compassion. I hope he will listen more and lecture less; under promise and over deliver and show respect for institutions, his opposition and his compatriots. On a personal level, I hope he will be able to share my unshakable belief in the sanctity of human rights and commitment to upholding the rule of law. But I also have a special wish for him: He has a long walk to make and he can get to his destination if he walks and strives to help his compatriots walk in Mandela’s shoes than anyone else’s.

I gave Hailemariam the full benefit of the doubt, but he proved to be merely a T-TPLF puppet as many critics pointed out at the time of his appointment.

I even naively hoped he might walk in Mandela’s shoes.

Why did Hailemariam fail?

Hailemariam’s Faustian dance with the T-TPLF

I pity Hailemariam. He failed because he made a Faustian deal with the T-TPLF.

In his inaugural speech to the party faithful in the T-TPLF rubberstamp parliament, Hailemariam made Meles a lesser god offering his personal blessings of “Eternal Glory to Our Great Leader.”

I have often invoked Goethe’s “Faust” to explain what it is like to deal with the T-TPLF.  (In fact, I invoked the Faust metaphor in one of my earliest commentaries in 2006.)

Faust made a deal with the Devil, exchanging his soul for power, unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures. Faust got what he wanted. In the end, the Devil got Faust’s soul.

Hailemariam sold his soul to the T-TPLF Devil with an apparent human face — a human mask — to be called “prime minister”, for power and wealth.

Hailemariam betrayed the truth, his own religious values and principles for the benefits and pleasures that come with becoming “prime minister.”

But the wily T-TPLF Devil made him do it. Do it all without a single T-TPLF fingerprint, thumbprint, palm print, footprint or voice print.

They puppet mastered Hailemariam to the hilt to do their dirty jobs following the T-TPLF blueprint.

Hailemariam signed the death warrants of thousands of people as “prime minister”. No T-TPLF fingerprint on the warrant.

Hailemariam justified the massacres of untold numbers of young Ethiopians on the altars of counterterrorism. No T-TPLF voice print on the announcement.

Hailemariam denied  (forward clip to 7:53) there were any political prisoners until he admitted and released thousands of them. No T-TPLF palm print.

Hailemariam allowed the Maekelawi Prison, known as torture central, until he admitted it will be closed and turned into a museum. I promptly proposed Maekelawi be aptly named, “The Museum of T-TPLF Horrors, Hate, Hubris and Holocaust”. No T-TPLF thumb print.

Hailemariam handed over large chunks of Ethiopian land to the Sudan. In December 2013, Sudanese foreign minister Ali Karti announced that he ended the border dispute with Ethiopia on the “Al-Fashaga [area] which covers an area of about 250 square kilometers and  has about 600,000 acres of fertile lands.” No T-TPLF footprint.

Between 2012-2016, under Hailemariam’s prime-ministership, Ethiopia’s per capita debt rose from USD$186 to USD$460 and the debt as a percentage of GDP rose from 37% to 58% for the same period.

Hailemariam’s resignation does not exonerate him from the crimes against humanity he committed. He will not be able to plead a defense of “just following orders” like Adolf Eichmann at the Nuremberg Trials. He will have to own up to the crimes against humanity he committed.

When the time comes, and there is no doubt it will come, neither those who “just followed orders” or those who gave orders will escape justice.

I really do pity Hailemariam.

That man must be delusional. Perhaps he was so deeply mired in T-TPLF muck, he had no choice but to play the part scripted for him by his T-TPLF masters.

In his “resignation” speech, Hailemariam showed the world how delusional he was.

Hailemariam had this ridiculously inflated sense of self-importance.

In his speech, he said his resignation would lead to “lasting peace” and is “vital in the bid to carry out reforms that would lead to sustainable peace and democracy.”  He declared “the public’s demands and questions should be met and answered”.

Hailemariam apparently never understood that his prime-ministership or the fact that he was a T-TPLF lackey and bootlicker made absolutely no positive difference in the lives of the Ethiopian people.

He said it himself. As “prime minister” he made decisions as directed directed by his T-TPLF masters.

Baye Tadesse Tefferi, Hailemariam’s assistant, who defected to the U.S. in October 2017 told the Voice of America- Amharic Program that he decided to defect because he feared being whacked by the T-TPLF mafia. He revealed that Hailemariam Desalegn is a T-TPLF puppet and captive in the gilded cage of a make-believe prime-ministership.

Hailemariam said “the public’s demands and questions should be met and answered”. What the hell was he doing sitting on his duff for 5 years?

Of course, he answered the public’s demands and questions. With the rattle of AK 47.

Remember the Irrecha Massacres of October 2016! Hailemariam blamed the massacre victims for causing their own deaths.

In the end, Hailemariam probably figured it out. He has been used, abused and discarded by the T-TPLF like a street side trick.

He had his 15 minute of fame. He hung out with Obama and his crew. He showed up at the U.N. and babbled.

But his ambition for power, fame and fortune proved to be imaginary. In the end, he found out he was merely a puppet of the T-TPLF Devil just as Faust was Mephistopheles’.

Hailemariam’s doom was just as predictable as Faust’s.

The fact of the matter is that the T-TPLF is an equal opportunity Devil.

The T-TPLF is willing, able and ready to make a Faustian deal with anyone, at any time and in any place! Anyone from any ethnic group who is willing to sell his/her soul to the T-TPLF Devil can get the same deals.

The T-TPLF does not give a damn who you are and will make a deal with you at any cost provided, in the end, it gets your soul.

The next “prime minister”, whoever he/it is, will also have to make a Faustain deal with the T-TPLF devils.

They will offer him/it the same things they offered Hailemariam.

Whoever is named “prime minister” will be a T-TPLF puppet, pawn.

I know exactly who is going to be the T-TPLF’s next prime minister.

The next T-TPLF prime minister will be that Tweedledee or Tweddledum who is willing to sell his body and soul to the T-TPLF devil and throw in his grandmother in the deal for good measure.

The T-TPLF’s grand strategy of mass distraction by-search-for-a-new-prime-minister

The T-TPLF bosses believe they can use public relations con games as workarounds to defeat the massive nonviolent resistance that is spreading like wildfire throughout Ethiopia today. They believe by grandstanding make-believe “resignations” and a bogus search for a new prime minister can buy them time, the good will and support of the Ethiopian people.

There is an old Ethiopian saying: “Shuffling the saucepan from one burner to another on the stovetop will not make the sauce tastier.”

I say to make the sauce tasty and palatable, it is necessary to fire the chef along with his entire kitchen and serving staff and all the vendors. It is necessary to completely clean out the T-TPLF from the Ethiopia kitchen.

Replacing (c)prime minister Tweedledee with (c)prime minister Tweedledum will not humanize the T-TPLF Devil.

All the make-believe resignations and search for a new prime minister are part of a larger T-TPLF psychological warfare operation (PsyOps).

The T-TPLF is waging psychological war because its war on the people of Ethiopia with AK-47s and machineguns is not working out too well. The more the T-TPLF kills and massacres, the more people come out to protest and resist.

The T-TPLF will do anything to divert domestic and international attention from its crimes and corruption.

The T-TPLF will always strive to control the narrative. They want everyone to talk about what they want to talk about. They want people to talk about the resignation of their prime minister and appointment of a new one.

The T-TPLF, above all else, wants to sap the energy of the youth resistance.

The T-TPLF hopes its weapons of mass distraction will in time sap the energy out of the Ethiopian youth movement which has been the motive force in the mass mobilization against T-TPLF ethnic apartheid rule.

They hope the youth will somehow be confused and bamboozled and walk away from their protests and nonviolent resistance actions. They think they can fool the youth by appointing one of their puppet prime ministers.

The T-TPLF insultingly underestimates Ethiopia’s youth. They are not going to be fooled with paper bags of cotton candy. They want real change. That means an immediate and complete end and dismantlement of the T-TPLF ethnic apartheid regime in Ethiopia.

In 1935, in a speech at the Reichsparteitag, Hitler said, “He alone, who owns the youth, gains the Future!”

What Hitler meant was that the young person who is socialized through Hitler Youth will join the SA (brownshirts), the SS (armed wing of the Nazis) and other organizations. Eventually, that young person will join the labor service, the armed forces and the rest of the Nazi system.

The fact of the matter is that no amount of window dressing and game playing is going to change the simple truth.

The T-TPLF is totally and completely rejected by Oromo, Amhara, Gurage, Somali, Afaris, Anuaks… youth.

The T-TPLF is rejected by the overwhelming majority of Tigrean youth.

The T-TPLF cannot buy Ethiopia’s youth with make-believe jobs or fool them with cotton candy.

Ethiopia’s Cheetahs want FREEDOM, DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS and an end to ETHNIC APARTHIED, NOW! These are non-negotiable.

The T-TPLF is the ash heap of history, not the future of Ethiopia.

The T-TPLF has NO FUTURE in Ethiopia because ETHIOPIA’S YOUTH (CHEETAH GENERATION) are overwhelmingly against it.

Ethiopia’s youth own their own future.

Ethiopia’s Cheetahs are striving to build a future for themselves on the historical trash heap of the T-TPLF hyenas!

Game of Tweedledee and Tweedledum (c)prime minister, OVER!

“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.





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