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Guns, Germs and Steel

October 15, 2005

By Mogus Degoyae Mochena

The recent speech of bravado by Meles and the wishy-washy stand of the leaders of UEDF raise a fundamental question.

A few weeks ago, I was watching a documentary depicting the theory of impact of geography on the evolution of the societies and countries we have today by Professor Jared Diamond of UCLA in his book “Guns, Germs and Steel”.

Professor Diamond is trying to answer the question why the Europeans have been so successful in conquering most of the world. It just so happened that the episode I was watching was about some hundred European soldiers led by a Spanish conquistador and the Empire of the Incas. The Incas, like the Aztecs of Mexico, had a spectacular civilization. The question is how could some hundred soldiers from Spain led by some adventurer conquer the Empire of the Incas?

The Europeans were wily, had guns and some missionaries with them. When they first approached the great compounds of the Emperor of the Incas, they were petrified. The Incas were incredulous at seeing some strange form of human beings. The Europeans sent their priests and negotiators to the Emperor’s court. They were sizing up the Emperor and his court as they pretended to negotiate. At one stage, there was a fall out. The Incas Emperor was still expecting them to come back the next morning and continue negotiations. The wicked European conquistadors had a different, sinister plan after having appraised all that wealth controlled by the Emperor. Before dawn they attacked with their guns and all the firepower they had with vengeance. The Incas were bewildered; their Emperor who was considered a demigod was disgraced and was reduced to a pitiful weakling. The Europeans took over.

After watching the episode a few weeks ago, I tried to relate Professor Diamond’s theory to the Ethiopian historical evolution of conquest. How Menelik conquered all of Ethiopia from the barren highlands of Ankober and Northern Shoa. Deceit, Guns and treachery played a fundamental role. I thought of the good-natured Incas and compared them to Oromos and Southerners.

Then I thought of the band of TPLF gun-totters at the present. How their guns have helped them conquer Ethiopia. How they have enriched themselves and control anything they wish in Ethiopia. How Meles brandishes his guns and tanks and threatens his opposition to kill. Guns, Guns, Guns!!! How he wants to cow the opposition into submission by flaunting his muscle. This guy is so crazed that he tells them straight to their face that he could wipe them out.

The issue before Ethiopian people now is whether force will rule over reason and negotiation. The opposition leaders are so scared that they are not willing to tap into the smoldering volcano of the Ethiopian people ready for eruption to consume the arrogant TPLF. The first thing, this jerk does after the illegitimate parliament convenes is pass a law to go after his opponents. In the end he always resorts to his guns and intimidation. The opposition should be equally bold to say no to him. He should know that his scare tactics would not work in this day and age. Rather he should be brought down to his knees, and that is possible only with a firm stand of Ethiopian people.

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