Posted by Issayas Tesfamariam (California, USA) on August 21, 2002 at 18:55:13:
Perverted Reasoning From the Perverted Minds of "Les Enfants Terribles d'Erythree"
In the camp of "les enfants terribles d'Erythree" commonsense is not so common after all. Le sens commun n'est pas si commun. Excuse my French. I did not say it. Rene Descartes did.
To start with, the year 2002 is not a good year for the camp because of the double whammy. A) The April 13, 2002, Hague Border Commission's verdict vindicated Eritrea. B) The official launching of Wefri (campaign) Warsai-Yika'alo, which terrifies the camp to the core because of the assurance of its success. When it comes to the "Wefri Warsai-Yika'alo," the only "intelligent" response they could muster was that the "wefri" is "wefri barinet" (slavery). Imagine that! Using the word slavery loosely, as a fly-by-night buzzword in the United States, is not only irresponsible but also immoral.
First, let us see what the objective of Wefri Warsai-Yika'alo is? In short, it is a comprehensive, revolutionary, national economic rehabilitation and development program in the aftermath of the destructive war with the Weyane regime of Ethiopia. In other words, Eritrea's own Marshall Plan. The Marshall Plan, launched by the then emergent US super-power, helped western European countries with reconstruction after World War II (WWII) by giving people hope for a better future and acted as a lubricant in the engine of economic recovery (George C. Memorial Foundation). The key word here is "a better future," keeping in mind that the European countries, which the Marshall Plan intended to help, were already highly developed and educated societies.
Wefri Warsai-Yika'alo is also a guide for a better future for the whole population of Eritrea through the expansion of education (for all), health care (for all), better communications (rail, land, sea, air), agriculture (output, soil & water conservation), infrastructure, services, etc. Do you see being "enslaved," with a program that lays down the foundation for the betterment of a people, which guarantees a secure future for its own children? I don't.
By the way, did they say slavery? Do they really comprehend what that word means, especially in the United States? It means, among other things:
: A system, a.k.a. "The Peculiar Institution," where black people were not considered humans, only to turn around and classify them as 3/5th human for tax purposes.
: A system where one works from sunrise to sunset for free for life including their children.
: A system whereby reading was punishable by death or some form of severe penalty.
: A system where a gathering of more than three people was forbidden.
: A system where playing drums was illegal.
: A system where people were paraded and sold like cattle.
: A system where the enslaved were not expected to think, dream, and fantasize of a better future for themselves and their children.
etc., etc., etc.
Second, if by telling us the Wefri is barinet (slavery) as an attention grabber in order to sway us into their camp, by not weighing on the word, then they have failed miserably because they have insulted our intelligence. As a result they have made us mad as hell. It is fine and dandy to oppose a government, but it is not kosher when one's hatred of a government even fogs simple sens commun (common sense).
Tell the 70-year old farmer from Safira in Zoba Debub, who said, "we used to fetch water by traveling for hours. But now, long live our government, we get water from three sites in our village from two reservoirs with a capacity of 70 and 20 cubic meters respectively," that the solution of potable water for Safira was because of slavery.
Tell the people of Safira and its surroundings, who contributed 70,000 nakfa worth of labor out of a total cost of 1.4 million nakfa project, were enslaved by the Government of Eritrea to solve their shortage of potable water.
Is the government expansion of vocational institutions (there are nine and growing) the result of an enslavement policy?
Is the government's expanding the returnee's settlement areas at the cost of 45 million nakfa to enslave them in those areas?
Tell the people of Fekeyih that 30,000 nakfa worth of labor ( excuse me, I should say "slave labor" according to the perverted reasoning of the perverted minds) out of 685,000 nakfa project in building a new water pipeline was the result of enslavement by the government?
And so on and so forth . . .
Give us a break!!
Third, rehabilitation and reintegration of the large number of people in the army into civilian societies is also part of the Wefri Warsai-Yika'alo. This part of the campaign, which will encourage the reintegrated soldiers to continue their studies through various programs, could be called Eritrea's own G. I. Bill. The G.I. Bill(officially, the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944) was signed by President Roosevelt on June 22,1944. (While the first GI Bill was singed in 1944, the second one, called Montgomery G.I., was signed into law by President Regan in 1984. To date the G.I Bill cost over 70 billion USD). The G.I. Bill provided a rich menu of benefits, including not just money for college education, but also cut-rate mortgages, free tickets home, and medical care, as a kind of reward upon veterans after the war (Nicholas Lemann). Even though the bill's education program was put under the Veterans Administration, the number of veterans who used the education venue was tremendous. Beneficiaries of the G.I. Bill include Presidents George Bush (Sr.), Gerald Ford, Vice President Al Gore, Jr., Chief Justice William Rehnquist, Justice John Paul Stevens (both of the Supreme Court judges) and many others. Note: Major supporter of the G. I. Bill was William Randolph Hearst the newspaper king and, curiously, the major opponent of the bill was Dr. James Bryant Connant, President of Harvard University, who was advocating that the number of students in colleges should be decreased instead of increased because he was a believer in "natural aristocracy."
Eritrea's own G. I. Bill envisions soldiers, who served their country honorably and who did not pass their university entrance exams, to be given a chance to study and retake it (contrary to Connant's notion of education for the elite only). Also, it envisions the creation of colleges and vocational schools under various ministries, which are going to absorb the majority of the reintegrated soldiers. Five more universities are going to be built in various parts of the country. Those who are going to work would be allowed to work out a plan with their employers for some kind of work/study program, etc.
Lastly, all the machinery that is needed by this huge undertaking is already in place in Eritrea. With the machinery in place, according to the parlance or lingua franca of the other side, the fate of the people of Eritrea is signed, sealed and delivered to be enslaved. This is what I call "perverted reasoning from the perverted minds of les enfants terrible
Wetru Awet N'hafash!