Sir James Black places his walking stick on one side, eases himself into a plump yellow sofa atthe Royal Society of Medicine’s headquarters in London and begins to talk in a soft voice. But heis soon working himself up into a passion. He becomes agitated when discussing a Harvard Business Review article from 2008 by Jean-Pierre Garnier, the former chief executive of on the future of drugdev
Unfortunately, some of our citizens who have been influenced so much so by the ideology of “free market system” and are unaware about the complex ideas that capitalism espouses either in its classical or water-down versionNational Security: The Quest for Stability
(Part I: Faith Intolerance)
All citizens of Ethiopia are entitled to protection from human-made harms of any kind, which by extension compels the EPRDF lead government to have a vigorous national security policy. For the Ethiopian government, as much as it is for any other legitimate government in the world, the peaceful existence of our people and country guarded from any human-made harm by any entity comes next to nothing. And for almost two decades, protecting our people and country from harms of our detractors has been made possible by a feasible, knowledge-based, flexible and yet adamant national security plan of EPRDF. The plan will continue and EPRDF will never sway from implementing such a deeply thought and experience-based plan when ever the need for National security entails never-ending and ever-changing issues and is not seen narrowly by EPRDF to mean the making of war or peace. EPRDF believes that military power is only one of the vital dimensions of national security plan—with rooms for number of other areas of focus. For example, as the soberest diplomat that some may call naïve, EPRDF believes in the supremacy of bilateral and multilateral talks to resolve issues of difference peacefully. As a result, even sworn enemies of Ethiopia are given the chance for dialogue, literally, just before they fire a single shot to harm an innocent With regards to internal political wrangling that may potentially rise to an issue of grave national security concern, EPRDF is ready for an accord on binding code of conduct with all lawful contending political parties. In quest for stability and sustainable development, these are some of the political gestures that made EPRDF what it is today—the unquestionably mature Front—with the utmost and required capability to keep our beloved people and country safe and sound.
The quest for stability and sustainable development comes with additional areas of focus on economic strength with emphasis on food security, higher and quality education, political state craft and ideological vitality. In this continuously demanding world, these areas of focus dictate all states to do their best to protect and serve the overall interest of their own people and country. Meanwhile, each country’s immediate, short-range and long term area of focus may be is disparate in nature and it is up to the government to prioritize the issues as needed.
Issues within these general focus areas may trigger contending forces of thoughts to differ in categorizing and solving imminent and impending problems of national security concerns. However, the issue of safeguarding the sovereignty and security of a nation from the forces of terror and other activities of destabilization comes next to nothing. It is simply beyond the domain of other areas of focus. This is not in any way especial to any single nation, but it is rather a shared and principled way of dealing with security—commonly held by rich, poor, mighty and weak states across the globe. For us Ethiopians as much as it is for any other nationals therefore, the existence and safety of our people and country comes next to nothing.
Today, the concern about the existence and safety of our people and country is not limited but includes one, the forces of terror and other activities done to destabilize Ethiopia, two, security concerns about the upcoming Parliamentary Election of 2010, and three, the short and long-term economic health of Ethiopia with emphasis on food security. These are the day-to-day, short and long-run national security concerns of Ethiopia —for which a feasible, knowledge-based, flexible and yet adamant national security plan is required of our government.
As noted above, one of the day-to-day national security concern of Ethiopia deals with forces of terror and other destabilizing activities and requires in part a lean and potent defense force, clever intelligence gathering agency accompanied by vigilant citizenry and a multi-purpose police force geared with relatively high tech equipments.
In this regard, it shows that our government is continuously and meticulously executing a working security plan —for the simple fact that our country is still strongly suited to defend against aggressors and terror groups as needed.
The success of our country in defending itself from aggressors and terror groups might have closed all windows of opportunity except for very narrow opening left for these destabilizing forces to exploit. Aggressors and terrorist forces have made their intent known to use their adulterated faith as a weapon to induce intolerance. In fact, the few incidents of faith intolerance in our country in the recent past indicate that it is indeed the work of those with ties to these aggressors and terror groups. Because of a long- standing tradition of harmonious relationship, nearly all Ethiopians are the unlikely agents of intolerance of any faith. Such instances of faith intolerance are therefore imported social ills that we should deem part of our greatest national security concerns.
Faith conflict is induced either by way of intolerance that sprouts from zealous conviction and by the feeling of righteousness about ones own faith or, by state or non- state act that suppresses one faith while it enhances another. In countries where faith tolerance is embedded in tradition while a vigilant secular government is in charge, as in Ethiopia, faith intolerance is either imported or exploited by opponents of the state for purely political reasons. This is especially true of a successful state inured by barrage of political, economic and social detractions thrown at it from multiple directions. The Ethiopian state is such that many of its detractors have few tricks left at their disposal and would not mind to propagate faith intolerance to enervate its power—to render it dubious and inconsequential. For example, the failures and defeats of the many hellish deeds perpetrated by the one-man state of Eritrea have left Isayas and company with one last opening to create havoc in Ethiopia.
The one-man state of Eritrea is bent to find the ugliest and very costly opening to attack Ethiopia’s exemplary faithful relationship. Beyond being the single most important arms smuggler to Somalia, the megalomaniac one-man state has not ceased from exploiting both Islam and Christianity for its own sake of satiating its urge to stay in power. His paid agent in America is busy apprising the self-exiled Ethiopian opposition about a faith-based visit to Asmara—alluding faithful support to the one-man state of Eritrea and faith-based condemnation against the Ethiopian state.
On another note, the desire of the one-man state of Eritrea to align itself with Arab League by merely invoking similarity in faith and language is well documented.
Like an aspiring student eager to do internship in hope of being hired by a specific company, the one-man state of Eritrea is in fact interning in Somalia on military and faith-based mission. This mission although futile will allow it to claim credit from those influential regional states such as Egypt, Libya, Syria and others for standing true to a faith-based military endeavor. The camaraderie it has with al-Shebaab is thus in huge part the result of its desire to use faith intolerance as a weapon of mass destruction in Ethiopia.To this hellish end, it is now apparent that an amalgamated anti-Ethiopian force has been formed from many actors on faith-based ground and it is being spearheaded by the one-man state of Eritrea. The list of these amalgamated anti-Ethiopian forces is not at all limited to al-Shebaab, al-Quaeda, Hezbollah, Egypt, Iran, Libya, and Syria. Our government has given this camaraderie due attention and it should also examine about any tie that may exist between these forces of destruction and other issues of national security concerns. Another reality that is given due attention by our government is the fact that these destabilizing ant-Ethiopian forces and their actions are being tolerated by states, non-state, governmental, and non-governmental organizations—except for the recent responsible call by Britain and others to curb the one-man rogue state of Eritrea.
With regards to using faith intolerance, it should also be known that, the path taken by the self-exiled Ethiopian opposition indicates the emergence of a new kind of coalition to exploit faith for political purpose. The eagerness to exploit faith for political purpose by the self-exiled opposition is as old as the opposition itself. In its earliest days, this group was the first to take its “faith” to US Courts seeking “remedy” claiming a monopoly over an angel. For millions of faithful Ethiopians, nothing can be shocking more so than going to court asking for an injunction to deprive others from using the name of their greatly revered angel. What else; this is a special case of faith intolerance to ones own faith when the faithful happens to come from a disparate background and political conviction. This type of faith intolerance for political expediency is still in operation, and, it is particularly a serious issue of national security concern as the threat posed by faith intolerance between two faiths.
The willingness of this self-exiled opposition group and others to plan and organize with the intent to unlawfully dislodge the Ethiopian state “by any means necessary,” makes it a partner to all endeavors of the one-man state of Eritrea. This is precisely the reason why the self-exiled opposition group is behaving dually like its contentious cousin from Eritrea. On one hand, it overtly declares its intolerance of another faith by incorrectly depicting Ethiopia as a single faith nation, and on another, it is eager to support terror groups who declared jihad on Ethiopia so long as they break EPRDF to inconsequential dubious political power. By so doing, for the self-exiled opposition group, politics becomes its faith and its faith becomes a means to its political end. This inherent idiocy is the result of the degree to which the hate for Ethiopia is sharpened and it should tell the Ethiopian national security planners about the potential harm this self-exiled opposition group is harboring.
Openly hostile quasi-self-exiled members of the opposition group travel to our beloved country back and forth unrestrained by anything, and it is about time for all responsible bodies of the Ethiopian government to give due attention to persons of interest. As usual, our national security plan in this regard and the fullest possible actions that we may take will induce murmurs in all of our detractors. Our actions to curb faith intolerance will inevitably be taken as new breath of “human rights violation,” by those who on the other hand wish Ethiopia crumble like a house built on sand at the hands of al-shebaab, ONLF, al-Ithad al-Islamia, Shaebia, OLF, Ginbot 7 and the rest. Let the debate cease and the murmur starts; we should not in any way let Ethiopia be pushed around on this issue of a very serious national security concern.
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