Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Welcome to Readers of ""

***********08/17/07 UPDATE the conference call was cancelled******** is a website for Eritreans. It's a members only thing, so I can't read much. However, I am experiencing a little surge from there and I thought I would address it. The post here and comments it with have sparked some debate.
First - I posted the email because I was amused to be addressed as a "key blogger". My blog is nonsense and to get an email from the State Department insinuating anything else was amusing and flattering.
Second - The two commenters who appear to be Eritrean are both commenting from inside the United States. So, I take exception with your huffy, defensive tone. You can go on all you want about not needing the US....but you are here enjoying our protection right now.
1st Commenter
Who cares about Jendayi Frazer. We Eritrean don't expect any good word from her!! We don’t have time for her. We are busy to build our country. Long Live Eritrea!!
My Response
As far as my anonymous commenter goes........sitemeter says you posted your comment from inside the United States. I am impressed you are able to rebuild a country from that distance. Further, you should care about Jendayi Frazer. You should care about everyone who wants to help you. You are going to need a lot of help and you would do well to watch yourself, sir.
2nd Commenter
You are telling the wrong people they need help from the US. Eritreans do not want US's help. That is why they kicked USAID out of their country. Perhaps? You might be the one that is requiring help, seeing that SD has put you in a situation you know nothing of.
and billt please try to grow up.
Again, I would respond that it's childish and immature to turn away help. Are we (the US) your enemy? Did we cause the problems you are experiencing? No. So why are you out here talking smack about Jendayi Frazer and USAID? Ms. Frazer is a dedicated and hardworking State Department assistant Secretary. She is trying to help. Why would you stomp your feet and cross your arms and refuse?

However, if you are going to talk the we say in this country....why don't you walk the walk? If you are so caught up in not taking help and not needing help and rebuilding your own country.......then go do it! It's easy for both of you to turn away help. You are here and safe and living in better conditions that many of your countrymen. I think there are people in Eritrea, right not, this minute who would be very happy to accept some help right now.


Galrahn said...

If these people are really Eritreans, they are probably of a higher class and most likely at the high end of the education spectrum of Eritrean society.

Says a lot about the country huh...

BostonMaggie said...

LOL, be nice Galrahn!

How well would we communicate in their language? I just don't get the hostility to offers of help. Did you read the other two posts?

Different subject....why do I have to wait until after Labor Day for Roughead's hearing?????

Merhawie said...

Hello Maggie,

As a frequent blogger I believe some of us from Dehai were frustrated that out of our number (a number of which blog frequently) none of us were included in this email.

As far as Eritrea is concerned though, we would love to have the United States as a friend. Any nation would, but we cannot be subordinate to any nation.

If you look at the track history of the Eritrean government's loans, they are with partner's in development. If you look across the world at misspent development aid you (and your readers of course) may begin to develop an understanding for what Eritrea is trying to avoid.

In our defense as well, Eritrea is facing a number of enemies today who will stop at nothing to vilify our campaign for socially equitable justice for the poorest of the poor.

As for the comments of one of your readers, yes many of us here in United States are highly educated, but we are not simply staying here, we are helping our country with our skills and doing what we can to multiply the effect of our skills by developing assets abroad.

Thank you, and I hope you found this post illuminating

BostonMaggie said...

Merhawie - Now that was worth reading! I can relate to everything in your comment and I am very glad that you visited. I have never been involved in a State Department press briefing, but if the opportunity comes up, I will ask your question.

Anonymous said...

It is not about the people and country of Eritrea. No one hates or has any reason to hate the people and country of Eritrea.
The talk is all about those that took it upon themselve to act and talk on behalf of the people and country of Eritrea,ie, those that have assummed governmental authorities in Eritrea by the barrel of the gun- Yes, it is about the one-man, one-party totalitarian rule by the barrel of the gun that has befallen our country,Eritrea, ever since out national idependence now past 16 years.
The US is not the enemy of Eritrea. But the US has every right to stand up to the totalitarian rule in Eritrea. It is the call of the people of Eritrea.
In Eritrea there is no constitution,no political opposition, dissent is treasonous, parliament is wishful thinking, rule of law is taboo, and press freedom is mere imagination. Under such circumstances, the international community and the US cannot be indifferent.
The policy of the totalitarian regime in Eritrea is the tyrannical "my way or the highway" and that is why it is not in talking mode with AU,IGAD,UN,Security Council, UK.

Who are friends of this regime? Libya, Iran.

Please note no one assailing the people and country of Eritrea. All is,rightly,directed against the "govt."

Anonymous said...


If the government of Eritrea is a bad and as totalitarian as you make it sound why do so many intelligent educated Eritreans support this regime?

Anonymous said...

I am not fabricating or making it sound that the govt.authority in Eritrea is toralitarian. Here are the facts:
The national constitution has been banned now past 10 years. Absent national constitution, where do they draw their authority and ligitimaization from to reign over Eritrea? Barrel of the gun?
What do you call one-man, one-pary oligarchic control over a country without restrains of constitution, parliament, political opposition, rule of law, free press etc but totalitarian? The govt. does not have the support of educated Eritreans. The one and only University in Eritrea has long been closed. Educated Eritreans are balking in the diaspora. There is no one returningg home. That is fact not some thing made to sound like one, sorry.

Galrahn said...

Maggie clearly I can be a prick, so in their language I wouldn't be much different than any other rude American, at least in the eyes of those in the other thread.

I'll try to be nicer in the future.

As for Roughead, the reason is simple, you have to wait until Labor Day because you are on government time. It's like going to the DMV, take a number.

BostonMaggie said...

Galrahn - Say whatever you wish.....Navy guys get away with murder here!

I understand your point about government time.....but surely you agree, *I* should not be made to wait!

Merhawie said...

First of all make up your mind! Is it a one-man state or an oligarchy? They are mutually exclusive so do not confuse them. As for the educated who are "balk" from afar, well, every nation has those. But to claim that the educated avoid helping in the reconstruction of our country is a bit of an exaggeration. Hundreds of those that have been educated abroad to the most supreme levels have returned, albeit not always permanently, to contribute.

And as for the constitution being banned, well after my last trip there a little over a couple weeks ago, I can verify that this claim is incorrect. The local bookstores had several copies in English, Tigrinya and Arabic, its your choice (specifically this was in Asmara, so perhaps in the other regions it may have been in the other languages).

Good luck finding a flight to Eritrea though, the trips, especially during the summer, on Yemenia and Eritrean Airlines are packed! Your best chance is to try Lufthansa from Frankfurt or Nasair from Dubai. Personally next time I am going to try and fly Nasair so I skip the hustle and bustle of Asmara and have some quality time in Massawa before I get to work!

Speaking of which, the new college in Massawa is truly a beautiful thing. But to believe I guess you gotta see it. Hope you get to soon.

Sorry Maggie, I didn't really mean to turn your comments thread into a dissertation but hey I hope I have imparted a bit of fun info to you and your readers!

BostonMaggie said...

Merhawie - Carry on!

I am enjoying the discussion.

Anonymous said...

First of all, please do not read your fantasies into my comment. Where did you get the “one-man state” you are blabbering about? I have never uttered such nonsense. What we have in Eritrea is a one-man, one-party totalitarian oligarchy. Get that right.

Never “claimed that the educated avoid helping in the reconstruction of our country”. Again you are reading your fantasies into my comments. Please re-read my comment in that regard and come back if you want.

The national constitution is not a novel, love story, or the story of Alice in wonderland merely in service of peoples reading pleasure and for the purpose of being shelved. There is no need to traverse the globe to find a copy of the national constitution. It is availabe on all pertinent Eritrean websites including state-run ones. The constitution is the will and wishes of the people expressed in letters and words that need to be literally practiced and implemented in the business of running a country and from which governmental institutions draw their authority to discharge their duties. The practice of the national constitution is banned in Eritrea. Does that make you feel better now?

Now in the absence of constitutional governance, where do the governmental institutions in Eritrea draw their authority and legitimization to do whateve they have been doing past 16 years now but the barrel of the gun? Where does the president of the land draw his sole authority and legitimization to rule the land in the absence of a functional constitution?

Merhawie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Merhawie said...

Anonymous Berhane,

This is not simply a matter of semantics. Rather it is an issue of contradiction, saying, "one-man, one-party totalitarian oligarchy" is tantamount to saying "straight circle" or "x^2+y^2=4 is a linear function." What you have done is listed three different forms of government: 1)one-man government, 2) one-party government, and 3) an oligarchy. I can see how 2) and 3) could be closely linked, but 1) and 2) is a little more difficult to see, while 1) and 3) are simply impossible.

Oh, and I apologize I misread your comment; you had said, "...why do so many intelligent educated Eritreans support...," I misread it to say, " many intelligent educated Eritreans do not support..."

My point earlier Berhane was perhaps one of semantics; you had said that the Constitution had been "banned." This means that it had been forbidden, which has evidence points to, could not be any further from the truth. Now that this obfuscation has been removed perhaps we can get to the crux of the matter, which in your mind is constitutional implementation. Just as an exercise, can you please go through the Constitution and identify which sub-articles have yet to be implemented?

I look forward to your answer. Oh, and if you would rather email your reply as no one else seems to be taking part in this discussion, I would be happy to continue this through that medium also.

Anonymous said...

Governmental authority exercised exclusively by one-man + one-party = Oligarchy

You exclaimed “Oh, and I apologize I misread your comment; you had said, "...why do so many intelligent educated Eritreans support...," I misread it to say, " many intelligent educated Eritreans do not support..." I DIDN’T SAY OR POSED THAT question, EITHER. You need to re-read my comments only. Please do not read into my comments stuff I didn’t say. Thanks

For the constitution to be implemented and be released for public consumption as it was so designed, our country needs to be governed by the dictates and letters of our national constitution in words and deeds. That has not been the case ever since the constitution has been ratified in 1997.

Briefly, that is what the call for the implementation of our national constitution entails. Feel free to contact me via my email address I just sent out.

Oh,did you overlook the questions I posed to you in my post prior to this one? Just curious.


Merhawie said...

Aye, I will also suggest you reread your comments, particularly from yesterday.

BillT said...

Perhaps the nature of the ongoing debate -- lively, intelligent and erudite -- is a clue to why you got the invitation, Mags...

BostonMaggie said...

Bill - Kiss the right one and make the left one jealous, baby!

You're not fooling me. Any compliment from you comes with a hidden stinger.

Also, any lively, intelligent and erudite debate here in this post is due entirely to my commenters. I am just reading along and learning.

Anonymous said...


The Eritreans / Ethiopians might have a genuine grievance on the American foreign policy in the horn of Africa, as well as its handling by Jendayi Frazer.

After a report from MSF (Doctors Without Borders) and red cross about atrocities commited by the gov. in the remote corner of Ethiopia, here is what Newsweek's quoted her saying :

Washington, meanwhile, is continuing to endorse its ally [Ethiopia]. Jendayi Frazer, the State Department’s top Africa official, last week told a press conference in the capital of Addis Ababa that reports of atrocities in the Ogaden were simply “allegations.” “I think the Ethiopian government’s intent is not to kill civilians,” she said.

Here is another damning comment from an Eritrean born in Ethiopia that suffered on the hands of the Ethiopian gov.

And this is what the Philadelphia inquirer has to say about the woman.

She may be Rice's protégé. But Frazer's work is so important that if she can't or won't try to do better, the White House should replace her.

I will leave you to make your own opinion.