When the Conservatives in the U.S run out of ideas, they blame the Liberals/Democrats, the labor unions, the women, the immigrants, and interestingly enough, the United Nations. In a similar manner, we observe these days that those who ran out of positive solutions for the predicament of our people run around to create confusion against our unity and national interest . Once you are in such a state of mind, you completely abdicated your responsibilities and start knocking everything on your way including our martyrs like a rolling stone. Some are already questioning the independence of Eritrea despite the price paid for it. Some blasphemously desecrate our most sacred souls who made the ultimate sacrifice to pave the way for them to have their post graduate degrees. Read Simon's article July 19, 2009 @Awate.com. This is a clear bankruptcy of leadership our country has been dealt with in the past and present. In this regard, the educated take the lion's share of the blame for their lack of commitment to the cause. Nevertheless, one must not lump some of those dedicated within and outside the opposition with the absent majority. Nevertheless, as we speak there is hope in the air that the educated is beginning to show signs of feeling the pinch.

To the detriment of our future and to the delight of the dictator, two opposing new fronts are up and running at full scale against each other to re-write Eritrea's history in their respective convoluted opinions. There are two schools of thought: one side is trying to re-evaluate our independence defying every reason, every logic that got us where we are today as a country even if a weak one. The other side goes to great lengths to set us against one another instead of embracing each other as citizens of one nation. The leading heads of these two late-in-the game concepts are the inevitable, prolific writers: Yosief Gebrehiwot and Ali Salim. YG is a soft spoken gentle man like Tesfaledet of Asmarino but with an underhanded project to reverse history. He is surely and steadily becoming a danger by creating a vulnerable following from among the young and disgruntled Eritreans; from those who had nagging questions, and from those who never accepted our independence but go with the flow anyway. The second school of thought is led by the ubiquitous Ali Salim who often writes on Awate website with less defined but hateful agenda.

Mr. YG's agenda is already clear. I surmise, he bases his opportunistic argument to undo Eritrea's sovereignty on (1)the 30 years of armed struggle weakened by competing organizations and ineffective leadership, (2) post independence Eritrea fallen under the mercy of the dictator and a few (movers and shakers) generals,(3) the paralysis of the opposition for the last 15 years, (4) Disoriented, disgruntled youth who defeated insurmountable problems to come to the West leaving a country robbed of its future behind, (5) indifferent, inactive Diaspora population, (6) the complete silence of the educated etc, etc. Rather than employing his creativity on how to forge a peaceful and prosperous Eritrea at peace with itself and its neighbors, Mr.Yosief embows to serve the long time interest of Ethiopia. His audacity to question a nation and identity born with the blood of its selfless sons and daughters is unfortunate, to say the least. When was the last time he supported the armed struggle to begin with? Why would PMMZ be trusted to take out Isaias and deliver us a clean country? Wouldn’t it be logical for him to take it in liue of the blood and treasure paid for the operation? I would think so.

I cannot describe the personality of Ali Salim; although not with certainty, he would fit into an oily character; mendelHaQi, in Tigrigna. However from reading his articles, one thing is abundantly clear. He doesn't hide his raging hate to the Highlanders and often lashes at the leadership of the political parties with secular leniency. I sense he is not really a religious person; he does what he does for the sake of stirring up the pot - sort of in your face type of a person. At times, he tends to be a frustrated individual whose anger knows no limit to the extent that he even brags about a blue print of his own future Eritrea with half of the country out of his radar screen. He pictures a dangerous divide between the Lowlanders and the Highlanders and compares them with the Palestinians and the Israelis - the oppressed and the oppressor respectively. Yes, we have our own internal differences that can be solved through mutual good will and democratic governance. Otherwise, there is no historical basis for him to come up with such a venomous concept. Imbued with his favored organizations, Ali Salim doesn't hesitate to call the EPP members and leaders: " Traitors, apologists, the irrelevant mob, Chifra and woosey politicians." No matter what this dead-ender may say, we are who we are. If he is that mad with us, we must be doing something very right because Ali cannot see the brighter side of his fellow Eritreans. In the mean time I would like to give him a solid guarantee: our country will not be well served by those who are victimized by their own negativity. Our nation will depend on the ones who deeply understand that our diversity is our asset and strength.

In effect, he belittles every organization out side his solidarity group. Again, if he is in a good mood, he would turn around and call upon all EPP allies to stay away from it. In his own words in Tigrigna he says: "Keyebalashewelom." He doesn't explain how except interloping in the affairs of the unity process to create a crack. Nice try Ali. What he conveniently omits is that we are all Eritreans with one destiny and with a common enemy even though for him, it is a different story. The story that gives him sleepless nights is the close co-operation and eventually the expected unity of the following political organizations: Gash Setit now part of EPP, EDP, EPM and more may follow. Solidarity group or otherwise, unity of the opposition should be heralded as good news not be lamented. Who benefits from the on going drum beat for fratricide? Those who initiated the campaign are fully aware that the beneficiary is PFDJ and the loser is the our people. There is a new shocking development in the latest piece of Mr. Salim. I will try to make a sense out of it, if I can, in the following paragraphs.

Ali Salim on the slippery slope

As early as 2002 when ELF-RC had its disagreements with the conduct of the then Eritrean (Mehznet) Alliance, "Ali Salim" has distinguished himself by jumping on the band wagon of our ill wishers and worked diligently to cloud our path every step of the way. ELF-RC then and EPP now has been consistently his nightmare. Can some one help why this is the case for him? I think I have a guess and that guess can be a good one. The only reason I can imagine is that the targeted organization was and is unwilling to be walloping in the mud of ethno-religious politics pursued by his exclusionist heroes. No sound person should promote a recipe for disaster. This very formula being pushed by Ali was tried before and failed miserably. Are we not expected to learn from the past mistakes and follow a new and winning strategy? Do we have to heed the call of the Awate elite in order not to be called "the militia type body guards?" Clearly, this is an implication that we do not meet their standard of writing abilities. I can give them that but what they forgot is we are discussing plain stuff. We are not required to discuss about theory of relativity or any abstract knowledge of any subject. We can still pass our message across fairly well. However, when writing competition kicks off @Awate, I guarantee you, we will steer clear. In other words we will leave the way for those who can analyze and slice. By the way, what good is education if it is used to negatively affect our society?

Ali wearing many hats

In his recent article Aug. 5, 2009 he comes in an entirely different outfit. Before, the EPP members were blamed by him as the all knowing elitists, thin skinned intolerant, traitors for being inclusive and following a secular democratic line; apologists for allegedly embracing the PFDJ constitution, what have you. Now , it seems to me when Semere's attempt to insulate him went array, he is desperately seeking allies in the enemy camp by selling us down the river. Here are some of his unfounded allegations: (1) These are the guys who wouldn’t only condemn PFDJ for defending the nation against the Weyane but would chip in their own troops to make sure the invasion was a success. (2) Many of them wouldn’t even vote "yes" for independence because PFDJ was the victor. (3) Wouldn't fly the flag because of the PFDJ yellow star. (4) Advocates against land ownership of the Lowlanders. (5) Can anyone whisper into my ear why they think Eritrea will break into a war zone of religious crusades and the Highlanders will rise with harpoons just because some citizens demanded an end to discriminatory rules of land ownership. (6) How the heck these guys finally managed to find an issue that could agree with PFDJ? The land grabbing Highlanders, that is. How low can this person sink? Below is my short rebuttal to his atrocious indictment.

Before and during the war, the unambiguous stand ELF-RC took was clear to friend and foe equally. The leadership communicated its genuine conviction in peaceful resolution of the conflict to both Addis and Asmara governments. There is no doubt that Ali Salim knows this fact; and yet he has no qualms to launch unholy war against those who don't have a softer part in their heart for his newly found PFDJ. It is (wohatu bAlka; zegherm eyu) amazing. If he has voted "yes" or "no" for that matter, I am not holding that against him. It is his prerogative. By the same token, for reasons not obscure to him, the opposition was not willing to join PFDJ in their referendum. But I hope he didn't mean they were against the independence of the country. How about one of his heroes did he vote "yes?" I would be curious to know? Flags: I still love my blue flag but only individuals like Ali would lose sleep over achariQ. Land ownership: this party led and pioneered on the return of the land to its rightful owners legally and peacefully. If some deny this fact, what is new? They have already began selling their soul by attacking us from the PFDJ side. Christians Vs Muslims: he is the sole author of Lowlanders and Highlanders (Ajawjaw) hallucination. Nonetheless, he has no shame to accuse the innocent like his comrades in Asmara. Chiguraff bAla woquias bAla te-ewi is a befitting saying. I want to say this to Ali Salim: Stop changing colors like the Four Seasons and be real. Rest assured PFDJ has enough advocates against us. Save yourself from being a laughing stock in town unless it is a little too late for you to pick up the pieces.

Sharing views including controversial ones on the websites is the right of the contributors, so say some. It is all well and good. But in deference to our martyrs, can these cyber heroes stop trashing the cause they died for? Can they stop reporting who said what about our martyrs? In our culture we generally respect the dead much less the martyrs. At least in that regard, can we get along to defend and revere them? The numbness of the Webmasters in this matter is scary at best. Separate and apart from this, I chose not to include S.Younis in the above theatrics because his reply to YG's "De-Romanticizing Ghedli" June 24, 2009 was not a new or old school of thought; it was just the right response that did not require anymore debates. Forgive me, I kept inserting new paragraphs in this piece when I read Ali's latest article. One more thing for Saleh Younis: he said to the effect that some think there are only a few English writers in the Muslim community. He probably knows something about that claim. My experience in fact is quite to the contrary; I hear people right and left who are surprised, don't know why, by the writing skills of our Muslim brothers. Indeed, I agree with them. As a matter of record, some, Younis included lead the Diaspora in writing excellence. Having said all this, I don't wish to implicate him in the (HachaQ mechaQ] mud slinging I am engaged in with Ali Salim. But if Saleh Younis has a solution, and obviously people expect, his intervention is more than welcome.

My recommendations for Reconciliation: In my view, I do not really believe our people back home have the time and urge to involve in Metahit vs. Kebesa blame game. They have too many obstacles on their way caused by the regime including the forced resettlement and the loss of the land owners. Their priority is how to get by every day before focusing on regional differences. At the same time, I would be the last one to deny that there are inequalities in our society to be fixed at an opportune time. However, it is immoral to use that as an opportunity to divide the opposition into seemingly irreconcilable camps. Thus, I think the mother of all problems is being manufactured by some opposition members in the Diaspora. In light of this, it is the opposition that really needs to be reconciled, not the Lowlanders and the Highlanders as some would like to orchestrate that issue. For now, the people must be left alone. Therefore, let's stop the five minute feel - good confessions and bashing the people in the Lower and Upper regions of the country and come forward with real solutions. Any willing and resourceful individuals can contribute their ideas to the committee entrusted with the preparations for the National Conference or Hagerawi W'Ala. Sloganeering alone about WA'latat is not enough in and of itself. If we are not determined to eradicate the perceived walls that divide us, we have neither the right nor the qualifications to speak on behalf of the oppressed; particularly, those who keep their ears to the ground to listen for any differences they can grab to use them as tools for divisiveness. Let us dust-off our little bad habits and unite our efforts for the sake of those we claim to represent. Is this too much to ask considering the dire condition our people live in?

In the end, let us not be side tracked by taking our eyes off the regime and waste our limited time engaging in pointless issues. Road blocs are not in short supply already.

By now I feel it is about time for me to throw some spirit lifting stuff at the conclusion of this article. So, those who are sandwiched between PFDJ and the reluctant Diaspora; those who are giving it all to make a difference in the lives of our people; those who spread the word through the websites and broadcast; those who often give moral and material support to the struggle whenever they can; Those who feel the pain of the country but limited by circumstances; those of you who are planning to join the resistance; this one is for you:

Stick to the fight when you are hardest hit.

It is when things seem worse, that you must not quit.

Success is failure turned inside out.

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,

when the road you are trudging seems all uphill,

when the debts are high, and the funds are low,

when you want to smile, but you have to sigh,

rest if you must, but don't you quit.

You never can tell how close you are;

it may be near when it seems so far.

When conditions seem some what shaky,

re-new your dedication for the cause you defend,

and keep the good fight up to its end.

Our unity is the gateway for victory

Unconditional respect for the martyrs

Let us go to work.