April 09, 2010

Tokkummaa for Bilisummaa is a Virtue, not a Vice; but is it Impossible? (Fayyis Oromia)

Tokkummaa for Bilisummaa is a Virtue, not a Vice; but is it Impossible?

Fayyis Oromia

I started writing in cyber world about 10 years back as I heard the disagreement between the "two camps" in Oromo liberation movement, who started a hot debate and discussion on the issue: "what is our kaayyoo (goal): Ethiopian democratization or Oromian decolonization?" I was surprised as I heard in OSA conference of 1999 (I think it was), the debate between Obbo Sisay Ibsaa et al (pro "decolonization") and Obbo Lencoo Lataa et al (pro "democratization"), who vehemently argued and quarelled. Then came to my mind: are these two groups and views really contradictory? I discussed in forums and per e-mail with the proponents and opponents of both sides.

I tried to take the "neutral position" and look at the issue from the impartial point of view. We discussed and our discussion lead to the formation of ULFO, we continued to discuss and contributed to the forging of AFD and again we debated and gave our suggestion in fostering and consolidating the appearance of OFC as well as MEDREK. I supported the formation of these major alliances and coalitions. Of course I also tried to promote the merger in to COPLF, in to OLF-KY, the recent merger in to ULFO and the on going re-unification of OLF. Why did I tried to promote such alliances, coaltions and unities?

I experienced the difficulties and problems in the struggle of Oromo people since my childhood as some of my relatives were rallying behind MEISON, ICI'AT and OLF. I have seen how many of them payed with their life and limb for the cause of bilisummaa Oromo (Oromo liberty). Unfortunately, I also observed how certain Oromo individuals and groups have been instrumentalized by our colonizers to suppress our liberation movement. A lot of them have served Derg and still a lot are the slave-servants of Weyane, who are acting against the liberation cause of their own people and nation.

Specially very damaging to our liberation struggle was and is the discord and the division among our conscious Oromo nationalists based on the minor percieved and real differences. These differences have been exploited by our enemies to make us fight each other and weaken our own liberation forces. One of these percieved or imagined or real differences which hindered us from moving forward in the last 20 years is the division of our liberators in to "pro Ethiopian democratization" and "pro Oromian decolonization" nationalists.

Some nationalists still seem to believe that there is an irreconcialabe difference between the two groups. I personally used to argue and do still argue that this is more fancy, rather than fact, if the conflict is based on only such "difference of ideology". I believe that these two groups are complemantary and can work together, on the contrary to the attempt and the suggestion of our enemies to make them contradictory and manipulate them to fight each other. I tried to explain the reasons why I do think so in my hitherto articles, essays and opinions. How far could I clearly put my opinion forward so that the concerned Oromo individuals and groups get what I mean is a legitimate question to be answered by the readers.

I specially tried to show our polity that they do have no "difference of kaayyoo" as they try to convince us, but there are may be some other problems which hindered them from working together in a form of building alliance, coaltion or unity. Theoretically there is no reason why they don't try to accomodate both decolonization of Oromia and democratization of Ethiopia in promoting our cause. Oromo public (despite the "conflict" among our polity) is now almost in a position to know that we do have only one kaayyoo-Oromo and this kaayyoo has got three parts which can be considered as a possible three outcomes based on the future public verdict:

- kaayyoo-tarsiimo (strategical goal)
- kaayyoo-ijoo (CORE-goal) and
- kaayyoo-toftaa (tactical goal)

Democratization of Ethiopia leading to a true Oromian autonomy, if possible, is a good means to promote the decolonization of Oromia. It can be our kaayyoo-toftaa. So some Oromo nationalists, who are advocates of this can try to help us in democratizing the empire, if they really can do it, for democratization of an empire is almost a pipe dream. Our kaayyoo-ijoo is, to put clearly, an indispensdable Oromian independence. Of course we can have also kaayyoo-tarsiimo optionally, i.e a possible union of independent nations in the region, which can be materalized after achieving our kaayyoo-ijoo. This is a regional integration following our national independence for the sake of a common economical benefit for all the stakeholders in the region.

That is why I do argue that there is no need of paradigm shift in a sense of changing kaayyoo as some people nowadays try to preach to us, but we can be in need of shift in a sense of changing tactic and strategy to achieve specially our kaayyoo-ijoo. What we desperately in need is an attaining and a possible consolidation of the effective and efficient means to achieve the kaayyoo-Oromo. I think one of the best means or one of the very efficient instruments we have to try to attain by any possible method is tokkummaa qabsaa'ota Oromo (unity of Oromo activists). Most of the friends of Oromo struggle do agree with this, but there are few who seem not to be happy in such a move of Oromo nationalists.

For instance, I recently got a constructive opposition against my push with promoting tokkummaa for bilisummaa (unity for liberty) from a renowned Oromo friend, Professor Megalommatis, the opposition which is expressed in one of his current articles. He asserted that Oromo is now more in need of dynamics as a priority over tokummaa. As I got this message, I asked questions like: why does he try to equate tokkummaa with lack of dynamics or with inaction or with apathy? Can’t we have tokkummaa with dynamics? Why is tokkummaa seen as a vice rather than as a virtue which can help to achieve Oromo people’s right to self-determination? Additionally, I expressed myself clearly that I am personally an advocate not for inactive tokkummaa, but for a very dynamic and very efficient one.

Then followed a prompt reply from the Professor in an article with a title "The Only Path to Independent Oromia: How to Make A Dream Come True" which is published on: http://www.oromoparliamentarians.org/English/Facts%20about%20Oromo/Oromo%20National%20Libration%20fronts%20struggle.htm
. Here the Professor tried to show that tokkummaa in principle is not a vice in Oromo liberation struggle, but he argues that at the current global reality, trying to forge tokkummaa is a futile excercise and even if tokkummaa takes place, it will not work or function. His arguements and explanations for his assertion are as follows:

BEGINNING of the quote
"...Now, I must admit that I have one additional reason to come up with an analytical explanation of the reasons I find it necessary for the Oromos to proceed in ... unorthodox, way in order to achieve their ultimate goal. An Oromo intellectual and political analyst, to whose earlier article I referred in my most recent of the aforementioned articles, noticed my approach, and came up with another article that I certainly do recommend to anyone interested to understand the Modern Oromo Kushitic political ideology, and to learn in-depth the Abyssinian practices of political division of the oppressed nations in Abyssinia (Fake Ethiopia). Mr. Fayyis Oromia´s new presentation is indeed an across-the-board overview.

In his "Two Approaches in Dealing with the Gridlock of Oromo Liberation Movement" ..., Mr. Fayyis Oromia asked me why I equate tokkummaa with lack of dynamics... At this point, I will first clarify my purpose. I don´t know Mr. Fayyis Oromia persoanlly, and therefore I would be wrong to describe him as delusional. Through his texts, he appears to be an idealist patriot with strong background on topics of Oromo culture and political ideology and with firm devotion to issues of sociopolitical integrity and national identity. This does not make anyone delusional. Neither did I characterize Mr. Fayyis Oromia as such. In my article, I spoke of "a delusional understanding of politics, political realities, and national liberation struggle".

There is a vast difference between a "delusional thinker" and the "delusional understanding of" some issues. The said issues (namely "politics, political realities, and national liberation struggle") do not monopolize Mr. Fayyis Oromia´s mindset, knowledge, concerns, and interests. His understanding of the Oromo culture, sociopolitical values, the overall Oromo political ideology are very realistic indeed. Considering him altogether delusional, one would suggest that Mr. Fayyis Oromia has misunderstood his culture and tradition, and this certainly would be very wrong and unnecessarily prejudicial.

From local Values to global non-values:
Neither do I suggest that the Oromo concept of tokkummaa (unity) is delusional and unrealistic. Actually, no delusional concept can ever be found in the traditional socio-behavioural system and political ideology of an indigenous nation; these systems emanated out of centuries long civilization and experience; they were every now and then thoroughly modified to sustain the societies they belonged in; this reflects an enormous experience and must therefore be viewed as a great asset, with all its constituent elements (every single concept, principle and value) being absolutely realistic and up-to-the-point.

Here comes however the great hiatus; the colonial expansionism of the Western European countries, the emergence of the modern Western societies (in striking opposition not only to the various indigenous systems but to Medieval Europe too), the diffusion of the Industrial Revolution, the rise of the Modernism, and the phenomenon of globalization reduced the said traditional socio-behavioural system and political ideology to inexistence, and some cases to total oblivion.

This unfortunate development does not concern Oromia only, but the vast Ottoman Caliphate, Safavid/Qajar Iran, Mughal India, Imperial China, and Tsarist Russia. Furthermore, it does concern even the countries that championed the aforementioned radical and unnecessary changes: the traditional socio-behavioural system and political ideology of the Ancien RĂ©gime in France have been obliterated.

Today, the Oromos (like the Azeris, the Quechua of Peru, the Albanians in Europe, and the Chinese along with so many others) are constrained to situate their struggle for National Identity and Cultural Integrity within a global system variably superimposed on the different local systems. Notice that I don´t make of the vital issue of National Independence a condition in this approach. Subjugated peoples like the Oromos and the Baluch are threatened with extinction by the non-values of the global system as much as sovereign nations (f. i. the Uzbeks, the Bosnians and Somalis) are.

And here appears the "delusional understanding of politics, political realities, and national liberation struggle"; any effort of understanding (not Mr. Fayyis Oromia´s only) the aforementioned issues that does not come after an earlier accurate perception of the Modern Western world and its global expansion is delusional.

As the correct approach to any system is the same, namely to analyze it on the basis of its own elements´ historicity and evolution, you should not attempt to analyze the modern global system by means of Oromo criteria in the same way, it is wrong to try to understand Oromo values through use of Ottoman, English or Chinese viewpoints. Every culture and every civilization is accurately understood only on the basis of its inherent values, concepts, elements and their historicity and evolution.

But no culture, no system, and no people can avoid the impact of the prevailing global system, which greatly modified and altered the various local and regional systems. No people, no tribe, no religious group, no political organization remained intact and devoid of the global system´s infiltration. Failing to understand this critical subject constitutes a real delusion too. And this is precisely the delusion I was talking about, namely a delusion in understanding politics, political realities, and national liberation struggle.

Tokkummaa Assaulted by the Prevailing Global System:
To be more precise, certainly tokkummaa is a valuable concept, but it will not work now because it has been effectively targeted and successfully outmaneuvered by the infiltrating forces of the global system. If you want, tokkummaa could work in the late 19th century and the last decades of an Oromo kingdom because the Amhara colonialism was the introductory phase of the colonialism system´s diffusion in Oromia, and the modern global system had not yet emerged.

Why tokkummaa does not work among the existing Oromo political leaderships is very easy to explain, thus confirming my earlier statement. The global system has little to do with Telecom, IT, Finance and High-tech Defense; these are the paraphernalia. The global system with its paraphernalia would not affect the late 19th century Oromo leaders because they were empowered by a formidable immunity system, namely their personal and moral integrity.

The global system of course had not emerged at those days, but in the hypothetical case of an attempt of interference among the Oromos, undertaken by a global institution at those days, we can be certain that it would have failed. The reason is simple.

Before anything else, today´s prevailing global system is a mindset, an entire array of concepts, attitudes, considerations, behaviours, convictions and ideas that have been diffused worldwide by means of imitation, inducement, thoughtlessness, enticement, dissimulation, generalized tolerance, and moral apathy.

This aptly superimposed array or layer of concepts, attitudes and prefab common sense makes every act of political manipulation very easy because it is materialized on the earlier prepared layer which generates an advanced degree of relativism toward one´s own traditional values and mindset.

Multiple divergent end point game:
Consequently, when you have already ceased viewing the world through the eyes of an early 19th century Oromo, and you confidently become greatly assimilated into the global system, you will thoughtlessly tie yourself and your political group or association with the promises given to you by an American Congressman about Oromia´s liberation.

But, quite unhappily, another Oromo, who also believes frankly that he and his movement struggle for the benefit of their subjugated nation, will make a bond with the president of a small and marginalized country, who will be promising similar "delivery". As it happens, behind the American Congressman and the marginal president, there are people belonging in the same decision making center, who by practicing the multiple divergent end point game, ensure that unity will never take place among the Oromos.

If they are successful in their evil game, it is not due to any deficiency of the Oromo system or values, but to the earlier diffusion of the above described global system (an array of mindsets and attitudes). Certainly there are bribes, material goods, monies and other corruption techniques involved, but this matters little; if the same corruption techniques had been performed by representatives of two or more foreign powers before 150 years, the then targeted Oromo leaders would not have reacted in the way today react all the leaders of major Oromo movements.

These are the political realities I was talking about. It must become very clear to all Oromos, and to so many other subjugated nations allover the world that, in order to succeed, a liberation movement in 2010 must be something totally different from the traditional form of liberation fronts back in the 1950s and 1960s. There isn´t going to be any Che Guevara revolutionary anymore; and if he existed, he would fail.

Today, you can hope to liberate your country, only if you, as a liberation leader, are out of reach for the world´s major powers and their dependencies. You must be unknown, unidentified and, if by coincidence reported to them, viewed as unimportant.

It is not out of a willingness to flatter the Oromo people that before 19 months I wrote articles with titles like ´Every Oromo: A Leader in the Oromia Liberation Struggle´. In fact, a great part of infrastructure work (which is disastrously missing now) must be carried out before any leader becomes known to secret services and diplomacies of the Western powers. This is the reason for which unity with the present useless organizations is the first thing to avoid for the patriotic Oromos. These organizations´ leaders may have all possible good intentions, but this is not enough. They have been corrupted by those who want them to insist on what each one of them pledges to the rest; and they will never unite because their financers will not allow them. Imagining the opposite is sheer delusion..."
END of the quote!

According to my understanding of the Professor, tokkummaa per se is not considered by him as a vice. But his arguement is that the world power players and their regional servants like Weyane use every possible way of manipulation in the global system of their domination and in their regional policy to make sure that the liberation forces (who are not in a service of the interest of the power players) like that of Oromo can never unite or even if they unite, make sure that the unity definetly will not work. I personally do think that I do have no "delusional political understanding" as described by the Professor, so that I do tend to de-globalize the realities which are affecting Oromo liberation movement. I am also full aware of the fact that leaders of Oromo liberation movement are under both material and mental influences as well as under a possible manipulation of all the big global power players and/or the small regional players, who are also the stakeholders in the Horn of Africa.

My only hitherto effort was to help Oromo nationalists be aware of the importance of this very important virtue (tokkummaa for bilisummaa) and to persuade them work to promote it, despite all the odds described by the Profesor. But I must admit that the approach of the Professor is an eye opener for those, who are still in a puzzle to get an answer for the repeatedly raised questions directed to our leaders such as "where is the hinderance or where is the conflict not to unite"? We now almost know that the "difference of kaayyoo" which the leaders used as a cover till now is a farse. Can the hinderances for them not to forge tokkummaa be the factors given here by the Professor?

Otherwise, despite such possible global hinderances, I am still an advocate for a very dynamic and functioning tokkummaa for bilisummaa. The alliances like ULFO and OFC have worked to some extent against the manipulation of both the West and the Weyane in deviding our liberation groups. The formation of the alliances like AFD and MEDREK is a move of the farsighted leaders of the oppressed nations including the currently oppressed Amharas against the deviding manipulation of Weyane in its game of devide and rule.

I hope the current and the future leaders of Oromo liberation movement will try to think autonomously and will try to make themselves free from the possible manipulation of the current global system of Western dominance as well as from the local manipulation of Weyane and other forces in order to lead us to bilisummaa sabaa Oromo with walabummaa biyyaa Oromo (Oromo national freedom with territorial independence), be it with or without a beneficial union of independent nations in the region. I am not too naive not to register the fact that it is not as such simple to be free from such influences and manipulations, but I yet encourage our leaders to do the best under the dire circumstances in promoting Oromo cause by forging and using tokkummaa for bilisummaa. So despite the global hinderances and in spite of the local dysfunctions told by the Professor, I do still consider tokkummaa for bilisummaa as a virtue, not as a vice, for our liberation movement!


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