Leadership And The Geopolitics Of The Horn (Part-II)
Our struggle, instead belting with reassuring chorus to the weight, is indeed ram-shackled and directed into all wrong targets as if we are thrown into an elbow-throwing arena of political punditry. We lacked brotherhood and sisterhood that foster camaraderie and strengthen our labor of conviction. To be specific, I am talking about the labor exerted to our political conviction. Despite all the tones, cadences, and inflection of our political posture, we still are disorganized with no leadership to unite the labor to our conviction and the priority to the current struggle. The opposition’s cacophony of themes and messages has yet to cohere into a strong persuasive argument and competent leadership.
Watching at our current debate immersed into the role of individuals in our history (in the thirties and forties) is extremely sickening, and it can’t be anything other than to divert and weaken the current struggle. Those who are dragging us into this malicious or scandalous attack of our history are not serious about the current livelihood of the Eritrean people specifically about our young under the current regime. Nevertheless, it is the continuation of the pre-existing political feud – in that, their strike back has now turned out to be a real pleasure, spiked to its climax and aimed to attack the “Eritrean ascaris.” In fact their training wheel are off mark now, and its result become a “spectrum of revisionism” (a tragic tale of addiction) that bubbles in the grooves of “risk making” on the one hand and their attempts also resembles like searching a stairway to heaven working from another platform on the other. It is all an action of nudity and a political spectrum of revisionism. Indeed the barbs are usually partisan along our social divide.
Unfortunately, they have to be reminded that Isaias has arrested the course of our history being entangled into the nationalistic hegemony and his power projection in the region, all for the purpose of “regional power hubris”. Eritreans have welcomed his endeavor believing on the military might he was trying to built and aimed to thrust and provoke the countries in the region. Albeit, we have only come to understand after his failure, with all its consequences that we have to bear. We have never questioned his ambition and never questioned his project in the region. We were part of the “exaggerated pride” and “self-confidence” of the Yekaalo project “the all mighty” a term borrowed from the bible, that no one could challenge us to thrust his dagger.
Incidentally, I wasn’t from those who haven’t branched out their own narrow field of study. Always my contention was and is: all things are related, all subjects as well as life experience are inter-related, and as a result knowledge always percolate or trickle down to those who want to diversify and broaden their scope of understanding of this fast changing world. Myself I did oppose his project and I was blackmailed for my stand, but at the end vindicated. Now to a similar risk, I will venture on how to tackle the current impasse. I foresee that the Eritrean problem can be solved within the broader strategy of geo-politics and new regional political construct to liberate Eritrea from the despot and create peace and stability to the region. In part-I of my essay we have seen the importance of quantitative easing for peace and how to build regional citizenship to tackle the Eritrean problem. In part-II I will attempt to explain the importance of new regional political construct and its implication to our domestic political consumption and its virtue in solving our problem with our regional allies, and how contemporary mind will control the seismic change of our region.
New regional Geopolitical construct
The regional state actors (IGAD) must work for a new political construct that enables them to modify their own and each other’s political niches. Indeed political elites within the state-actors in the Horn of Africa must modify their understanding on the region to increase their power fitness not only to serve their nations but to the region as a whole. Since our region is of conflict of high strategic importance, the regional and international actors must work in collaboration for a new regional political construct to promote peace, security, and economic development within the region and beyond.
After the end of the cold war, there is a clear switch from geopolitical equilibrium (balance of power) of the two super powers to a new regional power structure that gives new abilities to the states to compete in the world economy collectively. The new regional power structure gives a new impetus for the formulation of a new context, content, and the practice of state-actors to create new reality which fits into the network of mutual benefits; and the new geopolitical construct must summon leaders of the regional state-actors to remind them that in this political space of our era, there is no political game where many players participate and each player plays independent of all the others, be it nationally or regionally. That is the new era we are in.
In these new operational, interactional, and contestational of globalized geopolitical discourse, the Eritrean elite must engage critically to change the problematic discourse of our isolationist leaders and the nationalistic hegemony that crushed the wellbeing of our people. The Eritrean regime is so arrogant to have a statecraft that will fit the new regional power structures with new political behaviors and collective policy choices that will ensure security and economic development for the state of Eritrea.
In biochemistry, receptors serve as sensors for cells, communicating from outside the cell to inside the cell, similar to the body’s sensors for light (eyes), smell (nose), taste (tongue), or sound (ears). Likewise geo-politicians are the sensors of regional politics and the routes of dispersion of international influences. The origin and routes of politico-dispersion are the key concept in tracing geopolitics of knowing, believing, and sensing as well as body politics of knowing and understanding. In a nutshell, geo-politicians are agents of knowledge who understand entities that are assumed to exist in some area of interest and the relationships that hold among them and with the developed nations. They understand the dichotomy of territorial and modern thinking – the relationship of political administration and economic interdependency of regional states.
How does the grammar of geopolitics work? First we have to understand the socio-genesis of our region and the matrix of power in order to respond to the logic, experience, and needs of the communities of the region, within the diversity of all the existing modern discipline and rule of engagement. Second the readiness for transformation of our thoughts to the concept of knowledge that always responds to the needs of the people for institutional demand and interdependent of economic development. Third the need for understanding the new global configurations into regional transformation of knowledge – a new path for sustainable regional economic development as part of the global designs.
This is the path to modernity the intellectuals of the third world should adapt for their regions (that includes the intellectuals of the Horn of Africa) in the emergence of global-political societies that are the necessary conditions for peace and stability in their respect regions. Indeed this will create the simultaneous and continuous process of interactions of the inside and outside actors to insure security and political stability.
The essence of my argument is not on the detail of the necessity of geo-politics but it is on the implication of geo-politics on global economy and the re-arrangement of regional states into regional blocs to ensure the merger of regional economy and labor mobility. Since economic integrity is not an isolated activity, the regional states (regional bloc) should cooperate in political and security that affect the region, knowing that the only constant in politics is change and it is changing quickly.
Seismic Shift And Contingency Plans
In a seismic shift of two nations in our regional politics, Ethiopia gained an international stature in the wink of our eyes and Eritrea like a jilted lover of non-state actors, has lost everything from the grasp of our hand. The larger-than-life mythology of political ruddiness and arrogance has excluded the regime from the regional and international community. So it is not surprising that much of our (the opposition) work must deal with the question of “unity of purpose” and the quest of peace within the structured geopolitics of the region to root out the despot of our nation.
Traditional politics such as slogans of our past revolutionary era that served narrow nationalism are turned upside down and should be viewed through the prism of experience of modern states. It is this central part of discovery of inter-connectedness that nations of the region must be guided by the rule of engagement of modern states. That discovery will continue probably redefining our causes and influences within the loop of regional identity and the parameter of modern states and rule of engagement – a new epistemic legitimacy. Episteme and paradigm are not alien to the contemporary political terrains of global equality, economic justice that promote revitalization and intellectual spirit of contemporary mind.
Therefore in a slight hitch of caustic political inter-reactions, diversionary practitioners do not follow in full slate on how modern states work. Our leaders are losing all the momentum to reinvent the necessary courage when opportunities present to them – they fail to act realistically. The walking dead “Isaias” is searching a new lease for his life. We could see it and discover it by inhibiting the fear sounds that rings in our ears. What we need is pulling the loose threads of fear to liberate ourselves and join to the struggle of peace and justice.
This inward looking for regional arrangement is indeed palpable for renewed political commitment to the countries in the horn to promote economic, political, and security importance that transform the regional countries from simple cooperation to deep integration. But regional states should first agree to form intra-security arrangement that eventually extend to military pact to defend vulnerable states from rogue regimes as well as to protect peace and stability for economy activities in the region.
Counting On The Contemporary Mind
The Norwegian Noble Committee honored the EU for promoting “peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights” in Europe for the last six decades since the devastation of World War-II. The formation of EU came out from the conviction that “economic ties” would make sure that the century-old enemies such as Germany and France will never turn on each other again. The bloc which started in 1957 with six countries as EEC and later transformed to EU is now consisted of 27 countries with other nations lined up waiting to join. Even in this world of economic and financial crises, they are fighting to safe guard their unity, because the disintegration of their unity will obviously lead to a new cycle of nationalism and extremism – that reverse the new Europe to an old Europe we do know full of wars and catastrophes.
In light of that, the Norwegian politician Jagland has said that this year’s award “looks forward as well as backward” as such it recognizes the EU’s historical role in building peace, but it does so at time when nationalist forces that once tore the continent apart are again on the rises. In fact, the message of the award is to remind that EU members must keep their union – the New European national identity they got after World War-II; because economic interdependence have strengthened their peace and tranquility.
Now look what the regional identity (IGAD) could learn from the seminal work of EU and European project. I believe that the experience of EU could hold positive lessons for our region to create the devolution of political authority within the central institutional frame work, where external actors could treat it as a single geo-political entity. We need a great shape-shift of strategic alliance. We are living in a time of extraordinary transformation under the modern geo-political ship that will impact our region in particular and the entire world in general for years to come. The conception of state, its character, its duty, and its aim is evolving from time to time to fit to the challenges and endeavors of human Psycho-kinetic power for the common good, shaping attitudes and molding the institutions that educate and govern our activities. Therefore IGAD as a new identity to our region must be encouraged to undertake social, economic, and political reform that fits to the new geo-political construct.
The question is what will be our role as Eritreans (in the opposition camp) in this distinctive project of regional identity? Can the opposition represent Eritrea in this project, at this time when the regime is alienated from IGAD? Yes I believe so, if and only if the broad umbrella ENCDC manages to dissolve the archaic EDA organizations and constitute a formidable leadership that fits to the new regional geo-political construct. The Eritrean people are fed up with the unproductive EDA leadership for the last 20 years and have reached the last straw in a series of annoyances and disappointment. ENCDC has one last opportunity to make it or break it in order its institutional structure work in the upcoming regular session of the council. The reality of our country is changing drastically by the day. All the political diagnostics on the ground inside our nation are indicating that the regime is loosing its influence opening the door to forces of change from inside and outside to fill the vacuum. It is critical for ENCDC (not EDA) to look inward and show its legitimacy (by action) as a force of change that could bridge the inside and outside forces of democratic change to make a transitional power for peace and stability of our nation. At the same time to heighten its diplomatic Prowse in the region, ENCDC leadership must delegate the diplomatic mission to intellectual technocrats who have the full range of diplomatic tools to foster greater understanding within the region and beyond. The diplomatic team should include from inside and outside the organization to open a foundation to the new regional geo-political construct of IGAD. These diplomatic technocrats are the agents who are assigned for catering peace just like making dinnertime satisfying for everyone to the state actors of the region.
To be continued………