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Wont to unlearn from history, we aptly repeat even its most brazen mistakes.
I distinctly remember the vivacious optimism that inundated the United States when the Soviet Union imploded in the early 1990s. This was not glee generated by the doom of an implacable enemy, but thrill germinated by the real possibilities that the future held for freedom.
In the long march of history, at least two poles of attraction and antagonism have been the norm in world politics. Rarely has only one nation carried the burden of leadership. The unipolar world of the 21st century, dominated for the past two decades by the United States, is a historical anomaly.
I am jailed, with around 200 other inmates, in a wide hall that looks like a warehouse.
As a prisoner of conscience committed to peaceful transition to democracy, I urge Europe to apply economic sanctions against Ethiopia. What short-term pain may result will be compensated by long-term gain. A pledge to re-engage energetically with a democratic Ethiopia would act as a catalyst for reform.
Aggregate aid is to the Ethiopian economy what Obama's fiscal stimulus was to the American economy: minus these injections, both economies would suffer catastrophically. The theatrical blustering of the Ethiopian government notwithstanding, donor countries have a make-or-break power over the Ethiopia's prosperity.
As Ethiopia goes, so goes the whole Horn of Africa - a region where instability can have major security and humanitarian implications for the United States and Europe.
All the great crimes of history, lest we forget, have their genesis in the moral wilderness of their times.
Tyranny is increasingly unsustainable in this post-cold-war era. It is doomed to failure. But it must be prodded to exit the stage with a whimper - not the bang that extremists long for.
I was arrested in September 2011 and detained for nine months before I was found guilty in June 2012 under Ethiopia's overly broad Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, which ostensibly covers the 'planning, preparation, conspiracy, incitement and attempt' of terrorist acts.
We live in an age of global expectations. Our hopes have converged in many ways, none more so than in our democratic aspirations.
I sleep in peace, even if only in the company of lice, behind bars. The same could not be said of my incarcerators though they sleep in warm beds, next to their wives, in their homes.
Under the previous regime of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, I was detained. So was my wife, Serkalem Fasil. She gave birth to our son in prison in 2005.
Democracy is a destiny of humanity which cannot be averted. It can be delayed but not defeated.
I've never conspired to overthrow the government; all I did was report on the Arab Spring and suggest that something similar might happen in Ethiopia if the authoritarian regime didn't reform.
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Hunter S. Thompson
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