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Oriana Fallaci

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Among today's Italians, when treading upon Haile Selassie's memory, the sense of guilt and shame is such that they react by seeing only his positive traits: the merits of his past actions. His portrayals always brim with excessive deferance, unwarranted admiration and delusion. They go on and on about his priestly composure, his regal dignity, his great intelligence and his generosity towards former adversaries. They never explain who this sovereign, who we made into a victim, really was. They never dare tell us if he was something more, or less, than a victim. For example, that he was an old man hardened in principles which were centuries out of date; that he was the absolute ruler of a nation which has never heard the words rights and democracy, which lives in a near prehistoric fashion in the suburbs, opressed by hunger, disease, ignorance and the squallor of a feudal regime which even we did not experience during the darkest years of the Medieval period.
On Haile Selassie, (June 1972), as quoted in Intervista con la Storia (sixth edition, 2011) p. 509

Oriana Fallaci

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Haile Selassie had surely made many mistakes during his very long tenure, first and foremost his being in a constant limbo between reform and conservatism, without ever having made a definitive decision. But the revolution which toppled him in the name of freedom and progress has revealed itself to be a hundred times worse than his regime; it has caused irreperable damage; has [forced Ethiopia into] a civil war which Haile Selassie had always tried to prevent; it has accelerated rather than halted the disintigration of the country... Whatever the final judgement on Haile Selassie, his image deserves respect and consideration. It's impossible not to feel a sense of great admiration and recognition towards a man who on 30 June 1936, at the Genevan tribune of the League of Nations, denounced the crimes of Fascism to the world and warned that Ethiopia would have been but the first victim of that deathly ideology. For this message, unfortunately unheeded, we are all a bit indebted.

Haile I Selassie

The Emperor of Ethiopia has been deposed by a military coup ... Poor Haile Selassie; over the past few years he'd lost control and the inevitable was bound to happen. I remember his attendance at the monarchy celebrations, how he snatched his hand away when I tried to help him from his car, telling me he could manage well enough on his own, thank you very much. Likewise during the recent drought when thousands of his people were dying he refused all HIM's offers of help, denying that anyone was suffering or even that there was a drought. He saw himself as a mighty ruler, but now the truth has caught up with him. At the Shavand Palace today I could think of nothing but Haile Selassie's fate. Inevitably one is inclined to draw parallels ... They are not reassuring ...

Haile I Selassie

I won a nickname, "The Great Communicator." But I never thought it was my style or the words I used that made a difference: It was the content. I wasn't a great communicator, but I communicated great things, and they didn't spring full bloom from my brow, they came from the heart of a great nation from our experience, our wisdom, and our belief in principles that have guided us for two centuries. They called it the Reagan revolution. Well, I'll accept that, but for me it always seemed more like the great rediscovery, a rediscovery of our values and our common sense.

Ronald Reagan

I, Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia, am here today to claim that justice which is due to my people, and the assistance promised to it eight months ago, when fifty nations asserted that aggression had been committed in violation of international treaties.
There is no precedent for a Head of State himself speaking in this assembly. But there is also no precedent for a people being victim of such injustice and being at present threatened by abandonment to its aggressor.

Haile I Selassie
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