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Libyan Americans' Role In Shaping US Policies Toward Libya

Dear Dr. Igneiwa:

Over a year ago, I wrote a letter to "Libya-our home". In that letter, I urged Libyan Americans to establish friendships and ongoing dialogue with their representatives in Congress and the Senate, and to inform them of our concerns and aspirations. Most recently, I reiterated the same message in my letter entitled "Libya is in the eye of the storm." I mentioned also that Libyan Americans have a unique responsibility to influence American policies toward Libya, and we should do that. However, this will not be possible without our active involvement in the American political process, and lobbying those who shape American policies. Many other American citizens of different backgrounds have done this successfully, and we can do it too. Here are some suggestions:

1. Contact your congressmen and Senators to get to know them, if you do not know already. Discuss with them your concerns and aspirations toward our homeland, Libya.

2. Write, e-mail, and telephone President Bush, Secretary Powell, and others to remind them of their stated goals of spreading democracies and their opposition to tyrannies and dictators.

3. Follow closely reports published by different American "Think Tanks," and respond to their reports and express your views. Recommendations of such groups do, generally, influence official policies. The most recent report of the "Atlantic Council," published on Thursday, May 22 is designed to return American oil companies to Libya to the detriment of Libya’s interests. The thrust of the report could have serious setbacks to Libya and its aspirations for constitutional democracy.

Dr. Abdelrahim Saleh and Mr. Muneer Elwerfalli raised their concerns on this web site about the publication of the Atlantic Council’s report and its implication to Libya. Indeed all of us should be concerned and lobby our elected officials. We should strongly urge them that America’s long term interest in Libya will be best served through the establishment of a democratically elected government in Libya. This will be in the best interest of both countries. Any US misguided vision, driven by potential short-term gains, will inevitably result in long-term losses in all affairs of business, diplomacy, and prestige.

Sincerely,

Mohamed M. Bugaighis, Ph.D.


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