Why the American Libyan Freedom Alliance (ALFA)?|
When Gadhafi staged his military coup on September 1, 1969, many Libyans who were aware of the nature of military regimes raised red flags and sounded danger alarms. Although, initially, awareness of military regimes was limited to the politically savvy and intellectuals, the number of opponents soon grew over the years as a result of the savage practices of the regime. As opposition grew in numbers, the brutality of the regime increased proportionally. Many opponents were executed, imprisoned, or went into exile.
Those in exile continued their opposition to the regime from afar, forming opposition groups in numerous countries. The tools of opposition varied from the literary, represented by the abundance of publications and numerous web sites; to military operations inside Libya. The opposition movement experienced cycles of activism and dormancy, depending on available resources and international politics. Most recently, April 2002, a group of Libyan expatriates held a meeting in Washington DC to reevaluate and invigorate the opposition movement. Subsequent meetings were held in Washington DC with an expanded number of participants, and out of those meetings a consensus has emerged that all methods of opposition should be explored and encouraged.
Those in attendance agreed to adopt an approach that has long been neglected, or at least not given prominence thus far. The participants agreed to create an organization to advocate their vision and to perpetuate it. A name was chosen, bylaws were written, registration was secured, and activities already initiated. The name of this new organization is American Libyan Freedom Alliance (ALFA.) The philosophy of ALFA is non-violent in essence and relies heavily on bringing Gadhafi’s bloody record into focus in front of the international community, and to insist on his accountability for all his crimes.
The name recognizes America’s role in the world and its superpower status. Such a choice of name should not be construed that members of ALFA blindly support every aspect of American foreign policies. Although, some of us disagree with the current administration on several issues, ALFA is determined to separate Libyan issues from all other concerns that many of its members may have. Membership in ALFA is not limited to Libyans and Americans, the organization is open to all those who believe in ALFA’s mission (Restoring Constitutional Democracy in Libya), regardless of all other considerations. We urge all to become active in our efforts.
Regarding Libya, the current administration declared on numerous occasions that they want democratic practices and the rule of law in Libya, and we intend to hold them true to their word. Although the role of the United States in international politics is very significant, this does not diminish the important roles of many European and Non-European nations. We urge all Libyan expatriates to establish dialogues and close ties with those who could assist us in our quest for democracy and the rule of law in Libya, whether they are individuals or institutions, in their countries of domicile.
The mission of ALFA and its program of action is something that no Libyan national who supports democracy and freedom would disagree with. Its mission is simple: return to constitutional democracy in Libya. How can this be accomplished through non-violence and what are the tools to be utilized? There are several historical examples where non-violent policies have lead to the collapse of many dictatorial regimes in many countries. It is the intent of ALFA to put Gadhafi’s record of human rights abuses, disregard for rule of law, and support of violence and terror at every international gathering. We intend to reach out to human rights organizations; legal institutions; political organizations (governmental and independent); and all other groups, deemed to be supportive of our just cause.
ALFA has adopted a policy of openness and transparency in all its activities, already undertaken or planned. The most recent visit of members of ALFA to the Senate was reported on Libyan web sites, and other similar reports will follow as we meet with various departments of the US administration and other organizations in the United States. Thus far, members of ALFA received a warm welcome and support in all places that members have visited, as future press releases will indicate. The warm reception and support shown to members of ALFA has been very encouraging to us, and very unsettling to the Gadhafi regime. Our mission is very simple and powerful that we firmly believe it is shaking the foundation of the Gadhafi regime. We need to continue and intensify our efforts until we accomplish our stated goal: Return to Constitutional Democracy in Libya.
Mohamed M. Bugaighis, Ph.D.
Member, Communications and Public Relations Committee
Mohammed S. Buisier
Officer, Communications and Public Relations Committee