The Beginning Of The End For Gaddafi's Regime|
Thieves utilize the darkness of night to carry out their robberies of unsuspecting victims. Gaddafi was such a thief when he launched his raid on the Libyan television station during that dark night of September 1, 1969. Unfortunately his robbery was not limited to a single home, as happens with ordinary thieves, but the whole country was robbed.
When Gaddafi grabbed the reigns of power, Libyan society was rooted in moral traditions, hospitality, and honesty. None of these traits were desirable as far as Gaddafi is concerned, and soon realized that such a society is not conducive of his acceptance and survival. As soon as he firmed his grip on the tools of government, he embarked on curbing basic freedoms, corrupting the morals of Libyan society, the distortion of Libya’s history, and destroying most of its essential services.
Curbing of freedoms manifested itself in many ways such as: restricting personal possessions and wealth; prohibition of all free newspapers and independent media outlets; severely limiting access to non-governmental information; denial of freedom of expression; prohibition of free assembly and to form political parties, those who dare belong to any political party risk the death penalty.
Corruption of morals was viewed as a pre-requisite to Gaddafi’s survival and could be seen in many aspects of Gaddafi’s Libya such as: bribery which has become pervasive in at all levels of government; widespread drug use as an escape from the hopelessness that pervades all segments of Libyan society; prostitution as means of sustenance, this is particularly disturbing when one realizes that some of those prostitutes are children less than 12 years old.
Distortion of Libya’s history: Many ancient and unique historical monuments were demolished; old cities’ quarters were razed under the pretext of modernization, but once destroyed they were abandoned; relatively modern constructions were demolished also because Gaddafi viewed them as reminders of former governments; changing Libya’s independence day from December 24 to September 1, the anniversary of his military coup; installing his father as a hero in the struggle for Libya’s independence; changing names of roads and street, named after legitimate dignitaries, and naming them after his agents and clients.
Destruction of essential services: many food items have vanished from Libyan markets, and clean water has become a scarce commodity in many areas of Libyan cities; academic institutions at all levels were neglected and fell into a state of disrepair, and were voided of their academic content and purpose; hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare institutions were also neglected and denied essential medicines and equipment to function properly, many Libyans died as a result of neglect, and many more sought treatment overseas, if they were fortunate enough to afford it; deteriorating health standards have resulted in numerous tragedies such as the children who were infected with the aids virus in Benghazi’s children’s hospital.
In essence, Gaddafi has destroyed so much of what was built before his time and has prevented any development of essential services for the past 34 years. The aforementioned mentioned items represent the tip of the iceberg of Gaddafi’s destructive practices in Libya. The tragic reality of Libya has driven many citizens to emigrate seeking refuge from the hellish existence that Gaddafi has created in Libya, it is estimated that over 70,000 Libyan nationals have left Libya because of Gaddafi and his policies. Many more Libyans would have joined the exodus of émigré’s if they could.
Libyan expatriates have settled in many locations around the globe, and they were all haunted by the tragedy of their homeland, and never severed their ties or their love for Libya. Many have become members in various opposition groups and worked hard to rid Libya of its destructive tyrant. The varied opposition groups have advocated a diversity of ideas and options to remove Gaddafi and to bring relief from to their long-suffering friends and relatives back home. Besides the various Libyan opposition groups, there were many others working independently for the same goal, helping Libya. I was such a person until recently when I joined a group of Libyan Americans, under the banner of American Libyan Freedom Alliance (ALFA). Our name clarifies our constituents and purpose, we are Americans and Libyans working together to bring freedom to Libya.
We have resolved to work in the open under our own names, and to avail our agenda for all to see; it is posted on our web site (www.alfa-online.org), along with all of our activities. We have reported our meetings with Senators, Congressmen, State Department officials, and many officials of non-governmental agencies. We are determined to use our unique positions as American citizens of Libyan descent to rid Libya of Gaddafi, and to put Libyan issues on the forefront of American concerns. We are working with the highest levels of government in an open and frank environment; there are no secret deals or hidden agendas. We have been active in politics for many years, and are intelligent enough to do what is in the best interest of Libya.
The hour of freedom from Gaddafi is fast approaching; his regime is already crumbling from within as could be seen from recent developments. However, we cannot free ourselves if we remain prisoners behind our walls of fear. We have to shed our fears and actively engage in civil disobedience. We need to prove to the international community that all Libyans inside and outside of Libya oppose and reject Gaddafi and his tyranny. We recommend that you visit all Libyan opposition web sites, share information with others, and to keep us informed of all internal developments.
Mohamed M. Bugaighis, Ph.D.