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Time For Immediate Action

Since Muammer Gaddafi grabbed the reins of power in a military coup on September 1, 1969, he has treated Libya as if it was an inheritance. Now that he is on his death bed, suffering from cancer of the throat, he is planning to install his son on the throne, as if Libya was his family's property. The Libyan people have been abused for over 34 years, and now Gaddafi wants to continue his family's rule by installing one of his sons to his fatherís tradition of murder and mayhem. Are the Libyan people to remain silent as they are passed from one lunatic to another and to be butchered as sheep whenever the ungodly despots are displeased with them?

With the recent international developments in Libya, following Gaddafi's surrender to all western demands, one would think that the Libyans will voice their demands to be treated with the dignity that they are entitled to. They should demand return to civil society, constitutional democracy, respect for their human rights, and the rule of law. However, that has not happened and the silence throughout Libya seems to puzzle all observers and politicians inside and outside of Libya. Unless we break the barriers of fear and raise our voices, demanding that Gaddafi and his family abandon their seats of control, they will continue to rule unopposed, wreaking havoc and destruction upon the country.

For a wealthy country like Libya, too many people have died needlessly because of inadequate medical care; too suffer extreme poverty as their wealth is being squandered; too many Libyans remain in prisons for expressing their views and wanting better future; education and other essential services have been degraded to make resemble that of the most impoverished nations of the world. Undoubtedly, the most valuable resource of any nation is its people, not any other natural resource. Western nations have reached the highest levels of civil societies because of their vast investments in their citizens. When one looks at Gaddafi's policies over the past 34 years, one sees a deliberate destruction of all necessary tools of advancement.

What is needed right now is action on all internal and external fronts. Inside of Libya, people have to raise their voices in peaceful opposition, engage in active and persistent civil disobedience by writing flyers, signing petitions, demand immediate release of all prisoners, holding peaceful rallies calling for an end to tyranny and to institute democracy. Libyans living in the Diaspora have to support the demands of those living inside. They should abandon all their past differences and direct their energy, resources, and angry words at their common enemy, Gaddafi. They should hold rallies in various capitals of the world, protest against all those who are trying to rehabilitate the regime, and hence further the suffering of our people in return financial gain. Libyans, who are sitting and watching events unfold in front of their eyes, need to step to up to the podium, and to be news makers rather than passive recipients. The next 3-4 months are critical, and we should ensure that the final outcome is what we all aspire for: Representative democracy, respect for human rights, and trials of all the criminal elements of Gaddafi regime. Let's make sure that this year marks the end of the Gaddafi regime.

Mohamed M. Bugaighis, Ph.D.


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