Response To Professor Porter's Report
February 13, 2006
Dear Professor Porter:
Although I have not seen a full copy of your report, which ostensibly aims to “Upgrade the global competitiveness of the Libyan economy” and concludes with a statement that your recommendations should be accomplished while retaining the “Unique character of the Libyan Jamahiriya” I must admit I was in a state of disbelief when I read this, and had to go back to read it again. I firmly believe that the opening statement, outlining the project’s aim has been totally negated by imagining that any rational economic plan could work under the chaos of the Jamahiriya system. It is precisely Gadhafi and his Jamahiriya system that has brought Libya to its knees.
Libya’s vast oil resource is well known, and the country enjoys long stretches of the Mediterranean coast, dotted by a wealth of ancient antiquities of past civilizations, another potential source of riches. Unfortunately Libya’s oil wealth has been squandered on Gadhafi’s failed, and expensive projects such as the “Man-made River,” which cost billions of dollars and caused immense damage to the environment. Also, Gadhafi has spent billions of dollars that he has spent on sponsoring terrorism and conflict in many parts of the world. Furthermore, the beautiful coast line has been polluted with trash and human waste, and Libya’s valuable antiquities have been looted and sold in Europe and elsewhere.
The waste of Libya’s resources and economic ruin are deliberate acts, intended to keep Gadhafi in control of the country and maintain his rule. One of the pillars of Gadhafi’s policies is “starvation,” in the belief that a starving people would be too consumed with finding food and other essentials of existence, to think of the finer qualities of life, such as freedom of expression and a free press. Another pillar of Gadhafi’s policies is the “closing of the Libyan mind” to limit its ability to rationalize, or to make sense of reality. This is clearly evidenced in his deliberate destruction of the excellent education system that existed before his coming. I can genuinely attest to the quality of the pre-Gadhafi education system, as I was one of those individuals who labored to build it, alongside many of my colleagues.
Furthermore, Gadhafi ruinous policies have created unbearable living conditions for the overwhelming majority of Libyans, as could be witnessed by 200,000 Libyans living overseas to escape Gadhafi’s unbearable Jamahiriya. It is worth noting that most of those Libyan expatriates are professionals, and represent a major segment of Libya’s brain power. When one realizes that the population of Libya is roughly 5-6 million, one can understand the calamity resulting from the departure of 200,000 of Libya’s most capable professionals. I think you would agree with me that the most the valuable resource of any nation is its people, and that people who are deprived of their basic freedoms whither and lose their ability to think rationally, and to be innovative and productive. Libya needs freedom, the rule of law, and the return of all those Libyans overseas, to empower it and put it ahead of its competitors. Barring this, Libya will not recover by 2019, as you had predicted, neither will it recover by the year 3000 under a Jamahiriyah system.
Mohamed M. Bugaighis, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus, Moravian College