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الأحد 1 فبراير 2009

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Why did you allow Qaddafi platform but not us?

This is an open letter to NYTimes and my fellow Libyans everywhere.

This an absolute disgrace is how New York Times, allowed Qaddafi to churn out his drivel and never gave an equal voice to those whom he has always extinguished and were never given a chance to be normal human being living in their homes just as any other human being do. Qaddafi devastated so many untold lives and he is subtly trying his very best to annihilate the only indigenous inhabitants in Libya namely the Berbers, and trying his utmost to eradicate any opposition especially in Derna and Benghazi in the east where they are openly and covertly opposed to his reign of terror.

Qaddafi.s invitation to speak at Georgetown university is another slap in the face to people of Libya and to the freedom loving people everywhere, but I do not want to address their one-sided stance, and why they chose to host a terror leader as eloquent speaker, alas, Hitler and Mussolini were better than Qaddafi. Qaddafi, one of the world.s leading tyrant has been invited to speak at Georgetown University. Qaddafi has spent his existence as terrorist and an ally for terror gangs all over the world.

Qaddafi is an active terrorist; champion of terrorism...is tormenter and authoritarian. Qaddafi has associates himself with extremists, who promote terror in all forms such as neo-Nazism, and most of all his cunning to the west, his ethnic cleansing of the Berber goes unnoticed by the west and totally hidden from the rest of the world.

Those who agree to giving Qaddafi a platform contend that we have to stomach the articulation of repugnant opinions in the name of free speech, and that he should be vanquished through debate. However, many people in Libya prefer .no stage for dictator and his. miserable guiding principle.

Terror is not a political current like any other. It is more than abominable carnage, it is a dogma that aims to tear down every vestige of democracy, and terrorists have no misgivings about using thuggery to achieve their aims. Sheer words are not enough to defeat them , they must be banned from public space.

No podium. is not an attack on free speech, but a disagreement to those who utilise it in order to remove the freedoms of others; tell me where can I write a op-ed piece in Libya expressing my views, and I will relent immediately. Tyrants have a technique - a podium in prominent print media the NYT gives a appearance of credibility to sponsor their message of terror, leading to violence against their targets. By this means, Qaddafi quells maybe the naove minds of the American public by showing them his makeup fagade, and in turn, they believe he is rehabilitated and he renounced his modes operandi, and so lessens the fear of terror aboard among the naive.

Terror appeared in 1930s Germany against the Jews. The state did very little to stop the .brownshirts. and their movement grew. Thuggery was one aspect of Hitler strategy. The other was cozying up to respectability by acting as if he is committed to democratic norms. This two-pronged tactic has continued to be a feature of terror ever since. German parliamentary parties insisted that the dictator had to be treated like any other faction and granted the same rights. The results were disastrous. Nazism! Fine words about democracy disappeared as the dictator abolished press freedom, suspended all democratic rights and went about wiping out every trace of opposition, protest or criticism from their new .nazi state.. Years later in Germany the debate over whether dictator should be entitled to a public platform arose as liberals and socialists argued over how to respond to the rise of Hitler.s Nazis. Moreover, you all know the rest of the story.

Qaddafi sharing the stage with the elites the likes of my alma matta Harvard and other fine institutions, by assembling a predisposed political force that aims at ruining what democracy we have and instituting a reign of terror. The totalitarian message need only be taken up by a couple of people in any area or campus to be proliferated through any group of students. The images of extremists. students burning books shortly after Hitler.s ascent to power reminds us those campuses are not immune to extremists. uncompromising ideas.

Unfortunately, dictators Like Qaddafi are capturing little by little electoral successes across the African continent and various parts of the Far/Middle East; and in turn, they can magnetize a momentous show of hands despite having relatively few members in an area. Look at the popularity of Qaddafi where he is venerated in the Arab world, and now spreading into various parts of Africa, and even many Europeans parties are espousing his ridiculous hypothesis. That is because they can feed off disenchantment with their mainstream political parties, if there are any, by exploiting the climate of fanaticism against western values, fear of genuine democracy whipped up in the media.

Qaddafi.s footprints are all over the map, and I do not wish to ruin you day, but they are numerous, and rather save you the space and the agony to relist them.

pesta@post.harvard.edu

Raymond


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