Reading Gaddafi supporters’ letters on Libya News and Views makes one wonder at how these people perceive Democracy. They hold their own definition of the term democracy and they carry on with practices that no one else can relate to in the truly free, democratic, and civilized world. Democracy is a system of government in which the ultimate power is vested in the people and exercised and implemented by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation involving periodically held free elections.
Democracy at its best is when it comes from the people. It can’t come from above as the case in Libya today. You can’t tell the Libyan people that political parties are forbidden wa mun tahazzaba khan and then say that Libya is democratic and that the people are governing themselves. Before Libyans can vote on any issues pertaining to government activities, they have to choose that system of government first. Elections must be held to decide if the current government is wanted/desired by the majority of people or not. No one person and one system of government rule a country for thirty years and still going can call it democratic. If this is democracy what is dictatorship then? You can’t say to the Libyan people that what you are going to have is what one person namely Gaddafi has wanted you to have, which is the Green Book, and then any democracy will be within this ideology. That is far from democracy.
The People’s General Council presumably is the highest authority and decision-making body in the government. Let’s see what this has accomplished through out the past years? Libya as a nation has engaged in military confrontations with neighboring countries in the past. When did the Libyan people through their representatives vote on any of those decisions? When Libya was at war with Chad and the bodies of dead Libyan soldiers were all over the sands of the Sahara, the Libyan government and Gaddafi himself announced publicly that there are no Libyan soldiers in Chad. The same thing happened with the war of Uganda. Where are the bodies of the soldiers who died in Uganda? Where are the soldiers who got injured in Uganda? Where are the men of Almoqawama Alsha'bia who were thrown in the jungles of Uganda to be eaten by crocodiles and other animals? Did they receive a proper burial? What about their families? Did anyone in Libya know what happened and why Libya was engaged in those wars? If Libya had a true democracy, the case would have been much different. But we all know it is one-man show.
When the government decided back in the Eighties to change the Libyan currency. Over night a new law was declared. Who made the decision that the Libyan people should bring all of their money to the Libyan banks to be deposited? Who made the decision that only 500 Libyan Dinars are allowed to be withdrawn from any account at any given time? Do you know what happened to some people? Do you people still remember the long lines in front of the Libyan banks? Did the Libyan people decide to do that through their representatives? Certainly not !!!!
The list of examples could go on and on. We can mention the killing and hanging of the University students in Benghazi and Tripoli. The physical liquidation of Libyan citizens in Libya and abroad for no reason but their disagreement with the current system of government in Libya. Gaddafi’s orders to not discuss Libya’s Petro-dollars or Libya’s oil revenue as if this issue doesn’t concern the Libyan people. Gaddafi’s refusal of the national budget proposal and the way he showed his rejection of the proposal. It ended by him throwing the proposal at the faces of the members of his cabinet. Is this democracy? One of the recent examples, just to show that nothing has ever changed in the way the Libyan government is taking care of its business, is the imprisonment, torture and killing of Libyan dissidents extradited from other Arab and non-Arab countries. Their only crime is their love for their country. These young individuals have left behind young wives and kids with no one to take care of. When did the Libyan people decide on something like this? I only want to know about one example where the Libyan people did make a vital decision about something that is really important and directly affected their well-being. How could anyone say that Libya is democratic? Libya today is a dictatorship ruled by one man and one man alone. We all know how people in Libya vote, provided that they do.
It is true that Libya had no experience with democracy. It never had in the past and it still doesn’t have it today. I can understand why the Turks, Italians, British, and French have never allowed the Libyan people to exercise democracy in Libya; after all, they were colonials. They came to conquer Libya for their own selfish reason. In a sense you can say the same applies today. While the colonials had their excuse for not allowing the Libyan people freedom, what excuse do Gaddafi and his supporters have for not giving the Libyan people what they deserve/want? Has Libya ceased to give birth to sons and daughters who can take the responsibility of building/maintaining it? Are the only people who are qualified to take care of Libya today are Gaddafi and his cronies?
The people who are living abroad are not stray dogs, as the system apparatus would like to call them. They are not CIA agents either. They are the crème of the crop that Libya has lost for good because of Gaddafi’s policies. They are the doctors, engineers, educators, scientists, and many other professionals who, if not for the hard headedness of Gaddafi and his attitude/policies of my way or the high way, would be in Libya today building, improving, and helping it become the country it should be. They are also the decent hard working Libyan people who hold the love of Libya deep in their hearts. They are proud of being Libyans. They could never tarnish Libya’s image abroad. Gaddafi and company are doing a good job at that without help from anyone. To us, Gaddafi and Libya are two different things. We do not equate Gaddafi and his failed policies with Libya. When we criticize Gaddafi’s policies we do not criticize Libya. We do it out of love for Libya so the world would know that there are other voices to the Libyan people. Unlike you, we separate Gaddafi from Libya. Gaddafi is here now and maybe for years to come, but Libya will always be there for her children.