After the first meeting held on June 11-13, 1999, Dorda distributed a 3-page
circular printed in Arabic. Among other things, this circular includes
decisions made as a result of the consensus that arose from that meeting.
Following are the recommendations made by those participants:|
1. That Libyans in each state or region should organize and elect representatives to send to New York for a meeting with Dorda and staff.
2. The Libyan community should become active like other minority communities.
This means that the meeting's participants want the Libyans to be politically active in the United States--similar to the activities of the Arab Student Organization during the 1970s and 1980s.
3. Libyans should present the true Libyan picture, which has been distorted in past years.
This means that the meeting's participants want the Libyan community to collude with authorities like Dorda in painting a pleasant picture of Qaddafi and selling this false image to the world.
4. Establishment of a periodical publication to publish news from Libya that is not available through conventional media.
This means the Libyan community will be engaged in Qaddafi's propaganda machine and political circus to endorse Qaddafi's policies.
5. Prepare a list of all Libyans living in the United States, including their addresses, phone numbers, and all other communication coordinates (E-mail, fax, etc.).
This means Big Brother will be watching us and our every move--a typical control mechanism in a totalitarian state.
The meeting with Dorda has been characterized by some of the participants as intended to help the Libyan people who live in the United States--for example, the former POWs. Other participants claimed the meeting was a political dialogue between the Libyan people and the regime. Others said the meeting had no political significance and "to think otherwise is foolish." All of these characterizations are refuted by the list of recommendations contained in Dorda's circular. Above, I have listed five of the many points listed in this circular. These five points are obviously political in nature.
One participant claimed that those at the meeting just wanted to renew their passports and to be able to visit Libya. For the last 30 years, renewing passports and visiting Libya has not been a problem. Why is it suddenly a problem today? Libyans from around the world have routinely been able to renew their passports and visit Libya. In other words, no meeting with Dorda was required to secure such rights, because these rights are already available and used in a widespread fashion.
When the Libyan students in the United States stormed the Libyan Embassy in January 1976, to manifest their solidarity with the Libyan students inside Libya, Dr. Errishi was in Libya. He did not participate in this political demonstration. When Dr. Errishi initially came to the United States, he came as an employee working for the Libyan Embassy. Later on, he was offered a scholarship that was never rescinded. Some of those who participated in the embassy demonstration lost their scholarships. One participant not only lost his scholarship but was later the target of an assassination attempt.
I am very sorry for the fragmentation that Dorda's meeting has caused among Libyan expatriates. The disputes, accusations are the result of Dorda's June meeting. I am very sorry that this will give Dorda satisfaction as he sits in his office smiling that his plan is working. Now the Libyan people are fighting each other. Divide and conquer--that's what Dorda wants.