The letter that brother "Libee Hurr" wrote sometime ago about the doomed Libyan Airlines (LN) flight from Benghazi to Tripoli carries a lot of credibility amongst many Libyans. I know one pilot who witnessed the event unfold right in front of him. He flew a small twin-engine airplane for one of the oil companies and happened to be approaching Tripoli airport for landing at the same time as the LN flight. As they came closer to the airport, he saw a military jet approach and release a missile after which the LN airplane came crashing down.
One of the victims of the flight is Captain Ben Isaa. Just a few months earlier he was a passenger with members of his family on board the Korean airliner that crashed in Tripoli airport. He lost some of his family members in that tragic accident and was hospitalized for sometime. After a few months recovery he went back to his profession and ultimately met his fate in the criminal act of downing a civilian airliner for no reason other than political stupidity, terrible miscalculations and total disregard for human lives. The tyrant appeared to assume that this would relieve the pressure in the Lockerbie issue and gave away the lives of innocent Libyans.
In the funeral procession for the pilots who died, their colleagues attended to pay their respects and to bid them farewell. During the event, a cleric gave a sermon during which he said that the fall of the airliner was due to unavailability of spare parts caused by the embargo. Many pilots left the place in silent protest at the preposterous claim. Instead of calling for investigation into the crash, it was unfolding as another blatant ploy by the regime to serve its objectives.
Such is the mentality of Gaddafi and those that support his grip on power. He proved time and again that he has total disregard for the value of human lives and especially those of Libyans. His supporters who downplay their role in such events carry a responsibility in enabling the tyrant to have unlimited degree of decision-making power. This man will not hesitate to annihilate the entire population of Libya if his grip on power is threatened and if he has the means to do so. He repeatedly cried out the phrase: "on me and on my enemies oh my lord" (Alaya Wa Alaa A'daee Ya Rabbi) meaning that if he is to fall he will take down others with him and if he is to die he will take as many with him as he can. On many occasions he said that he is prepared to engage in strategic alliance with the "devil" if he has to (in order to serve his purposes).
As all dictators, this one will eventually perish from the seen for if it lasted for others he would not have reached it. However, the gravest concern is the consequences and the extremely high price that Libyans are paying for this regime's continuing existence. We are paying from our lives, from the wealth of the country, from the dilapidated health and educational services, the dilapidated moral values, the destruction of the environment (water and air qualities and waste disposal fracas), ... etc. The question then is not whether or not this dictator will perish from the seen. He definitely will. The real question is how high is the price going to reach before he disappears? Of equal significance is the question of who will replace him? Unfortunately, it is more likely that another dictator will take hold rather than real democracy. We still do not have what it takes to establish real democracy. An indication of this eventuality is the way the so-called opposition groups are conducting their affairs and the endless bickering amongst their leaders and members.
The continuing saga of the Lockerbie trial may lead to further exposure of the tyrant. Unfortunately it may turn out to be a means to further suck up the wealth of the country to serve the purposes of the US and Britain at the expense of the average Libyan's further hardship and suffering. The tyrant is more likely to pay up if he finds that this is the only way for his political survival. All forces appear to be conspiring against the poor Libyan who has little influence in the adventures of the dictator. While it would be nice to think of the trial and ongoing appeal as fact finding to unearth the truth, the fact remains that strong political and economic interests dominate the process.
Amongst this turbulence, I would like to invite my fellow Libyans inside and outside Libya to develop tolerance for accepting differences of opinions and viewpoints. These differences are healthy as long as they do not develop into personal attacks. The world's leaders in technology, politics and economics have made and continue to make use of having a diversified mix of cultures and view points (i.e. the US and Canada). I look forward to a day when Libyans can establish a constitution that guarantees freedom of expression and the press including freedom to criticize the ruling establishment and its leader. I look forward to a constitution where the political power of the top man (or woman) is limited by the power of parliament or a similar assembly of professional politicians. I look forward to a constitution that limits the number of years any person can serve as head of the country. These are realistic aspirations and can be achieved. The obstacles to these objectives are primarily due to greed and personal egos of which most of us have plenty. Those before us who reached high levels of political achievements have done so because they placed the interests of their people above their own. For example Omar Ibn Alkhattab, Gandhi, Mandela ... etc.
Am I dreaming? May be. But no objective is reached without first dreaming about it. Will this happen in our lifetime? May be not, but it is better to plant the seeds as soon as possible so that perhaps our children and grand children will reach this point and we will have left them something they would thank us for. We do have tremendous talents in education, technology, medicine and literature. Many Libyans have proved and continue to prove their talents abroad. We still have to work on becoming tolerant towards fellow Libyans and non-Libyans who have a different opinion about any topic.
Finally I would like to salute all the Libyan intellectuals who contribute to this page and particularly those who are eager to free our Libya from the unprecedented tyranny. I am particularly proud of Sister Haila's strong, articulate and intelligent writings. Your letters are truthful, aspiring and inspiring. Special thanks also to brother Dr. Ibrahim who, despite the risks, made this page available for us to express our views freely. Also salutation to brother Hafed Alghwel who pioneered MENA discussion forum and sister Trabulsia who I have not yet seen her writings on this page.
May Allah help us to free our Libya from the tyrant and his collaborators and guide us to the righteous path. Aameen.