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We hope all concerned Libyan Americans can join us in this initiative

Dear Dr. Ighniewa,

We like to encourage all Libyan Americans to play an active part in lobbying the decision makers in Washington to consider Qaddafi's ruthless and brutal record and continuous disregard for human rights before considering re-establishing normal relations with his regime for any short-term economic benefits that few American companies may gain.

We have drafted a Letter to send to President Clinton and to Vice President Gore and we appeal to other Libyan Americans to join us in this effort. Interested individuals can do either of the following:

(1) Send their names to TBag at tbag@mtn.org whereby he can add the names
      to the list of signatories, or
(2) make a copy of this letter or edit it to their liking and send it to President
      Clinton, with copies (cc) to the Vice President and to their respective
      congress-persons.

We hope all concerned Libyan Americans can join us in this initiative.

Umbashi,
Huda,
TBag,
3oon,
MrabiT.

The following is a copy of the letter:

August 19, 1999

President William Jefferson Clinton
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., N. W.
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

We are a group of concerned Libyan Americans who have a common understanding of current and past events in Libya and who share a desire to see the United States' policy regarding the status of its relations with Libya decided based on the common interests of both the American and Libyan peoples and guided by the high moral and democratic principles that most Americans value and cherish. We feel, based on our interactions with a wide segment of Libyan Americans, that the great majority of them would share our views on this subject.

We have followed with great interest the initial formal contacts between the two countries and the recent Congressional hearings on re-establishing normal relations with Libya. We feel that any such move should be contingent on the Libyan regime taking concrete and irreversible steps to improve on its record on human rights and should be conditional on the regime's seriousness at initiating steps to democratize its political system.

Most American political observers and strategists argue that the United States' strategic and vital interests in the Middle East and North Africa are best served by promoting and supporting moderate political governments that would peruse a long lasting peace and help diminish the extremist tendencies in the region. We are of the opinion that prolonging the reign of the Qaddafi regime would run counterbalance to such interests.

A frequently used justification for appeasing and supporting many governments in the region is the desire to prevent extremist and fundamentalist elements from seizing power in those countries. This line of thinking does not apply to Libya. Although the countries of this region have similar cultures and histories, their domestic political and social climates are quite different. The Libyan society is comparatively very homogenous. All Libyans are Sunni Muslim with moderate tendencies and their history shows no signs of religious or ethnic conflicts. In fact, any extremist movement which may have emerged in Libya or among Libyans in recent years was a direct reaction to the oppressive policies and human rights abuses of the tyrannical regime. Furthermore, a free and democratic Libya would play a better role in establishing and fostering a long lasting peace in the region than the often unpredictable, unreliable and whimsical current regime.

We also feel that any short term gains that American companies and businesses may foresee from re-establishing normal relations with the Libyan regime is short-sighted. A more stable and a democratically elected government in Libya would be more conducive to fostering trade relations and establishing long lasting business opportunities. The establishment of a democratic and constitutional state in Libya that respects human rights and political freedoms would also allow the Libyan American community, which so far has been alienated and cut off from Libya, to play a role in furthering and enhancing economic and cultural ties between the two countries.

Mr. President, in addition to the aforementioned reasons why it is not in the best interests of the United States to appease or approve of the Libyan regime, the United States should not forget its role as the moral leader of the free world. There is no need to remind you of Qaddafi's support of various terrorist groups around the world and of his record in destabilizing and even invading his neighboring countries and of his brutal and abysmal record on human rights in Libya over the last 30 years. However, this oppressive regime had embarked on new policies that violates basic human rights to very alarming limits. We are speaking specifically of the so-called “The Collective Punishment Law” introduced by the regime in March 1997. It calls for the punishment of an entire family, extended family or tribe of any individual who commits any act deemed by the regime to be threatening to its control and grip on power. The punishments include murder, detention, demolition of homes or forced relocation. According to Amnesty International, this is the only law of this kind that exists in any country today. Such violations of basic human rights have only been matched by some of this century's most brutal dictators such as Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini.

Mr. President, we appeal to your sense of justice, commitment to the cause of freedom and unwavering stand for basic human rights to consider the plight of the Libyan people and to play a role in forcing the dictatorial regime to change its brutal ways or, even better, encourage its demise. The systematic murder and torture of innocent people in Libya, as well as the demolition of the homes of innocent people are crimes just as atrocious as those committed by Milosavic and his army in Kosovo that resulted in the United States leading NATO forces to Launch one of the most extensive air campaigns to finally stop such atrocities and help the cause of freedom in that region of the world.

Sincerely,

Names.

_____________________________________


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