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We are disappointed

Dear Dr. Ibrahim

I have followed the discussion in your website with great interest. A long time ago, it wa said: "People tend to hear what they want to hear." One might characterize these discussions as self-pity, slander, self-serving, depending on what half of the cup you want to look at; to me, the cup is half full. These dialogues have provided us across the globe with a democratic climate with which to air out our political and philosophical differences; it is a forum we have been denied all these many years. For that, I cannot say enough good things about your home page; I am very greatful to you.

I think I represent the moderate viewpoint when I say I do not object to such meetings. Actually I encourage them, even though I question their value and the host's ulterior motives. We cannot preach democracy with one hand and deny it to others who possess opposing views with another hand. I can understand the disappointment and frustration of those who stand firmly against such meetings and with good reason: they have witnessed the elite of Libyans, doctors and university professors, etc, conned by yet another political poly of the current Libyan regime to serve its ends for the time being. We do not question their intensions ... however , we are entitled to question their judgement and their rationale.

Even the unlearned layman Libyan who was never exposed to a college education or a trip abroad would not accept the ambassador's argument; downplaying the reasons behind our existence here or trivializing our just cause. The ambassador was quouted as saying: "Most people here are here for the money or because they are married to foreigners", this is adding insult to injury. But the sad part is that some of the participants in the discussion, namely Dr. Errishi and Dr. Scandarani, have employed off-the-wall logic quouting for exapmple Winston Churchel, Nikita Khrushchev and Bismark. They label the other side as wranglers and fanatics, using words such as "wrong" and "foolish" as if they are the final authority on the subject at hand.
(What do you know, I am a full college professor) was insinuated all over.

Well, Dr. Errishi, you have missed the point: this is where the disappointment lies in my opinion, not to mention your getting off the subject to stress your own achievements. The more you add titles the less you look to your oppressed countrymen. Please do not get me wrong, we are proud of you, but your analysis flies in the face of logic. Malcolm X said that if someone stabs you twelve inches deep then pulls the dagger out three inches you could not call that progress. Dr. Errishi says no, that is progress and any crumbs you collect on the table is progress. If the Revolutionary Committees take all your possessions but you could negotiate to keep, say your car, then that, accoding to Dr. Errishi, is a gain. One wonders if Nelson Mandela or Ahmed Ben Bella, to name a few, heeded such advice and accepted concessions when they were most vulnerable and behind bars; that would have been the end of the struggle to end apartheid in South Africa or a free Algeria.

Frankly I failed to understand the purpose behind some points mentioned in Dr. Errishi's letters, other than flexing one's intellectual or linguistic muscles which is okay. We are human after all. But I can not resist commenting on two points. Ken Rogers said he should know when to hold them and when to fold them. Apparently Dr. Errishi folded when he should have held. I am not going to speculate here. Everybody has his/her own needs, circumstances, stamina and philosophy. Secondly, Dr. Errishi should not have stopped there telling the children what is theirs. The pyramids are ours, Jerusalem is ours, the Nile and all the Saudi oil are ours and, thinking of it, even the great wall of China is ours. I admit I must be abusive father. I did not widen my children's horizon. I told them: anything you can use as a collateral is not yours.

Dr. Scandarani implied that it is okay for a country to kill its citizens; Egypt kills its citizens, America kills its citizens ... it is no big deal, so what if Libya kills its citizens. This is not common sense! And yet with this mentality and with this background, these people want to facilitate our travel to Libya and to ensure our exit. Why on earth would one need assistance to visit his/her own country or have a third party guarantees his/her safe return? Dr. Scandarani stated that he has no problem visiting Libya; actually he was there recently, but he attended the meetings for us to ease our suffering and to solve our problems. Well, Dr. Scandarani, with all due respect, I hope you still remember the Libyan proverb: "Just hold your ... we do not need your incense." Dr. Scandarani then threatened to launch lawsuits for slander and character assassination if we dared to criticize him. I would quoute President Truman in answering you: "If you can not stand the heat; get out of the kitchen."

Mr. Buisier, on the other hand, admitted and rightfully so, that the system holds all the cards. How can you negotiate with someone when you have nothing to offer? Yes, you were invited, but at the first meeting you would have concluded the very obvious sad truth that this regime does not show any kind of gesture in an effort to mend its policies. For example, as recent as last June they dragged an innocent man, innocent through their own "judicial system", and hanged him in broad daylight at a public square in his own hometown. What do you expect to achieve when you negotiate with a regime in which the head of the state publically and openly orders the physical liquidation of any person holds a different opinion? He calls us stray dogs and CIA agents. Did they not hang a student on the college campus for writing an article in the university newspaper? Would you like to hear more? As for myself, I lost a brother in the war in Chad at the same time when Quaddafi was saying "We have no soldiers in Chad." How many thousands of people were slaughtered in that war? For what reason? We are faced with a sick man, clinically diagnosed mentally sick man. Sometimes medicine is useless and the doctor resorts to other painfull methods of treatment. If we run out of gas we must not discourage those who still have the courage to eradicate the evil. Nasser (I despite the guy) said: "What was taken by force, it can not be regained with other means but with force." I think to negotiate with everybody, just because the Palestineans and the Israelis did it, is a fallacy.

As you can see, many of us are not opposing these meetings; we are disappointed in some of the participants' rationalization, especially when their arguments do not make sense and when these statements are coming from highly regarded individuals.

And while on the face of it, it appears that we lack more than Young's emotional maturity that Dr. Jaballah Hassan referred to. It seems that with all the Libyan society's complexities (which were covered in Dr. Hassan's article), somehow individually or collectively we have missed one or more stages of Erickson's "Life cycles." I am afraid we cannot do it all on our own. We may need devine intervention. The Quran says that God does not change the condition of people until they change their own inner intellect. Catch 22.

[Name withhold]

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