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Ali Errishi's recent letter sounds as if we are dealing with a patriotic regime in Libya. Nothing could be more ridiculous or further from the truth. The Qaddafi regime is not patriotic. It is utterly treasonous because it has allowed the decimation and degradation of Libyans and their wealth, culture, and historical heritage. No patriotic regime would allow this. This regime has enabled foreign powers to deprive us of our dignity. When Qaddafi ceded an area of southern Libyan territory to another country, he forced our beloved country to abdicate its own sovereignty. This ceded territory is five to six times the size of Palestine. Additionally, Qaddafi's regime has led to aggression against our country by the United States. Through its terrorist policies, Qaddafi's regime has led to 10 years of suffering under economic and political sanctions. The Libyan people have suffered immeasurably during this nightmare, and we are the ones who have paid the price for Qaddafi's sick policies.

Qaddafi's latest atrocity is his attempt to drive Libyans out of their own nation and replace them with people from neighboring countries. In his sick, delusional mind, he believes that he can build his empire this way. These are the flagrant policies of a traitor and an enemy to the Libyan people. Qaddafi's regime is like a foreign power occupying Libya.

Qaddafi ceded the land, stole our country's wealth, and continually assaulted our dignity. He has made us a joke everywhere in the world, a laughingstock. Through his destruction, he has taken our country backward by many years. So all of this proves beyond a doubt that his regime is treasonous, not patriotic. Any other conclusion would be absurd.

I could give volumes of solid evidence to prove what I am saying, but rather than taking up time and space for that, I will give the following example, which by itself should suffice. In the late 1970s, Qaddafi confiscated all private businesses, thus transforming the Libyan populace into government employees. After this, Qaddafi brought foreign companies to conduct business in Libya--and his puppets, the so-called General People's Committee, issued a regulation prohibiting the hiring of any Libyan employees by these foreign companies. In other words, all employees of these foreign companies must be brought in from other nations. When this decision was made, Abuzaid Dorda and Mohammed Zweiy were members of the so-called General People's Committee. A regime that would promulgate such a twisted policy cannot be patriotic. Qaddafi's regime amounts to foreign occupation. This example by itself proves the illegitimacy of his reign of terror. But there are hundreds of other examples as well.

Furthermore, Qaddafi is not the only one responsible for this nightmare. All of Qaddafi's henchmen share responsibility for this tragedy. There are three rings of bootlickers surrounding Qaddafi: (1) the so-called Revolutionary Committees, including several security organizations and the secret police; (2) the technocrats and politicians working in the Ministries; and (3) bottom- feeders such as informants, spies, advocates, public relations operatives, and other Qaddafi servants who work on image control. These three groups share responsibility with Qaddafi for the horrible tragedy that our country has endured over the last 32 years.

The so-called Revolutionary Committees conduct the interrogation, torture, oppression, and murder of our people, throwing them in jail. They physically and systematically liquidate Libyans both inside and outside the country. Moreover, they are responsible for planting bombs in airplanes and killing civilians in other terrorist acts. They are literally criminals. They even shot down a Libyan airplane full of Libyan passengers.

The second ring, the politicians and technocrats, are no less dangerous than the so-called Revolutionary Committees. They support and promulgate the propaganda of the regime and ensure its long life. Through their consultations and ministrations, they legitimize Qaddafi's atrocities and profit financially as a result. They are the most despicable of mercenaries because they cause the degradation of the Libyan people.

Abuzaid Dorda and Mohammed Zweiy were two of the very first members of this ring of politicians, and their allegiance to Qaddafi's ludicrous notions continues to this day. As Ambassador to the United Nations, Dorda represents Qaddafi's autocratic empire, and Zweiy is Qaddafi's Ambassador to the United Kingdom. This circle of politicians also includes Abdul Rahman Shelgum, who is Qaddafi's Foreign Minister.

The third ring of criminals surrounding Qaddafi, the bottom-feeders, include people like Ali Errishi. He pretends like he is operating independently of Qaddafi's regime. This would be hilarious if the consequences were not so tragic. Errishi is a verminous fake. His lack of character allows him to work for anyone and any cause that will result in his profit. He is capable of working as a double agent because he has no values, no morals, and no sense of patriotism at all. He has no allegiance to anyone or anything other than his own bank account and his lust for small favors. He is seeking any gold nuggets that he can dig out of the muck. In the early 1970s, during a pro- Qaddafi rally in the city of Bengazi, Errishi grabbed the microphone and said that he was ready to dig up the ground with his own fingers for the cause of the so-called revolution, meaning Qaddafi's dictatorship. This event is recorded on film. Errishi also said that he was ready to get on his knees to the revolution and lick the feet of the revolutionary (in other words, the feet of Qaddafi himself). This is like Ali Sha'ari, who, when speaking at a pro- Qaddafi rally, said he wished he could be the horse on which Qaddafi would arrive. People like this are nothing but toadies who will work and advocate for any cause that benefits them personally. Errishi assumes the tone of a healer and a mediator in his recent letter, but he is nothing but a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Here is further evidence of Errishi's duplicity: In the mid- 1970s, he was sent by his masters to work as an official employee in the Libyan Embassy in Washington, D.C. Shortly after, they changed his status to that of a student and assigned him to infiltrate the anti-Qaddafi student movement. Thus, when students stormed the Libyan Embassy in January of 1976 to manifest their solidarity with students inside Libya, the Qaddafi regime terminated the scholarships not only of those they deemed responsible for this movement, but they also terminated Errishi's scholarship to protect his identity as a Qaddafi agent.

Errishi, we see through your disguise. You are not the reasonable pragmatist that you want us to believe you are. You are also not an altruist. You have done nothing to help the Libyan people. You have only helped Qaddafi and yourself. Your sheer lack of militance in the face of tyranny is despicable and treasonous. How can you accuse us of speculating in conspiracy theories? What we are dealing with here is far beyond the realm of mere conspiracy. It is a full-blown dictatorship similar to Hitler's Germany. How can you ignore this fact? Furthermore, even Hitler advocated nationalism; Qaddafi has no concern at all for Libya or the Libyan people. You speak as if we are dealing with a normal government with normalized relations with the world. We are not. We are dealing with a primitive, backwards, nondemocratic regime with utterly no regard for human rights. Your attempt to defuse our hatred for Qaddafi by calling us "conspiracy theorists" is an utterly adolescent attempt at throwing out a red herring--in other words, something designed to throw Qaddafi's opposition off the track.

Furthermore, you are a fatalist. How can you insinuate that nothing can be done about Qaddafi himself? That's what you do when you distinguish between "what ought to happen" and "what can happen." In the struggle against tyranny, there is only one honorable endeavor, and that is to overthrow the tyrant! This cannot be accomplished through your pusillanimous pussyfooting. You are not an "independent private citizen," as you claim, and we know it.

In spite of the magnitude of the Libyan disaster, we will remain resolute in the face of oppression, and we will not cease our struggle until we remove this cancerous tumor from our polity and crush it! We will overcome this ordeal and restore the rule of freedom, democracy and human rights after all these lean years. We will bring down this dictatorship and toss it on the excrement pile of history.

Those responsible for supporting Qaddafi will eventually be tried and judged by the law, and they will suffer under the hand of God for their crimes.

Long live Libya!

Faris el-Lafi

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