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Dialogue based on Qaddafi's propaganda is a dead end

      We don't need a national platform like the ones in China, Vietnam or even early-1960s Egypt. We don't need a dictator surrounded by a gang of self-interested thugs, misleading our people, devastating our country, its resources and wealth, and destroying the Libyan human being through oppressive policies and physical liquidation. We have been suffering the last thirty years from all that crap. And now, after thirty years, Mr. Buisier expresses his desire that the Libyan people engage in a seminar or discussion about The Green Book. Mr. Buisier must have hidden motives for this subterfuge, and I hope the future will expose what these motives are.

      Over a quarter century ago, the Libyan people refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of The Green Book in character and substance. This propaganda does not even deserve to be discussed. By writing this book, Qaddafi wants to be seen as a thinker, a philosopher, but he is merely a deranged person.

      The Green Book is totally bogus and pretentious. It claims to be the "ultimate solution to the democratic, economic, and social problems for humankind." However, when the book is not stating the obvious, it offers twisted logic to justify Qaddafi's dictatorship. At best, the book only represents the thinking of a child. Qaddafi dares to characterize democracy as dictatorship because a majority may "dictate" to a minority, or in cases where there are more than two candidates, a minority may dictate to other minorities. He calls this "dictatorship," but fails to mention that, in a free country, such a balance of power is soon altered by forthcoming elections.

      Democratic systems may not be perfect, but they were designed to improve on the autocratic form of government that Qaddafi poses as an alternative. An ideal or perfect system of government would grant the wishes of every individual on every issue--an obvious impossibility. Democracy is merely the most scientific and civilized method yet discovered by humankind. Democracy's imperfections are small compared to those of Qaddafi's brand of government. Democracy's imperfections are no justification for Qaddafi's brand of government. Qaddafi's reasoning is illogical, self-serving and intended to deceive.

      If Qaddafi has truly realized the corrupt nature of his regime, then he must renounce his oppressive policies and ask the Libyan people in Libya for reconciliation and dialogue. Libya needs the immediate release of thousands of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience. Libya needs a constitution that will protect and provide freedom of choice of the people, and the people must be free to choose their government via elections. The constitution must protect independent justice, a free press, free elections, and free expression. Also the constitution must protect Libyan dignity and soil as well as Libyan resources and interests. These goals are definitely what we need. We cannot accomplish all this overnight, but we deserve the right to begin building the proper foundation to support these goals. A thousand-mile journey begins with one step.

      The way things are now, Qaddafi can squander Libyan resources wherever and whenever he pleases with no accountability whatsoever. The national platform of policies--political, economic and social--should not be permanently codified in the constitution; rather, they should be open to change with each new government administration that is elected. And the people should have the opportunity to base their electoral decisions on the proposed platform and policies that they expect to be most effective. A particular policy may be appropriate for Libya at one point in its history and not at another. Under the regimes that Mr. Buisir holds up as models-- e.g., China, Vietnam, etc.--policies are established by dictatorial leaders and remain immutable, whether or not the people like them or benefit from them.

      Conducting a dialogue or seminar on The Green Book, as Mr. Buisier suggested, would be diversionary and totally counterproductive. It would divert our attention away from the true issues we are facing. Such a seminar would be a complete waste of time.

      Apparently, Mr. Buisier's letter was intended to be a fine example of Arabic literature and romance. But, even though he wrote it in a literary, romantic form, the substance is merely a smokescreen--something intended to mislead and confuse. This device makes his letter hollow and vacuous. The substance it leads us nowhere. Maybe Mr. Buisier's first priority is not the substance. Maybe he wishes to concentrate on high literary forms so he can be classified as a cultured or enlightened person. But, in my opinion, the definition of a cultured or enlightened person is one who has a deep belief in a sense of duty and sacrifice for a public cause. Those who believe exclusively in self-interest should not be characterized as enlightened or cultured.

Lamin F. El-harati

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