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Saturday, December 03, 2005

Libya and the U.S.: Qadhafi Unrepentant

An article by Mohamed Eljahmi, co-founder and a former board member of the American Libyan Freedom Alliance, another initiative that had promises but went down the drain because of some self-interested fame- and power-seeking individuals. The article is very informative and well written:
http://www.libya-watanona.com/news/n2005/dec/n03dec5a.pdf

I can't resist but bring this other piece to light. Mohammed is the brother of Fathi Eljahmi, a Libyan dissident who was brought into the spotlight by the White House, actually by Bush himself, and then went forgotten when Gaddafi was tamed! In Bush's speech marking the "progress in global women's human rights," that he gave in March 2004, he said, "Earlier today, the Libyan government released Fathi Jahmi. She's a local government official who was imprisoned in 2002 for advocating free speech and democracy. It's an encouraging step toward reform in Libya. You probably have heard, Libya is beginning to change her attitude about a lot of things. We hope that more such steps will follow in Libya, and around the world." Well, The only problem was that, by all other accounts, "she" is in fact "he"... Oops, someone made a mistake! Probably this someone googled Eljahmi and passed to Bush the info about Khadija Eljahmi, mistaken her for Fathi. Yeah, right, they're fighting terrorism, spreading democracy in the Middle East, and getting results ===> control over more oil--the bottom line!

7 Comments:

  • Hi Hanu :)

    The white house rarely "spotlights" anybody more than once, that doesn't necessarily mean that their position has changed, or that he's been forgotten.

    Although, I admit that the US position towards Libya (and the Q-man) has changed. I don't think Libya is on the "friends" list now - but I do think Libya is no longer on the "enemies" list - which it clearly was, a few years ago. And I think that's a good thing, personally.

    "Yeah, right, they're fighting terrorism"

    Well, we're doing the best we can, apparrently.

    "spreading democracy in the Middle East"

    I'm not a neocon, and I wouldn't take the tack the administration has taken. But I do believe the Neocons DO intend to spread democracy in the Middle East. That's at the very heart of their anti-terror strategy. They believe that's the only way to defeat terrorism.

    They are having SOME success. But it's hard, Hanu. They are dealing with mentality like this:

    "A Christian called an Egyptian talk show on sectarian relations recently to say he would rather be killed by Muslim extremists than have America come to save him."

    I copied that from an article by Mona Eltahawy.

    During the run up to the elections in Egypt, both opposition parties were accusing the other of being supported by the Americans - as a condemnation.

    I was accused recently (by Lebanese liberals) of harming their cause by voicing my opinions, because I'm American.

    I routinely see on ME blogs, condemnations of the US for not doing enough. And often, the very same person will condemn the US (on another issue) for interfering.

    I think Bush DOES want to spread democracy. But he's walking a tightrope.

    "and getting results ===> control over more oil--the bottom line!"

    No comment on the Oil thing.

    Nice post, Hanu. I enjoyed reading it.

    By Blogger programmer craig, at December 04, 2005 1:31 PM  

  • Hey, PC! Oh, I have things to see in reply to your comment, but that'll have to wait. I'm in the midst of finals... and falling behind, agh! I'll get back to you by the end of next week.

    By Blogger Hannu, at December 04, 2005 8:51 PM  

  • OK, Hanu, no rush... I look forward to reading yor comments :)

    By Blogger programmer craig, at December 05, 2005 2:18 PM  

  • PC,

    The man, Eljahmi, has been let go from the White House's agenda, he has been detained again few weeks after his release that was brought by some US pressure. He remained incommunicado for quite sometime after he spoke against the regime in an interview to al-Hurra TV, and is still detained. Isn't that a violation of human rights and the freedom of speech? Is that part of spreading democracy to let a dictatorial regime get away with such practices?

    Democracy can't be brought to that region in the presence of such regimes as in Libya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, etc. Look at the Egyptian elections, what a big joke! Look at Libya and how the US is presenting the Libyan regime as an example of possible reforms, a bigger joke yet! Have you heard about Libya jamming satellite systems because a small radio station called Sawt al-Amal (voice of hope). Read this and this.What has been done about this so far?

    No wonder people of the Middle East and North Africa have such a grudge against the Americans. All they see is that no body gives a damn about them and that the west is willing to tolerate and work with those oppressive regimes and turn a blind eye on the abuses and violations of the basic human rights and freedom of those people.

    This is a very complicated issue to sum up in few lines or pages, but the US is not following a good strategy in implementing the changes in the region. The main reason is that no body is trying to win the locals, or show them that they do have value. Look at Iraq; there were many mistakes, but there is success for sure and the thing that made that possible is the removal of Saddam. Don't count on reform in the rest of the region with the current regimes... not a chance!

    Look at Iraq and Libya and how the US handled both. Saddam has never killed or targeted Americans like Gaddafi did. La Belle, Lockerbie and probably other attacks we might not know about. I am a Libyan-American and I despise the current administration for the double standard they are applying in those cases and for the way they are opening doors up for Libya to join the international community.

    Better stop here; I'm not sure this is the right place to talk about such issues, I'm probably scaring some away...

    By Blogger Hannu, at December 21, 2005 10:02 AM  

  • Thanks for the response, Hanu. I can't find much to disagree with you about, really. I don't much like US foreign policy either, past and present. And not just in the ME! But I can't really think of a better one.

    By Blogger programmer craig, at December 29, 2005 3:29 PM  

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