February 27, 2004 Special Dispatch No. 669

Libyan Newspaper Editor Fired After Calling on Qaddafi to Change from Revolutionary to President

February 27, 2004
Libya | Special Dispatch No. 669

The editor of the Libyan daily Al-Zahf Al-Akhdar, Dr. Abd Al-Qader Al-Hudheiri, stood trial and was subsequently fired from his newspaper following the publication of his article 'The Time Has Come for a Libyan President.' The article called on Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, whose official title is "Leader of the Revolution," to become a president, and stated that the Libyan 'revolution' has passed, and that it is time to establish an 'ordinary state.' The paper was shut down for one week. [1] The following are excerpts from Al-Hudheiri's article: [2]

The Revolution Fulfilled its Role; The Time Has Come for Change The article begins with a paraphrase from Ecclesiastes:

"A time to love and a time to hate
A time for war and a time for peace
A time for struggle and a time for building
A time for revolution and a time for a state.

"Libya, like the rest of the world, is a piece of land, a government, and a people. In the 1960s, the world was in a revolution against imperialism, social oppression, and racial discrimination. The peoples aspired to independence and self-determination, and under these international and local conditions, Libya had to change from a weak country no one had ever heard of to a revolution in which all took pride.

"There had to appear a knight who would change the situation and make a revolution. This knight, mounted on his green horse, had to light a fire in the crumbling country and turn it into a revolution, frightening its foes and gladdening its friends, and the rays it sent out spread to Nicaragua, Iran, and even South Africa…

"The revolution fulfilled its role, and there came a need for a reshuffling of the cards and a reorganization of the missions. It was necessary to change the rules of the game! They must be changed so that they are compatible with the changes in the world and in reality… The time has come for the warrior knight who led the revolution to dismount and begin to build the state…

"The time has come for building, now that the ground has been prepared and now that the revolution has succeeded in creating equality and has set everyone on a single level. The time has come to open up the competition. We have been completely loyal to the state. We raised all the money, recruited all the people, and mobilized all the energies at our disposal, for the sake of its principles and in order to spread its ideas abroad. This was done at the expense of many other things, and today we are not capable of raising the national cadres necessary for managing day-to-day matters and meeting our needs. Therefore, we had to obtain help from foreigners in everything."

We Focused on Revolution and Neglected Other Needs

"We preferred the revolution to the needs of life. We have preferred to allocate our resources, our efforts, and all of our time for the sake of the revolution. The situation has reached the point where we have not devoted the required attention to our universities, our institutes, our training centers, our hospitals, and even our prisons. The services that advance the citizen – which were also sacrificed for the sake of the revolution and its goals – have collapsed. We receive medical care from abroad, from countries whose scientific and material resources are less than ours. Our wheat we grind abroad. The tomatoes we consume are packed abroad. Oil is imported to us from abroad. Even our underwear comes from across the sea!

"When we established national companies and factories, the revolution was always top priority. We placed the management of these companies in the hands of the revolutionaries, who were focused on the revolution, not on management or production. Many of these factories did not succeed in fulfilling their tasks and became a hemorrhage for our national economy…

"The time has come for the warrior [i.e. Qaddhafi] to rest, to continue the voyage, and to establish a state. This state will have institutions, and these institutions will have laws and regulations, based on equality for all, with no one being oppressed…

"The revolution filled its role as a unique revolution, and Libya has become a lighthouse that will continue to illuminate the way to others towards the age of the masses, and continue to be a model for anyone interested in walking in the path of [Qaddafi]…

"The days of the revolution were a small Jihad, and now the time has come for the great Jihad – building a state, a state that will be better than all the states and will be an exemplary state, as the revolution was an example to the world … a state that will have a popular government and a president who stands out from all the presidents – and who could possibly be the president of the Libyan state?! "As we called him during the period of the revolution 'The Leader of the Revolution,' Qaddafi's status in the era of the state will be 'president' of the Libyan 'State.' Welcome, Mr. President of the Libyan State. Welcome the state whose president and leader is Muammar Qaddafi…"

[1] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), January 25, 2004.

[2] Al-Zahaf Al-Akhdar (Libya), January 22, 2004.

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