Even I don't always agree with my opinion

 

Gadhafi, My Daughter & Me

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Posted October 22, 2011 by jim young in Politics

– jim young 

I never understood how there could be “rules” in war. It seems to me that the purpose of a war is to kill as many of the enemy as it takes to make them surrender. For those kinds of stakes I would think it would be a “no holds barred” kind of event. 

And who’s going to enforce the rules anyway? 

If a guy standing in front of me is about to kill me, you can be damned sure I’m not going to give a second thought about fighting “fair” or worrying about what the rules are. 

So I guess that would make me a terrorist. 

But as the saying goes, “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” 

The very mention of the word “terrorist” will strike fear in the hearts of man in the same manner as would mention of the word “serial killer” or “monster”. 

The media and our governments like to apply these labels to people such as Idi Amin, Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden and Moammar El-Gadhafi – pretty much anyone they perceive to be “the enemy” even though some of those “enemies” might have been allies in the past. 

According to Amnesty International – even George W. Bush could be considered a terrorist. 

And they may be right. 

If the IRA is a terrorist organisation – what about those folks so many years ago that organised the Boston Tea Party? Could Paul Revere’s famous midnight ride be considered an act of terrorism? 

What sets them apart from Louis Riel and Oliver North or Lieutenant Calley? And how about Laura Secord? 

The United States would have you believe that Fidel Castro and Che Guevera were terrorists. But take a vacation to Varadero in Cuba and see who the terrorists are there. 

And if you think Castro was a terrorist – where does that leave Fulgencia Batista who Castro overthrew in 1959? 

It really becomes a grey area. And the shades of grey became even less defined for me in 1986. 
U.S. President Ronald Reagan had called for an air strike on Libya, who was accused of ordering the bombing of a West Berlin discotheque. The air strike on Tripoli in Libya destroyed the home of Gadhafi, killing at least 30 civilians including many children. Gadhafi’s 15 month old adopted daughter was allegedly one of the casualties. 

And that’s when the war on terrorism hit far too close to home for me. 

The reaction to this news from my 8-year-old daughter was “Good!” 

And I was appalled. 

Not at the reaction of my daughter so much as the realisation that this was the message that we as adults were passing on to our children. 

What happened to Santa Claus and rainbows? 

They were being replaced with a blind hatred for something that these children couldn’t possibly understand. 

Hell, I didn’t even understand it. 

But I wanted to. 

So I wrote a letter to Gadhafi and appealed to him as one father to another to “stop the madness” for the sake of his children as well as mine. 

What happened next was most unexpected. 

Gadhafi wrote me back. 

To read the letter from Gadhafi without the benefit of reading the letter I had sent to him, would easily lead the reader to believe that I was a Gadhafi supporter, which I was not. 

The envelope appeared to have been steamed open and I believe I was under investigation by CSIS (Canada’s version of the CIA) for the next few years. 

A small “clicking” noise could often be heard on my telephone as I picked up the receiver, indicating to me that my calls were likely being monitored. 

My neighbours were angry with me, fearing I might have brought terrorism to our backyard. 

And in what I’m sure was nothing more than a strange coincidence, a 1960s Volkswagen van – the stereo-typical mode of transportation of terrorists in those days, was parked on our street for several hours on the very day I received my letter. It had never been seen in our neighbourhood prior to that day and has not been seen since. 

But it was the content of Gadhafi’s letter that affected me the most. And I started to realise that maybe, just maybe, there was another side to this story. 

According to Gadhafi, Reagan was the terrorist, killing women and children when they attacked his (Gadhafi’s) house in Tripoli. 

“It has never happened in political history and mankind history that a president of a country orders the attack on the house of a president or a leader of revolution in another country and the murder of its president or leader.” 

While I was not so quick to take Gadhafi at his word, I wondered if there was any truth in this statement. But as we had no internet in 1986, my options to verify this claim were somewhat limited. 

So I did what anyone else would do. I wrote a letter to the President of the United States of America. 

Why not? 

I figured that if Moammar El-Gadhafi, the leader of a third world country, could find the time to reply to my letter, then certainly President Reagan with all his resources could at least have one of his many people extend me the same courtesy. 

But I never received a reply from Reagan. 

Perhaps the President of the United States had no answers for me. 

Or maybe CSIS confiscated it. 

Or maybe it was just lost in the mail. 

Today my daughter has a daughter of her own that is about the same age as Gadhafi’s daughter was when she perished in the 1986 U.S. raid on Tripoli. 

I would hate to think that anyone anywhere in the world would wish her harm. 

President Reagan is dead. 

Gadhafi, who survived Reagan by 7 years, is also dead. 

And I still don’t know who the good guys really are. 

– 30 –

Click on the following links to read the letter I received from Gadhafi in 1986. Please note that when taken out of context without the privilege of reading the letter I had sent to Gadhafi, it would appear that I was a Libyan supporter which I was not.

Gadhafi Letter Page 1 | Gadhafi Letter Page 2


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