A wake-up call in Libya's Ras Lanuf
A rebel runs during a government airstrike in the area of Ras Lanuf, Libya, on Monday.
March 7th, 2011
08:09 PM ET

A wake-up call in Libya's Ras Lanuf

Editor's note: CNN's Ben Wedeman filed this first-person account of the scene in rebel-controlled Ras Lanuf, Libya, as Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's forces prepared to launch an aerial strike against the town Monday.

"Down! Down!" the man at my hotel room door said. It was 4:30 a.m. Monday in Ras Lanuf, and I had hoped to get a decent night's sleep for the first time in weeks. Yet again, my hopes were dashed.

Through the haze of sleep deprivation and exhaustion, I could say nothing. I understood nothing.

The staff of the Fadeel Hotel was going from room to room, telling guests - journalists only - that they had to leave, at once.

I quickly dressed, packed my bag, and went downstairs.

It was still pitch black outside, and the lobby was teeming with still photographers, cameramen, translators, fixers, producers and print and TV reporters, all trying to understand why the urgent need to leave.

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Filed under: Libya
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Frank

    I'm all gracious for Ben's courage in that situation, but who's winning? Is there any genocide? I want to have an opinion on the situation, but can't with out the info. If there's massive brutality on the part of Gadhafi's govt then the US needs to sick the fighter jets on the Libyan air defenses and drop a bomb on Gadhafi's head. Let's try and not hurt any babies while we're at it.

    March 7, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      Hey you,what's the big idea of making me look bad? Post under your own name. I would never and don't approve of our miltary brutality. We've done far too much of that in Vietnam with our napalm and artillery.

      March 7, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. MasterOfDisguise

    @FakeFrank: Maybe he's not talking about carpet bombing a whole country. Cut the head off the snake. Let the Libyans take it from there. You are aware we have guided ordinances and amazing snipers right Frank? Turtle Turtle

    March 7, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      What scares me the most is,if they succeed in getting rid of Qadaffi,they may install another stooge in Tripoli for the right-wing thugs in Washington just like Hosni Mubarak of Egypt!

      March 7, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      Every day, it seems, that high-tech super-guidance technology kills innocents, including children. In Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq... Every time one of them dies, their family and friends turn against us. Which, of course, means more drones... See how we feed the circle?

      March 7, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Centrist

    @Frank: I agree. I really don't think you have Gadhafi's number though. He despised Bush then when Obama won Gadhafi praised him. He is just a bad guy. I don't 100% like every decision Obama has made, but I'm so glad he won and not McCain. The left/right argument is flawed. Kennedy sent us into Vietnam full steam and after popular support Nixon got us out. Libyans want one of our baddies gone, so we should do bare minimum to help them. No invasion, no dead babies, no american men/women dying. My brother and father are marines and hold a similar opinion of washington as you do. One thing about Obama is he's no warmonger. I think he could opt for a different strategy in Pakistan, but that's off topic. Nobody wants another Vietnam though. It was disturbing how dumb our govt was.

    March 7, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
  4. kor

    We need support clean energy and alternatives. Drop our use of oil.

    March 8, 2011 at 2:29 am | Report abuse |
  5. Cesar

    Frank, you prove that you are a Tea Partier by your choice of words.

    March 8, 2011 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      Thank you,Phunnie boy. I'll try to remember that.

      March 8, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. DLR

    Just one more reason why everyone needs to read "Hell is an Awfully Big City"

    March 8, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Cesar

    Whatever happens in Libya,we have a moral obligation to stay out of it but will the politicians in Washington carry it out? I find that sadly dubious!

    March 8, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mary

    I think the only ppl that would help out of human decency are the human rights groups and aid workers. would like to see the US military go in remove Gadhafi and his regime the get out and the the for mentioned groups take over along side the ppl of Libya

    March 8, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cesar

      Come on,Mary. You know better than that! Enough Libyans are being killed as it is without our military killing more of them!

      March 8, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      Opps, your right sorry , dont know what i was thinking , maybe that our Government is honest along with the military " The apache helicopter vidieo" for one

      March 8, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Cesar

    The price of pizza with anchovies has gone up. Those attending the Tea Party gatherings will need to shell out more at break time, that's all there is to it.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mary

    Paulie sleeps with the fishes LOL

    March 8, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mary

    We both just made a comment on the wrong story , but it was your fault Cesar cause i was following u

    March 8, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Cesar

    Hi Mary. I read you all received two feet of snow. Stay warm you tough wonderful New Yorkers, it's almost over. Yes, spring is around the corner.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Cesar

    Yea, the Boss told Lefty to take Paulie for a ride. That's it. He'll be sleeping with the fishes tonight.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mary

    Its not to bad right now but with Upstate weather being so scyzo u never know, i will keep warm with your jokes cant get enough of u guys SOOO funny

    March 8, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Cesar

    Oh, here is the other real Cesar. Hey I read your joke about tranny and red neck. Really hilariously unfunny that I actualy laughed.

    March 8, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
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