Before Western journalists arrived in the country, there was intense sense of foreboding among Libyans that the world would not see their fight or hear their voices. I vividly remember demonstrating outside the courthouse in Benghazi when we received word that the first Western reporters had arrived. The crowd went wild, and it brought me to tears. All the people crowded around the journalists to share their stories of how this ruthless regime had hurt them and their families. They wanted the Western world to witness their plight and help them win their fight for freedom.
Although the arrival of journalists from many countries brought increasing hope, the Libyan people believed that Americans were the most important audience to reach. They had the vision of freedom embodied in our Statue of Liberty in their heads. While I was there, everyone was asking, “Where is Obama? Where is America?” At demonstrations, people begged Americans for help. The signs and posters they waved did not say, “France help us” or “Britain help us,” but “America help us.”
US and coalition involvement nearly arrived too late. Mr. Qaddafi’s forces were knocking on Benghazi’s door with tanks and heavy artillery, and if intervening countries had waited even a day more, my family would probably be dead.