Libya: 35 journalists freed from Tripoli lockdown

Things have gotten pretty crazy in Tripoli, but 35 journalists are likely heaving a big sigh of relief after being allowed to leave the Rixos Hotel in the Libyan capital.

As I listened to radio reports of the hostage-taking by loyalists to Moammar Gadhafi, I worried that the journalists could meet the same dismal fate as many people who were trapped in the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai after it was overrun by Islamic terrorists in 2008.

Fortunately, Gadhafi's followers aren't extreme religious fanatics, unlike the brainwashed members of Pakistan-based L.E.T. who were behind the Mumbai massacre.

Another odd story out of Libya concerned Gadhafi's high-profile son, Saif al-Islam, who was reportedly captured by the rebel forces.

The smooth-talking heir to Gadhafi's crumbling empire showed up at the Rixos Hotel, where the journalists were being kept captive.

He reportedly told them that the International Criminal Court can go to hell.

For some kids in journalism school, being a foreign correspondent is the ultimate dream. That's because you deal with the biggest stories and the "most important" people, surrounded by gunfire and danger. It's never had the same appeal for me, mainly because most individual foreign correspondents don't have a great deal of impact on events.

If you want to change the world through journalism, it's sometimes better to be a decent-sized trout in a small pond rather than a minnow in a very large ocean.

Follow Charlie Smith on Twitter at twitter.com/csmithstraight.

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