Tuesday, July 18, 2006

US to charge citizens for evacuation from Lebanon

We’ve been hearing that the US was developing a plan to evacuate Americans from Lebanon while other countries were in the process of already evacuating their citizens. Did the other countries charge their citizens for that evacuation? I don’t know, but it looks like we will.

”The Department of State reminds American citizens that the U.S. government does not provide no-cost transportation but does have the authority to provide repatriation loans to those in financial need. For the portion of your trip directly handled by the U.S. Government we will ask you to sign a promissory note and we will bill you at a later date. In a subsequent message, when we have specific details about the transporation arrangments, we will inform you about the costs you will incur.”
US Embassy, Lebanon


Blogger sumo said...

Mr. Sumo thinks it is a good idea. I haven't thought about it yet. Odd somehow.

July 18, 2006 3:29 AM  
Blogger Durward Discussion said...

Good Morning.

Most of these people being evacuated must have had some form of transport home planned before the events of the past few days.

It seems to me that whatever firms could not provide the service because of conditions be required to return the funds for the evacuees to the government even if they were on non-refundable tickets.

The U.S. government should accept this as full compensation even if they had to use a more expensive means of transport.

July 18, 2006 3:37 AM  
Blogger Walt said...

Well, that's the Ownership Society for you.

July 18, 2006 4:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is right up there with charging soldiers for their own body armor.

July 18, 2006 5:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another example of the powers that be demonstrating their complete disdain for anybody who is not "somebody".

I am sure the Bin Ladens paid for their USA provided emergency flight back to the Middle East after 9/11, right?

July 18, 2006 5:40 AM  
Blogger SB Gypsy said...

It's right up there with giving themselves a raise, while holding the minimum wage well under the poverty level.

These people need a clue, in the form of a pink slip.

The "Yer on yer own!" society, in action.

July 18, 2006 5:51 AM  
Blogger Peacechick Mary said...

I think as long as the cost is within reasonable limits, it's appropriate. Later, if we hear they were scalped, then it's time to raise the hells bells.

July 18, 2006 5:56 AM  
Blogger Michael Bains said...

It's a weird situation. I'd say they're on their own, though I understand the objections to that approach.

I think Peacechick Mary's response most resembles my overall feelings on the matter. 'Slong as our gov isn't gouging them on the "interest", it sounds like a fair arrangement. If I were in that situation, I think I'd appreciate it, even while detesting and shakin' me noggin' at my gov't's lame response to the whole mess.

July 18, 2006 6:07 AM  
Blogger billie said...

classy, very classy. tell me again why folks thought it was a good idea for repubs to be in charge of anything? oh- right- they are tougher on the 'war on terror.' my mistake.

July 18, 2006 6:50 AM  
Blogger Donnie McDaniel said...

Well here is some food for thought. Like Dolphingirl said, how much did the extended family of Bin Laden and also all those Saudis pay for those flights, during a national emergency when all flights were grounded?

Also, how much was the US payed back for the evacuation of Saigon? Well one thing is for sure, They can really claim that they can't afford it, if you look at the recent post I did on the army bases not being able to even pay the light bill, because of all the operating money being diverted to the war in Iraq.

Even with that, it just comes down to Bushco not giving a damn about the average person. When our soldier's have to go to Iraq, and the wives and children they leave behind, have to spend the day riding to several stores to do grocery shopping, because the shelves are bare of many items in the base commisary, you have to call *Bullshit* on this so-called-compassion.

If that is the amount of care given to our soldiers and their families, what can those people waiting to get out of that country expect? Hell after Katrina, Bush didn't give a damn about those in his own country!!

July 18, 2006 7:09 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

Why does one expect free transportation from the government? It isn't like the government forced you to go to Lebanon. No one is being forced to leave, so they certainly retain the right to refuse the transport.


July 18, 2006 7:16 AM  
Blogger Pogo said...

I'm kind of ambivalent about it, but what else would we have expected? I assume they are setting up some sort of ferry service to Cyprus or something like that using cruise ships as the ferrys to get USians to transportation hubs to get out of the region. I'm sure tha they will do whatever it takes and spend whatever is needed, wait, that was the Katrina line wasn't it? If history is a teacher, they'll evacuate about 7,000 of the 20,000 there, then the program will collapse when the agency overseeing it decides it has better things to do.

July 18, 2006 7:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To answer Pogo, what we can expect is ubercomplacency, "nobody is forcing them to leave so why should we pay for it?" straw men arguments and even less human compassion for our fellow citizens of the US(and the world).
Looks like business as usual. The powers that be are prepping the US populace to increasingly ignore the "too brown, too poor or too inconvenient to rescue" humans.

This evil plan works on the general population until the disaster strikes you in your home and nobody comes to help YOU. Ask the folks down south how they feel about being left for dead.

July 18, 2006 7:31 AM  
Blogger glenda said...

Gee, if only they had thought of it, they could have charged the Katrina survivors too.

July 18, 2006 8:12 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I wonder which administration "buddy" is getting this transportation contract?

July 18, 2006 9:02 AM  
Blogger poopie said...

Makes you proud to be an American, don't it?

July 18, 2006 10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you have to love the ownership society mentallity.... you put your butt in Lebannon on your own dime, now get yourself out on it too.

I heard about this too. I bet the credit card companies love this shit.

July 18, 2006 10:04 AM  
Blogger andante said...

I'm somewhat of two minds about this, too, but it's not like we don't have any assets in the area for an evacuation. I guess they're too busy winning hearts & minds in Iraq to help our own citizens, though.

July 18, 2006 10:06 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

I am still curious as to the logic that tells you to go to the most violent region in the world on your own, but when things go bad you expect the government to not only save you, but believe that you shouldn't have to be responsible for the cost! Besides, has the UN agreed that we can enter another nations territory without a resolution from the security council? Have we asked the French and Germans for approval?

July 18, 2006 10:26 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Since when do we need approval from France or Germany or the U. N. to evacuate our citizens from a combat zone (battlefield)?

July 18, 2006 11:00 AM  
Blogger Sporty said...

Of course we are going to charge them. The Free Market is everything.

July 18, 2006 2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Please sign this petition demanding that the U.S. government assume full costs for evacuating our citizens from Lebanon. Please pass it on to help spread the word as the petition was just created.

July 18, 2006 2:57 PM  
Blogger Mark Prime (tpm/Confession Zero) said...

Tickets please!

Nice write my friend.

July 18, 2006 3:39 PM  
Blogger Lew Scannon said...

But the bombs being dropped on them were given to Israel by the US. Ironic?

July 18, 2006 3:55 PM  
Blogger Donnie McDaniel said...

Robert, let me just ask you this. What is the single most important duty of the US Government and the Constitution. And those that have ever taken an oath, what is their highest duty?

July 18, 2006 4:34 PM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

I heard that if you are evacuated by a military transport, no charge. But if you're booked on that Greek tour boat they're bringing over, then you'll be charged. That makes sense, I guess. They probably have entertainment on the cruise ship.

July 18, 2006 5:03 PM  
Blogger Neil Shakespeare said...

What kind of americans are IN Lebanon? Not poor folks, I wouldn't imagine. No refugees from Katrina. If they can afford to live in Lebanon or study there or vacation there I must assume they're pretty well off. Charge 'em double! But who's in charge of this thing, Brownie? 500,000 Lebanese have already left the country, according to a graphic on CNN, and the Americans have only managed to get 236 people out! Christ, the incompetence!

July 18, 2006 5:09 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Donnie, the single most important duty is the preservation of the constitution and the assurance that the rights endowed by the Creator and guaranteed by the government are protected.

We have a responsibility to help, but where does it read that it should be free? It isn't like they have to have cash to get on board. And the fee is the same as a plane ticket. I personally don't care if they do it for free, but you would think we were not letting them on without small, unmarked bills. It is a law passed by congress three years ago that requires this, by the way. It is not unilateral action by the administration.

Neil, the difference is pretty simple to understand. The Lebanese are welcomed in Syria, which is a shot car ride away. Americans there, as a general rule, are visitors and have no local transportation, and were relying on air travel to get home.

It is a terrible situation. I think in the next couple of days there will be Americans taken hostage. It is the one tool that has given Hezbollah a bargaining chip over the years. I hope I am wrong, but I think it will heppen soon.

July 18, 2006 7:20 PM  
Blogger Sothis said...

I guess I see it as TANSTAAFL. Vacationing anywhere in the Middle East is a risk--especially for Americans who aren't that beloved anywhere anymore. My brother-in-law went to Lebanon last summer on vacation. Everyone here in Belgium thought he was nuts.

The people probably won't get their money back from tickets--most contracts exclude acts of war from refunds.

The worst part is that the US will continue to support Israel no matter how many civilians they murder, or how much of Lebanon's civilian infrastructure they destroy. Hell, it is what the US has done in every war since VietNam.

July 19, 2006 2:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yikes, Shakespeare!
"What kind of Americans are in Lebanon?" Obviously they are the kind that don't deserve any help...glad to know someone is keeping track of who does and who doesn't "deserve" rescuing.

Don't ever forget to blame the victim before you leave him to die so we won't feel bad about it. It works all the time for the neocons.

Jeez, when did y'all become so callous?

July 19, 2006 5:19 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

Sothis? What in the name of God are you talking about? You are actually blaming Israel for this?

In 2000, Israel did what the world wanted and abandoned Lebanon. Last year, they did what the world wanted and abandoned Gaza. Both Hezbollah and Hamas took the opportunity to fortify and arm themselves - Hezbollah taking 10-13,000 rockets from Iran vs Syria, and started a campaign of murder and in descriminate bombing. But Israel is to blame for deaths?

July 19, 2006 5:34 AM  
Blogger Sothis said...

If you intentionally destroy civilian infrastructure and intentionally kill civilians, you are murderers, actually, terrorists (by definition). Yes, if you drop bombs on people and kill them, you are responsible. Do I support Hezbollah? Of course not. Do I support Israel--no way (I used to before I saw them become exactly what they supposedly stand against).

And I am not talking in the name of God--don't think he/she/it believes in killing innocents.

You worry about 10-13,000 rockets from Iran? How many have the US provided Israel to keep all this hate going?

July 19, 2006 11:44 PM  

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