This information is current as of today, Sat Jul 15 12:20:12 2006.
A message to the American citizens in Lebanon:
The Department of State continues to work with the Department of Defense on a plan to help American citizens depart Lebanon. As of the morning of July 15, we are looking at how we might transport Americans to Cyprus. Once in Cyprus, Americans can then board commercial aircraft for onward travel. Commercial airlines provide the safest and most efficient repatriation options to final destinations.
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. We will also work with commercial aircraft to ensure that they have adequate flights to help you depart Cyprus and connect to your final destination.
The Department of State continues to work around the clock and will continue to send updates as appropriate. [my ems]
Are you fucking kidding me?
Let's see ... We can spend $6bn a month in Iraq, give the wealthiest of us a tax cut, and spend hundreds of millions on a missile defense system that doesn't work, yet we can't afford to rescue American citizens in a war zone? Or do we have a different standard for Americans who can trace their lineage to that part of the world? I may be wrong, but I'm almost positive the students we evacuated from Grenada didn't get a bill for services. Probably, as we (all of us who participated in the 'rescue mission') all suspected at the time, the brand new 10.000 ft. runway the Cubans built was the real prize and the students' lives were the excuse to take it.
Isn't it the duty of the U.S. government to protect its citizens?