BAD IDEA: US Plans to Evacuate Americans in Lebanon by Cruise Ship

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Bill Kristol is not the only one who wants America dragged into a worsening conflagration in the Middle East.
Militants who want to test American resolve and further bolster their legitimacy in the eyes of a frightened, frustrated, and weary public may want to trigger the military involvement of the United States on another front in the Middle East.
Now comes the news that the U.S. is going to evacuate Americans caught in the crossfire in Lebanon by cruise ship on Tuesday.
I don’t believe that the neocons would ever try to sabotage our rescue of Americans via a cruise liner. That would be too cynical of me — and they are ideas people, not military practitioners.
But there are players on all sides of this conflict that may find a floating, slow, and poorly defended elephant of a ship too tempting of a target. Real or contrived, any potential attack would look like a Hezbollah attack.
The U.S. is sending a navy destroyer escort — but I think that’s too little.
I sincerely hope that my paranoia about this proves to be entirely wrong, but serious planners have to be worried about sending a cruise ship, a slow moving huge target, into a war zone.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

97 comments on “BAD IDEA: US Plans to Evacuate Americans in Lebanon by Cruise Ship

  1. JAMES ASUDI says:

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    Reply

  2. The Count says:

    The destroyers and unseen submarine(s) escorting a carrier are for ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare). Aegis class cruisers are charged with air defense.
    A carrier’s first line of defense is the air wing on board. The carrier’s fighter squadrons are charged with taking out incoming threats before they get too close.
    Destroyers may help with sea skimming missles if they are in the right place at the right time.
    The last line of defense is the point defense (or CIWS) system made up of surface to air missles and the 20mm Phalanx.

    Reply

  3. Frank says:

    Did not expect censorship of my post last afternoon. Indeed, some censor picked up my name and said it was me instead of Ann(2:50PM). This was in error and I said so (3:38PM). So am disappointed with this blog, thinking it was above censorship.
    Disappointed

    Reply

  4. rene says:

    This situation I can’t find to make me no money. I can’t find a way to make money for myself in this upheaval. I still thinking of ways but can’t come up with something. Any ideas to share?

    Reply

  5. sarah says:

    Why don’t you people understand that Lebanon needs to be destroyed!
    What is your problem!

    Reply

  6. Gladys Krump says:

    Please, people, we have to know our limits. Comments about Jewish people specifically as Jews is verboten, I mean forbidden, because they’ve have enough troubles as a people and don’t need any more from scurilous[sp] commentary that may inflame further those who know of them as very nice people always mostly like any others I suppose.

    Reply

  7. Crue 1845 says:

    Hey Michael, Vhat vould you doo if somebody blowed up your pinick on dah beach, palsey walsy baby no name, uh?
    Oh, the poor jews, hiding from rockets after all that was done to them in the Holacaust.
    Forget!

    Reply

  8. hymen says:

    You a very cool jew brain, must admit, to be so cool.
    But yoooo still haven’t answered my qvestion!
    Why are NYC jews the best !

    Reply

  9. Deev says:

    Hey dudes, the Nazis killed the Jews, why shouldn’t the Jews kill the Muslims, its all cool, man. Right?

    Reply

  10. Matthew says:

    POA: I would probably go to some Washington cocktail parties and convince myself that Arab, North Korean, and Venezuelan people wanted “freedom” (read: corporate government) more than they wanted to watch their children grow up. We learned from John Bolton today how much this administration values Canadian lives.

    Reply

  11. Pissed Off American says:

    “What would you do if terrorists attacked New York and Washington?”
    Attack Iraq, of course.

    Reply

  12. karenk says:

    Steve,
    I’m late to comment as usual(busy life) but I note your troubles with commentors. Here’s a great resource- a guidelines to weblog comments that you might want to refer people to:
    http://www.lifehacker.com/software/top/special-lifehackers-guide-to-weblog-comments-126654.php
    I’ll save the address in case you don’t read this comment…have a feeling you’ll need it again…

    Reply

  13. Mike says:

    You guys are talking about it like there’s only one side to the coin.
    Do you know that Hezbollah have already fired over 2500 missiles and rockets on israel? And HUNDREDS of Israelies are wounded and dosens are killed.
    Half of the country is paralized and either hiding in bomb shelter or leaving for a safer place.
    Most Israelies are even mad at the government for so weak responce, they expect a stronger action and ground operation to clean Lebanon from Hezbollah.
    What do you expect the israelies to do?
    What would you do if terrorists attacked New York and Washington?
    Just sit and wait, or talk with terrorists about a cease fire, and show them that terror pays off?
    And that will encourage more terror and more violence…
    There’s just no easy solution here.

    Reply

  14. Frank says:

    That “posted by Frank not Ann at 2:50 P.M.” is in error. Unless there are two Franks…At any rate this Frank did not post that comment. My comment about that time did not “take”. Is there some filtering going on??

    Reply

  15. brian says:

    my experience has been MUC different, frank. maybe because i wasn’t traipsing through on vacation. i was able to spend more time. to get to know people, from rickshaw drivers to barbers to guest house owners.
    but, i’ve also had more open and impassioned debates with people that i’d just met than i can count. over the course of tea, on the train, or just about anywhere.
    maybe it’s the fact that i find people fascinating and i’m very solicitous of their opinions and perceptions. maybe it’s the fact that i wear a turban and have brown skin. i don’t know why, but people around the world don’t seem to have any problem opening up to me. and based upon their divergent worldviews, i have no reason to question their honesty.

    Reply

  16. brian says:

    can’t say i agree with sigh’s solution, but, at least there are various sides of the argument represented here.
    still no responses from POA. hmmm…

    Reply

  17. Frank, not Ann says:

    When I once went to foreign countries to visit (I don’t anymore because I’m too ashamed of my country), I met all kinds of people who knowing I was visiting were very nice to me and said nice things and I said nice things back and everybody was nice and politically correct and said things of great deference to each other so as not to spoil the lovely time of visiting. How nice that they didn’t want to spoil my lovely time by bringing up crap that gnawed at their hearts from time immemorial. That’s how my visits and stays overseas educated me in the hatred of each area that was fortunate enough to have me and my money as a guest.

    Reply

  18. sigh says:

    Damn it! The Israelis do not want genocide! Ben there, done that, in biblical times that is.
    Now, transportation is another matter. As you all well know by now, God gave the Israelites much much Land, called “The Land of Israel,” aka “The Land” and Judea and Samaria are a big part of The Land, and it so happens that the palestinians are squatting on that Land. So they need eviction and Israel would be glad to provide the transportation, NOT genocide. That’s out of the question, the Palestinian Question.

    Reply

  19. zeb says:

    That’s right, you gentiles demonstrate your intellectual weakness by failing to respond to brian’s straightforward question or to his substantive post.
    Furthermore, you can’t ever know anything about a place unless you’ve actually been there. If you haven’t been to the middle east your opinions are worthless. If you had ever been to Israel you would understand, and have great sympathy for them, because they love Americans and especially treat them very well on visits since they know who their real friends are.
    Shalom!

    Reply

  20. brian says:

    “Apparently Israel is targetting Lebanese Army installations. Exactly who do they expect to rein in Hezbala after they defeat the Lebanese regulars?”
    syria and to a lesser extent iran.
    “Can anyone here tell me with a straight face that Israel does not realize that their actions have enraged the Muslim community and can only escalate the hatred and hostilities?”
    there are many people in israel that think many things i’ve read that upwards of 40% of the electorate does not support ohlmert’s response the hezbollah incursion. i happen to agree with your point. as dr. martin luiter king, jr. wrote:
    “the ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.”
    “Peace is NOT a situation that Israel will accept”
    i ABSOLUTELY disagree with you! any poll will substantiate my claim. if you had spent even 1 week in israel yourself, you would know this.
    “Israel will be satisfied with no less than genocide, and they are going to employ OUR army to commit this atrocity.”
    i think this is an ABSOLUTELY ridiculous statement, which shows just how ignorant you are of the issues and the realities in israel and the greater ME. look up the definition of the word genocide.
    i’m just curious, POA, why won’t you respond to my previous question or subsequent post?
    afriad to look silly?

    Reply

  21. Pissed Off American says:

    Another simple question……
    Apparently Israel is targetting Lebanese Army installations. Exactly who do they expect to rein in Hezbala after they defeat the Lebanese regulars? They make requests while their actions negate all possibilities of their requests being fullfilled. Can anyone here tell me with a straight face that Israel does not realize that their actions have enraged the Muslim community and can only escalate the hatred and hostilities? Peace is NOT a situation that Israel will accept. The actions of the last two weeks prove that Israel desires a permanent solution to the “Muslim problem”, and that solution is rapidly approaching the desired outcome. Israel will be satisfied with no less than genocide, and they are going to employ OUR army to commit this atrocity. This is just beginning, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.

    Reply

  22. brian says:

    POA:
    i am NOT a troll and i am NOT baiting.
    you demonstrate your intellectual weakness by failing to respond to my straightforward question or to my substantive post.
    i guess there is no chance to constructively engage or debate you.
    in all honesty, your reaction is very childish.

    Reply

  23. Pissed Off American says:

    Yep. It is time to ignore the troll. AND his baiting.

    Reply

  24. serial catowner says:

    Well, in our Bizarro world, what could be more natural than evacuating Americans in a cruise ship, under a hail of Israeli missiles….that we paid for. (Unlike the Israelis, the Americans evacuated will be expected to pay the costs.)
    And, of course, the subsequent outbreak of food poisoning leading to a ‘hostage’ incident in which the ship is quarantined in some inconvenient location.
    Honestly, is this really just a trailer for National Lampoon’s Mediterranean Vacation?

    Reply

  25. brian says:

    why not answer the simple question, POA? obviously, i’ll assume that the answer is “no.”
    …and therein lies the root of MANY problems in the world. misunderstanding. miscommunication. misinformation and the resulting polarization of thoughts and ideas. heresay and experiential ignorance which “masquerades” as reliable information.
    now granted, i have an advantage in that i have lived on 3 continents and broken bread with people on both sides of many issues. and, for the most part, all of these people were beautiful, kind and generous, including arabs AND israelis. you would be very surprised to hear how many arabs and palestinians actually have sympathy for the plight of israelis and vice versa.
    the bottom line is that most issues, and CERTAINLY this one, are nuanced. they’re “grey” and not “black and white.” everyone is partly right and everyone is partly wrong. anyone who assumes that they have all the answers or that one “side” is completely right or completely wrong, shows how ignorant and foolish they truly are, i.e GWB and POA
    this type of self-righteousness seems to be most endemic in america and, interestingly enough, in the middle east, including israel.
    but, in all honesty, the self-righteous, uninformed (let’s face it, never having spent time in a region with as complicated a cultural and historical template as the ME — coupled with the fact that NO internet searching, newspaper reading, television watching, public radio listening, or blog posting can truly inform an individual who hasn’t experienced a REALITY with his/her 5 senses) zealotry that is indulged in on these comment sections is really NO different from the self-righteous, uninformed, zealotry that we see emanating from washington.
    look in the mirror. do you embody the same characteristics that you castigate in others?

    Reply

  26. Pissed Off American says:

    Brian, I am afraid that I agree with Carroll. Consider yourself ignored.

    Reply

  27. brian says:

    POA:
    not that you’ll answer honestly, but im curious – have you ever been to the middle east?

    Reply

  28. Mike says:

    hopefully we’ll see a solution to this crisis soon.
    There’re still Rockets fired on Israeli cities

    Reply

  29. elementary teacher says:

    That’s the problem with ethnic politics. There are so many “never forgets.” In addition to the “collective guilt” rationale — along with shared Judeo-Christian values and Western traditions — we were told that we gave so much money to Israel during the Cold War in exchange for its strategic utility to the US. Reselling us on their utility may partly explain what is currently going on in Lebanon. For me, such attempts to manufacture our consent are totally backfiring. Who cannot hear the pain in Lebanon and Palestine? As I see it, the terrorists are those who abuse innocent life to establish and maintain their own power, privilege and exclusivity. I think there is plenty of guilt to go around on both sides of the Arab-Israeli conflict, but the seminal issue is asymmetrical military might. The United States provided Israel’s military superiority and is now stuck with the “problem” of how to sell an egalitarian image to an unbelieving world. The dynamics are Hegelian.

    Reply

  30. brian says:

    this from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/invasion :
    in·va·sion ( P ) Pronunciation Key (n-vzhn)
    n.
    1. The act of invading, especially the entrance of an armed force into a territory to conquer.
    2 An intrusion or encroachment.
    hezbollah’s actions sure seem to fit the defination to me.

    Reply

  31. Pissed Off American says:

    “BUT, keep in mind that NO lebanese civilains would be dead as a result of israeli munitions IF HEZBOLLAH HAD NOT LAUNCHED AN UNPROVOKED ATTACK AND INVASION ON ISRAELS NORTHERN BORDER.”
    Yeah, thats what it was, a God damned INVASION by golly!!!!
    And razing Palestinian farmlands, killing beachgoing families, strategic oppression, and forced isolation are all unfortunate necessities that Israel needs to engage in, in order to “defend” itself against a people that are out-gunned, hungry, isolated and destitute.
    But hey, any Muslim actions against Israel are “unprovoked”.
    Sure, right.
    “Invasion” my ass. Gads, how do you people dream this garbage up?

    Reply

  32. brian says:

    POA wrote:
    “why are we sending Israel a few million bucks, DAILY”
    so that we can have a foothold and a strong ally in the most dangerous and unstable region of the world.

    Reply

  33. brian says:

    POA:
    we can conclude that high priority hezbollah targets are located directly in beirut, a large population center.
    we can also conclude that israel is dropping many munitions in southern lebanon and unfortunately, as is the case with war, innocent civilians die.
    BUT, keep in mind that NO lebanese civilains would be dead as a result of israeli munitions IF HEZBOLLAH HAD NOT LAUNCHED AN UNPROVOKED ATTACK AND INVASION ON ISRAELS NORTHERN BORDER.
    also, keep in mind that there are still hezbollah launched missles raining down on israel as i write this

    Reply

  34. Curious Joel says:

    We send billions to Israel because of guilt over the Holacaust. We stood by, did nothing, and were Shocked!, Shocked!, when we rolled into some concentration camps on our way to Berlin, all the time the government knowing what was going on, being silent, doing nothing, and hoping the Nazis would get the job done.
    That’s why the US pays billions to Israel; because of their eternal guilt and not wanting to turn their backs on Jews again. The US are suckers for the sob story and are regularly subtlely reminded of their gelt (I mean “guilt,” not “gelt”).
    So until we can forget “Never Forget” then we will always pay Israel for their forgiving and forgetting until the next payment is due.

    Reply

  35. Pissed Off American says:

    BTW, can anyone here show us where Carroll or I, or anyone else, “disparages” anyone’s religion? Please, if you can, give us the exact references.
    I have REPEATEDLY asked those here that defend Israel to explain why we should send billions to Israel when we have pressing needs HERE that are not being addressed due to alleged financial constraints. Not one of these Israel defenders has tried to answer.
    I have repeatedly asked these same Israel defenders to explain to us how razing farmlands is helping the situation. No answers.
    I have repeatedly asked for specific and exact references to any posts here that are “anti-semitic”. No answers.
    Now we learn that if you are an American trapped in Lebanon our government is willing to backcharge you for your evacuation. Therein lies my next question…..
    Considering the slow and plodding pace of this evacuation effort, and the fact that if you make it out alive we are gonna charge you for it, why are we sending Israel a few million bucks, DAILY, so that they can make your evacuation necessary??
    And, if Iran is a terrorist state for supplying the crude and inaccurate missiles to Lebanon, what does that make US considering that we have armed Israel with the world’s most advanced and deadliest weapons????
    George will is giving us far too little, far too late. Many of us saw the handwriting on the wall years ago. Its not like Kristol, Feith, Perle, Zakhiem, Bolton, etc came to us without backgrounds or history. I mean geez, what the fuck did we EXPECT these guys to do if we gave them some power?

    Reply

  36. brian says:

    POIG:
    i never alluded to POA’s religion and i never mentioned the south. believe it or not there are trailer parks in the north of the country as well.

    Reply

  37. Pissed Off American says:

    I see that the press is advancing the premise that the Lebanese do not care about civilian casualties “because they cannot actually aim” the missiles they are using.
    Ok, so, if we consider that Israel CAN aim their munitions and missiles, and the Palestinian and Lebanese civilian casualty numbers are FAR greater than Israel’s, what conclusions can we draw?

    Reply

  38. Maude says:

    Thank you oofda.
    I thought that destroyers attended air craft carriers because of their ability to shoot down, etc.
    I also thought that the carriers don’t move fast as a rule, I could be wrong.
    Also, about the carriers, the Titanic could not turn in time to avoid the ice. Something huge has a large turing radius and is not agile, like a frigate.
    What do I know?
    I was just thinking that the cruise ship would be protected by the US Navy, or did I watch too many WWII movies?
    Maude

    Reply

  39. Pissed in Georgia says:

    I was totally offended when Brian, of Jesse Jackson’s NYC, told POA to get himself another six pack and lock himself in his trailer. In effect, Brian was calling POA a Fundementalist Christian living in a Red state. That’s the typical view from NYC, and I am deeply offended that POA was stereotyped as your typical southern gentile.

    Reply

  40. brian says:

    POA:
    if you live anywhere near new york city, i’d be happy to meet you for a cup of coffee to discuss our differing views. perhaps on your next trip… not that you travel much.
    but, somehow i doubt that you’d have enough courage to do so. it’s far to easy to attack people anonymously. you would NEVER speak to me in person the way you do online.
    coward. hypocrite.

    Reply

  41. YY says:

    What’s truly annoying is that this evacuation method has to be chosen because Israel bombed the runways of the airport which would have otherwise allowed for orderly evacuation of foreigners. (not that there’s a hell of a lot of justice in then leaving the other residents to be bombed)
    Airport runways, grain silos, power plants, being bombed far from where even Israel’s named enemies are is just not on.

    Reply

  42. Carroll says:

    POA….agree
    After years of observation I don’t think you can describe the Israeli attitude toward non jews whether they be arab, gentile or whatever, as anything but racist.
    Bolton however, I think would be a common serial killer or criminal of some sort if he wasn’t in a political position where he could indulge his urges by doing it politically instead…..just like Cheney. ..both twisted people.

    Reply

  43. Pissed Off American says:

    “I think it would be a mistake to ascribe moral equivalence to civilians who die as the direct result of malicious terrorist acts,” he added, while defending as “self-defense” Israel’s military action, which has had “the tragic and unfortunate consequence of civilian deaths”.
    Hmm, well, its plain to see that he believes in different scales of values on human life, depending on ethnicity or religion……or perhaps nationality??? Now lets see, which could it be???
    (Golly, was it “anti-semitic” of me to make that observation???? I mean, I would hate to be a bigot or somethin’.)

    Reply

  44. Pissed Off American says:

    “There’s no other way out of the country but by sea (as the airport is full of craters and the only road out, through Syria, is probably being bombed), and a modern cruise ship is actually a pretty TOUGH target to actually sink: when you are that big, and as a consequence have so many separate compartments, you got to put a fair number of holes in the hull to sink it.”
    Yeah??? Not if you planted charges BEFORE the ship went in to port. Ask William Rodriquez if our government would do such a thing, and ask the sailors on the Liberty if Israel would do such a thing.

    Reply

  45. Pissed Off American says:

    “again, the most disturbing part of this experience – and in a way the most insightful – is the fact that those decrying the lack of decency in others, can oftentimes act just as indecently themselves.”
    ———-
    I never decry a lack of “decency”. However, I do decry false and sacharin exhibits of contrition prefaced or qualified with a number of “buts”.
    —-
    i hope that we can also all agree that it’s not a “little dig” to disparage someone’s religious beliefs or to tell them to “get the hell out of america.”
    ——
    I have seen no one here attack your religion. AND, I have a sincere belief that this country would be far better off if you, and those who share your views and opinions simply LEFT. On one count you are absolutely correct, I have no right to demand that you do so. But I sure as hell have the right to express my desire that you do so.
    —————–
    “thanks again to everyone for your respectful understanding.”
    Posted by brian
    ——————-
    You assume too much. Yes, I have a GREAT understanding of your propaganda, your motivation for presenting it, and your tactics. But “respect”??? Sorry, you recieve NONE of that from me.
    But Steve??? I have a great deal of respect for him. And because of that respect, I intend to tone down my rhetoric, and extend to him the courtesy that he has earned with his patience and the unbiased moderation he has shown in the administration of this blog.
    But I will not be censored, nor do I feel that Steve’s intent is to censure ANY of us. He has pretty well outlined where his irritation with us has taken root, and I see no problem avoiding being the source of that irritation, yet still be able to honestly express my opinion of your political opinions and arguments, AND be able to honestly express my opinion about the kind of “moral” character that would entertain opinions and arguments such as yours.

    Reply

  46. Carroll says:

    Everyday it gets more Orwellian. Prepare yourself for this one:
    UNITED NATIONS (AFP) – US Ambassador John Bolton said there was no moral equivalence between the civilian casualties from the Israeli raids in Lebanon and those killed in Israel from “malicious terrorist acts”.
    I think it would be a mistake to ascribe moral equivalence to civilians who die as the direct result of malicious terrorist acts,” he added, while defending as “self-defense” Israel’s military action, which has had “the tragic and unfortunate consequence of civilian deaths”.
    God help America…and the rest of the world, these israeli fanatics and neo’s like Bolton are truly insane. I wonder if Canada will agree that their dead aren’t victims of israeli terrorism, but just in the wrong place and the wrong time.

    Reply

  47. Carroll says:

    Brian…
    I am going to make this statement to you for the last time.
    And Steve can go back and review your unsolicited comments to me and about me and judge for himself if there is any question of who is abusing whom.
    I have no idea what your religion is, haven’t addressed it and don’t care who you are or what your religion is. Not everything or even anything, to my knowledege, that I write is about you. Frankly I haven’t paid that much attention to your post.
    You are either lying for your own purpose or flat out paraniod.
    Move on, you will be ignored. End of subject.

    Reply

  48. brian says:

    i’m glad that we all agree on how to conduct ourselves on this blog.
    however, one small point:
    carol wrote:
    “Although it’s fun to get a little dig in now and then”
    i hope that we can also all agree that it’s not a “little dig” to disparage someone’s religious beliefs or to tell them to “get the hell out of america.”
    my american citizenship and my faith means too much to me to consider these comments “little digs.”
    the rhetoric around here has been more incendiary than tongue in cheek. hopefully, it has changed.
    again, the most disturbing part of this experience – and in a way the most insightful – is the fact that those decrying the lack of decency in others, can oftentimes act just as indecently themselves.
    thanks again to everyone for your respectful understanding.

    Reply

  49. Steve Clemons says:

    POA — thank you very much for your note. You are an important, passionate, thoughtful writer on this blog — but it’s important (from my point of view) to create a safe have for civil debate. I don’t want people to agree — and you and all others reading this note know that I am regularly filleted on this blog. That’s ok — though some times it is hard to take.
    I want to make clear that my admonition was not directed at you in any exclusive way. There are others who roll in with some commentary that is simply abusive and not consistent with the general culture of this blog commentary. You know the blog, and you are a valuable part of it. I like your passion — and even when it occasionally bubbles past maximum — you still add to the creative tension of this place.
    But we want to stop short of bullying. I’m not asking for soft gloves on everything — just decent levels of respect.
    Really appreciate it — and again, thanks for your note.
    Steve

    Reply

  50. Frank says:

    Isn’t it sickening to read predictions of the destruction of a rescue cruise ship, perpetrated to trigger a greater war? I visualize a cartoon showing two missiles on their way to blow up the ship, one from Israel, and one from Hezbollah, each calculating that the other will be blamed. Thoughts of those five Israelis jumping for joy on the roof of a home in New Jersey as they watched the twin towers go down, and the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty intrude on my equanimity. This speculative drama, based on historic precedence, will make for interesting watching. We better have more cameras trained on this mission than on the recent space shuttle shoot for readback possibilities.

    Reply

  51. Carroll says:

    I don’t know if this will cheer anyone but I at least have a congressman, Walter Jones, who is totally opposed to this US/Isr ponzi scheme and the US/Isr relationship.
    I called his office today and spoke to his foreign affairs aide..the gist his reply to me was …”Israel is a foreign country, not part of America and American policy should not play favorites and be made in America’s interest only. That the Israeli connection in Washington and in congress is damaging to America and Americans. And that Jones represents America and Americans, none others, period.”
    If you can’t get this kind of clear statement from your congressman or senator..vote them out.
    If you haven’t called them, call them.

    Reply

  52. Nicholas Weaver says:

    To me, a cruise ship is actually probably a GOOD choice, if not brilliant, for evacuating so many people.
    There’s no other way out of the country but by sea (as the airport is full of craters and the only road out, through Syria, is probably being bombed), and a modern cruise ship is actually a pretty TOUGH target to actually sink: when you are that big, and as a consequence have so many separate compartments, you got to put a fair number of holes in the hull to sink it.
    Additionally, a cruise ship can carry a LOT of people. If you quadruple-bunk, thats a metric B@#)$*load of people, far better than a warship. A cruise ship + destroyer escort seems to make a lot of sense.
    What doesn’t make sense is that the US is going to charge market rate for the trip… (YES! The state department is billing people to be evacuated)

    Reply

  53. eCAHNomics says:

    “Why hasn’t Bush threatened Israel and Hezbollah against hurting Americans in Lebanon?”
    Matthew–How could you even ask? I can think of two reasons without turning a brain cell:
    1. He’s too dumb to think of it.
    2. None of those religious wingnuts give two hoots about people who are actually alive–akin to that old saw that right-to-lifers think life begins at conception & ends at birth.
    Remember how long it took W to have an “I feel your pain” moment in NO? And he had to wait for a stage to be set up in fromt of the cathedral lighted by blue kleigs.

    Reply

  54. Matthew says:

    Why hasn’t Bush threatened Israel and Hezbollah against hurting Americans in Lebanon? Name one serious American who would oppose that? It’s astounding to me that Bush has not addressed this…

    Reply

  55. ahem says:

    The best way to ensure Americans’ safety is for the US to make clear to Israel if one American gets so much as a scratch from their attack, the
    financial and military support spigot is turned off immediately.
    As if. You think if the Canadian family bombed to bits while ordered to evacuate had been American, it would have changed anything? The IDF can kill and has killed Americans with impunity, because there’ll always be people prepared to excuse Israel while blaming those Americans for being killed.

    Reply

  56. Carroll says:

    I have a suggestion….
    Don’t respond to posters you don’t agree with….ignore them or me… they are just going to say the same thing over and over and so are you or I.
    Although it’s fun to get a little dig in now and then to something we consider so ridiculous or paranoid or insane it ought so be self evident….so far responding has brought about no cures for the afflicted. LOL
    Just keep posting facts..and speculation too…someome will win the prize for being right or close to right as this Isr/Leb thing plays out.

    Reply

  57. brian says:

    thank you, steve.
    i was about to conclude that this was not a safe forum to exchange and debate ideas without being verbally attacked.
    in the past several days, i’ve been called every bad name in the book and i’ve even had my religious background called into question (not that it is in any way germain, and not that she was in any way correct). i must, however, admit that i have on occasion responded in anger. i apologize for losing my composure.
    the bottom line is, we all must NEVER lose sight of all that we have in common and we must work diligently to make sure that our online dialogue is as peaceful as it would surely be in “meatspace.” there are big issues to debate. surely we will ALL disagree passionately at times. but we must respect each other’s views, nonetheless. agree to disagree when necessary.
    the truth is that there are some people who decry the inhumanity and depravity of others and then act in an inhumane and depraved way themselves.
    in my opinion, this hypocrisy is the saddest fact of life.

    Reply

  58. Pissed Off American says:

    My apologies Steve.

    Reply

  59. A.Citizen says:

    Ain’t no real Murkkkans in Lebanon. Dem’s a bunch o’ teharist supporters. Deserve whatever dey git from dem Jihadis.

    Reply

  60. Steve Clemons says:

    POA and others – This is a place to debate issues. Cut the ad hominem attacks. Last warning.
    I have zero patience — really — for over the top reactions that attack people rather than challenging their ideas. In the case above, Brian was talking about the carrying capacity of cruise ships.
    That is an interesting point. To evacuate a large number of Americans, he has a point that a single large cruise ship is not enough.
    So, debate the issues — and STOP debating about debating. I have no time to play referee on this board and don’t want to.
    Those who compel me to waste my time policing silly squabbles when there is more than enough of policy substance to debate will simply be blocked from this site — something I am loathe to do.
    None of you should test me further on this. To still a line from POA’s name, I’m pissed off that I even have to write this note.
    End of warning. If I’m hassled again about bullying on the comments — those posters will be excommunicated from TWN’s comment space.
    best regards to all,
    Steve Clemons

    Reply

  61. Pissed Off American says:

    “back off POA. why do you always need to be such a jerk? i didn’t say anything adversarial and i wasn’t talking to you”
    I was merely pointing out your willingness to argue or question points and premises that you have not researched.
    And there is no way I am going “back off”. Anyone that has watched five seconds of news or done more than cursury reading about this issue has heard the 25,000 figure.
    And this “I wasn’t talking to you” crap is asinine to the extreme. If you do not want people to address your comments I suggest you talk to the wall, because obviously the users of this forum are going to read ALL the comments, and comment accordingly.
    And YOU may no be adversarial, but I sure as hell am. I don’t like YOU, I don’t your comments, and I don’t like your stated alliances and arguments.
    As far as I am concerned this country needs people like you about as much as it needs these lying treasonous bastards in the White House. And the bottom line is that if the kind of ignorance you exhibit dissappeared from this earth, so would they.

    Reply

  62. km4 says:

    You people give the Bush/Cheney admin far too much credit. These Ass Clowns are running the same ‘shock and awe’ playbook from Iraq. Granted Israel’s involvement is a new twist but the world and US ( except the 33% or so dittoheads ) are now more aware of the plays that are being run. And if this thing escalates to an attack on Iran watch China, Russia and India counter with financial and other ‘logistical moves’ because they have strong vested ‘oil and gas’interests there.

    Reply

  63. anonymous says:

    of course chavez wants nukes!!
    why wouldn’t he?

    Reply

  64. brodix says:

    I’d say it’s all a bunch of nonsense. How much more can we get in Israel’s corner anyway, so why would they do it?
    As for Hesbollah, killing a bunch of Arab Americans would be about the dumbest thing they could do, given what this would do to their own support in America, which is important to them.
    The neocons like to sound macho, but what evidence is there that they could beat their way out of a wet paper bag, if Karl Rove isn’t there to hold it open?

    Reply

  65. LondonYank says:

    As you say, Carroll, once the neocons have Iraq and Iran’s oil (the Khuzestan fields around Ahwaz hold 90 percent of Iran’s proven reserves) and Syria’s ports, there will still be other wars and internal consolidation of power to pursue.
    Venezuela beckons with comparable reserves and better logistics. The Bushistas are already saying that Chavez wants nukes . . .

    Reply

  66. brian says:

    matthew:
    the thought couldn’t have been further from my mind. maybe you better stop “reading between the lines.”

    Reply

  67. Carroll says:

    Yes LondonYank…..
    “The UN will be fully discredited as impotent, and the US and Israel will be free to pursue the next round of wars unilaterally as “necessary” to restore “order” in the Middle East.
    When the US and Britain have the Ahwazi oil fields from Iran, and a pipeline to the Med and Israel through Syria, then the neocons will finally call it a day.”
    The neo’s and Israelis leave no pieces out and dismantling the UN is an important one. However I dont’ think they will ever call it a day. There will never have enough power or control to satisfy their fanatical sickness. The further they go without anyone stopping them the further they will keep going. It’s their nature.

    Reply

  68. texas dem says:

    Someone beat me to it, but yeah: the Maine, the Lusitania, the Arizona, the Gulf of Tonkin. Baby Bill Kristol knows his history: sink an American ship and the American public will give policymakers a blank check for five years. The optics of cruise ships are especially good: to Americans, they conjure up images of families with children on vacation, and to everyone outside the G8, they conjure up a bunch of richrichrich entitled softies who have it coming. The fact that the victims were on vacation makes them innocent in the minds of Americans and guilty in the minds of the overseas working poor.
    Now, this is not gonna be a normal cruise ship; it’s an evacuation of civilians from a war zone. I’d say that makes it a little less appealing for Hezbollah (even if it is a bunch of Americans), and perhaps a little more appealing for Israel to do it and blame Hezbollah. I don’t think Israel or the neocons would try it, because the costs of being exposed are truly enormous. On the other hand, the rewards of pulling it off could be just as great for them, and if they really really really want war with Iran, and don’t know how else to get it…
    And I’m not saying Hezbollah wouldn’t do it, just that the fact that it’s civilians fleeing cuts ever so slightly against them in the opinion centers they’re wanting to court. If Iran really wants a war too — and at this point, it seems like they might win a war big, so maybe they do — this is their last chance to start one with a willing partner in the US Congress. Even in war, it takes two to tango, and the Bush Admin is the ideal antagonist for the Iranians.

    Reply

  69. Matthew says:

    Here’s why I humbly think POA is being a “jerk.” It’s because many people can read between the lines. And trying to deny the number of Americans trapped in Lebanon during Israel’s rampage is just another way of claiming that “those” Americans don’t matter as much as other Americans residing in, say, Tel Aviv.

    Reply

  70. brian says:

    back off POA. why do you always need to be such a jerk? i didn’t say anything adversarial and i wasn’t talking to you

    Reply

  71. brian says:

    thanks for the clarification, anon.
    but, i don’t think the ships are allowed to carry or capable of carrying much more than 3-5 thousand people in any event. if there truly are 25,000 americans attempting to evacuate they would likely need several ships.

    Reply

  72. Pissed Off American says:

    really? i find that surprising. seems like a very, very large number. they would need a fleet of cruise ships to evacuate this many people; very few accomodate more than 3,000 people. curious where you got this figure.
    Posted by brian
    You might consider doing a little research. But thats OK, I would hate to see you break habit and actually KNOW what you are talking about.

    Reply

  73. billy says:

    I got one …. oh yeah ….. I got a beauty!
    See, the terrorists board the cruise ship with fake American passports since the Americans in Lebanon probably all look like terrorists would look, and then on the high seas they terrorize with the knives from the kitchen and do a few Leon Klinghofers.
    That’s my prediction!

    Reply

  74. fiat lux says:

    Chef / writer / TV personality Anthony Bourdain is one of the Americans trapped in Lebanon….click the URL attached to my name for details.

    Reply

  75. LondonYank says:

    Remember the Maine? Suez? Liberty? Tonkin Gulf? Operation Northwoods?
    Remember Bush suggesting to Blair in 2003 that they paint a plane in UN colors then shoot it down over Iraq?
    Not only do I fear for the evacuees on that ship, I fear for the UN Peace Force that is being mooted. My guess is that disaster will befall these poor sods – it will be blamed on Syria and Iran whoever is responsible (like the mysterious Hariri assassination). The UN will be fully discredited as impotent, and the US and Israel will be free to pursue the next round of wars unilaterally as “necessary” to restore “order” in the Middle East.
    When the US and Britain have the Ahwazi oil fields from Iran, and a pipeline to the Med and Israel through Syria, then the neocons will finally call it a day.

    Reply

  76. anon says:

    The 25,000 figure is what’s been reported in all the news/media. I’d guess it’s a high number because of American University in Beirut and it being tourist season as well, but I don’t that for sure. As for the cruise ship, perhaps not all Americans/US citizens want to evacuate. This is not a pleasure cruise so the ship could probably hold more than normal capacity for a short time.

    Reply

  77. elementary teacher says:

    Let me try to dust off my notes here — cachoo, it’s been a while — Did MacKinder actually deal with the issue of moving our civilians out via cruise ship *after* the bridges, ports, and airports had been blasted by our ally?

    Reply

  78. Carroll says:

    Hadn’t thought about that till I saw it here…but agreee…big fat sitting duckie.
    And let’s face it the Israelis have a loooooong history of blowing up things to get one group to attack another.
    I have a neighbor, a retired Marine Col who was in Beruit during the first dust up….I remember one time his talking about the trouble the Marines had with the IDF running their tanks up to the dm zone and trying to goad the Marines…and other assorted things to the point where Marine command sent a complaint to Washington…evidently only the Israeli firsters in DC kept the Marines from blowing the IDF out of their tanks.
    Travel Warning:…DO not mention the IDF anywhere on or near Camp LeJuene Marine Base..there is no love lost there.

    Reply

  79. Chuck says:

    June 8, 1967…my thoughts exactly!

    Reply

  80. brian says:

    anon wrote:
    “There are about 25,000 Americans/US citizens in Lebanon”
    really? i find that surprising. seems like a very, very large number. they would need a fleet of cruise ships to evacuate this many people; very few accomodate more than 3,000 people. curious where you got this figure.

    Reply

  81. Punchy says:

    They’d better bring some $$ and a swimsuit. I hear those things have casinos and a bunch of swimming pools. I’m guessing a 7-day cruise sure beats a 16 plane ride in a military cargo plane…

    Reply

  82. eCAHNomics says:

    There are at least 3 entities with military connections in the neighborhood that might want to sabotage a U.S. rescue ship–Hizballah, Israel and the neocons, either thru Israel or thru another route (they’ve descimated the CIA but maybe they have their new operatives in place) for plausible deniability for both. A military escort would make it more better.

    Reply

  83. oofda says:

    Actually, aircraft carriers are very fast — often they have had to slow down to accomodate their escorts. A carrier would probably be involved–at a distance. It would not make sense to have a carrier escort the cruise ship. Also, a carrier could also be used to evacuate AMCITs in a pinch. A USN guided missile destroyer should be enough to escort the cruise ship.

    Reply

  84. Pissed Off American says:

    I’d hate to be the skipper on that Destroyer too, because they will scapegoat HIM when the inevitable cover-up “investigations” occur.
    Cynical???? Naaaah, just realistic…..
    I have been paying attention for the last 6 years.

    Reply

  85. Matthew says:

    And hasn’t the President been cavilier about those Americans in Lebanon? Could it be that most are Arab-Americans? My sense if they were “real” Americans, i.e., White Protestants, instead of Maronite- and Muslim-Americans, Bush would be threatening to obliterate Israel by now.

    Reply

  86. Pissed Off American says:

    “Now comes the news that the U.S. is going to evacuate Americans caught in the crossfire in Lebanon by cruise ship on Tuesday.”
    Here comes Bush’s second “trifecta”. If the Islamic radicals don’t do it,(which would be pretty nigh on impossible, considering our technological advantages), and if Bush’s treasonous cronies don’t do it, Israel will do it and SAY the Islamic radicals did it.
    One thing is for damned sure, if I was an American trapped in Lebanon, I would sure think twice about getting on that ship. The unfortunate reality is that my death would work to Israel’s advantage.

    Reply

  87. MNPundit says:

    Anon, that makes sense but if we didn’t do it when they ambushed the Liberty, then we won’t do it now.

    Reply

  88. Ben says:

    As an aside, and maybe Dr Rice can step in and answer this with her kremlinology experience; wtf are the Russians up to? It’s not very subtle, having the same accident with microphones in 2 weeks is it now? And calling Bush on Iraqi democracy?

    Reply

  89. anon says:

    There are about 25,000 Americans/US citizens in Lebanon. Israel has destroyed every way out, except by sea and even that isn’t very easy. I suppose Americans could be put on Navy ships, destroyers, carriers, LPHs, ect, but it’s hard to know if these ships can even dock in Lebanese ports. If not, then evacuees would have to be ferried or flown out to them. The cruise ships can probably dock that’s why they’re being considered.
    The ship would be fine with a Navy escort.
    The best way to ensure Americans’ safety is for the US to make clear to Israel if one American gets so much as a scratch from their attack, the
    financial and military support spigot is turned off immediately.

    Reply

  90. Ben says:

    DC Rez, it would be easier if Israel hadn’t already destroyed Lebanon’s ports. And airport. And radar systems, power plants, roads, bridges, apartment buildings, army bases, etc etc.
    It would be infinitely easier if the US hadn’t funded the superior side of this sickeningly lopsided ‘war’, too. Every last one of those Israeli missiles and bombs might as well have the stars and stripes painted right on them as far as Arabs are concerned, as someone else put it this morning.
    Sigh. I hope Olmert has Sarajevo, and not Suez, in his mind at this time.

    Reply

  91. DC Rez says:

    USS Cole, anyone?
    Terrorists on Zodiacs, anyone?
    Attack and landing on the Israeli beach, anyone?
    I began reading about other countries successfully evacuating (or at least beginning to evacauate) their nationals this weekend. And the US had no plan.
    I know that State’s consular professionals are working ’round the clock’ to get this done, but DOD is always the avenue for doing the extractions. And surely they can do better than a cruise ship.

    Reply

  92. steve duncan says:

    These are the same people that left a memo titled “Bin Laden determined to strike inside the U.S.” on the coffee table on the way out the door to a BBQ. Hmmmmm, bet that cruise ship probably holds about as many passengers as workers were in The Towers.

    Reply

  93. kliffie says:

    Me too. It would never cross my mind that the Neo-cons would ever involve themselves in having a cruise ship under our flag sunk in the Mediterrean just to drag us into war. They are true blue American patriots, all.

    Reply

  94. Maude says:

    What I heard this morning is that the US is making evacuation plans for Us citizens in Lebanon. This seems to me that the plans aren’t final.
    If they do use the cruise ship, it will have at least one US Navy war ship escort.
    Air craft carriers have alsways had escort because they move slowly.
    The ones who plan this type of thing are not the political wing of the government, they are purely military.
    The problem is the number of people that would have to be gotten out of there if the need arises.
    I know that things are very strange with the US government, but this type of evacuation would be well done.
    Maude

    Reply

  95. daCascadian says:

    Steve Clemons >”…serious planners have to be worried…”
    Well there is your problem, you think there are “serious planners” in this MalAdministration
    You know better yet pretend “as if”
    Shame
    “The first lesson of democracy is not to hold the public in contempt.” – Ronnie Earle

    Reply

  96. Friendly Fire says:

    You thinking USS Liberty Steve?
    She could be hit from both sides!
    And here’s this; US cruise-liner sent to Lebanon to rescue Americans from being killed by their greatest ally in TWOT.

    Reply

  97. Phil says:

    First Katrina, now Lebanon: What is it with this administration and cruise ships? Who owns these ships anyway?

    Reply

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