So Much for the Cedar Revolution

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blogging, Middle East

As documented in the last post, one of the casualties of the current war could be the government of Lebanon. You remember the “Cedar Revolution“? Just last year our State Department was congratulating Lebanon for its democratic elections, the first elections held after the withdrawal of Syrian troops — “This is an important first step in fulfilling the aspirations of the Lebanese people for a sovereign and democratic government.” Last year the righties gleefully gave credit for the liberation of Lebanon to George W. Bush because, you know, Bush makes the sun rise and the rain fall and all that.

I just heard a Time magazine reporter speak on television. He said most Lebanese are pro-American, but now they think America has abandoned them. And I have to say I’m surprised at how quickly the righties have abandoned Lebanon. In 2005 they couldn’t say enough about the wonderfulness of freedom-loving Lebanese. Now it seems they’ve completely disconnected the “good” Lebanon of 2005 from the “bad” Lebanon of 2006.

Among the several possible negative side-effects of the current strife is that the fledgling democracy in Lebanon could fail completely and be replaced by civil war and chaos and a lot more terrorism. This would be extremely unfortunate.

At the far end of the loony scale is Debbie Schlussel, who is ranting that Americans caught in Lebanon this week are Hezbollah Supporters, and they shouldn’t expect American taxpayer’s money to rescue them. Yes, I know, we all figured out a long time ago that Schlussel needs to be heavily medicated and probably muzzled. But to the news that American citizens in Lebanon are expected to reimburse the government for their rescue, which I think is outrageous, Schlussel says,

One thing is lost in all the press coverage of the whining Americans who went to Lebanon of their own accord and now want us to pick up the tab to get them out.

THE MAJORITY OF AMERICANS IN LEBANON ARE HEZBOLLAH SUPPORTERS.

Most of them are Shi’ite Muslims, many of whom hold dual U.S. and Lebanese citizenship. Many are anchor babies born here to Muslims in the U.S. illegally. Some are illegal aliens who became citizens through rubber-stamping Citizenship and Immigration Services (and its INS predecessor) coupled with political pressure by spineless politicians.

Schlussel is a little vague about how she knows this is true, except to argue that many American citizens in Lebanon are from Dearborn, Michigan. Well, that clinches it.

A few people in the comments — one of whom says she is a Christian and American citizen in Lebanon — argue that Schlussel is wrong about the majority of American citizens in Lebanon — but Schlussel (in ALL CAPS) argues back that THIS IS MY AREA OF EXPERTISE. (She knows Dearborn, Michigan, very well.)

But then some Debbie fans weighed in —

“One thing is lost in all the press coverage of the whining Americans who went to Lebanon of their own accord and now want us to pick up the tab to get them out.”

Here Here….To me that says it all, I just love all these “Americans” that call themselves Americans who live elsewhere, particularly in the Middle East.

When you leave the security blanket of this great country, you are subject to the laws and lay of the land you travel to, simple as that.

Another:

If there were no war, they would anyway pay for their return ticket at some point, right? So why should the US foot their bills?

Well, maybe because American citizens and American taxpayers often are the same people, and their taxes pay to maintain the State Department and the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon, among other things.

In response to the American in Lebanon —

Your story and self-proclaimed patriotism isn’t all that convincing. What were you doing there if you love the US so much? Did someone hold a gun at your head and force you to stay in Lebanon? You went there out of your own will, so you pay for the ticket back home, if you really consider the US your ‘home’. Thats the least you can do.

Got that? If you’re a real patriot, don’t leave home.

The U.S. State Department posted a warning about travel to Lebanon on July 13, 2006, which updated another warning of May 2, so I suppose the State Department can say, “I told you so.” However, the warning also says that the American embassy in Lebanon is there to help American citizens.

If you’re going to Iran, on the other hand, the State Department lets you know you’re on your own — “The U.S. government does not currently have diplomatic or consular relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran and therefore cannot provide protection or routine consular services to American citizens in Iran.”

Lebanon is celebrated as a choice tourist destination in the Middle East, and American tourists continue to go to the Middle East wars or no wars. If you are going to do the Grand Tour of the Holy Land, Lebanon certainly should be included on the tour. Well, maybe not right now. But it seems a bit harsh to tell Americans who traveled to Beirut before the fighting started that they shouldn’t expect rescue.

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16 Comments

  1. luba  •  Jul 18, 2006 @7:29 pm

    Debbie, I am not proud to state, is from the Detroit area, but is most definitely NOT from Dearborn, or anywhere particularly close to Dearborn. The Detroit area has a population of 4 million, one less since Debbie moved on (and for which we are eternally grateful).

    Dearborn has the largest arabic population outside of the middle east. But Debbie is not from Dearborn.

    She is from the outer northern suburbs of Detroit, where I currently live. It is a very mixed area, middle to upper-middle class, and with a lot of ethnic heterogeneity. We have a large Jewish population, but also Asians, African Americans and many Muslims. And white folks like me.

    We don’t miss her at all.

  2. justme  •  Jul 18, 2006 @8:47 pm

    I would suggest to debbie she should pull her head out of her ass and look around at how the real world works.People travel outside the US for so many reasons…did she consider , for example, there are missionaries there?Those folks live on a tight budget and and may buy tickets for a set date months in advance in order to afford to make such a trip…so now these people are called Hezbollah lovers?Damn the christians!..??Alrighty then.

    Teachers from this country go to teach in schools in other nations…damn terrorist lovers all of them???How dare they live paycheck to paycheck and not have the money to pay off the thugs in the government …We should leave them there or put them in prison camps to repay the debt?

    Young doctors without a lot of money sometimes give up their vacations to go to other countries …to help.. to teach.. to share knowledge…a concept lost on the debbie’s of the world, she finds them to be leachers on lady liberties teat….Nice..

    I don’t expect the debbies of the world to understand acts of kindness that don’t end in something for them.I don’t expect them to ever do a thing to trying making the world a better place..and compassion is something that is to be taken and never given.And I know the idea that there are CHILDREN among those who need to flee doesn’t matter to the debbies of the world.. cause everyone knows children love terrorists…let them work in sweat shops until they can buy their own damn ticket…let them take the bottle out of their mouths and get jobs … or does she have the compassion to allow the government to bill the kids???

    But while she is on the subject… I don’t hear the bimbo saying “we the people” shouldn’t be paying to shuttle politicians back and forth to Iraq for photo ops…let them pay for their own damn way to and from…THEY wanted to go,, the terrorist lovers they are.. the least they can do is pay their own way to and from…and what about all these trips to crawford,, vacation homes…ski resorts….How many times have the twins been at fashion week on the American tax payers dime?? THEY wanted to go,, the least they could do was PAY for the plane, secret service detail, extra police, transportation….How much are we paying to have JUST the suv’s flown from place to place whenever one of these twits shows up in your city USA and bleeps up traffic for the entire day??

    When are the bums going to pay their own way to go to FUND RAISERS???? WTF????.. don’t even get me started……whats the matter can’t bush use the enron jet anymore????Did he ever pay for using that plane??? I bet the people who were robbed could sure use the money…Oh and then there was the bush trip to visit the queen,,,,Did we the people end up picking up the bill for the grounds that were destroyed ???? Sure would have been nice if the bushs would have paid for that bill themselves… leachers….

    And how about dick cheneys electric bill at the vp residence… did you know that rat bastid is the first vp in history to rip off the American tax payer for the entire bill???????It would be nice if they paid their own bill since they can afford a multi million dollar vacation home…..but why when they can take welfare from the hard working folks in this country????Should I go on or is debbie ready to crawl back under her rock????

  3. norbizness  •  Jul 18, 2006 @11:28 pm

    Well, to be fair, she is absolutely fucking nuts.

  4. Swami  •  Jul 19, 2006 @12:27 am

    I agree with justme…I think Hamtramck Debbie has her head up her ass. Evacuating Americans from Lebanon will probably cost less than the convoy of ice that FEMA routed to every state in the union during the Katrina fiasco.

  5. mamameow  •  Jul 19, 2006 @1:00 am

    lived in lincoln park, right next door to dearborn. the majority of arabs in dearborn are not from lebanon. the lebanese seem to assimilate into the general population better and quicker than the arab enclave in dearborn. just read a story, i think at raw story, that bush gave the israelis the green light to into lebanon. if i remember correctly poppy bush gave saddam, thru april gillespie/ambassador?, the green light to go into kuwai just before the elections. dems motto “READ MY LIPS, BUSH DRAFT” repeated over and over

  6. Linkmeister  •  Jul 19, 2006 @2:57 am

    Apparently Condi recognized (belatedly) that billing evacuees looked really bad, as CNN is reporting that she’s agreed to waive the fees. They come from a 1956 law, by the way, but one that was amended and signed by GWB in 2002. HR 1646 sez:

    Title II: Department of State Authorities and Activities – Subtitle A: Basic Authorities and Activities – (201) Amends the State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956 to authorize the Secretary of State to make emergency expenditures (on a reimbursable basis to be credited to the applicable Department of State appropriation, except no reimbursement shall be paid that is greater than the amount the person evacuated would have been charged for a reasonable commercial air fare immediately prior to the events giving rise to the evacuation) with respect to the evacuation of third-country nationals in a foreign country when their lives are endangered by war, civil unrest, or natural disaster.

  7. Tom in Texas  •  Jul 19, 2006 @3:04 am

    So let’s hypothetically say that (worst case scenario) Hezbollah bombs Tel Aviv tomorrow. Dozens of rockets and bombs annihalating Israel. Obviously Schlussel assumes that Americans in Tel Aviv at this time are ISRAEL LOVERS!!!! and deserve no rescue, but to be bombed in their hotel because they are traitors. I mean, why else would you leave America? Right? Right?

  8. Bonnie  •  Jul 19, 2006 @9:31 am

    Here’s a quote I came across today for all the rightwing haters:

    Anyone who has accustomed himself to regard the life of any living creature as worthless is in danger of arriving also at the idea of worthless human lives. -Albert Schweitzer, philosopher, physician, musician, Nobel laureate
    (1875-1965)

  9. Bulworth  •  Jul 19, 2006 @9:58 am

    For Debbie and the rabid right, only white people are Real Americans.

  10. Donna  •  Jul 19, 2006 @10:42 am

    Beautiful quote, Bonnie.

  11. Sara Anne  •  Jul 19, 2006 @12:46 pm

    One of the Americans trapped in Lebanon is my sister’s cancer surgeon, who is paradoxically a great surgeon and a really decent guy. He was visiting family and got stuck, is waiting to be evacuated. He’s worth more to America than a thousand Debbie Schlussels.

  12. freD  •  Jul 19, 2006 @1:48 pm

    Looks like much of that rightwing Cedar Revolution cheering was never intended for the Lebanese government or people but only for Dear Cheerleader himself.

  13. Kevin Hayden  •  Jul 19, 2006 @2:36 pm

    Yeah! Stay home in America! Except for liberal NY. And gay San Francisco. And Boston. And Seattle. Wait…..

    OK, stay home in America, which is only in Alabama…

  14. fshk  •  Jul 19, 2006 @4:00 pm

    So Debbie’s crazy; I just don’t see how anyone with an ounce of compassion can think that way. I have not run into many people from Lebanon, but I did know a Lebanese woman (friend of an old roommate) who was not Muslim and still had family there who she went to visit every year. I’m not in touch with her anymore, but say she decided to spend her summer going to visit Grandma and got caught up in the bombing? Well, she left the US of her own accord so she must be a HEZBOLLAH LOVER!!1! Sheesh, how close-minded and ignorant can you be? I suppose my long-standing desire to visit Italy is a sign that I’m not American enough.

  15. paradoctor  •  Jul 19, 2006 @4:35 pm

    What I find interesting is her assumption that the government has no obligation to protect the citizens. But if so, then why should government exist at all?

  16. Rick  •  Jul 19, 2006 @7:24 pm

    I’m just curious… but do you recall, just after 9/11 when the only flights in the country were by chartered planes collecting various Saudi citizens to get them out of the country. I wonder who picked up the tab for that?

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