The reporters crowded around the American evacuees from Lebanon, thrusting their microphones and cameras into their faces, eager to hear what they had to say. It’s been estimated that there were as many as 25,000 Americans in Lebanon when the bombing erupted, so clearly there was a story to tell. It certainly couldn’t be easy to airlift 25,000 people out of a country ravaged by war and violence in a short period of time, but these Americans would undoubtedly have a gracious message for their country, right?
No, that’s not the way it is anymore. Grace and humility are traits that seem to be in short supply, particularly when being applied to the big, bad United States of America.
The first interview I saw was with a man who was livid with the U.S. Embassy. “Every time we made it to the Embassy, they told us ‘we can’t help you, wait for a phone call.’ I mean, it’s a joke!”
Another American complained, “A week of nothing but misery and traveling from one town to town to find safety for me, for my pregnant wife, for my child...and for what? I don’t think it’s about the two kidnaped soldiers anymore. I think it’s more political. They’re trying to get political gains at this point.”
Yet another grateful American, this time, a woman: “It is positively ridiculous that it took the U.S. so long to come and get us. We were very scared and I blame George Bush and the government for dragging it’s feet in helping us get out!”
Here we go again. Another catastrophic event, another wave of “blame the United States.” Sounds familiar, no? Only this time the event wasn’t a hurricane or a flood, but ruthless terrorists in Lebanon attacking Israel and Israel fighting back.
First of all, it’s pretty difficult for me to wrap my brain around the idea of taking a summertime vacation to Beirut. Personally, I prefer Disneyworld. Or maybe a nice Caribbean cruise. But Lebanon? You take your pregnant wife into war-torn Lebanon?
Okay, so for whatever reason, a bunch of Americans decide to explore all the vacation benefits of Lebanon. Suddenly, bombs start flying and they want to leave. Immediately. Well, the world doesn’t quite work that way. Evacuating thousands of people from a country that is home to Hezbollah terrorists who are firing rockets into Israel is just as complicated and difficult as it sounds.