Charging for an evacuation?

While the US Embassy in Lebanon still hasn’t figured how to get US Citizens out of the chaos that country has become, they have made clear one thing: if you’re not part of the US Embassy, you will have to pay for your ride to Cyprus, and once there, you’ll be on your own.

So unlike most other countries, who are giving free trips back to their homeland, inclusive of a taxi back to your house in some cases, US Nationals will be maxing out credit cards for a now-scarce Cyprus-USA flight.

Why might we in DC care? Beside the impact it might have on our work – my company has an office there – what happens if we have a massive evacuation in Washington DC?

Would we be like Katrina’s victims, sent packing with a wave and a shove & blamed if we’re car-free DC? Would we be like Americans in Lebanon, forced to sign promissory notes before we’re allowed on helicopter or ship out? Or are we so smug in our new McMansions that we don’t care?

4 Comments so far

  1. LD (unregistered) on July 19th, 2006 @ 11:16 am

    According to CNN breaking news last night, two Republic Senators have said that evacuation fees for Americans being helped out of Lebanon will be waived. Having said that, friends that are stuck there (with two children under the age of 4) have decided that they’d rather take their chances on the roads with an experienced hired driver to Jordan via Syria because they have lost faith in the USG and its “efforts.” Surely the USG can do better than this?

  2. wayan (unregistered) on July 19th, 2006 @ 1:03 pm

    While CNN is now reporting that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice waived the fees people would have paid to the government, I am still shocked it took public outrage to make the change.

    The original question is still unanswered: If we have to evacuate DC, will the Government pick up the tab?

  3. Aaron B. Hockley (unregistered) on July 19th, 2006 @ 1:49 pm

    Why should taxpayers pick up the tab to evacuate people who chose to go live/vacation/work in a terrorism-prone war zone? More of my thoughts:

  4. LD (unregistered) on July 19th, 2006 @ 2:08 pm

    Why should taxpayers pick up the tab of a war they don’t believe in? Because that’s the way taxes work. You don’t get to pick and choose how they’re spent. Personally, its the juxtaposition of paying for campaigns all over the world interfering in other countries, but not being willing to pick up the tab to bring home our own citizens caught unexpectedly in conflict. Makes no sense to me. Not to mention, people on the ground over there were not given any indication AT ALL of how much the evacuation would cost. They were just told (well, they read would be more accurate since getting any firm plans out of the USG was, apparently quite difficult) they would sign a promissory note for an amount that they wouldn’t learn about until after the fact. Moreover, by your logic, people who suffered from Katrina or that live in Florida shouldn’t get help because they chose to live/work/vacation in an area that is prone to hurricanes. Many people who were caught in Lebanon have family there and certainly didn’t go expecting this kind of trouble. Taxes are spent on a great many things that not everyone agrees on; this certainly seems like a worthy expense to me given some of the ways my tax dollars are spent.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.