I saw a photo of an American couple on the cruise ship "Orient Queen" today.
This happy husband and wife, were cheerfully sipping orange juice and grenadine, served from a covered tray by a unformed steward - they were not on vacation. Well, they were not EXACTLY on vacation, even though they were on the cruise ship Orient Queen. This happy couple was being evacuated from war ravaged Lebanon by YOUR and MY tax dollars!!!
Two things about this bother me:
ONE - When you see pictures of the Lebanese civilian evacuees, they are worried looking, disheveled and distraught over the destruction of their homes and country. They're wondering how they'll ever get their lives back to normal after Israel's punishing onslaught. But not these people, these people were sipping juice, laughing and joking without a care in the world. It is this kind of flagrant arrogance that causes people around the world to hate us Americans. I'm not saying we have to pile thousands of people head to foot - side by side on their backs and ship them to America... [that would never happen, would it?] But, it just seems arrogant to me that these people appear to be getting full cruise ship amenities, and on top of that, some photographer has decided to document the whole bash so the whole world can see how the US does "Evacuations." How is this going to look to the people in war torn countries around the world? It's going to look arrogant, that's how its going to look.
TWO - Why are my tax dollars giving Mr. and Mrs. International Traveler an all expenses paid cruise across the Atlantic? Someone please explain this to me. When ever some sh*t pops off in some corner of the world, our Government starts writing the blank checks to rush Americans back home! Why?
Now, I can understand, military people and families, diplomats, Government employees and people contracted by the US to be overseas. But when Mr. and Mrs. International Traveler want to go spend the summer with Great Aunt Jaillia picking grapes in Beirut, and a war suddenly flares up - then to me, they are just SOL (Sh*t Outta' Luck). Getting back home is on them. But in reality it's just not like that. Good old Uncle Sam will rush and bring them home for free. I can't even afford a cruise right now, but these folks are getting a free one - at OUR expense!
I'm like this - today is July 20th 2006, the world is a dangerous place. If you travel outside the CONUS, then God Bless You, you are traveling at your own risk. That is why I stay here for right now, down the road a few years... we'll see. But for now, I'm keeping my @ss in the good old U S of A!!!