Friday, July 21, 2006

Ship of Fools

As the world responds to the crisis in Lebanon by scrambling to get its foreign nationals the hell out as quickly as possible, I have to wonder: couldn't the evacuations ships have been loaded with food & medicine before they left port? I mean, ships travel both ways, right? On Monday, Morocco sent food & medical supplies. Five thousand Danes have already been evacuated - how many packages of powdered milk could have made the crossing for each Dane?

Germany flew three military Airbuses to pickup Germans from Damascus and Adana, Turkey. The three planes can carry up to 500 people. A flight brought 361 Germans, including 171 children, from Damascus, where conditions at the airport were reported to be chaotic.

Were medical supplies on board? Bottles of water?

Lebanon is not a wealthy country:

"The per capita GDP of Israel is among the highest in the world at $24,600, nearly four times as high as Lebanon's GDP per capita of $6,200. ... While the United States provides about $2.5 billion in military and economic aid to Israel each year, U.S. aid to Lebanon amounts to no more than $40 million."

So, although I most sincerely applaud the emergency monetary funds that Europe and Canada have just pledged (Muslim countries were the first to respond), I can't help but think that after a week of bombardment, I'd rather food than a cheque. Or clean drinking water. Or milk for my kids.

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