Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Stupid headline story of the day

Over at, their headline story is "U.S. family: Get us out of Lebanon/
Parents and children hear bomb explosions all night
". By itself, it is not stupid. But when you read the first paragraph:
"The Esseily family was winding up a vacation in Lebanon when the airstrikes began. Nearly a week later, they're still looking for a way to get back to California."

Let me get this straight: You live in California. You vacation in Lebanon?

Their reason:
"Tony Esseily is Lebanese, and Monika Esseily is American. They made the trip this summer so their 9-month-old son, T.J., could be baptized in Lebanon."

So the husband/father is from Lebanon? Still he takes his family there in order to get his son baptized (which could be done anywhere in the world). Of all people, he should know the history of Lebanon.

Wait! It gets better:
"Monika Esseily first saw Lebanon in 1990, three months after the country's 15-year civil war ended, as a new bride going to meet her husband's family.

"It was devastation. I cried driving out of the airport," she remembered. "I also was scared because coming out of the airport you had all the [Iranian Ayatollah] Khomeini and all of those Hezbollah signs even then."

The family lived in Lebanon from 1993 to 2001 and watched the country recover from years of war.

"I went everywhere," Monika Esseily said. "I enjoyed it; it was a beautiful country. The people are beautiful. They were madly trying to build up Lebanon."

The scene now, she said, is a "flashback to 1990."

"I'm very saddened, and I'm very, very scared for not just the Lebanese people, [but] for the foreigners who still have not got out," she said.

When the Esseilys heard last week that Hezbollah militants had abducted two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid, they knew there might be trouble.

"Wednesday night, we went to downtown Beirut to visit a shopping mall," she recalled. "Normally in that place in downtown Beirut ... it would have been very packed. ... And we did hear that, uh-oh, probably Israel is going to retaliate.

"But we were not thinking Beirut. Maybe we were thinking, OK, they were going to retaliate in the south. ... We didn't know that this was going to be extreme like this."

Even if you grant that these people have Lebanese connections, and Lebanon had been relatively peaceful recently, these people KNEW that Israel could start bombing anytime. Instead of trying to catch the first plane out of there, they instead took the "It can't happen to us" route.

Now for the piece de resistance:
"[Monika Esseily] said the U.S. Embassy should have been better prepared for the crisis.

"It's a very insecure country, and other countries as well around this area. The American Embassy should always have a backup evacuation plan. They knew that this was going to happen at least 12 or 24 hours before it did," she said.

Hey Monika, you KNEW it was going to happen 12 to 24 hours before it did. Why didn't YOU try to get out?

There was a line from the movie "Ruthless People" which applies here. To paraphrase: "These may be the stupidest people on the face of the planet."

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