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Friday, July 21, 2006 FULL SHOW | HEADLINES | NEXT: Israeli Refusenik vs. Israeli Peace Party Member: A...
2006-07-21

U.S. Citizen Evacuating Beirut Fears For Lebanese Friends Left Behind

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As the Israeli bombardment of Lebanon enters its tenth day, the evacuation of foreigners continues. The United States has been widely criticized for being too slow to help Americans leave. We go to Beirut to speak with a U.S. citizen trying to evacuate. [includes rush transcript]

As the Israeli bombardment of Lebanon enters its tenth day, the evacuation of foreigners continues. At least two thousand Americans were evacuated from Beirut on Thursday, the largest single-day total so far. U.S. Marines landed in Lebanon for the first time in 22 years to help in the evacuation. The United States has been widely criticized for being too slow to help Americans leave.

On Thursday, we spoke with Lynn Love, a US citizen vacationing in Lebanon, east in Beirut. She is there with her Lebanese husband and seven year-old daughter. She spoke about trying to get her family out of Lebanon during the crisis.

  • Lynn Love, American citizen in Beirut.

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Yesterday, we spoke with Lynn Love, a U.S. citizen vacationing in Lebanon, east in Beirut. She is there with her Lebanese husband and seven-year-old daughter. She spoke about trying to get her family out of Lebanon during the crisis.

LYNN LOVE: Now, I’m in East Beirut where my in-laws’ apartment is. For the past seven days, we have been in a village called Chebaniyeh, which is about 30 miles east of Beirut along the Damascus highway. We headed to Chebaniyeh for safety last Thursday. There was heavy shelling up there Thursday and Friday evening. We’ve heard the shelling. We’ve heard the flyovers all week. We’ve felt them.

By Saturday, we decided that we should register for the American evacuation. So, since Saturday, I’ve been faxing, I’ve been emailing, I’ve been phone calling the embassy here in Beirut. On Monday, after about an hour of dialing, I got through to an embassy official. I said, "Please, I just want to confirm that I’m registered, that my family is registered for the evacuation." And he said, "There is no way to confirm this. There’s too many people calling. We can’t confirm. If you want, you can try emailing us" — he gave me an email address — "or you can try faxing it again." And he hung up. So, I faxed again. I think I have now registered five times to be evacuated.

Once again, we dialed for a long time. We reached someone finally. And they said, "Look, we’re not calling anyone to evacuate. If you want to evacuate, you just show up. You show up as early as you possibly can. There’s a designated departure site." We know where it is, but we have no — you know?

We think we will leave tomorrow. We think, you know, we will eventually get on a boat and reach Cyprus.

It very was a hard decision. We’ve debated staying. We’re meant to stay here for two months. We have return tickets August 27th. We come every summer. We have worked, lived here. We have friends. We have family. You know, this is really a part of our lives. But we also have a young child, and it’s too volatile. We’re not feeling reassured by what’s happening through political channels. We don’t feel that there is an imminent ceasefire. And, you know, our decision was just to sign up for whatever evacuation is occurring and leave.

What I hear, you know, through friends who have talked to friends who are trying to leave is basically that, you know, this is too volatile a situation. You know, the Lebanese government doesn’t have the power to stop Hezbollah. Israel is not relenting. The U.S. is doing nothing to prevent Israel from continuing their bombardment. You know, we’re very concerned. And this is what I hear from other people, too, that the bombing is not going to decrease. It’s going to increase, based on the idea that there are Hezbollah sympathizers and helpers now spread throughout the entire country. So this is the concern, that there’s a rationale now to bomb anywhere, because the people in the south have been so dispersed. My friends who are Lebanese who are staying are very — I think their feeling is that it’s grim.

AMY GOODMAN: Lynn Love is a U.S. citizen who is now leaving Beirut.

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