...But of these sophisms and elenchs of merchandise I skill not...
Milton, Areopagitica

Except he had found the
standing sea-rock that even this last
Temptation breaks on; quieter than death but lovelier; peace
that quiets the desire even of praising it.

Jeffers, Meditation On Saviors



Leaving Beirut:

To get on board, Americans must sign a note pledging to reimburse the U.S. government. They will be charged the price of a single commercial flight from Beirut to Cyprus - usually $150-$200, although officials refused to specify.
If they have no money to fly onward, they also will be asked to guarantee reimbursement of the price of an airline ticket from Cyprus to the United States.
Snow said the government has to charge evacuees because of a 2003 law.
"I dare say that it's something that is causing heartburn for a number of people, but it's the law," he said.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi objected, saying it was not Congress' intent to prevent evacuations by making people sign a commitment to pay.
"A nation that can provide more than $300 billion for a war in Iraq can provide the money to get its people out of Lebanon," Pelosi told CNN.
Hendawi-Karam/AP/BenningtonBanner 19.Jul.06
That's true what she said. And it exposes the corrupt heart that plays this game out to the end.
Another way to contrast the paltry sum necessary to move American citizens out of harm's way in Lebanon, which they're being told they'll have to reimburse the government for the privilege of, is against the money that went to creating the weapons, and the delivery systems for those weapons, which are being used to kill Lebanese citizens (260 is the last figure I saw tonight, the great majority of them civilians, many of them children [now over 300]) - Israel's using them, but America paid for them.

Stephen Zunes at WRMEA:
Recently Americans have begun to read and hear that "Israel receives $3 billion in annual U.S. foreign aid." That's true. But it's still a lie. The problem is that in fiscal 1997 alone, Israel received from a variety of other U.S. federal budgets at least $525.8 million above and beyond its $3 billion from the foreign aid budget, and yet another $2 billion in federal loan guarantees. So the complete total of U.S. grants and loan guarantees to Israel for fiscal 1997 was $5,525,800,000.

One can truthfully blame the mainstream media for never digging out these figures for themselves, because none ever have. They were compiled by the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. But the mainstream media certainly are not alone. Although Congress authorizes America's foreign aid total, the fact that more than a third of it goes to a country smaller in both area and population than Hong Kong probably never has been mentioned on the floor of the Senate or House. Yet it's been going on for more than a generation.

Probably the only members of Congress who even suspect the full total of U.S. funds received by Israel each year are the privileged few committee members who actually mark it up. And almost all members of the concerned committees are Jewish, have taken huge campaign donations orchestrated by Israel's Washington, DC lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), or both. These congressional committee members are paid to act, not talk. So they do and they don't.

The same applies to the president, the secretary of state, and the foreign aid administrator. They all submit a budget that includes aid for Israel, which Congress approves, or increases, but never cuts. But no one in the executive branch mentions that of the few remaining U.S. aid recipients worldwide, all of the others are developing nations which either make their military bases available to the U.S., are key members of international alliances in which the U.S. participates, or have suffered some crippling blow of nature to their abilities to feed their people such as earthquakes, floods or droughts.

Israel, whose troubles arise solely from its unwillingness to give back land it seized in the 1967 war in return for peace with its neighbors, does not fit those criteria. In fact, Israel's 1995 per capita gross domestic product was $15,800. That put it below Britain at $19,500 and Italy at $18,700 and just above Ireland at $15,400 and Spain at $14,300.

The Washington Report is published by the American Educational Trust (AET), a non-profit foundation incorporated in Washington, DC by retired U.S. foreign service officers to provide the American public with balanced and accurate information concerning U.S. relations with Middle Eastern states.

AET's Foreign Policy Committee has included former U.S. ambassadors, government officials, and members of Congress, including the late Democratic Senator J. William Fulbright, and Republican Senator Charles Percy, both former chairmen of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Members of AET's Board of Directors and advisory committees receive no fees for their services.

The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs does not take partisan domestic political positions. As a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli dispute, it endorses U.N. Security Council Resolution 242´s land-for-peace formula, supported by seven successive U.S. presidents. In general, the Washington Report supports Middle East solutions which it judges to be consistent with the charter of the United Nations and traditional American support for human rights, self-determination, and fair play.

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