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  #1  
Old July 18th, 2006, 04:50 PM
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Default Safe Passage Charge

On the drive home I heard on the radio, that passengers who are being evacuated from Lebanon, on the cruise ships to a safe haven, will be charged commercial rate plus one dollar for passage. Never hearing of a situation like this before, I am shocked by this. The goverment wants reimbursment, and will bill these individuals. Are other countires charging for this humanitarian effort?
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Old July 19th, 2006, 01:04 AM
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In today's press briefing, Press Secretary, Tony Snow explained that this is a law that was passed by Congress in 2004 and the State Department isn't too happy about it. I'm not too happy about it either. I've been trying to find out if you are evacuated by American Military if you are still charged.

I misread an earlier story in which I thought the State Department would pick up the tab but it was the other way around. The evacuee is responsible for picking up the tab for the cruise ship evacuation.

On the other side of the coin I can understand that someone knowingly put themselves in a dangerous part of the world then they should foot the bill to get themselves out of there. If they are there for their business or for government duty they will be reimbursed for the expense. If they are there as a tourist or of their own free will then they should assess the risk before going. (Devil's advocate)

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Old July 19th, 2006, 01:29 AM
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I've gotta agree with Mike on this one. 25,000 US citizens in a country and area of the world that is known to be unstable. If you work for the government or the military you and your families should be evacuated without charge. If you are there of your own free will as a tourist or visiting family, then you should be to be evacuated. If I'm not mistaken, has there not been a State Dept. travel warning for Lebanon posted for a very long time?
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Old July 19th, 2006, 02:30 AM
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Here in Canada, we have 30,000 such folks to "evacuate", some with dual citizenship living permanantly abroad who conveniently become "Canadian" whenever it suits them. Some folks here think the Govt. is dragging its heels in initiating a rescue.

It truly sucks that my tax dollars go to subsidize a rescue effort for people who will head right back the very moment the coast is clear.

Rescue them? Sure, as long as my military is not put in harm's way. Pick up the tab....? hell no.

Foreign Affairs Canada also has had Lebanon on a travel advisory list for an eternity it seems. I'm sure the wording reads something like "DO NOT GO THERE".
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Old July 19th, 2006, 09:18 AM
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I figure if your on vacation. Your paying to return anyway. If an emergency occurs we all know you have to pay to change your plans. Soooo that being said. They are on vacation and war breaks out. Yes they have to pay to get out of there regardless of how they choose to exit quickly. Travel insurance people... They just paid TWICE to return from their vacations.

I feel very sorry for all those people and thier families. War is a horrible thing. Personally, I wouldn't go there even if someone offerred to foot the whole bill. Its just not safe even when it wasn't a combat field.
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Old July 19th, 2006, 09:26 AM
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GMA reported this morning, the govt. decided, passengers will NOT be charged now.
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Old July 19th, 2006, 10:02 AM
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I think each person should pay for their own way. Why should I the tax payer dish out money because they need to evacuate from a vacation etc? If they are goverment personal the gov should pay.
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Old July 19th, 2006, 10:49 AM
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They should not have to pay on their own ONLY if they are there on military or government business.

Otherwise, they went there on their OWN FREE WILL, why should my tax dollars pay for them to be evacutated.
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Old July 19th, 2006, 11:03 AM
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Hasn't there been a huge trend towards "getting the Government out of the citizen's private business" lately???

Suddenly that unwelcome Government turns out to be a wee bit handy for some folks after all.....
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Old July 19th, 2006, 04:31 PM
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Although reimbursement to the U.S. government for evacuation-related costs is required by a law passed in 2004, the U.S. Secretary of State has now waived reimbursement by U.S. citizens in Lebanon asking their government to bail them out.

Apparently a lot of pressure was exerted by Members of Congress (and other bleeding hearts) to give stranded Americans a free pass. So what else is new? By the way, guess which august body was responsible for passing that 2004 law in the first place? Give up?

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Old July 20th, 2006, 11:24 AM
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I feel that if you willingly go into a country(free-will) for travel that the State Department has warnings out , and something happens, you should pay for at least half if not the full amount of the cost to be evacuated.
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Old July 20th, 2006, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KimJack
Although reimbursement to the U.S. government for evacuation-related costs is required by a law passed in 2004, the U.S. Secretary of State has now waived reimbursement by U.S. citizens in Lebanon asking their government to bail them out.

Apparently a lot of pressure was exerted by Members of Congress (and other bleeding hearts) to give stranded Americans a free pass. So what else is new? By the way, guess which august body was responsible for passing that 2004 law in the first place? Give up?

Jack
The lack of sympathy for the evacuees here on Cruisemates is a bit suprising to me. The law, of course, was passed by a Congress dominated by a party who will not be identified here, but is not not noted for compassion for their fellow man except before they are born. Yes there was a travel advisiory but many of these people were visiting relatives. Beruit and Lebanon were relatively peaceful until Hezbollah made what may yet be their final mistake. No other country charges for the evacuation, just us. Most of the other countries even took thier people back home. We wanted to charge just for the trip to Cyprus, which has a travel advisiory too due to tension between the Greeks and Turks. Canada's Prime Minister even personally jetted in from a state visit to France to pick up a plane load of evacuees. To make frightened exhasted people sign promissory notes before allowing them on ship is the height of heartlessness. I know I would have been enraged if on 9/11 I would have had to fork over a large amount of money to get out of NYC on a ferry boat to NJ. Having been through that is as close as I can relate to their situation.
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Old July 20th, 2006, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougR.
The law, of course, was passed by a Congress dominated by a party who will not be identified here, but is not not noted for compassion for their fellow man except before they are born.
OK, before you start bashing away at Republicans, the law we are speaking of here was passed 347 ayes to 64 nays in the House of Rep. and 93 ayes to 1 nay in the Senate, so I think it's safe to say the law passed with wide bipartisan support!
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Old July 21st, 2006, 07:28 AM
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I also have to agree with Mike on this one. If someone chooses to travel to an area that has a travel advisory and something happens it should be up to them to pay to get themselves out. These people willingly put themselves in an area that our government advised they stay out of.

Sorry Doug, I really can't see the comparison between 9/11 and travel to areas that are on a travel advisory. As far as I know there was no travel advisory to NY. No one in NY that day willingly put themselves in danger. It was a completely different situation.
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