Lebanon Evacuation: Assault Ships vs. Cruise Ships

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The Brits are taking the saftey of their 20,000 citizens in Lebanon seriously, calling in warships for the "biggest evacuation since Dunkirk." The U.S. response to date has been far more FEMA like, with a lucky few Americans getting airlifted to Cypress, while thousands more are stranded and waiting for a berth on a cruise ship.

U.S. to citizens: Drop anchor

The Guardian offers a study in contrasts:

The prime minister, Tony Blair, told the Commons that 5,000 Britons could be evacuated by the end of the week. The aircraft carrier, HMS Illustrious, and the commando assault ship HMS Bulwark, will arrive in the area on Thursday morning.

The United States was also evacuating its citizens today, with the Orient Queen — a giant cruise ship capable of carrying 750 passengers — due to arrive off the coast of Beirut later.

[photo: Timo Elliot]