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Harper to go to Cyprus


Guest Warwick Green

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Guest Warwick Green

Prime Minister Stephen Harper will go to Cyprus, where Canadian evacuees from Lebanon will be shipped this week, his office said Wednesday. The prime minister's plane will then bring as many as 120 of them back to Canada. Harper has spent the last week travelling in Britain, Russia and France on official duties.

http://www.cbc.ca/story/world/national/200...evacuation.html

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Why use his private jet?

This could set up a level of favouritism or that some are receiving preferential treatment.

But the question to ask is why are 50,000 Canadians being evacuated when the U.S. a much larger country has 25,000 U.S. citizens in Lebanon but is evacuating only 2,000.

Are all 50,000 Canadians in extreme danger and what is Canada's obligation to remove such a large number if they are not directly affected in the area their in?

There are reports that 5,000 Canadians are permanent residents of Lebanon and rumours many returning at age 65 in time to collect old age benefits and have medical conditions attended to.

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Why use his private jet?
It's not his private jet. The jet is a Canadian Forces plane.

The alternative would be chartering a plane or paying for transport on commercial flights.

This is a PR exercice but it's a smart one. I liked this:

The plane will be "stripped down" with as few crew members on board as possible to allow for more room for the stranded Canadians, Harper said. The rest of the Canadian delegation and reporters who have been travelling with the prime minister have been told that they cannot stay on the plane for the same reason.

Officials said only Harper's wife, Laureen, and a couple of his communications staff and his official photographer, will fly to Cyprus with him.

The prime minister said he was supposed to return to Canada on Wednesday night but decided to go to Cyprus instead because he believes more action is needed.

Harper's a smart guy. No other G-8 leader could or would do this. Imagine Bush giving up Air Force One!

I hope he doesn't wind up hanging around Cyprus but apparently he's already got that figured out:

...Harper said the first of those vessels began shipping Canadians out of Beirut on Wednesday and was expected to arrive in Cyprus that night.
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Guest Warwick Green
Good PR for sure but it also makes sense. At lot more sense than coming home on a nearly empty aircraft. The A310 is a Canadian Forces transport aircraft. Isn't this one reason we have them, to evacuate Canadians from danger areas?

It will also deflect criticism about any delay in getting Canadians moved out. What and Billy and Jack going to say? That he should have come straight back home?

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Good PR for sure but it also makes sense. At lot more sense than coming home on a nearly empty aircraft. The A310 is a Canadian Forces transport aircraft. Isn't this one reason we have them, to evacuate Canadians from danger areas?

It will also deflect criticism about any delay in getting Canadians moved out. What and Billy and Jack going to say? That he should have come straight back home?

You'd have to poll the other 11 candidates for the LPC leadership as well.

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Guest Warwick Green

Good PR for sure but it also makes sense. At lot more sense than coming home on a nearly empty aircraft. The A310 is a Canadian Forces transport aircraft. Isn't this one reason we have them, to evacuate Canadians from danger areas?

It will also deflect criticism about any delay in getting Canadians moved out. What and Billy and Jack going to say? That he should have come straight back home?

You'd have to poll the other 11 candidates for the LPC leadership as well.

I've seen criticism from Brison but nothing from any of the others. You don't want to politicize something like this - could blow up in your face. We had two demos here yesterday - one condemning Israel with no comment about Hezbollah's involvement. The other supporting Israel, pointing out all the shelling the country has had to endure from Arab terrorists, including Hezbollah. You don't want to get in the middle of that unless you are forced to.

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I wonder if he's gonna borrow Bush's flight suit and codpiece from the "Mission Accomplished" photo op.

I agree, this is starting to get pretty sickening, he's starting to make Stockwell Day look good!

Maybe Stockwell could take part and drive 2 Canadians at a time from Beirut to Cyprus on his Sea Doo.

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This is a PR exercice but it's a smart one. I liked this:
The plane will be "stripped down" with as few crew members on board as possible to allow for more room for the stranded Canadians, Harper said. The rest of the Canadian delegation and reporters who have been travelling with the prime minister have been told that they cannot stay on the plane for the same reason.

Officials said only Harper's wife, Laureen, and a couple of his communications staff and his official photographer, will fly to Cyprus with him.

.

Have to see if this backfires. How grateful are those people going to be when they see him? So far the Lebanese Canadians/Americans/British evacuated have not seemed to be terribly grateful at their countrys' actions in evacuating them. Is Harper going to be stuck in a plane full of angry Lebanese shouting at him because they think it took too long to get them out and because he sided with Israel?

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Fine, but that's not the same thing at all. There is a difference between an Army general warning the Lebanese that if they didn't give back the soldiers and stop the attacks his nation would hammer the hell out of them and what you said above, which was that "Israeli Officials" WANT to destroy Lebanon's infrastructure as some sort of nefarious plot beyond getting back their soldiers and pushing back Hezbollah. It's not quite a lie but it's a pretty heavy slant on what was said.

He got the buggers out, half of them are likely permenant residents of Lebanon. All their Canadian passport to them is a get of the shit storm free cards. They better be thankful, and to us too, who pay for their flight/cruise and whatever else they get along the way.

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There are reports that 5,000 Canadians are permanent residents of Lebanon and rumours many returning at age 65 in time to collect old age benefits and have medical conditions attended to.

Where on Earth did you hear they were just coming back to Canada on the government's dime because they are 65?

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There are reports that 5,000 Canadians are permanent residents of Lebanon and rumours many returning at age 65 in time to collect old age benefits and have medical conditions attended to.

Where on Earth did you hear they were just coming back to Canada on the government's dime because they are 65?

People being people, I have no doubt that a number of them will seize this opportunity for a free trip to Canada to visit relatives. There was a BBC report yesterday where the reporter marvelled at how peaceful and calm it was in Christian areas. There was no debris, no panic, no fear. Business as usual, and not a bomb in sight. If 75% of them are Christians I don't see why they'd be clamouring to get out for safety reasons.

But hey, the government is offering a free trip to Canada. Let's go visit Uncle Eli and family.

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People being people, I have no doubt that a number of them will seize this opportunity for a free trip to Canada to visit relatives. There was a BBC report yesterday where the reporter marvelled at how peaceful and calm it was in Christian areas. There was no debris, no panic, no fear. Business as usual, and not a bomb in sight. If 75% of them are Christians I don't see why they'd be clamouring to get out for safety reasons.

But hey, the government is offering a free trip to Canada. Let's go visit Uncle Eli and family.

Why would someone want to leave with one small suitcase, wait for hours for a ship that might not be able to take them, head to Cyprus, wait for a plane that might be days in coming and land in a city that might not be where they actually live in Canada?

And you're right. Some people might not feel the need to leave at the moment. However, since Harper has given Israel carte blanche to deal with Lebanon as it sees fit, he also has to ensure the safety of Canadians if they see fit to leave.

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People being people, I have no doubt that a number of them will seize this opportunity for a free trip to Canada to visit relatives. There was a BBC report yesterday where the reporter marvelled at how peaceful and calm it was in Christian areas. There was no debris, no panic, no fear. Business as usual, and not a bomb in sight. If 75% of them are Christians I don't see why they'd be clamouring to get out for safety reasons.

But hey, the government is offering a free trip to Canada. Let's go visit Uncle Eli and family.

Why would someone want to leave with one small suitcase, wait for hours for a ship that might not be able to take them, head to Cyprus, wait for a plane that might be days in coming and land in a city that might not be where they actually live in Canada?

You're kidding, right? You get out much? Ever been to a Boxing Day sale? People will endure a lot to safe a few bucks. In this case it's a few thousand bucks. What's that in Lebanon? Six months' pay?

I would imagine the ones jammed up right now are the real thing. But in a day or two that bunch will be gone. I'd be more interested in those who mosey on in after the intitial rush and crush is done.

And you're right. Some people might not feel the need to leave at the moment. However, since Harper has given Israel carte blanche to deal with Lebanon as it sees fit, he also has to ensure the safety of Canadians if they see fit to leave.

I have my doubts the Israelis were sitting around waiting for Harper's opinion before deciding on battle plans. I think the Christians there, unless they're living near a Shiite neighbourhood, are pretty safe.

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Fine, but that's not the same thing at all. There is a difference between an Army general warning the Lebanese that if they didn't give back the soldiers and stop the attacks his nation would hammer the hell out of them and what you said above, which was that "Israeli Officials" WANT to destroy Lebanon's infrastructure as some sort of nefarious plot beyond getting back their soldiers and pushing back Hezbollah. It's not quite a lie but it's a pretty heavy slant on what was said.

He got the buggers out, half of them are likely permenant residents of Lebanon. All their Canadian passport to them is a get of the shit storm free cards. They better be thankful, and to us too, who pay for their flight/cruise and whatever else they get along the way.

I'd like to see some of these people stripped of their citizenship.

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I would imagine the ones jammed up right now are the real thing. But in a day or two that bunch will be gone. I'd be more interested in those who mosey on in after the intitial rush and crush is done.

And I would be more interested in those Canadians who mosey into Canada and actually don't have a home,employment or even relatives here in Canada............. the lines for welfare form at the left.

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You're kidding, right? You get out much? Ever been to a Boxing Day sale? People will endure a lot to safe a few bucks. In this case it's a few thousand bucks. What's that in Lebanon? Six months' pay?

I would imagine the ones jammed up right now are the real thing. But in a day or two that bunch will be gone. I'd be more interested in those who mosey on in after the intitial rush and crush is done.

I have my doubts the Israelis were sitting around waiting for Harper's opinion before deciding on battle plans. I think the Christians there, unless they're living near a Shiite neighbourhood, are pretty safe.

As I said before, Harper has indicated that Canada is not neutral in this. He supports Israel. However, as prime minister he also is sworn to protect Canadian citizens.

Who is to say who or what areas will be safe in the next days or weeks? There are several parties involved now. The whole country could be dangerous. And it could be more dangerous for someone holding western citizenship.

I don't seriously think that the "free trip" to Canada is a selling point for those who would leave on their own if there was an open port or airport.

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I would imagine the ones jammed up right now are the real thing. But in a day or two that bunch will be gone. I'd be more interested in those who mosey on in after the intitial rush and crush is done.

And I would be more interested in those Canadians who mosey into Canada and actually don't have a home,employment or even relatives here in Canada............. the lines for welfare form at the left.

The Conservatives let a majority of the Lebanese in under Brian Mulroney in the 1980s. Many are Conservative voters with successful businesses. Instead of holidaying in Florida like Mulroney does (and who has a daughter with dual citizenship), they holiday in Lebanon.

The Canadian government didn't have Lebanon listed as "Do not go" country on their Foreign Affairs website because the danger there to international visitors was deemed "low."

So I doubt that these Lebanese are in need of jobs.

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This is comical:

Suddenly, last night, they were told the Prime Minister would be visiting and that Canadians — any Canadians — would have to be brought to the port of Larnaca, Cyprus. They made an urgent request to the British government, which had been taking Britons on large naval vessels with military escorts to the western city of Limassol, to allow 120 Canadians to board one of the ships so that there would be some available to greet the Prime Minister and ride home on his Airbus jet.
"We need 120 people, now!"
On Tuesday night, they realized that the promise they'd made earlier — that there would be seven boats each transporting two loads of Canadians per day starting Wednesday — could never be met. There wouldn't be seven boats, and it appeared unlikely that even one of them would be able to make it across the Mediterranean by the end of last night.

And the boat owners were extremely nervous about whether Israel, which is blockading the Beirut harbour, would honour any commitment to give them safe passage.

I'll bet the boat owners were nervous. "My boat, you know, she expensive. My life.... How much you pay again?"

G & M

I mean, let's be honest, there is no way this can be organized in mechanical fashion. And with modern communications, the logistical people have to do it in real time with everyone staring over their shoulders.

Harper had the good sense to do what he did. He's a smart leader. And the bureaucrats can put this on their annual promotion evaluation sheets. They'll all look good.

So, is it comical? Sort of. But there's also one important secret of life here. It's easy to look good spending other people's money.

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You're kidding, right? You get out much? Ever been to a Boxing Day sale? People will endure a lot to safe a few bucks. In this case it's a few thousand bucks. What's that in Lebanon? Six months' pay?

I would imagine the ones jammed up right now are the real thing. But in a day or two that bunch will be gone. I'd be more interested in those who mosey on in after the intitial rush and crush is done.

I have my doubts the Israelis were sitting around waiting for Harper's opinion before deciding on battle plans. I think the Christians there, unless they're living near a Shiite neighbourhood, are pretty safe.

As I said before, Harper has indicated that Canada is not neutral in this.

Do we always have to be?

He supports Israel. However, as prime minister he also is sworn to protect Canadian citizens.

I dunno about "sworn" but I'm sure he can do both.

Who is to say who or what areas will be safe in the next days or weeks? There are several parties involved now. The whole country could be dangerous. And it could be more dangerous for someone holding western citizenship.

Unlikely. It never was before. None of the Islamist terrorist groups have ever kidnapped their fellow citizens simply because they hold dual citizenship in a western country.

I don't seriously think that the "free trip" to Canada is a selling point for those who would leave on their own if there was an open port or airport.
What's the air fare from Lebanon to Canada? Couple of thousand, isn't it? How much is that worth in Lebanon?
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And I would be more interested in those Canadians who mosey into Canada and actually don't have a home,employment or even relatives here in Canada............. the lines for welfare form at the left.

The Conservatives let a majority of the Lebanese in under Brian Mulroney in the 1980s. Many are Conservative voters with successful businesses. Instead of holidaying in Florida like Mulroney does (and who has a daughter with dual citizenship), they holiday in Lebanon.

The Canadian government didn't have Lebanon listed as "Do not go" country on their Foreign Affairs website because the danger there to international visitors was deemed "low."

So I doubt that these Lebanese are in need of jobs.

From what the media has reported less than 10% are holidayers. The rest are permanent residents of Lebanon. In other words, they came to Canada, made enough money to live nicely on back "home" and returned to Lebanon. Yes, they have a passport, but while they're legally Canadian citizens they're not really Canadians.

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