Monday, July 17, 2006
Cyprus becomes staging ground for evacuees
We just landed in Cyprus. We decided to come here after spending much of the day in Haifa, Israel, literally following Hezbollah rocket attacks. We've come here because this is the staging ground for the evacuation of foreigners trapped in Lebanon.

France and Italy already have begun evacuating their people to Cyprus. America is expected to follow soon. There are approximately 25,000 Americans in Lebanon, but no one knows how many want to leave.

I'm currently finishing up the story we shot earlier today in Haifa. That piece will be on the program tonight in addition to extensive coverage from our correspondents in Lebanon, Israel, and all across the region.
Posted By Anderson Cooper: 6:10 PM ET
Thank goodness you guys are safe now.

I hope you are not too upset about not being allowed into Lebanon. We appreciate your efforts to get the complete story. Is there a reason why the United States have waited so long to get their citizens out of Lebanon?

Looking forward to the broadcast tonight!

Posted By Anonymous Annette LaCanna, Alpha, NJ : 6:26 PM ET
I think the responce to Katrina was faster... and now to think we have the nerve to ask evacuees to be taken out of harm's way is just unthinkable.
Posted By Anonymous Diane Smith, Enola, PA : 6:26 PM ET
Anderson,and crew:

Please just come home safe.
Posted By Anonymous Amanda,San Francisco,CA : 6:30 PM ET
Hope you have time to share some of the stories from the evacuees. The personal accounts from news people and ordinary citizens interest me much more than those of politicians. Stay safe.
Posted By Anonymous Phebe, Phoenix, AZ : 6:31 PM ET
I have the utmost faith and confidence that you and your crew will send us your absolute best as always. Be well, be safe, but most of all relax and let the sorties flow. Remember this what you do best, being in the heart of it all. Take care of yourselves!!!!!!!!! :):):)
Posted By Anonymous Cindy :) Waterford, CT : 6:32 PM ET
I can only echo what so many people have been saying, how long will this all go on? It's a worried day, a hard week. So much death and destruction, and now I just read about another Tsunami, only 86 dead so far, but I'm sure the families of those 86 still hurt as much as last years. Will the disasters become more frequent? The bombs fall more often? It really is a scary time. I truly worry about our world. Even hear in Ohio, it feels a bit too close.
Posted By Anonymous Morgan, Urbana, Ohio : 6:32 PM ET
I can't imagine what the foreigners in the area are dealing with and feeling at this point. I hope our government can act quickly and effectively to get those who want to leave out. Families with loved ones there must be especially grateful for your reporting, but we all appreciate the first person perspective, especially on this blog. It helps those of us far removed to get a real sense of this conflict.

I'm sorry you were not allowed into Lebanon as I am sure that is where you really want to be at this point, but I am also glad you will be telling this important story from Cyprus. You and your crew are doing a remarkable job. Thank you and take care.
Posted By Anonymous Ann, Ames, Iowa : 6:32 PM ET
Hey Anderson,

Good to hear from you and your team. I am sure it is full of chaos. Even if people want to leave Lebanon, how will they be able to reach Cyprus or any other neighbouring safe areas. Are there any alternative routes other than flying. What is the reaction of the people in Cyprus about this surge of refugees. I hope we will hear more about your experiences in today's program.

Be safe
Posted By Anonymous Sonu, T, New Orleans, LA : 6:35 PM ET
Hey Anderson, Our thoughts and prays are with you and your crew. Be safe, wear your helmets and vests. Come home.
Thank you for all your hard work you and your crew are doing.
Be safe,
Anthony Guiliano
Posted By Anonymous Anthony Guiliano Allentown PA : 6:37 PM ET
I'm glad you made it to a safe place. You are doing a great job, AC360 is covering the story like no other programme is doing.
Take care.
Posted By Anonymous Mariangeles, Buenos Aires, Argentina : 6:37 PM ET
Anderson & crew,

You guys are amazing. You don't give up when you can't get one story you always find something no one else seems to be covering. The evacuee story is something that is happening now and of course 360 is there.

Take care and get some sleep Anderson you looked awfully tired last night.
Posted By Anonymous Marcia Warren, MI : 6:38 PM ET
Hi Anderson, I'm sure you'd rather be in Lebanon to cover all sides of the story, but I'm glad you're in a safer place. I couldn't sit still at all today. But now that you're in Cyprus, I'm breathing a little easier. We all look forward to your show tonight. Please come home soon.
Posted By Anonymous Beth, Edmonds, WA : 6:41 PM ET
I just want to say thanks for the coverage you are doing over there. Normally I have a difficult time keeping up with current events but I've been glued to the recent developments in the Middle East. You see, I just returned from a trip to Israel on 6/24, the day before all this began. I had the privilage of visiting magnificent places and meeting some very wonderful people who are there right now and I can't help but think of them as I see all this madness unfold in a place that I've fallen in love with. I hope to return someday. Keep safe.
Posted By Anonymous Matthew Woods, Coulmbus OH : 6:43 PM ET
hi anderson, i wonder y did italy and france acted faster that america? i think that a little scary and not expected from the U.S. my aunt (american) who was in lebanon 2 days and no helped her at the embassy. she was forced to drive down to Syria and sell her car and then fly back to the states. So what about the americans that can't afford such trip?? i guess safety doesnt come free.
Stay Safe and may god be with you.
Posted By Anonymous Hana, Salem NH : 6:43 PM ET
Why is everyone stating that people are being evacuated too slowly? Has anyone even stopped to think about the possibility that a proper timeline is actually being adhered to in direct relation to the actual threat?

Could it be that the "situation" is not as bad as the media would have us believe?

No, that never happens.

Please keep it real Anderson... we are counting on you!
Posted By Anonymous Lily, Vancouver, BC : 6:44 PM ET
Hi Anderson, I am happy to see that you are going away from rockets and missiles. Cyprus seems a little safer for you and your team. I really appreciate your reporting but do worry about your safety. Take care.
Posted By Anonymous Judy StageBrooklyn MI : 6:46 PM ET
Will you please comment tonight on talk of a multi-national allied force being formed to assist Israel. Thank you.
Posted By Anonymous xtina - chicago IL : 6:46 PM ET
I am gad you made it there safe. Please be carefull. I hope you will tell the personal side if this story from the families trying to get out. Now that you are in Cyprus maybe you can. Remember we all are praying for you and your team. God Bless You
Posted By Anonymous Terrie Ford Colonial Heights, VA : 6:47 PM ET
Hi Anderson. I'm glad you've made it to Cyprus and I look forward to 360 tonight. I really like the way you guys have been using the blog during this crisis. It's informative to get the behind the scenes perspective. Hopefully this conflict will simmer down soon, but unfortunately it doesn't look like it will. Stay safe.
Posted By Anonymous Stacy, St. Louis, MO : 6:48 PM ET
Now there's some good news coming out of the Middle East ... my favorite newsman and crew made it to the next location -- hopefully a safer location -- to cover more stories. You're doing a great job so far, Anderson. It's always a thrill watch you out in the field -- your talents really excell there.
Posted By Anonymous Jennifer, Philadelphia, PA : 6:49 PM ET
Hey Anderson
Thanks for writing and letting us know you're okay. I can't imagine how scared and worried those are who are trapped in Lebanon as well as their loved ones back home. Sometimes it is worse not knowing, your imagination runs wild and what you imagine is worse than the reality.

We will continue to pray for you and all those in the Middle East who are suffering because of this conflict.

Take care o' you and come home safe.
Posted By Anonymous Christina, Windber, PA : 6:51 PM ET

I look forward to tonight's show, and the stories about the people forced to leave. Thank you for the update. And thanks to CNN for having reporters all over the area to give us all sides of the story. I appreciate your hard work and all the risks you and your team take to bring us the news.

Please take care.

Boulder, Colorado
Posted By Anonymous Linda, Boulder, Colorado : 6:58 PM ET
Please consider a story on the background of some of the hatred. How are Christians treated in Lebanon? Is their population steady or are they moving away because of Muslim intolerance? Why do the Shite and Sunni Muslims hate each other? One group wishes to exterminate Israel in the north and the other group wishes to do the same in the south. In Iraq they exterminate each other. What is the background and the "rationale" for this hatred? Could this be the basis of some reporting? Stay safe.
Posted By Anonymous Karen Amdur, Los Angeles, CA. : 6:58 PM ET
I'm sure you and the crew are glad to be away from those rockets. Maybe now you can relax abit and get some much needed rest.
Its a shame it has taken so long to get those people out of harms way. Kind of reminds us here in the states of Katrina.
I will be anxious to see your show tonight.
Stay safe

Posted By Anonymous Jean, St. Charles, Mo. : 7:00 PM ET
Sorry that you and your crew couldn't get into Lebanon. I was hopeful of getting more insight into the feelings of the Lebanese at this point. C'est la vie!

I must thank you and your producers for keeping us abreast of whereabouts. Whether you like it or not, there are alot of people who believe they have a relationship with you. So many have commented on these blogs these last days, wishing for your safety and having faith that you would be delivering us the truth. You have done better than that through blogs. You have invited us to live these past few days with you through these more personal messages. You made the current situation in the Middle East far more real for many of us and like no other journalist/anchor in the past.

Keep up the blogging. Good luck.
Posted By Anonymous Robin, St. Philippe, Quebec : 7:03 PM ET
The fact that America hasn't already taken action to evacuate their citizens in Lebanon is astonishing. What's taken them so long? Well, in the long run I guess the important thing is that we DO evacuate our people.

The other important thing is that you guys stay safe. It seems like you've been hearing that a lot, but you can never be too careful. Your viewers really care for you guys and would hate to see something happen to you all for the name of news.
Posted By Anonymous Ann, Millbury, Ma. : 7:18 PM ET
I have always appreciated your coverage of events and yet I wonder why you didn't consider going to Lebanon first? It would have been nice to see you cover both sides of the story.
Posted By Anonymous Mariam, Arlington Heights, IL : 7:20 PM ET
It must have been very frustrasting not to be able to cover the Lebanon side of the story. Although I hope everyone who has been critical of the coverage, knows that you and the crew tried. People need to remember that moving around in a war zone is not like moving around a typical American city.

Has the U.S. been too slow in developing an exit strategy for citizens in Lebanon? Perhaps they were merely hoping that this situation would have settled down and cooler heads would have prevailed by now. I hope that you can shed some light on this situation with your coverage from Cyprus.

Stay safe.
Posted By Anonymous Jennifer, Kansas City, MO : 7:24 PM ET
I really like the blog from Karen Amdur regarding the Shite and Sunni muslims. It seems the distinction between the two groups is a very fine line these day. What do you know about their differences? It seems no matter where you go in the Middle East they are fighting each other or someone else. Why is this? What creates a culture of people who do not know, or even long for a lasting peace.
Posted By Anonymous Christopher Fisher, Payne Ohio : 8:11 AM ET
Anderson - don't miss this part of the story! I have a friend (naturalized US citezen) with 3 small children who can't get out because she can't afford it right now. Yes, evacuees are being told they will be billed for their evacuation cost. What a country we have become.
Posted By Anonymous Rita, Chicago, IL : 9:57 AM ET
As a Cypriot-American I hope that you do not miss the chance to showcase the irony of Cyprus being occupied by Turkey since Nixon was president. A country full of internal refugees hosting international refugees.
Posted By Anonymous Paul Travis, Memphis, Tenn., & Nicosia, Cyprus : 10:16 AM ET
I am an American and I do not see why we should only save other Americans! We evacuate Americans out of Lebanon and leave the Lebanese and other nationalities under fire! Regardless to weather Israel is right or wrong, innocent civilians are dying on the both sides and we're giving green light to Israel to keep on attacking!
Posted By Anonymous Mike, Dallas, TX : 3:11 PM ET
I am satisfied in having you and your crew report from cyprus in collaboration with the rest of the team in Lebanon and Israel. I am already worried , and praying hard for you guys, Nic Robertson, and Alesio Vinci. I am relieved you and the crew can rest up a bit I hope. Hope this blog makes it this time.
Posted By Anonymous Liz Walters, Howell, NJ : 4:47 PM ET
I believe in sanctuary and that Israel should survive at all costs. I am not willing to reason on that subject.

What I don't understand is what is going on throughout "the world" generally. How did Mumbai become old news so fast?
Posted By Anonymous Nancy, Boston, MA : 5:10 PM ET
As a regular Canadian viewer of CNN I look to your newscasts as an integral part of my day. I am a little surpised though given the size of audience watching from Canada that you really haven't been mentioning that there are 40,000 Canadians to be evacuated from Lebanon. Quite a sizable number wouldn't you say?
Posted By Anonymous Tracey, Calgary, Alberta : 5:58 PM ET

Israel should pay for the cost, but since we're giving them billions of dollars in aid anyways they'd only be returning our money.
Posted By Anonymous Parker from Torrance, California : 2:47 PM ET
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