Tuesday, July 25, 2006
This is not another Katrina
A lot of times I wake up and have no idea where I am. The blinds are drawn, the room is nondescript. It happened again just a few minutes ago. I lay there, looking at the ceiling, trying to remember. A few seconds passed, then the sirens sounded. Haifa. If there are sirens, I must be in Haifa.

It's easy to get confused. We've been traveling around a lot, trying to see this story from as many different angles as possible. We were in Beirut yesterday, then Haifa, and we're about to move again. We are heading back to the border with Lebanon to focus on Israeli military actions in southern Lebanon.

Yesterday, I had the chance to talk with a lot of the U.S. Marines and State Department officials running the ongoing evacuation of Americans from Beirut. Every day this past week, Marine and Air Force choppers have been landing at the U.S. embassy and ferrying Americans home. They've moved more than a thousand people by air, more than ten thousand by ship.

I know there was some criticism of the evacuation effort early on, with some Democrats comparing it to the response to Hurricane Katrina. But the truth is this week American forces have moved a huge number of people out, and they've done it under very difficult circumstances. Seeing the Marines and State Department people in action, up close, is inspiring. They are highly motivated and are working around the clock. They have been giving medical treatment to the sick, and I've watched them play with kids who are screaming with fear because of the deafening whirl of the helicopters.

Now, it seems like the U.S. military will begin ferrying in humanitarian supplies. Some will no doubt be critical, saying that the United States is not doing more to stop the violence. That is certainly an understandable position. But I just wanted to take a moment and recognize the efforts that individual Marines and sailors and State Department folks have been making.

We are quick to point out when our government fails; it's important to recognize when it works as well.
Posted By Anderson Cooper: 8:42 AM ET
  62 Comments
Hello,Its important to remember,some people would complain if the old plow hores would fall over dead with only 10 feet to go ? ! Go figure ?
Posted By Anonymous Ray,wharton,WV. : 9:02 AM ET
Our government does have many great people doing commendable jobs. But let's hope that the US humanitarian supplies arrive in Lebanon before the next shipment of bombs.
Posted By Anonymous Nabil, Olympia, Washington : 9:40 AM ET
Thank you Anderson. Once again, you are doing a great job of telling all sides of a story. Our military have been asked to do many out of the ordinary duties in the last few years and should be given credit for their efforts. As always, to you and your crew, please stay safe and thank you all for the outstanding reporting.
Posted By Anonymous Tish, Estes Park, CO : 9:40 AM ET
Yes, Anderson, I agree. Give credit where credit is due. I do believe, though, that the early criticism and comparisons to Katrina made the government up the ante. This is where journalists come in to point that out and keep them honest. I applaud them for getting the message and responding appropriately. Thanks for your continued dedication. My best wishes to you Anderson and your team for your safe and speedy return. Regards,
Posted By Anonymous Beth, Edmonds, WA : 9:48 AM ET
Seriously, when do you and your team ever sleep? You're on the air at 5 or sometimes 4 a.m. and then I assume you spend the rest of the day developing, writing, editing stories.

BTW, thanks for having the Sarah Lawrence University Professor on as a guest last week. He shed some light on the Lebanese side of the story... a perspective that is very hard to find in any of the on-going coverage. I really gained some much needed insight from your conversation with him.

Stay safe!
Posted By Anonymous KFS, Dallas, TX : 9:48 AM ET
Hi Anderson: It might be interesting to compare and contrast the opinions of two Israeli's (one hardliner and one anti-war Israeli; possibly living in Jerusalem) concerning Israel's new hardline government and its no-nonsense approach towards volatile neighboring Middle Eastern countries. You can ask them: "If Sharon was still the prime minister, do they think that this incursion into Lebanon would have taken place at all?" Also, how do the two Israelis view the future of Israel -- is the hardliner more optimistic? Also, I had heard a report from another cable news station about 2 weeks ago, during which a gentlemen conveyed that there are Hezbolah cells in the U.S. Is this actually true, or is this only conjecture? Why aren't these cells talked about more by the US government, and why haven't we arrested these potential terrorists yet? Keep up the good work, Anderson & Crew, and stay safe.
Posted By Anonymous Bradley F. Greenberg, White Plains, NY : 9:50 AM ET
I am once again pleased to read your words. You try so hard to give ALL sides to the story, and do it well. We, as humans, want to vilify rather than lift up. So thank you for reminding us that there are men and women putting their lives on the line to rescue and retrieve and provide much needed aid. This isn't our skirmish, it's about doing the right thing to help those who need the help. Thank you for what you are doing to keep us well informed.
Posted By Anonymous Karen, Houston, TX : 9:50 AM ET
Thank you for taking a look at the good and not just the bad!
Posted By Anonymous Lauren, Houston, TX : 9:51 AM ET
Anderson,
YEA and HOORAY and THANK YOU. You are correct - we all are guilty of pointing out when government fails but never as quick to mention the successes. Just from the few shots I have seen of the personnel involved with the evacuations, it appears they all need to be commended. And now they will be on the front lines again providing humanitarian relief. I believe that the majority of us (many times too silent) do very much appreciate all their efforts and your recognizing them. I hope they and you continue to stay safe.
Posted By Anonymous Christa A. Waehler Okla, City, OK : 9:54 AM ET
Thank you for pointing this out. It's great to hear stories of our government doing it's job well; we're too used to hearing the complaints and criticisms.

Thank you Anderson for your continuing subjectivity in your reporting. It is more than a privelege to be able to see both sides of a story, the different angles, perspectives and objectives. I can see how living in a country, having only one or two state sponsored television or radio news programs would form the minds and opinions of the viewers. Your coverage of what the blatantly propagandistic Hezbollah news, and your 'tours' by Hezbollah representatives through South Beirut are eye-opening. I have trouble imagining living under such a regime that censors and manipulates the information that is allowed to reporters and the general public. I also wonder if I would know the difference? If born and raised in such an environment, would I even be aware of what the rest of the world is really like?
Posted By Anonymous tommy, Madison WI : 9:57 AM ET
Thanks for honoring those who serve wherever they are called. And for bringing us their stories.
Thanks also for going where the story is and for being willing to tell it. Godspeed.
Posted By Anonymous Kate Nashville, TN : 10:00 AM ET
I guess when you're a citizen of the greatest superpower ever, you expect a superhero-style response. Even citizens of other countries have the same high expectation of the States-- she's assumed to be the guardian and protector of all.

Under the circumstances, the best response has been provided. No doubt, there is huge risk each time U.S. soldiers go in to get more people out-- Americans are always at risk. There will always be people that are critical of the government; they're the ones that know "the better way", and always have "the right answer". They should keep in mind that there are scores of non-U.S. citizens that are now stuck in the region, hoping for a fraction of the rescue-effort that the States have provided their citizens.
Posted By Anonymous Lucy, Toronto, ON : 10:01 AM ET
Anderson,

thank you for keeping us informed this way - you and your entire team are doing such a terrific job. You truly show and bring us all the angle of this horrible conflict.
While surely scary at times, it must also be privilege to witness yet another big conflict in human history. And as much as people are quick in criticism - I am not exception myself - I think we all have to realize under what circumstances all the efforts have to play out.
Yes, sometimes we wish things would go faster, but could we do it any different? I think we have to keep that in mind and recognize and acknowledge that the officials do the best they can, given the very difficult and dangerous circumstances.
Posted By Anonymous Elke, New York/NY : 10:01 AM ET
People who choose to live and/or visit the Middle East have to accept the consequences of that decision. The Middle East has been a warzone for centuries. They know that this sort of situation can happen at any time. America always takes care of its own. It seems like it is never enough...never quick enough, etc. It should be enough that the miitary has people left (not serving in Iraq) to help get these people out of harms way in the Middle East.
Posted By Anonymous Heather Gregory Dayton ,Ohio : 10:05 AM ET
Hey Anderson To me it feels like another Katrina. I am watching your show 7 days week, watching for all your blogs. CNN has taking over my summer again. But I don't mind, Stay safe and come home soon so I can take a vacation. Ac360 crew Thank you for all your hard work.
Posted By Anonymous Anthony Guiliano Allentown PA : 10:08 AM ET
Anderson, I agree. People are always so focused on the negative. Our government is not without it's problems, but it also does a lot of good here in the states and around the world.
Stay safe...
Posted By Anonymous Jess, Paris, KY : 10:08 AM ET
It's mighty funny that during the aftermath of Katrina the response was AWFUL all along the Gulf Coast. All we heard was that the conditions were too dangerous to rescue anyone that was stranded/trapped. But, yet, we are able to go into a war zone and rescue. Is there a different definition of danger? Whether you were a resident on the Coast or a visitor/worker in the war zone, we are all Americans. Peril is peril, know what I mean?

BTW...As the proud daughter of a Marine, I say KUDOS to the Marines.
Posted By Anonymous Michelle, Bay St. Louis, MS : 10:10 AM ET
Anderson,

You are so right to recognize the good that is being done. Yes I am guilty of judging the slow efforts of the evacuation process, so it is refreshing to here of the great and courageous efforts the U.S. is making. All to often the media is pointing out the negative and rarely boasts about the positive stories. It is great to hear of the positive. Thank you for reminding me to be more patient and to not be as quick to jump to a judgement. Anderson, smile at someone today it can change their day. You would be surprised what a little smile can do in the most desperate of situations. Be well!! (mentally and physically):)
Posted By Anonymous Cindy Waterford, CT : 10:10 AM ET
AMEN!
Posted By Anonymous MB, Mobile, AL : 10:10 AM ET
Thanks for giving us something positive to focus on amidst all the confusion and pain there.

Many thanks to you and your crew for your hard work and bravery in getting the stories to us. All of you, please be careful there.
Posted By Anonymous Wanda, Nashville, TN : 10:10 AM ET
Thanks Anderson for recognizing what many in the media will not--the hard work of individuals that are there to do a hard job. Kudos to our men and women in uniform and to our State Department officials. I only wish the State Department had stuck by their guns and made these people reimburse for the cost of getting them out of a terrorist state.
Posted By Anonymous Eugene Phillips, Alpharetta, GA : 10:12 AM ET
Anderson ,
Knowing you are in dangerous place makes me uneasy...
Why don't you (and also other TV programs) show a lot of images of beautiful earth from space shuttle??
Anyone who sees the images should notice that war is meaningless.
Posted By Anonymous Yukako,Japan : 10:12 AM ET
Anderson,

As a viewer, I appreciate that you check in with us on the blog, giving us an intimate glance of what you are experiencing as a journalist.

I would like to add that the "Reporter's Notebook" last evening was excellent. The photographs from Getty Images are incredible! You answered many of the questions that I had been curious about.

It validated that to me that just maybe your CNN staff really does read the comments posted on the blog and occasionally respond to a reader's suggestion!

I would like to advocate that your program spend some time on the huge array of animals that have been left behind and the organizations that are assisting them.

Thank you so much for your excellent reporting and I wish you and your fellow CNN staffers continued safety.
Posted By Anonymous Sandra A. Street, Seattle, WA : 10:12 AM ET
As I was watching the coverage last night on CNN, I started thinking that I was ready to move on to other news of the day. Then I realized how I felt when I heard comments about people in other parts of the country being tired of listening to stories of Katrina. I think the reporting you are doing is great and I will keep watching. Stay safe,
Posted By Anonymous Barbara, LaPlace, LA : 10:13 AM ET
Many thanks for the recognition of the military's efforts on the evacs. To see the tenderness in the eyes of those battle hardened marines while they are carrying a small child to safety is what makes America great.
Roberta Cox, Austin, Texas
Posted By Anonymous Roberta Cox, Austin, Texas : 10:14 AM ET
And why exactly is it so understandable to be critical of America for "not doing more to stop the violence"? That region of the world has been plagued by violence before our country was even a thought in our forefathers heads. What makes you think we even have that power? Why because we are a "super power"? Because we have money and bombs? That didn't stop terrorists from attacking us. It's just going to make Hezbollah more angry with us, than they already are, if that's at all possible.

Contrary to what some may think we do not have to "police" the world. Other countries can handle things on their own. Why do we have to be so nosey? And why only to particular countries? We don't seem to give a damn about Dafur or Sierra Leone so....why is Israel and Lebanon higher on our list? Because the middle east countries have money and oil? Sierra Leone has diamonds...but the Bush family doesn't have any money in that, and it isn't a "necessity" like oil. So it doesn't have the demand.

So NO, we shouldn't be critical of America for not stopping the violence. I don't think we really have that power. Maybe only to delay it for a little while. Their hatred and hurt is incomprehensible to Americans. The only way to stop violence, is to stop the hate. The only way to stop hate...is through forgiveness and education. But if all that hate is passed down from one generation to the next...then it's only a matter of time before the violence starts up again. We should stay out of it.

-Thanks
Theresa
Posted By Anonymous Theresa-- New York, New York : 10:15 AM ET
A big "Ow-rah" to the Marines and to you and your team Anderson.
Posted By Anonymous Roberta, Lake Forest, CA : 10:15 AM ET
Well done Anderson. I agree.
Posted By Anonymous Atlanta, GA : 10:17 AM ET
Well this is no surprise as you can see how well oiled our operations can work when you don't have bureaucratic red tape hindering operation. The Homeland Security office can take lessons from our Military. God Bless our troops.
Posted By Anonymous Virgil E. Irvine, Ky : 10:17 AM ET
It's good to hear praise for the Americans helping through the destruction in Lebanon.
Posted By Anonymous Christian Orlando, FL : 10:17 AM ET
hats go off to our military. they great are humanitarians. great story ac.
Posted By Anonymous Jordan (Gibsonia, PA) : 10:20 AM ET
It is nice to see someone pointing out what the government does right. Thank you Mr. Cooper. Your work, like the work of the Armed Forces, is inspiring to all of us back home.
Posted By Anonymous John, Carmel, Indiana : 10:21 AM ET
I am so very proud of our military. It takes very special, unselfish, caring people to do what they do. They risk their lives everyday and we sit at home or work in our air conditioned buildings and complain that they are not doing what WE think they need to be doing. Thank you for reminding us that our service men and women care also and are striving to make this a better world for everyone.
Posted By Anonymous Mary, Madisonville, KY : 10:24 AM ET
Anderson- Thank you for the continued excellent reporting...and for letting us know what is going on behind the scenes on the ground.Dissappointment is not with the Folks you have seen working so hard, dissappointment is with our Leadership to respond in a timely manner.
Posted By Anonymous allie,cleveland,ohio : 10:26 AM ET
Amen, Anderson. It's rarely reported when things go right, so thank you for your post. So many people put their lives on the line every day so the rest of us can enjoy the freedoms we have here.
Posted By Anonymous Lisa, Nashville, TN : 10:26 AM ET
Thank you for taking the time to point out the contributions our service people and State Department have made in trying to evacuate Americans from Lebanon. With all the criticism leveled at our government lately (and much of it justified!)we sometimes forget that government agencies are made up of people, not just policies, and that many of these people are compassionate, caring people who are truly concerned about the welfare of all those involved in this conflict. I was very glad to hear that the United States will be sending humanitarian aid to the Lebanese people, the images of the suffering in that country (and in Israel as well) have been heartbreaking to watch.

Thank you also for taking the time to blog and let us know your travel plans (whenever that is possible!) and for letting us know how you and your team are doing. Believe me, those of us praying for your safety and well-being are always glad to see a blog from you or someone on your team!
Posted By Anonymous Phyllis Miller Lancaster, PA : 11:04 AM ET
Being the Marines and State Department people in action, up close, is inspiring.

Aww how sweet. Sure to suck the favor of some of your readers, what with so many now being employed by gov't.

Yes the Marines and soldiers are doing their job thanks again. That really is all that needed to be said.

Ofcourse you felt it necessary to take 4 paragraphs to justify this really insignificant facet of a larger issue.

We are quick to point out when our government fails; it's important to recognize when it works as well.

Ah yes, a backdoor appeal to patriotism. I guess we should all be quiet and thank the employees of our military and State dept's who cost us each, through taxation, about $2000/yr.

Naa, I'll just say of them: sorry you have to get out of the office and work.


That is all.
Posted By Anonymous Tony, OKLAHOMA CITY, OK : 11:06 AM ET
I find it humorous that the Democrats compare the evacuation to hurricane Katrina. The evacuation of Americans from a foreign country requires careful planning, where as the resources and plans should already be in place for a disaster in your own backyard.
Anderson, kudos to you and your crew. Keep up the excellent work.
Posted By Anonymous Keisha R., Kansas City, MO : 11:07 AM ET
Amen Anderson. Those Marines knew going into this what they were up against. The memory of their past time in Beruit was vivid on their minds. But they didn't let that stop them from helping out. You could see they truly were glad to be able to help out. They are doing a great job, as are you and crew.
Glad to hear you got some much needed sleep. You did look abit tired last night. Thanks for taking time to blog.
Be safe up there at the border.
Posted By Anonymous Jean, St. Charles, Mo. : 11:14 AM ET
Great last sentence Anderson. We do forget sometimes that they are doing the best they can with what they have and sometimes they mess it all up. I think in this case they were doing a great job and again people forget we had 25,000 americans over there and all the other countries combined did not come close to that total. Great job.
Posted By Anonymous Mike Dallas Texas : 11:17 AM ET
Let me preface this by saying the CNN team is doing a great job at covering a very difficult situation. That said, please remember the big picture. While the main story right now is the crisis in the Middle East, it is not the ONLY story. A little more balance on events in the rest of the world would be helpful.

And not to be critical, but how many reporters do we need to see standing in Israel cringing as shots are fired behind them, while reporters in Lebanon are covering the destruction and suffering... the shots and suffering are happening on both sides, and pictures say more than words.

Anderson, and you were looking for suggestions of places to visit and stories to cover this summer... looks like you didn't need our help.
Posted By Anonymous Barb, Cleveland OH : 11:27 AM ET
Atta Boy to the USMC and the Navy. (it's a generic term, women get atta boys too.) I think it went unnoticed for the most part that this was the first time Marines stepped foot in Lebanon since 1984. I'm glad to see them doing good work and even more glad you took the time to notice it. And for those complaining - who do you think you are? Vacations and life in the middle east comes with a certain amount of risk. Where is the concept of personal responsibility any more? If I go to Somolia for a visit do I get to demand that the Army come get me out? I think not.
Posted By Anonymous Susan, Salt Lake City, UT : 11:46 AM ET
Thank you Anderson! It is about time someone gave credit when credit is due to our marines and government for doing a fantastic job under the circumstances. And thanks to you and your crew for giving us all the angles. Keep up the good work!
Posted By Anonymous Mel, Manchester NH : 11:47 AM ET
Anderson, you and the 360 team are giving us great coverage of the conflict in the Middle East. I also appreciate you giving us a view "from all the angles" This is what we need to see and hear. Keep safe and thanks.
Posted By Anonymous Anthony, San Francisco, CA : 11:49 AM ET
Anderson,
Thank you for your thoughtful comments today. Although there was some criticism of the slow response to the evacuation of our citizens from the Middle East, I don't think anyone blames individual members of our military for these delays. I believe all of us respect and appreciate the positive efforts of our military in any situation. We may not be there covering the story, but we can still appreciate the sacrifices they are making for our country every day. Those responsible, from both parties, for the recent problems and the problems during Katrina were sitting behind a desk back in Washington weighing the options. I don't think it was a coincidence that things started to happen soon after much of this criticism was voiced. I am relieved that the delay did not result in tragedy. I look forward to tonight's program.
Posted By Anonymous Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio : 11:55 AM ET
Anderson, thank you for saying that. I, like others are always willing to point out the bad that involves our government and usually don't say much except maybe "It's about time" when things turn out right. Most are so spoiled and are usually completely clueless as Americans. I do include myself as much as I hate to admit it. Honestly, all the "little" people in our government including those outstanding brave men and women who serve us are never (at least not for me) the issue in situations like this. Our military showed us just how great they were in Katrina ironically when they sent someonoe down there that wasn't afraid to use his tongue to say F... the red tape and paperwork! Most ordinary people with our government do what their there to do but have been taught you have to have "orders" first. So half the time they hurry up and wait just to be able to begin work! It's our administration I have a problem with. NOT the people who actually DO the work!

I do agree with what another poster that said that as along as people like yourselves at CNN "keep them honest" then hopefully they will learn that they can't get away with things without you guys shinning the spotlight on it.

Great program last evening. But, I didn't expect anything less. All of you derserve a big round of applause and firm pat on the back!!

One more thing, I'm certainly not asking you to move on (oh heaven's NO) but could you spend a little more time on what's going on in our war now with Irag and Afghanistan? It's been just as bad if not way worse lately and no one is there to make sure the government is telling us the truth!!!
Posted By Anonymous Karen, Atoka, TN : 12:01 PM ET
This blog has gone to the dogs.

Most of the post you broadcast at this point are pats on the back for Anderson & CNN. This is not the forum for self-congratulations, this is supposed to be a forum for public discourse on Israelis attack on Lebanon.

AND FOR THE MILLIONTH TIME, THIS WAR STARTED IN 1947 WITH THE ILLEGAL AND FORCED CREATION OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL. UNTIL THAT YEAR THERE WAS NO ISRAEL AND THEREFORE THERE WAS NO CONFLICT WITH HE ISRAELIS. EXCEPT OF COURSE WHEN JEWISH TERRORISTS WERE BLOWING UP HOTELS AND HOMES AND PEOPLE IN PALESTINE TO FORCE THE CREATION OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL. BUT, THAT'S SOMETHING ELSE ENTIRELY.

STOP BROADCASTING POSTS BY PSEUDO-INTELLECTUAL BLOGGERS THAT STATE THE MIDDLE EAST HAS BEEN AT WAR FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS.

This is not the time for emotional conjecture by the ignorant masses, as Maya Angelou says this is the time for the thinkers of society to think.
Posted By Anonymous Cici, Dallas , Texas : 12:05 PM ET
It's nice to hear the military is doing such a great job, especially in a place where they were so devastated years ago. Thanks!
Posted By Anonymous H.M. Breuer, Lt. Col, Ret., San Diego, CA : 12:10 PM ET
I'm not impressed. To be sure, our military is efficient, but it is misled and misused by this White House. If we actually had a compitent President, we wouldn't be bogged down in Iraq and we would be free and able to have headed the mess off in Lebanon before it ever got out of hand. As things stand now, however, nobody trusts us. The incompetence of everyone involved here is just astounding. Hamas and Hizbolla are thugs and whack jobs, everyone knows it, but the Paletinian people elected them to be their government, so did the Lebanese. And the idiots in Europe have actually sent money to them out of some sort of misguided philosophy of humanism. Our riculous foreign policy under Bush has led all of these lunatics, Arabic and European, to run wild. None of this would have happened under a Kerry or Gore Presidency.
Posted By Anonymous Mike Brooks, Eugene, Oregon : 12:10 PM ET
"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem". President Ronald Reagan
Posted By Anonymous Chris, Omaha, Ne : 2:11 PM ET
Wow. Anderson Cooper is an apologist for the Bush Administration.

My response to the effort by the State Department and the Marines is that they are doing their job. Should we commend someone for simply doing their job? No, we should commend people for doing their job well and I have yet to see that.

Here is a prediction: Ms. Rice will get some sort of cease fire enacted and there will be so much praise for the effort. Meanwhile people will forget about the suffering caused. Anderson Cooper will head off to the next headline emergeny, while those mourning the deaths will go on.

We need (and the journalists should be required) to ask the tough questions. I have yet to see many of these. Questions like how many children would have NOT been harmed if Ms. Rice had gotten to the region sooner. How much bloodshed could have been avoided if President Bush had made a sustained and aggressive effort with the parties involved immediately after this started.

I am not impressed. I do not think anyone is doing a good job, even you Mr. Cooper.
Posted By Anonymous David Dunaway, Corte Madera, CA : 2:21 PM ET
Thank you for your commentary on this blog, Anderson. I am not able to watch the news on CNN because of the way the station dramatizes an already stressful war. Isn't it sressful enough without adding dramatic music? And must CNN constantly have a split screen so they can show continuous clips of bombing, rubble, bloody people, etc? I love your reporting, Anderson, but I watch the stations that don't have all the extra drama and the streaming headline news. So thanks for the blog, I keep up with you here. Stay safe.
Posted By Anonymous Janet, Gilbert, Arizona : 2:25 PM ET
Mmm...so, our military is at its best when it focuses on humanitarian missions. Maybe there's a lesson here for Iraq and our foreign policy in general.

Could Iraq look different if our military acted more to rebuild the infrastructure and provide food and other resources? It seems to work in building legitimacy /respect among so many for Hezbollah, so perhaps we can learn a lesson from such a violent group. Only, maybe we could drop the violent bit.

Peace and safety to all in the Middle East, including the innocent people of Iraq who are being killed at such an alarming rate. I hope you and all the other reporters working so hard to bring us the good and the bad stay safe as well. I see many reporters are often wearing their vests but no helmets. Why? We care more about all of your safety than if you have "helmet hair."

P.S. I agree with the post about the professor (Fawaz Gereges, I believe) from Sarah Lawrence. It was a very interesting conversation and I felt like I learned a lot. More conversations with people like him would be great. It is important to talk to people firmly in one camp or the other, for sure, but the ideas that will bring about peace will likely only come from those who truly want it, those who can see that all sides have made mistakes and acted inappropriately (to put it mildly) over the decades.
Posted By Anonymous Norah, West Chester, PA : 2:43 PM ET
I said the same thing when I watched (on TV) the last, mass helicopter evacuations from the U.S. Embassy rooftop in Saigon in '75.

I said the same thing when I watched (on TV) General Honore(?) (finally) orchestrate the rescue and relief efforts, through the flooded streets of New Orleans, in the 3rd or 4th day after Katrina.

The military is doing their job. Yes, they are at risk. But, so were the FDNY and the NYPD during 9/11..... perishing under terrorist attacks.

Hip, hip, horray! The State Department and other government organizations have the military in place (in Lebanon), fairly quickly, doing their jobs, which in this case, happens to be something good! Something humanitarian!

However, this is the same government that has 150,000+ troops in harms way in Iraq and Afghanistan - of which Bush wants to re-deploy more troops from other regions of the country - straight into Baghdad where 100+ people are being killed per day. This is not good. This is not humanitarian. Why does the government always feel they have to police the world? Why must we ALWAYS stay in these God-forbidden places until "democrary is in place", or "democrary is restored". Usually where it's NEVER existed before.

Sigh....

If I were in your place, actually watching the evacuations taking place, I'd probably say the same thing... "We are quick to point out when our government fails; it's important to recognize when it works as well"......

Cause we don't often see the "well oiled" machine working very well amid Bush's politics and red tape.

Can we get out of there? Can you guys come home? Until then, be safe.
Posted By Anonymous Julie, St. Louis, MO : 2:44 PM ET
No, not Katrina, but once again, the pale people tend to get evacuated when the dark people wait and wait and can't get out.
Yes, finally we are beginning to evacuate the Westerners/Americans-- while we speed bombs and munitions to the Israelis to continue the seige, but good news, blankets are on the way to cover those who have lost their homes, families. Did we include body bags in our "aid" package?

Still, let's try to get out as many as possible, or you'll be reporting how many Americans were killed by American made bombs! Or will that get reported?

Peace.
Posted By Anonymous Sonja, New Orleans LA : 3:06 PM ET
Anderson,
It is so important to focus on the good! Thank you for shedding light on our men who risk their lives everyday just to do their jobs! And thank you for your coverage of truth! Blessings, to you and all over there, who are just doing their jobs!
Posted By Anonymous Andrea Marine, Loveland, CO : 6:39 PM ET
Thank you for this column. I can't believe there was no negative "but" side to it. We really need to praise the good works our armed forces and government are doing...no one else in the world will.

I thank God for them all every day. You will be in there today too, Anderson.

Thank you.
Posted By Anonymous Bonnie, Lakewood, CO : 6:45 PM ET
I'm confused. Lebanon claims they have been invaded and that they are an injured group of civilians. But I haven't seen many (any?) Lebanese interview respondents on CNN who agree that Hezbolla should be disarmed, or who admit to any Hazbolla fault for the initial bombing or the 2 soldiers. I get the impression Lebanon & Hezbolla are solid, tight allies and that Lebanon admires and supports Hezbolla, while whining out of the other side of their faces about getting bombed.
Canada has facilitated the repatriation of planeloads of Lebanese (Canadian citizens!), paid for their transport and last week the terrorists had a demonstration in downtown Vancouver. They have used Canada by becoming citizens, moved back to Lebanon and then demanded safe passage when they run into any retaliation for their crimes. I feel like a fool for being taken in, as one Canadian, by their sinister tactics.

Come on Israel! Stop them!
Posted By Anonymous C.A. Clark, Vancouver, BC, Canada : 9:54 AM ET
Thank you Anderson, its nice to know someone notices and more, speaks of it.
Posted By Anonymous Gloria, Yellville, AR : 1:41 PM ET
Bible Reader's Tourist that travel to study religion !
The number of dollars alone that Bible study has brought over the years ought to be enough to insure free travel for a thousand years!!!
Posted By Anonymous Kenneth Wegener grover beach ca : 12:37 AM ET
My Dear Anderson,
It's easy to understand how you would get confused. What with the time being 7 Hrs. ahead and all the conflict that's going on. I worry constantly about your safety and health. I'm afraid your hard work will take it's toll on you. You look tired. You don't have any idea how many people love and need you here.(your mom must be at her wits end). Can't you just come home and report from the news desk? Please be very careful. You and the crew are in my thoughts and prayers. Take care and come home soon!
Be safe,
Bert Piper,
Bremen, Ky.
Posted By Anonymous Bert Piper--Bremen, Ky. : 1:12 AM ET
Your words are so true and are rarely brought to others attention. Unfortunately, failures always seem to take center stage. Yes, our government has so much room for improvement when it comes to aiding in any type of disaster but that doesn't mean that they never get anything right. Credit should be given for the tens of thousands of lives saved.
Posted By Anonymous Kim U., Grand Rapids, MI : 9:12 PM ET
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