July 23, 2006

PETA's Abandoned "Americans" in Lebanon

Put this in the "Only from the Left" category. PETA is upset with America's leadership for failing to evacuate animals from Lebanon. This from PETA's web site:

PETA has sent an urgent letter to Brig. Gen. Carl Jensen—the military commander in charge of U.S. evacuation operations in Lebanon—begging him to instruct his officers to help evacuees take their animals with them to safety and bringing international attention to the government’s failure to serve all Americans trapped in Lebanon.

While the French government has made provisions for animal evacuations, the U.S. is doing the opposite.

Please immediately urge President George W. Bush not to break the law by encouraging abandonment of companion animals and to ensure the safety of all Americans in Lebanon by ordering that citizens be allowed to evacuate with their animal companions.

The reference to all Americans, meaning that animals belonging to U.S. citizens are also Americans, is straight from PETA. Their priorities for evacuation might be "Dogs and cats first, women and children next, Republicans never."

Well, PETA, once you get the vote for animals, I'm sure that some Democrats will demand government paid passage home for them. The only question that I have is that for a dog to vote, does he have to be 18 in human years or dog years?

Posted by Woody M. at July 23, 2006 08:50 PM | TrackBack

Hey Woody,

I am afraid I am going to have to agree with you on this one, PETA is really getting out of hand if their making statements like this.

Posted by Virgil Johnson at July 24, 2006 01:57 AM

Yeah, I read your link - they said it......

Posted by Virgil Johnson at July 24, 2006 01:59 AM

I can understand concern for animals, but God will take care of them ... we don't need this people.

Posted by Jo at July 24, 2006 04:59 AM

Well, if the military did evacuate dogs, at least they would be happy and wagging their tails, unlike some of the human evacuees immitating certain canines--ungrateful bit@&$s.

Posted by Woody at July 24, 2006 07:15 AM

What do you have against man's best friend?

Posted by Love at July 24, 2006 10:46 AM

Sorry, don't agree with either the tone or the content of this post.

Sure, it is not the first priority, but if the logistics allow I don't see why the animals should be abandoned. Just because PETA says it does not make it a 'bad' idea per se. So they go overboard with the all Americans bit. Big deal. The 'core' argument is still sound.

The same as in natural disasters, there should be provision for the rescue of pets. If it is 'possible and not prohibitive', this is a good policy.

If the French can do it for crying out loud, surely the US Navy can as well.

Let's save the 'toughness' for those who really deserve it. It's not 'tough' to abandon someone's 'friend', unless it is absolutely required. It's just 'mean spirited'. Yes we all know that there are more important things to consider, but we can't do much about those. Something CAN be done here.

Some in Northern Israel won't abandon their homes because they fear for their 'friends'. Guess they deserve criticism as well.

Posted by dougf at July 24, 2006 12:49 PM

PETA wants animals saved before humans. When it comes to things like natural disasters and wars and the like, (major events) groups like this should be banned from making press releases. Their agenda is so far off hardly anyone pays attention to them; they're work and advocacy towards animals in other times takes on a very un-serious tone. PETA has lost a lot of respect on the past several years because of their stories like this.

Posted by Raven at July 24, 2006 01:38 PM

DougF, I don't think that it is as easy as you think. Trying to evacuate people is severely hampered by concerns for the pets. Animals and crowds of people on planes and boats don't go well together. The last time that worked, it was pulled off by Noah.

I really understand a person's love for his pet, which is why I, not trusting the government, would make some provision for my neighbors or someone else to care for the animal until it could be retrieved, or I would have it shipped out separately myself. If the evacuees don't like it, then they can refuse the free trip out and handle the expenses themselves.

How much money is PETA donating for this purpose?

Also, just because the French do something is only reason for us to consider not doing it. They do a lot of things that we don't, and we do a lot of things that they don't. Which country is better? (I can hear it two-hundred years ago: "The French behead criminals, so we should, too.")

Posted by Woody at July 24, 2006 02:04 PM

Woody, I actually agree with your point about "trying to evacuate people is severely hampered by concerns for the pets."

Amazing, eh ?

However that does not mean that I come to the same conclusions. In a natural disaster and situations such as this, as I said previously, "if the logistics allow", the pets should be considered. If this was the operating principle, I hazard that evacuations might even go MORE smoothly and would certainly be performed more 'humanely'.

This is not 'effete', or 'liberal' or even necessarily 'humanitarian'. It just makes sense. People are attached to their pets and some (maybe more than some) will not leave without them. This in my book makes them 'better' not 'worse' people, and exactly the type we should be most concerned about rescuing. But that's just me.

I'm sure I could wander around the net and find 'studies', 'surveys' and 'articles' , supporting this contention, but it's so obvious that need I bother?

If we are talking a rushed emergency transport under fire, then that is one thing. A 'planned' extraction is entirely another. A little forethought and perhaps it does not have to be another Noah's Arc in order to succeed.

We went through the same thing during Katrina, and we all saw the stories about those who would not leave their 'friend'. In fact, I recall Geraldo had a BIG story on exactly this topic. Did he blame that old woman for not being able to leave her friend or suggest that she should just 'find her own way' out? Did any of the audience ? I think not.

If they CAN be saved than they SHOULD be saved. And you probably know from my past posts here that I am NOT what could be classified as a bleeding heart liberal.

So we spend another small chunk of change to plan for this contingency in the future? Is that going to break the bank ? Was it going to cause REAL problems if the Government had done that this time?

Great minds I fear will just have to differ on this one.

ps--- The Guillotine was I believe, indeed VASTLY preferable to the 'string-em-up', technique actually employed. So the answer to that one is YES as well. Since you asked and all.

Posted by dougf at July 24, 2006 03:01 PM

DougF, I noticed your caveat about "if it were feasible." I just don't think that the rescuers can do that. You have to leave people behind if animals take their place. That's pretty much of a given.

What I pointed out is that someone who cares for a pet can do something to get it out. Even the people in New Orleans had two weeks notice to get out. Individuals need to take individual responsibility and quit whining to government.

Posted by Woody at July 24, 2006 05:31 PM

How about this: we take all of PETA's funds and use them to pay for shipping all pets safely out of the warzone and back into their families' arms, and we send PETA over in their place, you know, kind of like collateral (but we don't have to collect it back or anything)?

I see both of your points, Woody and dougf, and I think you two are both arguing at each other from the same side. I don't think any reasonable person would see a need to deliberately abandon any animal that could feasibly be rescued, but at the same time, when you are conducting a NEO (noncombatant evacutation operation), there is a HUGE amount of material to coordinate (passports, birth certificates, citizenship or immigration/visa papers, shot records, financial paperwork, any and all paperwork to do with children, your job, your possessions, your house/property in the country you're fleeing, and so on and so forth), and they are having to do this on the fly for several thousand people while all of them are in the way of fire. When you add to this the potential of having to house and feed animals (because you know there will be more than just dogs and cats), you'll have to account for all rabies, parvo, feline leukemia vaccinations (and all the gazillion others I can't remember/think of), you'll have to be able to guarantee them a safe berthing space, ensure they'll be in no danger from or especially *no danger to* any and all crew and passengers, not to mention coordinating whether or not the docking port will even receive them. I'm sure there are many other things I've left out.

When I was in the Army, serving in Korea, I was the NEO control NCO for our area, and it was my job to ensure that all the civilian contractors, their wives and dependents, and all the military wives and dependents (both command-sponsored and non-command-sponsored) would be able to be speedily evacuated in the event of Dear Leader Kim's desire for a beach party in Pusan. Those were some of the most grueling days I ever had in the Army, let me tell you, and that was just for an exercise! The USN/USMC have to do it for real, under fire, with frightened and possibly hysterical and ungrateful people - it's not a job for the faint of heart. Sometimes you have to make painful choices about what's the most important to you.

(*And besides, what the HELL were all those people doing in Lebanon when the State Dept has been telling people for AGES not to go to Lebanon because of the terrorist/ kidnapping/ bombing dangers from Hizballah?! And they have the nerve to whinge about paying?!? In the US, everyone who gets rescued from a situation like this -ie. where they had a choice not to be- pays for their rescue, whether it be the spelunker trapped in the underground cavern, or the diver rescued from the undersea cave, or the boaters rescued from dangerous waters by the Coast Guard; they all pay. Why should the evac from Lebanon be any different?)

Posted by Katje at July 24, 2006 08:16 PM

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