Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Political Storm Warning: Take Shelter Immediately

If you want to know what’s going on in the world, particularly in the Middle East at the moment, there are plenty of media sources, some reliable, some not so, like Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC. If you really want to know what’s going on in the Middle East, read the Jerusalem Post or a columnist like Andrew McCarthy. His column is always on target and yesterday’s column was especially good. You can find him on National Review Online. The article is about the fate and second-class status of women in the Islamic world.

If double-talk is what you go for, however, read the U.S. State Department’s Travel Warnings. Lately, they’ve been updating their Middle East travel warnings on a daily basis. Apparently, State doesn’t read or watch the Media at all. These ostriches apparently have their heads buried so deep in the Sahara, they have no idea what’s happening. The riots, to them, are nothing but the rumbling of anonymous feet overhead. They haven’t a clue who the feet belong to, for what cause they throng to and fro, or over whom the feet are trampling, and don’t want to know.

The name of CBS reporter Lara Logan is evidently unknown to them. Tsk, tsk, tsk! She should have participated in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). Then maybe they would have known she was being assaulted by an angry mob of over 200 who clearly recognized she was American, and somehow knew she was Jewish as well. Was she wearing a Yellow Star of David that they knew this? Katie Couric nearly suffered the same fate. I hope perky little Katie wasn’t injured, but the look of shock on her face as the crowd of men overwhelmed her told the whole story.

They probably haven’t received word yet, since it’s just broken, that the four Americans kidnapped on their yacht off the Somali coast have been murdered. The Media finally got around to reporting the incident as a “murder” rather than a “killing” as though a tsunami had overtaken their vessel rather than Islamic brigands. We must be careful how we report things, after all. They ‘had it coming,” though, in the eyes of the Muslim world. These cruise-saders were Bible peddlers, “meddlers” interfering with the conversion of the world to an Islamic caliphate. Who did they think they were, anyway, spreading the Word of God? Why, the very nerve.

It’s lucky they’d sailed out of Oman instead of say, Egypt, where State warns American travelers that their ability to render assistance is “limited,” although the two couples were murdered during a rescue attempt by the U.S. Navy. The embassies in most of the besieged countries have sent their non-essential personnel home and are closed for only but the most extreme emergencies. For now, the Libyan Embassy is still open. That could change by tomorrow, however. State warns Americans not to travel to these countries. If you’re already there, get out of town quick, and if you can’t evacuate, prepare to hole up, as the embassies have. Or as they diplomatically put it, “Make preparations to shelter in place.”

Still, they add, ‘but Americans and Westerners are in no danger. They’re not the targets of any potential violence.’ Just make sure you’re not around if any civil unrest breaks out and if you are, get the hell out of there. And leave your Bibles at home. Saudi Arabia forbids foreigners to bring any religious books or artifacts with them.

This was the State Department’s Feb. 21st Travel Warning for Libya:

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the potential for ongoing unrest in Libya. Violent clashes between protesters and security forces continue throughout Libya, including in Tripoli. Spontaneous demonstrations, violence, and looting are possible throughout the next several days. The Department of State has ordered all Embassy family members and non-emergency personnel to depart Libya. U.S. citizens outside of Libya are urged to defer all travel to Libya. U.S. citizens in Libya should minimize overall travel in-country, exercise extreme caution when traveling, and limit all travel after dark. U.S. citizens not departing Libya should make preparations to shelter in place. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning dated Feb. 20, 2011.

U.S. citizens should exercise extreme caution, avoid areas where demonstrations are likely to occur such as government offices and public squares, and leave an area immediately if a demonstration begins. Demonstrations have degenerated on several occasions into violent clashes between security forces and protesters, resulting in injuries and deaths. The U.S. Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid all demonstrations, as even peaceful ones can quickly become unruly and a foreigner could become a target of harassment, or worse. While demonstrations have not been directed toward Westerners, U.S. citizens are urged to remain alert to local security developments and to be vigilant regarding their personal security. U.S. citizens should take the appropriate steps to bolster their personal security. Again, there is no indication that Westerners are being threatened or targeted at this time.

Unannounced security checkpoints and road and airport closures may occur throughout Libya, changing traffic patterns and flight availability without notice. Due to ongoing internet and telephone service interruptions in Libya, U.S. citizens who require assistance in departing Libya should contact the U.S. State Department at the phone numbers below or via email at

The U.S. Embassy in Tripoli can be reached at +218 (0)21-337-3250 during business hours; the after hours emergency number for emergencies involving U.S. citizens is 091-220-5207. The Embassy’s website is at Security updates can be found at The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy is located in the Ben Ashour neighborhood on Jeraba Street behind the former Libyan-Swiss Clinic.

All U.S. citizens in Libya are encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at the following website: By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency. For the latest security information on travel and security in Libya, U.S. citizens living and traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet web site at, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Alerts, Travel Warnings, and health-information resources can be found. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S. and Canada or, for callers in other areas by calling a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

The world is shrinking for Westerners. Pretty soon, we won’t even be safe in our own country. Bahrain, the Media failed to inform us, is the home of the Navy’s 5th Fleet. Libya supplies much of Europe’s oil; its main trading partners are Italy, Germany, and France. Consequently, the price of oil skyrocketed today, as the Dow Jones plunged. With China and India rising as the energy-consuming super-powers, the Middle East isn’t as dependent on our dependency on their oil as they once were, and can now afford to overthrow their Western-style democracies. Dictators both friendly and unfriendly are being booted out, even iron-chewing America-haters such as Moammar Qadaffi are on notice.

We’re not much better off back home here, with communist and mob-funded public employee unions shaking their baseball bats at us for daring to change union states over to right-to-work states.

In the Middle East, the caliphatists, in league with communists, are breaking down the walls of political society to prepare the way for a one-world government. Individual leaders are a threat to that plan. Unsavory as we might find Qadaffi, someone worse is lurking behind the curtain.

But that’s a warning the State Department will never issue.


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