Like the National Post editors, I’ve about had enough of the incessant whining.
It is not only the Canadian government that is being criticized over alleged tardiness and ineptitude in organizing the removal of nationals from war-torn Lebanon. The British, U.S., Australian and many other governments are also being pounded with similar claims of incompetence by frustrated citizens. Obviously, fear and frustration help to account for such sentiments. Those who have called the Canadian embassy in Beirut only to be greeted by a repeated busy signal are understandably exasperated. They want to get safely out and they want their loved ones to get safely out. Even so, there is more behind the tantrums than simple fear: There is an inflated sense of entitlement.
For a dispassionate observer, the fact that the evacuation of tens of thousands of people from a distant land should commence as soon as it has, appears like a logistical triumph. Yet instead of relief and thanks, officials are being greeted with haughtiness and breathtaking ingratitude. “It’s been disgusting, the way we have been treated,” complained one woman as she stomped up the gangplank of a British destroyer with her Lebanese husband in tow, apparently oblivious to the vast resources that had been deployed on short notice to assist in her departure. It is as if the entire apparatus of the state existed merely for her travel convenience.
By its scale, the Canadian effort is perhaps unprecedented in our modern history. It is obvious to anyone who cares to look that the Canadian government cares deeply about the fate of Canadian and dual citizens in Lebanon. Is it too much to expect a simple “thanks”?
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