A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

weird warden messages

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on October 22, 2007

Yesterday I received a very strange warden message from the US Embassy in Kuwait. Twice – and once more from my aunt. Needless to say, I took it very seriously.

(I know – its been over a year since my last trip there, but the embassy wardens still keep me up to date. And thank goodness – if I held my breath waiting for the embassy here to pass on any critical information, I would be … dead. And blue.)


This Travel Warning alerts American citizens to the ongoing fighting and political tensions in Lebanon and advises them of safety and security concerns. The Department of State continues strongly to urge that Americans defer travel to Lebanon, and that American citizens in Lebanon consider carefully the risks of remaining. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning issued on December 22, 2006.

This warning alerts U.S. citizens to the renewed threat of attacks against western and Lebanese government interests by the extremist group Fatah Al-Islam. Similar threats also were made by the militant groups Jund Al-Sham and Al-Qaeda. The Department of State remains concerned about the personal safety and security of American citizens as the fighting continues at the Nahr El-Barad refugee camp. Sporadic fighting also has occurred outside several other refugee camps. U.S. citizens who visit refugee camps in Lebanon risk becoming trapped during hostilities. On June 7, a bomb exploded in the town of Zouk Mousbeh, north of Beirut . This was the fifth small-scale bomb attack in greater Beirut in recent weeks and follows the June 7 discovery of explosives-laden vehicles in eastern Lebanon . Since May 20, explosions have occurred in the Beirut neighborhoods of Achrafieh and Verdun, the Beirut suburb of Sad Al-Bouchrieh, and the resort town of Aley. The possibility of related episodes of violence in popular districts of Beirut and other tourist areas in Lebanon remains high…

Not to throw cold water on this warning, but … June 7 was a long time ago (and its “Bared” or “Barid”, not “Barad” – “cold”, not “refrigerator”). We’ve had several big bombs since then, each taking multiple lives: the June 13 bomb in Manara, which killed Walid Eido and more than ten others; and the September 19 bomb in Sin el-Fil, which killed Antoine Ghanem and six … I think … others.

Also, the Nahr al-Bared conflict ended September 2.

I would be the first to agree that Lebanon has many, many problems, but I think someone sent out the wrong warden message. As with the strange Syrian warning my aunt blogged about a few weeks ago, I’m more worried about Israel causing havoc here than I am about homegrown nuts.

I appreciate being warned about real threats – even if the US Embassy here in Lebanon can’t be bothered to send them. But warnings that address outdated events while ignoring current issues? I can do better than this by reading the newspaper :|.


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