For me the news junkie that I am...being outside of the US during such interesting times permits me to see how the US is actually portrayed and also how limited the information we receive really is. No offense to NPR ....I'm a regular listener and supporter. But having the opportunity to watch BBC International, EuroNews and Arabic (yes, in English) stations really shows how shallow our news reporting is in the US. There are far more events that occur that we, as Americans are just sheltered from.
For instance...you may recall the bombings of the US Embassies in Nairobi and Dar El Salam that left nearly 260 people dead, nearly all citizens of Kenya and Tanzania, in August 1998. This came after an American reporter was invited to interview Bin Laden just 10 weeks before...during this interview Bin Laden told him that he had declared war on Americans and vowed to begin killing both military and citizens. The US Ambassador Prudence Bushnell to Kenya...wrote then, Secretary of State Albright warning her that the the embassy was at high risk....but Albright never replied. Following the bombing, Albright called Bushnell to express condolences, etc....Bushnell asked "didn't you get my letter"....Albright was silent and then replied "no, I don't recall". Bushnell then went on to say before hanging up...."we have been warned".
You know the US taxpayers have spent 700 million dollars in search of Bin Laden....this doesn't include spending on the wars...just looking for him. It is horrific to see the injuires that the Kenyans who were working at the embassy as drivers, housekeepers, landscapers...ordinary people trying to feed their family...suffered. And, our government was asleep....caught up in the Monica Lewinsky drama...yes, it was at this same time that Clinton utterd his famous statement..."I did not have sexual relations with that woman"....but if you had kept your pants zipped..maybe September 11th would not have happened.
Sometimes, I worry that I'll be the victim of a terrorist attack...it won't be Bin Laden...it would be Armenian, Georgian, Iran or someone from one of the 'stan countries.....I haven't been to the US Embassy here yet.
Finally, guess who performed to sold out audiences in Beirut last week...Snoop Dogg...perhaps he'll be sent to talk to Hezzbolah too.