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American Diplomat

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American Diplomat

Ambassador (Retired) Pete Romero and Writer/Producer Laura Bennett

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American Diplomat goes behind the scenes to hear real stories from diplomats who lived newsworthy events overseas. Experience the Cuban revolution, Central American insurgencies, the end of apartheid and more through the eyes of those who were there. A project of the Una Chapman Cox Foundation in partnership with the American Academy of Diplomacy.
 
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Ted Osius retired from his post as US Ambassador to Vietnam when asked to implement covertly-devised deportation policies he found morally repugnant and un-American. Hear about his crisis of conscience and also of the heroic service of senators John McCain and John Kerry, Vietnam vets who did the right thing at great political cost. And read Ted's …
 
It's 1990, and Ian Brownlee, out walking his dog, meets a man whose visa application he had refused just that very morning. The man is about to swim across the river to his probable death, so Ian advises him of a much safer spot to cross, about 200 yards thataway. These are the old days of immigration. When and how did immigration become a multibil…
 
Consular officer Alan Eaton helped scores of Afghans at risk evacuate from Kabul, working from inside the Abbey Gate at the airport at exactly the moment when our friend Toobah was on the other side of the gate, trying to get through. As Alan explains, "This is Jews in Germany, 1940: These people have to get out." Some did get out, some didn't. Ala…
 
For Pride Month (belatedly posted due to events in Afghanistan and our coverage of those), Austin Richey-Allen recounts his story of gender transition in the Foreign Service. A trans kid, he discovered in adulthood that there is a term for his experience: gender dysphoria. From transition to leadership of GLIFA, Austin shares his story for the bene…
 
Our disastrous departure from Afghanistan. Hugo Llorens shares his knowledge of the Taliban's subgroups (hint: none abide by the Geneva Convention), his perspective on US domestic politics and its impact on the human tragedy in Afghanistan, and his view on what we might have done to exit the country with a conditions-based agreement focused on pres…
 
Or a traitor, anyway. In an eerily quiet region during the Vietnam war, from a banana grove in the middle of the night, Lionel Rosenblatt discovers that a US military official is guilty of supplying the enemy with life-saving medicine from the United States. Lionel is saved from a murderous reprisal through the assistance of his friends, the Vietna…
 
Amb. Ryan Crocker, Middle East expert, explains the value of Foreign Service Nationals and brings it all home with a story of the day that local staff saved his life. Toobah, a former employee of USAID, then tells us of her life, stuck at home in Kabul at all times because if she goes outside she will be killed in a most gruesome manner. And why? S…
 
HT, an Afghan interpreter who worked alongside US forces and has been denied a visa to come to the United States explains how he served, who in his family has been killed as a consequence of his service, and how difficult it is for him to find safety as the US departs his country. Tony Wayne opens the episode, speaking from the perspective of a US …
 
Communism drives immigration decisions, 1956. Hank Cohen is in love. It’s his first tour, and he’s in Paris. The Soviets invade Hungary and Hank helps thousands of refugees flee Communist aggression and make new lives in the US. But what about heartthrob megastar Yves Montand, who is an avowed Communist? How can Hank get him a visa? And about that …
 
A social worker by profession, Bonnie Miller traveled the world with her spouse Ambassador Tom Miller and created the first-ever course in Psychosocial Consequences of War in response to trauma she witnessed in Sarajevo. But the life changing moment came when she met victims of sexual trafficking. And that’s when Bonnie Miller really got started.…
 
Trick Question: What happened in Yalta in 1945? Probably more than you think! And why did those proceedings hold up the confirmation of Ambassador Avis Bohlen's father Charles Bohlen as Ambassador to the Soviet Union? Plus: Are things better in American politics today than during the McCarthy era, or worse?For the full story, see Avis's article in …
 
Why does the West find China so confounding in matters of business and diplomacy? Phil Shull, retired Foreign Agricultural Service officer, explains: China's culture and history may be best understood by its written character for "population", which is comprised of symbols for "person" and "mouth". Chinese don't ask, "How's it going?" but instead, …
 
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