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American Diplomat

Author: 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.
144 Episodes
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The Arab Spring - Tunisia, Egypt - we know about these places. But Bahrain is almost never in the news.  What is its geopolitical significance, and strategic importance to the US?  And why was Ambassador Tom Krajeski in a tight spot when the Arab Spring came to Bahrain?  Can we walk and chew gum at the same time?
"But we're Americans. We don't lose wars."  False!  Ambassador and former National Security Advisor Tony Lake takes a hard look at American leadership in the world from Kennedy until the present time, when like so many countries, our democracy needs shoring up as well.  For more about Tony Lake, see this article in the Foreign Service Journal.
The Secret Dinners

The Secret Dinners

2021-02-1237:23

Like Chicago mobsters, hard line parties grab to divvy up the riches after the genocide in Bosnia has stopped. Ambassador Tom Miller, together with the British ambassador, organizes "secret dinners" that lead to a peaceable coalition of factions that brings stability and to great surprise wins the election 2000.  But after the noxious blue smoke clears, then what?
The Ugly American

The Ugly American

2021-02-0440:57

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 Vietnamese mountain people.  
Again in honor both of Black History Month and Linda Thomas-Greenfield's recent appointment as US ambassador to the United Nations, we repost our second chat with Linda from last summer: April 7, 1994, Rwanda. Not a good day to be mistaken for the acting Prime Minister. Linda Thomas-Greenfield shares the tale of her escape from the anti-government militia, while millions of others perished in the country’s genocide.
December 17, 2010

December 17, 2010

2021-01-2733:31

Mohammed Bouazizi, an underemployed fruit seller, sets himself on fire, launching what we later began calling the Arab Spring.  Ambassador Gordon Gray walks us through life on the ground in Tunisia, when things in the Arab world began to change.  Plus, read Gray's article in the Foreign Service journal for greater insight, at this link: https://www.afsa.org/sites/default/files/flipping_book/010221/41/
In honor of upcoming Black History Month, and in honor of the new administration, we repost our first episode with Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Biden's new Ambassador to the UN.  Go, Linda!  Here's the episode: “I respect your culture, but I do not believe it is your culture to allow women to die,” says Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield to the Taliban. And do you know what the Taliban did after that? And why? Listen to find out. 
Dan Kurtzer, Ambassador to both Egypt and Israel, parses this complex part of the world from his experience on the ground. Why was Anwar Sadat killed? What social forces produced the revolution of February 2011? And how is the average Egyptian living now? Better or worse than before?  
The Merchant of Death

The Merchant of Death

2021-01-1430:48

The worst of the worst: Victor Bout, Russian arms dealer, is not the only one. A a host of other nogoodnicks invest their nefarious proceeds in American cities such as Louisville, Dallas, Cleveland, unbeknownst to city officials. These criminals receive real estate tax breaks but never pay tax, drive up market prices, destroy jobs, and are never held accountable for any of their crimes because American laws have not, up to now, required them to identify themselves. But things are changing.
What exactly is dirty money, and how is it laundered?  How much of it flows through the world, and the United States in particular?  And how does it impact regular Americans going about our daily lives?  Kathleen Doherty, aka "the Dirty Money Tracker", shares her expertise.  
For some even better discussion with Gina, here's our second of two with her:  Religious police stop Gina and terrorists attack the consulate general in Jeddah.  See you next week with new original content.  Happy New Year!
Bet you haven't heard this one!  We recorded this story when we began the show a few years ago and no one knew about us yet. Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley regales, in her first of two episodes. Do you know where to find a hooker in Oman?  And what happens when your boss nixes your husband’s job choice in Saudi Arabia, but you really would like to stay married?   
Pete visits the Huarani Indians, botches up a boar hunt, drinks the mystery drink chicha, and receives upon his departure a marriage proposal, ambiguously addressed either to himself one of the other fine young gringos. Follows first episode, titled “Cowboys and Indian at the Embassy.”  New photos of this wild ride are now available at www.amdipstories.org.  Enjoy!
In this adventure tale in two parts, Pete visits the Huarani tribe in the Amazon jungle while serving as US Ambassador to Ecuador. Today, in light of Covid, Pete feels remorse. We promise that no one contracted any Western illness from Pete, but was he reckless? You be the judge. And in the meantime, meet Moi, tribal ambassador from the rainforest, here in part 1.
You’ve heard a zillion stories of adventures in Foreign Service. How did all of these regular people become such erudite heroes of public service? They took the Foreign Service Test. And so, for your entertainment, Laura did, too. Here’s a hiatus repost of one of our most fun episodes ever. Did she pass? Did she live? Were the questions fair? Were the examiners fair? Pete and Dave Rabadan are tough. Was Laura tough enough?
Join us for some of Pete's jokes (Laura laughed, we promise) and our annual show featuring stories of Thanksgiving overseas.  Enjoy!  Stay safe!  ~Pete & Laura
Bill Burns, one of our favorite guests, is shortlisted for Secretary of State in the Biden administration. Go, Bill! We're reposting our discussion with him from last year about his book "The Back Channel," which is even more timely now than it was when it was first published. Plus, Pete has a story about his recent visit to Trumpland.  Enjoy!
We're on hiatus until January - so we want to hear from you as we look ahead to future programming.  Send us your questions, ideas, comments at amdipstories@gmail.org, on Facebook or at www.amdipstories.org.  And enjoy a rerun, a propos of this week's election, of "The Man of My Dreams."  See you soon!
That Day I Had to Run

That Day I Had to Run

2020-10-2922:13

April 7, 1994, Rwanda. Not a good day to be mistaken for the acting Prime Minister. Linda Thomas-Greenfield shares the tale of her escape from the anti-government militia, while millions of others perished in the country's genocide.
A Few Choice Words

A Few Choice Words

2020-10-2218:08

"I respect your culture, but I do not believe it is your culture to allow women to die," says Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield to the Taliban. And do you know what the Taliban did after that? And why? Listen to find out. Go, Linda!
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Comments (2)

Nathan Viking Henkenius

Great Episode, love the outro music!

Oct 17th
Reply (1)
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