Monday, October 22, 2018

Political Commentary On Travel

US involvement in first war in Iraq started on a Wednesday night with bombing Baghdad, my second trip to Europe was scheduled for Friday of that week.  KLM cancelled my flight, rebooking me with a connection in Atlanta rather than a direct flight.  I pitched a fit, KLM moved us to business class.  When we got to Atlanta there were about 25 passengers boarding that 747, everyone in coach was moved to business class and they turned off the lights in the back of the plane.  A lot of people told me I was crazy to travel in the middle of a war.  I decided to go.  

The airline suggested being aware of the location of the US embassies, in Amsterdam and Paris the two locations we were to visit - just in case things went off the rails.  I remember walking past the US embassy in Paris, with guards with automatic weapons standing every 25 feet along the sidewalk all around the building.  Knowing, or at least thinking, that if something happened, that place was a place of refuge and safety.  

Then a reporter is murdered in the embassy of his country, in a foreign city.  A place that should have been safe for him.  He might be arrested, but to be murdered is intolerable.  And it took far too long for anyone to admit what happened and to take action - action only happened when denial and cover-up failed.  

The fact that he was a reporter should trouble us all. Demonizing the press you disagree with is a dangerous path. If you disagree with the press, release your side, correct obvious mistakes. But calling it fake news, saying that those that have different views are enemies of the state, leads to murder.  

There are places in the world I won't go, I am not unreasonable, I keep my political views to myself, usually even when I am not traveling.  Anyplace in the world, your countries embassy should be a safe place.  

End of political commentary. 

1 comment:

  1. these days NO PLACE is safe. the nazis have taken over, encouraged by the dump/bannon/miller/puitin.