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Former U.S. Ambassador Reflects On An 'Oblivious' America

Then-U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker (left) shakes hands with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in 2011. During his 37 years as a diplomat, Crocker served as ambassador to six Muslim countries.
Then-U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker (left) shakes hands with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in 2011. During his 37 years as a diplomat, Crocker served as ambassador to six Muslim countries.

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

Ryan Crocker is a long-time U.S. diplomat who served as ambassador in six Muslim countries. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian award, from President George W. Bush.

After every tour, I asked myself the same question. Is this what you want to do? Is there anything else you'd rather do? And for just about four decades, the answer was consistently no.

Born into a military family, Crocker says he was drawn to the foreign service because he grew up overseas and spent time traveling in the Middle East.

"One thing that was tough when I came back from Afghanistan, where you know we're in the middle of a war ... coming back from that to a country ... not opposed to war or the fight that I was in, but oblivious to it," he says.

This week, Crocker joins Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin to reflect on his career and the dangers of being an American diplomat in the Muslim world.

Join Our Sunday Conversation

Former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker says America has been Oblivious to the war. Do you agree? Tell us on Weekend Edition's Facebook page or in the comment section below.


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