But on the other hand, in the midst of the chaos, you find normal people. You find people who are willing to risk their lives to tell you what they saw, even though they have no dog in the fight.
When I see somebody being mistreated, my eyes tear up and I want to stop it. And I believe that the best thing I can do is to write about it, because if I insert myself into the equation it doesn't really do much good, but if I write about it I think it could do more good.
My main form of transportation at that time was a bicycle, because bicycles could move though the crowd.
I think to a certain extent in Bosnia and among the Hutus in Rwanda and also among the Tutsis in Rwanda who then took revenge on the Hutus, there is a sense of being swept up and a sense that the society in which they live has gone mad.
The one indication that I got that I was doing the right job in Bosnia was that at different periods of time all the factions came down very hard on me.
Srebrenica was a horrendous war crime and it had to be uncovered.
One of the problems that we have as American journalists is that we bring the American cultural baggage with us and we plop it down and it follows us around and that's just a fact of life.
I had my life threatened by Bosnian Serbs on numerous occasions.
And when they do spin out of control there are important ramifications that affect America, not just its direct national interest but its broader interests as a nation which has thought of itself as a beacon to other nations, of freedom, liberty, democracy, whatever.
For me the much more significant question is what did the Americans do, if anything, to help the Croatian army, because they are the ones that changed fundamentally the map of Bosnia, not the Bosnian army.
And then I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to go to China in 1980, which was quite early.
Stanford had no journalism program so I just learned by doing, effectively.
I was posted to China in the summer of 1988, which was the greatest time ever, I think, to have been in China.
I've been shot at on numerous occasions.
In some ways the domestic reporting is a lot easier because Americans will talk to you about anything.
For un-subscribe please check the mail footer.