Sunday, May 04, 2014

The U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan in 1969

In Chapter 20 of “OUIJA – For the Record,” the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan makes brief appearances.  My brother Mike became friends with his son Greg at the American International School of Kabul.

I remember only two occasions involving the ambassador. The first was at the Fourth of July fireworks in Kabul in 1969, which he hosted.  The second time was when Greg invited us to their house to watch a movie.  I don’t remember what the movie was, but I do remember the occasion because we didn’t even have televisions and here he had movies (DVD players didn’t exist, so it must have been a movie reel).

I later learned during research for my book that the Ambassador, Robert G. Neumann, was appointed by President Johnson as Ambassador to Afghanistan in November of 1966.  He served as ambassador until 1973, when King Mohammed Zahir Shah was overthrown.  He was later ambassador to Morocco and Saudi Arabia before his death in 1999. 

Remarkably, his son Ronald E. Newmann (who changed the spelling) also served as the ambassador to Afghanistan after the attacks on the U.S. on September 11, 2001.  He served as ambassador to Afghanistan from 2005 to 2007.  He also served as ambassador to Algeria and Bahrain later in his life. 

I haven’t been able to determine what happened to my brother’s friend Greg.



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