Frontline World

Dispatches from a Small Planet: Election 2004  

By the People - Election 2004 PBS

From August through November 2004, Web visitors wrote in and shared their reactions to this special online project. See a sampling of comments below, or visit the archived React conversation.

Austin, Texas
FRONTLINE/World has really been a God-send to me. I am very interested in knowing what the world is thinking, politically, socially and literally, and your "young" reporters out in the world are doing a marvelous job.

Prattville, Alabama
There are so many parts of the world that you hear next to nothing about on commercial television's news reports. Without programs like this how are we supposed to be informed voting public? Thanks.

Montreal, Canada
Regrettably, Americans ARE ignorant of most that goes on in other countries around the world.

North Fort Myers, Florida
Why should we care what the world thinks? Americans make their own decisions based on their own interests. Would French or Russian voters base their election decisions what Americans think?

San Francisco, California
Of course we should care what the rest of the world thinks, not only of the election and the two candidates, but also of our conduct in the world. All eyes are on us as our behavior and policies impact people the world over.

Washington, D. C.
Not to care what the rest of the world thinks of Bush and Kerry is to remain arrogant, ignorant, righteous, shameless, alone, and weak.

Lincoln, New Mexico
Like most Americans, I know little about Greenland and our involvement there. It would be interesting to know how many other small places in the world owe a good part of their existence to the U.S. Dollar.

Sharon, New Hampshire
My personal biggest issue is the image and reputation that the U.S. has in the world. This article [from Germany] made a big difference in helping me make an evaluation.

Cambridge, Massachusetts
I've just read Joe Rubin's report on El Salvador. I was enormously impressed with his piece ... Rubin is bold and blunt in pointing out the U.S. role, both past and present.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The mass media coverage about Darfur crisis is way lacking. Most of my friends have no idea what is going on because they hardly read the newspaper, etc.

Cocoa, Florida
I am appalled. This [the Darfur crisis] is not on the news in the U.S. It appears another Rwanda HAS happened. I will speak out to everyone I can; and also to my elected officials about this matter. I am saddened.

Chicago, Illinois
Ms. Obaid's report from North West of Pakistan is insightful and a pleasure to read. She has captured the feelings and aspirations of a nation struggling to define its identity in the new world order.

Iowa City, Iowa
I enjoyed Mr. Gage's interview from Thailand very much. I agreed with what he said and believe he expressed the sentiments of many Americans living in the U.S.

Nice dispatch [from Burma] with unbiased reporting. ... When U.S. can trade with countries like Saudi Arabia, then why not with Myanmar [Burma]?

Santa Fe, New Mexico
What an interesting perspective! Thanks for reporting on a 'slice of life' many of us knew nothing about.

Hernani, Gipuzkoa, Spain
... May I say that the Eastern European countries are far from being a homogeneous entity. Romania, Albania and all the Balkans suffered 400 years of Turkish domination and they have very little in common with Poland, Slovenia or Hungary.

Seattle, Washington
As an increasingly cynical young voter... I feel outrage that the "powers that be" feel no obligation to explain our changing alliances without the usual slippery circumlocution.

Chicago, Illinois
Americans should be more cautious at choosing their president, because he will not only lead United States, he will lead the world, too.

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Stephen Talbot An Election Heard 'Round the World
November 10, 2004
FRONTLINE/World series editor Stephen Talbot kicked off the "Dispatches from a Small Planet: Election 2004" Web series with a dispatch from Lebanon and Syria. In this final report, Talbot concludes the series with a sampling of the world's response to the U.S. presidential election, comments from our audience, and his own analysis. GO>>
Krista Mahr GREENLAND: Colin Powell's Glacier
November 9, 2004
Correspondent Krista Mahr reports on local views in Greenland, where the Bush administration is quietly moving ahead with proposed plans on the controversial "Star Wars" anti-missile defense system with a $200 million upgrade of the early warning radar at a U.S. air force base. GO>>
Molly Blank and Elizabeth Gettelman SERBIA/CROATIA: The Balkans
November 2, 2004
FRONTLINE/World examines the legacy of Balkan conflicts that claimed more than 200,000 lives in the 1990s, and explores what people there think about the U.S.-led NATO bombing and the U.S. presidential race. Elizabeth Gettelman reports from Croatia, where they remember President Clinton warmly. Molly Blank writes from Serbia, where nationalists resent Clinton and worry about a Kerry presidency, but have a low opinion of President Bush. GO>>
Yahaira Castro DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Dual Citizens
October 26, 2004
Dominican American correspondent Yahaira Castro examines the divided political loyalties of Dominican citizens living in the U.S. She finds an ethnic group intensely involved in the politics of their Caribbean island, yet reluctant to get involved in U.S. politics. But that may be changing as Kerry and Bush both woo this voting bloc. GO>>
Orville Schell GERMANY: Watching the Presidential Debate With Arabs in Berlin
October 19, 2004
Writing for the FRONTLINE/World Web site is Orville Schell, Dean of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Schell provides a behind-the-scenes view of a private conference of Arab leaders in Berlin, as they watch the first presidential debate. He gauges this powerful group's reactions to President Bush and Senator Kerry, as well as their response to the U.S.-led war in Iraq. GO>>
Joe Rubin EL SALVADOR: Payback
October 12, 2004
Correspondent Joe Rubin reports from El Salvador, a country which sent troops to Iraq, and has a long, turbulent history, involving both Bush presidents and Senator John Kerry. GO>>
Meghan Laslocky CANADA: Border Town
October 5, 2004
Correspondent Meghan Laslocky visits a small town in Canada, just north of Vermont, to find out what locals are saying about the U.S. presidential race. Both English and French-speaking Canadians share their views of health care, the prescription drug market and their country's plan to decriminalize marijuana use. GO>>
Keli Dailey BELARUS: The View From the Underground
September 28, 2004
Correspondent Keli Dailey sets off to Belarus, where the KGB, collective farms, and government-choreographed elections are still the norm. In her report Dailey scours the Soviet-era metro in the capital, Minsk, scavenging opinions from a bitter babushka and some angry skinheads about their authoritarian leader -- and the U.S. GO>>
Amy Costello CHAD/SUDAN: A Question of Genocide
September 21, 2004
Correspondent Amy Costello of PRI's The World files a harrowing, eyewitness report for FRONTLINE/World from the Sudanese refugee camps in Chad, where some 180,000 black Africans have fled attacks by Sudanese government-backed Arab raiders known as the Janjaweed. Over the past 18 months, some 50,000 people in Sudan's Darfur region have been killed in what U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell is now calling "genocide." GO>>
Sharmeen Obaid PAKISTAN: The Hunt for Osama bin Laden
September 14, 2004
Will the U.S. ever catch Osama bin Laden? Any chance it might happen before November 2? FRONTLINE/World and New York Times Television correspondent Sharmeen Obaid reports from Pakistan's turbulent northwest frontier, interviewing warlords and tribal leaders about the hunt for al-Qaeda. GO>>
Jonathan Jones UGANDA: President for Life?
September 7, 2004
Correspondent Jonathan Jones reports from Uganda about a U.S. ally and a hero in the fight against AIDS, President Yoweri Museveni, who may be letting power go to his head. GO>>
Andrew Strickler KENYA: Terror, Trade and Tourists
September 7, 2004
Correspondent Andrew Strickler looks at the legacy of the U.S. embassy bombing and asks Kenyans who they'd rather see in the White House -- George W. Bush or John Kerry? GO>>
Joan Bieder BURMA: Can Sanctions Bring Democracy?
August 24, 2004
Correspondent Joan Bieder ventures inside Burma, a country which appears to be "moving backward," and reports on the impact of U.S. economic sanctions against a military regime which stills holds Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest. GO>>
Ruth Morris VENEZUELA: Hugo Chavez, Clutch Hitter
August 24, 2004
Correspondent Ruth Morris reports from Venezuela on one of Latin America's most dramatic elections, as President Hugo Chavez, the controversial populist, survives a spirited recall drive, while opposition leaders cry "fraud." GO>>
Mark Schapiro EUROPE: Continental Drift
August 17, 2004
Correspondent Mark Schapiro reports from Budapest and Brussels on the emerging economic and political power of the European Union, and why for Europeans the U.S. may not matter anymore. GO>>
Carrie Ching THAILAND: The Vet Who Didn't Come Home
August 10, 2004
Correspondent Carrie Ching reports on American veterans of the Vietnam War now living in Thailand -- the vets who didn't come home -- and how these expatriates view the war in Iraq and the U.S. election. GO>>
Stephen Talbot SYRIA/LEBANON: The Occupier and the Occupied
August 3, 2004
FRONTLINE/World series editor Stephen Talbot reports from Lebanon, where Syrian troops still occupying the country exert a strong influence on local elections, in which the radical Hezbollah ("Party of God") emerged recently as a major winner. GO>>

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