Now, over the weekend in Afghanistan a suicide bomber took the life of five Americans. They were on a mission to deliver books to an Afghan school. They were military personnel, a Defense Department civilian, and the first State Department Foreign Service officer to be killed in Afghanistan. She was 25-year-old Anne Smedinghoff. NPR's Sean Carberry in Kabul sent this remembrance.
From 'Morning Edition': Remembering Anne Smedinghoff
Death comes with the territory when you work in conflict zones. On sometimes a daily basis, those of us who have worked in Iraq and Afghanistan in particular have filed stories with headlines like, "Four troops killed during insurgent attack," or "IED kills 10 civilians and wounds six."
It's a blur of numbers and uniforms. When we get word of an incident, we scramble to determine what happened, the nationality of the victims and any other pertinent details. But it's all very anonymous and impersonal, most of the time. It's reporting. It's work.
You might think alarm bells would be sounding in Washington, given the warnings coming out of North Korea. But when they talk about North Korea, U.S. officials are sounding like exasperated parents responding to a child's tantrum.
At the White House on Friday, spokesman Jay Carney said the United States "would not be surprised" if North Korea actually carries out a missile test.