Almost two decades later, this sounds like kind of a familiar - rather than unique - experience, for some overseas at the time (as I soon was) watching 9/11 unfold:
I had just gotten back from a year in France....In the weeks that followed, I watched the American news with one eye, and its European counterpart with the other....The one time my country could side with the U.S. was when America was on its knees, but when it refused to stay down it quickly went back to the smug relativism of World War II, the icy efficiency of a country never having to fight for either ethics or its existence.Soon enough, the narrative was clear....Bush was a moron and a puppet. America was killing innocent people for oil. It went on and on, and all I could think was that if I know that these things are not true, then what other lies have I accepted as truth throughout my life?So I pulled at the thread of my ideology, and it all unraveled before me.
If, instead of "a European Upper-Middle-Class Radical", this woman had been poor and black - here or in France - then she would've really had a problem.