As a kid, I found the Troubles hard to understand. The American media just didn’t do a good job of explaining clearly who, exactly, were the opposing parties, and what things they wanted out of the war that was going on in Northern Ireland. At times, they made it seem like a religious war of sorts, which it wasn’t.
I read about Bobby Sands dying in 1981, in the U.S. media, which conferred a kind of stardom on him. But, to me, the coverage only seemed to make the tapestry of the Troubles harder to grasp. Who were really the good guys and the bad guys? As Americans, it seems, we always want to know the answer to that question. In other parts of the world, even asking the question seems ridiculous.