I was extremely shocked and saddened when I saw on the news a few minutes ago that Steven Vincent was found dead in Basra. Mohammed and I were closely following his reports from Basra and we really enjoyed reading them.
Now the bastards took him away. The terrorists try to silence every voice that tells the truth but they can not succeed as there will be always people who are ready and willing to write and speak the truth and they will see that our pens are stronger than their guns. We lost a fine writer today, God bless his soul and our deepest condolences to his family and friends.
A reader quotes the following from an interview with Steven Vincent:
Words matter. Words convey moral clarity. Without moral clarity, we will not succeed in Iraq. That is why the terms the press uses to cover this conflict are so vital. For example, take the word “guerillas.” As you noted, mainstream media sources like the New York Times often use the terms “insurgents” or “guerillas” to describe the Sunni Triangle gunmen, as if these murderous thugs represented a traditional national liberation movement. But when the Times reports on similar groups of masked reactionary killers operating in Latin American countries, they utilize the phrase “paramilitary death squads.” Same murderers, different designations. Yet of the two, “insurgents”—and especially “guerillas”—has a claim on our sympathies that “paramilitaries” lacks. This is not semantics: imagine if the media routinely called the Sunni Triangle gunmen “right wing paramilitary death squads.” Not only would the description be more accurate, but it would offer the American public a clear idea of the enemy in Iraq. And that, in turn, would bolster public attitudes toward the war. ...
The most despicable misuse of terminology, however, occurs when Leftists call the Saddamites and foreign jihadists “the resistance.”
Read the interview here.
Fayrouz has a few thoughts.
Steve had a successful and rewarding career as an art critic in New York. Then came September 11, and his life would never be the same again. "When the Administration launched the Operation Iraqi freedom, I felt strangely excited," he wrote. "I wanted to join the conflict." Too old to enlist (his only military experience, driving a cab in NYC, he says), too freelance to hope to accompany the troops, Steve made the decision to see Iraq away from the frontlines: "I sought to embed myself in the Iraqi society."
The fruit of his two trips, and several months of stay in Iraq was his book "In the Red Zone: A journey into the soul of Iraq" - "some of the best journalism to come out of Iraq since the liberation," I wrote in my review. It was ‚– is ‚– a wonderful work, not uncritical of both the liberated and the liberators, but nevertheless infused with deep sympathy for the long suffering of the Iraqi people, as well as love of freedom, and hope for a better future. ...
Go read the rest of Chrenkoff's post at the link, and understand what the world lost with Steven Vincent - and what we must still strive for, now that he is gone.
Steven Vincent's last published articles:
On Again, Off Again
Switched Off in Basra