03 August, 2005

Stephen Vincent, RIP

The Washington Post is reporting that Stephen Vincent, whose weblog on Iraq I sometimes read, and whose book I have been planning for some time to buy, has been killed in Basra. He was a freelance journalist who had the habit of saying both things that I liked to read (the facts of what ordinary Iraqis were really experiencing and thinking), as well as things that I didn't like to read. His writing was featured in a large number of online publications (I first found him at National Review Online), and had recently been published in the New York Times.

Mr. Vincent has been writing for a long time about the religious extremists who more or less run southern Iraq, and whose corrupt rule contributes to the ineffectiveness of American efforts at reconstruction, and who were slowly imposing an Iranian-style tyranny on southern Iraq. It reminds me of some aspects of today's Russia, and a conversation I had today with my wife. (Have I ever mentioned how insightful and thoughtful she is?) I will write more about this in a later update to these travels.

Back to Stephen Vincent: the article suggests that the extremists finally caught up with him. He had been in Iraq for quite a while on this latest trip, and he exposed himself to many, many more dangers than the mainstream journalists do. Hence the title of his weblog, and of his book: In the Red Zone.

Requiescat in pace.

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