Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Remembering Steven Vincent

As I am devoting this week to remembering authors murdered by Islamists, this seems like an appropriate time to honor the memory of a brilliant and courageous writer named Steven Vincent. Steven was a New York art critic who was so moved by 9/11 that he decided to travel to post-Saddam Iraq and write about what he saw. The result was a terrific book called In the Red Zone that sheds light on many of the difficulties we have faced in that country. Steven also wrote a number of magazine and newspaper articles, and maintained an excellent blog.

I should mention that I have a personal connection here. After I linked to his blog during the early days of this site, Steven was kind enough to return the favor and even approvingly cited one of my posts once. I was both grateful and humbled that a terrific well known writer like Steven would take pity on a geeky amateur like myself.

In the Summer of 2005, Steven returned to Iraq. He went to the southern city of Basra, where he pulled no punches in exposing the malevolent role being played by Iranian-backed Islamist militias. His willingness to intercede on behalf of his female Iraqi translator was another act of courage that further angered the local Islamist thugs. On August 2, 2005, Steven Vincent was abducted and murdered in Basra.

Stephen Browne recently wrote a great essay about Steven for FrontPage Magazine. It summarizes Steven's career better than anything I can come up with. I hope you will read it. In the meantime, I can only try to do my part to help keep alive the memory of Steven's courage and idealism.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I came across your blog after Googling "conservative librarian". I was reading School Library Journal and again feeling the creeping disillusionment knowing that I am a political minority in my profession. Thank you for providing this much needed voice!


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