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August 03, 2005

Another Casualty in the War Against Islamofascism

Photo of Steven Vincent in Arab dress from Reason Magazine

According to the NYT, a freelance American journalist, Steven Vincent, was shot dead in Basra Tuesday night after having been abducted by masked men who might have been using a police vehicle. He was apparently targeted for death because of his high profile view (see his OpEd in last Sunday's NYT) that the British were allowing Basra's security forces to fall under the control of extremist Shiite religious groups.

I was not familiar with Steven Vincent or his work until this morning. Before 9/11, he was an art critic living on Manhattan's Lower East Side. Radicalized by watching mass murder from the vantage point of his own rooftop, he travelled to Iraq as a freelancer to play his part in the struggle. Vincent wrote a book of his experiences in Iraq, In The Red Zone, which I will be ordering today. He also had been writing a weblog describing his life in Basra, whose last entry was dated the week before his death.

I found this quote from In The Red Zone in Solomonia's book review, explaining why Vincent left his comfortable life in NY to travel to Iraq:

Evil. Before that September morning, I hadn't thought much about it. Evil was something for horror movies - or far-away places like Auschwitz or the Killing Fields. Evil was what happened to other people - and besides, it was a matter of interpretation, historical, cultural, or psychological factors, all very reasonable when you analyze it. But I think differently now. I saw something evil take place before my eyes, on the burning rim of Manhattan. I sensed its hatred of humanity, civilization, prosperity, and self-reliance - anything that helps us to lift ourselves above nothingness and despair. . . 

Steven Vincent ultimately gave his life as part of that struggle against evil, and he will be missed.

Here are some links to interviews with, and articles by, Steven Vincent I recommend:

He leaves behind his wife in NYC.

Updates

Here is a link to Steven Vincent's last article from Iraq, posted on the NRO hours before his murder. Hat tip to TigerHawk.

Ann Marlowe, another NY-based freelancer who had been in Iraq and who knew Steve, has a touching obituary for him in Thursday's NY Post.

August 3, 2005 at 08:16 AM | Permalink

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Comments

Hi, I found your post via technorati. It's nice that you chose that quote from the review. Steven also appreciated that one. From an email he sent me:

"I particularly appreciateced the excerpts you chose from the book. Not many people seem to have noted my unironic use of the word "evil"--I was wondering if maybe readers thought I was using the word only for effect, or as a general metaphor. But no, as you noted, I meant it. Evil. I note you have the image of the WTC on your site. I don't know where you live, of course, but I'm glad people have not forgotten what happened that day."

Take care.

Posted by: Solomon | Aug 7, 2005 10:53:22 PM

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