“It’s called courage”

I received this as a comment on a post noting Juan Cole’s theories about the murder of Steven Vincent. It’s from Vincent’s wife, and she thinks, well, I’ll let you read for yourself. I’m posting it here in its entirety, and it’s worth every bit. All emphasis is mine:

I thought you might like to see the email I sent Juan Cole in response to his August 8th post about my husband. Sorry if it runs a little long –

“Was American journalist Steve Vincent killed in Basra as part of an honor killing? He was romantically involved with his Iraqi interpreter, who was shot 4 times. If her clan thought she was shaming them by appearing to be having an affair outside wedlock with an American male, they might well have decided to end it. In Mediterranean culture, a man’s honor tends to be wrought up with his ability to protect his womenfolk from seduction by strange men. Where a woman of the family sleeps around, it brings enormous shame on her father, brothers and cousins, and it is not unknown for them to kill her. These sentiments and this sort of behavior tend to be rural and to hold among the uneducated, but are not unknown in urban areas. Vincent did not know anything serious about Middle Eastern culture and was aggressive about criticizing what he could see of it on the surface, and if he was behaving in the way the Telegraph article describes, he was acting in an extremely dangerous manner.”

Mr. Cole –

(I refuse to call you professor, because that would ennoble you. And please change the name of your blog to “Uninformed Comment”, because that is precisely what the above paragraph is.)

I would like to refute this shameful post against a dead man who can no longer defend himself against your scurrilous accusations, a dead man who also happened to be my husband. Steven Vincent and I were together for 23 years, married for 13 of them, and I think I know him a wee bit better than you do.

For starters, Steven and Nour were not “romantically involved”. If you knew anything at all about the Middle East, as you seem to think you do, then you would know that there is no physical way that he and she could have ever been alone together. Nour (who always made sure to get home before dark, so they were never together at night) could not go to his room; he could not go to her house; there was no hot-sheet motel for them to go to for a couple of hours. They met in public, they went about together in public, they parted in public. They were never alone. She would not let him touch her arm, pay her a compliment, buy her a banana on the street, hyper-aware of how such gestures might be interpreted by the misogynistic cretins who surrounded her daily. So for you brazenly claim that she was “sleeping around,” when there is no earthly way you could possibly know that, suggests to me that you are quite the misogynist as well. Cheap shot, Mr. Cole, against a remarkable woman who does not in any wise deserve it.

This is not to say that Steven did not love Nour – he did. And he was quite upfront about it to me. But it was not sexual love – he loved her for her courage, her bravery, her indomitable spirit in the face of the Muslim thugs who have oppressed their women for years. To him she represented a free and democratic Iraq, and all of the hopes he had for that still-elusive creature. And he loved her for the help she gave him – endangering herself by affiliating with him because she wanted the truth to come out about what was happening in her native city of Basra and the surrounding area. Perhaps you are unaware of the fact that it is possible to love someone in a strictly platonic way, but I assure you, it can happen – even between men and women.

And yes, he was planning to to convert to Islam and marry Nour, but only to take her out of the country to England, where she had a standing job offer, set her up with the friends she had over there, divorce her, and come back to New York. He had gotten her family’s permission to do so (thereby debunking the “honor killing” theory), but more importantly, he had gotten mine. He called one night to say that it had been intimated to him that Nour’s life was essentially going to be worthless after he left; since he was an honorable man (a breed you might want to familiarize yourself with), he then asked what I thought he might do to help her. I told him to get her out of the country and bring her here to New York. However, the only way she could have left Iraq was with a family member or husband. Since her family had no intention of going anywhere, Steven was her only recourse, and it would have been perfectly legal for him to convert, marry her, then take her out of Iraq to give her a chance at a real life. (Now that that avenue is closed to her, I have made inquiries to the State Department about the possibility of my sponsoring her in America. Do you perhaps labor under the misapprehension I am such a spineless cuckold that I would put myself out thusly for the woman you believe my husband was traducing me with? If so, I’m guessing you don’t know much about the Sicilian female temperament.)

As to your claim that “In Mediterranean culture, a man’s honor tends to be wrought up with his ability to protect his womenfolk from seduction by strange men”, it may perhaps have escaped your notice that Iraq does not abut, in any way, shape or form, the Mediterranean Sea. Italy is a Mediterranean culture, as are Spain, Greece, Southern France. In none of them is “honor killing” an accepted form of “protecting womanhood”. As to the southerly lands like Morocco and Algeria, they are not, in the general scheme of things, considered Mediterranean cultures – they are considered Arabic, a whole different beast. For you to seemingly be unaware of this, and then to say that my husband “did not know anything serious about Middle Eastern culture” again begs the question, just where do you get off? If you cannot differentiate between Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cultures, how is it you feel qualified to pontificate so pompously?

How often have you been to the Middle East, Mr. Cole? In 2000 Steven and I spent almost a month in Iran on vacation. In 2003 we spent 10 days over Christmas in Jordan. In the last 2 years he had made not one, not two, but three trips to Iraq, and at the time of his death had about 7 months of daily living there under his belt. Can you offer comparables?

How much Arabic do you speak, Mr. Cole? Steven had been learning Arabic for the last two years, and was able to converse simply but effectively with the people he came into contact with. He had many expatriate friends in the Muslim world from whom he was always learning. As I sit here writing this at what was his desk, I can look at the literally dozens of books he devoured about Islam and the Middle East – each one thick with Post-It notes and personal observations he made in the pages – as he sought to comprehend and absorb the complexities of the culture and the religion he felt, and cared, so deeply about. If you would like a list of them, please email me back and I will be happy to send you a comprehensive accounting.

Yes, Steven was aggressive in criticizing what he saw around him and did not like. It’s called courage, and it happens to be a tradition in the history of this country. Without this tradition there would have been no Revolutionary War, no Civil War, no civil rights movement, no a lot of things that America can be proud of. He had made many friends in Iraq, and was afraid for them if the religious fundamentalists were given the country to run under shari’a. You may dismiss that as naive, simplistic, foolish, but I say to you, as you sit safely in your ivory tower in Michigan with nothing threatening your comfy, tenured existence, that you should be ashamed at the depths to which you have sunk by libeling Steven and Nour. They were on the front lines, risking all, in an attempt to call attention to the growing storm threatening to overwhelm a fragile and fledgling experiment in democracy, trying to get the world to see that all was not right in Iraq. And for their efforts, Steven is dead and Nour is recuperating with three bullet wound in her back. Yes, that’s right – the “honorable” men who abducted them, after binding them, holding them captive and beating them, set them free, told them to run – and then shot them both in the back. I’ve seen the autopsy report.

You did not know him – you did not have that honor, and you will never have the chance, thanks to the murderous goons for whom you have appointed yourself an apologist. He was a brilliant, erudite, witty, charming, kind, generous, silly, funny, decent, honorable and complex man, who loved a good cigar, Bombay Sapphire gin martinis, Marvel Silver Age comic books, Frank Sinatra, opera and grossing me out with bathroom humor. And if he was acting in a dangerous manner, he had a very good excuse – he was utterly exhausted. He had been in Basra for 3 months under incredibly stressful conditions, working every day, and towards the end enduring heat of 135 degrees, often without air conditioning, which could not have helped his mental condition or judgment. He was yearning to come home, as his emails to me made crystal clear. But on August 2nd, two days before my birthday, he made the fatal mistake of walking one block – one – from his hotel to the money exchange, rather than take a cab, and now will never come back to me. I got a bouquet of flowers from him on August 4th, which he had ordered before he died, and the card said he was sorry to miss my birthday, but the flowers would stand in his stead until he made it home. They are drying now in the kitchen, the final gift from my soulmate.

I did not see your blog until tonight. I was busy doing other things – fighting the government to get Steven’s body returned from Basra days after I was told he would be sent home, planning the funeral, buying a cemetery plot, choosing the clothes to bury him in, writing the prayer card, fending off the media, dealing with his aging parents, waking and then burying him – but I could not let the calumnies you posted so freely against two total strangers go unchallenged.

You strike me as a typical professor – self-opinionated, arrogant, so sure of the rightness of your position that you won’t even begin to consider someone else’s. I would suggest that you ought to be ashamed of yourself for your breathtaking presumption in eviscerating Steven in death and disparaging Nour in life, but, like any typical professor, I have no doubt that you are utterly shameless.

Sincerely,

Lisa Ramaci-Vincent

Donations can be made to Spirit of America in honor of Steven Vincent by following the link on this page.

UPDATE: I posted a few thoughts on this here.

UPDATE 2: Juan Cole replied. Well, he really only reposted his original article and then told us about how he was right all along, but that’s probably as close to a reply as Mrs. Ramaci-Vincent is going to get. Links and more here.

UPDATE 3: If you haven’t read Steven Vincent’s book IN THE RED ZONE: A Journey into the Soul of Iraq, you probably should.

Comments

  1. Cole will dismiss it. He’s far too intelligent to worry about things like truth, honour and integrity. Note he won’t allow comments etc – what is he worried about – that he might ahve to jsutify his inane and often wrong scribblings? What worries me more is that HIS is the main blog mentioned in MS Encarta under the article on blogging…how many people or kids worldwide are going to look at his blog now thanks to the free advertising by MS?

  2. Bravo Lisa! I salute your courage and support of Steven. He was damn lucky to have you and must know from wherever he is that you continue to support him even now. The word that comes to mind is extraordinary. It is clear that you will continue his legacy with your intelligence and clarity about Iraqi’s fledgling democracy. Please let me know if you plan to form a group to aid Nour. I would be happy to help in any way I can. With great warmth and admiration, Deborah Ripley

  3. thanks for printing this. i had heard some rumor that vincent and nour were having an affair — i didnt realize this had originated from juan cole. i have also heard speculation along these lines from a MSM reporter i know. i will forward this to him to straighten him out.

  4. In all fairness, I do not believe that the rumors of romance between Ms. Weidi and Mr. Vincent originated with Juan Cole. I think Cole just took the rumor and ran with it. And as we can see, the rumor was, in fact, true in a sense. But it was used to smear Steven Vincent when the truth of the matter reflects very well on him.

  5. GOOD for you, Lisa! Cole shames himself and others, in whose name he purports to write. Every line of your cluebat is laden with truth, congruent with reality… but Cole is too heavily invested in HIS supreme, perfect vision to allow facts to upset him!

  6. The women I know who spend all day watching Oprah and shopping for shoes (or those singing kumbuya in a ditch in texas) can’t hold a candle to this Sicilian. The term is coined: Islamapologist.

  7. Dear Mrs. Ramaci-Vincent, I am a university professor (formerly at an Ivy, now a university a bit less presumptuous), and I agree with you. Cole is an a**hole and is a disgrace to the teaching occupation. I hope you get the opportunity to meet him in person one day – and do great harm to him where it matters.

  8. I hope someone makes sure this letter falls into the hands of the Dean of Faculty where this libelous jerk plies his trade.

  9. Better yet, put this guy’s tripe in the local press, for all the Iraqi expatriates to see. And then listen to the crickets as the ACLUeless and CAIRless cavalry doesn’t come riding to back them up.

  10. Thank you Lisa. And thanks to Steven. As someone who spent quite a bit of time in Iraq, I looked forward to his clear-eyed, very on the mark, letters. It was a great loss. Professor Cole should be ashamed – I have read a few of his posts and they are so uninformed, I shake my head. Hear is a guy professing to be some expert on the Middle East, and I from his postings – I wonder when he was there last. You did an outstaning job of putting him in his place. Condolences to you.

  11. Thank you for highlighting this and giving Lisa Ramaci-Vincent another voice. I feel overwhelmingly sad for her, but I feel more sad that the world has lost a man like Steve Vincent. He clearly understood the meaning of dedication, principle, truth and honor, concepts Mr. Cole will never grasp. He was also married to a great woman.

  12. While Mr. Cole just might be among the mob that believes ‘the moral authority of a parent who buries a child is absolute’… when the parents are anti-Bush, I somehow don’t believe that Mr. Cole will likewise be one who hold that a wife who buries her husband is due the same consideration when she responds to his libel as she appropriately did. Maybe if *she* learned arabic Mr. Cole would deign to listen to her?

  13. Gee whillikers. All Juan Cole did was ask a question. ‘Was American journalist Steve Vincent killed in Basra as part of an honor killing?’ He didn’t say it was true, he just aked the question. Oh wait, he did make a statement — he said that Steve Vincent was ‘romantically involved’ with Nour. I wonder how he ever got the idea that Vincent might be romantically involved with THE WOMAN HE WAS PLANNING TO MARRY? I’m having a little trouble seeing why so many commentators think Cole was out of line. Is asking questions considered rude over here in Murdoc country?

  14. I came upon Steve Vincent’s blog ‘In the Red Zone’ about two weeks before his murder. I made a point of reading every bit of it, and read his last letter within hours of its posting. A few days later, I saw a note in some news link about a journalist killed in Basra, and I just knew it had to be him. I think because his postings were addressed to Lisa in the form of a letter, I immediately thought of her (and pictured the worst). And then I read the screed from that ‘professor’, and I thought: how craven, how bigoted. What a nasty smell his words left behind. All I can say is: I admire you, Lisa: for standing up under the most awful blow that life can land, and for the complete rhetorical flaying of that excreable, loathsome Juan Cole.

  15. William: You really think that all Juan Cole was doing was asking a question? Honestly? Well, then good for you. ‘In Murdoc country’, though, the good professor seemed to be doing much more than simply asking a question. In any event, it’s Mrs. Vincent that you should be addressing your remarks to. She’s the one who apparently considered Cole’s remarks ‘rude’. Are you suggesting that she just misunderstood Cole’s question?

  16. Dear Mrs. Vincent, Thank you for sharing your husband with us. What you wrote is so deeply touching, words elude me. I have never despised Juan Cole so much as I do after reding your letter. Maggie

  17. Hey, William Slattery, when did you stop beating your wife? Don’t get upset; I’m only asking a question! Get it now, pinhead?

  18. WOW! Now *THAT* is a woman! AND a lady! I bow to you, m’amn! That was VERY well done from start to finish. If Cole had any shred of honor, he would apologize to you publicly and commit seppuku immediately thereafter. Orion PS: and if he had any style, he’d do it on pay-per-view with the proceeds going to offset your funeral costs.

  19. Hmmm…One may very well wonder if William Slattery was actually stoned on Methamphetamines while he wrote this post? After all, it was 11:51PM – quite late! when he posted it, and it IS within the realm of speculation that the only way he was able to stay up that late was with the aid of illegal stimulants like Meth which are so prevalant these days. Or, do you suppose that it is even remotely possible that he stumbled upon Murdoc Country while cruising the web for illegal kiddie-porn? Now, I’m not saying that he WAS, but can’t you just imagine some sick pervert looking for Kids’ TV shows like The A-Team so that he can lure them into inappropriate chat rooms and stumbling here? I can imagine that sick pervert we’re supposing exists making a post defending Cole. Of course, it would be wrong to suggest that William Slattery is actually a child-molestor, or a methamphetamine user – but I’m sure it’s fine to just ask the questions in a friendly, just wondering sort of fashion. After all, I’m not saying any of it is true, I’m just asking the question. William – as you can tell, one can ‘infer’ all sorts of very mistaken ideas from minimal data. One can then run wild with them and create some very, very nasty posts from those. Which seems to be what Cole did. Imagine if I wrote a blog with a large readership and posted the above comment – people skimming the article, or even reading casually are going to walk away with about three things: William Slattery, Methamphetamine, and Child-Molestor. Probably not the grouping you want associating in people’s minds and not even close to accurate. Or, as Don Porter put it, even a single simple question can be nasty, depending upon how it’s phrased: Yes or No, William – are you STONED ON METH RIGHT NOW? Orion

  20. William, Mrs. Vincent is also rather upset (and understandably so) that Cole is so dismissive of Steven’s knowledge of the Middle East and basically accuses Steven of failing to understand what kind of danger he was in or why. All this, of course, without ever knowing or even meeting the man. Because, you see, Cole is the expert, so we should just shut up and let him tell us how it is.

  21. Lisa; My most sincere condolences for your, and our loss, and my utmost respect for the woman who Steve deemed ‘the one for him’. I’m no wordsmith, but I’ll try to convey a feeling I had reading your message to that ‘man’. History tends to be smoothed out and cleaned up a bit in the telling. There’s always ‘stuff’ that gets lost along the way that provides fuel for re-examining events down the road. History will tell people how Steve was a reporter who died in Iraq, murdered by terrorist thugs, a brave man doing courageous things in a dangerous place. Will it also tell of the obstacles he faced? The black mindset of deceit and murder? Probably, these are threats faced by good men everywhere, when good men rise above themselves and answer to a higher cause, an ideal greater than themselves. But will it tell of how these good men, who willingly put themselves in harms way, must also contend with the shackles, balls, and chains that are thrust upon them by the careless words of much lesser men who could never stand alongside them and not be found lacking. Lesser men who’s foolish, selfish, and self-promoting words are unfettered by notions of truth and honesty, words that spring from a poisoned well, irresponsible words that make the task of a man like Steve so much more unforgivably difficult for the additional obstacles put in his way. Yet it is exactly this struggling against dishonesty, this standing up to evil while at the same time struggling against moral cowardice and lack of integrity, this pushing back falsehood while straining against the clutch of it’s abettors, that make the struggle of good men heroic. Honor and respect are the rightful due of men like Steve, and he has all of mine, as do all those who can stand beside him and not disappear in his shadow. The rest, well, they are relegated to that shadow, left to reside in that pathetic little world, wondering why they cast none, despite their reassurances to themselves that their cowardice is something grand. This ‘man’ will never answer to you, unfortunately that’s not the way things tend to work out in the real world. But someday, answer he will, and on that day will he be able to hold his head up, or will he hang his head, finally out of words?

  22. Steven Vincent’s reporting from Iraq was among the very best, and considering he did not have the resources of the mainstream, Fat Pampered Press, the Nabobs of Negativity, his reporting ascends to primacy. During his reporting, this correspondent sent Steven brief, encouraging, and appreciative emails thanking him for his straightforward commentary. He graciously replied to each. Each time you read Steven’s reporting, you sensed his striving for accuracy because he never wrote to an audience or viewpoint and you could disagree with his conclusions with the utmost respect becasue you knew he earned those conclusions. He opened minds. The news of his death struck hard because it is precisely Steven’s courage and quest for the truth which is so critical to success in Iraq. It’s so so disheartening to see a good man lost thus; but his spirit will live on. That anyone would take such a cheap shot at this man only proves that when people have an agenda, and closed minds, nothing stands in their way. R.I.P. to Steven, and peace to his equally courageous wife Lisa. Dick Sheppard Jersey City, NJ

  23. My heart goes out to Lisa. This was horrible enough for her without Mr. Cole adding more damage to the already wounded. Happily, Lisa knows the truth, which is really all that matters anyway… and she did a great job of rebutting this trashy blogging.

  24. As someone mentioned the original report that Cole got it from was in the uk telegraph (a conservative paper). I also heard it on the BBC. The BBC apparently got the info from british forces in Basra.

  25. Kol HaKavod and very best wishes to you, ma’am. A powerful and necessary message; may it be read and felt by many. I’ll say it again. Honor defended. Aaron

  26. Even the people investigating Vincent’s murder say that the honor killing bit is only a ‘possibility’ and a ‘theory,’ and they admit that they have no evidence that supports this scenario. Mrs. Vincent has only confirmed what Steven Vincent himself wrote about in his book: his conduct towards his translator was honorable, because Nour insisted that their conduct not arouse suspicions among anyone else in Basra. It’s not their fault that Vincent happened to have a female translator whom he was close to, and it’s not their fault that they were seen walking around Basra in broad daylight and were the subject of gossipy folk who had nothing better to do. C’mon, people, stop listening to conspiracy theories and heed Mrs. Vincent’s words above.

  27. WHY ARE RIGHT WING NUTS AFRAID OF THE ‘DIALOGUE’? WHY CAN’T YOU ENGAGE OUR HONEST, PENETRATING, AND COMPLETELY GUILELESS QUESTIONS? /sarcasm. The Left today is beneath my contempt and increasingly beneath the notice of the electorate.

  28. HE got burned. But I have to say that Algeria, Morocco and the North African countries are not Arabic, we are Berber and we are Mediterreanian. We are not Middle EAstern. Just because you slap a crecent and star on somebody’s flag and force them to speak Arabic does not make them an Arab. WE’re Berbers we always have been and we have been part of the MEditerranian for centuries, since before HAnnibal. And only the most extreme ‘Arabs’ here practice the heathen ‘honor’ killing he is talking about.

  29. Juan Cole is not an expert. His work is riddled with inaccuracies like this. Cole didn’t even know Jenin happened after 9/11 until is was pointed out to him. Cole is simply an apologist for terrorists and tyrants. That’s how he got his job, and that’s what he’s paid to do.

  30. I, too, fell for the story in the Telegraph and so I posted on Vincent’s death as a metaphorical Romeo and Juliet. Cannot tell you how glad I was to find your correction via Mrs. Vincent. Thank you very much. I have notified the poster at Winds of Change who originally wrote on this story. She’ll be glad to see the whole thing; it was frustrating to be left with just Wan Cole and the British press. Here’s what I posted last night– http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/2005/08/tis-not-so-deep-as-well-nor-so-wide-as.html (tried to make it a link but it didn’t work)… My closing remarks are these: ‘It is good to have the full story, or at least as much of it as the remaining person knows. And while this is not Romeo and Juliet — as I’d first surmised after reading the British press — Mr. Vincent’s story is no less Shakespearean for that. It is one of the tragic histories and his behavior was truly of heroic proportions. Mr. Vincent died for his friend. He was not Romeo but Mercutio, a loyal, courageous friend. Tragedy consists of this: the fatal consequences of heroic behavior.’

  31. William: Please. Some questions are more than questions–especially when those asking the question pile supposition, innuendo, and blatantly false facts (if I am of Italian descent, are Iraqis my Mediterranean brothers?)on top of the initial query. Any reasonable reader could assume that after 150 words, the question becomes an accusation. The fact that Cole never mentions or weighs the possibility of a strictly professional relationship is telling. Also, he mentions that Mr. Vincent does not possess ‘serious’ knowledge concerning the Iraqi culture. Would you need ‘serious’ knowledge to understand the cultural taboos on men/women relationships in that culture? I doubt it. As his wife points out, Mr. Vincent heard, read about, and witnessed this culture every day. This was nothing more than a hit piece disguised as intellectual curiosity. I acknowledge I could be incorrect, but I also sense a bit of jealousy by Mr. Cole–a need to tear down someone who literally put his life on the line and by any definition, is a hero. May God Bless the Vincent family and Nour; they need our best wishes, not scurrilous ‘questions.’

  32. Umm. Check out Nick’s post above. I’ll rehash for the hysterical on this board: Cole was commenting on a story in the London Telegraph. They did the original reporting. You might want to direct all your vitriol and self-satisfied chest pounding at them. Lisa Vincent might want to send them an email as well. Couldn’t be that Cole’s anti-war stance has anything to do with all this outrage, could it? Nahh. I’m sure you’re all just objective, politically neutral observers, right?

  33. Ms. Vincent is sadly misnformed (or perhaps on the payroll of PNAC and Karl Rove) and her attempt to shut down debate is pathetic. It is quite remarkable that the unstated purpose of this war brings forth an oil war masquerading as an endless crusade against ‘terrorism.’ It is sick how you warmonger chickenhawks keep sending our children to die. As Norman Mailer pointed out, Americanism as an ideology can be seen in the light of the apparent fabrications which lead to the police state which has come to pass. The pro-Sharon neoconservative cabal leads our attention to a McCarthyism which threatens everything we hold dear. Our only hope is to stop neo-fascists (such as Ms. Vicent and her Zionist paymasters) by using (to quote Malcome X) ‘any means possible.’ We will do anything we can to shut this site down, so you can stop spreading neocon lies.

  34. To Lisa: My heart goes out to you and I trust that you can dismiss the increasing number of islamapologist comments on this thread. Your husband was a hero in his life and death. You are one too.

  35. Infoshop: I can hardly believe my eyes here. Compare the first sentence of your comment with your last. Ms. Vincent defends her husband with great passion and you accuse her of trying to ‘shut down debate’ and call it ‘pathetic.’ Since when is carrying the debate forward the same as shutting it down? Then you state your own intention to shut this site down if you possibly can. It seems that disagreeing with you is justifcation for misrepresenting their views and then silencing them. That is truly pathetic.

  36. Bryan, I’ve just read through all the posts and I’ll agree with you that most are comprised of the not-so-politically-neutral. It did take a letter from a wife to spur the onslaught of comments. Had their been no letter, would this huge list of comments came to pass? I think not. But on the other side, having this letter bring our attention to the issue, would you not agree that Cole took liberties with his interpretation of the article originally written? Cole blatantly states the relationship between the interpreter and Vincent was romantic in nature when that isn’t listed anywhere in the Telegraph article. One investigator claims a ‘straight-line connection that people have drawn between Steven Vincent criticising the Iraq police and therefore being murdered.’ And if we read on the case is described as ‘complex’ which would mean, I’m assuming here, there isn’t one solitary issue at the root of Mr. Vincent’s death. I’m not trying to establish an opinion as I don’t know other that what I’ve read, the same as all other posters who are sharing their opinions here. But I do think that Mr. Cole focusing on the ‘romantic’ involvement issue, which tears at the character of a dead man who was someone working toward the greater good is extremely insensitive. Hence the backlash. But then again, we can all say anything we want on a blog because odds are we will never meet. And opinion and the media to distribute it are a dangerous thing. If we just ignored the crap we didn’t agree with, were would we be? I’d guess more segmented than we all already are. Having served my country in Iraq back in 2003, I can only now truly appreciate the freedoms most take for granted as most have never in their lives had to sacrifice anything. Mr. Vincent was a man who sacrificed. Sacrificed time with family, time at home, creature comforts we all enjoy where as Mr. Cole wouldn’t understand this. Enough rambling.

  37. Infoshop: You are a tool. Here is my proof: ‘her attempt to shut down debate is pathetic’ followed by ‘We will do anything we can to shut this site down’

  38. Ms. Vincent is sadly misnformed (or perhaps on the payroll of PNAC and Karl Rove)’ Will someone PLEASE tell me where I can add my name to the payroll list from Mr. Rove these leftists keep screaming about? I’ve got a big mortgage and anything would help! Also, Infosnot and his ilk don’t know how to deal with a proper dressing down, so they resort to the standard screed of conspiricy theories, secret handshakes, and the ever popular ‘murdering innocent children’. I would love to see an honest rebuttal citing valid sources that can prove their accusations. Until that happens, we can easily dismiss their arguments as tabloid trash, worthy of publishing on page 2 of the Sun, just below Bennifer’s Ultrasound pictures.