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.
A loathsome, insidious snipe.
[By the way, here is the Telegraph article which does NOT indicate a romantic involvement with his interpreter.]
One might think it was just a careless reading of the Telegraph article but more likely as Kramer points out its a cheap shot against a fearless journalist who dared to challenge him:
But maybe what's really at issue here is Cole's ego (on his website, it usually is). Beneath his haughty dismissal of Vincent ("did not know anything serious") lies the fact that Vincent had the audacity to challenge him. Vincent didn't think much of Cole's armchair expertise or his claim to be driven by concern for Iraqis, and told Cole just that on his weblog:You might want to review your own site and how well it reflects love and concern for the Iraqi people. After all, on "Informed Comment," pro-liberation Iraqi bloggers are accused of being CIA agents, the elections are practically dismissed as window-dressing and every terrorist--no, I mean guerrilla, as Cole would have it--attack is given marquis billing, as if their psychopathic bloodlust discredits the liberation of 26 million people. Whoops, I mean 23.5 million--because according to Cole's Wednesday post, 2.5 million Iraqis support the "resistance."
Well, I thank Cole for revealing his gut-level concern for the Iraqi people... My question to the Professor is, which Iraqi people--the fascist thugs he calls the "resistance," or the police, National Guardsmen, politicians, everyday people and eight million voters who comprise the true Iraqi "resistance"? We await his Informed Comment.
Cole didn't respond then. But now that Vincent is dead, Cole has seized the last word in the argument. Vincent shamed him, but now he has his honor back. He's taken his revenge. These sentiments and this sort of behavior tend to be rural and to hold among the uneducated, but are not unknown among full professors.
I will give Cole this: he does have cultural knowledge--enough to keep away from Iraq, which he's never visited.