Sunday, September 30, 2012

Christopher Stevens

Christopher Stevens was the US Ambassador to Libya.  He arrived there last year in the midst of the fighting. 
Stevens and three other Americans were killed on September 11 at the embassy in Benghazi.
Stevens sounds like a great person: dedicated to the mission of diplomacy, to improving understanding between people. He did so by starting with personal relationships and expanding-out to national policy. This makes his death by an act of violence especially sad. 
Here is an excerpt from Anne Gearan's obituary in the Washington Post:
The improbable journey was fitting for Mr. Stevens, a former Peace Corps volunteer who was fluent in Arabic and who had traveled throughout the Middle East. An easygoing but determined career diplomat, he had made the region the focus of his two-decade career.  
Funny and charming, with a broad smile and wide curiosity, Mr. Stevens made friends easily and kept them, colleagues said. "During a meeting, he was very proper and professional. Having a coffee after the meeting, he was very friendly” and asked a lot of questions, said Ghaith al-Omari, a former top adviser to the Palestinian Authority. “You ended up with a diplomat who had texture.”
Stevens grew up near Oakland and was 52. He was not married and didn't have any children.
There has been some debate in the US about whether the embassy attack was the result of a spontaneous protest or a pre-planned mission by al Qaeda affiliates.  The Republicans have alleged this past week that the Obama administration is reluctant to blame the attack on terrorists because they want to show progress in the fight against al Qaeda.
557. How many Americans are living in Libya now, either on their own or as part of the diplomatic mission? Have some of them been evacuated since the attack?
558. Where are Qaddafi's sons, and are any of them being prosecuted?
559. Which country is most likely to stabilize in terms of its domestic and international politics: Libya, Tunisia or Egypt?

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