Michael's Dispatches

Important Message From Libya


22 April 2011

I’ve been reading traffic from a private worldwide group regarding the sad loss of journalists Chris Hondros and Tim Hetherington in Libya.  The people discussing the loss include names you sometimes see on national television, in books, and so on and so forth.  The bylaws of the group preclude my publishing names or emails without permission.  When Nancy Youseff’s message came in from Libya, the importance of the substance of her message was clear. 

With Nancy’s permission, I have deleted a few names and here it is, fresh from Nancy in Libya:

Dear [D] and [J]: Thank you for posting these messages. I came back from Tim and Chris' memorial here in Benghazi to [A’s] message. It was disappointing to say the least especially after watching Libyans and non-Libyans gather to remember Chris and Tim's spirit and humanity. There were protests in Misrata yesterday over their deaths. Yes, those who lost family members and friends gathered to share in their outrage over what happened to Tim and Chris.  And at the memorial, the British envoy told a story that is worth repeating. (I am paraphrasing based on my memory.)  A resident of Misrata came to him to express his sympathies. The Brit said, "But you have lost thousands?" And the Misrata said "This is different. They came to help us and tell our story. We are indebted to them."

This morning Benghazi's bishop, who stayed here to help the wounded and sick despite the mass fleeing of Christians at the start of the uprising, held a prayer for Tim and Chris.

That is, this is not the story of how we are forgetting the thousands killed in Misrata; it is about how two people from distant lands have touched the people of Libya through their work and their dedication to telling the story of Misrata. They are a reminder that even in war, one can find beauty.

Nancy A. Youssef
Pentagon Correspondent
McClatchy (formerly Knight Ridder) Newspapers

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  • This commment is unpublished.
    Brandon Wright · 10 years ago
    Thanks Michael, good information.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    J. SHAM · 10 years ago
    I would like to see your emails again.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Peter · 10 years ago
    Thanks Michael for this memorial.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Orion · 10 years ago
    This is where hope in humanity lives.. 8)
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Paul H. · 10 years ago
    ...is where two cultures come together to grieve a common loss.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    John Schofield · 10 years ago
    U.S. and U.K. seem nervous about a pssible vietnam-style situation.Scared also, of stirring up Taleban situation.
    Lessons can be learned from T.E.Lawrence. (He was let down by British 'looking-both-ways' policies). Arab nations need populist sense of mission free from fundamentalism. I believe specialist forces are ready and waiting with boots on the ground; and I favor use of drones, as in Afghanistan.

    These journalists were of the highest probity; and your mail is right n target..
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Doug Laybourne · 10 years ago
    Thank you Michael for giving us this window on 'the truth' in Libya. The real flesh-and-blood dwellers on this Earth, rise above the distorted picture the world is presented with by the war-mongers. Keep on telling it 'as-it-is'.
    Peace, mi amigo
  • This commment is unpublished.
    tiger · 10 years ago
    lt reminds me the begining of yougoslavian war. journalists dying.i thing there is no vietnam there . this is desert and towns .only seven millions lybians. a very few lybians in western world. for.

    i read your blog for today war history but i enjoy much other stuff.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    matt · 10 years ago
    Sebastian Junger captured many of our feelings well in his elegy on the Vanity Fair website.

    What those men did will be long remembered. It takes a special kind to do what Hondros, Hetherington,yourself and a few others do. There are no medals. There no real glory. But there is the satisfaction of knowing they did their best to tell stories that needed to be told.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    leonard Hartley · 10 years ago
    Did the Christians flee because they knew the "rebels" would be mainly comprised of the hate filled followers of a dead prophet who was a murderer, liar, thief and child molester? And that he commanded his followers to extort or kill those who did not "submit" to his message? We have lost thousands of precious American lives building goverments whose very law is founded on this evil doctrin. Moses, Jesus or this dead wicked prophet...that is what it is all about.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    carolynn · 10 years ago
    Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros lived purposeful lives and made the world a better place! They, truly, made a difference! Thank you, Tim and Chris!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Rick · 10 years ago
    We are reminded that one's effort may go unnoticed by many but not all, and that even a seemingly insignificant effort may change the world.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Jim · 10 years ago
    I was just watching the end of "Restrepo" when my mom came in and told me of the death of Tim Hetherington and the wounding of Chris Hondros. I felt like I was punched in the gut. The loss of these two great journalists is a loss for all those who chose live by peace dignity and truth. Please be careful and continue to set the bar for real journalism and those who report the truth rather than MSM dogma. It is utterly shocking to see the Sheer folly that is the UN and the Paper Tiger that NATO has become. Iran, North Korea and China must be watching with extreme pleasure. The entire Muslim world is awakening and demanding Democracy and we may not see another chance like this in our lifetimes. Yet our President drifts aimlessly and his leadership is completely non existent. These are truly sickening days.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Tracy · 10 years ago
    We are grateful for both Tim and Chris' work. We are the better for it. They died too young but, they died doing the work they were meant to do! We are sadened by their loss.
    Michael please take special care of yourself. We need you to continue as the voice of the war-fighters and the local people too. With appreciation,
    Tracy and Robert
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Linda Osburn · 10 years ago
    I am thankful to all the men and women of the USA that put there life on the line regardless of their chosen field so that we and others can be free. I am thankful to the other countries that fight to protect their own from terrorist and strive to have a better way of life. I pray for you all!!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Marc · 10 years ago
    Michael, not only are Chris and Tim's contributions invaluable, so are yours. The world needs to know! So please keep yourself safe and keep 'em comin Brother! May God watch over all three of you and those who follow.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Robert Burrichter · 10 years ago
    Praise the LORD for those who run to the sounds of battle with a camera or a weapon. May they rest in peace with Jesus.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Christian Gains · 10 years ago
    "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend"...the HIGHEST accolades for both these men is truly due! and, you Michael, deserve a mighty GOD BLESS YOU! and, rest assured HE will!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    jed · 10 years ago
    This is so touching.

    One of the reasons why I can't leave the business despite the hardships!

    God bless Misrata!
  • This commment is unpublished.
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