02.22.12

Marie Colvin, My Courageous Friend

The American journalist killed in Syria on Wednesday was a courageous warrior on the side of the oppressed, writes her colleague T.D. Allman. Plus, Christopher Dickey calls Colvin her generation's best war correspondent.

Bangkok
Feb. 22, 2012
 
What caused me to turn on the TV in late afternoon in Bangkok, something I have never done before?

There was the news from Homs about Marie, my friend since 1988. We met at the Palestine National Congress in Algiers that year. Later in Baghdad four of us would play poker every night. The other three each had a private bottle of whiskey. I'd drink wine. Sometimes we'd drink second and third bottles, and then at dawn the next morning be heading to ... Once we had an actual appointment in Samara.

I don't know how she survived so long. I never met a person with more courage. As a war correspondent I was nothing compared with Marie Colvin, and you know something? I am grateful for that—grateful not to have that war adrenaline along with the alcohol and nicotine in me anymore, grateful not to want it, honored to be alive.

She was among the greatest human beings I have ever met because she was always on the side of truth. She was always on the side of the oppressed. She never once tired. She never once faltered. All that mattered to Marie was the truth.

All the rest was window dressing. Her shimmering goodness was what made Marie Colvin a great human being. Also, she was stronger than the rest of us combined.

I am thinking of the driver we shared in Iraq, Muhammad. He worshipped her. Everyone did.

No cheers today.