As the United States mourns the horrific murders of four Americans at the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, it’s also important to remember that the violent thugs who stormed the embassy do not represent all Libyans. Yesterday, a crowd of Libyans hit the streets to protest the attack, waving signs in broken English that read “Sorry People of America this is not the [b]ehavior of our [I]slam and pro[phe]t,” and “Chris Stevens Was a Friend to All Libyans.”
Stevens, 52, had devoted himself to helping liberate the country he died in. ABC News reports on his daring entrance into Libya during the first days of the civil war:
During the early days of the Libyans’ fight to overthrow Moammar Gadhafi, Christopher Stevens wrangled a ride on a Greek cargo ship and sailed into the rebels’ stronghold city of Benghazi. He arrived at a time when the crackle of gunfire could be heard each night.
Stevens and his team didn’t even have a place to stay, but found space in a hotel briefly, moving out after a car bomb went off in the parking lot, according to his own account in State Magazine last year.
Stevens, whose diplomatic foothold were a couple of battered tables, was on literally on the rebels’ side while the revolution was at its most vulnerable and in danger of being crushed by Gadhafi’s troops who were moving on the city. The threat was pushed back at the last minute by the intervention of NATO planes which began bombing Gadhafi’s tanks and troops.
It’s impossible to thank the late Ambassador Stevens — and many of the other American diplomats abroad — enough for the sacrifices they make daily to try to build a better future for volatile and dangerous countries that are not even their own. Without them, much of the good that America does in the world would not be possible.