April 20, 2011

Tim Hetherington, 1970-2011

The tragic loss of war correspondent Tim "Restrepo" Hetherington in Misrata, Libya has hit hard. We were close in age, and I really liked his work.

I never really wrote a post about Restrepo, which I finally saw long after I left the theatres. (I agreed with basically everything Pat Lang wrote here.) I think it caught the basic humanity of the American soldiers in the Korengal, but also the utter futility of everything they did. Their officers seemed clearly mediocre, and the chances of counterinsurgency success given their initial conditions would have been slightly higher if they'd been trying to pacify Mars. Just by letting soldiers tell their own stories, he ended up with as strong an anti-Afghanistan polemic as has ever aired. Hetherington is to be respected as one of those few journalists who could work easily as an equal among soldiers in an embedded situation, but not compromise his craft in any way in doing so. He will be missed.

Posted by BruceR at 10:17 PM