Last week, Michael Kelly, who edited The New Republic from 1996 to 1997, died while traveling as an embedded reporter with the Army's 3rd Infantry Division in Iraq. Michael's association with TNR began when he covered the first Gulf war, for which he won a National Magazine Award. It was through his courageous, eloquent reporting that this magazine came to understand the importance, for the United States and the world, of a free Iraq at peace with its neighbors.
One sunny afternoon in the week of liberation, I went to the theater. The hall at Kuwait University's school of music and drama is a place of conspicuous civilization, a big cantilevered room with modestly elegant blue cloth seats trimmed in gold, rich wood-paneled walls, and a deep, broad stage set above a large orchestra pit. I expected to be alone there but instead found a British television crew videotaping the statement of 29-year-old Abdullah Jasman, Kuwaiti citizen, University of Pittsburgh graduate, and victim of a torture session in this unlikely place.