Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Courtesy of Wikipedia

Ambassador John Christopher Stevens was born April 18, 1960 in Grass Valley, California.  His parents were Jan S. Stevens, then the Assistant Attorney General of California and Mary J. Floris, a Native American from the Chinook tribe.  His mother was an accomplished cellist and played for the Marin Symphony Orchestra.

As a student at Piedmont High School, Stevens became active in the AFS program, and spent the summer of 1977 in Spain as an exchange student.  In 1982, he graduated from Berkeley with a bachelor degree in history, and subsequently taught English as a Peace Corp Volunteer.  In 1989, he earned his Juris Doctoris degree from University of California, Hastings College of the Law.  More recently in 2010, he received a Masters Degree from the National War College.  The National War College is an interesting program.  Check it out.

Ambassador Stevens was a career diplomat and served in the United States Foreign Service from 1991 till his death.  He served in the Middle East his entire career.  He was fluent in English, Arabic, and French.
To be honest with you, I had never heard of Ambassador Stevens until his death.  It is obvious though, from looking at his education and his career that he was not looking to become a General or a Colonel, not even a Lieutenant or a Sargeant.  He was dedicated to bringing about dialogue between our country and the Middle East, using non-military means.

He knew, as do all those who dedicate their working life to the foreign service that today might be the day, the day they are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice.  I think we honor Ambassador Stevens, particularly we honor his diligent work of twenty one years, by continuing to resolve this insane outbreak of protest and violence diplomatically.  Our impulse to follow a knee jerk reaction to use even more violence to stop violence would be an insult to his commitment and his life.  It’d be like saying, “Sorry, Stevens, your efforts were obviously futile.  We’re going to come in with our big guns and clean up.”  And we can do that, just like in the old Cowboy movies, and then we spend how many more years watching our back and awaiting another September 11.  Vengeful people ALWAYS get even no matter what.  There is no getting the last win, the last act of violence, the last strike.  It works that way in video games, but not in real life.

Please let us honor his life.

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