I had just enough time to read Saturday that Steve Gilliard has died, and then not enough time to write anything about it. Others have written far more eloquently about how good he was, but I'd like to add something about how far-sighted he was.
Aside from only one or two other writers (one of them Billmon, another DKos alumnus) Steve Gilliard got what he wrote right. He was right about Iraq way back in the summer of 2003, back when the nutbars in right blogistan couldn't stop talking about how many schools were being painted and how Paul Bremer was teh new hawtness. Steve used actual facts, informed by his knowledge of history, to call bullshit on the whole enterprise.
For the last 4 years or so, every time there was some development in Iraq or the Middle East broadly, I went to the News Blog to see what Steve Gilliard thought of it first. One of the last things I remember Steve writing before entering the hospital was that he didn't trust Gen. Petraeus to give an honest assessment of the surge, because his desire for career advancement would overpower his better sense.
As with so much, Steve Gilliard got it right, first.