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Ghost
07-03-2005, 10:18
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&u=/ap/20050307/ap_on_re_eu/italy_iraq_hostage

That's just one of many links I'm sure you can find on the web detailing about how Giuliana Sgrena, who was abducted on Feb 4th in Iraq, had her car fired upon as it went through a US checkpoint. Sgrena was injured, and the intelligence agent who freed her was killed trying to shield her from the friendly fire.

While the event is undoubtably tragic, Sgrena - who who works for the communist newspaper Il Manifesto - is not claiming she might have been a target of US assassination because the "Americans do not like it when terrorists are negotiated with."

In my opinion (read, Sparafucile, opinion not fact) the car was probably speeding through a checkpoint after being waved down to stop. The marines, who are constantly attacked this way by suicide bombers, shot at the car to disabile it or take it out (try shooting an M16 accurately at a speeding vehicle) and unfortunately killed someone. I know, I know. Sgrena claims they were driving at a "normal speed" (which, for Italians could be 140km/hr). I know she says she saw nothing to ask for her car to stop despite a "checkpoint" being there to stop at.

And now she's spouting all sorts of anti-American rhetoric, claiming she was the target of an assassination. Please.

You can hate the politics of the American government. But don't try to pin this crap on soldiers who are just doing what they are told to do (being in Iraq) and protecting themselves from suicide bombers.

I'm sure you Bush/US haters will all take her side for no other reason that it being one more thing against the US, but I wanted to post my thoughts here.

Flame on.

Kingwillhe
07-03-2005, 11:02
So where's the car?

Crazyeelboy
07-03-2005, 11:13
The reports I have seen indicate that it was her captors that came up with the idea that the Americans would try to murder her.

Ghost
07-03-2005, 11:28
Oh, she has said several times her captors tried to warn her the Americans might kill her.

Ah, I see. So let me get this straight. The guys who kidnapped me, are telling me to watch out for their enemy. I see how this works.

Wait, no I don't.

koba65
07-03-2005, 11:35
If I could ever master posting pictures to this forum, I would post a picture of the car. The rounds went into the engine block. The windshields weren't even busted. She alleges more than 400 rounds were fired (how she could figure that out is beyond me) - the car doesn't bear this claim out.

Regarding the "hostage" - there are some questions now about whether she ever really was a "hostage." Plus, a million bucks was allegedly paid for her release (encouraging more kidnappings).

Kingwillhe
07-03-2005, 11:45
Talk about defensive behaviour, all other posts I've read on this site and others have been mindful that the facts in this awfull incident will probably dribble out over time.

You guys are doing this on purpose right? You're not really this insecure are you?

koba65
07-03-2005, 11:50
Originally posted by Kingwillhe
Talk about defensive behaviour, all other posts I've read on this site and others have been mindful that the facts in this awfull incident will probably dribble out over time.

You guys are doing this on purpose right? You're not really this insecure are you?

Or in response to her statements? I was on another site that accurately predicted that she would claim to have been targeted by the American troops. There's a lot about her story that doesn't "smell" right - still doesn't take away from the tragedy of an Italian special agent being killed.

Ghost
07-03-2005, 13:16
Originally posted by Kingwillhe
Talk about defensive behaviour, all other posts I've read on this site and others have been mindful that the facts in this awfull incident will probably dribble out over time.

You guys are doing this on purpose right? You're not really this insecure are you?

The facts WILL come out over time. We're commenting on her statements now. This is a forum. We're discussing it in the age-old forum tradition. As far as I know, this isn't a previously discussed and smashed into the ground topic like many others (read: WMD). God forbid a new subject is touched on, right King?

yankee@moscow
07-03-2005, 13:20
The bottom line is:

If you want to play fancy pants reporter in a war zone, you better have your sh*t in a pile or you could get yourself killed! The enemy is not easily identified. Any car speeding toward a check point IS the enemy! Get a grip lady! It's a freak'n war zone as in those guys are soldiers that are trained to KILL people who speed toward them when told to stop. She's lucky they weren't successful!

My company has tons of people in Iraq. They wouldn't think of doing what she did in a million years. If they did, they'd expect EXACTLY what happened to her or worse. Surely this lady can't be this stupid?:confused:

Ghost
07-03-2005, 13:21
Amen.

koba65
07-03-2005, 13:25
This story is getting stranger and stranger. The chick is now claiming that the real "liberators" were her captors because they're fighting imperialist/capitalist Americans... I wonder how much of the million dollar ransom she's getting.

Fa-Q!
07-03-2005, 13:39
You hit the nail on the head, yankee. I'm in logistics and if I had a death wish, I could be on the next plane outta Moscow to a job in Iraq making over $1000/day. Hell, they'd even give me a gun to carry to protect myself. Fact is, that's a war-zone and making that kind of cash to pay for a nice funeral for myself just doesn't appeal to me. It's horrific what goes on in a war zone and it's sickening how many people think because they're civilians, they're immune to bullets. Look how many people have been kidnapped and beheaded, how many innocent civilians die by misguided bombs from both sides. It's a war and that woman should just thank god that she got outta there alive. Let her go back home and shoot off her commie trap to the applause of her fascist, anti-democratic supporters. Bet she won't be standing on any soap boxes in Central Baghdad.

Ned Kelly
07-03-2005, 14:09
Originally posted by yankee@moscow
The bottom line is:

If you want to play fancy pants reporter in a war zone, you better have your sh*t in a pile or you could get yourself killed! The enemy is not easily identified. Any car speeding toward a check point IS the enemy! Get a grip lady! It's a freak'n war zone as in those guys are soldiers that are trained to KILL people who speed toward them when told to stop. She's lucky they weren't successful!

next think you'll be equating doctors in war zones and contractors.

yankee@moscow
07-03-2005, 14:15
According to this news article from last May, the doctors were smart enough to get the hell out while they could, again, because there is a WAR going on:

Doctors flee Iraq
30/05/2004 22:30 - (SA)

Baghdad - Iraq's top surgeons, neurologists and other doctors are fleeing Baghdad, bullied into exile by a growing gang of kidnappers seeking hefty ransoms from the country's affluent elite.

"The kidnapping of doctors has risen over the past few months, forcing the best practitioners to leave Iraq and settle in neighbouring countries to protect themselves," said health ministry public affairs officer May Yassin.

May Yassin confirmed that some of the country's most qualified specialists had been abducted recently and released in exchange for ransoms ranging between 1 000 and 10 000 dollars. "They were all kidnapped in their offices," she said.

Many of the country's most renowned neurologists, cardiologists, gynaecologists, emergency surgeons and plastic surgeons have been kidnapped in recent months.

"Several dozen doctors or their children were abducted, especially in Baghdad," Yassin said, although no official figure was available.

Even those who have so far been spared the ordeal of being abducted are starting to pack their bags. Two leading plastic surgeons, one allergist and a well-known eye doctor have already left the country.

Interim deputy health minister Amr al-Khuzai has called for help.

"This phenomenon does not only threaten doctors but the whole future of our country. We contacted the coalition and the interior ministry so that they take measures to protect our doctors, especially when they are in their clinics," he said.

"We cannot sit idly by and simply watch our doctors leave one after the other. Those who are leaving are the best ones. It is absolutely vital we find a way to protect them," said Dr Mohammad al-Hassuni, a ministry official dealing specifically with the issue........................

Ned Kelly
07-03-2005, 14:20
i'm not sure how that relates to a journalist trying to do their job.

ghost 6-3
07-03-2005, 14:21
Everyone is acting like this is the first shooting incident that has happened over there - this is one of hundreds of incidents, and only gets coverage because an Italian Special Agent died. Western contractors, Iraqi friendlies, etc. have all come under fire.

One of the biggest problems is that the US forces refuse to announce procedures for stopping vehicles - for fear of having the procedures used against them by terrorists. This makes it nearly impossible for people, driving in the dark, possibly along unfamiliar roads, to know they are being warned - and not attacked.

This may spur US forces to improve their road-block procedures. Italy is too important an ally to piss off now.

For sad pictures of a previous incident, try http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article7784.htm

Fa-Q!
07-03-2005, 14:36
Terribly disturbing but not surprising photos. Ghost, think you got the wrong message. I tried to imply the point that there are daily civilian casualties in Iraq and that this journalist should thank her luck stars that she made it out alive. She encountered the real, every day threat of death that the poor people of Iraq are forced to face. Ned, while I agree that the job of the journalist is an endlessly important and noble one, I'd like to point out that war-correspondents die courageously as do soldiers. I simply believe that a war-correspondent should know the risks that he/she are taking when entering a war zone. This particular incident may have resulted by a mistake of the soldiers, by US policy, military policy, who knows... My only point is to come out of a war zone crying "Those bad Americans almost shot my ass off!" is damned idiotic. Unfortuately, mistakes happen during a war. It's the children that I feel sorry for most of all, not the jouranlists who take the crappy job to go try to achieve personal glory by taking photos of casualties. She made her own choice. Lucky for her she lived to tell about it.

yankee@moscow
07-03-2005, 14:48
No one is saying that the incident was "just". It was "just stupid"! The saying "War is hell" didn't just sprout up for no reason. You'd think that a reporter would know this stuff and not be so stupid as to coerce US Army soldiers into firing on them!

It's a shame that any non-combatants are killed in wars. Don't you think that the fact that non-combatants ARE killed because they ARE confused as being the enemy would make a knowledgable reporter think, "Hmmm, maybe I should look like I'm a reporter and not a speeding attacking terrorist car bomber?"

Kingwillhe
07-03-2005, 16:16
Originally posted by Ghost
The facts WILL come out over time. We're commenting on her statements now. This is a forum. We're discussing it in the age-old forum tradition. As far as I know, this isn't a previously discussed and smashed into the ground topic like many others (read: WMD). God forbid a new subject is touched on, right King? Nothing like a healthy dose of condescension to make me lose interest.

Cheers!

ghost 6-3
07-03-2005, 16:19
Certainly the Italian journalist bears blame for going to Iraq in the first place. As the two French journalists, Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot, who were kidnapped and held for some months said, when asked what they would tell their fellow journalists about going to Iraq: "Don't go". There are, they said, more than enough Iraqi freelancers to do the job. Going there is folly.

And yankee - the Washinton Post had a nice story today roadblock troubles - even Western contractors being fired on, not speeding towards the road blocks, but driving at 5mph with their IDs extended out the window.

I'm not criticizing the soldiers, or saying war isn't hell. It's just probably time for better road block training and policy. This is obviously a thing that has no standard procedures and no training policy, as it wasn't forseen by the military command (i.e. Rumsfeld). We may need to better inform the Iraqi public, even if it may slightly increase the risk to our own soldiers.

Ghost
07-03-2005, 16:54
Originally posted by Kingwillhe
Nothing like a healthy dose of condescension to make me lose interest.

Cheers!

Wish I had known that's what it took 100 threads ago.

peyote
07-03-2005, 18:50
1- there's a checkpoint coming. let's slow down and behave good. we don't want to be taken as enemies.
or
2- there's a checkpoint coming. let's speed up and get killed.

how stupid can you be not to make the right choice? unless an american checkpoint doesn't look like one at all. perfectly possible.

then there are the agent(s) who survived (don't know how many were there) who work for the government and not for the communist press which wants to trash the americans. do they have a version of the story? anyone knows?

crom
07-03-2005, 19:56
one report (french and arabic) stated they had passed through 4 checkpoints already?

koba65
07-03-2005, 20:01
Originally posted by crom
one report (french and arabic) stated they had passed through 4 checkpoints already?

That's technically possible, however - I pose this question: If they had "passed" through 4 American checkpoints why didn't they mention they had a recently rescued hostage and request a military evacuation and/or escort?? Seems a bit odd that security agents would not make such a request in a war zone they did not control.

Ghost
07-03-2005, 20:20
Originally posted by peyote

how stupid can you be not to make the right choice? unless an american checkpoint doesn't look like one at all. perfectly possible.


The whole point of a checkpoint is NOT to disguise it, so everyone sees and stops.

Sparafucile
07-03-2005, 20:38
>> I'm not criticizing the soldiers <<

Well, snakes alive! Who ever would think you might?

You'd sooner cave your own head in with a baseball bat than admit that a single thing has ever been done wrong by a United States Citizen.

PS - Congratulations on getting the Bulgarian today. Another great job done, Bush will award that soldier a medal.

yankee@moscow
07-03-2005, 21:31
Ya know, in 'Nam, you could get away with this stuff a lot easier. Doesn't anyone else notice that? Everything that happens in Iraq is just reported so huge. I've never seen anything else like it. Is there nothing else going on in the world?

Am I the only one that thinks that the Iraqi war has been over for some time now? It seems to me that the war is now between terrorists and everyone else in Iraq. The Iraqis are fighting the terrorists and the coalition forces are fighting the terrorists. Hell, the freak'n war is over. When the people from the country you invaded are fighting as your willing allies, doesn't that mean that the war is over? I mean, I'm not crazy am I? WTF?

Ghost
07-03-2005, 22:05
Originally posted by Sparafucile
You'd sooner cave your own head in with a baseball bat than admit that a single thing has ever been done wrong by a United States Citizen.


There has to be a Yin for every Yang. Where there is someone who will leap at every attempt, there must be someone who will never leap at all.

ghost 6-3
08-03-2005, 08:30
Sparafucile, I am not criticizing the American soldiers not because they can do no wrong. If you read my post (and it is crystal clear you didn't bother) you would realize I was criticizing the lack of clear procedures for manning and controling checkpoints.

Lets be serious, we did not expect the war we are fighting to develop as it did. Men are given outlines on manning checkpoints, but none of the training in various ways of handling them, different dangerous situations, etc. They are set up in different places, manned by different troops, all the time. Eventually US forces will develop a standardized system for depolying and manning roadblocks which will also protect soldiers manning the positions from attack. However, our current procedure of classifying the whole thing only makes the whole situation a disaster waiting to happen.

Indeed, if it were as easy as seeing a big, brightly lit American road block, well, marked, with plenty of warning signs, speed bumps, gates, etc all about, why have so many parents risked their children's lives trying to run them (dozens of women and children have been killed at these road blocks). Is it because they are not as clear as we think? Is it because insurgents also set up road blocks to kidnap and kill security forces? Remember, we are a long, long way from having control of the country (remember the Army Chief of Staff reccommended over twice the force Rumsfeld deployed, and saw his carreer ended for saying so).

Sparafucile
08-03-2005, 13:32
>> Lets be serious, we did not expect the war we are fighting to develop as it did. <<

Why not? Let's be honest, you have a Military High Command with recent field experience of fighting the same leaders of the same country. How much more would you want to go on than that?

It's not me you have to convince, Ghost. It's the Italians and the Bulgarians. My own Prime-Minister has spinelessly collaborated in enquiries exhonerating the US Military from blame in shooting the RAF out of the sky. So Britain will probably carry on supporting you, unless you actually manage to shoot Mr Hoon at point-blank range on live TV. But for the others... it seems there is a lot of explaining to do. The American Ambassador in Rome has been summoned for the third time to meet Berlusconi. Being summoned it is not, I believe, a good thing.

crom
08-03-2005, 14:02
Seems the Italians have now taken the car for forensic tests, and they are treating this as a murder enquiry.
one point I haven't seen brought up here is the fact early on in the 'occupation' ther were many reports of false checkpoints being set up by 'dissidents' and there were many deaths, and kidnappings.
Perhaps this thought was in mind in not slowing down? when there is a blaze of lights pointing at you, nobody is to know who is behind them.

koba65
08-03-2005, 15:13
Originally posted by crom
Seems the Italians have now taken the car for forensic tests, and they are treating this as a murder enquiry.
one point I haven't seen brought up here is the fact early on in the 'occupation' ther were many reports of false checkpoints being set up by 'dissidents' and there were many deaths, and kidnappings.
Perhaps this thought was in mind in not slowing down? when there is a blaze of lights pointing at you, nobody is to know who is behind them.

It's the US's controlled war zone, so in the end the US will bear the responsibility - however, as someone who has been through several armed "checkpoints" in Belfast, East Berlin and elsewhere - rule number one is OBEY all commands - if you don't deadly force is authorized. End of story - surely the Italian security agents knew this. They also probably realized that the checkpoints are manned by very skittish young men whose main task is to protect themselves and their comrades from any attacks. Unfortunately, in a war zone, it's shoot first and ask questions later. It's a shame that the Italian journalist decided to put herself at risk and travel to an area she was told it wasn't wise to go to - she was "captured" (as predicted) and people put their lives at risk because of her selfish desire for "glory."

There's a reason why the military recommends journalists follow certain guidlines in a war zone - safety and security. She is the ultimately the one responsible for ignoring these rules and guidelines.

Ned Kelly
08-03-2005, 15:38
yes, but she has a responsibility to find out what's going on and not simply pass on the tripe dished out at military briefings.

there are cowboys (and girls) among journalists; there are also serious people trying to broadcast what's going on. indeed, taking the government's word at face value played a big role in iraq turning out the disaster it is.

i'm not sure whether the italian journalist was sincere or a wannabe star but i get pretty tired of people sitting back taking pot-shots at reporters and determined to believe their government no matter what.

you guys would be solid pillars in the putin regime.

ghost 6-3
08-03-2005, 15:48
Ned,
As the French journalist hostages said, there are more than enough Iraqi and other Arab journalists in the area to check on the situation. I assume you are not implying that only Western journalists, with happy translator in tow, could possible get the story out. Let AP, Rueters, and other Arab stringers (many educated in the west, and, amazingly, even intellegent) do the job, and let the hot dog western journalists hang if they insist on taking the risks (or at least, don't pay $10m to fee them).

Ned Kelly
08-03-2005, 15:55
i don't agree with any ransoms being paid.

i think everything else you've written is rot: you imply racism where none was suggested; and a journalist's job when reporting is to see/find things out first hand.

koba65
08-03-2005, 18:21
Originally posted by Ned Kelly
yes, but she has a responsibility to find out what's going on and not simply pass on the tripe dished out at military briefings.

there are cowboys (and girls) among journalists; there are also serious people trying to broadcast what's going on. indeed, taking the government's word at face value played a big role in iraq turning out the disaster it is.

i'm not sure whether the italian journalist was sincere or a wannabe star but i get pretty tired of people sitting back taking pot-shots at reporters and determined to believe their government no matter what.

you guys would be solid pillars in the putin regime.

How objective could she be when she's an admitted communist working for "Il Manifesto" and writes nothing but the same sort of "news" you read in "Pravda."

We can take pot-shots at reporters and at governments. Not believing the reporters doesn't mean you believe what the government says.

My point on her is she was working in a zone that was "no go" and the reason the military doesn't want non-combatants there is because they put themselves in danger and eventually put servicmen in danger when they have to go rescue their butts. The reporters are already getting way more access than in previous conflicts.

koba65
08-03-2005, 18:22
http://www.washtimes.com/national/20050308-121240-1847r.htm

"The left-leaning Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported yesterday that Mr. Calipari decided not to use available escort protection from the elite commandos who protect Italy's Baghdad embassy.
Instead, he rented an inconspicuous pickup trick to recover Miss Sgrena, wrote La Repubblica's top investigative reporter, Giuseppe D'Avanzo.
"In Iraq, the United States makes the rules and the Italian ally also must respect them. If it wants to break them, it must do so with a double game and some crafty tricks," Mr. D'Avanzo wrote.
Italian magistrates have opened an inquiry into the killing and are arranging for the truck to be flown to Italy for examination by ballistic experts, judicial sources said. The magistrates also have obtained from the U.S. military the cellular phone that Mr. Calipari was carrying when he was shot.
Analysis of calls logged on the cellular phone might allow investigators to determine the speed at which the vehicle was traveling when U.S. troops opened fire on it, the sources say.
Mel Sembler, U.S. ambassador to Italy, reiterated Washington's position in a 45-minute meeting with Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi last night, diplomatic sources said.
Robert Maginnis, a retired Army officer and military analyst, said Rome should have done a better job coordinating Miss Sgrena's exit once the Italians negotiated her release.
"It seems to me that the Italian secret service considers this a James Bond movie in Baghdad," Mr. Maginnis said. "They're driving around at night picking up a journalist who has been kidnapped and pretending they can get through a phalanx of checkpoints along the deadliest road in all of Iraq without being detected, much less shot up."
The Army's 3rd Infantry Division, which last week resumed command of Baghdad operations after participating in the 2003 invasion, said the soldiers had warned the approaching car repeatedly before opening fire.
According to the division, the patrol attempted to warn the driver to stop by hand and arm signals, flashing white lights, and firing warning shots in front of the car."

Ghost
08-03-2005, 18:30
Can you post the link to that article, Koba?

koba65
08-03-2005, 19:23
Link posted (in previous posting)

Ned Kelly
08-03-2005, 20:57
i woudn't wipe my arse with the washington times.

Ghost
08-03-2005, 20:59
Would you prefer "Il Manefesto"?

Ned Kelly
08-03-2005, 21:01
no, but when the washington times, a know shit-rag for the right, is doing a hatchet job, i'm not going to be giving it much credence.

koba65
08-03-2005, 21:36
But the article was based on a left-leaning rag - plus the Washington Times has good sources inside the Pentagon (doesn't mean they're always right)...

PS - You win for being the first to post the predicted "Washington Times" equals sh&t prize... ;)

Ghost
08-03-2005, 22:10
'Tis true, Koba PM'd me and promised me someone would comment on the source before the day was out.

ghost 6-3
09-03-2005, 09:07
Ned Kelly,
I am not implying racism. I was implying elitism. By your logic, the Jerusalem Post should be sending reporters to Jenin to get the 'real story'. Moshe Schwartz, wandering around the Palestinian refugees looking for a story is no more sensible than an Italian reporter wandering around Falluja, asking people how they feel. A bit of common sense seems to be lacking, and others too often pay for it.

Goose0009
09-03-2005, 20:42
I am critical of the U.S. because it has to be held to a higher standard. Yet, I don't believe the U.S. soldiers tried to murder her. I think those guys just want to stay alive.

peyote
10-03-2005, 15:22
Originally posted by Ghost
The whole point of a checkpoint is NOT to disguise it, so everyone sees and stops. right. i meant to suggest the checkpoint wouldn't look like one in their eyes as a possible explanation for speeding and running away. unlikely maybe, but sometimes in a war zone confusion takes over, specially among non-military people.

ghost 6-3
10-03-2005, 15:30
Keep in mind that the Bad Guys also set up false checkpoints (see today's assassination of a Baghdad police chief.