I meant to post about this yesterday, but never got around to it. (That’s happened a lot, lately.)
The incident where US troops manning a checkpoint fired on the car carrying just-released Italian hostage Giuliana Sgrena, wounding her, killing the Italian agent who had just negotiated her release, and wounding one or two others, is obviously unfortunate and quite disheartening.
But I was going to note yesterday that I fully expected the occupants of the car to deny that they had sped toward a checkpoint or that warning shots had been fired. My point was going to be that if they had realized they were approaching a US checkpoint or that the soldiers manning the station were firing “across their bow”, they would have stopped. Since they didn’t stop, they must not have been aware of it (however unlikely that might seem to you or me) and would therefore honestly (as far as they knew) say that they were just attacked “out of the blue”.
That’s basically what’s happening now:
ROME – The Italian journalist who was wounded by American troops in Baghdad shortly after being released by her Iraqi captors denied U.S. allegations that the car she was in was speeding…
And here’s the icing on the cake:
…and said Sunday she did not rule out the possibility she was targeted deliberately.
She apparently thinks that because the US military disapproves of negotiating with terrorists (which they do) that they might target those allies who do so.
Now, if Sgrena worked for CNN we’d know that OF COURSE US soldiers had intentionally targeted her. It’s been proven CONCLUSIVELY that the military has it in for the media and that they have declared war on reporters and those that harbor them.
(Folks, that previous paragraph was sarcasm…)
Yes, the US is opposed to negotiating with terrorists. I believe that this is the correct policy, though your mileage may vary.
But to suggest that we’d intentionally fire on a car filled with citizens of a nation that has been a pretty staunch supporter in the war simply because they deal with the bad guys in different manner is quite a stretch.
Cars in Iraq have been trying to run checkpoints since the first hour of the invasion. Many of them have contained enemy officials or terrorists trying to escape or they’ve been driven by suicide bombers. Any vehicle that doesn’t play by the rules is going to get taken out.
The US military is investigating the incident, and I expect that it will reveal the shocking news that the troops on the checkpoint were simply doing what they were supposed to be doing. If it does, it probably won’t make headlines.
Why is that, do you think?
UPDATE: Expat Yank:
“She offered no evidence for her claim. . .”
Yeh, well, who needs evidence. She’s a “journalist”, don’t forget.
UPDATE 2: Actually, Expat Yank has an earlier post with a ton of good links and commentary on the subject. He notes that China’s Xinhua seems more level-headed than the BBC.
He shoots. He scores. Check it out.