The story of an italian called Giuliana Sgrena
So, here is my take on the story of the italian journalist hostage Giuliana Sgrena. You may agree with it, you may disagree with it, but that's up to you. As for me, after reading the different accounts of the story, i have come up with what most of you may view as an extreme conclusion: She should've died! I will tell you why i think so, but let me give you a little background on her story first: Giuliana is a reporter for an Italian newspaper called Il Manifesto, which happens to be a communist newspaper that opposed the War in Iraq to begin with and viewed the insurgants as freedom fighters againts the evil US occupiers. Giuliana was one of the newspapers top voices calling against the iraq war and Italy's participation in it. Then one day, when she was in Iraq, she apparently gets "kidnapped", after which the insurgents released an emotional videotape where she pleads for her life and asks that her country withdraws its troops from Iraq. She said and i quote:"I beg you, put an end to the occupation. I beg the Italian government and the Italian people to put pressure on the government to pull out. Everyone must withdraw from Iraq. No one should come to Iraq any longer because all foreigners, all Italians are considered enemies. Please do something for me. " Now, me personally, when i first heard this tory a month ago, ehh, i have to be honest, i kinda laughed, while being kinda skeptic about the whole thing. On one hand, i thought it was kinda funny and ironic that the same people she champions and whom she calls heros are the ones who kidnapped her and threatening to kill her. If that happend to me, i believe it would be kind of an eye-opener that they don't really differnetiate between westerners who are on their side and those who aren't: They want them all dead. I dunno about you, but if it was me, i would be not very supportive of those people thretaning to kill me, would you? Which leads us to the part of which i am skecptic: What if it was all a ploy or a publicity stunt? I mean it's a little too convenient don't you think?Having her kidnapped and the kind of appeal she made, it's the kind of thing that would cause people to get emotionally charged about things. What if it was a stunt to get the italian street to oppose the war? I figured that there was only one way to find out: If it was a stunt, then she wouldn't get killed. Guess what? They released her. Th italians apprently sent one of their intelligence agents to negotiate getting her out, and apprently they succeded to do so without paying a ransom. After getting her in the car, the agent apprently sped off to the heavily US guarded airport, where The US soldiers, apparenetly mistaking it for a suicide bomber, opend fire on the vehicle. Capilari, the italian intellgence officer, died protecting the body of Guiliana, who survived the rain of bullets. Now, according to the Italian foreign minister, the whole thing was an unfortunate accident. Here is how he described the events that happend: "The car was traveling at a velocity that couldn't have been more than 40 kilometers (25 miles) per hour," Fini said, adding there were no attempts to stop the car as indicated by the U.S. military. Immediately after the fatal shooting, U.S. soldiers apologized profusely to Sgrena and an unnamed intelligence officer who survived the gunfire, Fini said. He said Calipari, an experienced officer who had negotiated the release of other hostages in Iraq in the past, "made all the necessary contacts with the U.S. authorities," both with those in charge of airport security and with the forces patrolling areas next to the airport. Now, according to the US military, that is not exactly how it went down: An internal Pentagon memo said Italian security forces failed to make arrangement for the safe passage of a released Italian hostage who was wounded when US troops opened fire as she was being driven to the airport in Baghdad, a US newspaper reported. The US military has said its forces gave ample warning to the driver of Sgrena's car, which they said was approaching at speed when they opened fire. The internal Pentagon information memo obtained by The Washington Times mentioned the dangerous conditions of the road Sregna was traveling on, where it says mistaken shootings have resulted in a "few deadly incidents" since March 2003. However, it blames the Italians for Friday's incident. "This is war," said the memo as transcribed by the daily. "About 500 American service members have been killed by hostile fire while operating on Iraqi streets and highways. "The journalist was driving in pitch-dark and at a high speed and failed, according to the first reports, to respond to numerous warnings. "Besides, there is no indication that the Italian security forces made prior arrangements to facilitate the transition to the airport," the memo said. Robert Maginnis, a retired Army officer and military analyst consulted by The Washington Times, said the Italians should have given serious attention to their moves about Iraq. "It seems to me that the Italian secret service considers this a James Bond movie in Baghdad," 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." Guiliana , of course, came up with her own theory: The American soldiers were trying to assassinate her. Apparently, according to her account, the kidnappers- again, note the word kidnappers- were nice and were cheering her up about her getting released. And then they proceeded to warn her about how the US military will try to kill her: They came back: "We'll take you and don't give any signals of your presence with us otherwise the Americans could intervene." It was confirmation that I didn't want to hear; it was altogether the most happy and most dangerous moment. If we bumped into someone, meaning American military, there would have been an exchange of fire. My captors were ready and would have answered. The driver started yelling that we were Italians. "We are Italians, we are Italians." Nicola Calipari threw himself on me to protect me and immediately, I repeat, immediately I heard his last breath as he was dying on me. I must have felt physical pain. I didn't know why. But then I realized my mind went immediately to the things the captors had told me. They declared that they were committed to the fullest to freeing me but I had to be careful, "the Americans don't want you to go back." Then when they had told me I considered those words superfluous and ideological. At that moment they risked acquiring the flavor of the bitterest of truths, at this time I cannot tell you the rest. Now, who can guess who else is spreading that story besides Guiliana? You got it right, the terrorists: In Baghdad, a video purportedly made by the insurgents who kidnapped Sgrena claimed the group did not receive any ransom for her release. The tape showed footage of Sgrena shortly before she was freed, and the claim was made by a man off-camera reading a statement. It was not possible to verify the authenticity of the tape, which was dropped off anonymously at the offices of Associated Press Television News in Baghdad. The voice on the tape said Sgrena was released with no ransom "even though we were offered that." It added that "the resistance refuses (to be paid). We hope that all journalists around the world would be released." It's kinda weird since you are the ones kidnapping them. But whatever, go on. A written statement shown on screen and read by the man off-camera alleged that U.S. forces deliberately targeted Sgrena. "America has cheated its close ally Italy by attempting to assassinate the Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena," the statement said. "The resistance has learned from its private sources in the heart of America that the CIA decided to kill the journalist." Now, here is where i get confused about this theory of hers. So the US soldiers wanted to kill her. They opend fire on the car attempting to assassinate her and in turn killed the italian agent. Now, can someone explain to me why they didn't finish the job? I mean, they had already opend fire. They were a outnumbering the italian agents and they had already stoped the car. Why not finish the job? Why didn't they just kill her if that was their intention to begin with and then declare the whole thing as an accident? What stopped them? If they are such killers why did they stop shooting immedietly and started apologizing to Guiliana and the other italian officer in the car? Can someone explain that to me? Look, the woman is an idealogue and a liar. My own theory is that she is working with the insurgency, that the whole thing was a stunt and that the shooting was a horrible mistake that she is now exploiting to her fullest advantage. The woman was biased to begin with. She spoke highly of those who kidnapped her for a month and yet called the ones that arranged her to get transported home "Killers" who tried to assassinate her.I am sorry, but in my book that gives her less credibility then that of Jayson Blair. And the sad thing is that she is exploiting the whole thing to cause a rift between Italy and the US and it just might work. Now do you get why i think she should've died? I feel bad for the family of the italian officer who died saving that woman's life. I also feel bad for the soldiers there who opend fire by mistake on an unidnetified car coming their way in one of Iraq's most dangerous roads, cause they might get scapegoated and are now getting their reputation tarnished as killers and assassins of journalists, cause honestly, they have to deal with enough shit as it is. I don't feel one ounce of pity towards Guiliana though, and i hope that the italian people are smart enough to figure out that she is full of shit. I hope!