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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » Sgrena may be right and may have deserved it

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Author Topic: Sgrena may be right and may have deserved it
towellman
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When I first read the Sgrena explanation for why her car was fired on by US troops as it left I said to myself "There goes all her credibility..."
quote:
Speaking from the Rome hospital where she is being treated, Sgrena said the troops may have targeted her because Washington opposes Italy's reported readiness to pay ransoms to kidnappers.

"The United States doesn't approve of this (ransom) policy and so they try to stop it in any way possible," the veteran war reporter, 57, told Sky Italia TV.

But then I read how much her captors had been given
quote:
Although Italy has denied paying kidnappers in past hostage releases, Agriculture Minister Gianni Alemanno told the Corriere that "very probably" a large ransom had been paid in this case. Newspapers spoke of sums of up to 8 million euros ($10 million).
another source I read gave a figure of $1 million.

Then I actually started to believe her. If I was a troop on the group and knew that saving that one communist journalist had just given the terrorists $1-10 million to build a thousand road-side bombs, buy 100 shoulder-launch rockets, or thousands more Kalishnokovs. I would have seriously considered taking her out myself.

End Point: How many more American lives will that one woman cost?

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Everard
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This thread makes me angry. Before you start blaming people ransomed back from the terrorists for american deaths, consider how that logic works in terms of not paying ransom, and beheadings.
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towellman
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Please explain...are you saying that millions of dollars given to enemies is worth it to prevent one beheading? Obviously, many people, especially Europeans and Philippinos agree with you. But I can not understand how rational, responsible people can pursue that course of action and completely ignore the consequences of paying the ransom.

These are not nice, greedy terrorists that are just in it for the money. They're not going to buy an island and retire with those millions like in the movies.

The consequences are more kidnappings, more American Deaths and disabilities, more Iraqi deaths and disabilities, and prolongation of the conflict.

The good of the individual can override the good of the many when the potential harm to the individual is great and the risk to the many small. But that is not the case. Many will die while that individual, who knowingly took up residence in a foreign war zone, lives.

Her head was not worth it. Her government should have been rational enough to see that.

[ March 06, 2005, 10:35 PM: Message edited by: towellman ]

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Gaoics79
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My attitude is about the same as the Japanese on this issue: this imbecile goes to Iraq, gets herself kidnapped, and thanks to her, has now helped the insurgent cause further by providing them with extra funding. Of course, her politics are such that she's probably happy with this result. She'd have probably given them the money willingly, had she been able, and had they only asked nicely [Smile]
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Everard
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"End Point: How many more American lives will that one woman cost?"

No, my point was that if you blame a reporter who is kidnapped and ransomed by terrorists for american deaths, then several points logically follow. We can blame people who oppose ransom for the deaths of those who are kidnapped and not ransomed, and we can blame the people who were killed in the world trade center for their own deaths.

You're blaming a woman, who was reporting the war, for funding the terrorists because she was ransomed, and stating that it is then her fault that americans will die to these terrorists. However, the woman was the victim of terrorism... whatever support terrorists get from her cash is not her fault, anymore then it is the fault of the people who were working in the WTC that Al-qaeda had a beef with United States foreign policy.

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fizz
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Some small facts from Italy that maybe are not fully known there... the policy of paying kidnappers is enacted by the italian government, that is absolutely anti-communist (it also have a bit of 1950 flavor to it, calling communist whoever dares disagree with his leader, but now I'm digressing...), because the government knows perfectly that the public opinion is widely against the occupation and the italian involvement in it. As regional elections are coming, and in a year national ones too, they don't want to risk too much bad press coming from beheaded italians, like the last one beheaded caused. From reports from the italian secret services, the USA command turn his head off in exchange for the continued simbolic italian military presence, that add a bit of international legitimation.
quote:
Her head was not worth it. Her government should have been rational enough to see that.
Our government does not gave a **** about american lives, iraq lives, and italian (expecially communist!) ones. What does it care about, is avoiding bad press, public opinion, next elections and our premier personal interests.
quote:
this imbecile goes to Iraq, gets herself kidnapped,
Don't discount the presence of independent press. The public eye it's the only things that made modern war slightly better than ancient ones, from an humanitarian point of view. In the dark grows monsters....
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towellman
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"the italian government, that is absolutely anti-communist (it also have a bit of 1950 flavor to it, calling communist whoever dares disagree with his leader, but now I'm digressing...),"

I didn't say that the Italian government was communist, I said she was.
quote:
Sgrena, who writes for a communist newspaper that routinely opposes U.S. policy in Iraq
Quote from AP news

@Ev
"You're blaming a woman, who was reporting the war, for funding the terrorists because she was ransomed"

You make a good point that it is not this woman's fault that she was ransomed. However, I am angry at her government for giving terrorists money and supporting the practice of kidnapping, even if beheadings are bad press. Frankly I think for some people (myself inculded) at this point a beheading of a citizen in Iraq would show me that my government had good judgement and had the ability to weigh the consequences of saving a single life.

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fizz
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quote:
I didn't say that the Italian government was communist, I said she was.
I understood that. My point was that the peoples actualy payng ransoms are really really anti-communists... in fact, one of the strongest party of the allegiance of government is the descendant of the old fascist party.
So, there is no relationship between paying ransoms and being against the iraq occupation. In fact, most of the parties that opposes the occupation are attacking the government for having choosen to pay them to avoid the political cost of having some italian killed.
I too personally didn't like this war, didn't approve my nation partecipation, don't like current US policy, and still, don't approve paying ransom to kidnappers. But this is the way of our current government. Not surprisingly, I don't like it.

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fizz
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quote:
I would have seriously considered taking her out myself.
Oh, apart from agreeing with you that paying kidnappers is never a good policy, I would dare to say that such a statement, if not intended as a mere rethoric figure, could be read as quite a vengeful, bloodthirsty and even barbaric one, in my own judgement. I always feared that war tend to makes beasts of men, statements like that reinforce my fear.
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Wayward Son
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quote:
If I was a troop on the group and knew that saving that one communist journalist had just given the terrorists $1-10 million to build a thousand road-side bombs, buy 100 shoulder-launch rockets, or thousands more Kalishnokovs. I would have seriously considered taking her out myself.

End Point: How many more American lives will that one woman cost?

So by saving her neck, she put American necks at risk, and that gives the Americans the right to kill her??? [Roll Eyes]

By that logic, the Spanish should have open season on American troops, since our war in Iraq has put their civilian population at risk.

I am sorry that freeing Sgrena may have given resources to the terrorists. That is regretable. But using that as justification for trying to kill her? Give me a break.

If that was the justification for shooting at her car, then everyone involved should be treated like the murderous extortionists that they are. Better yet, send them to Guantamino (sic) as the terrorists that they are.

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Dagonee
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Italy is our ally. Intentionally shooting one of their agents or reporters because we disagree with how they save that reporter's life would be abominable.

The most likely explanation is that somebody screwed up - the driver, the guards at the checkpoint, or, more likely, both.

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Kit
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At least one report on this I read said the car was approaching at high speed, that warning shots were fired, and then shots were fired to disable the car. Don't knwo if this has been verified or what, but it sounds more resonable to me than a specific targeting of a recently released hostage.

But the reports of her words make it sound like she believes she was directly targeted at her, because Americians are monsters.

Found a link:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200503/s1317181.htm

I'm sure more could be found.

From Fox:
"I believe, but it's only a hypothesis, that the happy ending to the negotiations must have been irksome," she said. "The Americans are against this type of operation. For them, war is war, human life doesn't count for much."

In separate remarks Sunday, she said: "The fact that the Americans don't want negotiations to free the hostages is known."

"The fact that they do everything to prevent the adoption of this practice to save the lives of people held hostage, everybody knows that," she added, speaking to Sky TG24 television by telephone. "So I don't see why I should rule out that I could have been the target."

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Doug J
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While i hate the idea that the money might help the terrorist, you can't fault the woman for doing whatever she could to save her life.

Of course she was the target of that gunfire. Those guards didn't want to take tha chance of getting blown up by some crazy car when it started to violate the rules. She is damn lucky they only disabled the car instead of pulling a Bonnie & Clyde on her.

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Colin JM0397
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How quick some of you are to take her assumptions as possibly factual.

Most of you are not taking into account the pucker factor of those on the ground and the well-known fact that any vehicle running through a checkpoint - particularly when the folks on the ground don't know about any VIPs in the area - is going to get blasted.

quote:
Italian agents likely withheld information from U.S. counterparts about a cash-for-freedom deal with gunmen holding an Italian hostage for fear that Americans might block the trade, Italian news reports said yesterday.
The decision by operatives of Italy's SISMI military intelligence service to keep the CIA in the dark about the deal for the release of reporter Giuliana Sgrena, might have "short-circuited" communications with U.S. forces controlling the road from Baghdad to the city's airport, the newspaper La Stampa said.

From Italians kept U.S. forces in dark

Now, put yourself in PVT Joe Snuffy's shoes in Iraq and answer this one question, what would you do?

As with every death there, it is heart-wrenching, but please don't loose sight of the other side of this story - the scared, tired, strung out folks we have over there guarding these checkpoints.

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Daruma28
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Common sense.

If the US Soldiers really wanted to kill her, she would be dead...instead of treating her and returning her to Italian authorities once they realized what had happened.

Duh.

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Dagonee
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Daruma, that was my initial reaction, but if the target was the operative and not the reporter, then this result might be better for deniability, mainly because of our initial reaction that if this were intentional, there would be no survivors.

Frankly, though, shooting a moving car intending to hit only one occupant inside seems too chancy for anyone to intend it. I lean toward accident spurred by poor communication.

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Daruma28
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From the Washington Times:

quote:
ROME -- Italian agents likely withheld information from U.S. counterparts about a cash-for-freedom deal with gunmen holding an Italian hostage for fear that Americans might block the trade, Italian news reports said yesterday.

The decision by operatives of Italy's SISMI military intelligence service to keep the CIA in the dark about the deal for the release of reporter Giuliana Sgrena, might have "short-circuited" communications with U.S. forces controlling the road from Baghdad to the city's airport, the newspaper La Stampa said.

It's just obvious this was a friendly fire accident based on a lack of proper communication between allies and a failure to adhere to war zone protocol at a check-point. Italian intelligence officers should have known better.

It's disgusting that some people are seizing this unfortunate incident and trying to get political mileage out of it to serve an agenda.

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Wayward Son
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Personally, until proven otherwise, I believe that it was as reported, that our ground troops were edgy and thought it might be a terrorist car bomb. The fact that Sgrena thinks otherwise is probably due more to her politics than her unique insight to the incident.

However, remember towellman's initial point of this thread, Darma. He contends we might have done it on purpose, and that she "may have deserved it" (per the thread title). And that is an outrageous point, because if it were true, it would make us no better than terrorists.

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DonaldD
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jm, who exactly on this thread "take her assumptions as possibly factual?"

The only thing close is WS, and that only in reference to another hypothetical. I doubt anyone here believes the US purposefully targetted this woman. Anyone believe this? Anyone? (I think I'll name my first-born "Anyone", or maybe "Nobody"...)

At any rate, the woman was deranged: who wouldn't be after living for months under the fear of death, only to be almost killed after finally being released? In fact, I heard on the radio this morning that she's already started backpedalling on her earlier statements.

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Kit
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DonD, I suggest "Not Me". That was the one most used in my family.
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The Drake
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Paying for hostages is a dangerous precedent, but let's not kid ourselves. The US government has done it in the past, and might do so in the future. At least the Italians didn't trade arms for hostages...
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Wayward Son
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Low blow, Drake. Low blow.

I like it! [Smile]

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