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Old 03-08-2005, 12:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Incompetence, deliberate or a genuine mistake?

I'm surprised no-one's started a thread on this yet.

The kidnapped Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena believes that it was no accident that US troops shot at her car as she made her way to Baghdad airport after being freed from her kidnappers. She claims that the US targeted her as they are vehemently against negotiating with kidnappers (it is claimed that a sum of up to $10million was paid for her release), but the US (obviously) deny this:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4323361.stm

Quote:
Hostage's shooting 'no accident'

Sgrena was injured in the shooting, which killed an Italian agent
Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena has said she cannot accept US troops accidentally fired on her car after her kidnappers freed her in Baghdad.
Ms Sgrena told the BBC Americans guarding Baghdad airport might not have been informed about her arrival, but their actions could not be excused.

Earlier, she suggested US troops might have deliberately tried to kill her.

The US military, who said troops fired on the speeding car after it failed to stop, has opened a full investigation.

An Italian secret service agent, Nicola Calipari, who negotiated Ms Sgrena's release, died as he shielded Ms Sgrena from the shots.

Ms Sgrena told BBC News she could not say "why they shot at us in this way".

"But it's a very big responsibility and we ask a response on what happened," she said.

"It can't be just said that it was just an accident. We can't accept this, it is not possible."

She said Italian officials knew her car was on the airport road and she assumed they had informed the Americans.

She could not say if she was deliberately shot at "because we can't say if there was misinformation, but also misinformation in this case is a responsibility because you are in a war field".

"You have to have the responsibility to pass immediately any information and the information was given to the Italians that we were on the road so I think that they have given the information to tell the Americans that we were on the road."

Earlier, in another interview with Sky Italia TV, she said it was possible the soldiers had targeted her because Washington opposed the policy of negotiating with kidnappers.

"Everyone knows that the Americans do not like negotiations to free hostages, and because of this I don't see why I should exclude the possibility of me having been the target," she said.

And writing in her left-wing Il Manifesto newspaper, she said upon her release her kidnappers warned her to be careful 'because there are Americans who don't want you to go back'."

Ms Sgrena paid tribute to Mr Calipari, whom she described as "a very special man" who gave her hope.

Italian media say at least 10,000 people have visited Rome's Vittoriano monument, where the body of Mr Calipari, who is being treated as a national hero, is lying in state.

He will be given a state funeral on Monday.

"I am very very sad, I am very painful for him," she said.

The incident in Baghdad threatens to have continuing political fallout in Rome, says our correspondent there, David Willey.

Pressure will grow on Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, a staunch ally of US President George W Bush, to reconsider the wisdom of keeping on Italian peacekeepers in Iraq, our correspondent says.

Already, the Italian foreign ministry has warned all Italian nationals to avoid travel to Iraq.

Ms Sgrena was abducted on 4 February, and later appeared in a video begging for help and urging foreign troops to leave Iraq.

Much of the country was opposed to the US-led war in Iraq and the government's decision to send 3,000 Italian troops to Iraq.
Myself, I still think it was just gross negligence on the part of the trigger-happy (and probably spaced-out) US troops. If they really wanted her dead, she would be.

But it does shed new light on the other, similar incidents that "merely" involved some poor Iraqi families. Sgrena's bodyguards were experienced military personnel who had passed through numerous checkpoints before - they were very familiar with the procedure. They all claim to have received no warnings, either lights, arm-waving or shots in the air. They also say they were not speeding, travelling at only 40-50kph.

Makes you wonder if there exists a policy of "shoot first, make up excuses later."
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Old 03-08-2005, 01:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Scary stuff, hard to know who/what to believe when it comes to that war
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Old 03-08-2005, 02:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. I doubt seriously the soldiers was "spaced out" considering the extensive drug testing the military does. Trigger happy maybe, but if you seen suicide bombers on a daily basis I surmise you would be just a little trigger happy yourself in the same situation. I vote to allow the investigation to be completed before hanging the blame on anyone. There will be tremendous political pressure applied on the military to do a proper investigation.
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Old 03-08-2005, 02:23 AM   #4 (permalink)
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By "spaced-out" I'm refering to the practice of distributing amphetamines among selected personnel in the armed forces in order to keep them on the job longer (due to the well-publicised troop shortage).
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Old 03-08-2005, 03:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I was actually thinking about this myself. What probably happened, is that the terrorists negotiated with Italian/European socialists bent on the destruction of America. As part of the negotiations for the release of the reporter, they were instructed to rush the American checkpoint in an attempt to create an international incident to create more anti-American feeling. Any survivors were to deny that they did anything wrong, so that there would be outcry against the "trigger happy" or "spaced-out" American soldiers in Iraq. Looks like they succeded, score one for socialism and terrorism worldwide.
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Old 03-08-2005, 03:44 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Not to mention sarcasm.
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Old 03-08-2005, 06:47 AM   #7 (permalink)
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"The US military, who said troops fired on the speeding car after it failed to stop, has opened a full investigation.

...

She said Italian officials knew her car was on the airport road and she assumed they had informed the Americans. "

So, somone forgot to make a phone call and let guards know that the good guys wee coming, the good guys assumed that the call had been made, and a speeding car came toward the roadblock with the driver showing no intent of stopping. That's what has happened when insurgents drove car bombs into roadblocks in the past, so that's what the guards assumed was ahppening. There's no conspiracy. We're not shooting our allies because their governments paid for a hostage to be released.

The simplest explanation is most likely the right one, and the simplest explanation is that the guards thought they were about to be bombed and shot at the car to stop that from happening.
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Old 03-08-2005, 07:06 AM   #8 (permalink)
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MrSelfDestruct youre mostly right, but there are certain problems with this case.
The Car passed 2 or 3 checkpoints before without a problem, they were not speeding (according to the rescued hostage), they were shot by a patrol not at a checkpoint.
It sounds like the soldiers were overly nervous (quite understandably) and overreacted.
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Old 03-08-2005, 07:33 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Patrol not informed? Someone missed a link in the communications chain? Occam's razor all over again. It's likely that someone forgot that there was a patrol out around there and missed making a vital call.
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Old 03-08-2005, 07:40 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Maybe I have a cynical view of reporters but I think she's jumping on this to get herself a little more attention, adding a few more minutes to her fifteen. She has been anti-american in her writings to date, this is a prime opportunity to lob a few more insults to the US military and government.

I have to agree with DJ, if the US military wanted her dead she would be. This was most likely a horrible yet honest mistake.
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Old 03-08-2005, 07:46 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Please explain

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Happy
By "spaced-out" I'm refering to the practice of distributing amphetamines among selected personnel in the armed forces in order to keep them on the job longer (due to the well-publicised troop shortage).
Do you have any sources to back up this claim? Our military is very anti-drug. I would like to know what branch and units are practicing the distribution of amphetamines? What proof do you have?
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Old 03-08-2005, 07:56 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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if you watch the film "control room"

or read this, which covers much teh same information:

http://www.ringnebula.com/Oil/Journa...ings_Fisk.html

or this:

http://www.democracynow.org/article..../01/16/1524222

or this:

http://www.ifj.org/default.asp?index=2509&Language=EN

and connect it to this:
Quote:
Italians honour Iraq hostage go-between

John Hooper in Rome and Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington
Tuesday March 8, 2005
The Guardian

Italians bade an emotional farewell yesterday to the senior intelligence officer killed by US troops in Iraq last week as officials in Rome and Washington tried to dampen smouldering resentment over his death.

Nicola Calipari was given a state funeral, his body carried to Santa Maria degli Angeli church in Rome past a guard of honour formed of units from the police and all five of Italy's armed services.

An estimated 20,000 people in the square outside broke into applause as the coffin reappeared, draped with the national flag of red, green and white.

Gianni Letta, the junior minister responsible for the intelligence services, appealed to the congregation, which included the prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, to "leave controversy outside and close ranks around Nicola's family".

But Calipari's boss, the head of the military intelligence service, Nicolo Pollari, reflected the feelings of many when he spoke in his funeral oration of a "sense of rage" over the way that his foreign operations chief had met his end. Calipari died soon after securing the release of an Italian hostage, the journalist Giuliana Sgrena. Officials in Rome have indicated that a ransom was paid.

On Sunday, Ms Sgrena said that she did not discount the possibility that the car carrying them to Baghdad airport had been targeted by the Americans because of their opposition to negotiating with kidnappers.

The White House rejected Ms Sgrena's claims. "I think it's absurd to make any such suggestion that our men and women in uniform deliberately targeted innocent civil ians. "That's just absurd," said spokesman Scott McClellan.

However the Third Infantry Division, whose troops include those that fired on the Italians' car last Friday, came under investigation in April last year for opening fire on carloads of Iraqi women and children at checkpoints, according to US army documents obtained by the Guardian.

"The order was given to shoot anything that moves, but it wasn't meant to be taken literally," one soldier told the US army investigator.

One soldier described shooting women and children in cars "if they didn't respond to the signs, the presence of troops or warning shots".

Human rights organisations have lodged repeated complaints against US forces in Iraq, saying that they have failed to protect civilians at checkpoints, and that the rules of engagement are too lax.

Yesterday, Bulgaria said that US troops had probably shot dead one of its soldiers. The Bulgarian defence minister, Nikolai Svinarov, said an investigation into the death of the Bulgarian soldier in southern Iraq on Friday showed that he had probably been accidentally killed by American troops.

"Someone started shooting at our patrol from the west, and in the same direction, 150 metres away, there was a unit from the US army," he told a news conference. "The result gives us enough grounds to believe the death of rifleman Gurdi Gurdev was caused by friendly fire."

Anger and doubt about the incident involving the Italian intelligence officer have reignited controversy over the unfailing support provided by Mr Berlusconi's government for America's involvement in Iraq.

Italian newspapers yesterday quoted the prime minister as saying that the alliance with the US was "not up for debate". But Calipari's lying-in-state provided an opportunity for Italians not only to honour a fallen hero, but also to protest at a deeply unpopular policy. By the time the dead agent's coffin was loaded into a hearse, some 100,000 people had filed past it in a day and night when the weather was unrelentingly hostile.

Calipari spent much of his career in the police and many of his former colleagues and associates had turned out to pay their last respects, some wiping away tears from under their shiny peaked caps.

Among the priests officiating was Calipari's brother, Maurizio. The rest of the family sat in the front row.

Prosecutors in Rome, who have opened an inquiry into Calipari's death, announced last night that Italian officials in Iraq had taken possession of the car in which he was travelling with Ms Sgrena when he was killed.

They said that it would be flown back to Italy for a forensic examination. Their investigation continues to be classified as a murder inquiry.
source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/italy/stor...432655,00.html

it is clear that the americans have been at the least enforcing in their special way the notion that being part of the pooled press is better for the health of journalists than actually reporting what might be going on.

the implication above, that somehow folk who try to report on what is happening outside the limits of the pooled press are necessarily "antiamerican" and therefore (by implication) expendable is really nauseating.

as is the refusal to consider that what the press pool gets from american military officials might--just might--be false.

the whole idea of a tightly enforced press pool was tried out by the british during the falklands war. it was picked up by the reagan people and routinized. it is a mechanism that works to eliminate what the right sees still as the cause of the delusion they call "the vietnam syndrome"--that opposition to the war in vietnam was fueled by allowing the press to report on what was going on without having the american military spin built into the information itself.

that this is the case, and has been, should give anyone--anyone at all, regardless of your position on the war in iraq in general--pause when it comes to thinking about particular controversial actions.

that control of information is part of war is not a surprise: that you would believe this controlled information is a surprise. it seems to me totally irresponsable intellectually.
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Old 03-08-2005, 08:04 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Wouldn't it be nice if people gave the benefit of the doubt to our troops instead of to a journalist for a communist newspaper and a govt that paid a ransom for the woman's release?
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Old 03-08-2005, 08:08 AM   #14 (permalink)
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A number of friendly fire incidents have been blamed on US forces being under the influence of amphetamines, which although increase alertness and reduce fatigue (while under the influence) also severely impair judgment and rationality:

http://www.globalsecurity.org/org/ne...406-iraq02.htm

http://www.guardian.co.uk/afghanista...868547,00.html


I don't believe this could merely be blamed on a communication breakdown. Even if the troops didn't know that Sgrena was on the road, there is a procedure they have to follow. They can't just go around shooting at anything that moves. I do think that this was a mistake, but there have been too many mistakes like this one. Only this time it involved people other than some Iraqis, who nobody seems to care about anyway.
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Old 03-08-2005, 08:11 AM   #15 (permalink)
 
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like i said, in a context shaped by a tightly pooled press, it is intellectually irresponsible to not treat releases from the military as questionable. it is not a matter of giving individual troops the benefit of the doubt or not. it is a question of understanding the nature of the information you are being fed.

ncb: do you imagine that reporters for residual left papers should be shot? it is a pretty loathesome position. quite a champion of a diversity of views....
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Old 03-08-2005, 08:14 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCB
Wouldn't it be nice if people gave the benefit of the doubt to our troops instead of to a journalist for a communist newspaper and a govt that paid a ransom for the woman's release?
So "communist negotiators" equates to "liars"? Why?

US troops have been given the benefit of the doubt for years when it comes to these kind of incidents. But the incidents never stop. How long should you just "give the benefit of the doubt" before you realise that there is something seriously wrong?
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Old 03-08-2005, 08:14 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I read about this.

I also read some of the thing's she's reported on and many of her articles (more like rants against America), and suddenly all validity seemed to vanish.

I agree that they were probably charging a checkpoint, were shot at to stop (read: no casualties) and now are making a huff about it because they can.


Quote:
"It can't be just said that it was just an accident. We can't accept this, it is not possible."

She said Italian officials knew her car was on the airport road and she assumed they had informed the Americans.

She could not say if she was deliberately shot at "because we can't say if there was misinformation, but also misinformation in this case is a responsibility because you are in a war field".

"You have to have the responsibility to pass immediately any information and the information was given to the Italians that we were on the road so I think that they have given the information to tell the Americans that we were on the road."
There's a LOT of assumptions in that part alone... leading to some very hefty finger pointing without cause.
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Old 03-08-2005, 08:18 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Happy
So "communist negotiators" equates to "liars"? Why?

US troops have been given the benefit of the doubt for years when it comes to these kind of incidents. But the incidents never stop. How long should you just "give the benefit of the doubt" before you realise that there is something seriously wrong?

No.

Communist journalists who spew out anti-American rhetoric in their papers equates people with an agenda.

Also, they should no longer get the benefit of the doubt when car bombs and suicide bombers are no longer blowing our boys to smithereens. Can we at least agree on that?
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Old 03-08-2005, 08:21 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaver
I read about this.

I also read some of the thing's she's reported on and many of her articles (more like rants against America), and suddenly all validity seemed to vanish.

I agree that they were probably charging a checkpoint, were shot at to stop (read: no casualties) and now are making a huff about it because they can.
In the same vein, you could say that the troops knew she was coming and that they shot at her because they regard her as anti-US.

Given the huge number of incidents like this one that have happened in Iraq, and the fact that they had already passed through numerous other checkpoints without incident, why on earth would you just assume that they would charge a checkpoint while ignoring repeated warnings? And what do you mean by "no casualties"? One of her bodyguards died.
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Old 03-08-2005, 08:22 AM   #20 (permalink)
 
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ncb: so you really are saying that reporters for left newspapers are expendable.
and you are rationalizing that by the usual mawkish nonsense about "our boys"

in the middle of the above post, you talk about "people with an agenda"--which obviously means they should die and no-one should say anything about it. but if you think about it, the american military press officials are folk with an agenda too...how do you square that?
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Old 03-08-2005, 08:27 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCB
No.

Communist journalists who spew out anti-American rhetoric in their papers equates people with an agenda.

Also, they should no longer get the benefit of the doubt when car bombs and suicide bombers are no longer blowing our boys to smithereens. Can we at least agree on that?
And the furtherment of that agenda is to charge a checkpoint, get shot at (but pray that you don't die in the process), so that you can show the world how horrible Americans are? That seems somewhat far-fetched to me.

I'm sorry, but I can't agree with your last point either. Being at war should not lead to an alleviation of responsibility.
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Old 03-08-2005, 08:50 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Happy
And the furtherment of that agenda is to charge a checkpoint, get shot at (but pray that you don't die in the process), so that you can show the world how horrible Americans are? That seems somewhat far-fetched to me.

I'm sorry, but I can't agree with your last point either. Being at war should not lead to an alleviation of responsibility.
1. I'm not saying it was done intentionally, but it is clear that the Italians were not sensative (nice lib word ) to the realities of what is happening in this war. Our soldiers have been killed in scores by cars doing exactly what the Italians were doing. Do you not find any fault with the Italians, either by their driving tactics or their lack of communication with the Iraqi or US security forces?

2. The rules of engagement in war are different than the ROE for police officers. The only alleviation of responsibilty in this case would have been if our troops did not fire upon a speeding car coming to our checkpoint
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Old 03-08-2005, 09:09 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Happy
A number of friendly fire incidents have been blamed on US forces being under the influence of amphetamines, which although increase alertness and reduce fatigue (while under the influence) also severely impair judgment and rationality:

http://www.globalsecurity.org/org/ne...406-iraq02.htm

http://www.guardian.co.uk/afghanista...868547,00.html


I don't believe this could merely be blamed on a communication breakdown. Even if the troops didn't know that Sgrena was on the road, there is a procedure they have to follow. They can't just go around shooting at anything that moves. I do think that this was a mistake, but there have been too many mistakes like this one. Only this time it involved people other than some Iraqis, who nobody seems to care about anyway.
Your articles both refer to pilot incidents of Friendly fire. Where are the reports of drugs and fratricide from the boys on the ground?

Why could it have not been a communication error? Most deaths from friendly fire are just that. Communications errors. Having been through a "communication error." And lived. Which is more than I can say for two of our other troops. I can tell you they do occur more often than reported. But none of the infantry units I have been with tolerate the use of drugs. This might be accepted with the fly boys. But not on the ground in the RA. I cannot understand how you feel we do not care about the Iraqi's. Nice try.. but I won't jump.
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Old 03-08-2005, 09:15 AM   #24 (permalink)
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What do you mean "the Italians were not sensitive to the realities of what's happening in this war"? I don't understand what you'd have them do differently. According to them, they were not speeding and received no warnings. You think they should just accept that driving along the road is cause to get shot? Your thinking seems to justify the targeting of any car on the road.

Do all cars traveling on the roads have to check in with the US forces in order to prevent getting killed? How can you say that the Italians failure to communicate their plans is another justification for US troops to shoot at them?

You fail to address some simple points in your arguments - the people in this car had been through numerous checkpoints before and were well-versed in the procedure that should be adopted when approaching one, and had successfully done so many times previously. They were experienced military personnel who knew what's what, yet you still say that they were just speeding down the road ignoring all the warnings. It just doesn't stack up.
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Old 03-08-2005, 09:19 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
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1. I'm not saying it was done intentionally, but it is clear that the Italians were not sensative (nice lib word ) to the realities of what is happening in this war. Our soldiers have been killed in scores by cars doing exactly what the Italians were doing. Do you not find any fault with the Italians, either by their driving tactics or their lack of communication with the Iraqi or US security forces?

2. The rules of engagement in war are different than the ROE for police officers. The only alleviation of responsibilty in this case would have been if our troops did not fire upon a speeding car coming to our checkpoint
First of all, if you were held hostage for a month then released, would you expect to do your own communications to get out of the country? And where is a link that there was a lack of communication on their part. They were the ones shot at, not the other way around. Or does the U.S only provide for a safe exit if it is one of their own?

And how can you say responsibility would be eclipsed if they didn't open fire? Are the U.S forces so incapible of stopping a vehicle that they need to shot the shit out of it first? Is there one patrol covering hundreds of square miles? Hopefully the next time Rumsfeld is on the road to the airport after a pep talk those 21st century hi tech communications will be in working order.

Or maybe the attitude in my signature is more widespread than people realize.
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Old 03-08-2005, 09:28 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeb1
Your articles both refer to pilot incidents of Friendly fire. Where are the reports of drugs and fratricide from the boys on the ground?

Why could it have not been a communication error? Most deaths from friendly fire are just that. Communications errors. Having been through a "communication error." And lived. Which is more than I can say for two of our other troops. I can tell you they do occur more often than reported. But none of the infantry units I have been with tolerate the use of drugs. This might be accepted with the fly boys. But not on the ground in the RA. I cannot understand how you feel we do not care about the Iraqi's. Nice try.. but I won't jump.
If it is distributed to pilots, then why wouldn't it be distributed to ground troops? I know there is no evidence that they were definitely under the influence, but given the above, how can you say that it is definitely out of the question?

If it you're blaming it on a communication breakdown, you're implying that everyone who uses the roads in Iraq has to inform the US troops of their movements. I don't see how that is plausible.
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Old 03-08-2005, 09:30 AM   #27 (permalink)
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"Someone started shooting at our patrol from the west, and in the same direction, 150 metres away, there was a unit from the US army," he told a news conference. "The result gives us enough grounds to believe the death of rifleman Gurdi Gurdev was caused by friendly fire."
150m is pretty fucking far away to be saying they they were 'charging' a checkpoint. Something isn't right.
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Old 03-08-2005, 09:31 AM   #28 (permalink)
 
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according to the italians, the car had never gone more than 40 km/hour and had come to a stop when they were fired upon. according to the italians. the american command was informed of the efforts to gain the release of guiliana sgrena.

the american story is different on each point.

someone is lying.
it appears pretty obvious that it is the americans, in this case.

http://www.liberation.fr/page.php?Article=280837
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Old 03-08-2005, 09:35 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Is that article available in English?
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Old 03-08-2005, 09:50 AM   #30 (permalink)
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150m is pretty fucking far away to be saying they they were 'charging' a checkpoint. Something isn't right.
When you take into account the amount of explosives able to pack into a car... no it's not.
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Old 03-08-2005, 09:53 AM   #31 (permalink)
 
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i havent found it in english--i dont read italian very well or i would have bypassed libe altogether.
the core elements i cited are translated from the third and fourth paragraphs of the piece, which is why i posted the link.
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Old 03-08-2005, 10:02 AM   #32 (permalink)
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I can't wrap my mind around the fact that the Italian driver, knowing the history of car bombs in iraq (and the resulting carnage the U.S. puts on them if they try to head to a checkpoint without stopping), would deliberately try to speed through a checkzone. This is especially true considering his country just paid a HUGE ransom to rescue the hostage he was carrying in the car. Why would he compromise her (and everyone else's) life in that manner?. It just doesn't add up. We're not being told the whole story, and frankly, I'm getting sick and tired of these incidents.
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Old 03-08-2005, 10:30 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaver
When you take into account the amount of explosives able to pack into a car... no it's not.
lol, That is such BS. Why does your response not surprise me at all? You can't tell anything about a car at 150M.

I highyl doubt that it was a deliberte attack. I think they would be above that. I think this was just another incident of gross negligence by our troops.
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Old 03-08-2005, 10:37 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by DJ Happy
By "spaced-out" I'm refering to the practice of distributing amphetamines among selected personnel in the armed forces in order to keep them on the job longer (due to the well-publicised troop shortage).
Do you have any documentation of this? I know the airforce uses them, but I haven't heard of any boots on the ground with them. I have talked to well over 30 people who have been to Iraq.

EDIT: I have absolutely no sympathy for this woman. It is a war zone, people get shot.

A soldier in one of my friend's platoon saw a truck coming towards their check point. They got 1 warning shot, then he opened up the 50cal on them. Good thing too. There were enough explosives inside the truck to kill him and his friends 10 times over.

Last edited by retsuki03; 03-08-2005 at 10:50 AM..
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Old 03-08-2005, 11:28 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Fark had a pretty good article written by the Christian Science Monitor regarding checkpoints, worth a look-see in my opinion.

What Iraq's checkpoints are like

That being said, I highly doubt this woman was targeted.

There are a couple of stories floating around, in Italy, not here, that they never told the U.S. because they knew how we would react to paying a ransome.

Either way, at night, I don't think the troops could've known who was in the car.

If they didn't know, how could this not be an accident as this woman claims?

On a side note: I'm not too happy about hearing ransomes being paid, that ain't gonna help anything.
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Old 03-08-2005, 12:25 PM   #36 (permalink)
 
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this is ridiculous--look, it is pretty obvious that the car stopped at the chcekpoint and got strafed anyway.
it is obvious that the americans simply fucked up.
and it is also obvious that this happens enough that patterns begin to suggest themselves.
if you look at the record in terms of fatalities for journalists who are not of the american press pool, then another pattern begins to suggest itself.
it is equally obvious that lying about it in the press helps nothing--rather than allay suspicions, this kind of action generates them, multiplies them, gives them fertile ground in which to grow.

what i really dont understand--and this i write as my way of checking out of this thread--is why it is that support for war in iraq seems to go along with an absolute, unquestioning support for the military.
i dont understand how the two things go together.
you can support the war and still be critical of how particular aspects of it go.
but not in the right's america, apparently.

i dunno folks--i keep thinking that in another time, another place, this kind of attitude informed the cheering throngs that greeted those coming back from expeditions in quest of lebensraum...
which would be of a piece with cheering the deaths of people from the left
of blaming left journalists for their own murders.

it is really repellent.
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Old 03-08-2005, 01:13 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roachboy
this is ridiculous--look, it is pretty obvious that the car stopped at the chcekpoint and got strafed anyway.
it is obvious that the americans simply fucked up.
and it is also obvious that this happens enough that patterns begin to suggest themselves.
Why is it so obvious? Were you there? Do you have proof?
Quote:
Originally Posted by roachboy
if you look at the record in terms of fatalities for journalists who are not of the american press pool, then another pattern begins to suggest itself.
it is equally obvious that lying about it in the press helps nothing--rather than allay suspicions, this kind of action generates them, multiplies them, gives them fertile ground in which to grow.
What are these patterns that are so obvious to you? Journalists from other countries are dying? It is a war zone, is dangerous place. You think friendly-fire incidents are cases when the Bush Administration was targeting troops that just weren't loyal enough?

Foreign journalists that don't coordinate with the US military are putting themselves at risk.
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Old 03-08-2005, 01:14 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roachboy
this is ridiculous--look, it is pretty obvious that the car stopped at the chcekpoint and got strafed anyway.
it is obvious that the americans simply fucked up.
and it is also obvious that this happens enough that patterns begin to suggest themselves.
Obvious, huh?

I didn't realize you were there and witnessed the account.

I would say that the journalist is going to portray this in her favor and that the troops will portray this in their favor.

I would also say that it is obvious, unless you were a bystander that witnessed the account, that you cannot claim anything as obvious.

I would guess, since I wasn't there, that the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

Nothing is obvious, however.

What I don't understand is your willingness to blame everything conservative.

What if the troops involved were Democrats? Would it still be obvious? Since you have abolutely no idea, I would say, again, nothing is obvious about this situation.

I honestly do not understand this kind of hatred, I really don't. There are many things about the left and far left that I don't like, but I can honestly say that I don't hold any of the hatred you do.

There is absolutely nothing that I or any other conservative can do that wouldn't bring your wrath down upon us. We are guilty just because of who we are. If we followed your playbook to a tee, instituted communism and took all the money from anyone deemed rich, you would still find something to bitch about.

That is ridiculous. I really don't understand where you are coming from.

Edit: jinx....again
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Old 03-08-2005, 01:29 PM   #39 (permalink)
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after reading that article on what constitutes a checkpoint in Iraq, I'm suprised these incidents do not occur alot more. Especially with the troops being (understandbly) jumpy
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Old 03-08-2005, 01:50 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Allow me to explain what happened.


It was dark (2055) with only about 20% illumination. The troops saw a car approaching, considered it a threat, and shot. Manning a checkpoint at night is a hairy situation. Usually all that you can see are blinding headlights until the car is right on top of you. The troops did not know the Italians were on the way, the rule of thumb is that informations takes 1/2 hour to pass through each echelon of command (and I don't even know how that begins to equate if an embassy is involved).

Also consider that the offending unit was part of the 3rd ID, in country for less than a month, and the last time they were here they were driving on Bagdad in 2003. They are in a warfighting mentality still, not a stability and support frame of mind.

To suggest that the US Army attempted to execute Nicola Calipari is simply inane.
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