Sgrena Shooting: Hit or Message Sent?
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Sgrena Shooting: Hit or Message Sent?

Kurt Nimmo | March 8, 2005

Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena has provided more details on her near murderous ordeal. “There was no checkpoint and we were going at a normal speed,” Sgrena told Radio Free Europe. “We were going about 50-60 kilometers an hour—which for a place like this was completely normal. We were not traveling along the normal road for the airport we were traveling on a privileged road that is less dangerous than the normal one where every day bombs explode.” (Emphasis added.)

Obviously, a “privileged road” road in Baghdad is one controlled by the U.S. military, in other words it is extremely unlikely the resistance would have access.

Further details emerged in an account Sgrena wrote for Il Manifesto (subsequently translated and posted on the CNN site):

“The car kept on the road, going under an underpass full of puddles and almost losing control to avoid them. We all incredibly laughed. It was liberating. Losing control of the car in a street full of water in Baghdad and maybe wind up in a bad car accident after all I had been through would really be a tale I would not be able to tell. Nicola Calipari sat next to me. The driver twice called the embassy and in Italy that we were heading towards the airport that I knew was heavily patrolled by U.S. troops. They told me that we were less than a kilometer away…when…I only remember fire. At that point, a rain of fire and bullets hit us, shutting up forever the cheerful voices of a few minutes earlier.”

Note the “driver twice called the embassy” and Sgrena’s description of the road as one “heavily patrolled by U.S. troops,” negating the probability of a resistance attack. As for the calls to the embassy, these were obviously monitored by the U.S. military as it can be assumed all calls, especially from cells phones, are monitored in Iraq.

Meanwhile, ABC News, referring to Sgrena as a “left-wing journalist” —and yet William Kristol is never called a “right-wing journalist” when he writes for the “conservative” Weekly Standard—concentrated on the ransom component of Sgrena’s release. “The fact that the Americans don’t want negotiations to free the hostages is known,” Sgrena told Sky TG24 television. “The fact that they do everything to prevent the adoption of this practice to save the lives of people held hostage, everybody knows that. So I don’t see why I should rule out that I could have been the target.”

As well, ABC News gave wide play to the Bushcon version of events. “As you know, in a situation where there is a live combat zone, particularly this road to the airport, has been a notorious area for car bombs, that people are making split-second decisions, and it’s critically important that we get the facts before we make judgments,” said White House counselor Dan Bartlett.

Either Bartlett is unaware of Sgrena’s claim her vehicle was traveling on a “privileged road” or he is confident most people are unaware of this—or at least Americans who tune into ABC and Fox News may be unaware of it unless they follow the European media—and thus can brazenly dismiss the Sgrena shooting as an “accident” occurring in a “combat zone” where “split-second decisions” are made, in other words, according to Bartlett, Sgrena fell victim to yahoo soldiers with trigger fingers.

It is interesting to read accounts of the Italian government attempting to salvage its relationship with the Bushcons as thousands of Italians fill the streets, outraged by the shooting of Sgrena and the murder of Nicola Calipari. “An Italian cabinet member urged Sgrena, who writes for a communist newspaper that routinely opposes U.S. policy in Iraq, to be cautious in her accounts and said the shooting would not affect Italy’s support for the administration of President George W. Bush,” a relationship at odds with the wishes of many if not most Italians, who opposed Berlusconi’s sign-off on the illegal and immoral invasion and occupation of Iraq. “The shooting has fuelled anti-American sentiment in a country where people have deeply opposed the war in Iraq, but it did not this weekend provoke mass protests like those that have drawn tens of thousands of people into the streets,” reports CBC News.

Naturally, over on the right, the idea that the U.S would fire on a car unprovoked—or even intentionally—is considered something bordering on sacrilege. “Mainstream media is beyond disgusting on this one,” writes Little Green Footballs. “They are doing everything possible to indict our troops based on the words of dissembling anti-war Italian communists.” Of course, if not for the dissembler par excellence Bush—who lied in his way into an invasion and occupation that has killed more than 100,000 Iraqis—there would be no “anti-war Italian communists.”

Finally, as others have noted, including the right-wing green football guy, if the U.S. military had wanted to kill Sgrena, she would be dead now, as would everybody in the car carrying her to the airport. I believe the U.S. did not want to kill Giuliana Sgrena so much as send a message to independent journalists in Iraq—reporting the truth may get you kidnapped, killed, or both. It should be obvious by now that the Pentagon is not only at war with the Iraqi people, they are also at war with the truth, as the murder of an extraordinary number of journalists (more than 50 as of early February) and attacking hospitals—considered propaganda centers—amply demonstrate.


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