The shooting of and at the vehicle caring former Italian hostage in Iraq, Giuliana Sgrena is as President Bush said in his official statement on the matter, a "horrific accident". No shortage of those in war, but this whole story has another bend or angle to it aside from the sad story that it is.
Sgrena is a reporter for the Daily II Manifesto, an Italian Communist newspaper. She and her paper are alleging that the American Military "deliberately targeted her because the American's don't want negotiations to free hostages". She and the paper went on to say "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". Spoken like a true communist liberal, what a crazy statement to make. Perhaps Eason Jordan has joined the staff of the Daily II Manifesto.
The Daily II Manifesto has been vehemently against military actions in Iraq. Sgrena's work has also been very anti coalition while she was in Iraq prior to being taken hostage. Forgive me for being somewhat skeptical if I think that both the Manifesto & Sgrena are using this terrible accident to further their political leanings. If so Sgrena is doing a unspeakable and vial thing to the memory and sacrific of Nicola Calipari.
Lets look at the information as we know it at this time and what the investigation is reviewing. Sgrena was likely freed after Italian officials paid a ransom per an Italian Cabinet minister (Agriculture Minister Giovanni Alemanno). This I suppose is what Sgrena is claiming to be the stategy that the American military is opposed to. Taking the position that American officers think its a bad policy to pay kidnappers to being targeted is beyond a wild stretch.
The early reports show that Nicola Calipari, the agent who died when he shielded Sgrena and was killed, did not establish contact with the American Military command or advise them of the operation. If true that in itself was probably the leading factor in the accident.
It is being reported that the car carrying Calipari, Sgrena and the rest of the Italian group was speeding towards an American check point in one of the deadliest stretches of road in Iraq. The American military soldiers are reported to have directed the driver to stop by using hand and verbal commands, used warning lights and even shot warning shots to get them to obey the directions. They did not and continued to speed forward and the soldiers opened fire.
If I were at the check point in an area where many fellow soldiers have died because of bombs in cars and on the side of the road, and the above is in fact what occurred, I would have been the first to pull the trigger. Any logical person would have done the same thing.
If Calipari in fact did not establish communications with the military command on his mission, was not in communication with military command while traveling in the car after the hand over, and the hand, verbal, flashing lights, and warning shots were given, then it is a terrible accident but one that is the result of unwise and poor decision making. Not on the part of the American military personal manning the check point but rather on the part of the brave Italian rescuers.
Calipari is without a doubt a brave hero and great patriot for putting himself in harms way to rescue a fellow country person and then give the ultimate sacrifice of his life for hers. But if he did not follow the basic rules in such a hostile and violent place, then he is unfortunately the one who is to blame ultimately. It does not change the hero status of his last moment here on earth, but if this is what in fact happened, it is even worse because the death of a hero did not need to occur and would not have if the proper precautions were taken. God rest in peace Hero Calipari............