/ fatal / accidents? /
Let me say this in advance: my initial reaction to the shooting of Giuliana Sgrena by US troops, was not that it was an assassination attempt. I thought that this was an example of the absolute desperation (and viciousness) with which US troops are facing any perceived threat, no matter how remote: Shoot first, ask questions later. Indeed, had a similar "accident" happened with some unfortunate Iraqi family, you can pretty much bet that it would be a non-event (unless captured in gory detail). It seems natural that the occupation forces can shoot anyone they please with near-total impunity.
That, I thought, was the real scandal behind the shooting. I couldn't believe that the US would (at any level of decision making) actually proceed to murder such a high-profile western journalist and knowingly cripple Il Duce II's already problematic presence in Iraq against most of Italian public opinion.
Why would the US government (or even the US military, if one accepts that you have rogue American commanders in Iraq setting their own agenda), want to alienate one of the few actual allies that the US has in this criminal mess?
Sure, the republican dumbfuckery that seems to be the voice of the Bush administration's psychoanalytic Id in these matters, was quick to jump in and suggest all sorts of conspiracy theories (my favorite was that she staged her own abduction - it requires colossal voluntary suspension of higher brain functions, or complete cluelessness to suggest as much), or just screamed ACCIDENT!!! ACCIDENT!!! as loud as they could, before the corpse of Nicola Calipari was even cold, in a way that made one want to counter their preposterous claims with exactly what they were anxious to exorcise. But, really, the motive was lacking and without some very serious evidence to the contrary, it was hard to believe that she was in any way deliberately targeted. It made no sense: Whatever she had from Fallujah was either already known and dismissed anyway by the reality-impaired thuggery and their faithful following or unlikely to top the gruesomeness that already has emerged from that particular war-crime scene. The idea that this was punishment of the Italians for paying a ransom was disproportionate: a deliberate shooting of a high ranking intelligence officer would certainly jeopardize Italy's involvement in general - forget about ransom paying...
Well, apart form the fact that Berlusconi himself has stated that the Americans had been notified about the vehicle carrying Calipari and the driver of the shot vehicle has confirmed that there was communication with their superiors, or the issue of US occupation forces barring Italian policemen from examining the destroyed vehicle we also have from the title link, Sgrena telling Naomi Klein in an interview something that sort of complicates matters even further:
"This is treated as a fairly common and understandable incident that there would be a shooting like this on that road," Klein says. "I was on that road myself, and it is a really treacherous place with explosions going off all the time and a lot of checkpoints. What Giuliana told me that I had not realized before is that she wasn't on that road at all."
According to Klein, when Calipari was killed and Sgrena wounded, they were on a secured road that can only be accessed through the heavily-fortified Green Zone and is reserved exclusively for top foreign embassy and US officials. "It's a completely separate road, actually a Saddam-era road, it would seem, that allowed his vehicles to pass directly from the airport to his palace," says Klein. "And now that is the secured route between the U.S. military base at the airport and the U.S. controlled Green Zone and the U.S. embassy."
"It was a VIP road, for embassy people, not for normal people," Sgrena told Klein. "I was only able to be on that road because I was with people from the Italian embassy"...
..."It was not a checkpoint. Nobody asked us to stop," Sgrena told Klein "All the streets we were on were USA controlled so we thought they knew we were going through. They didn't try to stop us, they just shot us. They have a way to signal us to stop but they didn't give us any signals to stop and they were at least 10 meters off the street to the side."
Sgrena also says that the US soldiers fired at them from behind, which of course contradicts the claim that the soldiers fired in self-defense. "Part of what we're hearing is that the U.S. soldiers opened fire on their car, because they didn't know who they were, and they were afraid," says Klein. "The fear, of course, is that their car could have blown up or that the soldiers might come under attack themselves. And what Giuliana Sgrena really stressed with me was that the bullet that injured her so badly came from behind, entered through the back of the car. And the only person who was not severely injured in the car was the driver, and she said that this is because the shots weren't coming from the front..."" [emphasis mine]
Well, I'm sure that there is a good explanation for all this, but the least conspiratorial theory I can come up with right now is that bored soldiers simply shoot at any car they feel like shooting, never mind whether its a threat or not, knowing that they will get away with murder.
Anyway: It's slowly dawning on me that this reality-based thinking of mine might not be the appropriate means of figuring out the current US leadership's motivations... Any other ideas?