One man's view of the world, from the top of this great big rock somewhere in the middle of God's Country, with an eye toward freedom....or at least some way to get back down without goin' over the edge.

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Location: West Virginia, United States

Former U.S. Army, SPC E-4, Veteran of Operation Desert Storm. If you are or have ever been a soldier, you have friends in my house.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Eason Jordan, Call On Line Two....

I was going to comment on this earlier (rea-a-a-ahhhly I was), but Baldilocks is already all over it....

AP: Wounded Italian Journalist Returns Home

As one might expect from the AP, the crux of the story is not so much that she's home, but that she's wounded....and, more important in their eyes, why.

In a nutshell, as I understand it...Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena, who had been held hostage by kidnappers in Iraq, was recently released by her abductors. While making its way homeward, the car she was riding in attempted to speed through a US checkpoint. The driver apparently ignored all attempts by the soldiers therein to get him to slow down. At that point, AS IS POLICY WHEN A CAR REFUSES TO SLOW DOWN AT A CHECKPOINT, the soldiers opened fire at the car's engine block.
In the aftermath---and ONLY then---the soldiers were able to identify the car's occupants as the Italian former hostage and her agent escort, who died while shielding her from the worst of the gunfire.

Of course, the press being what it is, this incident gets top billing.

ROME (AP) -- Draped in a blanket and apparently hooked up to an intravenous drip, former hostage Giuliana Sgrena was carried off a plane upon returning from Iraq on Saturday, hours after American troops fired on the car taking her to Baghdad's airport, wounding her and killing the Italian intelligence officer protecting her.....

....The U.S. military said the car she was riding in after her release was speeding as it approached a coalition checkpoint in western Baghdad on its way to the airport. Soldiers shot into the engine block only after trying to warn the driver to stop by "hand and arm signals, flashing white lights and firing warning shots," the military said.
U.S. troops took Sgrena to an American military hospital in Iraq, where shrapnel was removed from her left shoulder. The shrapnel removed from Sgrena's shoulder may have been a fragment of the fire that killed Calipari, he said.

And I think I finally figured out why.

See, here's what we've been doing wrong this whole time. Apparently, when you harm innocent civilians by ACCIDENT, you get called on the carpet (even when you own up to it and try to fix it post-haste).

The ones that get away with it....are the ones who do it DELIBERATELY.

If I am reading the article from New Zealand correctly, the only real reason anything at all is being done about the claims of sexual abuse in the Congo, is because OUR money will become involved if nothing is done:

Hearings into the Congo scandal began this week in the United States Congress. A Republican representative from New Jersey, Christopher Smith, is introducing a bill to that would threaten to withhold American funds from UN peacekeeping missions unless all countries contributing soldiers to those missions have procedures in place to instantly prosecute soldiers accused of sexual misconduct. Because the US accounts for about a quarter of the UN's peacekeeping budget, the bill could have a powerful impact.

As if anything else would get their attention.