Monday, March 07, 2005

American Atrocities Continue

The tragic story of kidnapped Italian reporter Giuliana Sgrena's ride to the Baghdad airport raises lots of questions. One does not want to believe that American troops would target a journalist, although that seems to be inferred by Sgrena's own account. What would be the motive? Just look at some of her articles on the left side of that site. Here's just one example from November 2004; Napalm Raid on Falluja? It is safe to assume that this particular Communist reporter was not very popular among the American military. She was reporting the stories that no one else had the gonads to tell.

Is that too slim of a motive? It wouldn't be the first time the media have been killed, wounded or disappeared in Iraq under questionable circumstances. Jeanne D'Arc of Body and Soul offers a few examples. Eason Jordan's admission of knowing of 12 journalists killed by coalition forces is the kind of information the Bush administration will go to any lengths to keep from the public. There's some question in my mind if Jordan attempted to eat those words not to save his job, but to save his life.

The American media won't touch this one with a ten foot pole. The spin here in the States is about an "embarrassing incident." In Italy, this tragedy has increased the size of protests against the war. It seems the American media has become nothing more than a propaganda machine for this administration.

Bush's military adventure continues to make us the enemy of the entire world. Maybe this latest tragedy is simply a case of over-zealous soldiers. I doubt if we'll ever know, as the chances of any real investigation happening is slim to none. Consequently, the claim by many news agencies around the world that this was another case of American war crimes will become part of the legacy of this administration.

We turned a blind eye to the massacre in Fallujah. We ignored the warnings from our own allies regarding our sledgehammer tactics. We send a few guards to prison and dismiss the torture of Abu Ghraib as an isolated incident. Recently it came to light that the CIA has been jetting suspected terrorists to isolated spots for "interrogation" (spook code for "torture") since 1992. Most likely this will be forgotten within a week or so as well. We have seen videos of American troops killing wounded Iraqis. And now we pour 300 rounds into a car carrying an Italian journalist, free from captivity for less than an hour, who just happens to be an anti-war Communist. How can the American people continue to so easily dismiss the atrocities being committed in our name?

Some will claim that it is "unpatriotic" to speak of these war crimes. I suggest to you that it is unpatriotic to be silent about them. I love this nation. I volunteered and served honorably in the military during the Vietnam era. I consider myself a patroit, and see it as our patriotic duty to call to account an administration that has shown such a blatant disregard for human lives. This is not the American way. And is by no stretch of the imagination the Christian way. These actions do not represent my faith or my nation. They must be condemned, those responsible, including the leadership, must be held accountable, and we must pull US troops out of Iraq immediately.


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