Blame Italy for the Sgrena Incident

Just as we thought, the Sgrena story will not go away. She still contends that she may have been targeted by the US forces intentionally. The MSM and foreign press still trumpet her story to the world. While all this makes for good drama, it ignores the obvious. Taking a hard look at the facts, the Italians must be blamed for Sgrena’s predicament.

Fact: Paying ransoms only encourages more hostage situations.

Although the US would invert the world to reclaim our hostages, the policy has always been to ignore ransom demands. As an intelligent people, we realize the practice of paying ransom only places more of our countrymen in jeopardy. There has been no American taken hostage in months.

The Italians are a prime example of this policy in action. Although the Italians refuse to confirm, ransom was paid for two female Italian aid workers in September 2004. The Italian intelligence officer, Nicola Calipari, killed in the Sgrena incident also facilitated their release. As with Sgrena, rumors flew that $1 million was paid for each of them. It was no surprise that another Italian woman was kidnapped months later. In acknowledgement, the Italians ordered all their reporters out of Iraq after Sgrena’s abductions saying more abductions were imminent.

Fact: Every foreigner in Iraq knows he or she has placed themselves in danger.

With the publicity concerning hostages and beheading, every foreign-born man and woman in Iraq realizes they are a potential target. If they remain in the country, they either welcome the extra money they are making, are adrenaline junkies or truly have a mission in which they believe the risk is worth the outcome. The Coalition forces cannot protect those that operate outside safe zones.

Fact: The Italians facilitate hostage negotiations independent of the US.

The US condemns the practice of paying ransoms. The Italians, knowing this, do not inform the US when they are knuckling under to terrorists demands. A recent Washington Times article confirmed this disconnect. Our troops had no way of knowing these negotiations were underway. Therefore, they couldn’t possibly have known Sgrena was in the car approaching the checkpoint. She had just been released by her captors and was being taken immediately to the airport.

Ten Italians have been kidnapped by Iraqi terrorists in the past year. This number is disproportionately high compared to that of US or British hostages — both of which refuse to negotiate with kidnappers. Even Italy’s Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, admits they may have encouraged the kidnappers. Monday, he told the Il Messaggero newspaper: “We have to rethink our strategy in dealing with kidnappings.” According to a recent Reuters report, Italy may have paid $15 million in ransoms to Iraqi terrorists.

Fact: Ransoms fund more terrorist activities.

Not only do these ransoms encourage hostage-taking, these payments fund additional terrorist activities. These funds will be used to obtain weapons and explosives for use against the US & Coalition troops, as well as the Iraqi citizens. The US realizes this; and, it is the secondary reason behind the rejection of ransom demands. As recently as February, our intelligence officials began speculating the Iraqi insurgency was experiencing financial difficulties. An increase in non-terrorist crime seems to signal a need for additional funds by the terrorists.

In the past 7 months, Italy supplied the insurgency with at least $3 million for weaponry to use against our troops. We should be the ones shouting our anger from the rooftops. Our sons, daughter, husbands and wives, potentially face more danger while stationed in Iraq. They face this additional danger because an anti-American Italian journalist was taken hostage. They face well-funded terrorists because Italy – one of our Coalition partners – caved in to terrorist demands.

Yes, one brave Italian intelligence officer lost his life while obtaining Sgrena’s freedom. But, how many Americans and Iraqis will lose their lives as a result of the $1 million dollar ransom? For that matter, how many souls have already lost their lives due to the $2 million paid for the two Italian aid workers in September? We will never know the answer; and, the media will never be able to report it. No intelligent adult can realistically believe the $1 million for Sgrena (or the total $15 million in Italian ransoms) will go towards blankets and baby formula.

You can read my post on Sgrena over at tryontheglasses.
Read Big Dog’s post on Sgrena below.



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4 Responses to “Blame Italy for the Sgrena Incident”

  1. Big Dog says:

    Interestingly, there is a comparison of the “journalists” stories given to different publications. The comparisons show where she contradicts herself. She says there was no warning then says the Americans shined a light.
    See the comparison at The Jawa Report

    Perhaps this is what Adam is holding his breath waiting for?

  2. bsp says:

    Laurence Simon offers a proposed additional question for the driver’s licensing exam in Italy:

    You are approaching a checkpoint where there are armed troops waving flashlights and firing warning shots over your vehicle. You:

    a) Stop
    b) Speed up
    c) Immediately make a U-turn and head for the nearest cafe for expresso and gelato
    d) Crap your pants

    to which I add:

    e) Scream and waive like an Arab terrorist to further get the Americans’ attention
    f) Proceed upwind from checkpoint, throw up hands to surrender and wait for U.S. troops to pass out
    g) Surrender to anyone on road prior to hitting checkpoint, explaining that Italy has a fine tradition of surrendering in modern times commencing with Ethiopia in 1896
    h) Play “My Way” by Frank Sinatra on car horn as you approach
    i) Put on sunglasses to cut down the glare from the flashlights

    …..you are free to add to the list

  3. Surfside says:

    j.) Send an intelligence officer ahead of you to pay $1 million for safe passage.
    k.) Take lessons from the Cosa Nostra on how to avoid roadblocks to begin with.
    l.) Call the UN and make sure there are peacekeepers on the scene to divert the troops attentions to saving the locals from rape and exploitation.

    (Big Dog would be good at this. Let’s see if he decides to join in.)

  4. Big Dog says:

    m.) Tell your security guard that everything is OK. Tell him to lie across your body for his protection.
    n.) Signal the soldiers and tell them you are on your way to see Bill Clinton to get your dress back.
    o.) Stop the car and have an immediate Chinese Fire Drill to confuse the soldiers and make it harder for them to hit you.