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The Father: Truth Teller, The Mother: Aya granny, Daughter 1: Najma, Daughter 2: HNK.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

A mistake, AS USUAL

I was supposed to write an introduction here before posting anything.. But, this post is more important.

I'm getting used to it.. A mistake, the soldiers are very well trained and they can't possibly shoot randomly. Well, may be it's not random!

"Freed hostage Giuliana Sgrena is back in Italy, hours after US troops in Iraq fired on the car she was in wounding her and killing an Italian intelligence officer."
This happens (believe it or not) almost everyday.. My brother-in-law's father, my classmate's aunt, my classmate's uncle, my classmate's brother, my teacher's son-in-law and many many others.. Surely can't be all counted. But, according to the US, it was just a mistake, and we're sorry. The family of those who are killed will never forget who killed their relative, they'll never understand why, and they'll suffer to get the death's certificate. The soldier who shot will have nightmares, but he was well-trained, and that's what matters!

I hope this time, someone will be punished, not that I accuse him of doing it deliberately, but unless some one is not punished, all the others will think it's Okay. Just like .. I'll never understand why the US is allowed to have weapons and the others aren't. Well, this might be because no one tells the others what they're allowed to do and what they're not allowed to do but democratic US..

It is interesting how she wasn't treated badly by her terrorist kidnappers but was shot nevertheless, by the irresponsible soldiers!


Blogger Jeff said...

Hello, Family. I look forward VERY much to reading your Mrs. Truth-Teller.

Good for you, Najma!

I hope the commenters will be nice for a while and you won't have to shut us down!


3/05/2005 08:50:00 PM

Blogger Ann said...

Najma, Very interesting blog!

I hope this time, someone will be punished, not that I accuse him of doing it deliberately, but unless some one is not punished, all the others will think it's Okay.Who? What sort of punishment do you want for that person? Do you just want all the checkpoints to stop existing? In your opinion, are the checkpoints providing security for the Iraqi citizens or are they just inconveniences and annoyances and not part of civil liberties?

I'll never understand why the US is allowed to have weapons and the others aren't.Huh? Don't all countries have weapons? The reason Iraq's weapons were limited were the result of negotiations to end the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Iraq never lived up to the terms of ending "Gulf War I", including their agreement to return Kuwaitis kidnapped and locked away in Iraqi prisons. Some were only released during the 2003 invasion.

The weapons limitations are spelled out in UN Resolutions, it wasn't all weapons only certain ones. The whole situation has been a major mess, and basically the Gulf War never really stopped.

As to the US being only ones to have weapons - who is telling you this? It is so clearly not true. Have you had a look at China's military equipment? What are you trying to say?

3/06/2005 11:57:00 AM

Blogger Jeff said...

Well, I love the story about Kaaaaz, Kaaaaz! The thought of people selling GASOLINE by pulling it in a cart with a horse is...well, it makes you want to laugh or cry or both.

[Heh! Look...it's my...footprint...]


3/06/2005 01:28:00 PM

Blogger jemy said...


I believe it looks like the journalist was fired on by an American patrol (not a checkpoint). I do know there have been problems with American patrols on highways, firing and killing people in cars. I believe Salam Pax wrote about it happening to a friend of his.

The road the journalist was on was very dangerous. It certainly wouldn't be surprising that military men, who continue to be hit by roadside bombs and fired at by people on the sides of roads, would end up shooting the wrong person there.

As I said over at Hassan's blog, I don't really know what a good answer is. In Afghanistan, there are rarely troops on the roads. The result is a big problem with thievery and kidnapping (and murder) on the main highway. So I think that it wouldn't be safe for civilians, even if the troops weren't there. On the other hand, the limited presence that the U.S. forces do have on the road isn't bringing down the violence on the road. It's just exchanging it with American bullets.

The long term answer is to get a responsible Iraqi police force in. But it took the United States over a hundred years to assemble a relatively un-corrupt police force... so it's going to be a hard road. Part of the problem has been that there hbe been instances where the individuals we hire take the weapons we give them, quit, and start fighting American troops. The result is that we fear to properly arm the police force, because we don't know if we're hiring good people.

Anyway, like I said, I don't know what the solution is, but I know that if I lived in an area where people randomly showed up and started shooting, and there were various areas in my city that forced me to stop to queue, and those areas were being targeted by crazy people with bombs, and on the other side I have jumpy soldiers with weapons.... I would be pretty frightened. I would want to blaze through town as fast as I could, and want to be able to avoid any military if I could.

But would things be much better if the American troops withdrew? I don't know, I'd be interested to hear Iraqis thoughts on this.

I guess what we really need is an example. There have been plenty of conflicts where unwanted armies have come into foreign countries, and started fighting with people who didn't like them. When they left, did things get safer?

Or maybe this is too extreme, maybe we should simply ask, how can the American troops improve? What are the things they should be doing? What are the things they should not be doing?

I'm also most interested to hear about whether or not things are improving. Is the phone service better? Is health service better? Is electricity better? Is sewage better? Is water access better? Are roads better? Employment better? Access to food easier? Is school better?

Here's the graph on things: http://www.defendamerica.mil/downloads/Iraq-WeeklyUpdate-20050302.pdf
Does this look accurate to you? Or does it seem like propaganda? Because I really can't tell, myself.

The big issue I seem to hear is that security is worse. Especially in Mosul.

So in that regard... what should be done? Can communities organize a community watch program? Something like a group of people from the neighborhood that walks around, and makes sure no one is trying to steal people's cars?

A friend of mine, after Sept 11th, had a next door neighbor who was Muslim. The whole neighborhood was worried, with all the tension going on, that something might happen, so they took rotations protecting their neighbor's house. It was probably unnecesarry, but it made everyone feel better... and it did make things safer.

Alright. I've typed too much.

3/06/2005 03:50:00 PM

Blogger dancewater said...

"This happens (believe it or not) almost everyday"

I believe it.

It makes me sad.

3/06/2005 09:57:00 PM

Blogger Maddog said...


It looks like you will be taking some "heat" for your comments.

The "price" paid for this journalist's freedom, from recent news, is in the millions. Co-ordination was NOT done between the Americans (who don't allow payment to kidnappers) and the Italians. And... the reporter seems to be changing her story by the hour.

A "ransom" in the millions, will buy a large number of IEDs, suffice it to say. If true, the Italian government has just contributed to the deaths of Americans and Iraqis. I would hope you would reject this.


3/07/2005 06:31:00 AM

Blogger John said...

Najma, beware American checkpoints, they are death traps for whomever comes within the range of their tentacles. Time for an analogy: The Irukandji jelly (fish), while not even bigger that the size of a peanut, with a transluscent body is virtually invisible in the water.Yet their tentacles contain stinging cells called nematocysts. Whoever comes in contact with these tentacles are injected with a venemous posion which attacks the circulatory system and ultimately results in respiratory collapse and death!

American checkpoints are set up at the discretion of the leader of a patrol unit. Stryker or otherwise. They will claim ownership to an intersection, take on a roadside position and within minutes start to flag vehicles down, pull them over to interrogate them and otherwise harrass the driver and occupants. Often Iraqi drivers don't know how to react or respond. Often they are confused by the instructions and flee in terror. Then they're shot. Others slow down and attempt to accomodate the soldiers, then they're shot! In the case of the Italians, the roadblock had been set up mere minutes before the recently released hostage arrived. They were opened up on without warning or justification. There are no roadside signs explaining protocol to innocent drivers! Such as beware, you are approaching an American Checkpoint, stop or you will be shot, slow down or you will be shot, speed up or you will be shot! No explaination, other than the boys are a tad tired and bored, time to set up a roadblock and start shooting people to take the edge off the day!

3/07/2005 03:57:00 PM

Blogger strykeraunt said...

John, what's your source...personal experience, a credible written source or what?

3/07/2005 09:31:00 PM

Blogger Joe said...

Thanks for sharing your feelings honestly! --Joe.

3/10/2005 06:26:00 AM

Blogger Gryfen said...

I'm with Joe, I appreciate your honesty. But this reporter’s story smells fishy to me. Wither it was a patrol passing by, or the car speeding onto a checkpoint is irrelevant to the things that don’t make sense. Some things I noticed:

--How is it that 300 to 400 rounds were fired into the car, and she wasn't killed?

Take a poll of the soldiers who read this board. Ask them (trained professionals) how well they kept count of flying bullets. 300-400 just sounds like a nice round number she plucked from the air.

Where are the pictures of this bullet ridden car?

If she was so valuable, why was she being transported in a lone, unarmored civilian vehicle down a dangerous road at night? These days it is very common to use helicopters for short trips to the airport. And the American military would have jumped at the chance to give a ride to a freed hostage….good PR you see, there’s little of that to go around these days.

You mentioned the salary that insurgents are receiving…..Italy has a reputation for paying ransoms. Coincidence?

....just my ideas, and worth every cent you paid for them.

3/10/2005 09:31:00 AM

Blogger strykerdad said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/10/2005 02:02:00 PM

Blogger LotharBot said...

With respect to your comment about "only the US" having WMD... actually, many countries are allowed to have WMD.

Iraq was not allowed to have WMD because Saddam invaded Kuwait in 1991. About 50 other countries (including the US) pushed the Iraqi army back out of Kuwait, and Saddam surrendered. One of the conditions of his surrender is that he would not be allowed to build more WMD, and that he'd have to prove he'd destroyed all of the WMD he already had.

I don't think there are any other countries that are "not allowed" to have WMD, though there are a few that we'd like to keep from getting them (especially Iran.)

Nobody in this part of the world minds the fact that England has WMD, because we know England isn't going to try to conquer other countries. But most of us really didn't like Iraq having them, because Saddam had already tried to invade Kuwait. And most of us don't like the possibility of Iran getting them, because they'd most likely use them on Israel or Iraq or some of the other neighbors they don't particularly like.

3/10/2005 05:51:00 PM


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