Tuesday, March 8, 2005
About Giuliana Sgrena
Mr. Harald Doornbos is a veteran war reporter. He is no archetypical hawk nor a staunch supporter of the United States. In fact, he used to be a reporter for the communist newspaper 'De Waarheid' (The Truth, or Pravda, if you like) before it went bust. (This doesn't necessarily mean he was ever a communist, by the way. De Waarheid used to be a huge employer.)
However, this doesn't make him overly sympathetic towards Giuliana Sgrena, the Italian journalist who was held hostage by Iraqi insurgents. Some snippets from this article which was published today in a Dutch Christian broadsheet.
'Be careful not to get kidnapped,' I told the female Italian journalist sitting next to me in the small plane that was headed for Baghdad. 'Oh no,' she said. 'That won't happen. We are siding with the oppressed Iraqi people. No Iraqi would kidnap us.'
It doesn't sound very nice to be critical of a fellow reporter. But Sgrena's attitude is a disgrace for journalism. Or didn't she tell me back in the plane that 'common journalists such as yourself' simply do not support the Iraqi people? 'The Americans are the biggest enemies of mankind,' the three women behind me had told me, for Sgrena travelled to Iraq with two Italian colleagues who hated the Americans as well.
(Doornbos goes on to explain how the women demeaned him for travelling as an embedded reporter with the US military, for security reasons. They didn't want to hear about any safety concerns.)
'You don't understand the situation. We are anti-imperialists, anti-capitalists, communists,' they said. The Iraqis only kidnap American sympathizers, the enemies of the Americans have nothing to fear.
(Doornbos tells them they're out of their mind.)
But they knew better. When we arrived at Baghdad Airport, I was waiting for a jeep from the American army to come pick me up. I saw one of the Italian women walking around crying. An Iraqi had stolen her computer and television equipment. They were standing outside shivering, waiting for a cab to take them to Baghdad.
With her bias Sgrena did not only jeopardize herself, but due to her behavior a security officer is now dead, and the Italian government (prime minister Berlusconi included) has had to spend millions of euros to save her life. It is to be hoped that Sgrena will decide to have a career change. Propagandist or MP perhaps. But she should give up journalism immediately.
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» Maybe I should start reading Alterman's blog from Kesher Talk
. People like Major Robert Bateman are willing to email him:A few days ago an Italian journalist, recently freed by a ransom paid (to people who are, not to be too delicate about it, trying to kill Mrs. Batemanï¿½s son),... [Read More]
Tracked on July 26, 2005 05:55 AM
» Maybe I should start reading Alterman's blog from Kesher Talk
People like Major Robert Bateman are willing to email him:A few days ago an Italian journalist, recently freed by a ransom paid (to people who are, not to be too delicate about it, trying to kill Mrs. Batemanï¿½s son),... [Read More]
Tracked on December 25, 2005 08:09 AM
Was there really a kidnapping? I believe she conspired with the "kidnappers" to extort money from the Italian govt., embarrass the prime minister, and force the troops out of Iraq. The Japanese tried that, the French tried that.
ic (ip:126.96.36.199) 8 March 2005 - 4:40 uur
And when exactly did the French have troops in Iraq?
vaara (ip:188.8.131.52) 8 March 2005 - 12:10 uur
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:
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
bsp (ip:184.108.40.206) 8 March 2005 - 15:00 uur
I quickly whipped up an aggregator site gathering all weblog news about the Sgrena affair:
(thanks to Technorati)
Maarten Schenk (ip:220.127.116.11) 8 March 2005 - 16:08 uur
always the same stupid stereotypes about italians: did you forget that italian soldiers died in iraq? I'd like to thank laurence simon on their behalf.
grigo (ip:18.104.22.168) 8 March 2005 - 10:21 uur
grigo, "always the same stupid stereotypes about italians: did you forget that italian soldiers died in iraq? I'd like to thank laurence simon on their behalf."
No, in fact we not only appreciate help from Italy, but revere the memory of Fabrizio, who was a great man.
But the particular people involved in that checkpoint screw-up clearly were not thinking clearly when the drove fast enough that "the car went nearly out of control dodging puddles" as Sgrena stated. If that statement is true (and it seems to be the only thing she's said so far that matches other witnesses), they virtually committed suicide... which isn't a thinking man's goal.
LC Mamapajamas (ip:22.214.171.124) 8 March 2005 - 6:46 uur
maybe you're right, but it seems to me that talking about pizza, sunglasses, "surrenders", "crap your pants" and espresso it's only stupid racism, as if BBC's anti-italian propaganda during WWII never stopped. Besides that, I think that the incident was due to circumstances: italian intelligence maybe has failed somewhere, but i don't think us soldiers did the right thing. there was no signal, no "flashing lights", nothing, and the car was not speeding. It's not only sgrena's version, but the one provided by italian government (yes, i know, a man like berlusconi isn't trustworthy and so on...)
grigo (ip:126.96.36.199) 8 March 2005 - 11:37 uur
Tanks so much for this very important job.
It's linked on my blog http://leguerrecivili.splinder.com
Paolo di Lautreamont (ip:188.8.131.52) 8 March 2005 - 1:07 uur
Grigo says, "there was no signal, no "flashing lights", nothing, and the car was not speeding. It's not only sgrena's version, but the one provided by italian government." The Italian government was not there to witness what happened. We have only the word of a lying communist or the American soilders involved. I guess your bias, whatever it is, will help you decide who to believe.
bindare (ip:184.108.40.206) 8 March 2005 - 3:15 uur
Bindare says "We have only the word of a lying communist or the American soilders involved"
the government was not there, sure, but in the car with sgrena there was another agent who has testified: no flashing lights etc.
I guess your bias didn't let you read that.
I don't think that italian agents are a bunch of commies, but maybe i'm wrong... who knows? maybe communists took the power in 1921 and we still haven't realized..
grigo (ip:220.127.116.11) 8 March 2005 - 9:40 uur
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