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US AND THEM: US, UN & Iraq, version 8.0

 
 
Setanta
 
Reply Tue 3 May, 2005 05:30 am
I'd tell you all to play nice, but we all know what a waste of typing that would be . . .
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 167,396 • Replies: 5,908
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2005 05:34 am
To whoever fixed my double-posting error, thank you.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2005 05:34 am
Bloody obvious.

Can't you see?
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2005 05:36 am
Cast your vote without editorializing . . . thank you, ma'am . . .
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Gelisgesti
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2005 05:47 am
Quote:


Source
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Kara
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2005 06:45 am
Ge, I read that story this morning in my Times and thought, Woops, that puts paid to my theory that we will attack Iran by June.
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McTag
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2005 06:48 am
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4504855.stm

Italy has published a report into the shooting of a secret agent by US troops at a roadblock in Iraq, which conflicts with the US version of events.
The report blames the troops' stress and inexperience, and says the US authorities should have signalled that there was a checkpoint on the road.
But it adds that it was difficult to pinpoint individual responsibility for Nicola Calipari's 4 March shooting.
Calipari was killed as he escorted hostage Giuliana Sgrena to freedom.
The Italian foreign ministry delayed the release of the 52-page report, and it was given to senior Italian officials and to US ambassador Mel Sembler ahead of publication.
Disputed circumstances
"It is likely that the state of tension stemming from the conditions of time, circumstances and place, as well as possibly some degree of inexperience and stress might have led some soldiers to instinctive and little-controlled reactions," the report said, quoted by the Associated Press news agency.
It denied the US assertion that their military command in Baghdad was unaware of the Italian mission to secure the hostage's release, pointing out that the Italians had been allocated secure accommodation in an American-controlled area.
It said that the Italian car had been travelling at 40-50km/h, while the American version said it was going at about twice that speed.
The Italian report described the US soldiers' description of the car's speed as "emotionally biased".
Observers say that following the report from the US military's investigation panel, relations between the two countries have deteriorated considerably.
The findings in the US report were heavily censored, with large blocks of the text blacked out when it was published.
However, a university student in Italy claims he was able to remove the censored parts using his computer and has passed a seemingly full US report to Italy's media.
Details of personnel
The Bologna student, after surfing the web on Sunday, found he could restore censored portions of the 40-page US report with a couple of clicks of his computer mouse.
He passed the details to Italian newspapers, which put out the full text on their websites.
The apparently full text contains a few details that US authorities would have preferred to remain secret - such as the names and ranks of the US military personnel involved in Calipari's death - the BBC's David Willey says from Rome.
Our correspondent adds that the censored material also includes embarrassing details about communication failures and reveals the rules of engagement at checkpoints.
The US invited two Italians to join in their inquiry, but the Italian representatives protested at what they claimed was lack of objectivity in presenting the evidence and returned to Rome.
It is their dissenting report which has now been published.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2005 06:49 am
Er - I meant the answer to the quiz! Not who fixed his double post!
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Kara
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2005 06:50 am
Thanks for the new thread, Setanta, but we need more choices for your poll.
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Kara
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2005 06:56 am
McTag, this was in today's NYTimes. It is one of the more balanced pieces I've read about the issue.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

May 3, 2005
Italy Rebuts U.S. Report That Cleared G.I.'s in Killing
By IAN FISHER and JOHN F. BURNS

OME, May 2 - Italy on Monday issued a strongly worded rebuttal to an American report clearing United States soldiers of responsibility for the shooting death of an Italian intelligence agent at a roadblock in Iraq, saying "inexperience and stress" on the part of the soldiers were major reasons for the agent's death.

The incident has become a major point of friction in the close relationship between the nations, and has accelerated calls here for Italy to remove its 3,000 troops from Iraq. It has also contributed to political problems for Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who agreed to station troops in Iraq despite broad opposition here. He is scheduled to address Parliament on the issue on Thursday.

The 52-page Italian report offers an exhaustive rebuttal to the American version of events, released on Saturday. Specifically, the Italian report said that an American roadblock on the road to the Baghdad airport had not been clearly visible; that the driver of the car carrying the agent had not been speeding; and that the removal of the cars involved had made it impossible to reconstruct exactly what had happened.

The report said that the car carrying the agent, Nicola Calipari, a ranking official in Italian secret services, had not been an intentional target but that "some level of inexperience and stress could have led soldiers to reactions that were instinctive and not well controlled."

Mr. Calipari had traveled to Iraq to secure the release of a kidnapped Italian journalist, Giuliana Sgrena. Right after she was released, Mr. Calipari and an Italian driver drove to the airport with her, in the dark on a wet road that is one of the most dangerous in Iraq, to fly back home to Italy. The car ran into the American roadblock at 8:50 p.m.

At the time of the shooting, American accounts offered few details, beyond saying the Italians' car, a Toyota sedan, approached the roadblock at high speed, failed to heed several warnings by the Americans and continued toward the roadblock even after warning shots were fired.

The American military report exonerated the seven-man team at the roadblock, including the turret gunner from the New York National Guard who fired the fatal shots, Specialist Mario Lozano. On the key issue in contention, the report concluded that nobody in the United States military command, in the American Embassy or the American forces had any warning that the Italians had freed Ms. Sgrena or that the car was headed for the airport road.

A much fuller account emerged after reporters succeeded with a few computer keystrokes in restoring large sections of the American report that had been blacked out in the version that was released by the United States command on Saturday.

The effect of restoring the censored sections was to give an even starker version of the American claim that the Italians kept the operation to free Ms. Sgrena secret from the United States command. In effect, the full report suggests that Italian secrecy was a prime component in the events.

The Italian version conceded that it was possible that the American chain of command did not know precisely why Mr. Calipari had come to Iraq or that Ms. Sgrena had been released. The report denied that this was the decisive issue, but pointed instead to problems with the American roadblock and actions of the soldiers.

"It is not clear how the eventual knowledge of the contents of the operation would have favorably affected the course of events," it said.

The Italian report says the roadblock, on a ramp off the highway, had been poorly placed and marked. While the American soldiers testified that the driver had been traveling at about 50 miles per hour, the Italian report cited later estimations by the driver and Ms. Sgrena that it was closer to 30 m.p.h. Given the darkness, the curve of the ramp and other circumstances, "such a speed seems credible," the Italian report said.

The report also raised general questions about the ability of investigators to reconstruct what had happened since both the Italian car and the American Humvees were moved immediately after the shooting.

The American report noted that the Humvees had been used to take Ms. Sgrena to a military hospital.

In Washington and Baghdad, senior officers have suggested privately that the reason for the Italian decision to keep the American command in the dark was that Mr. Calipari and a major in Italian military intelligence - identified in the American report as Andrea Carpani of the Italian Embassy in Baghdad, who drove the Toyota - may have paid a ransom to the hostage takers. These officers have said there has been no hard evidence to support their suspicions, which match similar accounts that have appeared, without corroboration, in some Italian newspapers.

The American inquiry said the American aide to the Italian general serving with the American command, identified as Captain Green, learned five days earlier that a group of Italian "V.I.P's" would be arriving, and that they "would be working the Sgrena hostage situation," but knew no more than that. The report said that 20 minutes before the shooting, the Italian officer, Maj. Gen. Mario Marioli, asked the American if he had been briefed by another Italian officer on the operation, and when Captain Green said he suspected it had something to do with Ms. Sgrena, the general replied "Yes, but it is best if no one knows."

"It is clear that while the hostage recovery operation may have otherwise been a success, prior coordination might have prevented this tragedy," the American report said.

The report said that tensions along the expressway had been heightened by 135 insurgent attacks on the road in the previous four months, and that the platoon had been informed that two suspected suicide car bombers, one in a white car and the other in a black vehicle, had been spotted in the area. The Toyota involved in the shooting of the Italian was white.

Ian Fisher reported from Rome for this article, and John F. Burns from Baghdad. Jason Horowitz contributed reporting.

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company
0 Replies
 
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2005 07:02 am
georgeob1 wrote:
McTag wrote:
You could start with the Old Testament, a very good place to start. Thou shalt not kill.

It is a basis for many a good legal system.


The Old Testament isn't law.


It is the basis for many a good legal system, including yours.
"You see that man across the street? I think he may be going to harm me, though I can't see how. I'll shoot him dead."
Er, no. Illegal.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2005 07:04 am
Kara wrote:
McTag, this was in today's NYTimes. It is one of the more balanced pieces I've read about the issue.


Well, it sums up quite good both different views and opinions.

But since no-one of us seems to have been there .... the word of an American soldier always has to be trusted, I've learnt by some here.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2005 07:05 am
dlowan wrote:
Er - I meant the answer to the quiz! Not who fixed his double post!


I know, that's why i responded as i did . . .
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Gelisgesti
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2005 07:08 am
Kara wrote:
Ge, I read that story this morning in my Times and thought, Woops, that puts paid to my theory that we will attack Iran by June.


Let's not forget we need a base of operations.... insurgents behind us, Iran in front, no supply lines ..... at least the roads are unsafe now. If we bomb there is no reason to expect any results different from Iraq.
Dejavu all over again. When George blew it .... he blew it.
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blatham
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2005 07:41 am
mark
0 Replies
 
Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2005 07:45 am
hi mark
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2005 07:46 am
And here i thought his name was Mudd . . .
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georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2005 09:09 am
Setanta speaks (shouts), and I obey.
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revel
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2005 09:22 am
Iraq's First Democratic Gov't Sworn In

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/I/IRAQ?SITE=NMCAR&SECTION=HOME

I have not noticed any views expressed from those present today about the make up of the new government in Iraq. Don't anyone have any thoughts about it?
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Kara
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2005 10:13 am
Revel, I think it will be fascinating to watch the pushes and pulls in this administration. There will be religious factions, tribal allegiances, and (mostly secret) pressures from the US.

I hope that the awful irony of Chalabi being appointed Oil minister was merely a blip but I doubt it.
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