Sunday, March 06, 2005

Media again assuming the worst about U.S. troops

This is not supporting our troops. Whatever you think of the mission (and there is lots of evidence that mission is succeeding not only in Iraq but also in Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and elsewhere), calling our troops murderers and liars and not even printing their side of the story in most reports is just wrong.

It looks like the shooting is almost certainly the driver's fault, because the car ignored signs, shouting, hand signals, and warning shots and continued to speed toward a military checkpoint like a suicide car bomber, forcing troops to defend themselves; if anything, the driver should be up for a Darwin Award. I mean, really, how do you not stop when there is loud gunfire chipping up asphalt in front of your car? But in 20+ stories I've read on this incident, this is the only one that gives the troops' version of the incident. That is not supporting our troops; that's not even giving our troops (who are risking their lives every day to defend and promote freedom and democracy) a fair or neutral hearing. Instead, they repeat the evidence-contradicting claims and insane conspiracy theories of an America-hating (anti-American is not strong enough to describe her stance) Communist, usually with little or no qualification of her comments by the media as to her political views. Is Walter Duranty in charge of our media today? I mean, what the hell?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. soldiers tried to warn a vehicle carrying freed Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena as it sped toward a military checkpoint in western Baghdad on Friday, then shot into its engine block when the driver did not stop, the U.S. military said.
In a statement released by the Army's Third Infantry Division in Baghdad, the U.S. military said American soldiers killed one civilian and wounded two others when their vehicle "traveling at high speeds refused to stop at a checkpoint."
"About 9 p.m., a patrol in western Baghdad observed the vehicle speeding toward their checkpoint and attempted to warn the driver to stop by hand and arm signals, flashing white lights, and firing warning shots in front of the car," according to the statement.
"When the driver didn't stop, the soldiers shot into the engine block, which stopped the vehicle, killing one and wounding two others," the statement added.
"A wounded male occupant was treated by Army medics on the scene but refused medical evacuation for further assistance. A wounded female occupant was stabilized by the medics and evacuated to an Army medical facility for further treatment," the statement said.


UPDATE: More evidence this was stupidity on the driver's part: Sgrena admits they were going fast enough that they nearly lost control going around some puddles.

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