Monday, May 02, 2005

Irrational Italian Reaction to Sgrena Incident

Classified report paints grim picture of night Italian agent killed

Italy hits back over agent's death

Well, a few details have come out about the Italian version of the Sgrena report. Actually, these aren't details, but conclusions that currently are not supported. The report leads one to ask...Why turn this into an international incident with potential damaging diplomatic results? Have the Italians found their excuse to back out?

'The Italian report also found no evidence the killing was deliberate'

So why are the Italians to open a criminal investigation? Sounds like a friendly fire incident to me.

'In addition, the report took issue with the American report about the speed the vehicle was traveling, saying it was 20 to 30 miles per hour (30 to 50 km/h) compared with the U.S. military's claim it was around 50 mph (80 km/h).'

And the evidence for this is? We don't know yet. I suspect its the word of a deranged Communist Journalist. The US reports has an interesting nugget of information:

'It says the Italian general suspected Sgrena was on her way to the airport that night, but told him, "It is best if no one knows." The captain took that to be a direct order, the report says.'

Both reports show that at worst, a US soldier had an itchy trigger finger as a result of events leading up to the incident. So the crucial piece of data is now the actions and speed of the auto. Did the Italian actions precipitate the shooting and was the US informed ahead of time about their arrival?

A bigger issue to me is: Why are the Italians reacting to the whole thing the way that they are? There is nothing to suggest that this was anything more than a terrible mistake on one side or the other. The biggest question in my mind is, Why were they paying off terrorists? No one seems to be addressing that question.

Update: I am encouraged to see that there is at least one Italian that has a rational outlook on the incident:

Free Thoughts

To give credit where credit is due, I found the link on Dr. Sanity's Blog.