Sunday, November 04, 2007

It is not and has never been about "our freedoms"

One day -- recounted Majid -- the American troops took a megaphone and invited the whole neighborhood (those left alive, shut up in their houses) to head toward a gathering spot where they were told they'd find Red Crescent (the Islamic Red Cross) volunteers distributing aid. Cut off from the world, they had no way of knowing that the Red Crescent had actually been prvented from entering the city to offer help. So off they marched, in two separate lines -- men on one side and women and children on another -- toward a mirage, passing by the dog-gnawed corpses abandoned in the streets.

Instead of help, however, the men found handcuffs. They were all considered combatants; hence, they were roughly interrogated and locked up in a camp. It took several days for Majid, along with others, to be released, and he was only freed after proving that he had not touched explosives (with a paraffin glove test). But free to go where? Wandering alone and desperate, he headed toward the mosque, usually a place of refuge. Not in this case: the floor was covered with bodies. The Americans had killed all the young men seeking shelter in the place of prayer, an old caretaker told him -- he himself had been spared only because of his advanced age.

The above is Giuliana Sgrena recounting one of the stories she learned when she visited the refugee camp for residents of Falluja set up on the campus of Nahrein University (Friendly Fire, pp. 22-23). While attempting to leave the mosque, she would be kidnapped (Feburary 4, 2005). After her release (March 4, 2005), negotiated by Italian intelligence, while heading to the airport, she and Andrea Carpani would be wounded and Nicola Calipari would be dead -- shot by the US military.

It was an international incident. Last week, Mario Lozano thought it was time for another international incident. The US soldier told Reuters that Sgrena was responsible for Calipari's death, "She went out there, she wanted to mingle with the terrorists and all that. Then she gets caught. Now we have to send, now we have to send good men to go after this one person that knows that she put herself in the situation. She knows that if she's going to go talk to terrorists, she knows there's a 99 percent chance she will get caught. So why'd she do that for? Is beyond my... I don't understand. So it's her fault that this is happening, it's not my fault. It's not my fault, it's not America's fault, it's not the Italian government's fault, it's Sgrena's fault."

It's Sgrena's fault. It's her fault that a man is dead. It's not the fault of the shooter, Lozano insists, it's Sgrena. It's her fault because she visited a camp of Falluja refugees to try to tell their story. Lozano turns refugees of a slaughter into "terrorists."

Lozano is a dumb ass who does not grasp the role of the press or respect it.

A hideous book contained an alleged peace activist claiming that the US military protects the freedoms of America, as if the illegal war is in any way about the rights of the American people.

Get it through your heads, the US is not in Iraq to protect the American people. No rights are at stake. Lozano drives home the point that freedoms aren't being fought for because he can't even grasp the First Amendment.

The military is trained to kill. It is not trained in freedom. There is no freedom granted in the chain of command. There is no freedom being brought to Iraq.

Loznao tosses the bluster around with reporters in the US and yet he refused to go to Italy and tell his story before a court. He also refused to meet with Sgrena when she visited New York last year. But he's a tough talker when it's time to wipe his ass with the Constitution.

Sgrena told Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) last week, "I don't know if he knew who was -- who were the passenger of the car, of course. I don't know if maybe he just answered to an order. So that's why I wanted Mario Lozano to tell the truth to the trial or in any way to tell the truth, and not just accusing me that it's my fault. It's not my fault. He was shooting to us. I didn't shoot to anybody. So, he shooted, and he has to give us a reason why he shooted, even if it was an order. When I was in United States, I heard from a lot of veterans against the war that they were obliged to shoot when they were in Iraq. So I think that we can understand that he also was a victim of the war. But he has to tell the truth, not just to tell that it's my fault. It's not my fault. He has to realize that it is his fault, because he shoot to us and to Calipari. He killed Calipari. So he has to explain. I can imagine that he has psychological problems because of the shooting, because it's normal for a normal person, it's normal to have psychological problems if you kill a man."

Sgrena was kidnapped while trying to tell an important story. She was wounded by the US military. Lozano can rewrite it in his own mind however he wants, but the reality is he shot Calipari, he killed Calipari. Not Giuliana Sgrena. Sgrena fired no weapon nor carried one. But Lozano also shot her.

Maybe blowhard Lozano felt like talking out of his ass because of the misreporting in the mainstream media? CNN reported: "An Italian judge Thursday acquitted a U.S. soldier accused of killing an Italian intelligence agent in Iraq, saying Italy has no jurisdiction in the case.
Prosecutor Franco Ionta would not comment on the decision, but said the reasons behind it would be made public in the next few weeks." No, that is not what happened. The judge did not acquit Lozano of any charges, the judge ruled that the Italian court did not have jurisdiction over an Iraq shooting based upon a pre-war edict that all foreign forces in Iraq would operate under the jurisdiction of their own countries. That decision is being appealed.

In the meantime, Lozano's sounding off and projecting the blame onto others. Most importantly, he's demonstrating the US military provides no training in the importance of a free press. Just by being a blowhard braggart, he demolishes the myth that the US military fights for "our rights."
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