Thursday, March 10, 2005
Bay on Sgrena
The single best article or blog post I've read yet on the Guiliana Sgrena incident, unsurprisingly, comes from retired Col. Austin Bay. Not too hot, not too cold — and written by a guy who knows whereof he speaks regarding traffic patterns in Houston, LA, and Baghdad, automatic weapons, roadblocks, and rules of engagement.
Other weblog posts, if any, whose authors have linked to Bay on Sgrena and sent a trackback ping are listed here:
What I am still confused about is the construction of the roadblocks and why a speeding car poses an immediate threat requiring lethal force. Aren't they constructed in a serpentine design so that an approaching vehicle must move slowly to negotiate the sharp turns? Also, a barrier should force the vehicle to completely stop, with the vehicle contained at a point where it can be approached (which is , of course, the most dangerous part of the process). If they are not designed in this way, then why not?
I speak from some experience here, since I have spent a fair amount of time working at the nuclear facilities in Oak Ridge, and I can tell you that it is not that difficult to control traffic.
(2) Boger made the following comment | Mar 10, 2005 11:28:39 AM | Permalink
Bay's dose of reality sorely needed at this point in looking at the Italian Job.
I will bet my bottom dollar that because the Italians knew that ransom is contrary to coalition and Iraqi government policy, they acted to keep their operation underwraps. I will bet my bottom dollar that the last thing Calipari wanted was to be stopped and questioned when he saw and recognized the coalition checkpoint patrol. I will bet my bottom dollar that because he wanted to 'protect' his illicit operation (at least until he had Sgrena out of the country), his instinct was to not stop, in fact it was probably to speed up. Knowing the realities of the BIAP highway, compounded by the fact that this was going to be at night, did the Italians use common sense and seek close coordination with the controlling military authority? We will see, but it sounds to me like they opted for an ill-advised, rogue, cowboy operation. The result being extremely predictable: stuff happened.
(3) Carol_Herman made the following comment | Mar 10, 2005 11:42:28 AM | Permalink
This Sgrena Italiano story reminds me so much of how residents treat patient maladies in hospitals. First off, you're in a training ground. And, even knowing that to be ill is to suffer; there's still something mighty handy about being able to diagnose and treat the hard cases.
Again, the BLOGS are going through another learning curve to power. And, we're doing it against the old priests who want to treat illness only as Acts of God.
We're gonna win. Communism is an inflicted disease on the human spirit.
But sometimes it's good to remember that fighting disease is also a war. And, even when the disease is in our bodies, we still have to fight. OR GIVE UP AND DIE.
Anyway, just as lawyers learn their craft where people have messed up, and need specialized help; so, too, doctors. And, more and more, we need to see our military (and police) in the same light. It's a good thing when we develop tools, as a society, that works. Some good emerency tools, too, are needed. You can't have highways without them.
That the Italian government specifically decided to fund terrorists through paying ransoms. And, did so knowing how GWB, and most Americans feel about this; is just an example of stupidity at the highest levels.
We're lucky this has been exposed. And, my heart goes out to the soldier, now caught in the act of doing his duty; while political cretins, in Europe, and the worldwide MSM, have decided to try their luck, yet again, against the resolve of our President. And, also the resolve of all of us who are now blogging, and commenting on the Internet.
GOOD LUCK, AHEAD! If I were in the jury pool, I'd have to admit I love you way too much to be impartial.
(4) Carol_ Herman made the following comment | Mar 10, 2005 11:45:17 AM | Permalink
By the way, be "math careful." The car was traveling in Kilometers, not Miles. So, 100kph, is 60 miles per hour ... for this tin can. Still fast enough to be speeding in a zone where you're supposed to be braking and stopping. (Heck, if Calipari had only hired a helicopter, huh? We'd have never known.)
Is it realistic to think that the driver did not expect to find intermediate checkpoints on the critical stretch of highway that is only about 8Km (about 5 miles) long, as Bay describes it? It is also challenging to think that he believed he could actually run a checkpoint without drawing fire.
What, exactly, is the Coalition's position on paying ransom? Also, is it possible that we may have already financed some of the insurrectionist activity through the reward money we have paid out, such as that for Saddam's sons?
(6) James B. Shearer made the following comment | Mar 10, 2005 8:04:08 PM | Permalink
SemiPundit in your first post you seem to be talking about fixed permanent roadblocks such as would be used to protect a military base. It is my understanding that many of the roadblocks in Iraq are temporary intended to intercept insurgents as they travel about. It is not practical to make these too elaborate.
Another thing to bear in mind is that the insurgents have been known to set up their own roadblocks so stopping is not always the right choice.
(7) Carol Herman made the following comment | Mar 15, 2005 2:20:06 PM | Permalink
According to the Italians, someone in the car with Sgrena (or Sgrena, herself) now admits that the car was swerving around barriers.
But ya know what? To hell with the Italians! What puzzles me more is why our MSM aren't interested in interviewing the American Colonel who was stationed at the plane.
He's the reason Calipari was so focussed on driving through the checkpoint. I'm sure he saw himself screeching through, and having the driver stop just in front of the on-ramp to the plane. With the plane's engines running ...
And,lo and behold. On the ground, a FULL COLONEL ready to flag anyone away who came to ask questions.
At least anyone away who didn't have enough brass to match the colonel's badge.
If this were Dealey Plaza (also a place where no one from government has ever come forward to be interviewed) ... and, we had a dead president, then ...
I AM POSTULATING that inside our own government is a cabal who were using their powers to help defeat our President. And, who also wanted the Iraqis to fail at democracy. And, they've been pulling every which way but up. (UP would have meant the plane flew out of Baghdad.)
Yes, the blogs have turned this into an interesting mystery. As if eating enough pizza would help you answer the obvious questions. WHY WOULD BERLUSCONI take ten million dollars and have it delivered to a bank in Saudi Arabia. And, then send their top agent on a secret mission ... to get a woman hostage released. This woman still having her head on. So you know it's not the usual way hostages get treated over there.
AND, you now know, Sgrena thought she was safer with her "friends, the hostages," while assuming, she said, it was the Americans who were going to kill her.
Where's the American Colonel?
He's not on TV.
If this was AL-Grubby, the MSM would be so all over our men in uniform, Rumsfeld, himself, would be asked furious questions by the press during news conferences.
When the "dog didn't bark," Sherlock Holmes solved a murder.
Do you know what I'm saying? Our MSM are as quiet as church mice. Perhaps, the story was supposed to expose our military in Iraq to the false charges made by Eason Jordan in Davos?
Who thought up this plan to get Sgrena arrested. And, then bought and paid for, she gets a ticket out to condemn Italy's involvement with troops that are part of Bush's coalition?
Sure. This thing has more elasticity to it than a piece of mozarella cheese that doesn't wsant to detach from a hot pie.
But I could care less about the Italians.
Plus, Bush and company, no friends of the MSM, can quietly go about this work ... since the American Colonel probably now feels like a KFC chicken, himself.
The Brass above his badge have found him.
I wonder how he explains his participation in this story. And, I wonder when he cramped up and s**t in his pants, realizing the plan wasn't quite mastered, when the dead Italian secret service agent created quite a crime scene on the ground.
There's always enough paperwork, ya know, in the army. But with the MSM dead on arrival on this story (you know what I mean?) we haven't put the whole puzzle back again, to the point it makes much sense.
Some day, this will be another Rather-Redux. Faked documents, cooked by people who should know better, just to hurt our President by giving a setback to our War On Terror.
You know what? I'd love to learn the names of the perps. Failing that, I'm glad we've got adults in charge, now. GWB,Condi, and Rummy, will deal with this trash, but good.
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