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Sunday, March 6, 2005

La Dolce Vita

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In Iraq an Italian man
Died by the guns of the USA
The journalist he was saving was a hostage
Who was shot at, how it happened no-one dares to say

The Berlusconi puppet wonít do anything to stop it
Italy angers by the day
First Carlo Giuliani and now Nicola Calipari for the good old ally USA

Time, Time

Tsunami came a crashing unexpected and unrivaled
A hundred thousand dead and counting
In Iraq the blood, the violent flood, the spectacle of oil for blood
Mass destruction yes, with bodies mounting

Condi canceled Egypt though Chirac and King George bonded
And Putin, wise soul, gently chided
Old Europe is now New again,
united, strong, confusingly misguided.

Time, Time

Itís tragic, grave
When a war is waged
Under premises alas untrue

The echoing of silent screams
The endless stream of violent dreams
This nightmare no one can eschew

Time, Time

Emergency Democracy, hell on earth
Hypocrisy unruly and untamed
The dangerous Insurgency, the politics of urgency
The culprits no one dares to blame

Time, Time

Pity, yes
Itís such a mess
A power no one
Dares to challenge

A world at war
Thereís only more
Kill, die and let die

Time, Time

Sign of the times, no time for signs
Attention Deficit World Order
Religion reigns compassionless
Aggressive Tyranny Disorder

Time, Times
Time, Time


Carlo Giuliani
July 17, 2002

Sushi Sub
March 6, 2001

March 15, 2001


Dirty Cows, Mad Bombs and the Culture Whores
March 3, 2004

Merry Muslim Christmas
December 19, 2003

King Con
September 11, 2003


La Dolce Vita
Journalism Horrific
WARtertainment TV


No clear picture had formed Saturday of what happened a day earlier when an Italian hostage was freed by secret agents only to be injured in a deadly shooting at the hands of U.S. soldiers on the road to Baghdad airport. Circumstances surrounding the Friday operation to release journalist Giuliana Sgrena from a month's captivity by Iraqi insurgents remained as murky as the tidbits that emerged in two earlier cases involving Italians kidnapped and then set free in Iraq

Frances D'Eemilio, Story of Italian Hostage's Release Unclear, Associated Press, March 5, 2005

Ms. Sgrena, a 56-year-old journalist for Il Manifesto, a leftist Rome daily, was assisted off the plane in a wheelchair at Rome's Ciampino airport, where she was greeted by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and her relatives.

An ambulance then took her to a military clinic for on operation on her collarbone, where she was hit by shrapnel during Friday night's shooting, in which an Italian secret service agent, Nicola Calipari, was killed trying to protect her.

According to the Italian news agency ANSA, Ms. Sgrena told a friend, "The most difficult moment was when I saw the person who had saved me die in my arms."

The American military said the car carrying Ms. Sgrena and the Italian agents was speeding to the airport as it approached a checkpoint. Soldiers shot into the engine block after trying to warn the driver to stop by "by hand-and-arm signals, flashing white lights, and firing warning shots in front of the car," a statement said.

But on Saturday, some members of the Italian opposition, which has fiercely criticized the presence of Italian troops in Iraq, expressed doubt about the American version.

"I don't believe a word the Americans are saying," said Oliviero Diliberto, a Communist deputy in the lower house of Italy's Parliament. "I think there is something really dirty about all this business. Next week we will once again propose a measure to pull the troops out of Iraq."

Jason Horowitz, Italian Reporter Arrives in Rome Amid Questions, The New York Times, March 6, 2005

Italian journalists were only among the latest to leave; most foreign journalists had left earlier. As many as 47 journalists or media assistants have been killed in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003, says Reporters Without Borders (RSF after its French name Reporters sans Frontieres).

The Italian journalists were asked to leave Iraq following the abduction of Il Manifesto correspondent Giuliana Sgrena Feb. 4. Sgrena had given voice to Iraqi victims through her dispatches from before the invasion. She was reputed to have wide contacts within Iraq.

Sgrena was abducted a month after French journalist Florence Aubenas and her Iraqi interpreter Hussein Hanoun went missing. Three more journalists were abducted after Sgrena. Two of them, Indonesian correspondent Meutya Hafid and cameraman Budiyanto, were released shortly after. Raeda Wazzan, a presenter with the state-funded Iraqi television channel Iraqiya, was kidnapped Feb. 20 and executed a few days later.

It is not always the armed groups that journalists have had to fear. About 60 percent of the journalists killed in Iraq were killed by armed groups. But no journalist has forgotten how some of the others died Ė in U.S. attacks on Hotel Palestine and on the offices of al-Jazeera. U.S. officials have often accused Arab journalists of collaborating with terrorists.

In the face of such dangers, questions arose how willingly Italian journalists left Iraq. "I didn't see many Italian journalists fighting for doing their job," Archangelo Ferri from the media freedom group Article 21 told IPS.

But Ferri pointed also to instances where Italian journalists were given no option. Duilio Giammaria from the Italian public television network RAI was stopped in Dubai from leaving for Iraq last week. Lorenzo Cremonesi from the daily Corriere Della Sera was ordered back by his editor following a phone call from the prime minister's office, Ferri said.

Either way this means that Italy is the only country with troops in Iraq but no journalist reporting out of it. "We have to rely on international news agencies and on video shots distributed by military commanders," Ferri said.

This suits the military. Little news, for instance, is coming out of Ramadi, where U.S. troops are engaged in a heavy operation against Sunni armed groups, says Toni Fontana from L'Unita daily.

Elisa Marincola, Italian Media Shaken by Iraq,, March 1, 2005

Italian media silence is extending also to silence over new legislation proposed to censor media covering the military.

The proposed new legislation would forbid anybody from giving out sensitive information on military issues, even on national territory, Elettra Deiana, deputy from the opposition party Rifondazione Communista and member of the Defense Commission, told IPS.

It would bar for instance any reporting on the effect of depleted uranium on the health of troops, or of harassment within military barracks unless such reports are approved by military authorities. Military personnel or civilians who break the law could face up to 20 years in a military prison.

Elisa Marincola, Italian Media Shaken by Iraq,, March 1, 2005

The Italian journalist kidnapped in Iraq arrived back in Rome yesterday as fury and confusion grew over the circumstances in which she was shot and one of her rescuers was killed by American soldiers. The shooting in Iraq on Friday evening, which occurred as Giuliana Sgrena was being driven to freedom after being released by her captors, was fuelling anti-war activists in Italy and putting pressure on Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

'The hardest moment was when I saw the person who had saved me die in my arms,' she said. Her poignant words and weak, haggard appearance as she had to be helped from the jet that brought her back from Baghdad are fuelling national rage.

Berlusconi, a staunch ally of the US who defied widespread public opposition to the Iraq war and sent 3,000 troops, took the rare step of summoning US ambassador Mel Sembler to his office.

He demanded that the US 'leave no stone unturned' in investigating the incident. President George Bush called Berlusconi to promise a full investigation.

Sgrena, 56, a journalist for the Communist newspaper Il Manifesto, was hit in the shoulder when US soldiers opened fire on the car she was travelling in as it approached a checkpoint less than a mile from Baghdad airport. The Italian secret service officer who had negotiated her release was killed as he shielded her from the gunfire. Two of his colleagues were also hurt.

Philip Willan Rome, Outrage as US soldiers kill hostage rescue hero, The Guardian, March 6, 2005


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