SHOOTING GALLERY BLUES

When placed in an illegal war/occupation, given pointlessly inefficient and dangerous orders, and armed to the teeth in the midst of an unfriendly and unfamiliar population, how are U.S. troops expected to respond? The shooting of Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena and the killing of her rescuer are currently under intense scrutiny (at least in media outside the U.S.), but the killing of innocent people in Iraq by U.S. troops at ‘checkpoints’ is nothing new. Furthermore, the ferocity with which some (especially on the right) attack the very notion that the soldiers were deliberately targeting the journalist obviously doesn’t take into account that the U.S. military has established a track record of targeting and killing ‘unembedded’ journalists in their latest two wars.

Regardless of the U.S. military’s intentions in firing on Sgrena, it remains true that the U.S. is not making friends for itself in this bloody, unnecessary war. This engagement may not be Vietnam, but it has long since gotten close enough.

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