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May 03, 2005



Moreover, as even CNN noted from the U.S. report:

One indicator of how high tensions may have been running is that soldiers manning that checkpoint had specifically been told to be on the watch for suicide car bombers, one in a black car and one in a white car.

If the troops were told about a specific threat on the most dangerous road in the country, it would not be a big leap to suspect that the area was under other types of surveillance.


The dearth of coverage of the Italian response to this official report must indicate that ..
this story is dead.

I'm not sure there was a response, but I thought I heard that they did. With the lowering of the DeLay din (as Democratic Congressmen come to parity with his staff), I would have expected to hear more on this story.

The US does have airborne battlefield management radar systems that could have logged this event (along with hundreds of other vehicles) on Baghdad highways. So, one is left to wonder if the "satellite" story was meant as a "shot across the bow" of the Italians that they risked being humiliated if they persisted.


I have not found (or really looked for) an English version of the Italian account, but from press reports it seemed to represent a different emphasis of the same basic facts - the rescue mission had not been coordinated with the Americans, the American troops were at a hastily improvised blocking point, the US troops were not experienced in this - all true, but so what?

If it is true that we had been warned about a white Toyota (that might be faked after the fact - who knows?), and if the inexperienced, trigger-happy US troops turned back 15 to 30 other cars without shooting them up, what are the odds that the Italians were drivng slowly and responding promptly?

Paul Zrimsek

What are the odds that any given Italian is driving slowly?

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