Why, even though I do believe that journalists have been targeted in the past by US forces, I don’t think freed Italian hostage, Giuliana Sgrena was targeted? If you’ve been reading some of the better war reporting, like that of Evan Wright for Rolling Stone (part 1, part 2, part 3), you’ll have already read passages like this:
But the one thing the Marines haven’t trained for, or really even thought through, is the operation of roadblocks. The basic idea is simple enough: Put an obstacle like concertina wire in the road and point guns at it. If a car approaches, fire warning shots. If it keeps coming, shoot it. The question is: Do the Iraqis understand what’s going on? When it gets dark, can Iraqi drivers actually see the concertina wire? Even Marines have been known to drive through concertina wire at night. The other problem is warning shots. In the dark, a warning shot is simply a series of loud bangs and orange flashes. It’s not like this is the international code for “Stop your vehicle and turn around.” As it turns out, many Iraqis react to warning shots by speeding up. Maybe they just panic. Consequently, a lot of Iraqis die at roadblocks.
I guess Italians are just as confused by the loud bangs and orange flashes.
UPDATE: Tom Tomorrow says the same thing — but says it better:
Supporters of this war scoff at parallels with Vietnam–but as was the case in Vietnam, our troops often cannot tell friend from foe, which puts them in an untenable situation and gets a lot of innocent people killed.