March 14, 2005

Checkpoints Save Lives Too

Bartle Bull seems unimpressed by the likely tactics employed to free Giuliana Sgrena and is worried the fall-out will lead to fewer checkpoints being used in Iraq. He's likely spot on. Read the whole thing, as they say.

Posted by Gregory at March 14, 2005 03:17 AM | TrackBack (3)

Calapari should never have been wearing that red dress.

Posted by: praktike at March 14, 2005 03:24 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

He pointed out that checkpoints get set up almost anywhere, and people who see one tend to turn around and look for another way through.

So they don't actually *catch* insurgents much, mostly they *hamper* insurgents who're trying to go places.

The exact same way they hamper every iraqi who's trying to get from one place to another. They get hampered the same way the insurgents do, when they see a checkpoint they have to turn around and find another way or else stop and be searched. And if they panic or in any way do the wrong thing they're likely to be shot dead.

Is it any wonder the iraqi economy is a basket case? How can they possibly compete?

Posted by: J Thomas at March 14, 2005 08:34 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Maybe it will, maybe it won't. My money is on won't, though we may see some changes in tactics -- there are better ways to slow traffic than arm signals and white lights -- and the military will send some rockets up and down the chain of command concerning communications. It's all too likely that the Italians told someone that Sgrena's car was headed to the airport, but that word never got to the soldiers manning the mobile checkpoint.

Posted by: Zathras at March 14, 2005 09:17 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Zathras: "It's all too likely that the Italians told someone that Sgrena's car was headed to the airport, but that word never got to the soldiers manning the mobile checkpoint."

Possibly. There was a report from the Italians that an agent named Marioli received a phone call about the hostage:

article in IOL

"However, Marioli also said that he finally told an American officer with him at the Baghdad airport - a certain "Captain Green" - after getting a call that the mission had been a success and that the two agents and freed journalist Giuliana Sgrena were on their way back, according to dailies Corriere della Sera, Il Messaggero and La Stampa."

One of the FEW consistant things in Sgrena's stor[ies] is the fumbling around with the cell phones just before the shooting.

Could it be that THEN was when Marioli was told the mission was a success? An event that may turn out to be virtually simultaneous with the shooting?

If this is so, it could be answered by checking the cell phone records against the incident report from the checkpoint. And I'm beginning to suspect that this is exactly what happened... Marioli didn't get the word until it was too late.

Posted by: mamapajamas at March 16, 2005 01:35 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink


People making up stories to explain why it wasn't our fault.

It was the usual SNAFU. Not really unusual. "Bad things happen in wars."

Never mind whose fault it was, what can we do to reduce the number of times it happens? This is not good for the war effort.

Posted by: J Thomas at March 16, 2005 01:53 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

9b23df0595bfb13eaa25abcec1203d8e f8bdea9cce004ff9e0ba26c.

Posted by: d087a at March 16, 2005 04:22 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink
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