The Associated Press recently reported that freed hostage Giuliana Sgrena claimed American soldiers gave no warning before they opened fire and said Sunday she could not rule out that U.S. forces intentionally shot at the car carrying her to the Baghdad airport, wounding her and killing the Italian agent who had just won her freedom after a month in captivity.
And get this. Now she claims, in a sense, it was all some kind of conspiracy against her life, because (and I quote the AP on this) "Sgrena said she believed it was possible she was targeted because the United States objected to methods used to secure her release, ..."
The story goes on to say that she said,"The fact that the Americans don't want negotiations to free the hostages is known," the 56-year-old journalist told Sky TG24 television by telephone, her voice hoarse and shaky. "The fact that they do everything to prevent the adoption of this practice to save the lives of people held hostage, everybody knows that. So I don't see why I should rule out that I could have been the target."
Let's break this down for a minute America. First of all, WE DON'T NEGOTIATE WITH KIDNAPPERS BECAUSE IT BREEDS AND OPEN DOOR FOR THEIR ADVANTAGE. If they feel they can get you once, they'll get you again. And yes, I know there are lives at stake, people's sons, daughers, mothers, fathers, but the fact is that when you're fighting a terror that we are fighting right now, there is no bending.
And before the rash of emails come in asking what if it was my child Let me tell you something. When you put yourself in that line of fire, YOU SHOULD EXPECT IT. We have reporters that get killed over there, and when we do get blessed to have one of us from the field return to tell the story, it's a blessing, no matter who it is.
Now it's unfortunate that the military misfired on her vehicle, but people, I can't sit here and believe the military fired on her because we don't condone paying money to free hostages and if one gets freed by monetary reasons WE KILL THEM ... YEAH RIGHT ... THAT'S BACKWARD THINKING. Maybe they shouldn't have slowed down, but come to a complete stop. If they were entering American territory, there would have been no reason not to stop and clear up the communication.
America, it's miscommunication and miseducation like this that breeds tension against each country and starts wars. And if she was speaking in the heat of emotion, she still gets a penalty flag. She was a prisoner, yes, and when that happens, that can change your way of thinking, especially when you know that help may not come. But where does the truth start and the conspiracy end?
Force Protection is a two-way street. It's important for those practicing it on the lines to know what to do, but it's just as important for those who are entering Force Protection enviornments to know what to do. People are strapping bombs to themselves and blowing things up over there. What would you do if a car was coming at you and not stopping, only hoping you hear them from the window? You decide.
I think everyone should just relax until cooler heads arise. But then again, that's just my opinion.
But enough about that, let's goto the email bin: And just to let you all know, I've consolidated them so that I can get a chance to respond to everyone. I have received some lovely responses, but I don't have that kind of space to post the entire letter, So I pulled some points again, like I did with the others.
We're still getting in a load of emails in regard to a story I wrote a week ago about Fantasia's Baby Mama song, and let me first say that for those who wrote me back personal notes, thank you for the correspondence. You know who you are, and for those who are still confused about what I do, here you go again: I explain after each column that I will respond to each message I get, that means yes, I will post your name and place because I'm quoting you, and I want America to see where various responses come from, so no more emails about that.
Scherriea #1 Fantasian in The Bahamas writes:
"I am a huge fan of Fantasia. When I first heard the song "Baby Mama" I was also concerned about the way people would perceive the song. I personally love it, and when I heard it I thought, hmmmm.. "This song is so true!" I am not a baby mama, but in a few weeks I will be an aunt to a baby that won't have a father in their life (his choice) ... I know it is hard, because ever since my sister got pregnant I have been the sole supporter for her, I have been the one that had to pay the doctor bills and buy everything that she now has for her child, so I thank Fantasia and the writers for writing and singing the song. As a verse says in the song "What don't kill you, can only make you stronger"..."
My reply: Well I'm glad that you did take a moment and think about both sides of the song before jumping in head first. And even though it didn't connect to you directly, you found a connection, and there's nothing wrong with that. And congrats to your sister and you two stay strong out there, and I love visiting St. Thomas. Maybe you could mail me a shirt lol. Thanks for your input.
Kountist Moss writes:
"I have no comment in reference to your article about Fantasia; however, I just wanted to let you that if you listen to her song "Baby Mama" closely, you'll hear in that second verse that she says, May God bless you real good. When you lay down to go to sleep at night, and God doesn't deal with you about speaking ill of others, you may need to check out your commitment to Him."
My reply: Once again I have to say that I was not putting her down, just bringing another angle to what has already been said that, because I'm a gentleman, did not say. And as far as speaking ill of others, I never do, I just analyze the events in question and make others re-think theirs. Thanks for your input.
I read your article that responds to all the people who wrote in. I'm so happy that you are willing to listen to the song again to see the view most of us see. I'm happy that you took the time to see everyone's point of view and willing to listen to the song again.
My reply: Why thank you Samantha that was thoughtful, and yes, I have listened to it again. In fact, I listen to it millions of times a day ... it's a Number 1 hit you know, and thank you for your comments, they were very nice.
"Give her and her voice a chance. I would rather listen to her as opposed to listening to Beyonce and her gals talking about they want a soldier who will be firm in the middle or some garbage like that. Or better yet, listen to 50 cents talking about going to the candy shop for sex. I am over 40 and it still amazes how quick people are to judge and form opinions. She's a dynamite singer. Let's support her so that she can support and teach her daughter not to make the same mistakes that she did. That's if the public considers her lovely daughter a mistake."
My reply: Where do I start with this one? First, America gave her and her voice a chance when we she was voted for. Second, we went out and bought the album, and third(even though I've said this already, read that particular column) I know there is more than enough stuff out there that, in compared to this, is waaaaayyyy worse. And judging and forming opinions is what America is all about. It's that good 'ole Democracy thing I guess ... and children are not mistakes, they are blessings.
Andy Jacobs writes:
"The baby mamas I know LOVE this song. They feel it's about time someone showed them some appreciation instead of putting them down. Fantasia is an inspiration to them."
My reply: Well, I can't disagree with that. Good point and I thank you for your comments.
Don Zorn writes:
"Looks to me like you're taking this song way too literally. Fantasia has made it quite clear in her interviews that she is NOT advocating single parenthood or teenage sex. But as usual in the media, if nothing can be done about the real problem, then jump on and create a stir over something trivial."
My reply: Well, it looks to me that I either have a new fan, or someone doesn't read my columns too much. I implore you to read some of my back columns so you can see what I challenge and cover, and not cutting off your other comments, but, I know there is way worse out there. I made that point clear in that column, but thank you for your time and input.
*Oh, and just to let ya'll know, I finally got that "What if it was a church song" question: Well, I would have written the same column.
I am not bitter, are you interested? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts and I'll be sure to post them in my next column. And remember, I accept both the good and the bad so don't be shy.
Ricky Allen is the author of "Richard Kaylen: Murder Online." His book can be found at www.stonegarden.net.