We’ll begin with the crucial one, which is this: is it true, as the self-styled “Communist Daily” headline puts it, that the death of Nicola Calipari was a “preemptive” and therefore premeditated, homicide? Is it true, as Rossana Rossanda writes, that the Americans were shooting “to kill,” and that Calipari’s death was “an assassination?” Can we really subscribe to the picture painted by Ms Rossanda of arrogant Yankee roughnecks, beardless and/or whisky-soused, complying with the “American maxim, ‘shoot first, ask questions later?,’ and obeying without objection the order ‘when those Italians arrive, eliminate them’?” Must we really trust Giuliana Sgrena’s feelings when she tells us that her abductors were very probably right when they told her, “the Americans don’t want you to go back,” adding her own comment that they – the Americans again – “don’t want our work to show what Iraq has become with the war, despite the so-called elections.” (As if the U.S. media publishes whatever the Pentagon says or, if that’s how things stand, as if all American journalists were also in mortal danger; as for the Iraqi elections that shouldn’t be called elections, what does Ms Sgrena think they should be called?).
To continue, what might be the “information” in Ms Sgrena’s possession that, according to her life partner Pier Scolari, could justify an assassination by the Americans determined not to see it published? Finally, are we really to believe that the Italians’ car was hit by “400 bullets, a storm of projectiles” (Mr Scolari)? Are we really to believe Giuliana Sgrena when she says that she personally picked “handfuls of bullets” off the seat, but that, in this premeditated rain of fire from an armored vehicle against an automobile with no armor plating, only one passenger actually died?
To us, at least, these look like reasonable questions. It seems to us equally reasonable to wonder in conclusion that if Washington had been determined that the Italian journalist should die, why – for her and our good fortune – did she survive? What caused the plot to abort? And why were two Italians actually left alive to bear witness to the attack?