Monday, March 07, 2005

Civilians - War You Have NO IDEA!

OK...This is to everyone thinking the United States Military did something terribly wrong or unjust or unusual in this case of Giuliana Sgrena, who was wounded and her escort killed and drivers wounded, in Iraq. LISTEN UP!!;
I was stunned to hear the news myself. But when I heard how it developed it was clear to me what happened and I didn't appreciate, in the least, the comments Sra. Sgrena had made as to our American Forces being "angry" at Spain, shooting the vehicle up in retaliation. What's this woman think? This is the playground of her journalism school?
This is how it is IN A WAR ZONE! Here is MY PERSONAL STORY (And, yes, ignorance did have something to do with it);

I was in Viet Nam and I was to take a fellow soldier to the airport in Saigon to catch a plane for his R&R. (I have related this story in a past post) It's a short-long story why, but we didn't get the OK to leave until it was well into the NIGHT.
OK...It's me driving, the R&R guy in the back of the jeep and my "shotgun", another soldier, sitting next to me.
Now I'm already thinking someone wants us killed sending us out at night like that but the guy had to get his plane and the fool who had to give the OK waited until dark. You make the descision on what he was up to.
ANYWAY...For some reason I want to drive very fast. Thinking, somehow, this will be safer and more strategic. Making the vehicle a tough target. HA HA HA. Silly me huh?
So I'm flying down Highway One and there's a bridge up ahead. The good ol' Newport Bridge, which was being blown up..oh say..once every two months. At this bridge were soldiers. I thought Americans but they turned out to be the Republic of Viet Nam guys acting like soldiers that night.
So we're barreling down the road doing my strategic, life saving, life extending, we aint gonna get hit fast as we can go in a jeep thing when all of a sudden (I forget his name *sigh*) the guy we're taking to the airport YELLS AT THE TOP OF HIS LUNGS "SLOW DOWN!!!!". Instinct, I guess, made me yell back "what the fuck for? It's our guys up there!" Which he replied SLOW THE FUCK DOWN!!! YA WANNA GET US KILLED?!"
So I slowed down. Just in time too. because, ya see, these guys at the bridge were taking "offensive posture". ALL OF EM! In this I am saying weapons were being raised and men, who were standing and smoking, were now taking positions to FIRE AT US!
We looked in NO WAY like the enemy. Clearly GI's. American Jeep. American Soldiers in American Uniforms but the ARVN's could IN NO WAY BE SURE OF THAT.
As my luck would have had it, and I did have a ton of it, the guy going on R&R was doing his second tour in NAM and KNEW THE RULE TO SLOW DOWN WHEN APPROACHING ARMED SOLDIERS!
SEE?...I was IGNORANT of this rule. No one told me THAT particular piece of strategy UNTIL THAT VERY MOMENT!
If I had been with some one who didn't know that, I would most likely be dead or crippled or worse today because that Jeep would have been SPRAYED WITH M-16 Fire and M-50 Machine Gun fire. Maybe even a rocket too.
So I say to you Great People Of Spain And Italy..."IT WAS NOT ITALIAN'S OR SPANISH FOLKS THAT WERE BEING FIRED AT. It was a speeding vehicle in the night. And A speeding vehicle in the night in a WAR ZONE is usually not a good sign. It usually means Something or some one is going to be shot, blown up and put to shreds.
It's a good thing the TROOPS were told to fire as they did. because 36 years ago there would have been nothing left of that vehicle and little left of the people in it.
I'm sorry for the loss of the Negotiator, Nicola Calipari. Truly, I am! And of the wounding of the Aides and especially the hostage, Giuliana Sgrena. Who had been held in terrifying circumstances for so long with threat of death daily having to suffer through the elation of being freed to the nadir of a terrible accident. And yes...I believe it was due to what might have killed me. IGNORANCE of War Zone Procedures.
God be with Nicola and may God bless Sra. Sgrena and the two Aides.


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