That Italian dude who died

#1
Nicola Calipari: An 'extraordinary hero' (from BBC News)
On Friday, Nicola Calipari was an unknown Italian secret agent, close to completing another successful mission for his country.
A few hours and a selfless and fatal act later, he had become a hero mourned by his entire nation.
Calipari was on the verge of delivering Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena to safety after her hostage ordeal in Iraq, when their car came under US army fire.
She recalled that he "fell on top of me to protect me, and immediately, I repeat immediately, I felt his last breath and he died on top of me".

Doctors said he was struck in the temple by a single round and died instantly.
His sacrifice stunned Italy.

Crowds at football matches across the country observed a minute's silence, while there have been calls to rename a street after the 51-year-old intelligence officer.
When his coffin returned to Rome, the Italian president and prime minister were there to greet it.
President Azeglio Ciampi stood with his hands on the casket in silence for two minutes, later declaring that Calipari would be awarded the gold medal of valour for his heroism.
Nearby stood Calipari's wife Rosa Maria, and their 19-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son.
The coffin, wrapped in an Italian flag, was blessed by a military priest and Calipari's own brother, a priest who serves at the Vatican.
The Pope sent condolences and hailed Calipari a "hero".
The head of the Italian intelligence mission in Iraq had successfully headed negotiations for Ms Sgrena's release.
He had already overseen the release of two other Italian hostages in Iraq, aid workers Simona Toretta and Simona Pari, in September.
"He was an extraordinary man," Ms Sgrena's boyfriend Pier Scolari told the news agency Ansa.
"Nicola Calipari was a beautiful person, a simple person. He was the person who freed me," said Simona Torretta.
"We are very sorry. We owe these people so much," said Simona Pari's father, Luciano Pari.
The government announced Calipari's body would lie in state ahead of a state funeral.
Is this the bravest thing you've heard since that Medal of Honor was awarded earlier this year?
Or do you think it's all a bit much?
And what about the circumstances in which he died? The journalist whom he freed now thinks the Yanks were told to shoot her because they negotiated her release and the US doesn't want anyone to negotiate with terrorists (she's a Communist, BTW).
 
#2
According to Ms. Sgrena the Americans knew about an Italian covert operation, and waited in an ambush to assisinate the lot of them. Because she's a Communist and a Journalist?

-or-

Let's apply Occams Razor: American Soldiers, manning a PERMANENT, WELL-KNOWN traffic control point observed a vehicle that failed to stop, failed to observe the signs, and failed to obey hand and arm signals. They opened fire to disable the vehicle. Once the vehicle stopped, they immediately rushed the occupants to the hospital. No one in the American chain of command at the site or in the HQ had any prior knowledge of a covert operation mounted by the Italians.

That same TCP has been the site of many VBIED, RPG and Sniper attacks in the past. A number of Soldiers and innocent civilians died there due to those attacks.

I believe in 1997 the British lost a Royal because a driver couldn't follow the rules either.
 
#4
cheesypoptart said:
And what about the circumstances in which he died? The journalist whom he freed now thinks the Yanks were told to shoot her because they negotiated her release and the US doesn't want anyone to negotiate with terrorists (she's a Communist, BTW).
Are you wearing a tin foil hat ?

Nicola Calipari brave man died doing his job.

Giuliana Sgrena whining communist jurno with inflated sense of self importance.
 
#5
Hmm Tracy-Paul I can't help but notice a defensive element to your posts. I don't think anyone here takes what comes out in the press at face value.

I daresay there are a few people here who are aware of the realities of peacekeeping ops.
 
#6
If they wanted her dead, tanks would have been conveniently on maneuvers in the area that day and a HE round would have been piled into the bitches car endex.

As it is bad luck for the bloke who got slotted,Tough, Next time they might stop the car when ordered.

Trouble is the Lefty's are still going to scream blue murder and the over reaction by the Italian government is not going to help matters, State funeral ????, come on, lets get real here, guard of Honor at most.

Daz
 
#7
I commented before on the first Italian to be executed by insurgents, and the fact he belittled his executioners before they killed him. This Italian has again shown the world the meaning of defending the weak, even though ‘allied’ forces blew his life away. RIP mate, you did best. Hopefully your being rewarded where ever you are now.
 
#8
Trouble is the Lefty's are still going to scream blue murder and the over reaction by the Italian government is not going to help matters, State funeral ????, come on, lets get real here, guard of Honor at most.
Hey, Italy needs heroes. How many heroes does that country have? Give them someone to look up to.

I can't wait until the conspiracy theorists link this incident with 9/11, AIDS and how a peanut farmer became president...
 
#9
army_of_1 said:
Hmm Tracy-Paul I can't help but notice a defensive element to your posts. I don't think anyone here takes what comes out in the press at face value.

I daresay there are a few people here who are aware of the realities of peacekeeping ops.
You're quite right.

From your (UK, EU, CIS, PRC, Greenpeace, etc.) point of view, it's self evident that the US has only two things wrong with it: Everything it says and everything it does. Occasionally I like to return the favor and wind up some folks.
 
#10
It is a great shame that the man has died, however is the media not getting a little carried away with this story?

cheesypoptart said:
Nicola Calipari: An 'extraordinary hero' (from BBC News) - On Friday, Nicola Calipari was an unknown Italian secret agent......
Unknown - there was footage of him being interviewed by journalists on Sky News yesterday! Call me old-fashioned, but "Secret agents" don't normally give interviews to the media?
 
B

Biscuits_AB

Guest
#11
Tracy-Paul said:
army_of_1 said:
Hmm Tracy-Paul I can't help but notice a defensive element to your posts. I don't think anyone here takes what comes out in the press at face value.

I daresay there are a few people here who are aware of the realities of peacekeeping ops.
You're quite right.

From your (UK, EU, CIS, PRC, Greenpeace, etc.) point of view, it's self evident that the US has only two things wrong with it: Everything it says and everything it does. Occasionally I like to return the favor and wind up some folks.
Shame you feel that way. Not all of us are anti- American, in fact some of us have the utmost respect for your country and in particularly, what you did for Europe and the rest of the world in WW2. But that post mate was sh*te. It smacked of paranoia. Wind people up? You haven't developed the skill to even attempt to do so on this site. In fact, you just made one big c*nt of yourself.
 
#12
Biscuits_AB said:
Shame you feel that way. Not all of us are anti- American, in fact some of us have the utmost respect for your country and in particularly, what you did for Europe and the rest of the world in WW2.
I'm not anti-British either, especially after working with your SF, the Para's, and the Queen's Own Highlanders. I've worked or served with every major Army in Europe. I went into combat as a part of a bi-national task force. I don't dwell on WW2 except to glean lessons learned from it and apply them where needed. You needed a hand, we lent you ours.

Biscuits_AB said:
But that post mate was sh*te. It smacked of paranoia. Wind people up? You haven't developed the skill to even attempt to do so on this site. In fact, you just made one big c*nt of yourself.
I wouldn't be so paranoid if everyone wasn't out to get me... That's a joke BTW.

It's my experience from the last thirty years that we in the US military will never ever measure up to Europe's expectations. Heck, you guys have Regiments that are older than our country. It's an operating condition which so far hasn't deterred us from carrying out national policy throughout the world.

It's just the way it is.
 
#13
Cheesypopyart, I served with the Garibaldi Brigade in Nasiriyah, sound blokes and well up for it, as far as I am concerned they are all heroes, just for being there!.
 
#14
I don't think Cheesy was belittling the Italian Army or their Intelligence Arm. I think his point was the over-glorification by their media. There's no doubt that what they did to rescue one of their own was incredibly dangerous and praiseworthy.

Something went wrong with the planning or the actions during withdrawal.

The same type of incident happened in 1976 at Entebbe when Yoni Netanyahu(sp) died.
 
#15
242 said:
Cheesypopyart, I served with the Garibaldi Brigade in Nasiriyah, sound blokes and well up for it, as far as I am concerned they are all heroes, just for being there!.
And I am sure they are indeed sound blokes. One of my best friend is in the Italian Army - even got invited to my wedding. I meant no criticism of the G.Is or Italians involved on the ground.

As for heroes in general - I live in the United States now, and I find the extensive use of this label over here tiresome. It's being applied to everyone in the military these days - which to me sounds like another way of saying "I feel guilty because you do such a dirty job". Why a REMF in Kuwait should be as much of a hero as a guy who patrolled in the Triangle of Death, I just can't comprehend. Maybe I should discuss it with my USAR recruiter - he could start a local recruiting campaign with "Future Hero" recruiting bumper stickers...
 
#16
Now I'm getting really angry at this lady. Just found this on CNN, quoting the lady:
In an article published Sunday in her newspaper, Il Manifesto, Giuliana Sgrena wrote, "Our car was driving slowly," and "the Americans fired without motive."

She described a "rain of fire and bullets" in the incident.

The U.S. military said Sgrena's car rapidly approached a checkpoint Friday night, and those inside ignored repeated warnings to stop.

Troops used arm signals and flashing white lights, fired warning shots in front of the car, and shot into the engine block when the driver did not stop, the military said in a statement.

But in an interview with Italy's La 7 Television, the 56-year-old journalist said "there was no bright light, no signal."

And Italian magistrate Franco Ionta said Sgrena reported the incident was not at a checkpoint, but rather that the shots came from "a patrol that shot as soon as they lit us up with a spotlight."
And cut. That's all nice and well, but this lady evidently has no clear recollection of what went on.

the shots came from "a patrol that shot as soon as they lit us up with a spotlight."
That one just made raise an eyebrow. Call me Columbo here, but how many patrols in history have carried their own spotlight with them? I mean, I know you Yanks are all about muscle, but a spotlight?!?

Now here's a quote from the article she wrote:
The car kept on the road, going under an underpass full of puddles and almost losing control to avoid them. We all incredibly laughed. It was liberating. Losing control of the car in a street full of water in Baghdad and maybe wind up in a bad car accident after all I had been through would really be a tale I would not be able to tell. Nicola Calipari sat next to me. The driver twice called the embassy and in Italy that we were heading towards the airport that I knew was heavily patrolled by U.S. troops. They told me that we were less than a kilometer away...when...I only remember fire. At that point, a rain of fire and bullets hit us, shutting up forever the cheerful voices of a few minutes earlier.

The driver started yelling that we were Italians. "We are Italians, we are Italians." Nicola Calipari threw himself on me to protect me and immediately, I repeat, immediately I heard his last breath as he was dying on me. I must have felt physical pain. I didn't know why. But then I realized my mind went immediately to the things the captors had told me. They declared that they were committed to the fullest to freeing me but I had to be careful, "the Americans don't want you to go back." Then when they had told me I considered those words superfluous and ideological. At that moment they risked acquiring the flavor of the bitterest of truths, at this time I cannot tell you the rest.
And a few deconstructive questions and comments:
1. If the car was going slowly, why did it almost lose control when going through a few puddles?
2. The driver called the embassy. Okay. Whom did the embassy call? No one in the media has asked even basic question like that. How quickly do the expect information to filter down from a state level to a (mobile?) VP?
3. The driver started yelling. That's marvellous. And since the American stealth assassins were all using silencers, I'm sure they could hear him.
Mentioning this to me sounds pointless, and reinforces my impression that she had no clue what was going (hell, she probably couldn't even see anything with Calipari's body on top of her).
4. And of course we remember George Bush's pledge that hostages whose release had been negotiated would not be allowed to return because that would send the wrong signals. They would be shot on sight, especially middle-aged foreign ladies. Ahem.

This woman already drives me nuts. It's good to know how much guilt she's expressed that someone had to die for her...
 

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