Sgrena's manifesto


If you can stand to open Counterpunch, Marxist journalist turned Iraq hostage Giuliana Sgrena has a "profound" first—person account of her Iraq experiences here . It's a good unintentional parody of a European pseudo—intellectual in the full bloom of self—absorption. Just put a beret on her, hand her a Gauloise and she's off to the sidewalk cafe. 
But Sgrena does reveal a lot about her leftist agenda, and radical's naivete, nonetheless. She writes:
In the first days of my abduction I didn't shed a single tear. I was simply mad. I told them directly: "How can you abduct me, if I am against the war?" And they started a fierce debate. "Yes, because you want to speak to the people, we would never abduct a reporter who stays shut in the hotel. And then the fact you say you're against the war could be a cover up." I would reply, almost provoking them: "It's easy to abduct a weak woman like me, why don't you do it to the American officers?" I insisted that they couldn't ask the Italian government to withdraw its troops; that they had to address the Italian people who were and are against the war, not Italian government.
What is that about encouraging the thugs to kidnap American officers? And giving them PR advice on how to appeal to the Italian people? What a helpful hostage. I hope they thanked her.
And how's this for a passage on radical stupidity, learning that Fallujah denizens don't want to join her publicity efforts, showing her the world doesn't work the way she thinks it should — she still doesn't have a clue:
I now live with no more certainties. I find myself deeply weak. I failed in my belief. I had always claimed there was need to go tell about that dirty war. And I had to decide whether to stay in the hotel or going out and chance being abducted because of my work. "We don't want anyone any more," the abductors told me. But I wanted to tell about the bloodbath in Falluja through the refugees' tales. And that morning the refugees and some of their "leaders" didn't listen to me. I had in front of me the evidence of what the Iraqi society has become with the war and they threw their truth in my face: "We don't want anyone. Why don't you stay home? What such interview can be useful for?". The worst collateral damage, the war killing communication, was falling on me. On me, who had risked it all, challenging the Italian government that didn't want reporters gong to Iraq, and the Americans who don't want our work that gives witness to what that country has really turned into with the war, despite what they call elections.

Now I wonder. Is their refusal a failure?

Maybe this is what it takes to persuade Italy to stop paying ransoms for hostages.

A.M. Mora y Leon 03 10 05