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Monday, November 15, 2004

Does Anyone Know a Sgt Riggins?

I was appalled by an article in the Strib this morning. I don't know if others read it, and were as taken back as I was, but I couldn't believe that the Star Tribune would print what they did, in the way they did.

The color photograph showed a smiling U.S. soldier sitting with six Iraqi women, probably interpreters, with this note on the back:
"To Hamsa:
"I will miss you when I go to America.
"Sgt. Riggins, U.S. Army, Alabama."
It was all very pleasant, except that the photograph turned up Sunday in what appeared to be a bomb-making factory in a house in the Shuhada neighborhood in Fallujah, the final redoubt for the insurgents of the city, the day after tanks and fighting vehicles smashed most of what was left of the resistance there. The photo had probably been used to mark the women for death, as so many other Iraqis who work for the U.S. military have been.
Does anyone else find this disturbing? I do. Firstly, the inscription on the photo identifies the american soldier who is in the picture, and announces to the world, the fact that he had a friendship of sorts with (presumably), an Iraqi woman. Secondly, the article claims that the photo was used as a identification tool for women to be executed. What do you think Sgt Riggins might think if he read the article? For one, the Sgt Riggins is at the mercy of all sorts of targeted accusations of infedility, and improper conduct. This is especially unfair when no-one knows the true relationship between this officer and 'Hamsa'. Second, it begs the question, was Sgt Riggins in some way to blame for the deaths of the women? I personally feel it was irresponsible to print the words verbatim from the photograph and the Strib has apologizing to do.

What do you think?

Related links:
Captain Ed's view on the Islamo-pigs killing of Women
In Search of Utopia
Diggers Realm
In The Bullpen

the king of the hill

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