Arguably far more reckless [than U.S. soldiers manning the checkpoint where Giuliana Sgrena's car came under fire] was Italy's decision to pay ransom — reportedly of $6 million or more — to secure her releaseeditorializes the Wall Street Journal (which points out that "her claims in some interviews that her car was moving slowly and cautiously are contradicted by, well, Ms. Sgrena. Her own account of the fateful journey, published Sunday, has them traveling so fast they were 'losing control' and laughing about what an irony it would be if they had an accident after all that had happened. In other words, they probably looked like a suicide car bomber to a scared American solider [sic] who had to make a split-second decision at night").
Italy is also believed to have paid ransom for the release of two aid workers taken captive last year. The Italians know the U.S. opposes the policy, which may be why Ms. Sgrena's transfer to the airport was not sufficiently coordinated with U.S. forces.Update (grazie para Giovanni)
Not only does paying ransom encourage more kidnapping — of Italians especially — it also puts money in the hands of the enemy in a country where $40 buys an automatic rifle and $200 an attack on U.S. forces. The shooting of a speeding car at a military checkpoint in a war zone is an unintentional tragedy, but the paying of ransom amounts to a policy of deliberately aiding terrorists.