Friendly Fire

Friendly Fire: The Remarkable Story of a Journalist Kidnapped in Iraq, Rescued by an Italian Secret Service Agent, and Shot by US Forces
by Giuliana Sgrena [Haymarket]

Sgrena's confident, disturbing Iraq memoir narrates the intrepid wartime journalist's abduction and detention by Sunni militants, and the disastrous "accident" during her release, in which US soldiers fired upon her car, killing an Italian security officer and seriously wounding Sgrena herself. Much more than that, however, Friendly Fire is a discomfiting closeup on the realities and real consequences of the military occupation of Iraq. Without identifying with or excusing her captors, Sgrena draws upon her experience to deepen her reflections on frustrations of ordinary Iraqis dealing with daily threats of violence, power and water outages, and the Islamization of their formerly secular society. Throughout Sgrena reveals herself as an intrepid journalist deeply committed to telling the human stories often obscured by explosions, gunfire or propaganda. Her own story here is bookended by an introduction and news accounts by Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman and Jeremy Scahill. -jl

The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey