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Si puo' non essere d'accordo ma questo giornalista almeno conosce gli argomenti che tratta :


Online Journal - Silver Springs,FL,USA


Commentary Last Updated: Jun 26th, 2007 - 01:37:57


The dark face of imperialism

By Gaither Stewart

Online Journal Contributing Writer



Jun 26, 2007, 01:35




A combination of events this year has cast light on the dark side of US-Italian relations. Each of these events has its dark side, hidden at least in part from public view: the Pentagon s secret agreement with Italy s ex-rightwing government for a new military base in Italy, the CIA abduction of a suspected Moslem terrorist in Milan, the killing of an Italian secret service agent by an American soldier in Iraq and the abduction and fortunate release of an Italian journalist in Afghanistan.


The events are linked.


The shooting near the Baghdad airport on March 4, 2005, of the Italian secret service agent, the 51-year old Nicola Calipari, by an American National Guardsmen is exemplary. Calipari had just successfully negotiated the liberation from Iraqi insurgents of the abducted left-wing journalist, Giuliana Sgrena. Their car was near checkpoint 541, a half mile from the Baghdad airport, when two bursts of automatic fire killed Calipari and wounded Sgrena.


According to the American version, the soldiers followed scrupulously the rules of engagement, the approaching car was traveling over the limit allowed on the dangerous highway and the Italians had not reported their position.


The Italian survivors in the car claim the opposite. The suspicion is that the shooting was intentional. Sgrena s reporting had showed the failure of America s war in Iraq and supported the withdrawal of Italian troops. Calipari himself violated America s lip service to no negotiations with terrorists. Italian courts have since indicted the National Guardsman, Mario Lozano, and demanded his extradition for trial before Italian courts. As usual the US rejects any form of foreign justice over its soldiers or agents abroad.




On March 4, the correspondent of the Rome daily, La Repubblica, Daniele Mastrogiacomo, was captured by a Taliban group operating in southwest Afghanistan, where Italian military forces also are deployed. He reports he was chained, beaten, threatened, moved each day and slept in hovels and the desert. After 15 days of negotiations, he was released on March 19.


Negotiations for his liberation were conducted on several levels -- between the Rome and Kabul governments, between the Italian humanitarian organization in Afghanistan, Emergency, and the Taliban, and by the Italian secret service SISMI. Each claims a decisive role.


It is clear as day that the key factor in Mastrogiacomo s liberation was the Karzai puppet government s release of five imprisoned Taliban leaders. It was a prisoner exchange, which required American approval. Five Taliban walked free back to the battlefield. The Italian journalist walked free, and back home.


The American approval of the exchange again violates the official US policy of no negotiations with terrorists. Why was it conceded in this case, one wonders? One answer is found in my theme: Imperialism has its price. American forces around the world are today stretched to the breaking point. Not only in numbers but also in costs to a government with a budget in the trillions and an unspeakable deficit, while even consideration of doing normal things for its citizens, like a national health service, in order to garner votes is out of the question.


The reality is that Italy s troops -- among the 31,000 soldiers from 37 nations -- occupy a key sector in Herat in southwest Afghanistan, while back home many Italians want to withdraw their troops as they did from Iraq. Furthermore Washington needs the cooperation of the Rome government in order to continue its military build-up in Italian territory, a nation scheduled to become the aircraft carrier, USS Italy. Perhaps Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D Alema on a state visit to Washington pounded his fist on the table in demand of American aid -- Order your man in Kabul, President Karzai, to exchange the Taliban for our journalist or we will reconsider our part in your wars and also your new base in Vicenza, already opposed by three out of four Italians.


The revolt of the vassals! Enough is enough! The French did it. The Spanish did it. Italy s turn is around the corner. Italy bullied into wars, CIA agents roaming around the country abducting terrorist suspects, unprecedented US military build-up on Italian territory in the name of unity. No wonder the Italian government speaks of a new course in Rome-Washington relations. Not only does the warlike neocon line continue to create more enemies in the Islamic world, it also continues to lose allies.


Italians, like Americans, have short memories. Yet at least the media here continues to remind people of a history more weird each day. The romantic old city of Kabul, once a favorite destination of the international set, has vanished. Women wore burkas under American-supported Taliban as well as under Mujahadeen. Many still wear them today. Wide reporting in Europe keeps alive the fact that Washington supported the Taliban until 1996, sweeping them into power in Kabul where they were welcomed as liberators. Also the poppies of Afghanistan are in daily news and in TV reportages. The country now produces 92 percent of the world s opium crop. Its production has doubled in the last several years. Opium producers are equally divided among the evil Taliban and government supporters. Nor do Europeans forget that the US still has its interest in the gas pipelines from Kirgyzystan running through Afghanistan.


Anyway, it is evident that the United States only pays lip service to no negotiation policies. For everyone, day in, day out, negotiates with everyone. As a Roman historian said two millennia ago, with your enemies it s either war or negotiation, but if you negotiate you negotiate with your enemies.


That citation from Tacitus, the famous war historian, stands behind the Italian government s proposal of an international peace conference on Afghanistan, which would include the United Nations, the surrounding countries of Pakistan, Iran, Russia, China and India, and also the Taliban themselves. Though the Italian opposition disagrees, as does the Kabul government itself, Washington has apparently consented, albeit without enthusiasm. Few people alive can remember peace in Afghanistan. It has been at war almost forever, several times against imperialist England, against imperialist USSR, now against imperialist America and its NATO allies.


NATO? The North Atlantic Treaty Organization? What is it doing in Afghanistan anyway, some Europeans ask irreverently. It is there because NATO, too, is dominated by imperialist America under attack by a group of savage, wild, but historically unconquerable Afghans, for the simple reasons that the foreign troops are there. It is easy to predict the imminent dissolution of the great coalition in the war against an uncertain and unclear enemy in Afghanistan.



Gaither Stewart grew up in Asheville, North Carolina. After studies at the University of California at Berkeley and other American universities, he settled first in Germany, then in Italy. Following a career in journalism as Italian correspondent for the Rotterdam daily newspaper Algemeen Dagblad and contributor to the press in several European countries, he began writing fiction full-time five years ago. Since then he has authored three novels and two short-story collections. He has resided in Italy, Germany, The Netherlands, France, Russia and Mexico. Today he lives with his wife, Milena, in the hills of north Rome.

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Sinceramente mi sembra un articolo dozzinale infarcito di luoghi comuni, nulla di nuovo e nulla di importante.


P.S. Giornalista Americano? Questo sta tutto il giorno allo specchio a domandarsi chi è! B-)

Edited by Dominus

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Direi piuttosto che per un americano che spiega il proprio pensiero ad altri americani,

riguardo ai problemi che esistono fra le due rive dell'Atlantico non e' da buttare.


Se mai riguardo all'Italia poteva aggiungere che visti da quì taluni aspetti di certi rapimenti possono far sorgere sospetti e perplessità.


Visti da quì nel senso della nostra situazione politica piuttosto particolare. di gruppi che

anche se piccoli condizionano l'esecutivo quale esso sia.


Vorresti cortesemente indicare i luooghi comuni?

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