[A-List] Italy: strategy of tension
Michael.Keaney at mbs.fi
Fri Mar 22 00:34:24 MST 2002
The murder of Italian government adviser Marco Biagi on Wednesday plays right into the hands of Silvio Berlusconi, whose election campaign last year was marked by lots of anti-communist rhetoric. He even drafted in Margaret Thatcher, who peddles the same sort of alarmist nonsense (most recently in her execrable "Statecraft" pulp), and who authored a newspaper article in his support on the eve of voting. Since coming to power Berlusconi has been conducting an intense campaign to discredit the judiciary, which, of course, was responsible for unravelling the decades of corruption and deceit that the US had gifted Italy in 1948 by ensuring the mafia's prominence as against the threat of a communist takeover. Investigations concerning Berlusconi's own dealings have been hampered by his own efforts to evade scrutiny and to taint the investigators as communist conspirators. Now, the murder of a lowly functionary according to "textbook" Red Brigades style offers an excellent chance for the Italian state to ratchet up its apparatus of repression, and for Berlusconi to evade the law once and for all by doing a Dubya-style "if you're not for us you're against us" routine with the whole of Italy's political and civil establishment. Already on Wednesday one of the chief trade union negotiators was, on BBC World, having to make clear how abhorrent Biagi's murder was and that the "whole of Italy" was now united. At a stroke Berlusconi and those interests backing him have wounded, perhaps fatally, the one significant political challenge to his hegemony in Italy since his election victory last year. Meanwhile lots of junk about this being Bologna's first taste of political assassination ignores the long history of rightwing terror perpetrated in Italy, not least the devastating train explosion that rocked Bologna in 1981. My knowledge on this is very sketchy, and I would encourage all who have information/analysis re Italy to forward it to the list and help us to keep track of these very important events, which, as this article shows, have ramifications for all EU member states itching to ratchet up their repressive machineries too. Remember also, that, at Berlusconi's personal insistence, the working party drafting the future constitution/agenda for EU integration includes Gianfranco Fini, leader of the "post-fascist" Allianza Nationale. Just to remind those who need to be reminded that European imperialism, if at all, is only marginally the lesser of two evils.
Red Brigades terrorists praise twin tower attack
The Herald, 22 March 2002
AN offshoot of Italy's Red Brigades terrorist group
yesterday praised the September 11 attacks as a
model of effective terrorism as it claimed
responsibility for murdering a government adviser
working on union reforms.
However, the Red Brigades for the Building of the
Fighting Communist Party made no attempt to link
itself to the al Qaeda network blamed for the US
attacks, nor did Italian officials.
The claim, made at the start of a 26-page
document, written in turgid political prose, which
was e-mailed to a news agency, came a day after
Claudio Scajola, the Italian interior minister, blamed
the Red Brigades for the murder of Professor
The 52-year-old university
professor was the second economist working on
union reform - a bitterly contested issue in Italy - to
be gunned down in three years and the same
group has now claimed responsibility for both
killings. He was shot on Tuesday night outside his
home in Bologna by two men on a motorbike.
Professor Biagi had advocated loosening Italy's
employment market, one of the most rigid in
Europe. A moderate, he had advised the centre-left
when it was in power and then the conservative
government, which took over last year.
Following Professor Biagi's murder, Silvio
Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister, vowed to
push ahead with the reforms.
The document, which was sent to an Italian news
agency and posted on the internet yesterday,
dwelled on domestic politics, but also praised the
attacks on New York and Washington as examples
of effective terrorism. The document said it showed
"how it is possible to carry out highly destructive
attacks in enemy territory, with destabilising
effects, without the use of technologically advanced
It went on to say that US policy in Afghanistan, the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Iraq showed the
"need for the forging of alliances between
anti-imperialistic forces and revolutionary forces in
the regions of Europe, the Mediterranean and the
Professor Biagi's murder stunned Italy and tens of
thousands of people took to the
streets yesterday to protest against the violence.
Professor Biagi's security was removed after the
September 11 attacks to free up agents to work
on international terrorism. Although Italian
intelligence agencies last week warned that those
working on reform, especially those who play a
crucial role as experts or consultants, could
become targets, Professor Biagi's security was not
A terrorist warning has also been issued in the UK.
Senior detectives yesterday warned of
possible bombings on the
mainland by dissident Irish republicans over
The last suspected Real IRA bomb on the
mainland was in Birmingham last year, and senior
anti-terrorist squad officers believe an attack is now
"overdue". They are especially worried about
booby-trap bombs hidden in innocuous objects.
The warning follows the recent discovery of a
device hidden in a traffic cone in Northern Ireland
which was intended for a member of the security
Full article at:
Mercuria Business School
michael.keaney at mbs.fi
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