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(en) Italy: FdCA statement on Italian intervention abroad - "MARE NOSTRUM" [it]

Date Wed, 13 Sep 2006 16:36:36 +0300

The Italian army has taken up position on Lebanon's southern border. The fleet
will be patrolling the coasts, now that Israel has lifted its naval blockade.
As far as the rebuilding of Lebanon is concerned, Italy has good hopes of doing
business with Beirut's powerful constructors.
Hezbollah is contented. Israel says thank you. Syria, for the first time in
ages, is spoken to firmly, but this time without threats. Italy's head of
government receives the Iranian delegation on the "nuclear question". France,
Spain and Turkey follow behind and join up. On the Mediterranean front of the
great conflict there is now the chance for a break in the war that nobody wants
to win because it never ends.

In fact, after half destroying Lebanon, Israel goes on destroying and spreading
terror in Gaza and the West Bank, but announces that it is looking forward to
the Palestinian factions forming a government of national unity that could be
the precursor to a ceasefire. A ceasefire which would bear the guarantee of the
very clever Nasrallah, who is busy trying to reconcile the image of national
liberator with that one regret (for the consumption of all those who
reprimanded him for having caused the disaster).

So how long will it last? Maybe not very long - depending on the other fronts.
It may also depend on a couple of questions (questions which lie behind the
ongoing war) that have an audience on opposing sides and that are probably at
the root of Italy's eagerness to be involved, in the name of the EU.

First, the energy question. Within a few years, 3 pipelines bringing oil from
Russian and the Caspian Sea will reach the Eastern Mediterranean (Turkey and
Greece). "Peaceful" access to those terminals requires potential purchasers to
agree with the local geopolitics. Israel has insured itself against local
competition by destroying Lebanon, but Europe too, thirsty for oil and gas, is
in the game. Italy's in Lebanon is a message to Algeria, which has made
agreements with Gazprom (Russia); it is a message to Syria, which will be home
to a Russian naval base in Tartus; it is also a message to Iran, which is
seeking outlets to the west for its gas and for oil. European access to these
energy resources and terminals, providing support for the USA but with a change
of tactics on the Mediterranean front, military intervention in Lebanon along
the lines of Bosnia and Kosovo, containing Russian expansionism: these are the
goals of Italy's renewed enthusiasm for a central role within the dynamics of
imperialism - one step up in the system of dependencies between world and
regional powers. But only by hoping that Israel renounces the next slaughter.

Then there is the security question. If there is one thing in the European
Mediterranean and in the Near East that, propaganda and appearances aside,
everyone agrees on - States, real or supposed national liberation movements,
various military elites - it is the fear of Al-Qaeda (itself or by proxy)
taking root in the Mediterranean with a consequent contamination à la Iraq.
Europe fears it, Israel fears it, the regimes in power in Arab countries (all
traitors in the eyes of Al-Qaeda) fear it, and above all it is feared by Hamas,
who realise that they cannot prolong the crisis without running the risk of
contamination and losing control of its own supporters. It is probably not a
good idea even for Iran, which is seeking to impose its own "pax" as a regional

But Italy has not developed an alternative to, nor has it districated itself
from, US unilateralism. It has not given the UN any sort of boost, neither does
it go any further to promote the much talked-about multilateralism. It is just
that the never-ending trouble on the Afghan and Iraqi fronts demanded a break
in hostilities on the Middle-Eastern front. That the showdown between the USA
and Iran could not count on an adequate and approving audience. Hence this new
opportunity for Italy's general.

The mission in Lebanon will cost €160 million every six months, to be added to
the €1,396 million for Kosovo, €155 million for Bosnia, €1,612 million for
Afghanistan and €1,611 million for Iraq. Italy's economic recovery is going
towards financing military expenditure rather than social expenditure. But what
does the centre-left government care, given the "strategic" financial gains to
be made? There is always Article 11 of the Constitution, which can be waved in
an attempt to save face and consciences [1].

The anti-war movement which blossomed throughout Italy between 2003 and 2005
has become bogged down with its former leaders busy in parliament or involved
in political musical chairs between the various factions in the ruling
coalition. Many are fooling themselves into believing that somehow our presence
in Lebanon really is helping to keep the peace, not like in Iraq. But an army
is an army. It is a war machine, no matter where it is!!

Peace in the Mediterranean cannot depend on military peace missions, only on
the re-birth of civil society and on the autonomy of the workers' movements in
each country, together with de-militarization and disarmament on all fronts.

We urgently need a new demonstration of committed civil, secular solidarity.
This country urgently needs a new pacifist, anti-militarist, internationalist,
feminist anti-war movement to oppose aggression and oppression. A movement
which can support local initiatives abroad in their struggle for equal and free
access to resources, to free themselves from national and foreign oppressors,
for the emancipation of the poor and exploited classes. Because peace takes
root and spreads hand-in-hand with the freedom of thought and organization,
with the expansion of rights and policies for economic and civil equality.

Federazione dei Comunisti Anarchici
11th September 2006


1. Article 11 of the Italian constitution states that "Italy rejects war as an
instrument of aggression against the freedom of other peoples and as a means
for the settlement of international disputes".
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