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Why hasn’t Italy joined the strikes on Syria?

April 16, 2018

3:34 AM

16 April 2018

3:34 AM

Italy’s caretaker government has refused to allow crucial bases to be used for intervention let alone Italy’s armed forces. The stance of Italy’s right is identical to Jeremy Corbyn’s in Britain. The two populist parties – Five Star and Lega – currently negotiating to try to form a government – are anyway pro-Putin (like their soul mates Le Pen and Orban). Isn’t it weird how the ‘far right’ in Europe is identical to the ‘far left’ in Britain on so much including Putin and Syria?

It does not end there. The Italian public seem, to me anyway here in Ravenna, strongly against any intervention in Syria. Their stance is identical to Corbyn’s. Catholic monks in Syria are broadcasting that there is no proof that Assad/Russians used gas. Even if they did use gas, who cares, say Italians.

What’s the difference – they ask  – between a bomb and a gas bomb? That’s the Italian line. Right across the board. It was also – by the way – Orwell’s line (he was a socialist) in WW2 on saturation bombing. Italians saw what happened as a result of intervention in Iraq and especially Libya (much closer to home for Italians) to stop brutal dictators massacring their people and their view about Syria is crystal clear: stay out. Intervention only makes it all much worse.

Italians I talk to are saying two things: there is no proof Assad and Putin have used gas in Syria and we don’t trust the Americans/French/British telling us they did. Even if they did, dictatorship, however brutal – plus the human suffering that results – is the only answer in the Middle East and Africa. And they are right next door to these places – unlike America and Britain.

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