Monday, December 14, 2009

As Plain As Berlusconi's (Broken) Nose

I FEEL LIKE I SHOULD SAY SOMETHING ABOUT THE ITALIAN PM, since there's a lot of traffic arriving at my blog because of a previous post on the broken-nosed dirtbag. The first thing, of course, is that whacking him with the souvenir trophy of a church may involve a certain amount of ironic pleasure - since he has been happy to use the church to whack his opponents - it is not a useful political act. If anything, it will give him a boost in his popularity in the short term as people, thankfully, identify with and feel sympathy for those who are the victim of violent attacks.
However, the second thing is: I have absolutely no sympathy for the man. He is an extremely vicious and merciless political animal. He is responsible for much worse than a broken nose. Berlusconi was premier when carabineri were sent to attack anti-globalization protesters outside of the G8 summit in 2001, that led to hundreds of injuries, allegations of torture and the death of Carlo Giuliani. He has sent Italian troops to assist in the bloody occupation of Afghanistan. He is responsible for attacks on women's rights, attacks on Italian unions, attacks on democracy, attacks on the left, and, in general, lining up with the most degraded elements of Italian politics, including open fascists. He has contributed to making Italy one of the least open places in the world, in terms of a free press. If he has generated so much polarization and anger that a wayward and unstable soul has engaged in an act of individual violence, we ought to not sympathize with Silvio but to condemn the policies that have created desperate souls in a country as wealthy as Italy. And, apparently, I'm not alone in thinking this:

Roberto Maroni, who as interior minister is in charge of police forces, said he had counted some 300 Facebook groups praising Tartaglia. He also mentioned Youtube videos showing the attack with comments inciting more violence.
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