Saturday 16th of November 2019

Vedi Napoli e poi muori!...

 

see naples and die...

Over the past years, Italy has turned into a military colony. There are over 100 NATO and United States military bases across the country. There is a stockpile of foreign weapons and ammunitions in Italy, making the country a NATO and US military laboratory.

In an interview with Sputnik, Italian military journalist Antonia Mazzeo touched upon the military colonization of Italy and the risks it could pose for the European country.


Answering the question about the number of US military personnel in Italy, Mazzeo said that the figures have not yet been made public."However, we can find more or less precise information from requests the Pentagon sends to Congress and Senate to approve spending for military bases in Italy. There are over 10,000 military and civil personnel, plus their families," the journalist said.Data revealed there are 60-90 nuclear warheads at the Aviano and Ghedi bases in Italy and the number is increasing.Commenting on the issue, Mazzeo underscored that the presence of nuclear weapons in Italy is a violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty signed by Rome.

"We can’t say that we don’t know anything about those warheads because they do not belong to the Italian military. In the event of an international crisis B61 warheads could be used by the Italian Air Force. It’s clear that this violates the treaty," he pointed out.

According to the journalist, another major problem is that the Italian authorities and people do not know what happens at the US bases in Italy.


"This problem has long been debated but there is still no answer. First of all, there are US bases and there are NATO bases. For example, the Sigonella base in Sicily is controlled by the US Air Force and Navy. The Italian authorities cannot know what’s happening there. However, part of this base is fully controlled by NATO, and the 41st regiment of the Italian Air Force is stationed there," Mazzeo explained.Despite the fact that the situation with military bases in Italy violates the constitution and is not controlled by the parliament, the government does not want to interfere, he said.

"Public reaction is minimal. People even don’t know what is happening at the bases. Even the parliament doesn’t want to discuss the problem. Major media doesn’t cover the situation so it’s no surprise that people are not aware," the journalist said.

Being part of NATO’s aggressive policy, including the growing number of bases, could create serious risks for country’s national interests, he said.

"NATO has never been a defense alliance. It could pretend to be during the Cold War. But after the fall of the Berlin Wall its aggressive role became clear. The alliance has changed and become more complex. Some members like Turkey, France and Britain are not controlled by the US. Thus, there is the risk that Italy could be dragged into a more aggressive Atlantic alliance whose interests are different from Italy’s political, economic and military interests. Such an alliance would influence on the domestic and foreign policy in Italy," Mazzeo concluded.

read more: https://sputniknews.com/europe/20160909/1045147056/us-bases-italy.html

 

the truth about nato...

 

In his memoirs published in 1989, Andrei Gromyko, who was Soviet Foreign Minister from the mid-1950s when he succeeded Molotov, to 1985, recounts an episode from his long career that has received scant attention in the West. It concerns the Soviet response to the establishment of NATO. It is worth quoting in full:

“In 1955 a meeting of the heads of government of the USSR, USA, Britain and France took place in Geneva. Sharp exchanges occurred revealing serious differences between the former allies. Eisenhower, Eden and Edgar Faure fiercely argued that NATO was a force for peace, especially in Europe, whereas in fact their plan was aimed at swallowing up East Germany into West Germany, and whitewashing the remilitarisation of West Germany in peace-loving propaganda.

In an effort to deprive the three Western powers of their notion that the Soviet Union was not doing its part in consolidating peace, the Soviet delegation, consisting of Khrushchev, Bulganin, Molotov, Marshal Zhukov and myself, announced that the Soviet Union was willing to join NATO.  We argued that, since NATO was dedicated to the cause of peace, it could not but agree to include the USSR.   It is hard to describe the effect this announcement had on the Western delegations when it was made by Bulganin, as President of the Council of Ministers. They were so stunned that for several minutes none of them said a word. Eisenhower’s usual vote-winning smile vanished from his face. He leaned over for a private consultation with Dulles; but we were not given a reply to our proposal.

After the meeting, Dulles caught up with me in the corridor and asked, ‘Was the Soviet Union really being serious?’ I replied, ‘The Soviet Union does not make unserious proposals, especially at such an important forum as this.’

Dulles was about to add something, when Eisenhower came up. Now a smile did appear on his face, as he said: ‘We must tell you Mr. Gromyko, that the Soviet proposal will be carefully examined by us, as it is a very serious matter.’  At later meetings of the four powers, however, it was evident the Western delegations did not wish to discuss our proposal further and they simply steered clear of it, giving mysterious, oracular smiles whenever it was mentioned. The fact is NATO simply did not know how to deal with it and so they simply hushed it up. Often I have mentioned our proposal to US officials of later generations and very few of them have ever heard of it.”

READ MORE:  http://www.globalresearch.ca/nato-1949-the-origin-of-an-offensive-expansionist-imperialist-military-alliance/5413844

 

Gus: NATO has always been an OFFENSIVE outfit.

 

cynical yankees...

Russia accused the US of bombing Syrian army positions on Saturday and warned the incident put a “very big question mark” over the future of a precarious ceasefire agreed by Washington and Moscow last week.

The US acknowledged that an intended air strike against Isis positions could have hit Syrian soldiers in error and said it would carry out an investigation. 

But the US ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, described Russia’s call for an emergency closed-door security council meeting over the incident a “stunt” that was “uniquely cynical and hypocritical” as Russia had for years blocked UN punitive measures against the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad for the barrel bombing of civilian populations in rebel-held cities.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/18/us-accuses-russia-of-grandstanding-over-deadly-syria-air-strikes

 

Not even a OOOPS from the Yankees... Not even a "sorry"... But a blaming the Russians for whatever... The Guardian is also a disgace for reporting the event this way...

disgraceful "negligence" that deserve condemnation...

The Russian FM spokeswoman invited the US ambassador to the UN to visit Syria and see firsthand what “embarrassed” means. This comes after the UN ambassador lashed out at Moscow for hinting the US supports IS after coalition airstrikes hit the Syrian Army. 

During a speech at an emergency UN Security Council meeting called by Russia to discuss the deadly airstrikes delivered by the US-led coalition, US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said that Moscow’s representative should be “embarrassed” for her words suggesting that the strike indicated that Washington is defending Islamic State (IS, former ISIS, ISIL) terrorists.

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the strike near the eastern city of Deir ez-Zor that killed 62 Syrian soldiers bordered between “gross negligence” and “direct assistance” to IS.

 

read more: https://www.rt.com/news/359753-zakharova-power-russia-syria/

an act of war...

Yesterday, the USA committed what is – essentially – an act of war against the legitimate government of Syria. The official position is that, due to a breakdown in communication (or possibly bad intelligence), the US Air Force – with Australian support – bombed SAA men and vehicles resulting in the deaths of at least 60 Syrian soldiers.

The Russian’s are, understandably, incensed. Accusing the Americans of “assisting ISIS” and describing it as an “intentional provocation”, all of which ties into a speech Putin gave yesterday, in which he questioned American commitment to the deal.

But why did this attack happen? Assuming it wasn’t just straight incompetence, which is always a possibility when dealing with an American military far more concerned with being expensive than efficient, what was the motivation? Why has the Obama administration worked for weeks to get this deal together, only for the USAF to bomb Syrian soldiers days into the ceasefire? Why has Kerry spent hours carefully negotiating with Sergei Lavrov, only for Samantha Power to immediately launch into abusive and hysterical language the moment any even minor conflict occurs?

The only logical position to take is that, for some reason, some parts of the American political or military establishment are trying to scupper the ceasefire before it can take hold. To smother peace in its cradle.

This is just the latest in a long line of evidence that suggests, tempting and easy as it is to see American power as monolithic, there are factions at work within the heart of the Empire. It has been suggested, many times, that any cracks in Washington run along party political or institutional lines. Democrats vs. Republicans. The FBI vs. the CIA. It has been mooted that Edward Snowden is a CIA agent out to discredit the NSA. I doubt any breaks run along such neatly defined borders. But we can say there are at least two different groups, with different agendas, ideologies and even realities. For now we shall call them the Realists, and the Lunatics.

The Realists are largely Old School diplomats, or veterans of the Cold War. Think Henry Kissinger, who loudly and publicly decried the US’s approach in Ukraine, and even attacked the government’s motives in the news (Kissinger has been a proponent of increased Russian-American cooperation since heading the Track II program). Think Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was one of the few voices of reason on Syria during Obama’s “red line” nonsense. John Kerry, likewise, obviously comes from this same school. Not decent or moral people by any means, but diplomats and pragmatists. Disdaining violence and chaos, not out of empathy, but as waste of time and resources that reflects badly on their skill as politicians. They deal in realpolitik, and can be counted on to always serve their own best interest and at least having some semblance of a notion of veridical reality.

The Lunatics are comparatively new on this stage, spiritual successors to the old-guard Neo-cons, they have been weened on stories of American exceptionalism and see themselves as morally, intellectually and emotionally superior. They believe they can simply create reality through their words, and cannot be shaken from this belief no matter how much the world refuses to shape itself around their certitudes. Look at Samantha Power. Or Victoria Nuland. Or Robert Kagan. They are dangerous because, no matter what, they believe in the moral rectitude of their actions. They cannot see their actions from an outside perspective, or appreciate the position of their supposed “adversary”. They are dangerous because they refuse to deal with the real world. They are black and white creatures in a grey universe.

Watch the following video.

https://off-guardian.org/2016/09/18/syria-bombing-exposes-cracks-in-american-facade/

 

 

a mistake that could not have been a mistake...

“This is not a mistake and it can’t be, primarily because there cannot be a military exercise during an agreed ceasefire period. The American airplane had nothing to do flying over there at that time period when a ceasefire was agreed and officially announced,” Kara-Mustapha said.

She added that the action was a violation of the agreed ceasefire, she also added that the US military is equipped with the best military hardware that can actually determine who is who and where. “It was abundantly clear that the targets were the official Syrian military. The idea of dismissing it as a mere mistake is ridiculous.” 


Strikes on Syria Army Reveal Washington's True Goals - Iranian Official “What this has achieved is essentially giving ISIS [Daesh] an upper hand once again. They were surrounded; they were considerably weakened as a result of Syrian and Russian efforts and this latest American exercise killing 60 Syrian soldiers and injuring hundreds has actually given ISIS the upper hand once again,” Kara-Mustapha said.

Read more: https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20160918/1045440479/us-bombs-syrian-army.html

a secret deal...

Italy's adherence to US President Donald Trump's stance on NATO can be attributed to secret agreements between Rome and Washington which were signed 60 years ago and which have yet to be fully disclosed, military expert Мirko Molteni told Sputnik Italy.


In an interview with Sputnik Italy, military expert Мirko Molteni specifically focused on Italy's current policy of backing US President Donald Trump's stance on NATO.


During his presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly stated that the United States should decrease its support of other NATO member states and only protect members of the alliance which "fulfill their obligations" with respect to Washington.

This actually means that US allies, including Italy, are expected to allocate more money for NATO. Rome's acceptance of this policy can be explained by a number of secret US-Italy agreements which were inked 60 years ago and which have yet to be fully made public, according to Molteni.

He said that the agreements specifically stipulated the creation of NATO's Joint Force Command Center in Naples to tackle security threats emanating from the Middle East and North Africa.

"First of all, it's necessary to stabilize the situation in Libya because the country's tensions affect both the [global] oil market and illegal migration flows to Europe. In this vein, the NATO center in Naples will help the alliance better coordinate efforts in this area," Molteni said.

read more:

https://sputniknews.com/world/201703021051183151-italy-united-states-secret-agreements/

 

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nuclear weapons on italian soil...

Although Italians have been opposed to Washington's military presence in the country due to major risks that it poses, Rome is unlikely to deal with this issue, journalist Fabrizio Di Ernesto told Sputnik Italia.

"Few people know that Italy stores US nuclear warheads at the Aviano and Ghedi bases despite the fact that the country signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The Italian government has not confirmed this. However, former US President Bill Clinton said this in a 2005 interview. The news did not cause a stir. There are approximately 70 nuclear bombs in Italy, a country which voted against nuclear energy at a referendum," the journalist said.

The NPT strives to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy and contribute to nuclear disarmament. The treaty has been in force since March 1970.

read more:

https://sputniknews.com/military/201705161053657854-us-italy-nuclear-wea...

the NATO political party in italy...

There is a party that, even if it does not appear, takes part in the Italian elections: the NATO Party. It is formed by a transversal majority, that explicitly or tacitly supports Italy’s membership of the Great Alliance under U.S. command.

This explains why, at the height of the electoral campaign, the main parties tacitly accepted the additional commitments undertaken by the government in the meeting of 29 Nato ministers of Defence (for Italy Roberta Pinotti), on 14-15 February in Brussels.

The ministers first participated in the Nato Nuclear Planning Group, chaired by the United States, whose decisions are always top secret.

Then the ministers met at the level of North Atlantic Council. Just two hours later, they announced important decisions (already taken elsewhere) to "modernise the NATO Com-mand Structure, the backbone of our Alliance".

A new Joint Force Command for the Atlantic will be set up, probably located in the United States, in order to "protect sea lines of communication between North America and Europe". Thus they invented the scenario of Russian submarines that could sink merchant ships on transatlantic routes.

A new Command for logistics will be set up, probably located in Germany, to "improve the movement in Europe of troops and equipment essential to our collective defense". Thus they invented the scenario of a NATO forced to defend itself from an aggressive Russia. On the contrary, it is NATO that aggressively deploys its military forces along the border with Russia. Additional land component commands will be established in Europe to "further improve coordination and rapid response for our forces".

NATO will also set up a new Cyber Operations Centre to "further strengthen our defenses". It will be located at the headquarters of Mons (Belgium), headed by the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, who always is a U.S. General appointed by the President of the United States.

The ministers confirmed their commitment to increase military spending. Over the last three years, the European allies and Canada ncreased it by a total of $ 46 billion, but it is just the beginning. The goal is that every member country reaches at least 2% of the GDP (the US spend 4%), so as to have "more cash and therefore more military capabilities".

The European countries that have so far reached and exceeded this quota are: Greece (2.32%), Estonia, Great Britain, Romania, Poland. The military spending of the European Union must be complementary to that of NATO. This was reiterated in a meeting with the EU foreign representative Federica Mogherini

Minister Pinotti confirmed that "Italy, respecting U.S. demand, has begun to increase spending for Defence" and that "we will continue on this road that is a road of responsibility".

The way is therefore traced. But this is not talked about in the electoral campaign. While on Italy’s membership of the European Union the main parties have different positions, on the belonging of Italy to NATO are practically unanimous. This distorts the whole scenario.

We cannot discuss about the European Union while ignoring that 21 out of the 27 EU countries (after Brexit), with about 90% of the population of the Union, are members of NATO under U.S. command.

We cannot ignore the political and military consequences - at the same time economic, social and cultural consequeces - of the fact that NATO is turning Europe into a battlefield against Russia, depicted as a threatening enemy: the new "empire of evil" attacking "the greatest democracy in the world" from the inside with its army of trolls.

Read more:

http://www.voltairenet.org/article199809.html

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nice NATO...

NATO’s right to reply, response by Manlio Dinucci and comment by the Voltaire Network

The public relations service of the NATO Joint Force Command in Naples wrote to the daily Il Manifesto about Manlio Dinucci’s article « In the USA/NATO grip ». They did not send us a copy of this letter, even though it also pointed out a mistake made by our English translator. In the past, the US State Department directly contacted the news outlets whose articles we publish in several languages, pressuring them to cease all collaboration with us. However, this approach seemed impossible with a Communist publication. Here we print the letter, the response given by the Italian geographer, and our comment.

 

Read more:

http://www.voltairenet.org/article200238.html

 

Gus thinks that if you cannot get full access to the Voltaire Network, it's simply a bug in your system of communication — not that NATO through its friends at the CIA, NSA and MI6 would interfere with this essential reading — "wink wink"...

 

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the full text...

To Madame Rangeri, 
(director of the publication Il Manifesto)

I would ask you note that the article entitled « In the grip of the USA and NATO », published on 13 March 2018 and signed by Manlio Dinucci, contains information which is inaccurate and deceptive.

Paragraph 3 : 
It is incorrect to write that - « The exercise is to be directed by NATO Command in Lago Patria (JFC Naples), under the orders of US Admiral James Foggo ». 
It is true that – NATO Maritime Command (MARCOM), whose headquarters are at Northwood in Great Britain, assumes the command and control of the exercise, which is overseen by Admiral Clive Johnstone.

Paragraph 4 : 
It is incorrect to write the following - « It was Admiral Foggo himself who explained the purpose of the Dynamic Manta 2018 exercises - the "Fourth Battle for the Atlantic" began after the battles of the two World Wars and the Cold War ». 
However, it is true that – in his article entitled « The Fourth Battle of the Atlantic », published in 2016, Admiral Foggo had shared indications concerning the vision of NATO and the United States. However, this mutual vision can not be used to « explain » Dynamic Manta 2018. I refer you to MARCOM’s publication on the subject of Dynamic Manta 2018 on its Internet site mc.nato.int.

Paragraph 6 : 
It is incorrect to write that - « In his position as NATO Commander, he is preparing in Italy the Allied Naval Forces against Russia, while in his position as Commander of US Naval Forces in Europe, Admiral Foggo is sending the 6th Fleet from Italy to the Juniper Cobra 2018 US/Israëli joint exercise, which is directed mainly against Iran ». 
It is true that - Admiral Foggo is leading the JFC Naples in the « preparation, planification and realisation of military operations aimed at preserving the peace, security and territorial integrity of the member states of the Alliance… ». For further details, you may consult the Internet site of the Allied Joint Force Command Naples, under the heading « Mission statement ». Furthermore, in the English version of your article, the use of the term « Captain » is inappropriate. The correct term is « Commander ». Concerning the Admiral’s national competences, you may benefit from a visit to the Internet site  www.c6f.navy.mil.

I would like to bring to your attention another inaccuracy in the final paragraph of the article we are discussing – this concerns the author’s statement that « Since Scaparrotti is also the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe (a responsibility which is always traditionally assumed by a US General), the plan anticipates participation by NATO, particularly represented by Italy, in support of Israël, in a large-scale war in the Middle East ».

The true concept is as follows - Juniper Cobra is a bilateral Israëli-US exercise. Besides which, any intervention by NATO requires the unconditional approval of the Atlantic Council. This is an important aspect which the author overlooks entirely.

While I appreciate, in general, the article you have published, I would ask you to correct your version on line with the modifications noted above, and sincerely hope that our mutual collaboration may last.

Cordially yours,

Richard W. Haupt 
Captain of the US Navy, head of the Public Relations Service of the NATO JFC Command, Lago Patria, Naples.

Response by Manlio Dinucci

We appreciate the attention that NATO brings to our publication. Il Manifesto and myself take note of the rectification – the only one which is accurate, and, frankly, no more than a detail – concerning the specific command of Dynamic Manta 2018.

For the rest, in any case, the role of the JFC Lago Patria, Naples, one of the two permanent commanders of the NATO Joint Force at the operational level remains centralised under the orders of US Admiral James Foggo.

The Admiral commands both the US Naval Forces for Europe and Africa and the US 6th Fleet, whose area of responsibility covers half of the Atlantic Ocean and the adjacent seas, including the Mediterranean.

During a seminar in Norway on 26 February, the Admiral spoke about the « Fourth Battle of the Atlantic » against « increasingly sophisticated Russian submarines which menace the lines of maritime communication between the United States and Europe » [1].

Since these lines also cross the Mediterranean, the Dynamic Manta 2018 exercise also enters into this « NATO/USA vision ». It’s a false vision – what proof do we have that Russian submarines wait in ambush, ready to sink ships along the maritime lines between Europe and the United States ?

It is also false to claim that the JFC Naples has a mission for the « preparation, planification and realisation of military operations aimed at preserving the peace, security and territorial integrity of the member states of the Alliance… ».. We only have to remember the wars by which NATO destroyed two states, Yugoslavia and Libya, which posed no threat whatsoever to the members of the Alliance.

Concerning the presence of General Scaparrotti in the Israëli/US joint exercises (to which Foggo sent the Admiral of the 6th Fleet), it would be ingenuous to ignore the fact that he is not only the commander of the European Command of the United States, but at the same time the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe.

Finally, by simple curiosity – on the basis of what norm must the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe traditionally be a US General?

Thank you once again for your attention to our work.

Manlio Dinucci

Comment by the Voltaire Network

It is absolutely false to write - « Any intervention by NATO requires the unconditional approbation of the Atlantic Council. This is an important aspect which the author completely overlooks ».

It is indeed a very important point – the bombing of Tripoli (Libya) by NATO was perpetrated not only in violation of Resolution 1973 of the UN Security Council, which mandated NATO with the protection of the civilian population, but also in violation of the statutes of the Organisation.

Never, absolutely never, did the North Atlantic Council give its approbation for the massacre which cost the lives of approximately 40,000 people, the great majority of whom were civilians.

The fact that the United States and certain of their allies trampled all over the rights of other allies speaks volumes about the reality of this pseudo-alliance.

Thierry Meyssan

Translation 
Pete Kimberley

 

Read more:

http://www.voltairenet.org/article200238.html

 

 

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military schengen...

On 28 March 2018, the European Commission presented its plan for the creation of a “Military Schengen” [1].

Although the reference to Schengen free movement agreements suggests the contrary, this “military Schengen” is not a European project but something Nato wanted. The aim of this Military Schengen is not to give the armies of EU member states a free pass to roam about EU territory without red tape being put in their way, but to extend this privilege to all NATO armies (including US, Turkish armies or Canadian armies).

JPEG - 37.8 kb

This plan must not be interpreted as being some way connected to the Skripal matter, which everyone is talking about today. Nato conceived this plan two years ago. It was already mentioned in a report by the European Parliament in October 2016. According to internal Nato documents, it could be implemented in two hypos: first, in the event of a war against Russia and second, in the case of a popular rising in a Nato member state. Between the lines is perhaps a third hypo: to enabling US armies to carry out a fireman role and extinguish riots in the popular suburbs of Europe’s big cities.

25 of the 28 Member states have received instructions to hand over detailed maps of all their communication routes and to specify the necessary works that would be carried out on their roads, tunnels and bridges to make them fit for Nato’s purpose. These countries have also been requested to reach an agreement for granting the necessary exemptions to the laws and regulations in force that prohibit the transport of arms and military materials on their territory.

Translation 
Anoosha Boralessa

 

Read more:

http://www.voltairenet.org/article200393.html

watch for the potomac sewer reprisals...

In response to NATO’s warning that Rome better leave sanctions on Russia as they are, Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio said the new government will not take orders from others and will keep moving closer to Russia.

Di Maio, who is the new Minister of Economic Development and joint Deputy PM - a post shared with Matteo Salvini - in the country’s new Euroskeptic government, said on Thursday that his administration “will not be spineless and yielding to the will of other states” and had no intention to conduct the “yes sir” diplomacy.

The new coalition government has been showing resistance to other Western countries’ attitudes towards Moscow. On Wednesday it came under NATO’s fire following Conte’s speech where he addressed the aching need to move closer to Russia and lift sanctions which are damaging the Italian economy.

While Conte’s Tuesday speech was heartily applauded in parliament, it raised some eyebrows at NATO, which made sure to voice its disapproval at Italy’s desire for change.


Read more:

https://www.rt.com/news/429060-italy-nato-russia-sanctions/

 

 

Watch for the Potomac sewer reprisals... Read from top.

who's your real ruler?...

Steve Bannon – Donald Trump’s former strategist and theorist of national-populism - expressed his enthusiastic support for the alliance of the Lega with the 5 Star Movement for "the government of change." In an interview he stated: "The fundamental question, in Italy in March, was the question of sovereignty. The result of the elections was to put into office those Italian citizens who want to regain sovereignty and control over their country, and to put an end to the rules coming from Brussels.” (Sky TG24, May 26)

However, it does not say “Put an end to the rules coming from Washington.”

It is not only the European Union, dominated by the powerful economic and financial circles, particularly in Germany and France, that is exerting pressure on Italy to guide its political choices, fearing a break in the “rules” that serve their interests.

Strong pressure is also being exerted on Italy, in a less evident but no less intrusive way, by the United States, which fears a break in the "rules" that subordinate Italy to its economic and strategic interests.

This is part of the policies Washington has adopted towards Europe, through different administrations and with different methods, pursuing the same objective - to maintain Europe under US influence.

NATO is a key instrument of this strategy. In Article 42 of the Treaty of Maastricht, it is established that EU “shall respect the obligations of certain Member States, which see their common defence represented by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).” And Protocol 10, concerning cooperation, states that NATO "shall remain the foundation for the “defence" of the European Union.

Today, 21 of the 27 countries of the EU, totalling about 90 percent of the population of the Union, are part of NATO, whose "rules" have allowed the United States to maintain the position of Supreme Allied Commander in Europe and all other key commands since 1949. They allow the United States to determine the political and strategic choices of the Alliance, with agreements made under the table especially with Germany, France and Great Britain, and then have them approved by the North Atlantic Council, where according to the "rules" of NATO there is no voting or majority decision, but decisions are always taken unanimously.

The entry of Eastern European countries into NATO, including Ukraine and Georgia - once members of the Warsaw Pact, the Yugoslav Federation and also the USSR - has allowed the United States to exert control over these countries, and in fact they are already members of NATO, contracted more to Washington than to Brussels.

Washington has thus been able to force Europe into a new Cold War, making it the front line of an increasingly dangerous confrontation with Russia, which functions in the political, economic and strategic interests of the United States.

Emblematic is the fact that, in the week during which Europe was bitterly debating the "Italian question", the 1st Armoured Brigade of the 1st US Cavalry Division from Fort Hood in Texas, landed in Antwerp (Belgium), without provoking any significant reaction. Some 3,000 soldiers landed, with 87 Abrams M-1 tanks, 125 Bradley combat vehicles, 18 self-propelled Paladin cannons, 976 military vehicles and other equipment, which will be deployed at five bases in Poland and sent from there close to Russian territory.

This continues to "improve the readiness and lethal power of US forces in Europe," which has received 16.5 billion dollars since 2015.

Just as the tanks sent from Washington landed in Europe, Steve Bannon encouraged Italians and Europeans to "recover their sovereignty" from Brussels.

Manlio Dinucci

Translation 
John Catalinotto

 

Read more:

http://www.voltairenet.org/article201326.html

 

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Italy wants to end the sanctions against Russia...

Italy wants to see the sanctions against Russia endingby Daniele Pozzati

The next EU summit will take place on 23 June. It will be decided whether the sanctions against Russia, initially imposed in 2014, will be extended for another six months. However, the lifting of these sanctions is part of the Italian government coalition‘s programme. In his first speech to the Parliament on 5 June, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte stated already that the new Italian government was planning to request a revision of the sanctions against Russia. The very next day, 6 June, NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg dictated to the new Italian government: “We must maintain a political dialogue with Russia,” Stoltenberg said, “but the sanctions are necessary.”

Salvini: NATO should help in the Mediterranean instead of facing the non-existent threat in the East

On 7 June, a large reception was held at Villa Abamelek, the Roman residence of the Russian ambassador to Italy. Some 1000 VIPs attended, including the new Italian Foreign Minister, Enzo Moavero Milanesi, and the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Interior and Lega Nord party leader Matteo Salvini. According to the Italian newspaper “Il Giornale”, Salvini and the Russian ambassador had a 15-minute talk behind closed doors. Afterwards spoke Salvini with journalist Alessandra Benignetti and said: “We have a clear opinion on sanctions. We do not rule out an Italian veto.”
Salvini, however, also expects NATO to protect and help concerning problems coming from the South: Mass immigration, the instability of North Africa, the security of the Mediterranean. NATO should take care of all this, and not of a non-existent threat from the East, i.e. Russia.
On 8 June, the other Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Labour and Economic Development, Luigi Di Maio gave a statement. Asked by the Italian radio station Anch’io, Di Maio began diplomatically: “The Premier Conte will decide on a veto.” For the first time he sounds willing to compromise: “I have always said that our country must stay in NATO.”
But Di Maio added: “The sanctions against Russia are harming our farmers. Agriculture has suffered billions of losses. The design and craft sectors are also affected. We had exported a lot to this [Russian] market, and now this export is blocked due to Russian counter-sanctions.”

Finding the courage to say no

“We are pro-Italy, not pro-Russia,” Di Maio stressed. “Our government will participate in the international forums to discuss with its own allies some issues with which our government disagrees.” Di Maio makes it clear: “The Italian’Yes Sir’ era must end and begin a new era in which we are starting to say a few ‘no’.”
In the end, Salvini and Di Maio seem to agree on this important issue. Will it be enough to stand up against an opposition within the NATO?
 “Italy’s sole veto is unlikely,” says geopolitics expert Dr Daniele Scalea, “because our country is already under pressure in connection with other issues, such as immigration.” 
However, the Italian government has a clear position against Russia’s sanctions, Dr Scalea notes, a position inherited from the previous government, with the difference that it maintained its anti-Putinist rhetoric. A rhetoric that Salvini rejects and against which Di Maio is apparently immune. It is therefore to be expected that this position will be implemented with more vigour and determination.

Austrian Council Presidency as an opportunity

Meanwhile Stoltenberg came to Rome on Monday, 11 June, for a first meeting with the new Italian Premier Conte. It was about the preparation of the next NATO summit, which will take place from 11 to 12 July in Brussels. And, of course, the Italian opposition against the Russian sanctions.
In the evening during the subsequent press conference, Conte did not even mention the word “sanctions” in relation to Russia. He spoke of “restrictive measures that have arisen, but which must not become an end, but a means; and also as a means, these measures must by no means humiliate Russian civil society and prevent exchanges between our civil societies”.
Irrespective of NATO’s pressure to adhere to the sanctions, the forthcoming Austrian EU Council Presidency, which will last from 1 July to 31 December 2018, could be the ideal background for a revision or lifting of sanctions against Russia. The government in Austria has already initiated its own policy of détente towards the Russian Federation. It was no coincidence that Russian President Vladimir Putin chose Vienna for his first trip abroad after his re-election. Putin now sees Austria and its new government as bridge-builders.
Even if Italy does not immediately veto the extension of sanctions against Russia at the forthcoming EU summit, Dr Scalea believes that “this government, which is taking its first steps, will certainly seek allies in the coming months to build a blockade that could support the end of sanctions”.    •

Source: RT Deutsch of 15 June 2018

(Translation Current Concerns)

Italy’s new government against free trade agreement CETA with Canada

cc. Italy’s new government opposes the EU-Canada free trade agreement, CETA. Agriculture Minister Gian Marco Centinaio told the newspaper “La Stampa” of 14 June 2018 that farmers in Italy were not sufficiently protected. According to the Minister, only “a small part” of the products is protected by the labels “protected geographical indication” and “protected designation of origin”. Therefore, the government would call on the parliament not to ratify CETA. 
If Italy did not ratify the treaty, CETA could not enter into force. To do this, the parliaments of all EU countries would have to ratify the treaty with Canada. 
CETA has been under criticism from the outset and has led to protests in many EU countries. Nevertheless, the relevant EU bodies signed the treaty in 2017. In principle, the EU institutions alone are responsible for the EU’s trade policy. However, since the treaty also impacts into national sovereignty, the consent of all member states is also required to bring it into force.

Source: afp of 14 June 2018

(Translation Current Concerns)

Protest against CETA ratification in Austria

cc. On 13 June 2018, the Austrian National Assembly voted in favour of ratification of the CETA trade pact between the EU and Canada. The non-party Vienna lawyer Dr Eva Maria Barki sent an open letter to all 183 members of the Austrian National Assembly on 23 May 2018 and once again referred to important arguments against the ratification of the CETA trade agreement between the EU and Canada: “Under the guise of ‘investment protection’, CETA is a political instrument for the implementation of transatlantic protectionism. The citizens affected throughout the EU will lose all legal protection.” Ms Barki added: “In addition to over 100 law professors from the EU area, the Deutsche Richterbund (German Association of Judges) and the Europäi­sche Richtervereinigung (European Association of Judges) have therefore called for the investment protection provisions in the CETA pact to be deleted. This should give groups special rights without imposing obligations on them. […] The state can therefore be held liable for lost profits of the corporations, even if the measures taken by the state are legal and have been taken to protect the population. The disadvantage must be borne by citizens who have no legal remedy against decisions of the Group Special Court [...] Such an enforcement of group rights instead of civil rights would completely undermine the existing Austrian legal system. Parliament is thus giving up its own competence!” The Initiative Heimat&Umwelt (IHU, Home & Environment Initiative) is now calling for a referendum on CETA.

Source: Initiative Heimat&Umwelt (IHU); www.heimat-und-umwelt.at

(Translation Current Concerns)

Read more: 

https://www.zeit-fragen.ch/en/numbers/2018/no-14-29-june-2018/italy-want...

 

 

the climate of détente actors...

« We need to talk about everything, from commerce to the military, missiles, nuclear, and China » - this was how President Trump began at the Helsinki Summit. « The time has come to talk in detail about our bilateral relationship and the international flashpoints », emphasised Putin.

But it will not only be the two Presidents who will decide the future relationships between the United States and Russia.

It’s no coincidence that, at the very moment when the President of the United States was about to meet with the President of Russia, special prosecutor Robert Mueller III charged twelve Russians with having manipulated the US presidential elections by hacking into the data networks of the Democratic party in order to hinder candidate Hillary Clinton. The twelve Russians, accused of being agents of the military secret services (GRU), were officially defined as « conspirators », and found guilty of « conspiracy to the detriment of the United States ». Simultaneously, Daniel Coats, National Director of Intelligence and principal advisor to the President in these matters, accused Russia of working to « undermine our basic values and our democracy ». He then sounded the alarm about the « threat of cyber-attacks which have arrived at a critical point » similar to that which preceded 9/11, on behalf not only of Russia, « the most aggressive foreign agent », but also China and Iran.

At the same time, in London, British « investigators » declared that the Russian military secret service GRU, which had sabotaged the Presidential elections in the USA, is the same service which poisoned ex-Russian agent, Sergueï Skripal and his daughter, who, inexplicably, survived contact with an extremely lethal gas.

The political objective of these « enquiries » is clear – to maintain that at the head of all these « conspirators » is Russian President Vladimir Putin, with whom President Donald Trump sat down at the negotiating table, despite vast bi-partisan opposition in the USA. After the « conspirators » had been charged, the Democrats asked Trump to cancel the meeting with Putin. Even though they failed, their pressure on the negotiations remains powerful.

What Putin tried to obtain from Trump is both simple and complex – to ease the tension between the two countries. To that purpose, he proposed to Trump, who accepted, to implement a joint enquiry into the « conspiracy ». We do not know how the discussions on the key questions will go – the status of Crimea, the condition of Syria, nuclear weapons and others. And we do not know what Trump will ask in return. However, it is certain that any concession will be used to accuse him of conivence with the enemy. In opposition to the easing of tension with Russia are not only the Democrats (who, with a reversal of formal roles, are playing the « hawks »), but also many Republicans, among whom are several highly-important representatives of the Trump administration itself. It is the establishment, not only of the US, but also of Europe, whose powers and profits are directly linked to tension and war.

It will not be the words, but the facts, which will reveal whether the climate of détente of the Helsinki Summit will become reality - first of all with a de-escalation of NATO in Europe, in other words with the withdrawal of forces (including nuclear forces) of the USA and NATO presently deployed against Russia, and the blockage of NATO’s expansion to the East.

Even if an agreement on these questions were reached between Putin and Trump, would the latter be able to implement it? Or will the real deciders be the powerful circles of the military-industrial complex?

One thing is certain – we in Italy and Europe can not remain the simple spectators of dealings which will define our future.

Manlio Dinucci

Translation 
Pete Kimberley

Source 
Il Manifesto (Italy)

 

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http://www.voltairenet.org/article202091.html

 

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"torsione del braccio"...

The political observer suggested that the Italian government's Russian sanctions remarks could be used as mere bargaining chips in talks with the EU and US. "It is clear that it is unthinkable today to lift overnight those [anti-Russian] sanctions," Conte said on July 30.

 

"Rome's attitude towards sanctions has not changed, and it is the same as with the previous government: we don't like sanctions, we try to oppose them, but in the end, if pressured enough, we will have to get along with them," he presumed.

Still, according to Pozzati, the words Conte said about Russia during the joint press conference with Trump deserve special attention.

"In my view, Conte's most revealing statement is this one: 'Italy is favorable to a dialogue with Russia, but Italy also considers that the dialogue between the United States and Russia is fundamental'. Let me translate from Conte to English: Italy would love to lift anti-Russian sanctions, but Italy now believes it is safer if we get the go-ahead from the US first," the journalist presumed.

It's "unthinkable" that the current Italian government would risk alienating Trump's friendship now that Rome's battles with Brussels are just about to begin," Pozzati pointed out.

The Italian journalist explained that Italian media and politicians are anticipating nothing short of a financial storm against Italy in September, 2018.

"The threat is very credible, if you consider that only a couple of months ago, on May 29, EU commissioner Gunther Ottinger said that 'the markets will teach Italians to vote for the right thing'. Meaning: austerity, immigration, gender mainstream, etc. True, the EU commission immediately distanced itself from such statement, and Ottinger himself was subsequently forced to apologize amid calls for him to resign," the political observer elaborated.

Therefore, the new Italian government "needs friends and allies — ideally, heavyweights," he added.

According to Pozzati, "the only hope the new Italian government has to survive is if it delivers on immigration control and the economy, for these affect every Italian citizen."

"Both require fighting a prolonged battle with the EU — a battle that, realistically, cannot be won without friends and allies," he concluded.

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201808021066898687-trump-tap-italy/

 

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they are not carrying vehicles, but tanks...

On 8 August, the Liberty Passion docked at the port of Livorno, and on 2 September, the Liberty Promise. On 9 October, they will be followed by the Liberty Pride. The three ships will then return to Livorno, successively, on 10 November, 15 December and 12 January.

These are enormous Ro/Ro ships (Roll-On/Roll-Off – vehicle transporters), 200 metres long. They have 12 decks, each one capable of housing 6,500 automobiles. However, they are not in fact carrying vehicles, but tanks. They are part of a US fleet of 63 ships belonging to private companies who, on behalf of the Pentagon, are constantly transporting weapons in a global circuit between ports in the United States, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and Asia.

The main Mediterranean stop is Livorno, because its port is connected to the neighbouring US base of Camp Darby. During a recent visit to the Florence daily ’La Nazione’, Colonel Erik Berdy, Commander of the US Army garrison in Italy, emphasized the importance of this base.

The logistics base, situated between Pisa and Livorno, constitutes the largest US arsenal outside of the home country. The Colonel did not specify what the content of the 125 bunkers of Camp Darby may be. However, it may be estimated at more than a million artillery projectiles, airborne bombs and missiles, to which should be added thousands of tanks, vehicles and other military material. It can not be excluded that in the base there may have been, there are, or there may be nuclear weapons in the near future.

Camp Darby, claimed the Colonel, plays a key role by supplying US land and air forces much faster than if they were supplied directly from the USA. The base supplied most of the weapons used for the wars against Iraq, Yugoslavia, Libya and Afghanistan. Since March 2017, with huge ships that make monthly stops at Livorno, the weapons from Camp Darby are continually transported to the ports of Aqaba in Jordan, Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern ports in order to be used by US and allied forces in the wars in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

On its maiden voyage, in April 2017, the ’Liberty Passion’ off-loaded 250 military vehicles and other material in Aqaba. Among the weapons which are transported monthly by sea from Camp Darby to Jeddah, there are also, without any doubt, US airborne bombs that are used by the Saudi air force to massacre civilians in Yemen (as proven by photographic evidence). There are also serious indications that in the monthly link between Livorno and Jeddah, these huge ships also transport airborne bombs, supplied by Rwm Italia in Domusnovas (Sardinia), to Saudi Arabia for the war in Yemen.

With the increased transit of weapons from Camp Darby, the canal and land routes from the base to the port of Livorno and the airport at Pisa are no longer sufficient. Consequently a massive reorganisation of the infrastructures has been decided (and confirmed by Colonel Berdy), including a new railway. The plan calls for the felling of 1,000 trees within a protected zone, which has already been approved by the Italian authorities. But that’s not all.

When Eugenio Giani (Pd), the president of the Tuscan Regional Council, received Colonel Berdy, he agreed to develop « the integration of the US military base of Camp Darby into the neighbouring community ». This is a position substantially shared by the mayor of Pise Conti (Lega) and also by the mayor of Livorno (Movimento 5 Stelle). The latter, in order to welcome Colonel Berdy, and then US ambassador Lewis M. Eisenberg, raised the ’star-spangled banner’ on the Town Hall.

Manlio Dinucci

Translation 
Pete Kimberley

Source 
Il Manifesto (Italy)

 

Read more:

http://www.voltairenet.org/article202935.html

 

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replacing a protected forest with tanks...

The first trees have already been cut, the others marked with paint: 937 trees are now being cut down in the "protected" natural area of the San Rossore Regional Park between Pisa and Livorno. The slaughtered trees are the first "collateral damage" of the massive reorganization, begun these days, of the infrastructure of Camp Darby, which contains the largest U.S. arsenal in the world outside the United States [1].

Even if the U.S. command promises to replant more trees than those cut, the construction of a railway and other infrastructure, fragmenting the natural habitats, will upset a vast ecosystem.

The project involves the construction of a new railway section that will connect the station of Tombolo (on the Pisa-Livorno line) to a new loading and unloading terminal. The trains will cross the Canale dei Navicelli on a new rotating metal bridge. The loading and unloading terminal, almost 65 feet high, will consist of four 575-feet-long tracks capable of accommodating nine wagons each, for a total of 36 wagons.

The terminal will be joined to the ammunition storage area by large trucks. By means of trolleys handling containers, incoming weapons will be transferred from railway wagons to trucks and those departing from trucks to railway wagons. The terminal will allow the transit of two trains per day, which will connect the base to the port through the normal lines of the Italian state railways.

The reorganization of the infrastructure, which has just begun, is based on the plan to carry out the increased transit of weapons from Camp Darby. The current connection via canal and the base road with the port of Livorno and Pisa airport is no longer sufficient.

The United States continuously supplies the 125 bunkers of Camp Darby. over a million artillery bullets, bombs for aircraft and missiles, plus thousands of tanks, vehicles and other military equipment in these bunkers (according to approximate estimates).

Since March 2017, enormous ships have been calling at Livorno on a monthly basis. The ships unload and load weapons that are continuously transported to the ports of Aqaba in Jordan, Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern ports. U.S. forces and allies use these weapons in the wars in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

You do not need to be a skilled technician to understand what the dangers are for the population of the Tuscany region. Moving thousands of high-powered explosive warheads continuously in a densely populated area involves obvious risks. Even though the project managers describe their strategy as taking into account "human health and public safety," an accident with catastrophic consequences cannot be excluded.

Neither can anyone rule out the possibility of sabotage or a terrorist attack that could cause the explosion of an entire train loaded with bombs. This is confirmed by the fact that the plan provides for the construction of a second terminal which will be used for the operations of verification and inspection of the "suspect wagons." Those are wagons on which a bomb could have been installed (for example, inside a container). Such a bomb, exploding on command, would cause a catastrophic chain reaction.

What have the authorities done about this danger? Instead of carrying out their duties to protect the citizens and the territory, the Region of Tuscany, the municipalities of Pisa and Livorno and the Park Authority have not only approved the strengthening of Camp Darby, but have contributed to carrying it out. The civil works carried out in recent years for real or alleged economic development projects (such as luxury shipbuilding) — in particular the works to improve the navigability of the Navicelli Canal and the rail links to the port of Livorno — are exactly those demanded for years by the command of Camp Darby.

Its most prominent representative, Colonel Berdy [U.S. Army Garrison Italy Commander Col. Erik M. Berdy], has been received in recent months with all the honours by the President of the Tuscan Regional Council, Eugenio Giani (Democratic Party), who has committed to promoting "integration between the U.S. military base of Camp Darby and the surrounding community," by the mayor of Livorno, Filippo Nogarin (Five Star Movement) and that of Pisa, Michele Conti (League) who have expressed substantially the same position. The trees of the Park can be cut down and the bombs of Camp Darby can circulate on Italian territory, thanks to the mutual consent of the politicians of these three major parties.

Manlio Dinucci

Translation 
John Catalinotto

Source 
Il Manifesto (Italy)

 

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http://www.voltairenet.org/article203073.html

 

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scimmie italiane...

What was the reaction to the warning by Russian President Putin when he said that the world underestimates the peril of of nuclear war, and that this tendency is increasing?

The commentary in the La Repubblica is significant, speaking of his “highly alarming tone”. The almost absolute silence of the whole Parliamentarian arc is also eloquent. As if Italy had nothing to do with the race to stock up nuclear weapons which, warned Putin in his end-of-year Press conference, could lead to the “destruction of all civilisation or even the whole planet” [1]. The scenario is not alarmist, but a realistic assessment by scientists who study the effects of nuclear weapons.

A specific danger – emphasises Putin – is the “tendency to lower the bar for the use of nuclear weapons, by creating tactical low-impact nuclear charges which may lead to a world-wide nuclear disaster”. This is the category including the new B61-12 nuclear bombs which the USA will begin to deploy in Italy, Germany, Belgium, Holland, and perhaps in other European countries, during the first half of the year 2020. “High precision and the possibility of using less destructive warheads” - warns the Federation of American Scientists – “may lead military commanders to insist on the use of nuclear bombs in an attack, knowing that radioactive fallout and collateral damage would be limited”.

Italy shares the responsibility for the growing danger of nuclear war, since, in violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and not being a signatory of the UNO Treaty forbidding nuclear weapons, it is providing the United States with a primarily anti-Russian capacity, not only with its bases, but also aircraft and pilots for the deployment of nuclear bombs. This comes with the explicit or implicit consent (by renouncing real opposition) of the entire arc of Parliament.

The other danger – warns Putin – is the “disintegration of the international system for arms control”, initiated by the retreat of the United States from the ABM Treaty (Anti Ballistic Missile Treaty) in 2002. Created in 1972 by the USA and the USSR, it forbade each of the two parties to deploy interceptor missiles which, by neutralising reprisals by countries under attack, would have favoured a « first strike », in other words a surprise nuclear attack. Since then, the United States have developed the “anti-missile shield”, stretching from Europe to the borders of Russia – two ground installations in Romania and Poland, and four warships cruising the Baltic and the Black Sea. Equipped with launch tubes, these ships are able to launch interceptor missiles and also cruise missiles with nuclear warheads.

Italy shares the responsibility in this case also – the installation of the JTAGS (Joint Tactical Ground Station) at Sigonella (Sicily). This a US satellite station for the “anti-missile shield”, one of five on the planet. The situation is made worse by the fact that the USA now want to retire from the 1987 INF Treaty (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty) - which eliminated the US nuclear missiles based in Comiso - in order to be able to deploy in Europe anti-Russian ground-based intermediate-range nuclear missiles. The Italian government is also implicated, since it endorsed this plan at the North Atlantic Council of 4 December, and is without a doubt favourable to the installation of these missiles in Italy. “If these missiles arrive in Europe, the West should not be astonished if we react” said Putin. A warning which was ignored by Conte, Di Maio and Salvini who continue to beat the drum for the anti-migrant “Security Decree”. But when US nuclear bombs and missiles arrive and put the real security of Italy in danger, they see nothing, hear nothing and say nothing.

Manlio Dinucci

Source 
Il Manifesto (Italy)

 

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http://www.voltairenet.org/article204464.html

 

 

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deaths in sardinia...

Broadcast:  29 January, 2019

Reporter:     Emma Alberici

 

GFX:  Foreign Correspondent

          Secret Sardinia

          Sardinia, Italy

          Reporter:  Emma Alberici

 

EMMA ALBERICI: [on a sailing boat] “The Costa Smeralda is a magnet for the rich and famous.  It hosts the most beautiful beaches in all of Europe, but I’ve come here to investigate a darker side – the cover ups, the secrets, the mystery illnesses that have blighted life on this glorious island for decades”.

 

“That’s an amazing place”.

 

LORENZO CAMILLO: “Yes that’s built on the Punta Volpe it's called here. It belonged to the President of Volkswagen, Hahn”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI:  Sailing with Australian real estate broker Lorenzo Camillo and his daughter Lisa, it’s not hard to see what draws people to this place.  Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was one of the first to invest here.

 

LORENZO CAMILLO: “There we are, there’s the famous Berlusconi Villa.  A very large house with an enormous property”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI: “To the extent that there is such a thing as a typical villa along the Costa Smeralda, what would… what would it cost?”

 

LORENZO CAMILLO: “Well entry level is probably around 20 million upwards”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI: “Twenty million Euros!”

 

LORENZO CAMILLO: “Twenty million Euros upwards, twenty, thirty, forty”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI: “Now there’s affordable property”.

 

LORENZO CAMILLO: “Up to over a hundred also there’s been a sale”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI: “Wow!”

 

The wealth of the north is a stark contrast to other parts of the island where visitors are forbidden.  Sardinia plays host to some of the world’s most elaborate war games, like this one in 2015.  “Trident Juncture” was one of NATO’s biggest exercises.  Dozens of countries were involved.  The military exclusion zones cover more than a third of Sardinia’s land, sea and air.  Rome is reported to be making one and a half million dollars a day renting out this space to foreign forces and weapons manufacturers.

 

LISA CAMILLO: “When I was younger, this for me of course was always a paradise and I never noticed that.  Actually, there were submarines passing by”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI:  Lisa Camillo recently returned to Sardinia after being away almost two decades.  She was shocked by what she saw, so she made a film to raise awareness and is campaigning to rid the island of its military bases.

 

LISA CAMILLO: “I never realised the extent or the gravity of the situation and also we didn’t have internet back then so everything was even more hidden”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI:  Down south in Teulada, the beaches are just as stunning but they’re mostly inaccessible.  This isn’t a playground for the rich.  The Marica family have been fishing in these waters for generations. 

 

LUCIANO MARICA: “This spot here is the forbidden zone where we’re not allowed to work.  It’s 200 metres from Point Menga.  Point Menga is the one you can see looking out to Cape Teulada”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI: “But you’re saying 200 metres in that direction you can’t go.  What happens if you do go there?”

 

LUCIANO MARICA: “The first time we go there it’s a 4000 Euro fine”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI: “Four thousand!  Have you ever been fined?”

 

LUCIANO MARICA: “Ehh!  Several times!”

 

EMMA ALBERICI: The Italian Ministry of Defence has deemed vast areas of the sea around Sardinia off limits.

 

LUCIANO MARICA: “Sitting on the cement there…”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI: “He said they’re sitting there watching he said”.

 

LUCIANO MARICA: “There they are.  There’s a look-out there.  They put a soldier there to watch to ensure we don’t cross the boundary”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI: “Oh so you can see them now?”

 

LUCIANO MARICA: “Yes, you can see them.  They’ll call and…”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI: “There are two members of the military up there watching us”. 

 

Most of the military operations on Sardinia have been kept secret since 1951. They’re the result of an arrangement struck with NATO countries after the Second World War. 

 

MAURO PILI: [watching video footage] “… the inspector in charge of radioactivity there and this is the commander of the Teulada base”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI:  Mauro Pili has made it his life’s mission to bust open this wall of silence.  He was once the political leader of Sardinia, but even then he couldn’t get access to see what was going on at the military bases. Mauro Pili did eventually get into the Teulada military site, but only after he was elected to the federal parliament in Rome.  He was told there would be strictly no filming allowed. 

 

MAURO PILI: [watching video footage] “Obviously these are pictures I filmed without authorisation.  I absolutely had the right to film, but hey said I wasn’t allowed.  So I smuggled my camera in as you can see”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI:  Despite the secrecy, bits of information have started to leak out.  In 2017 Sardinian health authorities confirmed 4,200 French-made MILAN missiles arrived on the island over the twenty years to 2003.  Some were fired at Teulada.

 

MAURO PILI: “This”, he says, “this is the MILAN missile, the residue from the thorium of the MILAN missile”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI: “That they had exploded?”

 

MAURO PILI: “Yes, the radioactive imager from the MILAN missile”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI: The guidance systems of these MILAN missiles each carry three grams of radioactive thorium.  Inhaling thorium dust increases the risk of lung and pancreatic cancer. 

 

MAURO PILI: “Islands have vanished.  Little islands in the middle of the sea have been wiped out by missiles.  Missiles shot from land, from the air and from the sea itself.  The whole morphology of the landscape has changed”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI: The main concern for Sardinians living close to the firing ranges, isn’t about damage to the land or restricted access – they’re worried that bomb residue might be killing them.  Today, Teulada is saying goodbye to another of its citizens, fifty-nine-year-old Mario Troga.  As a young man he worked at the firing range.  He died of lunch cancer but he wasn’t a smoker.  Many of the people gathered here have been touched by cancer.

 

GUILIO ANGIONI: “My mother-in-law died of cancer.  They cut my father-in-law’s leg off because it was cancerous.  My father died.  My sister died young of lung cancer.  My wife is still alive, but she has several cancers.  She’s been operated on three times – twice for her breasts and once for her lung.  My wife now has half a left lung. She’s still alive but she’s been through so much”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI:  Guilio Angioni and his friends blame the Italian defence force for their suffering. 

 

ERICINA LAI: “My husband was 65.  It was cancer.  Within a month this devastating cancer took him away”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI: “And he worked nearby?”

 

ERICINA LAI: “When my husband was young he worked at the military base”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI: The Italian military has always denied doing anything to hurt the people, the land or the animals of Sardinia.  Abbondia Piras and her husband Giancarlo have been fighting the military through the courts for ten years. 

 

ABBONDIA PIRAS: “They should have protected him, kept him safe.  [showing pictures] Here’s Francesco”. 

 

EMMA ALBERICI: “He has a beautiful smile”.

 

ABBONDIA PIRAS: “He liked playing music.  Here he is with a little girlfriend – his first girlfriend”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI:  Francesco Piras did his national service at Teulada in the late nineties.  He took part in military exercises and his parents say he was ordered to pick up old shells with his bare hands.  A few years later, at the age of 27, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  His parents blame the armed forces.

 

“Could it have been something else?”

 

GIANCARLO PIRAS: “No, absolutely not.  Because the final remarks of his medial report said that it was impossible that someone living a normal lifestyle in contact with ordinary things it would be impossible for that person to have all that rubbish in their liver”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI: “This is the rubbish Giancarlo says built up in his son’s liver.  They’re particles so small they can quickly pass through your lungs and into your body.  Biomedical engineer Antonietta Gatti analysed Francesco’s liver tissue.  She found nanoparticles of seven different metals in the tumour, including chromium, tungsten and titanium.  There’s no metal’s industry around but these are all used by the arm’s industry. Dr Gatti believes Francesco was contaminated by dust from a big explosion. 

 

DR ANTONIETTA GATTI: “You find the pollution is closely related to what was combusted.  That is the fundamental point”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI: The science of nanoparticles is still new, but the World Health Organisation says early signs show that fine material may be harmful to public health.  The WHO is encouraging further research.  In the meantime, it advises those at risk of industrial exposure to nanoparticles to exercise caution. Dr Gatti has consulted to four parliamentary inquiries that looked into the activities of the Italian defence force.

 

DR ANTONIETTA GATTI: “We received three million euros (from the EU) in a partnership with 11 laboratories, all highly qualified at the European level.  We verified that nanoparticles can penetrate cells”.

 

ABBONDIA PIRAS: “It was three months of intense pain.  Physical pain.  Mental pain. Because of what he knew. So… death awaits us.  It can happen.  But the pain that he had in those three months who could have believed? You can’t imagine how much he suffered”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI: It’s a two hour drive heading north out of Teulada to the Quirra bombing range.  This is the scene of tragic health stories and mysterious birth defects that have come to be dubbed “The Quirra syndrome”.  For many here life is still slow and traditional, but at towns like Escalaplano, perched on the edge of the firing range, passions are inflamed. 

 

MAURO PILI: “Some 186 deaths in Quirra the ones that are known”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI: “Not only soldiers?”

 

MAURO PILI: “Not only soldiers, but the majority of them had worked inside Quirra”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI: Quirra is the biggest military test site in Europe. It’s used by NATO countries as well as Israel.  Those living nearby have known much tragedy. Dr Gatti has become an advocate for some of the people of Quirra.

 

Maria Theresa already had ten healthy children when her last child arrived in 1988.  The baby girl was born so severely deformed, her mother has never let her photo be seen. The townsfolk made cruel remarks. 

 

MARIA THERESE FARCI: “You could not erase what they said even if you could use ammonia or bleach”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI:  She was baptised Maria Grazia. She was blind and couldn’t move or speak.

 

MARIA THERESE FACI: “It was enough to gently stroke her face but without speaking… “Ahh… Ahh”.  It was such a… all those who knew Maria Grazia have not forgotten her, because she really remains inside you”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI:  Escalaplano cemetery is a sad testament.  One in four of the children born in the same year as Maria Grazia had some kind of deformity.

 

MARIA THERESE FACI: “Some people, they never… they would never talk about it.  Many of them. Some even had abortions”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI:  Maria Grazia lived to 25 with tireless daily care.  Her last moments recorded in her mother’s diary. 

 

MARIA THERESE FACI: “Around 10.30 a.m.… wait, my legs are shaking. It happens when I get very agitated.  Basically, she died in my arms.  She died in my arms.  There was nothing we could do to prevent it. My whole world collapsed.  I knew that Maria Grazia was sick, but I wasn’t ready.  No, I wasn’t ready”. [emotional]

 

EMMA ALBERICI: Gianpiero Scanu has tried to hold the military to account. He led a two-year parliamentary inquiry.  His committee met fierce resistance from the chiefs of defence.

 

GIANPIERO SCANU: “If they didn’t want us to see certain things, they didn’t let us see them.  They could do whatever they wanted at the firing ranges because they weren’t monitored at all. You couldn’t even stick your nose in to try to understand what was going on”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI: [on the street] “We’ve made repeated attempts to speak to the military during our research for this story but we’ve been blocked at every turn.  Now this document dated 2011 has come our way. It’s a confidential Ministry of Defence memo instructing military officials on how to respond to questions about the health and environmental conditions in and around the bombing sites. What stands out is what they’re told to say about birth defects.  They’re told to explain it away with a shocking allegation, that children born with deformities are the result of inbreeding”.

 

GENERAL FABIO MOLTENI: “No, they started doing genetic studies… But they don’t want to tell you about that”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI:  This is General Fabio Molteni, a former head of the Quirra base.  He’s caught on Swiss TV delivering that key message.

 

GENERAL FABIO MOLTENI: “They are all relatives, relatives.  They marry between cousins, brothers, one another. But you can’t say it, or you’ll offend the Sardinians”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI: There’s no evidence to support that claim.  The children born with disabilities were conceived in the late 80s when old munitions, bombs and rockets were being routinely disposed of at Quirra.  They were blown up in a pit, twenty metres deep and forty metres wide. 

 

“Did you see it?”

 

MARIA THERESA FACI: “Yes and I was not the only one.  Everybody saw it”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI: “What was it like?”

 

MARIA THERESA FACI: “The dust was red.  Not black. It was red”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI:  For decades, dust from explosions and tests has rained down on the towns and the grazing fields of the firing range.  Exactly what was in them, no one knows.  In the early 2000s, local doctors saw a spike in the number of unusual cancers in their patients.  At the same time, over in Florence, military pilot Domenico Leggiero was raising his concerns. He’d seen a high incidence of cancers among fellow soldiers returning from Kosovo where they’d been exposed to depleted uranium.

 

DOMENICO LEGGIERO: “Once we started discovering what was happening in areas of international operations, it was natural to consider Sardinia as well.  Because again, the amount of ammunition exploded and the amount of training and military exercises that were carried out, and still are, in Sardinian ranges are nothing less than the situation of an actual theatre of warfare”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI: The Italian military felt the pressure.  Depleted uranium is mildly radioactive and long suspected of causing cancer and birth defects.  It’s used to help missiles penetrate heavy armour.  At Quirra, scientist Francesco Riccobono was flown in by the Ministry of Defence to do some soil tests in front of a swarm of local media.

 

COLONEL PAOLO RICCI: [address to media 2002] “It’s conventional weapons testing here.  There is absolutely no testing of nuclear weapons, and nothing peculiar, especially nothing containing depleted uranium because we absolutely don’t use it”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI: Francesco Riccobono didn’t find any depleted uranium, keeping quiet about the possible presence of thorium, defence declared the firing range clear. 

 

DOMENICO LEGGIERO: “The Italians do not have equipment to make uranium weapons.  They have never shot such weapons.  True.  But the firing ranges of Sardinia are international firing ranges.  When a NATO country asks to use a range it is also bound not to disclose what is used there.  It’s an issue of confidentiality and national security”.

 

ITALIAN MAN: [commenting on video footage] “How terrible, how terrible!”

 

EMMA ALBERICI: Then in 2010, events took a shocking turn.  The photos you’re about to see are disturbing. A lamb born with one eye.  Others with deformities the likes and severity of which scientists and public health experts had never seen before. 

 

GIORGIO MELLIS: “Lambs were born with eyes in the back of their heads.  The eyes were at the back inside the ears.  I had never seen anything like it.  A farmer told me when I said to him “What’s going on?” He said, “I was too scared to enter the barn in the mornings, I didn’t want to see those deformed little goats.  They were monstrosities you didn’t want to see”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI: Vet Giorgio Mellis co-wrote a report for the district health authority, assessing the risks posed by activities at the bombing range.  Remarkably the team of scientists found 65% of the shepherds living close to the range had cancers. 

 

GIORGIO MELLIS: “It was the only place in the world where farmers lived inside a bombing range and animals grazed in the zone where they carried out these explosions, these bombings, all the exercises.  We were very concerned for the people who were there who ate this food.  So we informed all the authorities so that an in-depth investigation would take place”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI:  Immediately a formal police investigation was launched.  The court ordered the exhumation of 18 shepherds who’d died in the 20 years up to 2010.  Their bones were shipped here to Italy’s north and examined at 2 universities.  Nuclear Physicist, Evandro Lodi Rizzini, led some of that research. 

 

EVANDRO LODI RIZZINI: “The results from multiple analyses conducted at Brescia and Pavia showed the presence in around 10 case, actually 11, of elevated quantities of uranium but most of all thorium”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI:  Those 11 shepherds with high levels of thorium in their bones had all lived close to the firing range.

 

EVANDRO LODI RIZZINI: “The longer someone lived in that area the higher the quantities of thorium detected. 

 

EMMA ALBERICI:  In the regional capital, Lanusei, the Chief Prosecutor called a meeting with the scientist who’d done the soil testing for the military.  Why hadn’t research Francesco Riccobono found any uranium or the much more dangerous thorium in the soil at Quirra?  While he was questioned upstairs, outside police opened his car and hid a listening device inside.  As he drove back to the airport, the bug picked up his conversation with an assistant.  He’d been interrogated for leaving thorium out of his report and he was angry with the military. 

 

SECRET POLICE RECORDING: “You’re the ones who fucking commissioned us to do this work.  If you thought that was important if you’re honest, you say to me hey, make sure to include it because it’s important”. 

 

EMMA ALBERICI:  Francesco Riccobono’s university received a $2.4 million dollar government grant to carry out its work.  He was later acquitted of charges that he was involved in a cover up.  Mauro Pili is still convinced of foul play.

 

MAURO PILI: “It was all part of this great government farce. The idea was to gag anyone who began to name the dangers present at that place in the environment”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI: Eight former commanders at Quirra are now on trial, charged with breaching their duty of care for the health and safety of soldiers and civilians.  One of them is Fabio Molteni, infamously caught on film claiming Sardinians are inbred.  Another is Paolo Ricci who had declared Quirra uranium free. After two decades and three previous inconclusive inquiries, last year Gianpiero Scanu’s committee made a bold finding.             

 

GIANPIERO SCANU: “The casual link between the exposure to depleted uranium and diseases suffered by the military has been confirmed at a judicial level.  This is a milestone”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI: For the first time, nanoparticles of depleted uranium were found to play a role in the possible development of tumours.  Crucially, thorium when inhaled or ingested, was found to be five times more dangerous than depleted uranium.  The Scanu Report was dismissed by the Italian defence force.

 

GIANPIERO SCANU: “I do believe that in the final report of the commission I chaired the truth was finally disclosed”.

 

EMMA ALBERICI: But after all that work by the commission, a new law to monitor the health of soldiers was blocked by the upper house in Rome.  For decades Sardinia has held its secrets close.  It’s been locked in an uncomfortable embrace with the world’s military. In a country mired in debt, defence contracts are a source of income, but also quite possibly the cause of untold misery.

 

After all the inquiries and with military brass now on trial, for the people of this island paradise, there is a glimmer of hope, that the truth may finally see the light of day.

 

 

See more:

https://www.abc.net.au/foreign/secret-sardinia/10759968

largest US weapons store — in italy

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On 8 August, the Liberty Passion docked at the port of Livorno, and on 2 September, the Liberty Promise. On 9 October, they will be followed by the Liberty Pride. The three ships will then return to Livorno, successively, on 10 November, 15 December and 12 January.

These are enormous Ro/Ro ships (Roll-On/Roll-Off – vehicle transporters), 200 metres long. They have 12 decks, each one capable of housing 6,500 automobiles. However, they are not, in fact, carrying vehicles, but tanks. They are part of a US fleet of 63 ships belonging to private companies who, on behalf of the Pentagon, are constantly transporting weapons in a global circuit between ports in the United States, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and Asia.

The main Mediterranean stop is Livorno, because its port is connected to the neighbouring US base of Camp Darby. During a recent visit to the Florence daily ‘La Nazione’, Colonel Erik Berdy, Commander of the US Army garrison in Italy, emphasized the importance of this base.

The logistics base, situated between Pisa and Livorno, constitutes the largest US arsenal outside of the home country. The Colonel did not specify what the content of the 125 bunkers of Camp Darby may be. However, it may be estimated at more than a million artillery projectiles, airborne bombs and missiles, to which should be added thousands of tanks, vehicles and other military material. It can not be excluded that in the base there may have been, there are, or there may be nuclear weapons in the near future.

Camp Darby, claimed the Colonel, plays a key role by supplying US land and air forces much faster than if they were supplied directly from the USA. The base supplied most of the weapons used for the wars against Iraq, Yugoslavia, Libya, and Afghanistan. Since March 2017, with huge ships that make monthly stops at Livorno, the weapons from Camp Darby are continually transported to the ports of Aqaba in Jordan, Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern ports in order to be used by US and allied forces in the wars in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen.

On its maiden voyage, in April 2017, the ‘Liberty Passion’ off-loaded 250 military vehicles and other material in Aqaba. Among the weapons which are transported monthly by sea from Camp Darby to Jeddah, there are also, without any doubt, US airborne bombs that are used by the Saudi air force to massacre civilians in Yemen (as proven by photographic evidence). There are also serious indications that in the monthly link between Livorno and Jeddah, these huge ships also transport airborne bombs, supplied by Rwm Italia in Domusnovas (Sardinia), to Saudi Arabia for the war in Yemen.

With the increased transit of weapons from Camp Darby, the canal and land routes from the base to the port of Livorno and the airport at Pisa are no longer sufficient. Consequently, a massive reorganisation of the infrastructures has been decided (and confirmed by Colonel Berdy), including a new railway. The plan calls for the felling of 1,000 trees within a protected zone, which has already been approved by the Italian authorities. But that’s not all.

When Eugenio Giani (Pd), the president of the Tuscan Regional Council, received Colonel Berdy, he agreed to develop « the integration of the US military base of Camp Darby into the neighbouring community ». This is a position substantially shared by the mayor of Pise Conti (Lega) and also by the mayor of Livorno (Movimento 5 Stelle). The latter, in order to welcome Colonel Berdy, and then US ambassador Lewis M. Eisenberg, raised the ‘star-spangled banner’ on the Town Hall.

*

This article was originally published in Italian on Il Manifesto.

Translated by Pete Kimberley

Manlio Dinucci is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

The original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Manlio Dinucci, Global Research, 2018


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https://www.globalresearch.ca/video-largest-us-weapons-store-in-italy/56...

 

 

 

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NATO’s secret actions in italy...

“THE ART OF WAR”

Italian special forces at Camp Darby

by Manlio Dinucci

The reorganisation of the US base Camp Darby (Italy) masks the transfer of special forces to US command. This system already existed in the past. It was this mechanism which enabled the creation of Gladio, the service for NATO’s secret actions in Italy. Since December 2015 (article 7bis of Law 198), the President of the Italian Council has the possibility of pursuing military operations by Intelligence operations. This news gives more weight to the hypothesis that we published two months ago – NATO is preparing a wave of attacks in Europe.

The news is not yet official, but is already being discussed – as from October, the Italian flag will be flying over Camp Darby. Are the United States about to close down the largest arsenal they have in the world outside of their homeland, and return to Italy the approximately 1,000 hectares of territory that they occupy between Pisa and Livorno?


Not at all. They are not in the process of closing down, but restructuring the base in order to be able to store even more weapons, and to increase the liaisons with the port of Livorno and Pisa airport.


In the restructuration, a small portion of the recreation area remained unused – 34 hectares, hardly more than 3 % of the total surface of the Camp. This is what the US Army Europe has decided to give back to Italy, more specifically to the Italian Minister for Defense, in order to use it more productively. So an agreement was drawn up planning for the transfer to this area of the Comando delle Forze Speciali dell’Esercito (COMFOSE) which is presently housed in the Caserne Gamerra in Pisa, headquarters of the Centre for Parachute Training. These are the Forces which are used more and more frequently for secret operations – they infiltrate foreign territory by night, note the targets to be hit, eliminate them with sudden actions by parachuting from planes or jumping from helicopters, then disappear without leaving a trace other than the dead and the destruction.


Italy, which had used these forces especially in Afghanistan, took a decisive step in their potentialisation when, in 2014, it made the COMFOSE operational – it now counts four regiments under a unified command - the 9th assault regiment Col. Moschin and the 185th Folgore regiment for the acquisition of targets, the 28th communications regiment Pavie and the 4th Rangers Parachute regiment.


During the inauguration ceremony in 2014, it was announced that the COMFOSE would maintain a « constant liaison with the US Army Special Operations Command », the most important US command for special operations, composed of approximately 30,000 specialists employed particularly in the Middle East.


At Camp Darby – as was specified last year by Colonel Erik Berdy, commander of the US Army Italy – joint training operations were already under way with US and Italian soldiers. The transfer of COMFOSE to an area of Camp Darby, which legally belongs to Italy, will enable the complete integration of Italian and US special forces, and their use in secret operations under US command. All of this under cover of military secrecy.


It is therefore difficult not to think about the history of secret operations at Camp Darby – the investigations of judges Casson and Mastelloni revealed that since the 1960’s, Camp Darby has served as a base for the putchist network created by the CIA and by the SIFAR (Intelligence Service of the Italian Armed Forces) in the context of the secret Gladio plan. The USA/NATO bases – wrote Ferdinando Imposimato, honorary President of the Supreme Court of Cassation – supplied the explosives for the massacres of Piazza Fontana, Capaci and Via d’Amelio. In these bases « extreme right-wing terrorists, NATO officers, mafiosi, Italian politicians and Freemasons gathered together on the eve of the attacks ».


And yet no-one, either in Parliament or the local collectives, worries about the implications of the transfer of Italian special forces, which, inside Camp Darby, will be under US command.


The municipalities of Pisa and Livorno, which passed respectively from Pd to the Lega and M5S, have continued to promote, with the region of Tuscany, « the integration of the US military base of Camp Darby with the surrounding community ».


A few days ago, it was decided to integrate the Web sites of the local administrations with those of Camp Darby. The Camp Darby network is expanding increasingly across the territory.


Manlio Dinucci

Translation 

Pete Kimberley

Source 

Il Manifesto (Italy)

 

Read more:

https://www.voltairenet.org/article205499.html

 

NATO’s criminal war against yugoslavia...

 

How Italy earned the status of « Great Nation »


by Manlio Dinucci


Massimo D’Alema entered into history by leading his country, Italy, into NATO’s criminal war against ex-Yugoslavia. At that time, the world had become unipolar, and no-one in the West was worried about violating international law and launching a war against the decision of the Security Council. The same D’Alema is working today to create a Greater Albania which includes what is currently Kosovo.

On 24 March 1999, the session of the Italian Senate re-opened at 8.35 p.m. with a communication by the honourable Sergio Mattarella, who was then Vice-President of the D’Alema government (Ulivo, PdCI, Udeur) - « Honourable senators, we have been informed by the Press agencies that NATO operations began at 6.45 p.m. »

At that moment, the bombs launched by the F-16’s of the US 31st Squadron, which had taken off from Aviano (Frioul), had already hit Pristina and Belgrade. New waves of US and Allied fighter-bombers were arriving from other Italian bases.

In this way, and in violation of the Constitution (articles 11, 78 and 87), Italy was dragged into a war about which the government informed Parliament only after the Press agencies had published the news, once the war had already begun.

Twenty days before the attack against Yugoslavia - as he himself related in an interview with Il Reformista (24 March 2009) - Massimo d’Alema had been called to Washington, where President Clinton made this proposition: « Italy is so close to the theatre of war that we will not ask you to participate in the military operations, but only to make your bases available to us ».

D’Alema had arrogantly replied - « We will assume our responsibilities at the same level as the other countries of the Alliance », meaning that Italy would not only make its bases available for the war against Yugoslavia, but also its fighter-bombers. So 54 Italian aircraft did indeed participate in the bombing, attacking the targets indicated by the US command.

« Morally, it was the right decision, and also the way to fully assume our rôle », explained D’Alema in the interview. « In terms of the number of aircraft, we were second only to the USA. Italy is great nation, and we should not be surprised by our engagement in this war, » he declared in June 1999, in his rôle as President of the Council, pointing out that for the pilots, this had been « a great human and professional experience. ».

Italy thus played a primary rôle in the war against Yugoslavia. Taking off from Italian bases was the major part of the 1,100 aircraft which, in the space of 78 days, carried out 38,000 sorties, dropping 23,000 bombs and missiles (many of them bearing depleted uranium) on Serbia and what is currently Kosovo.

These missions served to activate and test the entire system of the US and NATO bases in Italy, preparing its reinforcement for the coming wars. The next war on the list was that against Libya in 2011.

While the war against Yugoslavia was still on-going, the D’Alema government took part in Washington at the NATO summit of 23-25 April 1999, which rendered operational the New Strategic Concept. NATO was transformed into an alliance which engaged its members to « carry out operations of riposte to the crises which are not provided for in article 5, outside the territory of the Alliance ».

That was the beginning of NATO’s expansion towards the East. In twenty years, after having demolished the Yugoslavian Federation, NATO increased from 16 to 29 States (30 if it also now incorporates Macedonia), spreading closer and closer to the borders of Russia.

Today, the « North Atlantic area » stretches to the mountains of Afghanistan, and Italian soldiers are present there, confirming what D’Alema defined with pride as the « new status as a great nation », earned by Italy twenty years ago by participating in the destruction of a country which had neither attacked nor even threatened Italy or its allies.

 


The war against Yugoslavia will be one of the themes of the International Symposium on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of NATO.

The theme « Yugoslavia - 20 years on - the founding war of the new NATO » will be presented, with video documentation, at the International Symposium « NATO’s 70th anniversary – what is the historical record? Exit from the war system, now », which will be taking place on 7 April in Florence (Cinema Teatro Odeon, Piazza Strozzi, 10.15 a.m. - 6 p.m.). Among the other themes will be « Europe in the front line of a nuclear confrontation. »

Speakers: M. Chossudovsky, director of Global Research (Canada) ; V. Kozin, politico-military expert of the Russian Ministry for Foreign Affairs; Ž. Jovanovi, President of the Belgrade Forum (Serbia); D. Johnstone, essayist (USA); P. Craig Roberts, editorialist (USA). Among the Italian speakers: A. Zanotelli, G. Strada, F. Cardini, F. Mini, G. Chiesa, A. Negri, T. Di Francesco, M.Dinucci.

Organisers: Comitato No Guerra No Nato and Global Research, with Pax Christi, Comboniani, WILPF and other associations. In order to participate in the Symposium (no entrance fee), please communicate your name and place of residence to G. Padovano: giuseppepadovano.gp@gmail.com

 

Read all:

https://www.voltairenet.org/article205841.html

 

 

This war action was part of the the game plan...

 

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your US army at work...

One sailor dead, another hospitalized in shooting at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia

According to the Navy, male sailor shot a female sailor with a handgun several times at about 6:45 a.m. in the parking lot of Strike Fighter Squadron 37, Hangar 145.

 

 

 

 

The Air Force is exploring a fitness assessment that would plug a value for an airman’s 1.5-mile run time into an equation that would include waist and height measurements.


related: Army eyes fitness test to prepare recruits for new kind of war


 

related: First Army Wellness Center in South Korea offers health assessments, nutrition coaching

 

 

Head of California Air National Guard removed amid allegations of cover-up and retaliation

 

Maj. Gen. Clay L. Garrison was relieved of command this week for being unable to “maintain a positive command climate,” amid allegations that whistleblowers at the guard's Fresno base suffered reprisals for questioning actions or conduct.

 

 

 

Head of California Air National Guard removed amid allegations of cover-up and retaliation

 

Maj. Gen. Clay L. Garrison was relieved of command this week for being unable to “maintain a positive command climate,” amid allegations that whistleblowers at the guard's Fresno base suffered reprisals for questioning actions or conduct.

 

PODCAST

An interview with Erik Prince, Blackwater founder, outspoken proponent of contracting

 

We sit down with Erik Prince, co-founder of Blackwater and the face of an industry that generally tries to stay out of the limelight.


 

Listen in as he talks about the history of Blackwater, his vision for the war in Afghanistan and what he views as the mistakes the military has made there over these past 17 years.

 


 

trump pressures europe to spend on US armaments...

As President Donald Trump pushes for more defense spending from NATO countries, we speak with Joe Cirincione, president of the Ploughshares Fund, about how Trump’s foreign policy benefits weapons manufacturers. During an Oval Office meeting Tuesday with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, President Trump demanded Germany and other NATO countries increase their military spending from 2 to 4% of GDP. But Cirincione says NATO’s biggest problem is not insufficient funding. “The biggest problem NATO faces is the president of the United States, who keeps putting in doubt U.S. commitment to the alliance, who keeps putting in doubt whether the U.S. will come to the aid of NATO allies if they’re attacked,” he says. Cirincione also calls national security adviser John Bolton a “serial arms control killer.”

Transcript


This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now! I’m Amy Goodman, as we turn to look at how the Trump administration is pushing NATO countries to increase military spending, often to the benefit of weapons manufacturers like Boeing. During an Oval Office meeting Tuesday with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, President Trump falsely claimed his father was born in Germany—Trump, again, falsely claimed his own father was born in Germany—he was born in the Bronx—and once again demanded Germany and other NATO countries increase their military spending from 2 to 4% of GDP.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We have worked together on getting some of our allies to pay their fair share. It’s called burden sharing. And as you know, when I came, it wasn’t so good, and now it’s—they’re catching up. We have seven of the 28 countries are currently current, and the rest are trying to catch up, and they will catch up. And some of them have no problems, because they haven’t been paying and they’re very rich. But we’re looking at the 2% of GDP level. And at some point, I think it’s going to have to go higher than that. I think probably it should be higher.

AMY GOODMAN: The next day, NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg addressed a joint session of Congress in an event marking the 70th anniversary of NATO.

SECRETARY GENERAL JENS STOLTENBERG: NATO allies must spend more on defense. This has been the clear message from President Trump. And this message is having a real impact. Of the years of reducing defense budgets, all allies have stopped the cuts, and all allies have increased their defense spending.

AMY GOODMAN: The push for military spending comes as Acting Pentagon Chief Patrick Shanahan is under investigation for improperly advocating on behalf of Boeing, where he worked for 30 years. Meanwhile, the Pentagon blocked delivery of F-35 fighter jets to NATO member country Turkey, because it refused to back down on buying an anti-aircraft system from Russia. The U.S. Air Force has suspended deliveries of Boeing’s KC-46 Pegasus tanker over safety concerns.

For more, we’re joined in Washington, D.C., by Joe Cirincione. He is president of Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation.

Welcome to Democracy Now!, Joe.

JOE CIRINCIONE: Thank you, Amy.

AMY GOODMAN: As you can see, we’ve spent the hour talking about Boeing—in one case, the first American wrongful death lawsuit against Boeing and the FAA. And now we’re looking at a larger picture around the U.S. relationship with NATO and what Trump is trying to do with NATO countries, under the guise of increasing national security, which is pushing them to buy not only more weapons, but more U.S. weapons. Can you comment on this? And do you think that’s the motivation for President Trump’s criticism of NATO?

JOE CIRINCIONE: The debate on NATO is dominated by this obsession over the 2% solution, that somehow what we need to do is get all the European countries to spend 2% of their economic output on defense, as if this is going to—as if this is needed or is going to fix our problems. But this is out of touch with reality. The European countries, by themselves, spend about $240 billion every year on military weapons and forces. They outspend Russia four to one. Russia spends about $66 billion each year. So they are spending plenty on defense.

This idea that we have to get them to spend more weakens NATO, not strengthens it, because it diverts resources from things like, for example, settlement of migrations—of migrants, one of the issues that has been roiling Europe over the last few years, or the basic health and welfare and education of their population, another economic dislocation issue that does more to undermine NATOthan any military threat.

And why is this happening, you ask? Well, I think it is a push from the defense contractors. Boeing is one of the top five defense contractors in the United Staes, in the world, and it benefits from increases in defense spending. So we should be questioning whether we need to spend more money at all on this, and what we’re spending. Do we have shortfalls in NATO? Yes, we do. But we can fix those by spending more wisely, not by spending more.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about this in terms of nuclear weapons?

JOE CIRINCIONE: Yes. The United States still keeps about 150 hydrogen bombs stationed in Europe. These are vestiges of the Cold War. We used to have thousands. The Republican administration under George W. Bush actually pulled out hundreds, but the Obama administration was afraid to pull out the remaining 150.

So, what are we doing with those weapons? Well, it turns out we’re spending $10 billion to modernize these weapons, to put new tail kits on them, make them more accurate for use. Who is benefiting from that contract? Boeing. Boeing makes the tail kits for these B-61s. So we’re giving Boeing billions of dollars to modernize an obsolete weapon that we will never use, that we do not need.

This is the kind of wasteful spending that’s going on in NATO, and that the focus is distorting what we really need to do to build up a NATO, to solidify the alliance. It’s not about money. The biggest problem NATO faces is the president of the United States, who keeps putting in doubt U.S. commitment to the alliance, who keeps putting in doubt whether the U.S. will come to the aid of NATO allies if they’re attacked. This is the biggest issue, not how much we spend.

AMY GOODMAN: Talk about President Trump continually talking about NATO members paying their fair share.

JOE CIRINCIONE: Yeah. Well, this is a bipartisan obsession, this 2% solution. I think the president is using this as a stick to hit the NATO allies. President Trump is the first president since World War II who does not see himself as a leader of the Western alliance, does not see himself as a leader of NATO. He looks at our European allies as economic rivals. So he wants to use this issue to hit them over the head, because, in essence, and this is his—if there’s such a thing as a Trump policy or Trump doctrine, it’s this. He doesn’t believe in alliances. He doesn’t want the European countries to be united. He would prefer the United States deal with each country individually, because he believes we have a greater advantage.

So, the fear in NATO—and this is what the secretary general was trying to assuage in his visit here this week—is not that the Europeans aren’t spending enough on defense. It’s that the U.S. is pulling back, that the U.S., who founded NATO, is reneging on its commitments. And President Trump, every day, every time he talks about NATO, does something to increase those fears.

AMY GOODMAN: The role of John Bolton, Joe Cirincione?

JOE CIRINCIONE: John Bolton is a serial arms control killer. He has never believed in arms control, negotiated solutions to weapons. So he’s the hidden hand behind President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty, the treaty that Ronald Reagan negotiated to pull out, to get rid of nuclear weapons that we were stationing in Europe, what they called intermediate-range nuclear weapons. He never liked the treaty, when it was negotiated. He’s in favor of more weapons, not less. And because we’re killing the treaty, the U.S.—guess what—is now set to build a new ground-launched cruise missile that could be placed in Europe. The nuclear arms race is back in Europe, largely because of John Bolton.

AMY GOODMAN: Joe Cirincione, we’re going to ask you to stay with us. We’re going to do a web exclusive with you at democracynow.org. Joe Cirincione is president of Ploughshares Fund, global security foundation, author of Nuclear Nightmares. I’m Amy Goodman. This is Democracy Now!Thanks so much for joining us.

 

 

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https://www.democracynow.org/2019/4/5/how_trumps_call_for_more_military

 

 

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a US fantoccia trying to look like a fantoccio...

...

The state of relations between Italy and Russia is « excellent » : such was the declaration by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conté when he received President Vladimir Putin in Rome. The message was intended as a tranquilliser, even a sleeping pill, for public opinion. Fundamentally, the meeting was limited to the state of economic relations.

Russia, where 500 Italian companies are situated, is the fifth greatest extra-European market for our exports, and supplies 35 % of Italy’s need for natural gas. These exchanges – specifies Putin – were worth 27 billion dollars in 2018, but in 2013, they generated 54 billion. This means that they have been halved because of what Conté calls « the deterioration of relations between Russia and the European Union which led to European sanctions » (which are in fact decided in Washington).

Despite this, there exists between the two countries « an intense relation at all levels ». A reassuring tone, which echoes that of Conte’s visit Moscow in 2018 and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s trip to Saint Petersbourg in 2016, when he guaranteed that « the phrase ’Cold War’ has exited history and also reality ». So the farce continues.

In his relations with Russia, Conté (like Renzi in 2016) presents himself only in the function of head of government of a European Union country, dissimulating Italy’s membership in NATO, under command of the USA, which it considers a « privileged ally ». So at the Italy- Russia table there is a space reserved for the stone guest, the « privileged ally » with Italy swimming in its wake.

The Conté government declares that the state of relations with Russia is « excellent », even though less than a week earlier at NATO headquarters, he had once again accused Russia of having violated the INF Treaty (on the basis of « proof » supplied by Washington), thus falling into step with the US decision to bury the Treaty in order to install new intermediate-range nuclear missiles pointed at Russia.

On 3 July, the eve of Putin’s visit to Italy, Moscow published a law, signed by Putin, suspending Russian participation in the Treaty, a preventative act before Washington left definitively on 2 August. Putin also warned that if the USA deployed new nuclear weapons in European countries close to Russia, then Russia would point its missiles at the areas where these missiles are based. So the warning also affects Italy, which is presently preparing to house, from 2020, the new B61-12 bombs which are also available for the Italian Air Force - under US command.

One week before the confirmation of this « excellent » state of relations with Russia, the Conté government confirmed Italian participation in the NATO force – under US command – of 30 warships, 30 battalions and 30 aerial squadrons which can be deployed in Europe within 30 days against Russia as from 2020. Maintaining the anti-Russia function, Italian ships are taking part in NATO manoeuvres of submarine warfare. Mechanised Italian forces are part of the NATO battle group in Latvia, while two weeks ago, the Ariete Armoured Brigade was in training in Poland. Italian fighter aircraft - Eurofighter Typhoons – are deployed in Romania and Latvia.

All of this confirms that Italian foreign and military policy is not decided in Rome, but in Washington, right under the nose of the « sovereignty » attributed to the current government.

Relations with Russia, like those with China, are based on the quicksand of Italian dependency on the strategic decisions made in Washington. We only have to remember how in 2014, on orders by Washington, the Russia-Italy South Stream gas pipeline was sabotaged, causing billions of Euros of loss for Italian companies. In the absolute silence and consensus of the Italian government.

Manlio Dinucci

Translation 
Pete Kimberley

Source 
Il Manifesto (Italy)

 

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https://www.voltairenet.org/article206968.html

 

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