Previous posts in this discussion:
PostA New Divided Europe? (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy, 05/16/20 4:06 am)
The Italian newspaper La Stampa published on 15 May an interview with the great lawyer John Phillips, the former US ambassador in Rome 2013-2017. His family originated from Italy and changed the name from Filippi.
In the interview, Phillips talked about Russiagate and accused the Russians of meddling in Italian politics. He stated, "Yes, of course, to obstruct their propaganda was one of my most important duties. The Russians are terrible."
The nice fellow is a great lawyer but a poor historian. What has been going on from 1945 to the present?
More precisely, it has "only" been since the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 CE that the Italian peninsula has been coveted for its geopolitical importance by various powers--first the Barbarians and the Eastern Roman Empire, then the Holy Roman Empire and the Temporal Power (the curse of Italy) of the Holy See, France, and Spain/Austria, and finally the Western powers and the Central empires.
Also during the only 20 years that Italy was really independent since 476 CE, the tug of war to grab an alliance with Italy went on until the Deep States of the Western Powers decided that the new social policies of Mussolini in Italy and overseas were too threatening to their interests. Therefore, the solution was to push him into the enemy camp to wipe him out for good. Churchill at the beginning of his monumental History of the Second World War wrote: "Now that the British policy has pushed Mussolini into the other camp, Germany is not anymore alone."
Now, the problem is that the geopolitical tug of war is not only between the US and Russia but a third power: the People's Republic of China has entered into the game.
For the time being there is no problem, as Italy is still occupied by US forces equipped with nuclear weapons, but the future with Trump is rather unclear.
The EU is now a DE (Divided Europe) with a German economic empire, which includes Sweden, Finland, Poland (strongly pro-US), Czech Republic, Hungary (with an authoritarian nationalistic government rather friendly to Russia), Slovenia, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, and Slovakia. In reality, North Italy is also integrated within the German economic empire. Germany, in spite of being occupied is at odds with the Empire: see the North Stream 2. They are not foolish as Italy was, giving up the Gulf Stream when faced by US opposition.
Then we have peripheral states--Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece plus the Eastern part Baltic States with Romania and Bulgaria. France is a partner/rival of Germany with the same imperialistic pulsations.
Maybe for its geopolitical position we may add Erdogan's Turkey on its path toward a new Ottoman Empire ready to damage anybody.
It would be interesting to discuss the above.
JE comments: Eugenio, many would argue that Mussolini's "independence" was not what did him in, but rather his poor choice of alliances. Regardless, I want to congratulate you on the re-publication of your May 11th "Dangerous Childhood Games" post in the RSI journal L'Ultima Crociata. That black background really adds gravitas to the website! Tell us more about the Associazione Nazionale Famiglie Caduti e Dispersi della Repubblica Sociale Italiana.
And finally, in what ways is China entering the "game" for influence in Italy?
Associazione Nazionale Famiglie Caduti e Dispersi della Repubblica Sociale Italiana
(Eugenio Battaglia, Italy
05/19/20 4:54 AM)
Commenting on my post of 16 May, our esteemed moderator asked for more information on the "Associazione Nazionale Famiglie Caduti e Dispersi della Repubblica Sociale Italiana."
After the savage slaughter following the Italian Civil War, the combatants and followers of the RSI on 26 December 1946 founded the party "Movimento Sociale Italiano." It was not a revival of Fascism, as its motto was "No restoration, No repudiation," but then with the Cold War it became a right-wing but socialist-leaning party. After some initial doubts, it supported NATO and had a pro-US position. The Movement was fairly successful until 1995, when the party under the disastrous leadership of Fini became the "Alleanza Nazionale" and abandoned its original ideas. This was the reason why it disappeared.
Also, non-political associations of combatants were founded by veterans of the various army groups, all united under the National Federation of Combatants of the RSI. Now, due the passing of time, the most important group is the "Raggruppamento Combatants RSI and Ideal Continuity," including the sympathizers from the younger generations.
Already in 1947, there was an organization, Families of the Fallen and Missing of the RSI. The first leader was Mario Arillo of the elite X MAS, who received 1 gold medal, 2 silver medals, 1 bronze medal and 1 Iron Cross.
This group offered assistance to the families reduced to poverty by purges, confiscations, and the loss of breadwinners. They also searched for the burial places of the killed. The latter mystery has never been completely solved. A friend of mine never found the burial place of his father, who was taken away by the Reds and never found.
Supposedly he lies somewhere in the hills not far from my house. We went looking for the grave with a good metal detector, but the device is useless if the guy had been stripped and beaten to death. There is a suspicious place, a cemented picnic area, in the middle of the woods but, of course, we cannot get permission to look there. It is an old trick to hide corpses under cement; in this place, according to unconfirmed rumors, there may be 8 soldiers of the San Marco Division. Savona, Vado Ligure, and Quiliano became another terrible Triangle of Death.
On 25 April 1950 the journal L'Ultima Crociata started publication, and proudly continues today as a witness to the RSI and its men/women.
On other topics, most of Italy, except Campania, has begun a partial opening of the lockdown. Thank God, I see that the coronavirus situation is improving in the US.
My congratulations and admiration to Edward Jaiko and Edward Mears for their excellent geographical research.
About China, which is a very interesting (and dangerous?) topic, I will write more in a couple of days. I am presently very busy in my fields, planting, cutting grass, and fighting against a beautiful huge deer that smashes down my corral and eats all my strawberries and vegetables.
JE comments: Deer are the most beautiful pests imaginable! Their numbers rival that of humans in the vicinity of WAIS HQ. The next time you encounter Bambi(no)/Bambina in the flesh, Eugenio, can you grab a photo?
Eugenio raises an interesting topic we've never before discussed on WAIS: mutual-aid societies for the defeated in war. Their mission is always controversial, and occasionally faces danger from the winners. Also there is the inevitable Lost Cause thinking that emerges, which can be benignly "cultural" or can lead to all sorts of mischief, such as the KKK in the United States.
What do we know about the mutual-aid societies of post-war Germany and Japan?