Earlier this week, TG5 broke the story that Italy is under the threat of a possible terrorist attack:
It was 12:45 when the wire services broke the news that Italy is among the possible objectives of islamic terrorism. The secret services affirm the story: in the semi-annual report that CESIS [Executive Committee for Intelligence and Security] sent to the House and Senate, it is affirmed that our country is among the possible objectives of Islamic terrorism, and that the perception of the risk on the part of the intelligence apparati regard, in particular, the "temporal window between the Winter Olympics and the April 9 elections." On the operational level, the threat "still remains connected to the ample recourse to kamikaze tactics, but even the threat of a chemical or information attack must not be neglected."Distressing news made even more distressing by two accompanying spasms of dhimmitude. In the first, an Italian MP gets slapped down by the EU for wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with one of the Danish cartoons:
[...]The T-shirt, worn by the Italian reform minister and member of the Lega Nord, carries a print of the now infamous drawing of Islam's prophet Mohammed with a turban shaped like a bomb – one of the cartoons that is causing uproar among muslims worldwide.In the second--and by far more disturbing case--an Italian court upheld a ruling by a lower court acquitting three North Africans of charges of terrorism.
Roberto Calderoli recently unbuttoned his shirt on state television to show he was wearing a T-shirt with a stencilled copy of the carricature.
"I want rights to be recognised and my T-shirt represents a battle for freedom," the minister said, according to Italian media.
The minister's statement has caused turmoil in the Independence/Democracy (IND/DEM) group in the European Parliament, to which the Lega Nord is affiliated.
The group is asking Lega Nord MEPs to leave, or else be expelled.
On Thursday (16 February) the group's bureau - with representatives for the national parties to the parliament group - met for a brief round of discussion on what to do next.
A formal vote among all group members is set for next Tuesday, with two third of votes needed to exclude the Italian party from IND/DEM.
According to the chairman of the group, Danish MEP Jens-Peter Bonde, the Lega Nord has been given the choice to leave the group voluntarily, following a clear hint from the majority of leaders from the national delegations that their Italian colleagues were no longer welcome.
If my fellow-Yanks living on the other side of the pond think there's a problem with political correctness back home, wait till they get a load of this:
A panel of Italian judges upheld the November acquittals of three North Africans on international terror charges, ruling that recruiting suicide bombers to fight against U.S. soldiers is not terrorism, a lawyer said Thursday.I'll bet you're ready for that ray of hope right about now:
The verdict by the Milan judges, released Wednesday, echoes an earlier one in the case when a lower court judge ruled the actions of the three men were those of guerrillas, not terrorists.
Government officials condemned the latest ruling. Justice Minister Roberto Castell apologized to the victims of suicide attacks and their relatives, saying "there is in me a great feeling of shame, bitterness and powerlessness."
"At this point, I feel I have the duty to apologize to the hundreds of children, women and men who were massacred by suicide bombers, and to their relatives," he said in a statement carried by Italian news agencies.
Italy has been a firm ally of the U.S.-led effort in Iraq and has peacekeeping troops there despite strong opposition to the war in Italy.
The judges ruled that recruiting suicide bombers could not be considered terrorism because during an armed conflict the only acts that count as terrorism are "acts exclusively directed against a civilian population," according to a copy of the ruling given to The Associated Press.
"The recruitment of volunteers in Iraq to fight against the Americans cannot be considered under any circumstance terrorist activity," it adds.
The three North Africans had been accused of recruiting suicide bombers for Iraq. Officially, they were charged with international terrorism, a charge introduced in Italy after Sept. 11, 2001.
The prosecutor had sought prison terms from six to 10 years.
But in ruling in January 2005, a judge acquitted Moroccan Mohamed Daki and Tunisians Ali Ben Sassi Toumi and Bouyahia Maher of international terrorism charges, ruling their actions were those of guerrillas, not terrorists.
The case has highlighted the frequent failure by prosecutors in Italy to win cases against terror suspects.
A suitable symbol for expressing the high foundation of civil values, of tolerance, mutual respect, value of the [human] person: this, or at least this, too, is the Crucifix, which therefore must remain in the schools, left untouched. A ninteen-pate sentence with which the state council rejected the complaint presented by a married couple from Padova. Soile Lautsi, a Finnish citizen, and her husband of five years, were asking for the removal of the symbol of the Catholic religion from the halls of this school that their children attend. After the school board denied their request, the decision of the Constitutional Court--to declare itself incompetent [to render judgement in the case] - and the rejection of the tar [Regional Administrative Court of Law], the only recourse that remained was to the state council, which was overruled yesterday. But Dr. Albertin is by no means prepared to surrender. Together with his wife, he is prepared to continue his fight all the way to the European Court of the Rights of Man, if necessary. On the other hand, the principal of the school of Abano believes that the case will be over soon--the school in which the Crucifix has always remained. And the parents of many of the students who attend the school--even those who are foreigners--think so as well.As for my 2006 predictions for il bel paese?
It is clear enough to me that all the other numbers on the roulette wheel are going to be losers for Italy, save two. One that has kept on making money is Italy's world-class intelligence and special operations units. (And please, God, for the sake of my family, may it continue to come up a winner.) The other one--the one on which Pope Benedict has stacked his chips--is a revival of Catholic faith among Italians.
If a terrorist attack is ever successuflly carried out in Italy, it's possible that the majority of the Italians will assume the fetal dhimmi position. Their courts have certainly not given them any reason for confidence that they will be protected by the legal system. (Sound familiar, my fellow-Americans?) Yet there are other signs, like the time when the Italians protested the Iranian madman's call for the destruction of Israel, that point in the opposite direction.
I think that, like most outsiders, the Islamofascists greatly underestimate the Italians. That they confuse Italian institutions with the people who have managed to preserve a life revolving around conversation, food, and family by confounding the very institutions that profess to represent them, but in fact very rarely do so--whether they are run by their fellow countrymen or by foreigners. Lepanto is a fairy tale found in history books. Caporetto and the Naples uprising were forgotten before the last man who fought in those places perished. No one seems to remember or care how many foreign conquerers came to Sicily--came and went. Or that the Sicilians themselves remain.
Perhaps such an attack will never take place on Italian soil. But if it does, I have a hunch that its perpetrators will be in for shock and awe beyond their wildest nightmares.