Tuesday, January 07, 2003

An article appeared in yesterday's Vanguardia that made me so indignant that I've just barely managed to calm down. It reports the publishing in Spanish of a 1993 Italian book by "Communist militant" Rossana Rossanda and Carla Mosca consisting of interviews with Mario Moretti, leader of the terrorist gang the Red Brigades. The Red Brigades are most famous for the 1978 kidnap-murder of former Italian prime minister Aldo Moro. (I think they killed an American general or someone like that, too, among their other sundry crimes.)

Says Ms. Rossanda, "The Red Brigades were not a criminal or terrorist group, but a political phenomenon." Look, the emergence of the Green Party is a political phenomenon. The claim of both the old Italian Communists and neo-Fascists to have become democratic parties is a political phenomenon. The fact that the Nader voters threw the 2000 election to Bush is a political phenomenon. Killing people and blowing up stuff for political reasons are terrorist crimes.

Ms. Rossanda also says that "the Red Brigades used political violence, but they were neither inspired by nor organized like the IRA or ETA. Their objective was not to sow terror indiscriminately." Oh, so they only terrorized the people who deserved it, huh? Bullshit. I remember the stories out of Italy in the late '70s, and there were terrorist attacks right and left (literally) in those days. Seemed like every day there was another bomb in the Rome airport. (I remember a '70s board game in which one had to build up an airline. The worst possible destination was Rome because like every three turns there was a hijacking there.)

Moretti, in the book, claims that he personally killed Moro. "I wouldn't have let anyone else do it. It was a terrible test. You wear the scar for the rest of your life." Oh, how psychologically tragic. Moretti's life should have been pretty short after his arrest and conviction for murder and terrorism; the noose, the firing squad, the guillotine, or the lethal injection would have been appropriate methods of ensuring that he would not be long troubled by his scar.

And these Italian so-called journalists are apologizing and making excuses for him. Ahh, Europe, the continent where the Americans are brutal warmongers but the Red Brigades are idealist dreamers.

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