LEFT'S AMERICAN ADVISOR
the Euro-commie Left is all in a lather, screeching that
Berlusconi leads an alliance of "racists," separatists,
and neo-fascists, the establishment media has joined in:
The Economist has denounced him as "unfit to govern
Italy," the New York Times has echoed the leftist
charges, and the Wall Street Journal has questioned
his personal integrity while hinting at the profound incorrectness
of his politics. The ugliness of the campaign, as it enters
the home stretch with Berlusconi still ahead, is taking
on Clintonian proportions and that's no accident.
His chief political advisor is Democratic pollster Stan
Greenberg, who has run similar campaigns for the likes
of Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Tony Blair, and Nelson Mandela,
and is well-practiced in the art of the Clintonian smear.
Greenberg had better reexamine his tactics, because one
curious aspect of this international hate campaign is
that it seems almost designed to backfire, and provoke
a backlash among Italian voters. What could enrage the
average Italian voter more than the opening salvo of The
Economist's editorial barrage:
any self-respecting democracy it would be unthinkable
that the man assumed to be on the verge of being elected
prime minister would recently have come under investigation
for, among other things, money-laundering, complicity
in murder, connections with the Mafia, tax evasion and
the bribing of politicians, judges and the tax police.
But the country is Italy and the man is Silvio Berlusconi,
almost certainly its richest citizen."
sneering curl of the British lip that uttered these words,
the contemptuous upper-crusty tone, can well be imagined:
oh, those Italians! Why, everybody knows
they're just a bunch of ignorant cafones [peasants],
dishonest, licentious, and criminally anarchic. How dare
they imagine that they will ever be on a par with us?!
the editors of The Economist fail to mention, however,
is that Berlusconi has been largely acquitted
of the charges, which were spurious
to begin with. What everybody in Italy knows is that the
persecution of Berlusconi by left-wing (i.e. Communist)
officials has been relentless and entirely
unsuccessful. IL Cavaliere has beaten them
all and that is one good reason why they hate him.
chief accusation against him seems to be that an entrepreneur
the upstart Berlusconi empire is now calculated
to be one of the largest in Europe cannot be a
politician because of an inevitable "conflict of interest."
The anti-capitalist prejudice of this position is part
of European elite culture, which aristocratically disdains
all commerce as irredeemably corrupt and all businessmen
as crooks. Naturally, by these lights, a lifelong politician,
who has never had to meet a payroll and has lived off
the plunder of taxes all his life, has no comparable "conflict
of interest," no inherent interest in constantly expanding
the already-bloated body of the state.
OUT THE BIG GUNS
to ax 60,000 laws and regulations currently choking
off the productive energy of Italian society, but it isn't
only his populist and anti-statist rhetoric that makes
the establishment nervous: while Berlusconi pays lip service
to "the European idea," some of his coalition partners
are openly contemptuous of the EU. The Northern
League of Umberto Bossi has long jeered at the vision
of a borderless Europa, and the Allianza Nationale,
the "post-fascist" successor to the old MSI [Italian Social
Movement], similarly sees Brussels as a threat to Italian
sovereignty. The "hate Berlusconi" campaign has made much
of the deal
struck between Sicily's Fiamma Tricolore
party, and Berlusconi's "House of Freedom" ticket
to not field candidates against each other. What they
invariably fail to point out is that the Communists signed
on to an identical pact with these purported "extreme
rightists" in the 1996 elections, in which Berlusconi's
government was toppled by the Communist-led "Olive Tree"
Popular Front. Not only that, but the left circulated
petitions to get extreme rightist candidates on the ballot
(the idea being to split the right-wing vote on the first
ballot): naturally, this is almost never mentioned in
press accounts reporting the controversy. The Left is
engaged in a massive smear campaign, and, with the cooperation
of the mainstream media, is rolling out the big guns,
denouncing alleged "racism" and "xenophobia" in the Berlusconi
camp as the election campaign goes into its final days.
the eyes of the Left, the great sin of the Italian nationalists,
and especially of Bossi's Lega Nord, is not any
authentically fascist vision, but the political impact
of their anti-immigration initiatives on the local level.
The right-wing parties recently sponsored a series of
popular referendums on the immigration issue, in response
to the rapid influx of the Albanian Mafia, and subsequent
skyrocketing crime rates, and this stance contradicts
the Euro-commie project of constructing a "multi-cultural"
society. Bossi is constantly inveighing against the retrograde
influence of Islam on Italian culture and traditions.
Not only that, but these parties openly defended Joerg
Haider, demonized by the Left for similar "sins" of political
incorrectness, and actively opposed the Kosovo war
"united" Europe's first military campaign. For this latter
sin they are deemed "anti-American" as well as "anti-European"
two designations that are badges of honor, given
the methods and motives of their accusers.
smear campaign, in which the Wall Street Journal
joins hands with the former Communist Party of Italy,
is vulnerable to an effective counterattack by Berlusconi,
who points to the Stalinist heritage of his opponents
at every opportunity. While small parties such as the
Fiamma Tricolore are on the margins of the "House
of Freedom" coalition, the "former" Communists of the
"Party of the Democratic Left," are the activist core
of the leftist coalition. While left-wing candidate Francesco
Rutelli, the mayor of Rome, is a former Radical Party
national secretary, he is just a front for the "ex-"Commies
who will have the largest parliamentary bloc and will
get the lion's share of the ministries if the Left wins.
Another key element of the left-wing Popular Front is
the "Refounded" Communist Party, which disdains the namby-pamby
olive tree symbol of their newly social-democratized brethren
and is sticking with the good old hammer-and-sickle. But
the Euro-socialist elite is more than willing to forgive
and forget the "excesses" of Leninism, whose practitioners
can always be "reformed." However, a far sterner standard
is applied to the Right.
same Eurocrats who gave us the Kosovo war, and are now
trying to establish Brussels as the capital of a new international
socialist project, have set their sights on Italy, where
a national self-awakening seems to be taking place. The
backlash against their brazen attempt to seize and centralize
power in a United Socialist States of Europe is rising
throughout the continent, not only in Italy but also in
Serbia (with the rise of President Vojislav Kostunica),
in Switzerland and Denmark (with the defeat of the EU
in popular referenda), and in England (with the rise of
Eurosceptism as an organized tendency within the Conservative
Party). The chief aim of the Eurocrats is to delegitimize
and even criminalize all opposition to their
continental hegemony. The anti-Haider campaign, and now
the anti-Berlusconi offensive, confirms the importance
of an ominous trend. For the chief development on the
Left in the post-cold war world has been the de facto
re-merging of the Second
Internationals. Like their Leninist predecessors, the
Euro-socialists are not opposed, in principle, to banning
and jailing their opponents. Social Democratic Germany
already bans a wide variety of rightist groups under the
guise of fighting "neo-Nazis," the French convicted Jean-Marie
Le Pen of a "hate crime" for slapping a woman who spit
in his face, and England is fast moving in the same direction
of banning all "hate thoughts." The ultimate goal of the
Eurocrats is a totalitarian "democracy" that spans the
continent, headquartered in Brussels: but now Italy stands
in their way.
the soft-on-Leninism but hard-on-"neo-fascism" double-standard
is raised by Berlusconi's defenders, the Left comes back
with the argument that, unlike Fiamma Tricolore,
the "refounded" Italian Communist Party is "committed
to the democratic process." But what, exactly, does the
democratic process consist of in Italy? In a word: fraud.
Berlusconi has made Italian election fraud a big issue,
and thus challenged the very legitimacy of the Italian
state. "In 1996," he declares, "1,170,000 ballots were
destroyed. In Italy, the left has a long tradition of
electoral fraud. Today, all [polling] institutes agree
that in reality we won, with a lead of between 10-15%."
Italy is not a democratic country," he says, pointing
to his own legal persecution at the hands of Communist
prosecutors, and most Italians knowingly nod their heads.
"None of the governments which have succeeded that of
Romano Prodi have been legitimized by the people." The
clear implication is that the "reformed" Commies will
try their best to steal it from him again and of
course any protest will be yet more proof that the Italian
Right is not committed to the "democratic process."
Italian law forbids polling in the period just before
an election, the last results showed IL Cavaliere
headed for victory. But that will be just the first round
of this Italian Knight's battle. The Eurocrats are already
poised for a vicious counterattack, up to and including
political and perhaps even economic sanctions. While the
Belgian foreign minister has been particularly outspoken
in this regard, others have held back, waiting for the
election results, and, of course, the right signals from
the powers-that-be. The commercial and political interests
that have invested heavily in the creation of a European
super-state have clearly targeted Berlusconi for destruction.
If they succeed, it will in large part be due to the passive
cooperation of Washington.
the Eurocrats targeted Austria, and imposed sanctions
in response to the entry of the Freedom Party into the
Austrian government, the United States not only went along
with it, but Mad Madeleine Albright egged them on, denouncing
Haider as "unacceptable" and taking diplomatic measures
against Vienna. If the threat to impose sanctions on Italy
is carried out, would Washington go along with it? It's
an open question, and that, in itself, is cause for alarm.
For what Berlusconi represents is nothing less than the
revival not only of the Italian economy, and the loosening
of the state's regulatory grip on the throat of local
industry, but a revival of the Italian spirit, which is
historically so tied up with the entrepreneurial spirit.
Berlusconi is denounced for his wealth, his success, his
defiance of the state's best efforts to take him down
all primary reasons for his soaring popularity
among ordinary Italians, and one can only hope
the key to his coming victory.
THE 'HOUSE OF FREEDOM'
Italy, the "House of Freedom" is expanding to include
the middle classes, the youth, the north, the south, a
nation divided by regionalisms but united in defense of
its diversity, its sovereignty, and its common history.
No smear campaign has the power to bring it down: indeed,
in the long run, the smear methods of the globalists and
the Left harden its defenses and make it all the more