Thursday, March 17, 2005

Well Done Silvio!

Silvio Berlusconi seems to have put down his local insurrection. From ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) via Command Post:

Mr Berlusconi "reiterated to President Bush his wish to begin a gradual and progressive withdrawal of the Italian contingent in Iraq as quickly as possible, and if possible from September," his office said in a statement.

Mr Berlusconi said he would not act unilaterally. "If it's not possible, it's not possible, everything has to be agreed with the allies," he said. "We will do everything in a concerted manner."

Berlusconi is fighting to modernize Italy, he deserves our support, let's cut the guy some slack.

While I'm on the topic, my complaints during the Red Reporter kerfuffle been about Italian domestic reaction & their practice of paying ransom - not the the performance of the Italian Army in Iraq, which has been exemplary.

I'm a fan of the Italians as warriors - in WW2 in the Western desert, they fought toughly and honorably against the Brits. Later, during the Italian/German bombing campaign against Malta, the Brits developed the tactic of putting up lots of Spitfires before an air raid arrived. The pilots observed that this always caused a German air raid to turn back. The Italians pressed on with skill and courage, usually to their great cost, since at the time the Spitfire IX was the best fighter in the world.

Here's a post about the Sassari Brigade of the Italian Army in Iraq in 2003:

Born in 1915 in Sardinia, this famous Italian army brigade has fought its way from the bloody mountains along the border with the Austro-Hungarian Empire to defending Rome against German attack to Bosnia, Kosovo and now southern Iraq. The Sassari Brigade is now located at Camp White Horse in Nassiriya, as part of the British-commanded Multinational Division (South-East). It has taken casualties, but remains in place demonstrating the honor, integrity and courage that is this brigade’s legacy. While many Italians at home question the deployment of their sons and daughters to Iraq, these brave soldiers nonetheless acquit themselves with distinction as part of the coalition that is working tirelessly to institutionalize freedom for all Iraqis.

Bless them and Silvio Berlusconi.