Article by Marc Aupiais
Controversial, and vocal billionaire: Italy's Prime Minister: Silvio Berlusconi, has been pulling out all the stops for the infamous Libyan leader: Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, of whom Reuters reported, on Thursday, as having spoken to Italian Senators, having been invited to speak to the Italian Senate. In this speech, he seemingly compared the Vatican to North Korea, and further, to Afghanistan under the Taliban. He made Saddam Hussein out to be a hero, and neglected some facts in a contentious speech.
Continuing his not unexpected attack on the Western World, the Libyan military dictator, continued: comparing a U.S. (United States of America) plane strike in the '80's, which killed his daughter: to an Al Qaeda attack. Here, ignoring the Libyan counterstrike, against an Island, and not against America, he treated America as a Terrorist.
A quotation of the first comparison, by Reuters which notes of the Dictator's speech: while quoting the dictator is:
"[The Libyan leader was] Arguing that the world should have room for "regimes of all kinds" including "revolutionary" Libya, he asked: "What's wrong with North Korea wanting to be communist? Or Afghanistan being in the hands of the mullahs? Is not the Vatican a respectable theocratic state with embassies all over the world?""A second quotation, of such a question put forth by the Dictator, from the same source: on the speech is:
(Reuters (Secular; British; independent) 11 / 06 (June) / 2009)
""What difference is there between the American attack on our homes in 1986 and [B]in Laden's terrorist actions?" he [the Libyan leader] asked. "If [Al Qaeda leader: Osama] [B]in Laden has no state and is an outlaw, America is a state with international rules.""
As the apparent World Economic Crisis, has continued to unroll, Europe, also has become increasingly aware of their needs of, and dependent on Russian oil, and gas. Italy, seeing gloom and doom on the horizon, has increasingly attempted to attract investment from Libya in its companies, and currently buys about one quarter (1/4: 25% [Twenty-Five Percent]) of their oil and over 30% (Thirty Percent) of their gas, from the infamous North African dictatorship/nation (c.f. . EuroNews (Secular; French; very Liberal/Leftist) 10 / 06 (June) / 2009 ).
Silvio Berlusconi's recent dealings with Libya, including the turning away of refugees (at least about 37 000 (Thirty-Seven Thousand) a year attempt the trip to Europe via Italy, while several thousand have already allegedly been towed back to Libya: c.f. . EuroNews (Secular; French; very Liberal/Leftist) 10 / 06 (June) / 2009 ): and their direct deportation back into the military dictatorship: Libya, without any consideration of asylum, has gained Italy: Vatican Criticism, as well as that of groupings purporting to promote the Western Value of Human Rights.
Berlusconi, is an important representative of the Right Wing of Italy's political spectrum, which generally gains the support of some church figures for anti-euthanasia etc stances, despite this religious support for his side of Italian politics (Excluding aspects inter alia of his Human Rights Record): he has been accused of multiple sexual flings with actresses, and (by left leaning AFP) of only falling for the woman he had married, after seeing her upper half, as she performed (as an "actress") with a certain lack of attire on stage. While his public opposition to some extent against Euthanasia, and other such positions he's taken, against extremely left-wing incursions into Italy, have gained much support from the Vatican. Some other choices, including his personal life choices, and his alleged human rights ignoring policies regarding refugees, have gained strong criticism from Church, and societal figures.
His dealings with Refugees, desperate to escape their harsh, and controlled lives in Libya: have gained Berlusconi a harsh reputation as regards some aspects of (UN Defined version of) Human Rights. International sanctions against Libya, were officially ended in 2003, when the African dictatorship, decided to officially end development of what Reuters, in their article: has termed "Weapons of Mass Destruction".
When comparing the Vatican to North Korea, and to previous Afghanistan, the Libyan military dictator, who came to power in a coop, was attempting to justify the practices of what are known internationally as pariah states. He particularly noted the Vatican, a center of some notable moral and spiritual power in the Western World as what he termed a "theocracy": ignoring the fact that all citizens of the Vatican, except the pope are temporary, and that its laws, until recently, under recent Italian governments: had been based, not on theology, but on Italian law, and that it still largely bases them on Italian Laws: but with mind to choose which new laws to adopt.
The fact, that Berlusconi, has allowed the infamous dictator, to visit Italy, and that Italy, last year had agreed to pay, and did pay: a vast sum of about Five Billion US Dollars to Libya in reparation for alleged Italian Human Rights abuses under the equally infamous fascists, during colonialism (the current Italian government does so: ignoring Libya's alleged ongoing abuses of what are known as Human Rights, despite such government paying for previous alleged ignoring, or abusing of Human Rights?), and that the Libyan Dictator: wore a photograph, showing a revolutionary (Omar Al Mokhtar: so-called "Lion of The Desert"), who the Italians allegedly put to death, during their Fascist lead occupation of Libya, certainly seem to say that this move by Italy's government, is due to the economic profits to be gained from the deal.
Italy's Left, which is often noted for disagreement with the Church, and for the Vatican's disagreements with it: has taken a stance against the privileges given the infamous dictator, with a major leftest party, directly questioning the visit.
It must be noted, that Italy's occupation of Libya, under Fascist rule, is very likely to have had an administrative purpose, which committed atrocities, but further, that ignoring of current issues, seems to make reparations only symbolic.
Leftest students, had hurled smoke bombs, as well as red paint which hit police shields, as the Colonel in Charge of Libya, visited an Italian university, and the Left-Wing, had today prevented the dictator from speaking in the main Senate Chamber, even though the Libyan leader, had been allowed, in any case: to speak to the Italian Senate.
What has made most headlines, is the Libyan's comparisons: connecting the West, with terrorism, and other such things. When speaking of a U.S. air-strike on Tripoli, he did not mention the Lybian response, which was aimed at seeming innocents also.
The Libyan Dictator, is staying in a tent erected at: "Villa Pamphili" (BBC World News (British; Secular independent) 10 / 60 (June) / 2009 ;), in Italy's Capital City: Rome, during his three day visit.
The Italian change of Policy was, perhaps best put by Italy's Prime Minister, on Wednesday, while greeting the Libyan leader:
""This event symbolises a great change in the relations between Italy and Libya after many difficult years...""
(BBC World news(British; Secular independent) 10 / 60 (June) / 2009 )
While controversial, the new trade ties between Italy, and Libya, follow a general international trend, which has seen many Western Nations, opening trade relations inter alia with China, with Russia, and with many other Nations, which still have poor records in Democracy, and as regards Western beliefs about Human Rights. While the opposition in Italy, is certainly being sure to make a fuss about the visit, both the Left Wing and Right Wing of global politics, have increasingly opted for convenient economic solutions, with leaders such as the Libyan one.
With the Global Economic Crisis, taking a focus, as with Global Warming: there are increasing fears that Humanitarian Situations, and the plight of citizens who have little say in their conditions, will increasingly take a back road, to convenient economic and social policies.
Libya, currently hold the rotating chair of the presidency of the African Union (AU), despite it's record on human rights. Something not unusual in many African States.
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