Nipawin -Monday, November 12, 2001 - by: Mario deSantis (editor's note: this article was written November 11, 2001)


As an Italian I have had my impressions on how other people and myself look at Italians. The movie 'La Dolce Vita' by director Federico Fellini portrayed the decadent aspect of night life in Via Vittorio Veneto in Rome. The Mafia has been a scourge of our political and business life, and we all know how much we like 'le passeggiate', 'il sole', 'il mangiare' e 'il vino.' But I also recall the hard work of Italian immigrants in Switzerland, France, England, Germany and Belgium who would be cramped into small apartments to save money and who would send most of their earned money back to their families in Italy.




Time has changed for every country and as Europe is concerned we are all indebted to the United States for their economic and political assistance. Italians in general have had always a soft heart for the Americans, and we celebrated and always remember their liberation of Rome and Italy. We all know of the movie 'La Vita e' Bella' by actor and film director Roberto Benigni. But we are living in a changing world where people of all countries should come together rather than being divided.




This war against terrorism is in one way high lightening our social selfish faults and at the same time it is further alienating our social understanding of humanity. Some weeks ago I heard that the Bush administration would not rule out the use of tactical nuclear bombs in Afghanistan and I hear today that the al-Qa'eda network could be in possession of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. It is a nightmare of social misunderstanding.




But we have always emphasized in Ensign our responsibility to continuously learn and discern our social challenges, and we have found out how the collusion of politics and business has deteriorated our democracies. We have covered the business interests of President George Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney in the oil and arm industries, and we touched the hypocritical behaviour of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.




The Italian Parliament has just overwhelmingly supported the sending of Italian troops to the U.S.-led campaign in Afghanistan and as Silvio Berlusconi is concerned this reminds me of the embracing of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler in the second world war.




two demonstrations

Yesterday, we had two demonstrations in Rome, one sponsored by PM Silvio Berlusconi and supporting the war against terrorism in Afghanistan, and another demonstration supporting peace. Thousands and thousands of people have participated in these demonstrations, and in particular, Berlusconi's demonstration saw the participation of actress Sophia Loren and singers Luciano Pavarotti and Andrea Bocelli, while the peace demonstration was mostly supported by common people against the war and poverty. Media tycoon and PM Berlusconi concluded his demonstration with a speech and his last words were "God bless America, and God bless Italy."




help of

I was a little surprised about Berlusconi's invoking of God as European politicians usually don't mix religion and politics. But things for Berlusconi are different as he now needs the help of God and of his media empire as he fights charges of false accounting and bribing judges.




So as today we remember our dead who fought for our democracies, so I feel sad as I realize how distorted our democracies have become.
  Pertinent articles published in Ensign
  Italy Commits Troops for Afghan Conflict. War Lets Berlusconi Shift Focus From Political Squabbles, Corruption Charges, by Daniel Williams, Washington Post Foreign Service, November 8, 2001
  Berlusconi rally praises U.S., CNN, November 10, 2001
  IL CONTRO CORTEO HA ATTRAVERSATO ROMA FRA CORI E SLOGAN. No-Global: 'Siamo il doppio dei pro-Usa', Renato Rizzo, November 11, 2001
  Berlusconi: Tutta l'Italia unita contro il terrorismo, Ugo Magri, La Stampa, November 11, 2001