15 February 2013: Barack Obama receives his Italian homologue, Giorgio Napolitano at the White House
© Presidency of the Italian Republic

“Love for the Italian people”: so declared President Obama on receiving President Napolitano at the White House “the day after St Valentines Day”. Why so much love? The Italian people “welcome and host our troops on their soil”.
A welcome much appreciated by the Pentagon, which has in Italy, (according to official data published in 2012) 1485 buildings, covering an area of 942,000 m2, as well as 996,000m2 on lease or license. They are located on 37 main sites (bases and other military structures) and 22 minor ones. In just one year, the number of US soldiers stationed in Italy has increased by more than 1,500 and now exceeds 10,000. Together with civilian employees, the Pentagon now has a total of around 14,000 members of staff in Italy.

In addition to US military structures are the structures of US-led Nato. For example, you have the Interforce Command, with its new headquarters at Lake Patria (Naples). “Hosting” some of the most important US/Nato military structures, Italy plays a cardinal role in the US strategy that, following the war in Libya, is not only targeting Syria and Iran but is going even further, shifting its central focus to the Asia/Pacific region to confront a China on the rise.

To co-involve their European allies in such strategies, Washington has to strengthen the Atlantic Alliance, including economic ties. We then move to a draft of an “agreement for EU/US free trade” proposed by Obama in his meeting with Napolitano. An agreement that elicits the unconditional support of the Italian President even before it is set in writing and its economic implications for the Italian economy (notably for SMEs and agricultural undertakings) can be assessed. At issue, emphasizes Napolitano, is a “new historical stage in EU/US relations, not simply with respect to economic matters but also political ones”.

Thus what is proposed is an “Economic Nato” functional to the Western economic and political system which the US controls. Supported by large multinational groups such as the powerful US bank Goldman Sachs. Its name is a guarantee: Goldman Sachs participated in an international rigging of subprime loans and thus became a contributing cause to a financial crisis, that spread from the United States to infest Europe. Then Goldman Sachs speculated on the European crisis, instructing its premier clients on how to to make money on the crisis and immediately afterwards, by selling to the Italian government (thanks to Napolitano) its international consultant, Mario Monti. The government is then instantly guaranteed by the Secretary of the Partito Democratico, Bersani, as “authoritative and highly technical”. Bersani was the very person, interviewed by America 24, who now declares that “in the tradition of the centre-left government which has absolute trust in its friend, the United States, we wholeheartedly support that mechanisms of free trade are created between Europe and the United States.”

So whatever the outcome of the elections, Italy’s membership of the Economic Nato is guaranteed.

Anoosha Boralessa
Il Manifesto (Italy)