The sense of sacrifice moves us. War can become admirable. Recipe: (1) find a young and likeable hero (2) praise his commitment and his altruistic death (3) claim that he was defending the good guys from the bad guys (4)say nothing about the horrors we have commited. This operation is still working – over and over again.
Yesterday in Pisa, approximately 5,000 children and adolescents from 212 classes participated in the « Day of Solidarity » in memory of Major Nicola Ciardelli of the Parachute Regiment (Lightning), who was killed on 27 April 2006 in a « terrible terrorist attack » in Nassirya, Iraq, during the Antica Babilonia « peace mission ». The demonstration is organised every year by the Nicola Ciardelli Association, created by his family with the essential support of the Municipality (first of all directed by the PD, today by the Lega). It has become the laboratory for a huge operation - with the collaboration of a wide range of organisations and associations – for « sensibilising young students to the importance of everyone’s engagement in the construction of a future of Peace and Solidarity ».
The example to follow is « Nicola’s engagement in favour of the populations torn apart by the conflicts – people he had met on the many missions in which he participated », during which he had « touched with his fingers the devastation of war and the agony of those who were forced to suffer them, most importantly the children ».
But no-one said anything to the 5,000 children and adolescents about the true story of the devastating war which was sparked in 2003 by the United States against Iraq, a country already subjected to an embargo which, in the space of ten years, had caused one and a half million deaths, including approximately half a million children.
No-one explained to them that in order to justify the war, « proof » was invented accusing Iraq of possessing weapons of mass destruction, which was later revealed as false.
No-one told them that in order to eradicate the resistance, Iraq was submitted to fire and brimstone, by all means possible – from phosphorous bombs against the population of Fallujah to torture in the prison of Abu Ghraib.
The Italian contingent Antica Babilonia participated in this war - defined today by the Italian Minister of Defence as « Operation Iraqui Freedom, led by the USA to overthrow Saddam Hussein’s régime in the context of the international war against terrorism ». The political advisor of its commanders, between 2005 and 2006, was the current Minister of Defence Elisabetta Trenta (Five Stars). The 185th Paratroopers Division Folgore was part of this force, tasked with the reconnaissance of target acquisition, a department of the special forces which included officer Nicola Ciardelli.
The Regiment – as documented by the Minister for Defence— « operates by infiltrating operational detachments behind enemy lines for direct actions which include the engagement of targets from a distance and all platforms of ground-based, aerial, and naval armament ». In other words, once the human « target » has been identified, it is directly eliminated by chosen shooters, or indirectly, with laser pointers which guides bombs launched by a fighter aircraft.
This was not explained to the 5,000 children and adolescents who, at the crowning moment of the Day, applauded the paratroopers of the Folgore as they descended from heaven on the Ponte di Mezzo (a bridge on the Arno in the historical centre of Pisa, translator’s note) looking to their eyes like cartoon heros who defend the good guys from the bad guys.
The case of Pisa is not an isolated one. US soldiers from the Sigonella base in Sicily – reports Antonio Mazzeo – are increasingly present in Sicilian schools, where they give lessons in English, gymnastics and other subjects. At Sigonella, a parish priest took the children for an « educational visit », and also, in the bases at Puglia, there are « alternating school/work » courses for school-children. Similar cases have been recorded in other regions.
What is going on here is a real operation of military conquest of the minds of the young generations (and not those alone). Are there any teachers, students and parents available to stand against this invasion, by organising in order to advance, against the culture of war, te culture of peace?
Il Manifesto (Italy)