Italy Should Make Friends with the US Public and the World By Kicking Out the US Military

By David Swanson

In the late 1980s when I was a teenager and an exchange student in Bassano del Grappa I loved Italy for the same reasons. I found Italians on average to be friendly, kind, generous, loving, fun-loving, humble, self-critical, and intelligent. It was also very cool when I told other young people that I was from the US. Older people told me that the United States had saved Italy from Nazism.

I didn't know enough to point out that the US government and US elite had fueled the rise of Nazism which had drawn on Wall Street funding, US segregation laws, US eugenics programs, US camps for Native Americans, and the support of the US government. I didn't know enough to point out the United States, but they were in Italy for the purpose of aggressively attacking other countries for reasons that were anything but rescuing people from Nazism. I did not know that the US government had considered Russia to threat to extreme wealth, inequality, and global domination, and had viewed the Soviet Union as the primary enemy of the Nazism and fascism, right through the war, and following .

I didn't know the US left troops and saboteurs and spies behind, interfered in Italian politics, and viewed Italy from Day 1 (day 1 in US cultures is Pearl Harbor Day) anti-imperialism.

I had no clue that there was more than one way for people to be saved or to save itself. I had attended the best schools in the United States. US troops in Vicenza, who was I to question?

I made friends with one of those US troops, skipped school, and went skiing with him. He was quite a nice guy, nothing violent about him. Nobody told me what the US military did, that it was nuclear weapons in Italy, that it was poisoned Sardinia that mass murder, that it was airplanes, that it was paid to something to be paid for something sociopathic. Italians told me that the most offensive thing US troops did wear blue jeans to go skiing.

I'd never heard of Evian, France, not far from Italy.

I'd never heard of Smedley Butler, Veterans For Peace or one of the heroes of that group. Here was the most decorated about only looking forward as he sent Speaking badly of Mussolini was bad for US-Italian relations. The US government loved Mussolini. So, Smedley was locked up. But later, the wealthiest people in the United States tried to hire Smedley to lead a fascist coup against President Roosevelt. Historians think it might have succeeded, except that Smedley went to Congress and exposed the plot. He also denounced war and his own career as a criminal racket.

Years later, when I knew a tiny bit of what I should have, I visited Vicenza to participate in protests against base expansion. I also met with US Congress members in Washington together with Cinzia Bottene and Thea Valentina Garbellin, two of the leaders of the No Dal Molin resistance to the bases. I remember the Congress members and staffers wanting to ask only one question: If not in Vicenza, then where should we put at the base? And Thea and Cinzia, to their eternal credit, answered: Nowhere! - which was far more polite than where I wanted to tell them to stick it.

US and NATO bases are not helping Italy. They're not protecting Italy from. . . well, from what? They have no enemy. The United States spends half of the world's military spending. The other NATO is badgered by Donald Trump into spending another quarter. That's three-quarters of world military spending. NATO nations also account for some three quarters of foreign weapons sales. The regions of the globe The United States sells weapons to 73% US and NATO wars generated enemies. The results are comical. Russia spends a few percent of what NATO does on war.

So, Congress members shamelessly claim that expanding NATO to Russia's border is a job program for weapons jobs in the United States. Jack Matlock said this to Vladimir Putin who looked at him like he was crazy. US military administrators anonymously admit to US newspapers that the whole new cold war is driven .

NATO has now illegally and disastrously bombed Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Libya, exacerbated tensions with Russia, and increased the risk of nuclear apocalypse. But US media tells us NATO is a way to cooperate with anyone - and that NATO is a way to legalize wars, as a crime is not a crime when you get a gang together for it. Mental health has taken root in Europe that plans are developing for a European military. The solution to NATO is not to clone it.

The house that we make at World BEYOND War is that, not only can be war be justified on its own, but no war can be achieved. Three percent of US military spending could end starvation globally; a little over 1 percent We are facing a serious and serious dream of. Tiny bits of the military budget in humanitarian aid could make a nation loved and honored around the world rather than resented. War is a cause of environmental destruction, of refugee crises, of the erosion of civil liberties

By building a coalition that takes on the other evils it contributes to, we can find numbers and power to change things. Washington, the climate on September 23rd

World BEYOND War is working on three areas. One is education. To talk about college classes, and in less than an hour Another is divestment. We're getting local governments and investment funds to take money out of weapons. The third is closing bases.

I believe that Italy should make friends with the US public and the people of the world by kicking US bases out. I highly recommend showing the video by CNGNN called “Italy is One Big US / NATO Military Base.” Second, let's know how to pay for the bases, troops, weapons, and related wars. Tell them you want to save them money. They love money. Third, I give you all the money I need to pay. Fourth, investigate the poisoning of drinking water in US bases all over the world. These chemicals are found in foam used to practice putting out fires, and much of the world uses safe alternatives. Fifth, make sure everybody in Italy knows what they are paying, and that is what the United States can do without it, because it has airplanes, and knows that the United States views Italy as a colony, and knows that the United States builds its bases and poisons the environment without conceding any rights to Italians, and knows that Donald Trump thinks they are idiots, and that they are millions of people in the United States .

By the way, a law passed by the US House but not by the Senate would require that the US safer. So please start preparing reports on a base that does NOT make US more "secure."

BEYOND War with the United States of America. We are working to end that practice and establish Ireland as a model of neutrality.

I'm going to pass around two countries to help me end up having to sign in. Perhaps one of these years we can have our conference and rally in Italy.

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