The Beginning of the End

A number of people wrote to say that they liked my dad’s piece in the last newsletter; some liked it enough to forward it to others (which you are welcome to do). I liked it, too, but I’m glad and very relieved that Iraq does not, after all, look like turning into another Vietnam.

One Italian headline this morning read: “Baghdad falls, Iraqis celebrate, Pacifists embarrassed.” Indeed. It does begin to seem that, whether Bush’s reasons for going into this were right or wrong, the end result of getting rid of Saddam is appreciated by the Iraqi people. Let’s just hope we get the peace right.

Meanwhile, back in Italy… the American flag story I overheard turned out to have a backstory that I had missed. It was reported in the papers that someone in Milan had hung an American flag on their balcony; subsequently the entrance door to the entire building was ripped out by vandals. So, in the case I heard about nearer to home, the condo association’s fears (that an American flag on display would result in building damage) were fully justified. Probably the homeowner’s association of the first building are now arguing about who should pay for the repairs.

Rossella has been telling me about her classmates’ discussions about the war. Some of these kids say they are Communist, which they assume automatically means anti-war. Others say they are Fascist. I wonder if any of them know what either term actually means? Many make sweeping statements like: “Of course everyone’s for peace.” But one girl in her class is well-informed, and expounds her views very skillfully; Ross thinks she’ll grow up to be a politician. This Lucia has told her classmates that America has actually been at war since September 11th, and that, while war is bad, some wars, including this one, are justified. I am glad to see that at least one kid in the bunch thinks for herself, and says what she thinks.

April 14, 2003

Yesterday there was a street fair on Viale Monza, and Forza Italia (Berlusconi’s political party) had a booth selling flags. The US and British ones were most prominently displayed (and largest), alongside Italian and Forza Italia flags, and some of a design I’d never seen before, saying “Liberta’ e Pace” (freedom and peace). Trying to make local political capital out of a victory in which Italy barely participated…

LT Smash

August 28, 2003

I’ve been reading his weblog from the war zone since March; he’s a very good writer, with a wry sense of humor that well suits the situation he found himself in. Now he’s finally arrived home after eight months in the Gulf.

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