Nowadays Italy’s official and independent Media are crying Scandal on the unprecedented use of “Public Means to favour Private Interests”.
The story started few months ago when the Italian Ministry of Defence approved the deployment of the aircraft carrier “Cavour” and its group to shuttle the African Continent and the Middle East show-casing the latest products of the armament industry Made In Italy.
The ‘mission’ was fully sponsored (financed) by the seven major producers (from FM to Beretta); and its scope is an aggressive Marketing & Sales Campaign; or as Italy’s Minister of Defence Mr. Mario Mauro proudly declared “we’ve programmed a Le Bourget* in movement”!
The sad part of the story is that the supporters of the scheme are defending its intentions claiming that similar ‘initiatives’ help maintaining the industrial productivity and prevent labourers lay-offs especially in such hard times of international economic crisis.
And this is sad for a several reasons; the first may be considered ‘ethical’ for it shows how a definition of the “Legally Constituted State” becomes problematic when political power become involved in the promotional initiatives of private firms, thus sacrificing the quality of the law to the book-keepings of commercial success: MONEY.
The second is more of a speculative nature, because the producers are using the state owned ‘vehicles’ to bring their products wherever they want to go knocking on the doors of their carefully chosen convenient ‘Clients’! Chosen among countries governed by men who are generous when it comes to such expenses, but reducing the social investments to lesser than small change to widen inequality.
The third however is more devastating, because the Marketing Flotilla, while anchoring before the Italian base in Djibouti, is experimenting every new ‘product’ it has on board on the ground.. And people are dying.. They are experimenting new airplanes with the latest warheads, new stealth drones, and of course their industrial pride the Ecological Tanks and Armoured Vehicles! All these weapons are being experimented in Syria and Afghanistan after approved on the grounds of an endlessly disturbed African Horn.. And people continue to die.
The fourth and last reason represents an absurd ambiguity because art.11 of the Italian Constitution prevents Italians to cross the borders armed; and the law prohibits both the parliament and the government to approve the sales of arms to nations of doubtful Democracy.
However all of that brings me to a Latin term we studied ages ago, when studying was still a serious matter, and the term is “Satrăpes”. Originally it referred to the governors of the provinces belonging to the ancient Persian Empire. Then in time it was used in relation to the Oriental Monarchs. Actually it involves any person who, while occupying an office or being assigned a charge, would irritatingly keep showing his own impotence, sometimes even by abusing of his proper authority.
Ring any bell? Saudi Arabia.. Kuwait.. Qatar.. Emirates.. Bahrain.. And many more in the misfortunate African Continent.
Which brings me to what T. E. Lawrence (aka Lawrence of Arabia) wrote in an intelligence memo of January 1916 at the time describing the Arab Revolt as:
“…beneficial to us, because it marches with our immediate aims, the break-up of the Islamic 'bloc' and the defeat and disruption of the Ottoman Empire, and because the states [Sharif Hussein] would set up to succeed the Turks would be … harmless to ourselves … The Arabs are even less stable than the Turks. If properly handled they would remain in a state of political mosaic, a tissue of small jealous principalities incapable of cohesion”.
Pass On The Word.*Le Bourget: the Parisian suburb Fair Grounds where the annual air show is held to present the related latest civil and military productions.