Friday, November 09, 2007

Italy's New Red Brigades View Mosques as "Propellers of Protest"

Lorenzo Vidino and Andrea Morigi of the Jamestown Foundation have written an interesting article for the Jamestown Foundation's Terrorism Monitor. The article is called "Italy's Left-Wing Terrorists Flirt with Radical Islamists."

These far-left Italian militants, like that other lunatic the Maoist MIM, support the Islamists because they see the communist movement as temporarily weakened.

[Sometimes, the delusional Maoist MIM reminds me of that other little snot-nosed narcissist/revolutionary Adolf Hitler. Before he blew his brains out, Hitler expressed the unintentionally ironic view that the German people were a bunch of losers who "didn't deserve him."]

In an article titled "On converting to Islam: the invisible schism in the international communist movement," the Maoist MIM expresses similar disgust with those "phoney," bought-off, couch-potato Western communists and his admiration for "oppressed and exploited" Islamist imperialists like Osama Bin Laden and his Saudi moneybags:

The people of Islam are already on the move as oppressed and exploited people. The Taliban member on average is less utopian than the average phony communist globally pretending that Euro-Amerikan workers are exploited and still about to rise up at any minute. The Taliban knows about war against imperialism concretely, while the Western so-called "working class" knows about the couch.

The Jamestown Foundation's Terrorism Monitor notes that Italian communists are expressing the the same disenchantment with the "temporary" weakness of the communist movement and see the Islamists as "propellers of protest" and as the "new proletariat" who are advancing the anti-imperialist struggle:

Last February, in the quiet of a secluded northern Italian country house, three Italian far left militants brainstormed, unaware that counter-terrorism officials were listening to their every word. The men were known members of the so-called "New Red Brigades," discussing new strategies for the group. Alfredo Davanzo, the ideologue of the group who had just returned from France using a forged passport, spoke about the need to overcome the organization's isolation, caused by its secrecy and the waves of arrests it had suffered (ironically, the three would be arrested the following Monday). The group, said the men, should find new venues for their recruitment efforts and pointed to Italian mosques, described as "propellers of protests and struggles," as one of the most obvious choices (Corriere della Sera, July 30). The conversation is just another indication of what Italian intelligence officials have warned about for the last few years: some of the most militant segments of the Italian extreme left have displayed an increasing interest in and admiration for radical Islam. What has been only purely moral support up to now could possibly develop into a dangerous cooperation [1]...

In keeping with the traditional position of the extreme left on the Arab-Israeli conflict, La Voce [the magazine of Paris-based Italian militants linked to the New Red Brigades] describes how the "Palestinian popular masses" of the second intifada are making "the heroism of the Red Army, the fighters of Stalingrad, the participants to the Long March and the Vietnamese re-live" in their effort to dismantle "the racist and theocratic state of the Zionists and the imperialists." Unsurprisingly, similar views are expressed about U.S. and Italian efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The novelty of La Voce lies in its view of the various factions of the "Palestinian resistance." Traditionally, the Red Brigades had always politically (and, in some cases, materially) supported Fatah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine due to ideological similarities. In contrast, La Voce breaks from this position and harshly criticizes Fatah as sellouts whose concessions in Oslo have forced the Palestinian people into "a state of semi-slavery."

Moreover, La Voce openly expresses its support for various Islamist groups, breaking the ideological barrier that separates a Marxist group and a religiously-inspired movement. Displaying a bizarre description of Hamas, La Voce calls it an organization "fighting for a democratic Palestine, free of discriminations based on race, religion or nationality," ignoring Hamas' openly declared foremost goal to create a strict Islamic state in Palestine. Further, La Voce describes Hamas and Hezbollah, together with the "Islamic resistance in Afghanistan and Somalia," as the main exponents of the "democratic and anti-imperialist revolution taking place in Arab and Muslim countries." The "imperialist bourgeoisie" is threatened by "the positive and progressive role of these organizations, their democratic and anti-imperialist spirit." Similarly, La Voce states that "Muslim revolutionary priests" are being arrested in Europe on the pretext of the war on terrorism only because the "imperialist bourgeoisie" wants to silence Islam, which is the religion of the new proletariat.

This Marxist-dominated worldview prevents the militants behind La Voce from making a realistic assessment of the nature of organizations such as Hamas or Hezbollah. Yet, the endorsement of these organizations is not absolute, but conditioned on the current status of the communist movement. La Voce states that Islamist groups have managed to "take the lead of the revolution" against imperialism only because of the inability of the communist movement to do so. "The leading role of the reactionary [Islamic] clerics," writes La Voce, "is an effect of the decay of the communist movement and will disappear when the latter will resurge." Therefore, the Islamist movement is useful in keeping the pressure on the imperialists while the communist movement is undergoing a phase of weakness, but this reliance will naturally disappear when the latter, natural leader of the global revolution will re-gain its strength and will be able to "lead the next wave of the proletarian revolution." [full text]



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