LaRouche in Rome Revives
Fight for New Bretton Woods
by Liliana Gorini
On Feb. 13, economist and Democratic Party leader Lyndon LaRouche spoke by invitation from members of the Italian Parliament, in Rome, on "The Upcoming Tasks of the New U.S. Congress." The meeting, which took place in the prestigious Cenacolo Hall of the Parliament, was organized by the Rifondazione Comunista (PRC) parliamentary faction, which distributed its own invitation, along with copies of EIR, to all members of the Italian Chamber of Deputies. The initiative originated from a pro-Franklin Roosevelt faction in the PRC, a member of the government coalition, led by Rep. Andrea Ricci, who is on the Budget Committee in the Chamber of Deputies. Ricci is an economist and the author of a book on the "end of free market economics," in which he quotes LaRouche's New Bretton Woods proposal.
Ricci opened the meeting announcing his intention to found "an interparliamentary committee for a New Bretton Woods in the Italian Parliament, as a follow-up to the motion presented in the previous legislature by Rep. Mario Lettieri." Lettieri, who is currently the Undersecretary to the Economics Ministry in the Italian government, also attended the Feb. 13 event. Another member of the current government, Undersecretary to the Development Ministry Alfonso Gianni, who was among the signers of Lettieri's New Bretton Woods motion in April 2005, also endorsed Ricci's proposal.
"We are very honored to have Mr. LaRouche as a speaker at this meeting with parliamentarians today," Ricci said in his introduction. "He played a key role in assuring a Democratic landslide victory in the recent midterm elections in the United States, and in Italy, his proposal for a reorganization of the financial system, a New Bretton Woods, is considered key to solving the financial crisis which is hitting us and preventing governments from taking measures which promote employment and the real economy. Today, Mr. LaRouche will also address another issue presently being debated in the U.S. Congress: How to stop the war in Iraq, and a potential war in Iran, another issue which is key for our country."
"This conference," Ricci specified, "was co-organized by EIR, which is LaRouche's magazine in the United States, and the Italian Movimento Solidarietà, represented here on the podium by Liliana Gorini, but I think it is important to add that Rifondazione Comunista, which is often labelled as "anti-American" in the Italian press, is not anti-American at all. It just opposes the war policies of the Bush Administration, and would rather be willing to ally with that majority of Americans who also oppose such policies and defeated them in the recent midterm elections in the United States."
Opposing Bush's Wars Is Not Anti-American
After LaRouche's speech, this point was also emphasized by Rep. Gennaro Migliore, group leader of Rifondazione Comunista in the Chamber of Deputies. "I appreciated what Mr. LaRouche said about the Peace of Westphalia," he said, "since it created nation-states and national sovereignty, the same national sovereignty which is being denied to Italy right now, as a result of pressure on our government to increase the number of its troops in Afghanistan and double the size of the American military base in Vicenza. We oppose such measures, and we do so not because we are anti-American, but because the preemptive war policy of the Bush Administration has been proven a failure to the whole world" (see Migliore's speech).
As a matter of fact, LaRouche's conference coincided with a hot debate inside the Parliament, in both the Chamber and the Senate, on refinancing the Italian military mission in Afghanistan (which expires at the end of February), and expanding the U.S. military base in Vicenza. Although the Italian government, through statements by Prime Minister Romano Prodi and Vice Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema, had given assurances that the Italian troops would stay in Afghanistan, the U.S. Ambassador to Rome, Ronald Spogli, probably encouraged by Vice President Dick Cheney himself, organized five other ambassadors to issue a public letter with him to put heavy pressure on the Italian government and Parliament. This letter was correctly seen by many as an attempt at destabilization on the eve of the parliamentary debate on foreign policy.
Foreign Minister D'Alema reacted with statements and interviews, questioning the legitimacy of the letter and labelling it interference in Italy's sovereign affairs. In an interview with the leading evening news program on Italian television, TG1, given a few days before LaRouche's visit to Rome, D'Alema emphasized that, "the Italian government had already confirmed its military presence in Afghanistan, and it is highly unusual and irregular that the U.S. Ambassador choose to intervene in a national parliamentary debate on Italian military policy with a personal letter. We reject such pressure on the Italian Parliament. The ongoing debate in the U.S. Congress on the mistakes made by the Bush Administration in the Iraq War is much harsher than our debate in the Italian Parliament. As for the accusation that we are anti-American, my answer is that being with the 70% of the Americans who oppose this war policy, does not at all mean that we are anti-American; quite the contrary."
U.S. 'Plot' vs. Italy Charged
Other Italian politicians attributed this pressure from the Bush Administration to a "plot" aimed at provoking a government crisis in Italy. Sen. Silvana Pisa, a member of the Defense Committee in the Italian Senate, and the same party as Foreign Minister D'Alema (Left Democrats, DS), speaks of such a plot in the interview she gave to EIR (see below). "Foreign Minister D'Alema was giving Italy a high profile in foreign policy, with the Italian mission in Lebanon, which was exemplary, with its equidistance from Israel and Palestine, and also with D'Alema's proposal to combine the Italian military presence in Afghanistan with a comprehensive peace plan for the region," similar to the Baker-Hamilton proposals in the United States. "Then pressure started coming from the U.S. Administration, to refinance the Italian mission in Afghanistan without any strings attached as regards a peace plan, and Ambassador Spogli demanded that this be done quickly since the U.S. Congress was discussing refinancing its own mission in Iraq."
As for the role of Vice President Cheney in forging lies and false documents in order to justify the Iraq War, and potentially, another war in Iran, Sen. Pisa stated the following to EIR: "Nixon was forced to resign for much less than this. I believe Cheney's resignation would be very appropriate at this point."