Friday, September 12, 2003

It Is Official

Silvio Berlusconi is full of it. He claims that Benito Mussolini was "better dictator than Saddam Hussein" and that he didn't kill anyone.

I can understand that Alessandra Mussolini might be pleased with such statement, but let's just say that most members of my family – those who can remember 1940s on this side of Adriatic – don't share such sentiments. And I doubt that they would think much of Mussolini's benevolence after two penal expeditions that left all men between ages 18 and 30 summarily executed and the entire village burned.

Special commission founded by Tito after WW2 has established that some 50,000 civilians on the territory of former Yugoslavia were murdered by Italian forces during 1941-43 occupation. We might question validity of their findings and those numbers are relatively small fraction of whole bodycount in former Yugoslavia (900 K), but they are nevertheless huge.

I think that the Ethiopians would have even less enthusiasm for Berlusconi's words. I guess many of them would change places with Kurds who had been exposed to nerve gas which happens to kill people quickly and relatively painlessly, unlike Mustard Gas being employed in Abyssinia in 1935-36.

I wonder whether Croatian nationalists – the very same crowd that whips President Mesić (President Mesic) over any conciliatory gesture towards Serbs and preaches constant vigilance against Croatia's enemies from the past – would utter a single word against statement that represents an insult to the memory of tens of thousands of murdered Croatians.

Or maybe not. Many on the Croatian right would rather not remind Croatian public with whom their WW2 counterparts were allied and where Croatian western borders ran in those days.


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