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Italian Officials in Washington to Oppose New Base
By David Swanson
Did you know that our nation, the land of the free and the home of the brave, has permanent military bases in other countries? And I don't just mean in Iraq. In fact the United States maintains over 725 bases that our military admits to, with over a half million personnel. Did you know that?
Did you know that most of these bases serve no useful purpose, that many of them are focused on spying and some exist purely to acquire or guard oil? Did you know that people around the world resent these bases in their countries and view them as part of an unwanted empire? Did you know that the United States has proposed to greatly expand its military presence in the beautiful Italian city of Vicenza, adding a huge new base to the existing one? Did you know your taxes will pay for it?
We must destroy the Italians' cultural treasures THERE so that they don't critique our cuisine over HERE. Or something.
Five members of the Italian Parliament are visiting the United States this week to express their opposition to the new base. They are: Sen. Tiziana Valpiana (PRC-SE), On. Lalla Trupia (DS), On. Laura Fincato (Margherita), On. Luana Zanella (Verdi) and vice presidente della Commissione Difesa della Camera On. Elettra Deiana (Prc). They plan to meet with U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Senator Valpiana explains:
"Dobbiamo far capire alla Pelosi il NO della popolazione vicentina e dei pacifisti italiani alla nuova base militare americana al "Dal Molin"- afferma la senatrice Valpiana- perché non credo che nel suo paese una opposizione così radicale della popolazione locale potrebbe essere ignorata come lo è qui da noi".
"We must make Rep. Pelosi understand the opposition of the people of Vicenza and of Italian peace advocates to the new American military base at Dal Molin, because I do not believe that in her country such drastic popular opposition could be ignored the way it is in Italy."
Sen. Valpiana has clearly never visited America before.
The Italian delegation also plans to deliver a letter from an Undersecretary of State to the Director of the World Heritage Center at UNESCO requesting an impact study. Vicenza is a World Heritage site.
On Tuesday, the delegation is expected to arrive in Washington from New York. The Italian Members of Parliament plan to meet with U.S. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, Speaker Pelosi, and other members of Congress. On Wednesday, they plan to meet with members of the peace movement in this country.
The Italians are bringing with them books on the architecture of Andrea Palladio and photographs of the area where the new base construction has been proposed.