So... who/what is Silvio Berlusconi - and why am I so against him? Just because he backed Bush's Iraq war?
Nah... there's a LOT more than that to it. So much it's hard to know where to start. Thankfully, the Observer provides a great rundown on his "here and now".
And - seeing as "hatred" has become such a common word in US political invective - I want to make it clear I'm strongly against him for what I consider a series of exellent national-interest and general-ethical reasons... but 'course I don't actually-personally hate the guy...
|...The best quip of the Italian election campaign so far has come from the exotically named Vladimir Luxuria, a transsexual candidate for one of the far-left parties. 'Why do you hate Silvio Berlusconi?' a television interviewer asked. 'I don't hate him at all,' Vladimir replied. 'On the contrary, we're rather alike. Both of us wear make-up and put on high heels for public occasions.'|
... but his career really got off the ground several decades further back... just guess in what kind of company?
|P2 is the common name for the Italian Freemasonic lodge Propaganda Due (Italian: Propaganda Two). P2 came to public light with Michele Sindona's inculpation and the Banco Ambrosiano scandal, in which the Vatican Bank had many shares. P2 has been involved in Gladio's strategy of tension - Gladio was the name of the secret "stay-behind" NATO paramilitary organizations. Between 1965 and 1981, it tried to condition the Italian political process through the penetration of persons of confidence to the inside of the magistracy, the Parliament, the army and the press [also by bombings, murders, kidnappings... ].|
Beside Italy, P2 was also active in Uruguay, Brazil and especially in Argentina's "Dirty War" [aka Operation Condor]. (...) A list of adherents was found by the police in Gelli's house in Arezzo in March 1981, containing over 900 names, among which were very important state officers, a few politicians (4 ministers or former ministers, and 44 deputies), and a number of military officers, many of them enrolled in the Italian secret services. Notably, the current Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi was on the list, although he had not yet entered elective politics at the time.
As though that little lot wasn't enough in itself, he also has Mafia ties.
Anyway, for balance - just in case anyone's interested? - here are the basics on the far less picturesque Romano Prodi, who heads the opposition coalition.