Italy Dispatches Military into Cities

The New York Times reports the use of military forces within the cities of Italy.

It seems the main target of this additional police presence is the immigrant community. By the look of things on the street, Italy has become a melting pot the likes of which has not been seen since lower Manhattan in the 1850s. Courageous people from the Balkins and North Africa have swarmed into Italy over the last decade or so. More recently Eastern European immigration has become the most prominent. No one seems to know how all the Chinese got here, but some reports say they are the largest immigrant population.

I’m absolutely opposed to this transparent attempt on the part of the Berlusconi government to appease the conservative fears and xenophobia of their constituents. These new arrivals to Italy are among the bravest people I’ve ever seen, people who took tremendous risks and went to incredible lengths to get here. It’s been on the news almost daily for the twenty years that I’ve lived here.

Italy is changing and by breaking a few heads, literally and figuratively, the government is not going to stop it.

Please let us know what you think by commenting.

Explore posts in the same categories: foreign affairs, foreign policy, italian culture, world politics

Tags: , , ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

12 Comments on “Italy Dispatches Military into Cities”

  1. B.E. Earl Says:

    When I think of countries with immigration problems, Italy would never have been on that list. Wow. I’m shocked.

  2. mikeb302000 Says:

    It’s been changing rapidly and there’s no end in sight. Sometimes I’m on the train to work and I only hear Romanian, Russian, Albanian, and who knows what else. I have a lot of respect for them. They’re on the train going to work just like me, but their work is cleaning toilets or doing manual labor. It’s a modern version of some of the great waves of immigrants that came to the US over the last century and a half.

  3. Weer'd Beard Says:

    Well the paper references it to being ILLIGAL Immigration, which is hardly synonomous with the Legal type of Immigration.

    Its my personal opionion that Illigal Immigrats obviously have no respect for many other laws. Around here we have big problems with illigal immigrant gangs that bring all the joys that gangs bring (we also have domestic gangs too, so I’m in no way stating this is an illigal alien problem ONLY) We also have problems with small buisnesses taking advantage of the govenment’s current desire not to activily enforce these laws, so they run buisnesses outside of labor laws. They don’t pay fair wages, they don’t supply proper insurance, they don’t pay the required taxes, and they don’t keep employee rosters.

    Not only is this flat unethical, but it also CRUSHES leagal immigrant, and US Citizen buisnesses, as their overhead is higher when they follow the law.

    So I’d definetly say if the military and police are targeting and harrassing LEGAL immigrants, thats Xenophobia and is pure wrong….but if they are simply enforcing immigration laws as they are written, then that’s the law, and When in Rome do as the Romans. (Pun definetly intended)

  4. Bob S. Says:


    I know you aren’t a fan of statistics, but I wanted to point out the differences between Italy and America. I’m not sure if the soldiers are needed in the cities, the numbers don’t seem to indicate it. What is your experience living there?

    Are the immigrants not assimilating in, creating problems like the muslims in France?
    Or is this just a feel good, visible political ploy by the government?

    #6 United States: 7.56923 per 1,000 people
    #37 Italy: 0.500284 per 1,000 people
    #17 United States: 7.09996 per 1,000 people
    Italy not in top 54
    #24 United States: 0.042802 per 1,000 people
    #47 Italy: 0.0128393 per 1,000 people

    I see the numbers are very telling in the 2nd amendment debate, the reason that people in America want to carry firearms is a very real concern about crime.
    Over 3 times the number of murders and 14 times the number of assaults, per capita.

  5. mikeb302000 Says:

    Dear Bob S., Thanks for the stats, I mean it. Those are simple enough to not overwhelm me. Maybe I have SDD, Statistic Deficit Disorder. It looks like there’s a big difference between Italy and the US, as you mentioned, but why? Your ending comment is that because of this difference people in the US “want to carry firearms.” But, couldn’t we just as easily say that because they carry so many firearms the stats are like that?

    Weer’d, Thanks for your observations on illegal immigration. But, do you think it’s fair to generalize like that. You seem to be saying that illegals are either criminals or taking jobs away from Americans. I think that here in Italy and in the US as well, most illegals are not criminals and the jobs they are willing to do are at the lowest end of the work spectrum, in many cases, jobs which the locals don’t want to do anyway.

  6. Weer'd Beard Says:

    “most illegals are not criminals ”

    re-read that line. Oxymoron right there.

    If you violate the immigration laws you WILL violate tax laws. Most will commit some form of Identity theft, and there are large numbers of buisnesses that make it a point to hire illigal day laborors or full-time illigal employees (And those willing to violate hiring laws will also be willing to violate tax laws, OSHA, and insurance laws)

    Of course with EVERYTHING with human nature there is a wide spectrum. I’m in no way saying every illigal from Mexico is a member of MS13, nor am I saying that every Brazilian Roofing crew around here are illigals.

    But if you are in violation of US immigration laws YOU ARE A CRIMINAL, and if you take a subset of that criminal group you will find a VERY high percentage of violations of other US laws just by nature.

    And finally the “jobs which the locals don’t want to do anyway.” is 100% bullshit and I’m sick of hearing it.

    I’m a white guy from Maine, I’ve worked roofing, landsaping, daycare, hazardous meterial reomoval amoung other jobs. I’ve worked minimum wage lots of times. But once illigals are hired #1 the workplace stops being english-speaking, which turns off locals when you can’t speak to your boss or coworkers (and even if you know spanish which is the most common non-english language here it won’t help you if your coworkers are Brazilian, Somali, Hatian, Cape Varidian ect) AND as a general rule since getting caught with a crew of illigals is already a serious crime (and likely your employment roster needs to be cooked either with falce identities, or just by lies to keep you from being red-flagged by the IRS) so these people don’t bother to insure or pay proper wages, or have a safe work place. So the legal immigrants and citizens CAN’T work there, as it is illigal and THEY follow the laws.

    As far as I’m concerned the compassion for illigal aliens in this nation is nothing short of slavery. These peole are leaving their country because being treated like shit in the 3rd world is better than being treated like shit in America, but we’re still treating them like shit….and at the same time treating LEGAL Immigrats, who are the greatest treasure this nation has, as they raise the bar in hard work and self-worth that I think many multi-generational Americans loose sight of, we treat THOSE people like shit because we say “Thanks for waiting in line and engaging in the hard and emotional process of leaving your home country behind for a forign land, and doing it all in the legal way…but these criminals who cheated the system are going to get our sympathy first”

    That’s HORRIBLE, and it needs to stop. We have boarders and laws for a reason. Uphold them!

  7. Bob S. Says:


    I was posting the stats because I wondered if Italy’s crime rate was so high that the troops were needed. From the stats and what I’ve read, I don’t see that the troops were needed. I think it is a grand standing stunt by the government.

    I compared the two countries, since you’ve been an ex-pat for 20 years, I don’t think you realize how bad crime has actually gotten in parts of the country. As you can clearly see, crime in America is much higher. So if crime in Italy calls for an armed response, what does crime in America call for?

    Some of the most telling stats are the ones that no one wants to talk about.
    Homicide Victimization Rates per 100,000 Population by Race
    White Black Other
    1999 3.5 20.5 3.3
    2000 3.3 20.5 2.7
    2001 3.4 20.4 2.8
    2002 3.3 20.8 2.7
    2003 3.4 20.9 2.8
    2004 3.3 19.7 2.4
    2005 3.3 20.6 2.5

    Homicide Offending Rates per 100,000 Population by Race
    White Black Other
    1999 3.6 25.4 3.9
    2000 3.5 25.6 3.3
    2001 3.5 25.6 3.0
    2002 3.6 25.0 2.9
    2003 3.5 25.3 3.4
    2004 3.6 24.1 2.7
    2005 3.5 26.5 2.8

    Then we move onto where is the crime happening and can it be tied into gun ownership.

    Here is a quote from one study

    Criminologists have also argued that the high rates of gun ownership in the United States are related to violent crime. However, Wright, Rossi, and Daly (1983) observed that gun ownership is much more prevalent in rural as opposed to urban areas—in rural areas over 75 percent of citizens are gun owners, while in large cities only 25 percent of citizens own guns. And while many rural gun owners are hunters who primarily use rifles, the percentage of citizens owning handguns is also higher in rural areas than in central cities. Interestingly, however, while rural residents are more likely to own guns, they are less likely to use them in the commission of crime (Weisheit et al.).

    It is not the firearm, but the culture that is the problem. That is why gun control won’t work, hasn’t worked and never will. There is a culture that is violent, predatory and often involved in drugs and other crimes.
    Most of the urban areas have strong gun control laws, Washington D.C. Philly, New York City, Chicago. Guess where crime is the highest?

    In Italy, I wondered if there wasn’t a culture issue with the immigrants. I know France has major problems with the Muslim population not assimilating and contributing to the violent crimes there. Britain has problems with immigrants but mostly due to its nanny state, let’s coddle the offenders and disarm the law abiding approach it has taken to crime. I don’t think that approach is working well at all.

    Looking at all the factors, I don’t see the issue as “because Americans own so many guns” as so much as “small portion of the population are using guns” and there isn’t anyway for the law abiding to fight back in most cases against that small population.
    For example, Washington D.C. was murder capital of the world for many years running; this in spite of it’s draconian gun ban — in place since 1976….or was it because of the gun ban?

    Let’s use some common sense, where would you want to live- in an area with strict gun control that means only the criminals will have firearms or in an area where it is easy for responsible law abiding people to have firearms also?

  8. mikeb302000 Says:

    Weer’d, You definitely got me there with that oxymoron. And I hear you about the job market. Here in Italy, though, I see foreign women, most of them lacking the proper documents, going to work each morning as house cleaners or baby sitters. I see their husbands going to work as laborers. Now, my observation of the young Italians is that they’re mainly spoiled, lazy kids who live with mommy and daddy till they’re 30. These people are not at all interested in these kinds of jobs. The net result is my high esteem for the illegals and my questionable opinion of the Italians.

  9. mikeb302000 Says:

    Bob, Now you did it. I have statistical overload.

    You said, “Let’s use some common sense, where would you want to live- in an area with strict gun control that means only the criminals will have firearms or in an area where it is easy for responsible law abiding people to have firearms also?”

    I’d want to live in Italy.

  10. Weer'd Beard Says:

    Well I work day-in-day-out with LEGAL immigrants, and I agree with your observation of foreigners in general, they KNOW what the alternative is so they don’t take what they have for granted, and they crossed the border (legally or no) with a goal in mind, and they always keep their eye on the ball.

    Still LEGALLY entering this nation is hard work, and to put the people who strive to follow the rules at the same level as the ones who have done nothing but cheat the system. Also I’m not sure about Italy (BTW are you an Italian living in Italy, or an American living there, or some other combination?) but here in the US the immigration laws are written much like the gun laws talked about in your recent gun post. If you screw up as a US citizen you loose your gun rights….you screw up as resident Alien you get thrown out of the country! So, like legal gun owners, you’ll find them to be some of the most law abiding people in the nation…while the illegal immigrants are somewhat similar to the illegal gun owners (And yes I’m sure there are plenty of illegal gun owners who commit no crimes besides illegal possession, but they are the acception that proves the rule.)

    As for the housekeepers, nannies, and day-workers, you are right, many of them cause few problems….but also you can’t tell me they are properly paying taxes on their wages! These people use US supplied goods and services, and don’t pay for them. That’s theft! Its an indirect type of theft, but still it takes my tax monies and uses for things that are being done illegally, and it bankrupts the system.

    You need to look beyond the good-hearted individual to see the greater harm they pose. And of course at the laws of the land.

  11. Nomen Nescio Says:

    weerd, i think you’re overlooking the differences between Italy and the U.S. too easily. i’ll complain at you about this more on your own LJ.

    Mike can speak for himself, but as far as i’ve understood it, he’s an American expat living in Italy. me, i’m a European expat who just gained U.S. citizenry. i’ve never lived in southern Europe at all, though, so Mike will have perspectives i don’t.

  12. Weer'd Beard Says:

    A fair statement, Nomen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: