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Thursday 6 May 2021

Recommended The Mediterranean has changed, as the world has changed: Italy with Draghi ...

The Mediterranean has changed, just as the world has changed: Italy with Draghi finally seems to have noticed

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The mission of President Draghi in Libya and his statement on the Turkish President: "He is a dictator", Have aroused a large number of evaluations, focused on the role of Italy in the Mediterranean, in Europe, sometimes generating in some cases the kind of confusion that the writer Henry Miller, in his well-known novel,"Tropic of Capricorn", He defined:"Confusion is a word we have invented for an order we do not understand". Miller was not referring to what we know as World Order, but the quote gives the idea anyway.

In summary. Italy is, at the moment, a weak subject in the system of international relations because for about thirty years it has forgotten that it is a Mediterranean peninsula and has concentrated, with methodological continuity, on nurturing its preponderant attention to trans-Alpine relations. It is true that the only commercial exchange of Lombardy with Germany is equivalent to that of the whole nation with Japan, but the exaggerated enhancement of local interests for fear of the disintegration of the unitary state has profoundly affected the necessary priorities of our foreign policy. In the material Constitution (thanks also to the unfortunate modification of the fifth Title of the Charter) a State was formed that from unitary and physically insular was transformed into an archipelago, harlequin in laws and fortunes, underestimating however how much isolation and impoverishment of the South would, as has happened, impoverish the North itself. The simultaneous increased ignorance in our leadership of the history and founding values ​​of our written Constitution is dramatically evident. These days the wonder of a well-known writer, who claims for herself an expression of a culture that is in itself healthy and ethically educational, for the appointment of the greatest expert in national logistics, a General, as extraordinary Commissioner for the logistic organization of anti-covid vaccines. ; the pedantic concern expressed for an anti-constitutional militarization of the state is obviously erroneous and easy, because it is precisely the Constitution that entrusts the public administration with the service "with honor" for the good of the citizens. In the specific case, only the military system is able to manage an emergency and contemporary logistics throughout the national territory and General Francesco Paolo Figliuolo is, not only by Italian conviction, an extraordinary competent. This type of carelessness, not artistic but humoral, when used in the analysis of other fields of knowledge generates "confusion".

Is it really possible, for example, to apply old geopolitical frameworks of the Mediterranean in the second millennium? Do diplomacy, internal politics, defense, economic development really respond in the analysis to the systemic “basics” of the nineteenth century, albeit updated by the effects caused by the conclusion of two World Wars and the Cold War?  

It can be ignored by discussing the Mediterranean which, despite the proven failure of the ideological interpretation of globalized liberalism as a planetary political order, the modified conception of Time and Space, imposed by the unstoppable success of the information revolution, has nevertheless remained alive, indeed more deeply rooted. ?

There are, of course, numerous obscure pages yet to be read on the current limitations to individual freedoms and democracy that are a direct consequence of the management of the new technology with hitherto unregulated criteria, but we cannot deny that the old parameters on which we have been transformed have been transformed. geo-political studies were based. This rule is universal and also affects the Mediterranean.

The Mediterranean Sea is no longer perceivable as a lake and yet the center of the world has not "returned" as it was before the great geographical discoveries, it "has become" a new and different subject, fundamental to planetary development.

This was shown visually by the serious accident that blocked the Suez Canal.

Until the last decade a blockade of the Canal would have been serious but not fatal, today it has made the world tremble. Once bringing Asia closer to Europe was important, the British who promoted and developed the “suitcase of the Indies”, anticipating the current “Silk Road”, understood it very well. But it was one thing to transport colonial goods to be industrially transformed at home, another to send finished products to rich Europe in the large factories of the world essentially concentrated in Asia. It is no longer a question of returning delocalized factories to our continent, because production and transport speeds have changed the Space and Time value, while the cost of production (raw materials and labor) is currently not subject to possible competition. The European market, which remains an extraordinarily attractive consumer area, more than the US one, must be continuously supplied and stock huge volumes and then distribute them at very high rates (think Amazon), which is not physically possible without a continuous uninterrupted supply. . A prolonged blockade can only block the entire system.

Consequently, the Mediterranean has remained where it was but has changed, just as the world has changed. In the last thirty years the "globalized" system has imposed an increase in freight transport by sea which has gone from 4 billion tons to the current 11 billion. Traffic tripled with the decrease in oil transport.

We also think of the new energy policy, absolutely necessary for the protection of the Planet (and perhaps already delayed in implementation also thanks to the Trump four-year period in the United States, the Chinese contortions, the Amazon deforestation blindly pursued by President Bolsonaro, and the thousand small delays Europeans - for once Italy can be considered a good example-). If the consumption of hydrocarbons is increasingly replaced by other forms of non-fossil combustion, the rich oil fields of North Africa in general and the Near East become, together with the Mediterranean maritime areas, even more important than they were in the past. for the enormous, non-calculable gas fields. Hence the different, new and worrying interest of a political East that for the first time seeks new strategic locations in the Mediterranean.

The recent past today, in the acceleration of history, seems to have become distant. Little is said and even less is studied about the poor ability to analyze and perspectives that led to the observation, ten years later, that the policies of suggestion, collaboration and support in the Obama administration area to the various Arab Springs ended with a burning defeat of the Western system.

The courageous and prophetic journey of Pope Francis to Iraq can already be mentioned, as well as for the explicit references to the Abrahamic origins of the three great monotheistic religions - Jewish, Islamic and Christian - and for the profound and somehow heartbreaking appeal to Peace, for the explicit and evident underlining of how and to what extent the Roman Church convincingly indicates the necessary vision of the new world in which, with an acceleration of history, we are called to live. After meeting the leader of the Sunni world, Muhammad Ahmad al Tayyb, rector of al-Azhar University, the visit to Ayatollah Al-Sistani, leader of non-theocratic Shiiteism, clearly indicated the substantial difference between the Agreements of Abraham, signed, in the name of a real politik formally supported by religious confessions between the USA, Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain on September 15, 2020, and to which other countries have been added, including the fundamental Saudi Arabia and Morocco, and the prospect of a lasting peace to which “non” theocratic wills within the various Islamic confessions cannot be extraneous.

This does not mean that the positive aspects of the pact signed in Washington should not be considered, and there are !, but that it is wise to think that they are an important but temporary way to go in order to reach a more stable balance in the area. The failure of the Arab Spring policy docet.

The truth is also said when one points the finger at the senseless military operation unleashed in Libya by France, at the time chaired by the mediocre Sarkozy, who proved to be the bearer of a culture that was inadequate to world variations and dangerous, because it tended to repeat neo-colonial forms of hoarding of positions and economic interests, even by dividing a complex and unknown country such as Libya, with the short-sighted aim of replacing Italy's presence in the management of energy sources. We saw how it turned out.

But where was Italy when Sarkozy imposed the choice of arms? He tried to plug the flaws in his insane economic policies, crying under his breath for the offense to his status as a regional power.

Here, too, ignorance of history and obsolete parameters of analysis have rendered a bad service. Italy is not, and Cavour, Garibaldi, Matteotti, Rosselli, De Gasperi, Nenni, Togliatti, Moro, Fanfani, Craxi knew it, a great power; it is a great nation, so large and unique as to be essential to the victory or defeat of an alliance, of a project. This is both in positive and, alas, negative terms.

An example of negativity: the failure to solve our serious anomalies that block a healthy, correct, balanced economic development, would lead Germany and France, together with the euro area, in a highly critical situation.

A positive example. The entry of Italy, a defeated nation, into the Atlantic Alliance guaranteed the difficult Mediterranean balance for decades and in the 5s it was, thanks to the Craxi government, with what briefly called the "Sigonella" policy, able to borrow the Mediterranean influence in a plus for Europe which opened up (despite British and Northern European resistance) to Greece, Spain and Portugal; then it was fundamental to nurture a new east-west policy, to the point of making its participation in the now small group of economically and politically leading countries of the West, the G7 that became GXNUMX, not opportune but necessary.

The great surprise that Draghi aroused with the opening of credit, immediately accepted by the new Libyan unitary government, is proof that the economist and banker knows history and knows how to manage complex diplomatic processes. Draghi has not escaped the now clear crisis of the Franco-German pact, essentially due to the different but contemporary crises that individually affect both France and Germany. Hence the need in the changed times to play a "European" role, not limited to Italy's single interest in the Mediterranean, but as a European spring in the area and within the strategic alliance, not subject to review, with the States United.

The Russian and Turkish mercenaries remained in Libya. Erdogan is indeed the "dictator" who tries to resolve the national discontent caused by a cruel breach of civil rights and is further fueled by the very serious economic crisis which, well before the covid, led to a long series of devaluations of the local currency, unprecedented indebtedness, the need to maintain oppressive systems of work; the "dictator" is also a treacherous and blackmailer partner who does not hesitate to send warships to provoke, until the last useful second before the clash, formally allied nations in an attempt to share energy wealth, and to acquire, in the name of Ottoman Empire that it was, a strategic role different from the one that Atlantic Turkey had played very well anyway.

Defining an elected autocrat as a "dictator" is only apparently a mistake, in substance, as it was for Biden against Putin, it was a message understood not only in Ankara, but in all European capitals, in Washington and London (which is now part of Europe only geographically).

The message also reached Moscow, double after the public expulsion of those responsible for the Moscow spy system in Rome. The Russians do not stand by and in the Mediterranean, where they were already difficult to find, they work to settle permanently, to influence the new currents of commercial traffic, in the distribution of energy and to seek legitimation of "greater" power than the West in general, the United States in particular does not want to recognize them.

With the lucid coldness of those who feel the urgency to reform the Italian role within the European Union, in Atlantic relations and with the greatest ally, the United States, President Draghi, defining Erdogan for what he is, sent a message clear to the American administration, which was the first to indicate the Turkish president as an "autocrat" to be kept under attention; to Russia, which informally Turkey is at the moment substantial partner, despite the opposition in Libya that was needed, and someone hopes it will serve in the future, to keep that nation divided, the Italian government, so contradictory in recent years between stop and go with Moscow and Beijing, has unambiguously defined that the only the Italian alliance is with the United States and that the German hesitations towards Turkey and China are not participated by Italy.

Draghi, this is my interpretation, wants to make it known that Italy, a great nation and not a great power, is ready for a reinterpretation of the European institutions and its policies with the unprecedented edition of an unprecedented triangulation with France and Germany, but not to cost of a differentiation from the United States, which in perspective is readable between the policies of Washington and Berlin towards China.

So the message to Erdogan and the promise of a new Italian presence in Libya are also a message to Beijing. Gone are the times, it seems to understand, of Hillary Clinton's reprimands for the activities of Italian diplomacy in Benghazi, a harbinger of Gaddafi's dramatic end to which weak governments at least failed to offer him asylum, saving his life, after having indecently revered him.

In any case, today, it is possible to vigorously but concretely pursue a new and effective foreign policy, not distracting or watering down not only economic and defense policy but also, perhaps above all, that of the principles that characterize law and social conscience, European public ethics.

It is necessary, with realism, to acknowledge that there can be no peace in the Mediterranean without Italy and these last ten years have shown this, but there can be no Mediterranean policy in particular, foreign in general, without profound economic and institutional reforms that recompose the broken and selfish archipelago in which we have lived for thirty years now.

The prefixed task is complex, daring, not without risks, but it is within our reach, because it does not propose to brush up on old and outdated visions of the regional area and the world, but to develop with general benefits for all the countries involved, European and not.

However, such a rightly ambitious policy needs to be fully implemented. Without a new and inclusive migration policy (the "humanitarian" corridors of Minniti memoria have proved to be little and insufficiently used); without the proud promotion of individual rights and freedoms; without the condemnation and dismantling of the concentration camps that offend social ethics; without a stop to the sale of sophisticated weapons, including warships of any size to nations that violate human rights (Egypt is a bad example), the intelligent and willing policy designed by President Draghi will not take root: it would be a real shame.






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