Friday, April 2

"EN HEDU ANA: THE FIRST POETES AND PRIESTESS"

It can therefore be said of: "Enḫed Hu Ana ( sumero : 𒂗𒃶𒌌𒀭𒈾 ) that she was a multifaceted and fascinating figure and who, from such a remote past, with Her poetic inspiration and Her Holy Light, has gone beyond many and many millennia.

Her most famous work is written in the Sumerian language and has as its title (as "incipit") Nin-me-Å¡ar-ra (Lady of all "ME"), work more commonly known by the modern title of "The Exaltation of Inanna ".She Who Wrote: "Enḫed Hu Anaand Women of Mesopotamia. She Who Wrote: "Enḫed Hu Ana: the first Poetess and Priestess in Human History: Enḫed Hu Ana".

The first testimony of one of the most ancient poems of humanity is that of a Sumerian woman of the 24th century byC.-

Enḫed-Hu-Ana was the Daughter of Sargon First King of the Akkadians, who lived in the 24th Century by C. in the city of UR in Mesopotamia. Poetess and Priestess of the: "GOD NANA", the Moon God of Babylonian Mythology, She wrote the Poem that has come down to us with over fifty alabaster plates; all engraved with the cuneiform script of the early Sumerians. The title by which the 153-line composition are known as:"THE EXALTATION OF INA-NA'', the Goddess of Love, Fertility and War. The narrative tells of how Enḫed-Hu-Ana had to flee Ur following the revolt unleashed by one of King Sargon's Sumerian subjects, and the consequent exile in arid places in the steppes. 

The invocation addressed to the Gods in the central part of the Poem, with which  Enḫed Hu Ana, asks for help in defeating the enemy LUGAL-ANE-MUNDU, is followed by the conclusion with the victorious return of the Priestess and the Goddess Innana in the temple of Ur.

The most famous part of the Poem are the first lines:

"Lady of all ME, resplendent with Pure Light, clothed in the divine splendor of Lightning, beloved Daughter of Heaven and Earth, admired by the GOD AN, with the great diadem, of She who loves the TIARA consonant with the Great Priestess whose hand it holds ALL SEVEN ME. O my Lady, you are the Guardian of all THE GREAT ME. You have gathered the ME. You have tied the ME to Your Hands. You have gathered the ME. You have tightened the ME to Your chest. Like a dragon, you launched Fire Poison on enemy territories. When you roar to Earth like the God of the Storm, the vegetation cannot resist you. Like a flood you descend from your mountain. O mighty one of Heaven and Earth, You Are Inanna ".

To understand the text, it must be borne in mind that in the Mesopotamian tradition the ME were seals, also known as the TABLETS OF DESTINY, which contained the spells, or rather all the knowledge of the Gods, to favor abundant harvests, rains and a favorable climate, and all the things necessary to give birth and prosper an entire civilization. 

In particular, the Goddess Inanna, quoted by the poetess En Hedu Ana, in the myth had taken possession of the ME of the GOD ENKI, with the cunning of making him drink the delicious wine, until the intoxication would make him fall asleep.

Returning to Enḫeduana, the importance of the Priestess, in addition to the Poem that has come down to us, also lies in the incredible archaeological findings that have been found on her, and which confirm with tangible proofs that she was a truly existed woman, and that these information that we have received is true.

On the back of the Enḫeduanna alabaster disk found in 1928 are collected most of this information, which reveals that she lived around 2.300 by C, that She was a princess of the most important Mesopotamian Dynasty and that She exercised considerable political, religious, and cultural, in the vast Empire of King Sargon the First, Her Father.

It can therefore be said of Enḫeduana that she was a multifaceted and fascinating figure and that, from such a remote past, with her poetic inspiration and her PURE LIGHT, she has gone -UP AND DOWN- beyond the different millennia.

In “The Exaltation of Inanna,” Enheduanna included astonishing autobiographical details such as her struggle against a certain Lugalanne, most likely the historically attested king of Ur, who attempted to forcefully remove her from her office:

"Yes, I took up my place in the sanctuary dwelling,

I was high priestess, I, Enheduanna.

Though I bore the offering basket, though I chanted the hymns,

A death offering was ready, was I no longer living?

I went towards light, it felt scorching to me,

I went towards shade, it shrouded me in swirling dust.

A slobbered hand was laid across my honeyed mouth,

What was fairest in my nature was turned to dirt.

O Moon-god Suen, is this Lugalanne my destiny?

Tell heaven to set me free of it!

Just say it to heaven! Heaven will set me free!

[…]

"When Lugalanne stood paramount, he expelled me from the temple,

He made me fly out the window like a swallow, I had had my taste of life,

He made me walk a land of thorns.

He took away the noble diadem of my holy office,

He gave me a dagger: ‘This is just right for you,’ he said. 

Enheduanna turned to Inanna for help, as the moon god Nanna, whom she served, remained indifferent to her pleas. Fortunately, Inanna accepted her prayers, and Enheduanna was restored to her Sacred Spirit or Holy LightThe almighty Queen, who presides over the Priestly Congregation,

She accepted her prayer.

Inanna’s sublime will was for her Restoration.

It was a sweet moment for her [Inanna], she was arrayed in her finest, she was beautiful beyond compare, She was lovely as a moonbeam streaming down. 1

Nanna stepped forward to admire Her.

Her divine mother, Ningal, joined him with her blessing,

The very doorway gave its greeting too.

What she commanded for her consecrated woman prevailed.

To you, who can destroy countries, whose cosmic powers are bestowed by Heaven.

To my queen arrayed in beauty, to Inanna be praise! 2

This poem was the culmination of her struggle, a cry that she no longer could keep inside. In fact, she added a remarkable line about her own creative process, stating that she has “given birth” to this poem:

One has heaped up the coals (in the censer), prepared the lustration.

The nuptial chamber awaits you, let your heart be appeased!

With "it is enough for me, it is too much for me!" I have given Birth, oh Exalted Lady, (to this song) for You.

That which I recited to you at (Mid)night

May the singer repeat it to you at noon! 3

Enheduanna also compiled short temple hymns that praised various Mesopotamian sanctuaries. There she articulated a unified religious landscape by connecting the temples of southern Mesopotamia with those in the north, perhaps in line with the broader political aspirations of her father. The postscript to the last hymn attributes its compilation to Enheduanna:

The compiler of this tablet is Enheduanna.

My King, something has been produced that no person had produced before. 

In addition to these Extraordinary Literary compositions, a number of artworks referencing her name or image come down to us. On a notable disk-shaped alabaster plaque, dedicated to a temple in commemoration of a construction, her powerful gaze meets ours (Figure 1). A clay sealing and two seals belong to individuals in Enheduanna’s entourage, identify her by name, and testify to her eminent position overseeing many institutions (Figure 2). These seals feature “contest scenes,” a popular theme in Mesopotamian glyptic, showing battling animals, heroes, and hybrid beings. Their struggle is interpreted as one between the wild and the domesticated, the chaotic and the orderly. Although Akkadian-period seals generally isolate the contesting pairs, as exemplified by the spectacular banded chalcedony seal of Shaggullum (Figure 3), seals owned by Enheduanna’s servants retain the friezelike, continuous compositions of earlier periods. This visual continuity with the Sumerian past accords with Enheduanna’s role in Her Father’s ambition to unify Sumer and Akkad.

Empire of Ishtar

Enheduanna’s writings were also essential for the aforementioned fusion between Inanna and Ishtar and the latter’s eventual eclipsing of the former. Ishtar became the foundation of the Akkadian Empire, which is referred to as the “dynasty of Ishtar” in later historical sources. An inscription from the time of the king Naram-Sin, Enheduanna’s nephew and Sargon’s grandson, states that it is through Ishtar’s love that Naram-Sin rules the land. Moreover, Enheduanna’s temple hymns culminate with Ishtar’s temple at Agade, indicating its primacy, and in “The Exaltation of Inanna,” it is Ishtar who helps the high priestess restore order. Enheduanna’s characterization of the goddess—her propensity for violence, associations with fertility, and superiority within the Mesopotamian pantheon—may even have influenced contemporary visual portrayals. In scenes carved on cylinder seals from the Akkadian period, Ishtar is often shown dominating formidable lions and gods while turning toward the viewer. Maces and sickle axes are seen around her shoulders as well as branches bearing fruit. Such images and Enheduanna’s texts worked together to form a powerful and threatening representation of the goddess.

Motherhood: Birth, Creation, and Nurturing

As mentioned earlier, Enheduanna described herself as a mother to her poem “The Exaltation of Inanna.” The concept of motherhood in her day extended beyond biology to recognize the nurturing provided by wet nurses, midwives, and mothers both human and divine. According to ancient texts, the quintessential Mesopotamian mother goddess, Ninhursag, embodied these various types of motherhood by giving form to kings’ bodies, assisting in their births, and serving as their wet nurse. King Eannatum of Lagash (ca. 2450 BC) claimed to have been nourished with Ninhursag’s holy milk, and he felt honored by the long-lasting bond formed between him and his divine wet nurse. Glyptic imagery from both Sumer and Akkad attests to the many maternal figures that could exist in a child’s life, often demonstrating the pride these figures took in the nurturing they provided.

Women Who Came After

The office of the high priestess not only existed prior to Enheduanna’s time, as reflected in a wall plaque featuring a frontally-depicted high priestess overseeing a libation ritual, but also remained intact for centuries to come. Many later high priestesses were, like Enheduanna, daughters of rulers and heads of major temples, wielding religious, political, and economic power. They are generally distinguished by their flounced robes, long and loose hairstyles, and characteristic headdresses. Such iconographic features help us identify other figures as high priestesses, such as a female head with deeply cut, piercing eyes found in the sacred precinct at Ur, or an exquisite statuette with a tablet in her lap encapsulating one of the main threads of the exhibition: women and authorship. Other women of high rank, including members of the royal family, were often depicted wearing fringed garments and having their hair tied in chignons or other intricate coiffures. The exhibition concludes with a selection of such images from the end of the third millennium BC.

Tuesday, March 30

GLOBALIZATION MAKES THE RICH...MORE RICH

 The flapping of a butterfly's wings in Brazil can cause a tornado in Texas. With this sentence the mathematician Edward Lorenz summarized, in a lecture in 1979, the so-called butterfly effect, part of the broader theory of chaos. Many consider globalization a concretization of the butterfly effect; after all, never as in recent decades has the fate of billions of human beings been in the hands of an oligarchy - economic, industrial, financial and technological - interested in establishing a planetary power.

To simplify as much as possible, current globalization is the worldwide realization of the theories of David Ricardo, the English economist of the early nineteenth century, father of classical theory, who was also a skilled speculator. For him, each country should only produce goods in which it has a comparative advantage over other economic actors, i.e. those whose production cost is lower. An exclusively quantitative and economist vision, moreover unbalanced on the demand side. 

Apart from the enormous implications of a national, spiritual, political and environmental nature, the theories of the brilliant stock exchange trader of Sephardic origin need two decisive assumptions to be realized. The first is the existence of an irenic world, devoid of contrasts, governed exclusively by "rational" economic considerations, a sedated humanity reduced to double entry. The other element is the presence of a single supra-ordered power, a "GLOBALIST" powerhouse capable of deciding for everyone and imposing its will.

This is what is happening with the so-called  New International Economic Order (NIEO) , but despite everything and fortunately the bugs in the system exist, sometimes unpredictable. One we are experiencing with the effects of Covid 19, which dragged down trade and imposed, if not a stop, a redefinition of the globalist agenda. 

Another, the "Black Swan", the unexpected that changes plans and strategies, is the blockade of the Suez Canal due to the grounding of a gigantic container ship of two hundred thousand tons. It is not clear how long the unavailability of the channel will last. Getting a Giant of the sea back online is not easy, a logistical nightmare with hundreds of ships blocked or forced to "circumnavigate Africa", as those of two of the major armament groups, Maersk and Hapag Lloyd, are already doing.

Suez is one of the most important sea routes in the world: at least 12 percent of global trade, 8% of Liquefied Natural Gas and about two million barrels of oil per day pass through it. As for goods destined for Europe from the Asian world factory, its role is absolutely crucial. Estimates differ, but every day the blockage of the waterway that connects the Mediterranean and the Red Sea entails losses between six and ten billion dollars.

The pandemic crisis had lowered the declining sea freight rates for years, so much so that only the shipping giants can afford to continue the business with such low margins. The price of crude oil also decreased, up to the incredible negative price phase due to the excess of stored and unused product. Now, we are experiencing the opposite situation: freight rates have soared, the circumnavigation of Africa takes weeks and involves very high costs. 

According to Bloomberg, Bible of economic information, shipping a forty-foot container (two "teus", in the language of the industry) from China to Europe can cost up to "eight thousand dollars", four, five times more than at the beginning of the fateful 2020. The effect is devastating and is grafted on to an already present maritime trade crisis.

This involves an external inflationary effect in a phase of serious loss of purchasing power. There is the risk of the interruption of world logistics chains along the east-west route, with disastrous effects on industry and on the supply of raw materials, semi-finished and finished products. 

The precedent we know of is the 1973 Yom Qippur war between Israel and the Arab Countries. The Suez blockade caused the worst "Oil Crisis" in history. In the West the stagflation phenomenon took place: a steady economy, high inflation plus widespread unemployment.

Obviously we are not at this point, but the blockade of the channel, combined with the persistence of the pandemic economic crisis has already produced an increase in the price of a barrel of crude oil to coincide with the collapse of the GDP of Countries exposed to the coronavirus. 

In short, the globalization designed by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Marrakesch (1995), completed with the Chinese invasion (2001), is in crisis and with it the model, considered definitive - the end of history - of free trade. and the removal of customs barriers, with the follow-up of relocations, industrial and production crisis of the former "developed" world. Globalism is not a paper tiger and it is certainly early to think that de-globalization is advancing, but the system is in fibrillation.

So far the facts. We abandon the maximum systems and try to provide a modest practical cartography of "Real Globalization". We dress the salad with lemons from South America. To reach our table, he traveled for weeks along the ocean in refrigerated crates. The steamer that carried him is a giant of the sea hundreds of meters long, as high as a city block. Those who have never seen them are amazed. The new container carriers must be able to carry three or four thousand boxes.

The tonnage of the stranded Even Given is two hundred thousand tons. To build it, the yard had to be enlarged and the heap of scrap metal and engines cost hundreds of millions of euros. To amortize the costs, it must run madly for the sea with very short stops. It burns thousands of liters of fuel a day, the residues of which are spilled into the sea. 

To allow for the pace of "global trade", new oil and natural gas wells are constantly being dug. Some extraction methods, such as that of shale gas, fracking, or the hydraulic crushing of rocks, have dramatic environmental costs and immense water consumption. Our ship cannot land except in ports whose draft has been artificially increased. 

This involves carrying out continuous dredging, with immense geological repercussions on coastal areas and the: "difficulty of storing, using or destroying the enormous amount of debris".

Upon arrival, the speed of loading and unloading is essential: the lemons must reach the market in a hurry, while thousands of other containers are piled up for reloading along increasingly larger docks. For several years, the pace of work has again raised the number of accidents. Thousands of railway wagons and, above all, trucks run through the communication routes to deliver goods quickly, which makes it necessary to multiply tracks and motorways.

Finally, the lemons arrive on our table. But don't we produce the tastiest and most famous lemons in Italy? Was it really necessary to put the world on fire to consume citrus fruits from the antipodes, whose only merit is to cost a few cents less than our own? Is economic reason really the only existential criterion, or does it make sense to preserve the productive specificities of each country, which are also powerful elements of identity and material culture?

We think of the agricultural landscape patiently created over the centuries, of the ancient knowledge that today we would call multidisciplinary, of the concrete life of each population. Africa, until the 1960s, was poor but did not know hunger. Now, with the imposition of monocultures under the blackmail of the debt of organizations such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, poverty and emigration are rampant, while few enrich themselves and the ancient wisdom of the populations is dispersed. Misery is the worst counselor, so the same giants of the sea who transferred lemons and artifacts to the West export the toxic waste of the consumer civilization to poor countries.

The industries that rubbed their hands, at the beginning of the 2000s, due to the possibility of reducing the cost of labor by moving production, are today in crisis because yesterday's contract manufacturers, to whom they had delivered machinery and entrusted know- how, they learned their lesson quickly and now produce themselves. 

How much myopia in Ricardo-like globalism, which functions only in an imperial dimension - the Company of India yesterday, the multinational giants of today - concentrates wealth upwards and renders entire nations impotent, deprived of the knowledge and means to return to a economy on a human scale.

The therapy for the various crises - which are actually moments in which the system gets rid of its waste at the expense of the peoples - is, invariably, the assumption in larger doses of the poisons whose effects we have already experienced. Globalism is the emphasis on the absence of limits, just as, on the contrary, an economy linked to true human needs, nature, its rhythms and its possibilities of reproducing resources, is education to the limit, to custody rather than pillage of creation.

An example are the so-called “rare earths”, the minerals from which the essential materials for the functioning of information, telephone and telecommunication technologies are obtained, without which globalization stops. While those who extract certain minerals under dramatic conditions die in Africa and elsewhere, and China takes an almost monopolistic position in processing, every day we throw away phones and computers, flooding our homes with other hazardous waste (radiation, toxic residues and more). 

Produce, consume and crack, literally. Do we have to go back to ox-drawn carts, communicate with smoke signals or by tying messages to the legs of pigeons? Obviously not, but globalization is the terminal stage of an "owner" attitude towards nature and man himself.

Economic reason as the sole motive for human action is not only sensationally false, but has already led to enormous disasters, wars, exploitation of man by man, indifference towards living beings and the Earth, our common home. Due to erroneous industrial policy calculations, the Soviet Union - state capitalism - has practically dried up the Aral Sea, the second largest in the world. 

In addition to the environmental disaster, it has destroyed the economy and history of a region as large as northern Italy. The wild deforestation of large areas of the United States from the second half of the nineteenth century made very fertile lands "bad lands", bad lands from which nutritional humus had disappeared, steppes swept by cyclones and windstorms that previously did not reach them. Millions of families ended up in poverty and had to face emigration: this is the story of John Steinbeck in the novel Furore, brought to the big screen by John Ford.

All this shows that globalization without limits, the blind imposition of  Economic Growth (by a few) to the detriment of all others, does not work in the medium and long term. The short-term economic benefits do not compensate for the human, social and civilization sacrifices and costs. The writer remembers an anecdote of his career as a customs officer: one morning he received an alarmed phone call from ISTAT in Rome, convinced that the economic statistics had been distorted. 

In fact, there was an export of 500 million euros, almost a thousand billion of the old lire. No mistake: it was the summary bill for the construction of a huge cruise ship. The statisticians, however, were not wrong: much of that huge sum had not gone to the construction site and to national suppliers, but to contractors and subcontractors from around the world to whom much of the work had been outsourced. Anyone who has frequented or visited shipyards and major construction sites knows what we are talking about, with all that this entails in terms of loss of national skills and specializations, safety and quality.

How many trips, how many passengers does it take to amortize such a large cost? How long must the cars run at full speed and the advertising apparatus must convince millions of people to "consume" cruises, killing local tourism in the meantime? The wheel is spinning in a whirlwind: ever larger construction sites, tight production times and rhythms, more oil and other gas spilled and burned. 

LPG, liquefied petroleum gas, travels largely through pipelines, but its maritime transport forces the product to liquefy at over one hundred and ninety degrees below zero, to transport it in very expensive tanks for insulation and immense temperature preservation devices. On the arrival dock, there must be a regasification plant.

Maurizio Pallante introduced the distinction between goods and merchandise. The former are all that is really needed in life; some are intangible, such as conviviality, community, culture, in addition of course to food, water and air. The latter represent what can be bought and sold. The difference is obvious: not everything can be assigned a price, not everything can be traded. Hence the notion of "common goods", to be removed from private appetites. Real globalization has appropriated health (Big Pharma and the shameful struggles for drugs and vaccines) and goods such as water resources and communication networks.

A system composed of HUGE PRIVATE CARTELS not only dominates the market, but easily evades the payment of taxes. The characteristic of taxation is territoriality, but the system has become elusive, extraterritorial, virtual or real according to convenience.

Through mechanisms such as those of treaties such as the TTIP, for now shelved, but which returns under the guise of a similar agreement with Canada, globalism even establishes private courts, the purpose of which is to sterilize the residual power of the states, dragged onto the bench. of the accused with harsh fines and severe commercial reprisals. 

Stalin mockingly wondered how many military divisions the Vatican had to impose his views. Globalism has very powerful weapons of financial and economic deterrence, but, at worst, it can also count on the strength of its weapons. The globalists are stateless, but they have a seat, the United States and an influence greater than that of the federal government over the industrial, private and military apparatuses.

Is the game over, therefore, irremediably lost? Not yet and not quite. We will see what changes the post-Covid will bring, what the role of the Chinese giant will be, what geopolitical and anthropological impact the Great Reset will have, which contains some elements incompatible with the globalization experienced in the last twenty years. 

In addition, global competition could change the map of trade routes (the Chinese Silk Road, but also the future Arctic route if the Russians managed to bring down the costs of the icebreakers they are experimenting with). 

Globalism is suffering the effects of the pandemic, but it is also using fear to impose an agenda which, in part, will have the effect of re-centering and relocating life and the economy. Episodes like the Suez one show that the gear has its flaws.

The problem is the "narrative". Globalization hurts, makes the rich very rich, the strong omnipotent and initially helps some of the poorest. It affects all the others: in the concrete interests, in the way of living and being, in all that is culture, customs, principles of each people. 

They tell us the opposite: an immense conditioning and direction apparatus is at work. But it should be clear that a zero kilometer lemon is better than a ship the size of a skyscraper that travels fast around the world to bring us lemons from the antipodes, together with largely useless products destined for rapid, planned, obsolescence.

Much ado about nothing, if the Giant of the sea runs aground and if a virus changes the habits of a generation. Perhaps the race of globalism is more like the wheel in which the caged hamster wastes his life than we think. Who knows if the global moloch no longer has a healthy and robust constitution and, ultimately, a frail Goliath.

Monday, March 29

THE WORLD WAR: AS NEAR AS LIER

 Joe Biden threatens Vladimir Putin: "Killer without a soul, he will pay for his actions". Moscow withdrew the ambassador "for consultations". From the Russian parliament they retorted harshly. Few commentators have escaped the banality of dusting off the "cold war". Putin wished him "good health". Only two days later, the images of Biden, three times collapsed on the stairs of Air Force One, have gone around the world, cynical and cruel, ruffling with laughter.

Many and dangerous forces are moving. Let's start with the military ones. As we write, the tension between Russia and the United States is steadily rising. The US Navy says: "... the destroyer Thomas Hudner, has begun to sail north in the Black Sea for a maritime security operation in the region. US Navy ships and aircraft regularly conduct operations in the Black Sea region in support of our NATO allies and partners. " 

It is the second missile unit to approach Crimea. For its part, Russia has deployed armored forces to Ukraine. They crossed the Russian-Ukrainian border in the night between 21 and 22 March. While this is happening, a revolt is brewing in the Ukrainian armed forces: the veterans do not want to know how to fight against Holy Mother Russia.

The forces of politics are redeploying themselves. The European Union tries to embarrass Putin with Human Rights, as it was less serious to support slavery and concentration camps in China; as if it were nonsense to ring the bells for the Shoa so that it never happens again  and not to hear the screams of millions of desperate people in the Laogai, in the mandarin concentration camps. Putin does not take orders from Brussels; he said it clearly and knows well that the opposite front is anything but compact.

The press, even the one until recently a friend of Biden, mercilessly shows and relaunches the grotesque and vulnerable image of him. Does anyone remind Biden that he has to step aside? According to some sources, this is the case. The newly elected president, however, does not want to leave the Resolute Desk, the Oval Office, as his deputy, the esoteric Kamala Harris, would like. 

It seems that the turnover was in the pre-election pacts, while they were saddening for the White House. The Clinton-Obama circles are for Harris. The struggle for power becomes fierce; the US political summit is unraveling at an extremely delicate moment. Besides, who would become vice president if Biden left? Not a woman, much less a black woman, as Harris would like. While the seven heads of the Hydra bite into each other, the monster risks falling into the trap he dug himself.

The attack on Crimea

In mid-March, heavy provocations were planned with riots and demonstrations in the Ukrainian regions of Lugansk and Donetsk, at the same time as demonstrations and riots in the Crimea. Everything was ready, in the indifference of world public opinion, decocted by the Chinese virus. In addition to the destabilization of the Ukrainian secessionist regions, the roadmap included an attack on Syria with the participation of Israeli forces, without excluding bombing raids on Iran.

It should be remembered that Crimea not only voted for secession, as did Lugansk and Donetsk, but was also annexed to the Federation by the Russian "Duma". Crimea is Russia. Whoever touches Crimea wants war with Russia. The question is: does Russia want war? Hard to believe that you are looking for it. However, it is difficult to avoid it if NATO persists in provocations, such as the exercise of 28,000 men who could also attack the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, disconnected from the Motherland.

The provocations, scheduled for mid-March, for now are watered down in the Black Sea. A full-scale conflict would require Biden's complete leadership. It is clear that this is the worst of the US vulnerabilities at the current time. Putin, mercilessly wishing him "good health", said: "I know in what condition you are and you are!"

The cameras that immortalized Biden's triple fall did not frame the young US Navy commander, preceding the President on Air Foce One, with a briefcase secured to his wrist by steel handcuffs. In that briefcase are the nuclear codes. A president who goes around with papers in his pockets, to answer reporters, only to forget where he has stored them, is not the best to ensure the correct management of the most sophisticated and powerful planetary nuclear attack system. 

The nightmare of US staffs today is a nuclear attack unleashed by Biden by mistake. If the shaky president initiated the order, the B-52s with nuclear bombs for the Russians would not come back even if Biden phoned the crews personally.

There is another less dignified vulnerability.

According to some, cleaners are also another big risk to the credibility of the White House, due to Biden's long hands with any woman he comes within range. It is a well-known vulnerability. In the White House a protocol operates, as strict and silent as it is operative, to never leave the intrepid Joe alone with a woman, whatever the function and age; beautiful, pretty or ugly whether she is her. Joe leaves nothing. Compared to him, the legendary John Kennedy was a Franciscan tertiary.

In this political and institutional confusion it is only easy to understand that the US, Russia, Ukraine, Syria, Israel, Turkey, NATO and the whole world are on the brink that could cost the lives of two thirds of humanity. Because? The answer is simple. The US is under a political summit that has prepared the war to rob Russia. Moscow does not have sufficient conventional forces to withstand a full-scale attack. Only the nuclear arsenal would give her a way to defend her borders with Europe and the infinite 4 thousand kilometers with China.

Unlikely scripts

China vs. Biden's USA? The skit between the two delegations at the Sino-US summit in Alaska is not convincing. No one can believe that a top-level summit between two superpowers begins with an exchange of insults in front of the cameras, except for the purpose of giving it to the public opinion to drink and then pulling the strings behind closed doors. Certainly, the forces that brought Biden to the White House are all allied with China and with the dictator Xi Jinping: from international criminal George Soros to virologist Bill Gates, from Barack Obama to privateering finance.

While this political drama is in full swing, another drama sees progressives, as per the script written in Wuhan, pledged to take sides pro-vax or no-vax. In other words, the strategy as always is unchanged, the tactic to divide and rule is as new as technology allows, as the so-called pandemic facilitates.

The strategic assault on the immense Russian resources began in 1989. The drama then involved the export of democracy. Then they realized that the problem was not simple: if you want the immense Russian deposits, you must have the ability to bring your soldiers there or corrupt the power of the Kremlin by imposing a nice treaty to hand over their wealth to you. With Mikhail Gorbachev first and Boris Yeltsin then, they came a step away from the bang. 

To understand us, they tried what they could thanks to Nino Andreatta, Mario Monti, Romano Prodi, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi and Giuliano Amato. Instead, Vladimir Putin arrived in the Kremlin; the orchestra changed the score, conductor and numerous instrumentalists. 

Obviously, the chorus of human rights defenders rose from those who destabilized dozens of Countries and caused millions of deaths and maimed, favoring the rise of tame governments. This gang of criminals still deludes itself to blow up Russia, in vain. Vladimir Putin is the answer:"to brigand, brigand and a half".

The strategy is to steal, the tactic is to destroy

Putin has shown that he can hold power, in spite of political and economic attacks. Putin is not a fool. He understood that his enemies are unable to bring conventional forces to attack the fields on his territory. He then expands militarily and politically westward to counter the useless eastward expansion of NATO missiles. 

The unknown factor of Russia is China with its 4 thousand kilometers of indefensible border. China has an army of 2.5 million men and 500 million trained reserves. The first group can be mobilized within 2 days to increase the forces tenfold, the remaining ones within a few weeks. An infinite human avalanche, which can only be stopped with a nuclear mallet.

Russia has no redundant population or military. If attacked, it must raise hell; she has no choice. It faces forces devoid of any Christian glimmer, whose tactics have definitively evolved towards destruction and indiscriminate killing. China has shown what it is capable of in the harsh repression of 59 million Chinese in Hubei province and 30 million in three cities: Wuhan, Huanggang and Ezhou, in Zhejiang province, a short distance from Shanghai

Anyone who ventured out of the enclosed areas and sealed condominiums was shot down. The EU, so attentive today to Human Rights, saw nothing. For their part, thanks to a Church kneeling to the Empire, the dechristianized Western regimes have opted for the vaccine rather than for the therapy, not only for the economic advantages.

Planetary Social Control Exercise

If you have to destroy large portions of the planet with nuclear weapons, if you have to kill two thirds of humanity you certainly have a huge internal control problem in your rear: you have to manage panic; you must suppress dissent for your criminal war; you have to impose a curfew. You need to reveal your most insufferable authoritarian face as late as possible. 

The virus (apparently) paradoxically not cured but only vaccinated is, coincidentally, a great experiment, a huge planetary exercise of social control, the domestication of public opinion, the control and manipulation of consent, the identification of oppositions to be repressed. The monster is so comfortable with identifying, selecting and even training its victims without revealing itself.

The strategy is to steal, the tactic is to destroy, just like the barbarian hordes. With rare exceptions, perhaps in Italy, none of the so-called democratic regimes seem to escape the logic of destruction. Determining the death of two-thirds of the population is certainly not a problem for China. However, it is not so easy to do so, much less by saving appearances. Coordination between the virus that discourages pacifist demonstrations and the attack on Russia has so far failed. 

The clandestine groups, financed by a well-known international criminal, self-styled Jewish philanthropist, with a brilliant Nazi past, remained in the ford and all the filth developed over time has slowed down, also thanks to the factions that fight each other, join forces they form and melt daily in the corridors of Washington, paving the way for infiltrators and confusing the plans that looked brilliant just a few weeks ago.

This is one example. We hope to deserve much more. 

Saturday, February 20

THEODOR HERZL INTRODUCE IL SIONISMO IN VATICANO

 Il 23 gennaio 1904, sei mesi prima di morire, un esausto Theodor Herzl incontrò papa Pio X. Il fondatore e leader del moderno sionismo politico, in grado di parlare molte lingue, voleva capire se il Papa avrebbe sostenuto il movimento sionista e cercò di persuaderlo parlando in italiano. 

«Herzl ottenne finalmente l’udienza di papa Pio X grazie a un pittore, il conte De Lippay incontrato per caso a Venezia. 

Il 22 gennaio 1904 Theodor Herzl fu ricevuto dal Segretario di Stato vaticano, Merry del Val.

Questi disse che la Chiesa era disposta a dare protezione agli ebrei poiché essi erano necessari alla Chiesa come testimoni della punizione divina. Ma la Chiesa non accettava che gli ebrei governassero di nuovo la Palestina

"Gli ebrei rimarranno attaccati alla loro antica fede e allora essi negano la divinità di Gesù e noi non possiamo aiutarli, oppure andranno lì, senza nessuna religione, e allora meno che mai possiamo avere a che fare con loro. La fede ebraica è stata il fondamento della nostra, ma è stata sostituita dall’insegnamento di Cristo”. 

Pio X sottolineò, in particolare, che "gli ebrei, che avrebbero dovuto essere i primi a riconoscere Gesù Cristo, fino ad oggi non lo hanno fatto”.

Il Papa Francesco alla tomba di Theodor Herzl chiude un cerchio storico e attesta il successo del sionismo. Sono passati 110 anni da quando Pio X disse a Theodor Erzl: “Gerusalemme non deve cadere nelle vostre mani o in quelle degli ebrei”.


 Il riavvicinamento tra la Santa Sede e lo Stato di Israele è stato lungo e laborioso. La visita di Papa Paolo VI in Israele nel 1964, che durò appena 11 ore, rappresentò una pietra miliare che fece ben sperare per le relazioni bilaterali giacché apriva a un riconoscimento de facto dello stato ebraico. 

Ma il Papa Paolo VI, si rifiutò di incontrare i leader israeliani a Gerusalemme, perché ciò sarebbe stato interpretato come un riconoscimento di Gerusalemme come capitale d’Israele. 

Il presidente israeliano Zalman Shazar e il primo ministro Levi Eshkol misero da parte l’orgoglio e accettarono di incontrare Paolo VI, a Megiddo.

Solo 30 anni più tardi Israele e la Santa Sede avrebbero annunciato l’apertura ufficiale di relazioni diplomatiche. Ci sono poi voluti altri sei anni perché un Papa si recasse in Israele in visita ufficiale.

Israele viene spesso raffigurato come uno stato paria, un’entità trasformata in una sorta di reietto mondiale dal suo controllo su un territorio conteso. Ma questa non è affatto la reale posizione d’Israele sulla scena mondiale. 

Nel 1964, tre anni prima che Israele si trovasse costretto a combattere la guerra dei sei giorni, quando Gerusalemme era ancora divisa con la parte est sotto occupazione giordana insieme ai territori di Giudea e Samaria (Cisgiordania), la posizione di Israele era assai peggiore di quello che è oggi. La visita di papa Paolo VI e il modo in cui si comportò durante quel pellegrinaggio ne sono una conferma.

La visita di papa Francesco al Monte Herzl è stata un omaggio al visionario che preconizzò la creazione dello stato sionista. Il predecessore di papa Francesco si era rifiutato di fare questo gesto. Dunque Herzl ha vinto, la sua visione si sta realizzando. 

E’ vero che Israele, a quasi sette decenni dalla sua fondazione, deve ancora fare i conti con una pesante campagna di delegittimazione (una campagna abbracciata anche da alcuni all’interno di Israele). Ma la sua posizione complessiva sulla scena mondiale è in ascesa. 

Non per niente i leader mondiali continuano a venire in Israele (sembra quasi che ci sia un incessante ponte aereo), e qui fanno tappa i più grandi interpreti e artisti. Di più. Israele gode anche di un grande impulso nei suoi rapporti economici con tutto il mondo. 

Questo è il successo del sionismo. Ed è questo che ha testimoniato la sosta del Papa al Monte Herzl. 

Incontrando papa Francesco, il primo ministro israeliano Benjamin Netanyahu ha voluto ricordare l’ebraicità di Gesù dicendo: “Gesù era qui, in questa terra, e parlava ebraico”. “L’aramaico”, ha osservato il Papa. E Netanyahu ha prontamente precisato: “Parlava aramaico, ma conosceva l’ebraico”.

“Hanno ragione entrambi – spiega il professor Gilad Zuckerman, esperto di linguistica – La madre lingua di Gesù era l’aramaico, ma conosceva bene l’ebraico perché conosceva i testi religiosi scritti in quella lingua”. Secondo Gilad Zuckerman, ai tempi dopo Gesù cioè nel I° secolo d.C., l'aramaico occidentale era dominante nelle regioni della Samaria e della Galilea, da dove proveniva Gesù Cristo.

Contemporaneamente persisteva una forma tardiva di ebraico parlato, la lingua ebraica rabbinica, che veniva ancora usata in Giudea, specialmente nei dintorni di Gerusalemme. L'ebraico rimase la lingua vernacolare principale, questo attorno al III secolo d.C.

Una cosa è comunque certa, per la Chiesa Cattolica: “Gesù è un "Rabbino ebreo" e lo sarà "per sempre”, come si legge nel Sussidio per una corretta interpretazione dell’ebraismo del 1986, firmato dal card. Giovanni Willebrands, da mons. Pierre Duprey e da mons. Jorge Mettia.

Sunday, January 31

ALBANIA ADIOS

Looking at the entire peninsula, in the post-Cold War phase, Rome, although it started from a position of prominence thanks to its geographical proximity and familiarity acquired in more than a century of direct involvement, failed to establish itself as a Balkan satrap of the American Empire.

In the Land of the Eagles, the significant reduction in its influence compared to the 1990s is mainly attributable to three factors: lack of a long-term vision capable of enhancing and systematizing the many resources available; decline in credibility and prestige, therefore in negotiating capital, in the eyes of the US and at EU level; loss of attractiveness as an ideal model and destination for emigration. Yet, the means available to Rome in this chosen land remain considerable. Italy is still Albania's first economic partner

From the point of view of trade, in fact, the trans-Adriatic neighbor is an Italian colony: the boot absorbs almost half of Albania's exports and accounts for almost a third of imports. Over 2,600 Italian companies operate in Albania, mainly dedicated to contracting, especially in textiles. The low cost of Italian-speaking labor, including skilled labor, and a very favorable tax treatment have also stimulated the relocation of many companies, especially in the service sector. Although after years at the top of the list it is today only the fourth country for direct investments, Italy still has a considerable presence in some key sectors of the Albanian economy. 

First of all in the energy sector: in 2018 SNAM signed a joint venture with the Albanian Albgaz, the national body in charge of gas supplies, for the management and maintenance of local gas pipelines - including the Albanian section of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP ); Italian companies are also involved in the production of hydroelectric energy, with which Tirana satisfies much of its energy needs. The presence in the credit system is also significant, where Intesa Sanpaolo is the fourth largest bank by market share covered. 

Commercial interaction is also facilitated by the massive Albanian diaspora in Italy, the largest outside the Balkans and the second in our country after the Romanian one. Without counting naturalized Italians and university students, there are about 440 thousand people (a figure close to the entire population of Tirana), who send over 140 million euros in remittances to their homeland every year.

The diplomatic presence of Italy, distributed between the Tirana embassy and the Vlore consulate, also remains very significant, despite the closure of the Shkoder office. Until recently, it was the largest of those present in Albania - superior to that of the entire EU, the US, Germany or Turkey. As often happens in our country, diplomatic representations do not necessarily act as emanations of the central government, but are often institutional atoms not linked to each other by a recognizable design, whose effectiveness largely depends on the resourcefulness and competence of the staff deployed on site . 

Similarly, the proliferation of multilateral formats focused on the region, such as the Berlin Process launched by Angela Merkel in 2015 without even inviting Italy, has further crippled our country's action in Albania. Even some diplomatic efforts considered far-sighted at the time, such as the Central European Initiative (INCE) and the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative (IAI), seem to have had their day; the second was almost replaced by EUSAIR, coordinated by Slovenia.

Among the main competitive advantages that Italy has not been able to capitalize is the spread of the Italian language, which is still spoken today by a large number of Albanians, but is less and less popular. The decline, probably the clearest sign of the decline of Italian soft power, has very material reasons, including the reduction of funds allocated to the maintenance of bilingual sections, a successful experiment that has trained generations of Italian-speaking Albanians, and in general to promotion cultural. 

Above all, Italy in 2020 is an increasingly less attractive country for more trained workers, both foreign and non: last year alone, about 164 thousand Italian citizens moved permanently abroad, the highest figure since the start of the surveys (1981). With Italy itself that seems set to return to a country of emigration, the loss of appeal of Dante's language cannot surprise. Today, it is much more convenient for the Albanian graduate who contemplates expatriation to learn English, German or Turkish. 

The Italian authorities have tried to stop this decline with projects such as the Illyria Program, launched in 2002 to promote the teaching of Italian as a second language in primary and secondary schools, but the trend is clear: the number of mother tongue teachers sent by the ministry , of Italian Studies departments and therefore of students is decreasing.

The decrease in interest in the Italian language was accompanied by the loss of status of the Italy brand, which even in Illyrian land is less attractive than in the past. No other country has had Rai as the only window on the world for decades: a gift that Rome has not been able to convert into cultural hegemony. In the communist era, especially in the Eighties, 

Italy and the West were synonymous for the Albanians. The beautiful country that arrived - clandestinely - in their homes was the Craxian one of Campari spritz, of inflation at 15%, of Alfa Romeo 75 Turbo Evoluzione, of Milan of Arrigo Sacchi. It was the hologram of a European state seen through the lens of Mediaset: a pastiche of prosperity, hedonism and worldliness too sparkling not to be dazzling in the eyes of a hungry, isolated and deeply Mediterranean population. Today much of that ethical-value apparatus remains widespread in Albanian society, but as interaction and familiarity with other Western countries have increased, Albanians look less enthusiastically at the "Italy model", now almost entirely supplanted by the American way of life.

Another undervalued resource is the centrality that Italy had acquired in one of the sectors in which the Albanian system has historically proved most deficient: security. Our country had to deal with post-communist Albania first of all to prevent its definitive institutional collapse, which would have triggered other waves of migrants to the Apulian coasts after the shock of the early 1990s. Five years after the Pellicano humanitarian mission (1992), Italy then landed back on Albanian soil at the head of Operation Alba, a necessary move to prevent the degeneration of the civil war that was about to engulf the country after the collective bankruptcy induced by the scam. financial structure of the pyramid schemes.

Driven by the experience gained with these missions, Italy has done a lot over time to shore up the stability of Albania, providing assistance both in the consolidation of the Albanian police force and in the fight against organized crime. The Italian Delegation of Experts (DIE), established in 1997 at the end of the Alba mission, played a central role in the reform of the Armed Forces that Albania had to undertake to join the Atlantic Alliance, an objective achieved in 2009. 

Furthermore, since some illicit businesses such as money laundering, trafficking in human beings and drugs see the Albanian mafia at the forefront, always since 1997 the Italian Finance Police has operated in the ports of Durres and Valona with two units of the Maritime Border Nuclei (Nufrom), engaged in the contrast drug trafficking and smuggling in agreement with local authorities. Significantly, the Italian financiers were even allowed to plow the Albanian skies with military means in search of marijuana fields, the flagship of indigenous criminal exports, to be eradicated by the local police.

Despite joining NATO, Europeans continue to see Albania as an inherently unstable country. In addition to the traditional cancer of organized crime, two other threats have emerged in more recent times: the spread of jihadist ideology in the region, resulting in about 140 Albanian citizens flown to the Middle East as foreign fighters (then partly repatriated), and the intensification of migrations along the Balkan route. Although neither of these two phenomena of an exogenous matrix has actually destabilized Albania, their appearance has once again reminded us of how closely the security of the two Adriatic opposite sides is closely intertwined, suggesting in Rome the launch of joint patrol and monitoring operations.

With this set of actions, Rome had relaunched itself as a guarantor of the stability of Albania, a burden which it cannot realistically avoid for mere issues of national interest, but which in the long term has not been translated into negotiating capital at community tables. Finally, the affection that a large part of the Albanian population still has for our country is also inscribed in the collective memory. The birth and consolidation of an Albanian state has always been a priority of Italian foreign policy, since the post-unification period. 

The gradual penetration of Italy starting from the 1920s and also the occupation (1939-43), albeit tainted by controversial episodes such as the massacre of Mallakasha (1943), are not remembered as a violent colonization, but as the coming of modernity in a rural town which, recently escaped from the Ottoman yoke (1912), was in conditions of profound backwardness. Even before that farcical invasion undertaken by imperial inspiration and which took place practically without encountering resistance, the presence of Rome in Ahmet Zogu's Albania was in fact already widespread. 

The Italians actively contributed to the development of the first independent Albania, shaping some key institutions, such as the army and the banking sector. Even today, the architecture of many cities on the eastern shore of the Adriatic - Tirana above all - betrays the hand of fascist Italy. Even the attempt to build Greater Albania 2, a move with which Benito Mussolini planned to unite all ethnic Albanians into a docile state creature with a marked anti-Yugoslav and anti-Hellenic projection, was not forgotten.

Symptomatic of this generalized affection, the events that have recently affected the National Theater of Tirana, one of the symbols par excellence of Italy - fascist - in Albania. The popular demonstrations against the decision to demolish one of the few cultural institutions of the capital - then demolished one night last May - implicitly made manifest the sympathy that citizenship pays to the symbols of Italianity, perceived not as a vestige of an imperialist power, but as an integral part of its historical heritage. 

As also suggested by the quotation given in the exergue, the belief is widespread among Albanians that the interregnum of Enver Hoxha, one of Stalin's most irreducible followers, was nothing more than a non-consensual separation of two partners destined naturally to grow together. Indeed, despite some painful situations, such as the sinking of the ship Katër i Radës (1997) and the prolific smear campaigns in the press against immigrants from the eastern shore of the Adriatic, the majority of Albanians positively remember the treatment reserved by the local population to the waves of fellow countrymen who moved to Italy fleeing post-communism.

Having evoked this scenario of affinity and cooperation, it is understandable why Albania would not have a bad eye on Italy's greater assertiveness, which indeed considers it a precious tool to achieve what, once the NATO card has been obtained, remains its primary objective: entry into the EU. Since Rome is perceived as the most similar and malleable of all the partners, over the years Tirana has sought the shore to convince the most fearful EU states - France, the Netherlands and Denmark - to mitigate their hostility. 

However, the refusal to open accession negotiations collected at the European Council last November due to the opposition of Paris and Amsterdam, then rectified last May, has demonstrated blatantly how the country of the Eagles cannot entrust Italy with the protection of own interests. In fact, rather than guiding or at least trying to influence the enlargement process, which would concern those Western Balkans with which it shares geography, history and business, Rome seems to suffer. The low credibility it enjoys on a continental and global level makes it today an unattractive interlocutor also for Tirana, pushing the latter to interact more, albeit reluctantly, with Berlin and Paris, even in the absence of significant historical, economic and social constraints.

An actor who, also since the 1990s, has been able to play his cards better is Turkey. The neo-Ottoman strategy 3 pursued, albeit with varying vigor, after the end of the Cold War brought Ankara back into vogue in all the former provinces of the empire. Although in Albanian land the influence of the Sublime Porta proves to be much less consistent than both capitals should tell it, it remains an undeniable reality and is expressed in some very visible expressions: the Turkish support granted to the Albanian claims, the attempt to transform (on paper) the common Muslim faith (dominant in Turkey, majority in Albania) as a device of influence and cultural diplomacy operated through the enhancement of the Ottoman historical-architectural heritage. 

On the economic level, however, Turkey is not among the most relevant players: exports are less than 1%, imports around 8%. The picture could change when TAP becomes operational. The pipeline will likely offer Ankara considerable leverage in Albanian affairs. Already since the presidencies of Turgut Özal (1989-93) and Süleyman Demirel (1993-2000), Turkey has repeatedly presented itself as the champion of the rights and demands of Albanians, residing or not within the current borders of Albania, vigorously sponsoring, for example, its integration into NATO and the unilateral independence declared by Kosovo (2008). 

He did it as a natural step, in a party game that envisaged that in the Balkans, Russia would look after the interests of the Orthodox and Turkey those of Muslims: lawyers appointed by history. On the peninsula, Islam brings together the majority of ethnic Albanians and Bosniaks, concentrated in Bosnia-Herzegovina, southern Serbia (Sangiaccato) and Montenegro, as well as the sparse but still present Turkish communities (3.5% in North Macedonia).

The most sumptuous plastic representation of Turkish influence in Albania is the Great Mosque that Diyanet, the Turkish state agency in charge of managing religious affairs, is about to complete in the center of Tirana. Once inaugurated, it will be the largest mosque in all the Balkans. However, the very grandeur of the building conceals a bitter truth for the sultanal ambitions of President Recep Tayyip ErdoÄŸan: unlike other scenarios (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo and Serbian Sandjak), in the land of the Eagles the call of the muezzin is very feeble. 

Although officially about 60% of the population is Muslim, in the first country in the world to declare itself constitutionally atheist (1976), the confessional element does not have a significant weight. The values ​​rooted after the collapse of communism - hedonism, consumerism and secularism - relegate to the background that yearning for transcendence on which clerics thrive. Seen almost thirty years later, joining the Islamic Conference (1992), also decided at the Turkish invitation by Sali Berisha, the first premier elected with multi-party elections, is more reminiscent of the faded postcard of a country plunged into an identity crisis after the end of isolationism and the baptism of an ineluctable re-Islamization of the country. 

The well-known aphorism of the Risorgimento by Vaso Pas¸a (1825-92) - "the true religion of the Albanians is Albanism" - turns out to be even more truthful after a half-century parenthesis of religious repression, followed by westernization (Americanization) among the most enthusiastic of those found beyond the Curtain. In short, in Albania, the nation always beats faith. And the national hero of this theoretically Muslim people is still that Giorgio Castriota Scanderbeg who deserved the halo of Athleta Christi by waging war against the armies of the Sublime Porte in the fifteenth century.

Beyond the mosque, one of the now classic vehicles of the Turkish projection, also in Albania, is the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (Tika), longa manus of Ankara in the post-Ottoman galaxy. Tika is dedicated both to the restoration of the buildings left by the empire and to a plethora of other activities, including training, technical-logistical support and humanitarian aid, such as after the earthquake that shook Albania last November. But his action in the Adriatic republic does not appear significantly different or more incisive than that carried out in other former Ottoman possessions, from Moldova to Hungary. 

Put into context, an operation with a high symbolic potential sponsored by Tika together with the Turkish embassy revealed against the light the current state of the celebrated Turkish-Albanian link. Last July, Turkish representatives inaugurated a memorial monument dedicated to the 251 "martyrs" who died in the failed coup of 2016 in one of Tirana's main parks. An action at first glance striking, especially considering that the plaque - vandalized a short time later - is the first of its kind to be built outside the Turkish borders. 

In the following days, however, no Albanian authorities gave prominence to the event and, pressed on the subject, the mayor of the capital said that "in Tirana there is room for everyone". Attitudes that suggest how, behind the veneer of reverence that is deemed necessary to accord to a regional heavyweight, the Albanian leadership nurtures a very lukewarm pro-Turkishism. Moving from parks to Realpolitik, Tirana has in fact proved much less sympathetic to Ankara. 

The scrutiny of the Gulenist schools present in the country, promoted by the authorities to satisfy the Turkish insistence, did not find anything suspicious. Furthermore, Albania has elegantly procrastinated for over three years in the face of the request for extradition of suspected Gulenists, repeatedly made by Turkey, yielding only last January - and for only one person, Harun Çelik. This stubborn reluctance to cooperate in the Feto affair has made it clear for the umpteenth time who really commands in Albania.

The double-headed eagle drawn on the national banner would seem to allude to the existence of a double soul of Albania, one facing west, perhaps towards the first Rome, and one facing east, perhaps towards the second. But those who know the country well know that the two former rulers can only compete for the second place: the first is already occupied by the USA 4 and with a strength that in no other corner of the Old Continent proves so unchallenged.

Tirana's degree of loyalty to Washington is precluded in any comparison with the other states of the peninsula. It is enough to compare the process of integration of Albania into NATO with that of Montenegro to understand how the former is a state completely devoted to Washington. If the integration of the second (2017), less than half the size of the first and with a quarter of its population, proved to be an ordeal, between obstruction of the large pro-Russian faction, a crude coup attempt and the very measured euphoria of Podgorica , that of Albania took place almost ten years earlier without encountering the slightest obstacle.

The open support granted by the White House to the Albanian faction in the Kosovo war of independence (1998-99), sublimated in the more than controversial NATO bombing of Belgrade, was sufficient evidence to persuade the Albanians that the preservation of their nation and of its own state lies in the firm hands of the world hegemon. 

The almost fideistic pro-Americanism that animates this population - although still very nationalist and not at all attracted by the cosmopolitan message - is inscribed in society, in the urban landscape, in consumption. The names Amelia, Noel and Joel are among the most popular options for babies; in the country there are several streets and squares dedicated to American presidents and personalities, such as Rruga George W. Bush in Tirana; Popular hymns such as Amerike by Shkurte Fejza or Thank you, USA by Armend Miftari are sung with enthusiasm.

Just like for EU accession, no political force and no segment of the population cultivates ambitions of another tenor. At the moment there is no room for maneuver for any other actor, not even for that China which for a few decades of communism embodied the exotic benevolent protector and today has returned munificent to propagate the advent of the new silk routes. For the Albanian, only the US can guarantee well-being, protection and stability; the competitors are supporting actors, from whom perhaps to draw some money and be satisfied with contingent needs. 

An almost dogmatic belief that has so far survived unscathed from all the turbulence that the Western bloc itself has experienced in the new millennium, from the explosion of the jihadist threat, and the consequent spread of Islamophobia, to the financial crisis of 2008.

Not even the rise of Donald Trump has affected the popularity of the US in the land of Eagles. A survey conducted in 2018 found that 72% of Albanians still approved of The Donald's foreign policy, despite the world average being at an all-time low (30%). The paradox that this policy, aiming to downsize the very American international projection from which the Albanians have benefited so greatly, openly contrasts with their national interests reminds us how, still in 2020, the eagle may also have more heads, but the let his heart remain one. 

And it's not for sale. he felt The Donald's foreign policy, despite the world average being at an all-time low (30%). The paradox that this policy, aiming to downsize the very American international projection from which the Albanians have benefited so greatly, openly contrasts with their national interests reminds us how, still in 2020, the eagle may also have more heads, but the let his heart remain One. Hoping it's not for sale.

                 What do you think about that Hon.Mr. President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.?

Tuesday, January 19

BETTINO CRAXI 21° ANNIVERSARIO - CON LUI SEMPRE!

 

INVICTUS (Lat.: MAI SCONFITTO)
Dal profondo della notte che mi avvolge,
Nera come un pozzo che va da un polo all'altro,
Ringrazio gli Dei qualunque essi siano
Per la mia indomabile Anima.

Nella stretta morsa delle avversità
Non mi sono tirato indietro né ho gridato.
Sotto i colpi d'ascia della sorte
Il mio capo è sanguinante, ma indomito.

Oltre questo luogo di collera e lacrime
Incombe solo l'orrore delle ombre.

Eppure la minaccia degli anni
Mi trova, e mi troverà, senza paura.

Non importa quanto stretto sia il passaggio,
Quanto piena di castighi la Vita,
Io sono il padrone del mio Destino:
Io sono il Capitano della mia Anima.
(William Ernest Henley)



Monday, November 23

DAL RNA-H1N1 1915-1920 AL SARS COV-19


100 ANNI FA LA POPOLAZIONE MONDIALE ERA UN TERZO DI QUELLI CHE SIAMO OGGI. NONOSTANTE QUESTO, I NUMERI CHE VEDREMO SONO TERRIFICANTI, RISPETTO A QUELLI PROPINATICI - OGGI A OGNI ORA, DA UN ANNO - SPACCIANDO UNA PANDEMIA PLANETARIA NEL 2020 CHE PANDEMIA NON E'. SI CHIAMA SOLO " 2020 GREAT RESET"!


Provate a indovinare quale è stata la pestilenza che ha flagellato di più l’umanità. Qualcuno ricorderà subito la famosa Morte nera del Trecento, che in cinque anni, tra il 1347 e il 1352, stravolse la storia europea, riducendo di un terzo la popolazione del Vecchio continente. 

A qualcun altro verrà in mente la più recente tragedia dell’AIDS, prontamente ribattezzata “la peste del secolo”, che dall’inizio degli anni Ottanta si diffuse a macchia d’olio in tutto il mondo, sconvolgendo gli stili di vita occidentali e falcidiando in alcuni Paesi africani intere generazioni. 

Pochi penseranno invece alla cosiddetta Spagnola del 1918, la pandemia influenzale di cui ricorre quest’anno il centenario, che forse si sarebbe meritata più propriamente l’epiteto attribuito all’immunodeficienza acquisita provocata dall’HIV.

La giornalista scientifica britannica Laura Spinney, con un’espressione tipica dell’inglese, ma facilmente comprensibile anche in italiano, definisce la pandemia del 1918 “l’elefante nella stanza”: un evento enorme, ingombrante, se vogliamo, di cui però nessuno pare voglia parlare. 

Lo fa nel suo bel libro edito in Italia nel 2017 da Marsilio “1918. L’influenza spagnola. La pandemia che cambiò il mondo”, che tuttavia nella traduzione del titolo in italiano finisce col mettersi nella stessa linea, attenuando il carico drammatico dell’originale “Pale rider”, “Il cavaliere pallido”, che fa esplicito riferimento al quarto cavaliere dell’Apocalisse, simbolo della morte.

La definizione non è esagerata, e ogni tentativo di ridimensionarne la gravità è una sorta di condanna. La pandemia del 1918 spazzò davvero il pianeta come una piaga biblica. Nel giro di pochi mesi, infatti, la Grande Influenza provocò molte più vittime di tutte le altre malattie virali o batteriche che nella storia si sono abbattute sull’umanità. 

Si parla di un numero di morti difficile da calcolare con certezza, dal momento che il virus raggiunse il cuore dell’Africa, le isole del Pacifico e le lande più desolate dell’Alaska, in un’epoca in cui la denuncia dei casi non era ancora obbligatoria nemmeno nei Paesi più avanzati. Se ne vedono però i segni in un altissimo picco della mortalità concentrato soprattutto nell’autunno del 1918, una brusca variazione verso l’alto anche rispetto all’effetto della Prima guerra mondiale che già da diversi anni mieteva le sue vittime. Si parla di 50, forse 100 milioni di morti, per lo più nel giro di poche settimane, in ogni parte del mondo. Più di quelli causati da una Guerra che per la sua estensione e letalità prese l’appellativo di “Grande”, a segnare una differenza rispetto ai conflitti del passato.

La pandemia sarebbe dovuta essere un evento altrettanto, se non più memorabile, si direbbe. Una catastrofe che si sarebbe dovuta imprimere nella memoria di tutta l’umanità. Invece è stata subito dimenticata, quasi rimossa. Capire come e perché questo sia accaduto ci può aiutare a interpretare meglio i fenomeni dell’informazione di oggi, e delle sue distorsioni (a partire dalla questione delle fake news), la nostra percezione del rischio, spesso alterata rispetto alla realtà, i pericoli costituiti ancora oggi dalle malattie infettive, l’impatto che il modo di raccontarle può avere sulla loro diffusione.
Tolto forse un famoso quadro di Egon Schiele, il pittore che, prima di soccombervi a sua volta, l’ha rappresentata nelle fattezze sofferenti della moglie Edith, incinta, che ne morì, l’arte ha completamente ignorato questa tragedia. 

Questione di prospettiva, si dice. I fenomeni si osservano meglio a distanza. Eppure la peste del Trecento lasciò il segno subito, nel contemporaneo Decamerone di Boccaccio e poi nei secoli successivi in Shakespeare e Manzoni, rappresentata in centinaia di quadri e Danze macabre in tutta Europa. 

I libri di storia ne sottolineano l’impatto sulla politica, la società, l’economia. Nella storia medievale segna una cesura, tra un prima e un dopo.


I primi libri che hanno cominciato a parlarne sono usciti a distanza di decenni, verso la fine del secolo scorso e poi in prossimità dell’anniversario che ricorre in questi mesi. Si tratta per lo più di saggi scritti da storici della medicina o di resoconti da parte di giornalisti scientifici, soprattutto in ambito anglosassone. 

Riccardo Chiaberge, nel 2016, per UTET, ne ha raccontato alcune storie (1918. La grande epidemia. Quindici storie della febbre spagnola). È strano. Un evento così sconvolgente, famiglie e città falcidiate nel giro di poche settimane e nemmeno una traccia di rilievo nella narrativa, nella poesia, nella memoria collettiva. Un’epidemia dimenticata, è stata chiamata. 


Questa malattia, infatti, sebbene abbia fatto globalmente molte più vittime della temutissima peste, sembra essere condannata a un’eterna sottovalutazione. L’aggettivo che più le si addice sembra “banale”. 

Attribuita agli influssi degli astri (da qui l’origine cinquecentesca del suo nome) e poi agli effetti del freddo (un tipico “malanno di stagione”), l’influenza paga il prezzo di un’eccessiva familiarità, anche quando si presenta con intenzioni tutt’altro che benevole. 

Ce lo spiegano gli esperti di percezione e comunicazione del rischio: più siamo abituati ad averci a che fare, meno un potenziale pericolo ci spaventa. L’influenza arriva tutti gli anni, nella stragrande maggioranza dei casi passa da sola, si accompagna a immagini di coccole domestiche, bevande calde, riposo forzato. 

Niente a che vedere con le proiezioni di spaventose epidemie di origine esotica, come quella provocata dal virus di ebola. Se è influenza, non può far paura. Se uccide, non può essere influenza. E infatti su quella del 1918 si affollarono le ipotesi, le teorie, i nomi. Chiamarla “influenza” sembrava poco.

All’oblio contribuì probabilmente anche la scarsa comprensione di quel che era accaduto: da parte della popolazione, come si è detto, soprattutto a causa della censura; da parte del mondo accademico, in una forse inconscia rimozione di un’inattesa Caporetto venuta a interrompere una lunga serie di successi che la medicina aveva riportato nei decenni precedenti, anche e soprattutto nel campo delle malattie infettive.

Di questa malattia, invece, si capiva poco. Attribuita a Haemophilus influenzae, un batterio isolato alla fine dell’Ottocento da Richard Pfeiffer, un biologo tedesco (“un caso? Non credo” si dicevano anche allora, in piena propaganda di guerra, i complottisti del tempo), solo nel 1930 sarebbe stata giustamente associata a un virus. 

Soprattutto non esistevano cure, se non quelle sintomatiche e improvvisate. Anche le misure preventive, a base di disinfettanti riversati sui marciapiedi, non si rivelarono molto efficaci.

A diffonderla contribuirono probabilmente i grandi spostamenti di popolazioni e di truppe legati alla guerra, mentre è meno certo che la sua gravità sia stata accentuata dal fatto di essere piombata su popolazioni malnutrite e già provate dal conflitto. 

Non si spiegherebbe altrimenti perché la malattia si sia diffusa ovunque, anche nei Paesi neutrali o che erano del tutto estranei alla guerra, lontanissimi dai campi di battaglia, senza mostrarsi lì meno grave. 


Le vittime però non mancavano nemmeno lì. Anzi, in assenza di quelle attribuibili al conflitto, spiccavano di più, contribuendo a confermare la fake news che l’epidemia si fosse sviluppata, e particolarmente diffusa, in quel Paese, mentre in silenzio uccideva ovunque molto più delle granate.

Origini ed eredità

Sulle effettive origini dell’influenza esistono teorie discordanti. I virus influenzali si trasformano continuamente, rimescolando le caratteristiche dei loro geni, così da sfuggire al sistema immunitario degli ospiti che vanno a infettare. 

Di anno in anno ci sono piccole variazioni che rendono necessaria la creazione di nuovi vaccini; di tanto in tanto il cambiamento è più radicale, e rende il virus totalmente irriconoscibile, tanto da prendere del tutto di sorpresa le difese dell’organismo. 


Nel caso di cui parliamo è possibile che il nuovo virus sia emerso da una roulette russa genetica avvenuta in Francia o negli Stati Uniti, ma alcuni studi suggeriscono che anche in questo caso, come per la maggior parte dei virus influenzali, l’evento iniziale sia avvenuto in Cina, dove l’anno precedente già si segnalavano possibili focolai della malattia.

Il nuovo virus colpiva i soldati in combattimento, influendo sulle scelte strategiche dei generali, che si trovavano da un giorno all’altro con le truppe decimate dalla febbre, ma non risparmiava chi viveva in condizioni di benessere: uno fra tutti, il re di Spagna Alfonso XIII, di certo non provato dalle privazioni della guerra.

Anzi, un’altra caratteristica di questa pandemia da virus A-H1N1, che poi si ripresentò nel 2009, era di colpire le diverse età con un andamento detto a W: ai due picchi di età tipicamente più suscettibili (bambini e anziani), si aggiungeva, ancora più rilevante, quello dei giovani adulti in piena salute. 


A produrli, in Germania, la Bayer, la stessa azienda che aveva lanciato la famosissima aspirina. Il complottismo, come terreno fertile su cui germogliano le bufale, non è nato con Facebook. 

Soprattutto negli Stati Uniti si diffuse il sospetto che i germi responsabili dell’epidemia fossero stati nascosti nelle compresse dal nemico per indebolire il fronte alleato. 


Come spesso accade, alcune bufale possono a loro volta nascondere un nucleo di verità: in questo caso gli esperti non escludono che il farmaco, tra i pochi rimedi allora a disposizione per contrastare la febbre alta e il mal di testa tipici della malattia, possa aver contribuito ad aumentare in alcuni contesti il carico di vittime, soprattutto favorendo i fenomeni emorragici descritti dalle cronache dell’epoca, e inusuali con la comune influenza. 

Mentre infatti oggi si consiglia di non superare i 3-4 grammi al giorno, le autorità statunitensi raccomandavano dosaggi fino a 30 grammi al giorno. Oltre ai sanguinamenti, oggi sappiamo che anche un sovradosaggio inferiore a questo può provocare un edema polmonare, una condizione compatibile con molti dei sintomi e dei segni che caratterizzavano le vittime della malattia.

Il farmaco, però, era a disposizione di pochi, e la mortalità non inferiore laddove non c’erano medicinali: non si può certamente quindi attribuire ai tentativi dei medici la colpa di una simile strage.

Altre fake news circolarono, riguardo all’ipotesi che la malattia non fosse altro che un’arma biologica messa in circolo dal nemico: dal porto di Boston, dove si riteneva che la piaga si fosse diffusa negli Stati Uniti, una donna giurava di aver visto alzarsi una nube tossica da una nave tedesca camuffata, mentre altri sospettavano che agenti nemici fossero sbarcati da U-boot, introdottisi nottetempo in rada, e avessero sparso il contenuto di fiale contenenti il germe in cinema, teatri e altri luoghi frequentati.

Non c’era internet, non c’erano i social network, ma il bisogno di trovare una spiegazione a un evento che ci affligge era la stessa, allora come oggi. 

Era la stessa la volontà di attribuire i nostri mali a un nemico, reale o immaginario, facendo fatica ad accettare che vengano invece da quella natura che ci ostiniamo a considerare sempre benigna, ignorandone le insidie. 

Censura di guerra o no, interpretiamo le notizie così come le vogliamo interpretare, a conferma di quel che ci vogliamo sentir dire, cioé:" che il banale virus che si cura con latte e miele possa essere peggio della peste, o che possa ripresentarsi, e trovarci impreparati, questo poi no, non ce lo vogliamo proprio sentir dire ".