the moral, spiritual, and demographicrnwasteland they have created in what usedrnto be Christendom; they are plotting thernfinal showdown—in the tradition of therninfamous Fourth Crusade, almost 800rnyears ago, which allowed the Ottomansrnto sweep across Asia Minor, the Balkans,rnand up the Danubian plain all the way tornVienna.rnWhat else is the meaning of notrnmerely preserving NATO—now that thernthreat which created it is gone—^but extendingrnit eastwards? In this context itrnbecomes clear that one supplementaryrnmotive for the kind of policy the Americanrngovernment has pursued in thernBalkans over the past half-decade was tornset up the political, legal, military, andrnabove all psychological precedent for therndemolition of Russia as a great power, itsrnpermanent exclusion from “Europe,”rnand its consignment to the depths ofrnthe Eurasian land-mass, with a cordonrnsanitaire of New World Order satellitesrnaround it.rnFailure to remember what has gone onrnbefore condemns us to remain foreverrnchildren. The hubris of Albright, Lake,rnand Clinton is the path which Washingtonrnand Jefferson forbade America everrnto take. Given the choice, the people ofrnthis country would never opt for it,rnbut—living under the regime of “managedrnmass democracy”—they are seeminglyrnpowerless to prevent it. Aufwiedersehenrnin Riga!rn—Srdja TrifkovicrnT H E LEGA NORD has not beenrncowed by its mediocre showing in thernspring elections. Virtually alone amongrnItalian political leaders, Umberto Bossirnhas condemned both the “humanitarian”rnmission of the Italian army in Albaniarnand the continued refusal of the governmentrnto keep out the so-calledrnrefugees, most of whom have spent thernpast ten years looking for a pretext for goingrnto Italy. As Bossi told members ofrnthe Italian parliament, “I’ve been to NewrnYork and seen a multicultural society. Irndon’t want that for Italy.” Meanwhile,rnGianfranco Fini, the leader of the postfascistrnAlleanza Nazionale, has stuck fastrnby his senior political partner, financierrnSilvio Berlusconi (leader of the ForzarnItalia), who supports the government’srnpolicies on Albania. So much for Finirnbeing a fascist: he is not even a nationalistrnanymore.rnIn the middle of May, a few days afterrnI arrived in Rome, a Venetian separatistrngroup calling itself the serenissimo governornused a homemade “mini-panzer” inrntheir capture of the campanile of SanrnMarco in Venice. The press was quick tornpoint out contacts between this extremistrnmovement and the Lega, and prominentrnjournalists and politicians beganrncalling for a crackdown on Bossi. Thern”leader” responded by declaring, “Wernare revolutionaries, not terrorists”—anrnadmission which, if made in Americarn(where possession of the writings of Jefferson,rnLocke, or Sam Adams is evidencernof a hate crime) could get him at leastrnfive to ten in a federal prison.rnA day or two later, Bossi’s followersrnpeacefully occupied the same campanile,rnwhich has become the symbol forrnthe Venetian longing for autonomy. Parliamentaryrndebate was hot, as leghisti respondedrnto attacks on the Lega’s “terrorism”rnby demanding an investigation intornpolice brutality. Mario Borghezio, arnLega leader from Piedmont, told thernminister of justice, “You live in a ministryrnthat is a cemetery of papers and mysteries.”rn(I was supposed to meet withrnBorghezio the night of my arrival, but arnstrike by French air traffic controllers delayedrnmy arrival—my apologies, onorevolernBorghezio.)rnNational Public Radio’s Sylvia Poggioli,rnthe most accurate source of SouthrnEuropean news to which Americans havernaccess, pointed out the irony, that “campanilismo”rn(i.e., attachment to the localrnbell tower) is a derogatory term for smalltownrnchauvinism, but I have been tellingrnItalian friends for some time now thatrn”campamlismo” sums up the best qualitiesrnof the Italian character.rnThe attacks on the Lega continue tornmount, even as the leader seemed to bernseeking reconciliation with formerrnfriends who support his vision up to thernpoint of a confederal Italian republic butrnbalk at open talk of secession. GianfrancornMiglio, the political theorist whornabused Bossi in his kiss-and-tell lo, Bossi,rne La Lega, is now speaking respectfullvrnabout his former ally. But Bossi’s criticsrnclaim he is running scared, because thernmajority of his followers refuse to supportrnhis more radical goals. To silencernthis divisive criticism, the Lega sponsoredrnan informal “referendum” in Padania,rnon the question of autonomy and independence,rnand nearly four millionrnleghisti turned out to endorse the senator’srnposition—which is autonomy forrnthe North, in or out of an Italian union.rnSo much for divisions within the ranks.rnBy mid-June the Italian parliamentrnwas taking up the question of a new constitution,rnwhich will probably have bothrnpresidential and federalist trappings.rnThe leaders of the Lega remain, so far,rnunimpressed. Meanwhile in Venice, arnGay Pride march turned into a militantrndemonstration against the Lega. Withrnenemies like these, who needs friends?rnItaly continues to serve as the politicalrnlaboratory of the Western world. Fromrnthe days of the Roman Republic andrnEmpire, of the medieval communes andrnRenaissance despotisms, down to thernRisorgimento (their war of Northernrnaggression) and the establishment ofrnfascism, Italian political leaders haverncharted a course for their less brilliantrnGermanic and Celtic cousins, who repaidrnthem by borrowing the ideas and institutionsrnand despising their creators. Arnyear ago, a German politician asked mernwhy I wasted time on Italy and Serbia.rn”In Europe today, only Germany matters.”rnIn fact, Germans may be moving,rnever so slowly, toward nationalism andrnaway from the New World Order adventuresrnof Chancellor Kohl, but the realrnferment continues to be, for the moment,rnin Italy and in the Balkans.rn—Thomas FlemingrnPEYTON PLACE is the name of thernNorth Dakota bar where First LieutenantrnKelly Flinn went to relax, and thernname sums up her case very well. It hasrnbeen a soap opera all through. And as oftenrnhappens in the soaps, the worst charactersrnprove to be the most popular.rnThanks to her healthy good looks, herrnposition as a female ground-breaker, herrnwell-connected attorney, and an effectivernp.r. campaign which garnered herrnfriends in Congress and supportive mailrnfrom a half-informed public, Flinn hasrnretained her freedom if not her Air Forcerncareer.rnCourt-martialed for disobedience, lying,rnadultery, and fraternization (the lastrnfor a brief tryst with a Senior Airman),rnFlinn was given the relatively light punishmentrnof a genera] discharge. Her careerrnas the first woman B-52 pilot is over.rnDenied the honorable discharge shernsought, she will probably not be allowedrnto fly for the Reserves, and she will havernto pay back one-year’s worth of Academyrntuition, about $18,000. But consideringrnthat all the charges made against herrnseem to be true, and that she faced a pos-rnAUCUST 1997/7rnrnrn