The story rewritten by the readers of Difesa Online: the crisis of Sigonella (1985) and that of Bari (1991)

(To David Rossi)

The end of the Cold War brings with it the advance of Arab-Islamic terrorism and the phenomenon of mass migration. The world changes quickly and not always for the better ...

From the reader Sergio Pession, the actualization of the Sigonella crisis ... indeed, how to avoid it

In a dystopian dream / nightmare, born from the hot-diet incorrect association, let's imagine a parallel universe where the politicians (all) of the 1985 instead of being professionals (more or less loved), have social and intellectual capacities equivalent to their today's colleagues.

After hearing of the hijacking of the Achille Lauro, Foreign Minister Giulio Andreotti and Spadolini of the defense met immediately, debating who should take the matter by hand and then submit to the media spotlight. Spadolini to the media immediately releases reassurance statements to families and that the state is already activated to resolve the issue peacefully and without potentially damaging military interventions for the kidnapped and specifying that the foreign ministry has already opened all the channels of the case. Andreotti, forced to work alone, desperately tries to regain contact with the Arab world, but is slow in having answers.

To take the initiative is the president of the council Bettino Craxi, who activates a privileged channel with Haliz al-Asad, without however finding it anywhere; the vice-president of the Forlani council immediately took advantage of this, and issued press releases in total autonomy where he directly brought the US into play as interested by several US passengers. Ronald Reagan, currently not aware of any that, after a first moment of disorientation and receiving direct communications from Forlani and Andreotti, is activated both at the media and military level. Hard line with the Palestinian hijackers and two Delta Force teams ready for the attack.

In a delirious climate of communiques and denials, the ship proceeds to Ashdod in Israel. The latter, including the gravity of the issue, is activated to "welcome" the incoming threat.

Reagan declares that he wants the Delta to intervene directly on board the ship, but a timid Spadolini tries to make the US president understand that the ship is flying the Italian flag and therefore it would be up to Italy to coordinate everything, but a surprise official statement from Forlani urges to sell the ship to the US to get around this, and that hiding behind legal and bureaucratic problems when lives are at stake is ridiculous.

Meanwhile, Arafat, joined by Andreotti, denies his involvement and activates two Egyptian emissaries to take time and allow the hijackers to leave the ship, but it is late, because the US and Israel already have forces at sea ready to intervene. Andreotti and Craxi proceed by diplomatic channels activating contacts in Tunisia, and making the US waste precious time.

Syria, through the International Red Cross, takes the initiative and informs that the port of Tartus is available to welcome the ship and that direct diplomatic channels are needed with Italy and hijackers. The latter, given the turn taken by the events, will avoid threats to passengers and crew, at least for now.

Reagan, impatient by the Italian delay and forced into his hand by his military advisers, thanks to Israeli intelligence support, by order to intervene with Brigadier General Stiner with the Delta. In total surprise and unpreparedness, three of the four hijackers are neutralized, while Majed el Molqi, miraculously escaping from the assault, attempts a daring escape from the ship. By now he understood that his fate was marked, he decides for a desperate and blatant "act of faith" by downloading two AK47 magazines onto a group of Italian passengers, leaving 9 adults and 4 children on the ground, before being knocked down by a Delta rushed for the shots.

Among the group of Italians, miraculously unharmed, is the American Leon Klinghoffer, pardoned by the jam of the Soviet rifle. The American Delta take custody of the ship and then divert it to Italy where it is returned to the "legitimate authority".

In the meantime the Arab world is unleashed due to the unilateral US action that is condemned by Craxi and considered badly necessary by a dismayed Andreotti who will show documents and authorizations that are not credible to the US to intervene. Solemn condolence is expressed by Spadolini to the families of the dead Italian citizens, while Forlani, paying homage to the victims, formally accuses Arafat and Asad of being principals of this brutal murder and that it is only thanks to the prompt intervention of the US that the tragedy has been contained.

Even Reagan in an official statement will declare his total dedication to the cause of peace in the Persian Gulf. When they explain to him that everything happened in the Mediterranean, he will answer that always Arabs were involved.

While the specters of the Cold War are advancing, Syria and Palestine plan new and terrible attacks, Craxi is called to account in parliament for his uncertain work and for the Italian victims "on his conscience", the Italians return to applaud a great Juventus and the USA the symbol of the good Leon Klinghoffer and the Delta heroes who saved him from certain death.

Blessed are we who do not understand a ...

From an anonymous reader, how to prevent evil while it is possible ...

Once upon a time there was a world with borders, where to go from one country to another you had to arm yourself with holy patience and facilitate the various guards, outgoing and incoming, your documents, your vehicle, passengers and any goods on board. It was a communal Europe but not yet united, like that sung by Toto Cutugno at Eurovision 1990 in that of Zagreb, then Yugoslavia. It was a Europe that ignored the problem of mass migration in the true sense of the term, with thousands of people all arriving together, more out of desperation than outright persecution.

And there, the Vlora ship, built by the Cantieri Navali Riuniti of Ancona and launched 31 years earlier, with its cargo of more than 20.000 Albanian boat-people, which comes off the quay of the port of Durres ...

It advances slowly, despite the calm sea, because the prefecture of Brindisi, having heard the interior minister, has communicated to the commander that the Harbor Offices of all the Apulia have been alerted: the officer has not only not been left without orders, but it was also informed that the Navy has received precise directives in the sense of preventing the entry of the boat in any port of the Republic at any cost.

The false report made by the commander indicating that there were wounded on board the Government replied that it had certain - but not verified - information about the presence of armed men on the ship and that it considered any attempt to dock an act of war against the Republic.

Before dawn the men in uniform fell from a helicopter: they hold an Italian and an Albanian flag. As do some coast guard boats alongside the Vlora. Orders are transmitted to the commander directly by the president of the council with the help of a huge satellite phone: the "guests" will be transferred to small groups from the ship on the coast guard boats, officially to be sorted between the various ports of the coast. A bundle of banknotes and the promise of an equally rich balance were worth buying the man's collaboration. Those poor desperate people would have been repatriated to the sly, while the Italian consulate in Albania would have had orders regarding the granting of visas with a wider sleeve.

Giulio Andreotti during the press conference with which he explained to journalists how they had resolved that crisis in the bud, he said: "We have acted in this way not because we are enemies of immigration. Indeed, we stand in solidarity with anyone, even for economic reasons, who wants to find a job in our country and we will do everything to accommodate all those that we can reasonably accept. Except that we don't want to see boats full of desperate people ready to do anything to suck up a little well-being and be guided by jackals ready to risk the lives of those desperate people in order to get rich ”.

No answer about the fate of the commander and the vessel, officially still "loaded with weapons", and about the news that they would then be sunk offshore once the "human load" had been unloaded.

Beyond the rumor of the machismo act, the departure of foreign minister Gianni De Michelis for a tour of the capitals of the southern Mediterranean countries was greeted with comments of amazement, from the opposition, of the communists, shouting: " What is he going to do? ”A famous Genoese comedian described him in his sketches intent on copulating with odalisques.

Even more direct is the leader of a small secessionist party in the Lombard valleys: "Go az ... with our money!" To which the Justice Minister Claudio Martelli responded: "With Albania we have only done well: their government it was so evanescent that they would not only take their migrants ... But if tomorrow we find ourselves facing similar crises, we want to have a repatriation agreement with all countries of departure and origin. I can't imagine that between 20 or 25 years, Italy has agreements with only 2-3 countries on dozens and dozens of potential exporters of desperate people. "

Photo: DR Walker / web