Last Friday was celebrated the day of remembrance of the military and civilian fallen in international missions for peace, established by law no. 16 of 12 November 2009, in memory of the fateful day on which, eighteen years ago, the Nassiriya massacre took place in Iraq.
At the time, our military was engaged in the "Ancient Babylon" operation which, which began after the one called "Iraqi Freedom", with which the US-led coalition, in the context of combating international terrorism, had led to the fall of the Saddam Hussein's regime, precisely, in Iraq, was intended to "To contribute, with the other coalition countries, to guarantee that essential security framework for effective and serious aid to the Iraqi people and to contribute with specific skills to the most urgent intervention activities in the restoration of essential infrastructures and services"1.
Well, on 12 November 2003, at 10:40 local time, a tank truck full of explosives exploded in front of the entrance to the Italian MSU (Multinational Specialized Unit) base of the "Maestrale" Carabinieri, subsequently causing the explosion of the ammunition depot of the base.
The attack caused twenty-eight deaths (19 Italians - including 12 carabinieri, 5 army soldiers, 2 civilians - and 9 Iraqi citizens) and twenty-one injuries, tremendously shaking our public opinion, almost as if the vibrations of that thunderous and so lethal explosion had arrived, covering the thousands of kilometers of distance that separated them underground, from that battered barracks in the Iraqi desert to our country.
Since then, beyond the good intentions, the judicial investigations that followed, the same law mentioned above, which has elevated that date to a symbol to remember, as mentioned, the victims of all the important international operations of peacekeeping, what, unfortunately, seems to be witnessing, in a climate - it must be said - of general cultural and value decadence, is an attitude to remembering more and more stereotyped and less and less widespread: in fact, the commemorations in the Municipalities, in the schools, universities, as well as in places of politics.
In an atmosphere, however, permeated by the feeling of an atrocious mockery, if only one considers the current and recent international events (see, among all, the abandonment - because this is what it was all about - Afghanistan, of which, further on, it will be said) which seem to have rendered useless the deaths suffered and the sacrifices, from all points of view, carried out over years and years of hard work by the international community and by our own country. Not to mention - another dramatic side of the story - the betrayed hopes of those who, in them (the international community and our own country) had placed.
On the other hand, on the same last November 12, net of a general stunnedness now due to a univocal, constant and often contradictory media campaign (and not only) devoted only and only to the theme "Covid 19 and green pass", the perceived sensation was the one described so far, also perhaps thanks to the concomitant commitment of the national football team, engaged, the same evening, against the Swiss rival, in the epic match-clash valid, being the aforementioned direct antagonists for access to the next world championships of Qatar.
With the exception of the commemoration held at the Tenuta della Mistica, in Rome, where the family home is located, managed by the "Volunteers of the Last Captain", the name with which the carabinieri officer, Sergio De Caprio (today retired colonel) who, on January 15, 1993, during the "Belva" operation, conducted in Italy by ROS- Special Operations Group of the Arma, arrested Salvatore Riina, the feared and dangerous boss of the Cosa Nostra.
Present at the ceremony as well, of course, at the same Last Captain, also the Alpha Commander, codename of the GIS co-founder - Special Intervention Team carabinieri, some relatives of the victims of the time, various weapon and voluntary associations, as well as numerous other participants, including ordinary citizens, representatives of Knightly Orders, carabinieri on leave2.
Unanimous, in everyone's reflections, the bitterness precisely for what happened recently in Afghanistan, with the disastrous retreat, previously mentioned, of the NATO contingent which, in no time at all, caused that country to fall back into total chaos, nullifying , in a few weeks, the twenty-year work carried out there and, above all, the lives sacrificed to try to rebuild a society, tried by the Taliban regime at the time and now plunged back, as if nothing had happened, in the same situation that had been tried to change.
Net, of course, of other discourses such as the exploitation of energy and resources of that region which, according to some, would have been, right from the start, the real reason behind the military campaign conducted there (it is no coincidence that, in the aftermath of the nefarious abandonment of that region by Western forces, other powers immediately appeared there, such as Russia and China) and began in the aftermath of another serious attack, namely the one on the Twin Towers, in New York, in 2001, following which, the then US President George W. Bush gave way to a "worldwide and permanent war on terrorism".
"We are here in one of the most abandoned suburbs of Rome - Last said - where there is the boundary between degradation and dignity, and it is here that it is right to fight. Today we are in the presence of the highest authorities, the mothers, the wives, the children of our Fallen, who testify to the courage of their loved ones without asking for anything. To them, we apologize for the indifference of so many. Together with them we have collected the uniforms of our Fallen and resume and carry on that same battle ".
"Today - continued Colonel De Caprio - of the world of institutions, there is only the president of a municipality, of the sixth municipality, Nicola Franco, and no one else. We will remember it. And here with us is another fighter, the Alfa Commander, forced to defend himself after having served the country around the world ".
The memory of the Alpha Commander: "For me, today is a sad day, also because I knew many of those Fallen. But, at the same time, I am happy, because I see so many people, here, now, remembering those heroes who should always be honored, all days, and not only in this circumstance. We, there, have brought peace and humanity, as in Afghanistan, where we have not failed in the military, but in politics. We have deluded those peoples ".
The heroes of Nassiriya
Below, the choir names that fell in that cowardly attack: the carabinieri Massimiliano Bruno, Giovanni Cavallaro, Giuseppe Coletta, Andrea Filippa, Enzo Fregosi, Daniele Ghione, Horacio Majorana, Ivan Ghitti, Domenico Intravaia, Filippo Merlino, Alfio Ragazzi, Alfonso Trench; the soldiers of the army Massimo Ficuciello, Silvio Olla, Alessandro Carrisi, Emanuele Ferraro, Pietro Petrucci; the civilians Marco Beci, cooperating, and Stefano Rolla, director.
To them our dutiful remembrance, accompanied here, as it happened the other night, by the sound of "silence", which is very different from that, deafening, of those who were not there, of those who did not remember, of those he preferred another Italy.
And, for the record, starting from May next year, Italy, succeeding Denmark, will be called to lead the "NATO mission in Iraq".
1 Thus states the art. 1 of the law of 1 August 2003, establishing the mission in question.