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    Repiglican Roast

    A spirited discussion of public policy and current issues

    Location: The mouth of being

    I'm furious about my squandered nation.

    Wednesday, July 30, 2008

    The New Italian Fascism

    Italian soldiers will start patrolling streets on Monday as part of a controversial plan to fight crime — with many of the 3,000 soldiers descending on Milan, Rome and Naples, the cities that tend to have the most trouble with it, officials announced Tuesday.

    The soldiers will patrol alongside regular state police and the carabinieri, Italy’s paramilitary police, according to a spokeswoman with the Interior Ministry.


    Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi recently declared a state of emergency, and the government’s plan to infuse cities with patrolling soldiers is aimed at stemming the high rate of crime — much of it associated with the influx of illegal immigrants, Interior Ministry officials said.


    Though the soldiers can stop, search and identify suspects, they will have no arrest powers, the spokeswoman said. If they identify a suspect, they can hold him for police, she said.

    Soldiers also will patrol in Florence, Genoa, Bologna, Turin, Palermo, Bari and Venice. Generally, one-third of the soldiers assigned to each city will protect "sensitive targets," such as embassies, consular offices and other institutions; another third will be used for surveillance of city centers; and others will conduct foot patrols from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.

    The plan is expected to run for six months, with the possibility of a one-time six-month extension, she said.

    The measure raised eyebrows among some U.S. sailors serving in Naples.

    Martial law, as it were, wouldn’t go over well with the population in America, said Petty Officer 2nd Class Palae Cloud. "This is their city, and we’re just visiting, but people would be pretty upset if it happened in the States."

    Bringing in the military is "the last resort" in the States and could be frightening, especially for tourists, said Petty Officer 2nd Class Queathan McKenzie. "I mean, I wouldn’t want to go to New York if the military patrolled, or to Miami if the military was on the streets," he said.



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