Letter from the former Governor of Libya, Field Marshall Rodolfo Graziani
To the three Governors-to -be Obama, Sarkozy and Cameron (aided by Secretary of the Interior Maroni, a descendant of mine)
First of all I wish to congratulate you on the magnificent title you gave this daring operation, worthy of a triumvirate such as yours: Odyssey Dawn, recalling the intrepid feats that saw the Mediterranean Sea as their theatre a few millennia ago.
The contribution of anthropologists and men of letters is clear, as is their unparalleled skill in forging the weapon of words. Far from pedestrian concepts mouthed by coarse soldiers capable of evoking “Shock and Awe” or “ Molten Lead”, this campaign expresses a novel collaboration between the mind and the hand, fire and poetry.
Poetic inspiration elevates to heroic dignity those deeds that low on the ground may appear to be mere human vicissitudes: men and women engaged side by side next to Land Rovers, rocket launchers, tanks and camels while fighter planes circle the air with their fiery load.
Alas, Dawn suggests the vision of a new day and Odyssey the stages in the development of Man leading from abject creature, submitting to the capricious desires of a nefarious son of the desert, halted in a backward stage of development to becoming a free man able to progress at the same pace as the rest of the world. A man who administers with rational judgment his land and the riches that lie below it, together with sons from other lands, representing progress, all governed by the invisible hand of the market and finance, sporting the modern garb of globalism and democracy. Sons who have come from afar to sustain a humanitarian campaign, risking their own life and limb to halt the massacre of unarmed populations who have been invoking our aid for some time now.
Your campaign gathers under a single hope the sons of the New Old and those of the Old, to continue the mission of civilizing the Black Continent, which at one time saw me in the limelight, a master craftsman of strategies reprised and interpreted in different ways over the course of decades and in the most diverse situations. The camps in which 8 decades ago, on the very soil of Libya, I concentrated whole populations to prevent them from falling prey to the blackmail of the desert bandits led by the despicable sheik Omar al-Mukhtar only after one decade was emulated by our German brothers and r four decades later even by our former American enemy, in a far away green land of jungles and swamps called Viet Nam.
They re-baptized my strategy with the imaginative name of “strategic hamlet”, yet they were nothing else but my camps, which perhaps will soon see the light of day again. Already the sons of Albion under the leadership of the icy Cameron are fretting to elaborate urban, mobile versions of the concepts I materially executed.
Today in London they call it containment and even appoint containment managers to repress rebels in the streets, those multicolored ruffians adverse to cuts. Even in the New World they do not disdain using my camps, in their updated version, a new way to isolate the base, restless mob from the civilized world. 8 years ago in New York they used barricades to create a penned-in demonstration against the war on Iraq, and 3 years ago, they built a penning device dubbed the Freedom Cage, in Minneapolis, during the Republican Convention.
Sometimes you three members of the triumvirate act like guileless children, surrendering to the lure of the limelight. You challenge each other showing off the ingenuity of your weapons while downgrading the skill of the others. Let it be known that such divisions may turn against you. Let it be known to you that only by moving at the same pace, united like sheaves of wheat can you guarantee your strength. Alas! when you, descendant of the Magyar tribes now leading the Franks jump the gun and recognize Cyrenaica in the hopes of gaining advantages, especially the black gold so dear to you now that nuclear power is on shaky grounds, let it be known to you that you weaken the blond sheaf of grain.
When it was clear, dear baguette-eater, that you had lost or were about to lose several contracts (including with Brazil) worth billions of euros because you were not able to test your new Rafale fighter planes, what better opportunity than this. Fate prepared a showcase for you, and what an effective one, for your aerial weapons, before the Americans and the Swedes could snatch those valuable contracts away from you, selling their own which are better known to the armed forces.
Alas, your prayers were heard and the Rafale bombers were the first ones in action. Just like we, Italians, were the first ones in the world in Libya, in 1911, to use our wits when Giulio Gavotti, the intrepid lieutenant, was seized with the idea of launching a hand grenade from his aircraft, thus inaugurating the glorious season of aerial bombing.
Like a friend of mine said, advertising is the soul of business, but beware not to cross over the line traced in the sand by the historic champion of democracy, you must remember to bow in front of that country.
And above all beware not to fall into the sin of pride against your younger brother, the Italians, the aide de camp. Remember that once it was us who tamed the desert hordes, the name “the butcher of Fezzan” was reserved to yours truly and not to any other power. We were the first ones to use the weapon of death bearing gases on African soil.
It was I who was the Governor of Libya as well as the Viceroy of Abyssinia: Africa still remembers our feats. It is not about you that famous Sicilian songwriter singers enjoy composing songs on the subject of writing a letter to the Governor of Libya.
You could find yourselves having to entrust in the hands of my descendants the secret talks with the Rais of bygone times. Accustomed as we are to hand-kissing, inured to turning our coats, with our expertise in palace intrigues, and extreme skill in designing imaginative, isolation devices such as concentration camps, deportations at sea, an in our own land the camps to identify and deport, we are able to dirty our hands in ways that are repugnant to you, and yet to your interest. Do not forget! You may need our services.
Remember that the window of opportunity for a unipolar world is closed by now and that your triumvirate is confronted with the BRIC countries, and this time even Germany.
Do not let yourselves be lulled by a false sense of security provided by the superiority of weapons: the world is a complex place and the people are rebelling, the desert wind may mercilessly blow against you, if not immediately, as time goes on. A grain of sand may halt your devices. The lions of the desert may resume their roaring.
Your Dawn may turn into Sunset.
Graziani, Rodolfo, former Governor of Libya as well as Viceroy of Abyssinia
(as channeled by Pina Piccolo, March 21, 2011, World Poetry Day)
Did you find this information helpful? If you did, consider donating.