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On March 11 about two hundreds people were killed in Madrid in a bomb attack closely resembling the bombing of the Bologna railway station in Italy, more than 20 yrs ago.

"Terrorism in the two decades since since 1969 was controlled by the state in a ‘strategy of tension’ to scare voters away from ‘extremist’ parties, primarily communists, who came close to achieving power."


Puppetmasters: The Political Use of Terrorism in Italy

a review of Philip Willan's book by Peter Drew


Perspectives, 1993
www.globalresearch.ca    1 March 2004

The URL of this article is: http://globalresearch.ca/articles/DRE403A.html

Peter Drew, "USA Bombs Europe into Submission",  Perspectives,  No. 3, 1993, Transeuropa Collective, BM-6682, London WC1N. Review of Puppet-Masters: The Political Use of Terrorism in Italy, Constable (London, 1991), by Philip Willan

On March 11 about two hundreds people were killed at Madrid in a bomb attack closely resembling the bombing of Bologna railway station in Italy, more than 20 yrs ago. At that time at Bologna 83 persons were killed and Italian "fascists" were accused for it and than jailed for more than 20 yrs. Two years ago in Italian "Yugoinfo" news revealed that the bomb attack at the Bologna railway station was perpetrated by (CIA controlled) secret Italian services, trying to push away Italians from the idea of national independence vs. USA.

Marek Glogoczowski

Terrorism is today the pretext for many of the less acceptable activities carried out by western states, from the suspension of civil liberties and the creation of police checkpoints in city streets, to threats and acts of war against foreign governments said to sponsor it. Any publication which produces this enormous weight of genuine evidence showing that terrorism can be created by one of those western states in order to provide such a pretext must therefore be considered political dynamite.

Philip Willan’s masterpiece examines in commendably and necessarily minute detail the years of violence in Italy, which have recently been forced to undergo radical reappraisal in that country. The twists and turns are torturous enough to fill 358 pages, but the basic idea is that terrorism in the two decades since since 1969 was controlled by the state in a ‘strategy of tension’ to scare voters away from ‘extremist’ parties, primarily communists, who came close to achieving power. The ‘puppetmasters’ of the book’s title are quickly revealed to be the Americans, determined to keep pro-US, pro-NATO elements at the helm of the Italian State.


Willan leaves nothing to be merely assumed by the reader and even spells out the background to Italy’s strategic importance for the USA’s military interests. “Until 1988 the country did not posses an aircraft carrier. This was not because of its studiedly unaggressive foreign policy stance but because of geographic position , jutting into Mediterranean, enables it to project air power throughout Mediterranean basin.” He writes. DeGaule’s move away from Atlantic alliance in 1966 led to Italy replacing France as regional centre of operations for Americans. The importance of Italian naval bases was increased by Don Mintoff coming to power in Malta in 1971 and closing its ports to Western warships.

Willan later takes a further step back from the small print to assess the broad postwar picture. “The Yalta Agreement in 1945 had laid the basis for the division of Europe into two geopolitical blocks. Whether the maintenance of these blocks depended more on the agreement or on the realities of military power is open to argument. Many Italian commentators attribute the tacit understanding between superpowers that each should have a free hand in their own sphere of influence to what they call ‘the logic of Yalta’. Just as, according to this interpretation, the Americans were unable to intervene when Russian tanks rolled into Czechoslovakia or Hungary, so it was unthinkable that a Communist Party could be allowed to come to power in a country of the capitalist West. It followed then that the Soviet Union would have accepted that outright communist rule in Italy was out of the question and that, if necessary, American tanks would move to prevent it.”


He details how it was at a “secret level of intelligence cooperation between Italy and the United States” that the strategy of tension was carried out and discovers clues all along the way to confirm this thesis, including internal CIA memoranda. Willan concludes: “There can be little doubts that much of the responsibility for what happen as a result of the strategy of tension rests with the United States. Since the end of the Second World War the United States has exercised great and only gradually diminishing, influence over the Italian secret services, it is unthinkable that those secret services could have been involved in major abuses and in collusion with terrorism for more than a decade without the approval of the NATO security establishment.”

The most significant reality to emerge from Willan’s research for readers in what was once called Free Europe, is that the Americanization of their homelands is not just a question of American fads, fashion and subcultures eating away existing identities. THERE IS VERY CLEARLY A CONCRETE US-RUN ‘SYSTEM’, OR SECRET GOVERNMENT, HOLDING POWER ABOVE THE LEVEL OF ALL THE SELF-IMPORTANTLY ‘SOVEREIGN’ NATIONAL STATES.

Speculation about whether P2 leader Licio Gelli played a leading part in the terrorist campaign or whether Red Brigades’ leader Mario Moretti or the ideologue Professor Toni Negri were in fact long term intelligence agents, make for fascinating reading.

But for anyone in Britain the details fade into irrelevance next to the chilling certainty that this could happen here too, in a state in which secret American control must surely be greater than everywhere else in Europe. Maybe opposition to the system has never reached the point where any sort of dramatic intervention was needed. But we can rest assured that if it did, the necessary action would be taken. With the evidence to support this notion now freely available, it is a shocking symptom of submission that the Italian experience has apparently failed to have any impact on the British public’s imagination. Reflecting our population’s increasing self-identification with the USA, everyone still seems a lot more interested in the never-ending American domestic controversy over who killed their President Kennedy in 1963.

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