Monday, October 13, 2008
Think globally, pillage locally
The following is from an article I first discovered when Hugh Fitzgerald posted it in a comments section of Dhimmi Watch in its original Italian. I have taken the trouble to translate it into English, since I could find no translation of it on-line.
The original Italian is here for any readers who wish to correct any parts of my translation.
This article is drawn from a graduate thesis of an Italian political science student (details below at the bottom of this essay). It recounts an episode during World War 2 when, during the liberation of Italy, French troops availed themselves of a few thousand Moroccan mercenaries to help out. Instead of helping out, the Morrocan soldiers proceeded to pillage, plunder, rape and murder the citizens they were supposed to be liberating.
Were these Moroccans merely acting out a primal savagery, or were they in some sense conducting a jihad? Of course, it is bad enough if it were merely the former, and it would be a plausible inference that such behavior reflects upon the Islam that is supposed to govern their cultural society so comprehensively. I would suggest that it was probably a mixture of both, insofar as wanton savagery and the terror it inflicts on its victims is always a part of the perennial jihad against the enemies which perpetually surround Muslims, and against whom they have to struggle.
When reading the following report and its quoted sources, the reader gets a sense that it was not merely a matter of savages running amok due to some primal nihilism, reflecting merely a backward culture that may be tangential to Islam. There seems to have been some sense among the perpetrators that they were an invading collective force—e.g., the recollection of one Italian eyewitness: “...they came out from everywhere, seizing all the women that they found and taking them to the woods, coming among us in military columns...” (...passavano in colonna in mieso a nui...) And the description by the author: “The systematic nature of the violence...” (Il carattere sistematico delle violenze...)
Even if the goal were merely to satisfy the savage lust of the group and terrorize the populace being brutalized, such a goal by itself is sufficient to be motivated by the general doctrine of jihad, which on one level knows no time or place, insofar as the Infidel enemy that always surrounds the Umma always needs to be punctured and terrorized, by hook or by crook, whenever and howsoever possible. I.e., whenever the opportunity presents itself, the Muslim is given carte blanche by Islam to “go for it”.
And even if nothing grand seems to come of such localized depredations, global jihad-wise, Muslims have infinite patience, and they know—if only instinctively—that every little bit helps in the long view: Think globally, pillage locally.
In this circumstance, the Muslim Moroccans were apparently also given some degree of carte blanche by the French military command who used them to help liberate Italy. While this certainly may have emboldened the Muslims to go on a rampage even more than normally, the implicit moral that seems to be communicated between the lines of the author’s essay seems unwarranted—to wit, that the French command is ultimately responsible for the savagery of the Moroccan mercenaries. First, while the French command was certainly behaving irresponsibly, the author provides no smoking gun evidence that they knowingly used the mercenaries to actually plunder, rape and murder the civilians. All the author presents are inferences and conclusions drawn by people at the time and later. At best, it was probably a situation where the French command had a good idea that the mercenaries would misbehave, and didn’t care, because they needed some savages to pierce through that area so massively controlled by the Germans—sort of like a town council using Hell’s Angels members to keep the peace during a potentially dangerous event.
Secondly, that implicit moral is based upon, or at least certainly reinforces, the PC MC dogma that forever relieves the Third World Noble Savage from any substantial ethical responsibility for his actions, even if his actions are ghoulishly horrible—as they were in this case, and as they were in, for example, in Rwanda.
At any rate, here is the report. When the reader has fully absorbed the details recounted here, the profound evil of Islamic culture sinks in once again.
“Montecassino 1944, Moroccans run amok”, drawn from the Italian journal Millenovecento, number 14, December of 2003, by Tommaso Baris.
In the spring of 1944, the Americans, sealed off at Anzio and Cassino by the fierce defense of the Germans, decided to try to surround the obstacle by asking the French commander Alphonse Juin to seize the mountainous ridge of the Aurunci, thereby taking the linchpin of the German defense from the rear. On May 12, the French offensive was engaged in the direction of Faito and Maio, which granted access to the Musoni mountain range. By virtue of the attack conducted through an otherwise impervious region, in two days Moroccan troops (the so-called “mountain men”) distributed among the French army commenced armored combat on the road through Ceprano and Frosinone and, in the ensuing week, liberated the province from there to the valley of Amaseno and Sacco, forcing the Germans back in a disastrous retreat to avoid being surrounded.
During their overwhelming advance, lasting approximately two weeks, from May 15 to the beginning of June, nearly reduced in half by the German opposition (at the end of that engagement the Moroccan troops were reduced to approximately 7,000), these Moroccan conscripts used by the French army abandoned themselves to a shocking spate of pillaging, murdering and raping throughout the occupied region, mostly against small groups of persons or isolated individuals, until the order came down to halt the march to Valmontone.
The systematic nature of the violence and the substantial acquiescence of commanders and officials spread the idea of the freedom of action granted to these colonial mercenaries against civilians, in spite of sanctions foreseen in military codes through criminal citations. In a memorandum from the Presidency of the Consiglio, the attitude of the French officials was harshly stigmatized because “far from intervening and reprimanding such crimes, they have instead viciously attacked the civil population who tried to resist”, implying that the Moroccan troops had been recruited “by means of a deal that gave them the right to pillage and plunder”. “The officials allowed the Moroccans a tacit freedom of action” and “in the majority of cases they chose to ignore what was going on and it has been said that as far as the Moroccan irregulars go, they have the right to plunder”.
A note from June 25, 1944, from the General Command of the Arma dei Carabinieri of the Italian Liberation to the Presidency of the Consiglio, noted that in the municipalities of Giuliano of Rome, Patrica, Ceccano, Supino, Morolo, and Sgurgola, in the span of three days (June 2 to June 5), there were 418 cases of sexual violence—three of the victims were men—29 murders, and 517 cases of theft imputed to the Moroccan soldiers, who “raged against those populations, terrorizing them”. A high number of women, girls and infant girls were raped, often repeatedly, by these pillaging soldiers in a state of savage ecstasy that was sexual and sadist, and they often forced parents and husbands to assist such evil mayhem. Inevitably the activities of the Moroccan soldiers included the theft of innumerable citizens of their wealth and livestock. Numerous habitations were sacked and often destroyed and set on fire.
The impact on the civilian population was therefore traumatic. The wave of generalized and uncontrolled violence wrought by supposed “liberators” threw the inhabitants into a state of profound submissiveness, accentuating their sense of distrust for external authorities. The Liberation that had been so yearned for among these people was transformed into a nightmare of savage and uncontrolled violence. This unexpected unfolding of events has remained branded vividly in the recollection of the perpetrators. “There could have been thousands of them, they seemed to swarm down from the mountains... from afar they were like ants”, remembers Concetta C. “In the time they passed through, in three days, they made Hell. They were brutish and filthy savages. They wore rings in their noses, wore long robes... Throughout the whole mountain you could hear screams and laments...”
Giovannina M., another witness who was interviewed, said of the Moroccans: “We were expecting liberators, but those who arrived were of a strange race. They were ugly, they looked like demons. They took whatever they could and made havoc among the people... They had carte blanche in the battlefield and they committed such outrages among men and women... it was a slaughter. These Moroccans were filthy, like beasts.They were dark with harsh eyes, with rings in their noses... In the whole mountain region, they came out from everywhere, seizing all the women that they found and taking them to the woods, coming among us in military columns... where could we escape to?”
The view reported by official sources does not diverge from this. A relative of the Minster of Foreign Affairs underlines that “daily, in whatever hour of the day or night” there occurred “carnal violations, woundings and murders, rapes and pillages. Quite often there were cases of very young girls deflowered and raped repeatedly by whole groups of soldiers in sadistic fury,” while “many women who had suffered such violence were found among the corpses. More often than not such atrocities were committed in the presence of their families, reduced to powerlessness, and after the massacre of these,” it was confirmed that “parents, brothers and husbands” were forced “to assist this horror” and often “were killed, wounded or ill-treated for any resistance they offered...”
The natural savagery of the behavior of the Morrocan mercenaries thus disoriented the population, who thought the Americans were arriving to save them: “It was broadcast that the Americans are coming... instead, the Americans did not come through the mountains” said Tommaso Fortunato. The shock was overwhelming. The inhabitants were stupefied by the appearance of their “liberators”—and then, by the unexpected flood of violence.
[. . .]
“The data from the Minister of Interior, collected a few months after the liberation, indicate approximately 3,100 women as victims of the sexual violence on the part of the Moroccan troops...”
[Note: this was for a period of time of approximately two weeks.]
About the author:
Tommaso Baris is a postgraduate student researching contemporary history in the Faculty of Political Science at the Università La Sapienza in Rome. His graduate thesis “Wartime experience and social movements: The impact of war on the civil population of Frusinate 1943-1948” won the first edition of the “Luigi Michelletti” prize. Derived from that thesis, Baris has also written the book Between two fires, issued by Laterza press.