July 03, 2003


Silvio has upset the Germans:

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has caused uproar in the European Parliament by appearing to compare a heckling German MEP to a Nazi concentration camp guard.

"I know there is a man producing a film on the Nazi concentration camps," Mr Berlusconi said, "I shall put you forward for the role of Kapo [guard chosen from among the prisoners] - you'd be perfect."

Mr Berlusconi apologised for any offence he might have caused the German people but refused to made a personal apology to the MEP, socialist Martin Schulz.

The audio of this is hilarious.

UPDATE. Kevin Drum writes that “Italians everywhere must be cringing” at Berlusconi’s remarks. Not any of the Italians I know.

Posted by Tim Blair at July 3, 2003 01:32 PM

One of the hecklers had a sign that read "No godfather for Europe". Isn't that perpetuating an Italian sterotype? I'd bet if a prominent leftist Italian was slurred in this manner by a conservative, the pc-monkeys would be howling.

Posted by: Tim Shell at July 3, 2003 at 01:56 PM

I have a happy vision of a dead Berlusconi hanging upside down from a lamppost.

Now who does that remind me of?

This turkey's time as PM is numbered. Wa-ay past his use by date.

Posted by: Nemesis at July 3, 2003 at 02:32 PM

It's always amusing when someone can dish it out and cries at a little return fire.

That the cry babies were leftists is irrelevant.

Posted by: FirstIraqThenChirac at July 3, 2003 at 02:33 PM

Yeah, Berlusconi is just as bad as Mussolini. "Nemesis" indeed.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at July 3, 2003 at 02:41 PM

At least he didn't call the German a scumbag. Their Parliament seems a bit tame compared to ours - maybe we send Mark Latham and Paul Keating over there to give them some lessons.

Posted by: Rob at July 3, 2003 at 02:45 PM

Waaaaah...he was MEAN to us....waaaaaahhhh!

That was hilarious - even with the poor video feed from the Beeb, you can tell that Berlusconi has a huge grin on his face as he's saying it...and the tut, tut, tut reaction of the head table is classic...

Posted by: Wind Rider at July 3, 2003 at 02:57 PM

Silvio Berlusconi: "the West will continue to conquer peoples, like it conquered communism even if it means a confrontation with another civilization, the Islamic one, stuck where it was 1,400 years ago."

Is he a moron, or is he just telling the truth?

Posted by: Nemesis at July 3, 2003 at 03:20 PM

Nauseous's complaint about Berlusconi's behavior would carry a little more weight if it wasn't expressed as a predictably dull comparison of Berlusconi to Mussolini. Twit.

Berlusconi really was hilarious. He knew exactly what button he was pushing when he tamped the socialist idiot down. He's is one of the very few entertaining European politicians. Most of them are poster-children for irritable bowel syndrome. Bless him.

Posted by: Harry at July 3, 2003 at 03:41 PM

"the West will continue to conquer peoples, like it conquered communism even if it means a confrontation with another civilization, the Islamic one, stuck where it was 1,400 years ago."
Thankyou, Nemesis, for pointing that one out to me. Just one more reason for us to love Silvio. I like even more that other quote from the same speech, about 'Western civilization being superior to Islam'.
It's been said before, and I'll say it again - bless him!

Posted by: TimT at July 3, 2003 at 03:59 PM

yeah, let me tell you this great joke i heard about the holocaust. in other words, what a clown.

Posted by: adam at July 3, 2003 at 05:15 PM

Dissenting Opinion: I'm sorry but I just can't condone this type of language. If it were the other way around we'd scream about Godwin's Law. Berlusconi should've found another way to insult the lefty twit, instead of comparing him to a Nazi. I appreciate his candor, but this language strikes me as poor judgment, not because it's politically incorrect but because it's poor strategy and gives your opponents a good target.

I was pretty pissed when the German politician compared Bush's tactics to Hitler's. This may not be the same thing but he should've come up with a different and more accurate insult.

Posted by: Tokyo Taro at July 3, 2003 at 05:24 PM

The Left is very adept at making scathing comparisons of present-day Conservatives to Hitler, Mussolini, etc.

But, it has never been able to tolerate comparisons of present day Leftists to Stalin, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Minh, etc. That toleration will be a learning experience in the years ahead.

Posted by: John J. Coupal at July 3, 2003 at 05:36 PM

Oh, Nemesis? Mussolini wasn't suspended from a lamp post.

Posted by: tim at July 3, 2003 at 05:38 PM

Good point John J. I wonder how many of those leftie twats blew a load when they saw protest footage of posters comparing Bush to Hitler.

Posted by: FirstIraqThenChirac at July 3, 2003 at 05:40 PM

What most have missed is that Silvio was actually making a very sophisticated dig. By calling the lefty a "capo" he was saying that he was as complicit in oppressing his own people as the Jews who served as guards and trustys for the Nazis. He wasn't just reminding the little thug of his National SOCIALIST ancestry, he was doing something more intelligent than any of the "Bush=Hitler" crowd is capable of.

Posted by: T. Hartin at July 3, 2003 at 10:11 PM

T. Hartin has it right. I cheered in the office when I read about the whole thing - the fact that I work between two Frenchmen and a German just made the whole thing even juicier!

Posted by: Dominic at July 3, 2003 at 11:55 PM

At least the dude has something resembling, oh, a personality, perhaps. More than can be said for metronomic EUnuch apparitchiks like Devillepin (sp - who cares), Patton, or Verhofstadt.

Posted by: Tongue Boy at July 4, 2003 at 12:09 AM

The chronic masturbators at the BBC have posted Berlusconi's accurate and honest opinions on Islam and the West as 'Berlusconi's Gaffe's'

Only in Europe.

Posted by: Christopher Valentine at July 4, 2003 at 12:47 AM

My thoughts the same as T Hartin's. I think I'll take a good opportunity to be shut up.

(Not that I really like Bellasconi - 93% of the media is waaay too much, though at least not as bad as owning 100%)

Posted by: Andjam at July 4, 2003 at 12:52 AM

I like this guy more every time he makes the news. It's about time Europe had a leader with some sense about him. Those German sissies can use a tongue-lashing or two.

Posted by: Amy at July 4, 2003 at 01:51 AM

Isn't it amusing that now in Europe, the only people that one can call nazis are Jews and George Bush?


Posted by: Joe at July 4, 2003 at 04:47 AM

To give him maybe a little too much credit, but the term Kapo as outlined above could be applied to the entire EU parliament and apparatus, since these guys are lining their own pockets and protecting their own livlihoods at the expense of the people the are supposed to be representing.

Posted by: Joe at July 4, 2003 at 06:01 AM

Mussolini? Does it matter what he was strung up from? Just so long as he was strung up. Nice to see you grasping the real issues as usual, Tim. (Come to think of it, I have a nice lamppost with your name on it just outside my place, do drop by any time.)

Here's the right wing stance on this, in summary:

Silvio B insulting German politicians with references to concentration camps: Fine and dandy. Clever. Funny, even.

Comparing B to M is outrageous. Appalling! Shocking!

I'm left with a choice: either I think of you as irredeemably stupid, or as ingrained bigots.

Hmmm. Actually there's no need to choose - the two go nicely together. Fighting for Freedumb!

I shouldn't complain. At least you lot are easy marks. It's the more insidious bastards that are the real worry.

And Joe - you've just described Berlusconi to an absolute tee.

Posted by: Nemesis at July 4, 2003 at 11:58 AM

Nauseous's stance, in summary:

Comparing B to M: fine and dandy. Clever, funny, even.

Silvio B insulting German politicians with references to concentration camps: outrageous! Appalling! Shocking!

I'm left with a choice... Oh, never mind. Fish in a barrel, etc.

N.b. Most of us right-wing ratbags didn't approve Silvio's choice of insults. We were, however, tickled pink to see the shoe thrust on the other foot for once.

Posted by: Harry at July 4, 2003 at 12:19 PM

Missing my point entirely, H. With unerring inaccuracy. Try not to be so-oo bleeding obvious.

Anyways - here's a bit of fun for you: Go to the Google home page. Type in Weapons of Mass Destruction, then click the "I'm feeling lucky" button.

Now THAT'S funny!

Posted by: Nemesis at July 4, 2003 at 01:46 PM

Happy to drop by anytime, Nemesis. What's your address?

Posted by: tim at July 4, 2003 at 03:37 PM

Nemesis knows how to use Google now! Run, everybody! Run for your lives!!!

Actually, Nem, if you weren't a noob, you'd know that comparing Bush to Mussolini (or to Hitler, etc.) is not "shocking! outrageous!," and so on, but merely "stupid," and "boring."

Posted by: Andrea Harris at July 4, 2003 at 03:54 PM

Now that's what I enjoy seeing in leftists, anger, bitterness, and frustration. Lashing out in rude fury in their blind righteousness. Just as with the BBC their opinions are the right opinions and the rest of us, with differing opinions, are just crazy. I guess the Germans have evolved enough from their jackbooted anscestors to deny their history. They are now the victims of the mean people who disagree with their righteous selves. The a-holes on the left have more blood on their hands in the name of making life more fair and better for mankind than the great plagues of history. Look at what their righteous socialism has done to the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa, Central America, and Canada. But those geniuses on the left have never seen a rotten idea, that feels all warm and fuzzy, that they didn't like and couldn't make work. Damn the misery and lives it costs sacrifices have to be made, you gotta crack a few eggs to make the great utopian omlette. So shut up with your goddamned preachiness and shove your prententious airs up ya keesters. Before you do more damage.

If Berlusconi is a crook and the government can prove it then he will be brought to justice if not oh well. Marc Rich wasn't brought to justice either. But the Germans are a bunch of hypocrites to cry about something they often do themselves without a second thought. But then thinking isn't something the left is big on, now knee-jerk reactionism and name calling that's a whole other matter.

Posted by: D2D at July 4, 2003 at 05:43 PM

It is acceptable from the German "Social-Democrat" viewpoint for Schröder's Justice Minister Herta Däubler-Gmelin to say "Bush wants to distract attention from his domestic problems. This is a popular method. Hitler also used it." Then for Schröder to take his time doing anything about this obvious, gratuitous, evil-minded Bush-Hitler likening. Then send a phony & unapologetic apology: "I want to let you know how much I regret the fact that alleged comments by the German justice minister have given an impression that has offended you." And keep Däubler-Gmelin in the government till after the election.

But the Führer & his "Social Democrats" (including many a hate-driven Red from East Germany, one is sure) can’t take their own medicine when Italian Berlusconi delivers it to German socialist Martin Schultz? Well, I suppose it's their natural feeling. Pompous, self-important.

Yet, & yet -- Schröder took his time only to make a non-apology apology to Bush & waited till after the election to fire the venomous Däubler-Gmelin. Schröder provoked Bush. This time, Schröder’s government provoked Berlusconi. It's a pattern. I recall German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer's being quite provoking toward Rumsfeld. Anyway, Berlusconi shot back from the hip & played, I think, into their hands. Now he looks bad. I guess they wanted that.

Posted by: ForNow at July 4, 2003 at 09:51 PM