You are who your friends are by underground

In this climate of fear propagated through official lies, it is refreshing for the truth to somehow find its way into the public sphere. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi received an apology from the White House for a briefing which described the media tycoon as an “amateur” who is “hated by many”. Whether he is popular or not is not so important, but the biography rightly said Berlusconi was “regarded by many as a political dilettante (amateur) who gained his high office only through use of his considerable influence on the national media”. The man is Italy’s Rupert Murdoch, with a business empire that spans media, advertising, insurance, food and construction. He has fought off repeated corruption allegations, aquitted in some and overturning others on appeal. He is criticised in Italy for having interests in every sector of Italian society, especially the media. He was also a vital coalition partner in the United States’ 2003 Iraq invasion.

Unfortunately White House Spokesman Tony Fratto apologised for the “error” saying:

“The sentiments expressed in the biography do not represent the views of President Bush, the American government, or the American people.”

Berlusconi and Bush are said to have a close friendship with the Italian PM refering to Bush last month as “a personal friend of mine and also a great friend of Italy”, to which Mr Bush responded, “you’re right. We’re good friends”.

I’ve always thought you are who your friends are. I suppose at the very least Bush is a better judge of character than predecessor Ronald Reagan, or British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who at various times included the likes of Suharto, Augustus Pinochet and Saddam Hussein among their allies.


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