Few Quotes On Power And Order

From The State of Africa by Martin Meredith, p476

Most Somalis welcomed the Americans, expecting them to disarm the militias and restore order in the city. The militias for their part indicated they did not intend to give the Americans any trouble. Both Aideed and Mahdi accepted the American presence as a fait accompli, hoping they could use it to their advantage. Two days after the landing, the chief US envoy, Robert Oakley, a former ambassador to Somalia, engineered a public rapprochement between Aideed and Mahdi. At their first meeting in more than a year, they embraced on an old tennis court in front of the world’s media.

From the start, however, the American strategy was inherently flawed. In order to ensure ‘zero causalities’, they accorded Aideed and Mahdi a prominent role, treating them almost as partners in the exercise, elevating them in status and legitimacy just when their own authority was on the wane. Far worse, instead of using the initial period of goodwill that their arrival had generated to tackle the problem of arms control, they allowed Aideed, Mahdi and other warlords to keep their arsenals intact in designated compounds. No attempt was made to round up heavy weapons, let alone disarm the militias. On Day two, when an army patrol arrested a group of Aideed’s gunmen loading up an arsenal of weapons in a building near the US embassy, army commanders instructed the patrol leader to let them go. From then on, the militia leaders knew they were untouchable. Only piece-meal efforts were ever made to locate and destroy arms caches. Many Somalis concluded that Operation Restore Hope was little more than a cynical deal between the US and the warlords to allow the US to withdraw with minimum difficulty once relief supplies were assured. But it was a strategy that would come to haunt the Americans.

Arrians history of Alexander’s campaigns p59

When Alexander had once lost his horse in the territories of the Uxii, he caused a proclamation to be issued throughout all the country, that unless they would restore him, he would put them all to the sword; upon which he was immediately restored: so dear was he to Alexander, and so terrible was Alexander to the Barbarians.

From Cosa Nostra by John Dickie, p175

Militaristic, decisive, tought, spectacular: the siege of Gangi is rembered in more or less the way the Fascist propaganda wanted it to be, the way it very deliberately styled its war on organized. When mafia defectors began to talk to Giovanni Falcone in the 1980s, it became clear that mafiosa themselves had similar memories of the fascist years. Catania man of honour Antonio Calderone, who turned pentito in 1986, revealed that, more than forty years after its fall, Benito Mussolini’s Fascist regime remained a scar on the mafia’s folk memory.

The music changed [under Fascism]. Mafiosa had a hard life. Many were sent to a prison island, just from one day to the next…Mussolini, Mori, the people in charge of justice, they did this: they gave mafiosi five years of internal exile without trial, the maximum. And when those five years were over they issued a decree and gave them five more. Just like that. A decree! Five more years… After the war the mafia hardly existed any more. The Sicilian Families had all been broken up. The mafia was like a plant they don’t grow any more. My uncle Luigi, who had been a boss, an authority, was reduced to stealing to earn a crust.

From Cosa Nostra by John Dickie, p385

Before setting off, he [General Alberto Dalla Chiesa] made it clear to his political masters in Rome that he had no intention of being soft on the mafia’s political wing. A few short month after his arrival in Palermo, a firing squad of about a dozen mafiosi blocked the road in front of his car in via Carini and machine–gunned him, his young wife , and their escort to death. The day afterwards, someone scrawled on the wall at the scene , ‘Here died the hope of all honest Sicilians’. The funeral was televised live across Italy, and the nation saw the angry crowd throwing coins at the government ministers who attended.

The politicians had failed to give Dalla Chiesa the powers he wanted, and a campaign of journalistic sniping created the distinct impression that he was isolated, as his son explained five days after the murder:

During the fight against terrorism my father was used to having his back covered, to having all the constitutional political parties behind him – first among them the DC. This time, as soon as he arrived in Palermo, he understood that a part of the DC was not prepared to cover him. More than that it was actively hostile.

BBC article regarding the London riots.

“When the riots started it was almost like a carnival atmosphere, and people have described it to me as a sense of release.”

“Ken Hinds, who has worked as a mediator between warring gangs in north London, said he thought relationships with the police had “got worse” since Mr Duggan’s death.

Mr Hinds, who was at the Broadwater Farm riot in Tottenham in 1985, said he believed more riots were possible because of the way “the youth are treated by police”.”