Italy Falls Apart

From war to something else — not as brutal or tragic, of course, but nonetheless saddening. Just before returning to Libya from Italy I wrote for Macleans about how Italy’s ancient monuments are being neglected because of state spending cuts dictated by the austerity budget.

“In March, the poor state of an open-air, Etruscan-era theatre in northern Lazio was highlighted by an investigative television show, Striscia la Notizia. One of the presenters remarked as the camera panned over a riot of weeds: “The ancient Romans would have put on plays here: comedies, tragedies. The tragedy today is the state of this archaeological site.”

You can read the whole piece here.

Bani Walid: Violence Over Reconciliation

Bani Walid

On Eve of Eid: Bani Walid refugees near the town of Tarhuna

Slow in blogging this but this from my Daily Beast report on October 24 on the fall of Bani Walid after nearly a month-long siege and four days of fierce fighting and bombardment.

“Militiamen in pickup trucks poured into the wrecked and smoke-filled center of the desert hilltop town of Bani Walid, home to one of the country’s biggest tribes, the Warfalla, amid cries of “Free Libya” and “Allah Akbar” in scenes reminiscent of the uprising against Col. Gaddafi.

They waved the post-Gaddafi tricolor flag of red, black, and green and claimed they had routed the late dictator’s diehard followers and saved the revolution. But they admitted many hardcore Bani Walid fighters had slipped away during the night.

Bani Walid’s leaders argue that Misrata was engaged in an exercise in collective punishment with their assault as punishment for the town having sided with Col. Gaddafi during the uprising.”

You can read the full report here.

And more pictures from Bani Walid below:

Afternoon of October 24 Bani Walid Burns

 

New Uniforms: Libyan Shield on the outskirts of Bani Walid

 

Heading Home

Heading Out: Misrata Militiamen flicks victory sign as he pulls out of Bani Walid with dusk approaching