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July 28, 2023 6:39 am

Fascist Italian premier welcomed at the White House

Staff Writer

Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni was welcomed by President Joe Biden at the White House on July 27, 2023.

This marks the first time an outright fascist has been accorded such a welcome by the US president since he took office. Meloni’s party, Brothers of Italy, won the largest number of votes in a September 2022 election and now heads a three-party right-wing coalition government. The party is founded by former supporters of the various parties that emerged out of the fascist party of Mussolini, which was dissolved after Italy’s defeat and occupation by the United States and Britain in World War II. Meloni claims not to be a member of the “fascist cult,” but her ultra-right politics are indistinguishable from those of Marine Le Pen in France or Donald Trump, only substituting Italy for France or America as the focus of her chauvinist appeals.

President Joe Biden meets with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, July 27, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Meloni’s government is also moving to outlaw surrogate parenting for Italian citizens living outside the country, in keeping with the reactionary dogmas of the Roman Catholic Church. None of these actions has stopped her from being welcomed into the leadership of the European Union, and next year, she will be the host for a meeting of the G-7, the exclusive club of wealthy capitalist nations, to be held in the southern province of Puglia.

Biden’s embrace of the most right-wing Italian government since Mussolini is largely based on one word: Russia. Unlike Berlusconi, Salvini, and her co-thinkers like Orban in Hungary, Meloni is a fervent supporter of the NATO proxy war against Russia in Ukraine. She has delivered billions in military aid, including the training of Ukrainian troops on Italian soil and traveling to Kiev in a show of solidarity with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

During her trip, Meloni cited her stance as she sat down with Biden to begin the White House meeting. She cited the stance as defending international law and defending the peaceful coexistence of people in states everywhere in the world. President Biden and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi have met to discuss the role of the US in Africa and the role of Italy in building a new relationship with the region. The meeting aims to stop the flow of immigrants across the Mediterranean and open up opportunities for Italian corporations to invest in oil and unatural resources. Italian diplomats have told the Washington Post that Meloni will focus on security and energy challenges in the Mediterranean, giving Italy access to Libya’s oil wealth and sanctioning the crackdown on migration by Italy and the EU.

Biden was expected to extract in return both continued Italy’s support for Ukraine and a quick withdrawal from the Chinese-led Belt and Road Initiative. Italy became the first member of the G7 to enlist in the Chinese infrastructure building project in 2017, giving Beijing its deepest incursion into Western Europe. Since then, Washington has been exerting increasing pressure on Italy to pull out.

John Kirby, spokesman for the National Security Council, said that the president has enjoyed working with Meloni and that there have been overlapping and mutually reinforcing approaches with Italy. He suggested that Biden would not raise issues of domestic policies with Meloni, as the Italian people get to decide who their government is.

One sign of this deference to Meloni’s ultra-right policies at home was the decision not to hold a joint press conference, usually held after a leader’s visit. Both Meloni and Biden rejected such an appearance out of concern that the press might raise embarrassing questions about domestic policies in Italy.

While the transactions being discussed behind closed doors at the White House largely concern foreign policy, Biden’s meeting with Meloni has significance in terms of US domestic politics. Despite apologists for the Democratic Party claiming it is the last bulwark against a takeover of American politics by fascistic Republicans led by Donald Trump, Biden is perfectly willing to welcome an Italian version of Trump to the White House, provided her government is in sync with US foreign policy in relation to its major targets, Russia and China.

[Based on the WSWS.org report]

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