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Foreign Correspondent

by international syndicated columnist &
broadcaster Eric Margolis
27 July 2009


The `New York Times’ just prudishly denounced Italy’s fun-loving prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, as `an aging Lothario.’ That’s the same newspaper that applauded President George Bush’s trumped-up war against Iraq that left up to one million dead and four million refugees.

So what did the wicked Berlusconi do? Romping and frolicking with numerous young women and having one hell of a good time. It’s the kind of behavior that infuriates many women, but leaves men filled with envy and admiration.

The left wing media in Italy is in a frenzy over Berlusconi’s nocturnal escapades with a string of gorgeous young ladies. Unable to defeat him at the polls, the left has declared jihad on Berluconi’s sex life.

In best Italian style, Berlusconi shrugs, “I am not a saint.” Certainly not, but he has been Italy’s best prime minister in memory.

A former cruise ship singer, Berlusconi owns a big chunk of Italy’s business and media. He’s been accused of all sorts of financial misdoings, but so far has defeated every attempt by leftwing Italian magistrates to convict him. Still, a nasty odor hangs over his presidency. But then again, all politics and much of business in Italy are rotten with corruption.

The latest uproar came after Berlusconi spent a night of rapture with a beautiful woman. Unbeknown to him, she was a high-priced prostitute, paid by a favor-seeking businessman in a classic `honey-trap’ so beloved of intelligence agencies. Or, the tryst may have been arranged by Berlusconi’s political enemies.

The lady in question made secret tapes of their night together that she sold and are now all over Italy’s slavering media.

Italy’s leftwing opposition, unable to defeat Berlusconi at the polls, thundered he had `weakened the image and authority of the Italian government!’

Please. Every Italian over three knows the do-nothing parliament in Rome is filled with crooks and buffoons. Berlusconi in bed is a better prime minister than the political dwarfs of Italy’s leftwing opposition and the neo-fascists on the far right.

Worldly Italians have so far laughed off Berlusconi’s antics. Italians accept differences between men and women, and men’s natural urges to roam with, `boys will be boys.’

A lady friend of mine says she wants to be reincarnated as a male Italian. Many Italian men live at home with their mothers until their thirties where they are spoiled, lovingly pampered, and treated like overgrown children.

Italian soldiers regularly receive care packages of goodies from home and send their laundry every weekend to mama. Italians may not be warlike, but they teach us to enjoy life and make the world a happier place.

Berlusconi’s approval rating dipped slightly from 50% to 48%, probably because some women felt sorry for his understandably embarrassed wife, who sued for divorce after Berlusconi was seen being overly attentive to an 18 year old beauty straight out of a Boticelli painting, and bought her a $6,000 dollar piece of jewelry for her birthday.

Berlusconi even reportedly slipped away from the boredom of the recent G-8 summit in the Italian city of L’Aquila he was hosting to return to Rome and party with some very attractive young ladies.

I’m sure 99.5% of straight Italian men would give their last rigatoni to be in Berlusconi’s place. They are happy to have a prime minister who sings very well and makes Italian men proud. Even the Vatican made only gentle tut-tuts to Bad Boy Berlusconi’s bacchanals.

Let the Americans have their warlike commanders-in-chief and phony `family values.’ Let the Britain have their unctuous prime ministers, and Russia its scowling Vlad Putin. Or France it’s jogger-in-chief, Nicholas `Nike’ Sarkozy, who collapsed on Sunday while foolishly running in extreme heat. Italy has a lover-in-chief.

Berlusconi is Italy’s richest man and most successful modern leader. What else is left for him to do? Start wars? Invade France? Get another hair transplant? Become secretary general of the UN? He has had prostate cancer and, from what we hear on the sex tapes, has overcome the disease with gusto. Let him enjoy a good time in his twilight years.

But fun aside, Berlusconi may have gone too far even for Italians. Once men hit 60, the most sensitive organ in their body becomes their ego. Berlusconi is being rather reckless in a country where discretion is still favored. He risks tripping over his own public indiscretions and taken for an old fool. Dabbling with an 18-year old is dangerous, even for him. Easy-going Italians may eventually say, `basta, Silvio!’

But hold all the hypocrisy from leftwing critics and dried up prudes about Berlusconi’s zesty love life. Relations with the opposite sex are no measure of political worth.

Adolf Hitler was faithful and attentive to his mistress, and eventually married her. The renowned British prime minister, David Lloyd George, was a notorious skirt-chaser. George Bush was a perfect family man. One has nothing to do with the other.

We owe a vote of thanks to Berlusconi for livening up our summer and providing some welcome diversion from bombs, bullets and bankruptcy. Bravo, Silvio.

Copyright Eric S. Margolis 2009.

Published at since 1995
with permission, as a courtesy and in appreciation.

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FAX: (416) 960-1769
Eric Margolis
c/o Editorial Department
The Toronto Sun
333 King St. East
Toronto Ontario Canada
M5A 3X5

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