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Dario Fo: ‘Cindy Sheehan has moved the whole US’

This article is over 16 years, 6 months old
Italian playwright and winner of the Nobel Prize for literature Dario Fo spoke to Tom Behan before his visit to Britain for the performance of his new play at the International Peace Conference
Issue 1981

Why did you write a play about Cindy Sheehan?
What really struck me was that here was a woman on her own, who created a huge fuss that started to involve the whole country—and we’re talking about a country that is often very reluctant to debate the issues she was raising.

The thing that really surprised me when I started reading up on her was that she had this “scientific precision” about how she went about things. There seemed to be some natural logic to her approach. Yet this wasn’t a “political” woman, who had been involved in small groups.

She moved the whole country. This explains why they went for her. Karl Rove and others started making fun of her, calling her a “clown” or a “fanatic”. But she managed to draw them out in the open from underneath their rocks—and that’s when they started hissing and spitting.

She is one of main causes for Bush’s rating in the opinion polls taking a nosedive.

You’ve recently decided to stand for mayor of Milan. How’s your election campaign going?
It’s going great. The only problem is creating a strong network of support. I’ve got the backing of a small party, Rifondazione Comunista, which doesn’t have a lot in Milan. We’re fighting against the main parties, who control the media outlets.

Whatever happens, change is going to happen through the activities of young people, and they’re the people I’m working with and talking to the most.

You’ve decided to stand against the main parties of the centre-left electoral coalition. Why?
Very few people doubt that they’re going to beat Berlusconi and win the general election next year. But what I’m worried about is that nothing much will change.

It will be a Trojan Horse—but with nothing inside it.

People say Iraq is becoming another Vietnam. Do you agree?
The US is facing a serious military and psychological defeat. They’re getting a real hiding over there. These leaders in the White House are so crude, they haven’t learnt their lessons.

But history doesn’t just repeat itself mechanically. The military top brass have been very keen for it—without a good war they don’t have a good career.

Although they try hard to hide it, and sometimes succeed, this has been a war for oil.

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