Italy: Berlusconi's War of Words

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Italy's Premier Silvio Berlusconi attends a Senate hearing in Rome.

Friday, Sept. 28, 2001
You know you're in trouble when the right-wing Austrian leader Jörg Haider distances himself from something you've said about cultural superiority. But Haider looked like a gentleman diplomat compared to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi this week. Berlusconi said on Wednesday that Western civilization was superior to that in Islamic countries. "This is not a war of civilizations," Haider responded when asked about Berlusconi's comments.

Berlusconi put his foot in it and triggered a diplomatic incident in Berlin when he told reporters: "We should be confident of the superiority of our...