The Carabinieri is the national military police of Italy, policing both military and civilian populations. During the process of Italian unification, it was appointed the \"First Force\" of the new national military organization. Although the Carabinieri assisted in the suppression of opposition during the rule of Benito Mussolini they were also responsible for his downfall and many units were disbanded by Nazi Germany which resulted in large numbers of Carabinieri joining the Italian resistance movement. Since 2001, it has been one of the four Italian Armed Forces. Carabinieri are often better trained than ordinary police, often much more helpful and nicer - in the unfortunate case you need assistance in Italy ignore the police and head straight to the nearest Carabinieri station. However, Carabinieri jokes are such an Italian tradition that I must stick one or two in this column:
- \"Sergeant, we have no more place in the station archive. May we trash documents older than ten years?\"
\"Yes, do it, but make photocopies first.\"
-\"Captain, somebody stole our squad car.\"
\"Did you see the thief?\"
\"No, but we took the plate number.\"
Now for something completely serious:
In the last few weeks a disturbing new aspect of the Carabinieri has surfaced and hit the Italian media. A copy of the 585 pages Manual of the Carabinieri has a section called