Red Brigades take a major blow -- but not decisive
In the wake of the spectacular rescue of American Brig. Gen. James Dozier from his Red Brigades kidnappers, two points of view can be heard:
* ''It was us, it was us, we found him. This is a country that knows how to be serious and it has an adminstration which is far more valid than most would like to think.''
Interior Minister Virginio Rognoni, head of the anti-terrorist squads which conducted the Dozier investigation and the rescue operation, does not hesitate to put a feather in Italy's cap.
* ''The Dozier case does not spell the end of the terrorist organization. The roots of terrorism - 8.8 percent unemployment, 20 percent inflation, and all the social injustices of our society - have not been eliminated. The Red Brigades still pose a serious problem for Italian democracy.''
Terrorist expert Franco Ferrarotti warns against any sudden or unbalanced euphoria.
The two viewpoints are not necessarily in conflict. As the dust settles on a victory for the Italian police that few had dared to hope for, and as news of more Red Brigades arrests keeps coming in, it is clear that the terrorist organization has been dealt a major blow by some well-oiled police work.
But it is also clear that it is not a decisive one. And the Italian police are far from under-estimating the formidable recuperative powers of the organization. Thousands of documents confiscated by the police during their recent raids have revealed that the Red Brigades are still a highly-dangerous and sophisticated group.
Even General Dozier told reporters the day after his release, ''They are bright people who believe in what they're doing.'' Such fervent dedication to their goal to disrupt Italian society is a difficult psychological factor for the anti-terrorist police to beat.
The captured documents, however, have provided police with more of a weapon than they have ever had before in their battle against the terrorist organization.
''We haven't even begun to scratch the surface of all this new evidence and information, but it has already proved invaluable,'' said a top investigator in Verona. It was careful analysis of all the leads - and some advisory help from the Americans - that lead the police to Dozier.
''It was just good solid police work. People talked and they followed up every lead,'' said one admiring United States official.One of the men arrested in the Dozier raid, Antonio Savasta, had been identified by police as a suspect in the case as early as four days after the general was kidnapped.