A significant majority of the country recently spoke up in a NY Times/CBS poll saying that they had essentially given up hope that the President was going to figure out what to do about the JV Team. These perceptions were likely buttressed a bit when the White House informed us that ISIS was largely “contained” just hours before they lit up Paris like a pinball machine. So maybe we need a new approach? Anonymous apparently declared war on the terrorists recently, though aside from ruining their credit rating I’m not sure exactly what they’re going to accomplish. But lo and behold, a new force is stepping up to the plate and may be positioned to do something a little more… forceful. It arrives in the person of Giovanni Gambino (yes, from those Gambinos) and if nothing else he seems to have the messaging right. (Apologies for NSFW language in graphic and several quotes to come.)

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As Jon Levine discovered, Mr. Gambino seems to feel that the old school boys are uniquely positioned to curb the ISIS threat. (Yahoo News)

“These people are like walking machines. ISIS brainwashes them through the Internet,” Giovanni Gambino told Mic of the terrorist threat. “You need to beat the fuck out of them to the point where they stop coming back to life.”

Gambino, a prolific author of mob history and a scion of the family that saw the rise of the likes of John Gotti and Paul Castellano, said the nature of the mob made it fundamentally better equipped than traditional law enforcement to handle a threat like ISIS.

“Back in the day, probably the safest place ever was an old Sicilian neighborhood like Bensonhurst or Knickerbocker Ave.,” said Gambino of two Brooklyn neighborhoods. “We got our kids going to those schools. We got families in those neighborhoods.”

Gambino goes on to note that (at least according to him) you haven’t seen any successful attacks in Sicily because of, “the protection offered by the local Mafia.”

“The feds are glad somebody is out there breaking a few legs,” Gambino said. “They cant do it. They need evidence.”

Hey, we’ve probably heard worse ideas and many of them came from the White House. Of course, implementing such a partnership in the United States would be problematic to say the least. Part of that comes from the fact that the tactics which would presumably be employed to monitor the activities around various mosques could get out of control pretty quickly. But more to the point is the generally held assumption that organized crime of the Sicilian variety has been so severely crippled in the nation’s major cities that they’re simply not as effective of a force as they once were.

Having grown up where I did back in the 60s and 70s, we were always used to the presence of, shall we say… Italian gentlemen of a certain age who took care of certain types of business on a day to day basis. While there are many flaws in the stories and assumptions, there are still plenty of folks who wax a bit nostalgic for “the old days” when these guys had their own thing going on a large scale. It’s assumed that they did manage to cut down on other crime because they simply didn’t tolerate outsiders cutting in on their activities. It has been argued by many authors, such as Joe Pistone (a.k.a. Donnie Brasco) that it was the fall of the mob from their heyday of power which led to the rise of today’s urban gangs and their much less “tidy” way of doing business. As to whether or not the remnants of the families could actually provide an improved layer of protection against domestic attacks… I’ll leave you to be the judge.

In closing, though, as I strive to do whenever such topics arise, I would note that the linked article above makes all sorts of inferences about organized crime in America. These are unsupported and as far as I’m concerned, there is no such thing as the mafia. All the Italians I know are decent, honest, hardworking people who are unfairly painted in an unflattering light by such baseless speculation.

(We cool, guys?)