Greece In Danger

By Evaggelos Vallianatos

Hellenic News of America
March 2 2010

There’s little doubt that at the dawn of the twenty-first century
Greece is facing an existential crisis. Suddenly, in 2010, external
and internal enemies are closing in. The country’s external enemies
are scheming its dismemberment while some powerful Greeks in Greece,
doing the bidding of foreigners, are undermining the historical
continuity and cultural identity of the country, telling their fellow
Greeks they are not Greeks.

Cracks in Western civilization

The trouble started in the 1990s when the American air force blasted
Yugoslavia supposedly to protect Yugoslavian Moslems from Yugoslavian

The first product of the dismemberment of Yugoslavia was the
independence of a Yugoslavian province neighboring Greek Macedonia.

Most of the people of this province are Bulgarians and Albanians. Yet
they have been calling themselves "Macedonians" and their tiny country
"Macedonia." In addition, this small country has the audacity of
claiming the Greek province of Macedonia. Its anti-Greek slogans
and the rewriting of history, memorized during its communist past,
have outraged the Greeks but don�t seem to bother America or the
countries of the European Union, which recognized it as "Macedonia,"
the name it stole from Greece.

This American and EU indifference towards the theft of Creek culture
makes mockery of Western civilization, which came into being from
the ancient Greek legacy of science, democracy and the arts of

Starting during the Renaissance of the fifteenth century, Westerners
incorporated the Greek legacy into the pillars of their own culture.

Second and no less menacing, Turkey provokes Greece almost on a daily
basis, its warplanes flying over the Aegean. Again, Turkey�s blatant
and provocative violations of international law at the expense of
Greece cause no problems to America or its NATO partners or to the
27 countries of the EU. All these countries are officially allied to
Greece with Greece being a member of both NATO and the EU.

This is another example where America and EU operate beyond Western
civilization, burying the common culture they share with Greece for
the "strategic" delusion they have invented for Turkey.

Despite the 400-year occupation of Christian Southeastern Europe
by this Moslem country, her genocides against Greeks and Armenians,
America and EU have been rewarding Turkey for decades.

First, they did that supposedly to keep Turkey against Russia when
Russia was dressed in communist clothes. America was so obsessed
with communist Russia that it forced Greece to deny its strategic
national interests in the protection of its territorial integrity,
including the protection of Cyprus. Turkey must have told America that
unless it muzzled Greece, Turkey would be neutral in the cold war or,
worse yet, Turkey would join the empire of the Soviet Union-Russia.

After the "end" of the cold war in early 1990s, America continued
the same charade of why Turkey was indispensable to its strategy of
fighting its "war on terror." This time Turkey was important because
the government of Turkey is so successful in playing on the fears of
America of a resurgent Islam. Turkey has an Islamic government, but
the Turkish military convinces the American military and government
that Turkey is a secular society. Besides, Turkey is a huge military
base for America�s wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and, possibly, a future
war against Iran.

In its turn, the American government through NATO is pushing the
EU to open its ranks to Turkey. Strangely, EU obliges and has even
been carrying out conversations with Turkey about possible Turkish
membership to a European club designed by Europeans for Europeans.

Turkey also occupies 40 percent of the Greek island of Cyprus,
which is a member of the EU. The United Kingdom and America are not
innocent of the Turkish violent conduct against Cyprus. In 1974, they
encouraged Turkey to occupy Cyprus, so it is not surprising that the
EU is not complaining that Moslem troops control part of its territory.

Under these circumstances, one would expect Greece and Cyprus to
oppose the EU-Turkey political discussions. On the contrary, Greece
and Cyprus are the warmest advocates of Turkey�s inclusion to the EU.

Greece no doubt follows America�s directives that undermine its
independence. It�s also possible that Greece and Cyprus naively
hope or want to believe that Turkey in the EU will be a trustworthy
and peace-loving country. However, such a dramatic transformation is
not in the cards.

Moslem Turkey is not about to wear the mask of Western Christian
civilization, her enemy for centuries. Turkey is fast returning to
her imperial Islamic past. Turkey does not seem to care whether EU
can accommodate her or not. She is becoming an unchecked threat
in both Aegean and Mediterranean. Turkey is even downgrading her
trusted relationship with Israel, America�s oversight agent in the
Middle East.

A multicultural Greece?

This external danger complements an internal danger threatening the
remaking of Greece on alien models.

In Greece, there are some Greeks who want to see a different, radically
different, Greece, a country made up not just of Greeks but also
of several nationalities, resembling the multicultural society of
America or France or the United Kingdom.

For convenience, I will call these Greeks "pro-American Greeks"
only because many of them were educated in the United States and
their ideas emerge from studies funded by American institutions.

Curiously, the vision of the pro-American Greeks about Greece is
resurrecting the communist policies of the 1940s where being Greek
nationalist or making connections to the Hellenic legacy of modern
Greece were bad things to be avoided at all costs. Greek communists,
like the Christians whom they imitate, have never liked ancient Greeks.

Greek communists looked for ideology and support to Soviet Russia.

Now, some 70 years later, America provides the ideology and support
for another version of what Greeks ought to think of themselves. This
includes a revisionist Greek history that rejects Greek historical
continuity, charging that Greek romantics in the nineteenth century
invented Greek historical continuity as a weapon for nationalistic

The problem with this fancy story is that it is fictional.

The Greeks never lost their consciousness as a people connected to
the ancient Greeks. They still speak Greek, the mother tongue of
Western civilization.

During the dark days of Christian excess against Hellenic culture,
Greeks kept copying the ancient Greek texts that we have today. Those
texts and the Greeks who brought them to Italy sparked the Renaissance,
which sparked the Scientific Revolution and made our world.

In the first half of the fifteenth century, George Gemistos Plethon,
a Platonic philosopher in Mistras, Peloponnesos, headed a lively if
small Hellenic Renaissance. He urged Constantine Palaiologos, the last
Greek Byzantine Emperor, to declare himself king of the Hellenes,
discard Christianity for the many gods of the ancient Greeks, and
replace his mercenary guard with a Greek national army.

Even during Turkish occupation, 1453-1821, the Greeks did not forget
their origins or common purpose to regain their freedom. Adamantios
Koraes, 1748-1833, the father of the Greek Revolution, got his ideas
and inspiration from the ancient Greeks and the Western Europeans who
became free and powerful because they had internalized the ideas of the
ancient Greeks. Finally, the Greek victory against the Italian invaders
on Mt. Pindos in Epiros in 1940 was no less glorious that the victory
of Athenians and Plataeans against the Persians in Marathon in 490 BCE.

The revisionists, however, ignore this historical continuity and
insist, instead, on a narrative that almost civilizes the Turks:
cleansing their crimes and atrocities; making the four dark centuries
of Turkish tyranny over Greece an era of prosperity and amity between
Turks and Greeks. The hope of the pro-American Greeks is that their
fictional theories would become readings for Greek children.

In addition, the practical result of this made-up Greek past is to
prepare the ground for a new generation of Greeks completely cut off
from their authentic past. Such Greeks would be obedient in executing
the demands of America, not merely in allowing the radical alteration
of the country�s population, but in accommodating the ambitions of
Turkey in the Aegean, Thrace and Cyprus, essentially handing Cyprus
to Turkey and dividing the Aegean between Greece and Turkey. That
way, these new pro-American mandarins expect, Turkey will stay in
the American camp and, therefore, control the damage America has
already caused in the Moslem Middle East because of its lunatic "war
on terror," which it is still prosecuting with religious fervor in
Iraq and Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Greece is paying the price of America�s imperial politics
in her neighborhood: America�s enormous and hardly subtle influence
is, first, forcing pro-Turkish policies on Greek governments and,
second, is pushing multiculturalism on the Greeks. Both of these
policies are deadly to Greece.

Greeks have never been racists, but, in general, they did not mix
with non-Greeks whom they called barbarians. Even when the Greeks
controlled the Middle East for 300 years after the spectacular
conquests of Alexander the Great, they kept to themselves, neither
proselytizing nor marrying barbarians.

Alexander the Great, however, married the Persian princess Roxane and
encouraged his troops to marry Asian women. Alexander died young, so
not much came out of his policy of Hellenization of Asia. On the other
hand, he founded several poleis bearing his name, Alexandria. The most
famous, Alexandria in Egypt, remained essentially Greek for centuries.

Now, in 2010, Greeks are not celebrating any recent victories. On the
contrary, they are under the stress of accommodating and resisting
the globalizing and homogenizing forces of a non-Greek world led by
America. They resent multiculturalism, a mask of how to kill Greek
traditional culture.

Greeks might benefit from selective immigration of well-educated
foreigners, but not from opening their borders to all comers or to
giving Greek citizenship to the hundreds of thousands of illegal
immigrants in the country.

These illegal foreigners in Greece cause tension verging on outright
violence. They ought to be repatriated as soon as possible.

I was born in Greece, but received my college education in the United
States. I married a non-Greek, and made America my adopted home. The
country�s magnificent libraries led me to a personal Renaissance,
discovering my Hellenic identity.

Despite this indebtedness, however, I am troubled by America�s
militarism and perpetual wars that nullify the democratic tradition
it borrowed from Greece.

Second, multiculturalism is necessary for the United States. That�s
how it came into being. But American multiculturalism for Greece and
US pro-Turkish policies threaten Greece.

Considering also that a sizable number of the illegal migrants in
Greece are Moslems adds an explosive dimension to multiculturalism
and makes the socialist government�s proposal to grant them Greek
citizenship completely irresponsible and unattainable.

For example, Thrace in northern Greece has a Moslem minority, the
legacy of bad policies from the 1920s. Turkey then killed more than
a million Greeks and expelled close to 1.5 million more. Yet, Greece
allowed Turks to remain in Thrace.

Now the Greek Moslems of Thrace undermine Greek national integrity
and independence. They act like they are Turks, always embarrassing
Greece for alleged human rights violations. Adding more Moslems to
those of Thrace would be suicidal for Greece.

The 2004 Olympics

This and other troubles heightened after the very successful Olympics
of 2004.

Greece managed the complex and large-scale Olympic games with exemplary
insight, style and authentic hospitality, earning the appreciation
of thousands of athletes and hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic
observers attending the games from all over the world.

Greece did so well with the Olympics because, deep in their
consciousness, Greeks know the Olympics belongs to them.

The only major problem the Olympics brought to Greece was costs.

Greece borrowed heavily to meet the "security" requirements of the
George W. Bush America going haywire over its "war on terror."

Imperial revenge?

The first sign that something drastic was operating in the
post-Olympics Greece was the 2007 fires that destroyed the forests
of Peloponnesos, nearly burning ancient Olympia.

The fires laid bare the country�s poverty and the government�s
incompetence: There were not enough fire-fighting vehicles, airplanes,
and men. Greek forests turned out to be unprotected from the saws
of loggers and development plans of businessmen who, after fires,
would rush to build on the burned public land. The government also
did not have an accurate picture of the national forests.

In late 2009, Mikis Theodorakis, the famous Greek musician and
composer, accused superpower America for the Greek fires of 2007
because Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis dared say no to George W.

Bush�s order to have nothing to do with Russia and China. Karamanlis
instead opened the doors of Greece to China and signed a petroleum
agreement with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin just before the
fires broke out. Theodorakis admitted the massive fires that immolated
so much of Peloponnesos terrorized him.

We don�t know what evidence, if any, prompted Theodorakis
to point his finger at America. He accused Henry Kissinger for
allegedly ordering, in 1974, the destruction of contemporary Greek
civilization. We can dismiss this charge as part of the mythology
Greeks have invented about America.

Theodorakis also said that thousands of "young Americans" occupy key
positions in television, radio, and institutes controlled by the state
and the Greek oligarchy. He alleged that it is these Americans working
within Greece who have shut down all creative forces in the country.

It is impossible to check out the veracity or error of these charges.

But one thing is certain about Theodorakis: He loves Greece. His
accusations against the United States mirror a widespread sentiment
or mythology among Greeks about America.

On the one hand, hundreds of thousands of Greeks have passed from the
shores of the United States. They are grateful for making a living in
America when it was very difficult to make a living in their country.

On the other hand, Greeks in Greece resent American policies in
their neighborhood: the creation of Moslem Bosnia and Kosovo, the
insulting recognition of the Slav-Albanian enclave as "Macedonia," and,
especially, the blatant pro-Turkish policies threatening them. Many
Greeks also fear that America is behind the efforts to destabilize
the country, altering its history, population, and culture.

On January 30, 2010, Panos Kokkoros, a Greek American living in
Sparte in southern Peloponnesos, explained the crisis of his country
as follows:

"The Greek people are being inundated by propagandists who preach
self-hatred. The communists / leftists have their own criminal agenda
and the conservative scum are always willing to do the bidding of
the American octopus….

"When it comes to immigrants I am not intolerant but there are limits.

A small number of immigrants is OK but a massive deluge is something
beyond reason…

"[T]he boors of northwestern Europe have never lived under the Moslem
yoke of slavery. How could they understand our history and ethnocentric
attitudes? We have the right to preserve our ethnic identity, culture
and religion as long as we are not tramping on anyone else. The
EU is not providing enough help to curtail the flow to our shores,
which are the southeast shores of the EU. Perhaps we should pass the
immigrants on to the rest of the EU or send them to the US. The US
is already a bastard ersatz society so they will not mind, right?

"Bear in mind that Turkey is trying to Islamize all of Europe so that
they can accomplish via the population bomb what they failed to do
with military invasion. The young punks in Athens who demonstrate
in favor of giving immigrants citizenship are fools, Bolsheviks or
ethno-suicidals. They want the people of Greece to discard an ethnic
identity that exists over 4,000 years…. The American attitude to
patriotic displays is just showmanship for political expediency. We
here in Greece are patriots especially when our homeland and identity
are menaced."

Kokkoros, born in America of Greek immigrant parents, is irreverent
of both America and Greece. He is facing the Greek crisis for what it
is – a mixture of hostile foreign and misguided Greek policies aiming
to remake Greece for the "strategic" convenience of the EU and America.

And he is right that both Western Europeans and Americans are
irresponsible to push their Islamic policies towards Greece that was
nearly annihilated under Islam.


The next disaster struck in December 2008 when armies of thugs, who
covered their heads with paper bags, burned downtown Athens while
the police stood passive. Such savagery frightened the country and
undermined the Karamanlis administration.

Then, in 2009, another massive fire burned Attica all the way to the
suburbs of Athens. Once again, Greece was ill prepared to put these
fires out.

These calamities certainly had something to do with the defeat of
the rightwing prime minister, Karamanlis, and the coming to power of
the socialist prime minister, George Papandreou, who was born in the
United States.

Like Barak Obama, Papandreou inherited an economic crisis, Greece being
on the verge of bankruptcy. The EU will probably bail out Greece but
under severe conditions of fiscal discipline that are bound to hurt
both the economy and most Greeks. EU has to be careful. Spain, Portugal
and Ireland are not that far behind the financial meltdown of Greece.

Greece has been living beyond its means because it has to. It has no
technological or even tax-collecting infrastructure.

During World War II, Germans, Italians and Bulgarians destroyed all
that Greece had. Like the Gothic barbarians the Christians imported
to Greece in the fourth century to smash the temples of the "pagan"
Greeks, the barbarian occupiers of Greece in the 1940s left nothing
standing – bridges, railroads, government buildings, and factories.

They knocked everything down or burned it. They also starved the
country, killing about 10 percent of her population, the highest number
of dead in any other country caught in the violence of World War II.

In addition, Germans, Italians and Bulgarians plundered the
country�s gold and forced Greece to fund their occupation. Then,
when the occupiers lost the war and left Greece in 1944, the Greeks,
some of them inspired by communist Russia and others aided by England
and America, fought each other until 1949, completing the destruction
and impoverishment of the country.

In addition to this terrible legacy, Greece is under the shadow
of America.

The result of that unspoken dependency, verging on colonialism, has
been humiliating to the Greeks. The inevitable Americanization of the
country became a spigot through which the best and the brightest left
the country for Europe, including Germany, and the United States.

The American bosses of Greece picked up a few Greek families to run
the country. Two of those families, Karamanlis and Papandreou, rose
to the top, governing Greece for their private enrichment and the
cold-war interests of their American sponsor.

The Greek oligarchy ignored national self-reliance and
industrialization. The only economic activities that earn some living
for Greece include agriculture, the merchant marine, and tourism. As
for education, it is pitiful, always starved for money, libraries,
laboratories and advanced science and technology.

The membership of Greece to the EU helped the kleptocratic elites
to larger villas and thicker bank accounts. Goldman Sachs, one of
America�s banks, which the US Treasury Department bailed out in 2009
because it was "too large to be allowed to fail," has been advising
the Greek government how to hide its massive borrowing. But Goldman
Sachs, along with the German giant, Deutsche Bank, also manipulated
the Greek debt, thus bringing Greece on the verge of bankruptcy all
the while making billions from the financial woes of the country.

Like in the United States, the Greek population was left behind the
private enrichment of the few – both Greek and foreign. Many rural
Greeks abandoned their villages for overcrowded Athens and a few
other larger cities.

More than half of the economy operates in a black market. Another
substantive section of the economy, land, is another black hole because
it belongs to the church. The state refuses to tax the church, though
the church is the largest landowner in Greece. A responsible government
ought to take that land from the church, which is thoroughly corrupt.

In 2005, government investigators charged several bishops with fraud
and debauchery. Such criminal and unethical behavior, including
homosexuality, is typical of most bishops who live like medieval
princes. All of them are extremely wealthy from the systematic
appropriation of the meager but continuous financial contributions
Greeks make to their church. This is nominally a religious institution
that has become a big business.

Why should the Greeks tolerate a church that is a huge hacienda?

If the government redistributed all that church land to the landless,
it would create hundreds of thousands of jobs in the nearly abandoned
villages of the country, restoring justice, community and self-reliance
in food. Besides, the state considers every cleric a bureaucrat and
pays him a handsome salary. So why should these clerics be in business?

The state has no role in propping up corrupt institutions like the
church. But the state has a responsibility to help its citizens out
of misery, poverty, and other dangers.

The failure of the Greek government to act as a legitimate government
has forced the Greeks to embrace corruption. They take advantage
of the client relationships with their politicians to take hold of
government jobs, many of which are do-nothing jobs. Greece has about 8
times more bureaucrats per capita than other European countries. Those
who have to make a living, turn to the service industries, especially
tourism. But corruption is so pervasive that, according to my Athenian
friend Kostas Kalimtzes, "it has seeped into every social crevice
and into most minds."

Corruption is simply a modernized version of the corrupt way of life
the Greeks learned under the life-threatening conditions of Turkish
occupation. The legacy of that Dark Age is still alive in Greece.


A few things are necessary for the revival of Greece. It would help if
the United Stated abandoned its imperial hubris, hence its pro-Turkish
policies, treating Greece and Turkey with fairness.

Second, the EU ought to end the rapaciousness of large banks, indeed,
terminate the effects of globalization, giving priority to European
national and local institutions in development and culture. The US
ought to do the same thing. EU must also have some self-respect,
ordering Turkey out of Cyprus.

Third, in the Greek front, the Greeks must demand patriotism and
honesty of their politicians. If Papandreou keeps on his defeatist path
— pushing multiculturalism, following the advice of cannibalistic
corporations like Goldman Sachs, failing to tax millionaires and the
church — replace him with a patriot who will fight for Greece. This
means protecting Greece from its external and internal enemies.

Fourth, the real antidote to any Dark Age is a Renaissance, a
rebirth of traditions and culture most fitting people eager for a
more honorable life guided by reason. The Greeks are surrounded by a
Renaissance culture, now kept in the museums primarily for visiting
tourists. They have to open up these museums to themselves, and in
the process of discovery who they are, they will figure out Greek
ways to get back into their own Hellenic civilization, which made
Western civilization.

Once Renaissance catches on, nothing and nobody will be able to stop
the Greeks from reliving their original and creative culture. A
democratic, corruption-free and self-reliant Greece will restore
dignity, hope, and independence to its citizens, respect to its
friends, and fear and respect to its enemies.

Evaggelos Vallianatos is the author of several books, including
"The Passion of the Greeks."