The Situation in Greece

Tsipras meets Putin

From 1944 to 1946 the British “used” Nazi collaborators and the “conservative” rightwing part of the Greek population, about 30 percent of the total, to eliminate a supposed threat by the Leftist part of the Greek population that had initiated and carried out the armed Resistance against the Nazi occupiers, who ruled Greece from 1941 to 1944. By the expression “to eliminate” it is meant: torture, executions by the state and indiscriminate murder by Nazi collaborators and by ordinary rightwing Greek citizens. In 1947 the British Empire declared that it was unable to continue to finance this “operation” by the western  civilization and the baton was passed on to the US. In 1944 I was fourteen years old, therefore a witness to these events which have lasted, in different ways, to this day,  after 71 years. For example, around 1946, one day I saw a young neighbor in his late twenties, who lived four doors away from our house, to come up our street striving to reach his home with both feet crippled for life after the most brutal bastinado in the local police station. As a matter of fact, the master-torturer in that police station lived in the same building with the family of a fellow-pupil of mine in high school.

The result: “[I]n Greece in 1947, …  the US-run operations successfully demolished the political system and restored the old order, including Nazi collaborators, at the cost of  some 160,000 lives and tens of thousands of victims in torture chambers and a legacy of destruction yet to be overcome (along with great benefits to US corporations).” This is Noam Chomsky on page 41 of his book “Rethinking Camelot” of 1993, published by South End Press.

As is usual with leaderships, the leadership of the Greek Communist Party, the main organizing element of  the Leftists, did not give a shit as to what the ordinary Greek Leftists were suffering in the hands of the British and the Americans. Thus, inevitably, the Greek Leftists that have fought against the Nazis, especially those in the villages, who were to be “eliminated”, decided that they had enough, revolted and in March of 1946 started an armed struggle in the mountains of northwestern Greece against their butchers The Leftist fighters, known as the Democratic Army of Greece were defeated in what is misnamed as the Greek “Civil War”. The victor: General James Van Fleet of Coytesville New Jersey and of the US Army. The means to victory: Napalm and hundreds of millions of US Dollars.

[Parenthesis: To understand what was misnamed as a “civil war”, here is an example: George S. was a six-feet-plus young man from Crete. In the 1940s to enter the Polytechnic, the highest technical University in Greece, was considered a supreme success that only a handful of Greeks had the ability to enjoy. George entered and was about to graduate as a civil engineer after a five-year mandatory study, when in the mid-1940s he was drafted to serve in the Greek army to fight against the Leftists that had revolted. George was a deeply honest Leftist. So, he was forced to fight against his Leftist comrades, as did thousands of Leftist Greeks, some even against members of their own family. Riding in a made-in-Toledo military Jeep he hit a mine. He lost his right leg almost down from his pelvis. As an engineer he devised a prosthetic limb with which he could walk almost normally for the rest of his life. He refused to get his engineering diploma, but he had access to the Journals of Soil Mechanics Division of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and became one of the best soils engineers in Greece. His wife died before he did. As a result, the last years of his life, after he himself had a stroke, were extremely difficult. The fact that George found the support of the ASCE Journals in his life is a credit to the ordinary Americans and the non-Americans who as members of ASCE offered their knowledge in those journals. Compare that to the napalm ”offerings” of General James Van Fleet. This article is dedicated to the memory my friend and colleague, George S., a Greek Leftist and a great human.]

After their defeat the Greek Leftist fighters dispersed in the nations of the Eastern Block. What is most important is that besides the adult fighters thousands of Greek children were driven to the same destination as their life and well being were in danger. That is, there was danger to be killed by the bombs of James Van Fleet, to be tortured and murdered by the Greek right wingers and the Nazi collaborators, or to be sold for adoption in the US by Queen Frederika, the Nazi Austrian princess who became Queen of the Greeks. This was the situation in the post-World War Two civilized West.

The number of adult fighters that found refuge in the countries of the Eastern Block, in 1950, was around 56,000, of which 30 percent were women. The number of children was around 30,000.

The countries were: Rumania,  Czechoslovakia, Poland, the Soviet Union, East Germany, and Bulgaria. These Greek Leftist-refugees were mostly farmers and a great number of them had little or no schooling.

The second generation of these Greeks in exile could have added at least 100,000 to the original number of around 86,000 individuals, through intermarriage or through spouses from the local population. If the third and the fourth generation, added at least 100,000 each, then today there are hundreds of thousands of men and women of Greek origin in these countries who speak Russian and the other local languages and a great number of whom have a university education, even if we were to subtract the original Leftists of 86,000 due to repatriation or death as they aged. For Example, this minute in the Ukraine there are tens of thousands of descendants of the original Greek fighters experiencing what their grandfathers or their great grandfathers experienced under James Van Fleet.

So, can these hundreds of thousands of people of Greek origin, especially those in Russia who have Russian as their native language, play some important role in the relationship between Greece and Russia? Actually, one of the people that Tsipras talked to in Moscow was “Agnes” the daughter of “Electra” the heroin of the Greek Left who was executed by the Nazis in 1944, by using the monsters of the Greek security police. Taking as an 1:1 experiment the case of the progeny of the Greeks who went to the US as immigrants it seems that there is some hope for the second generation. There is not much hope for the third and the fourth generations. Of course, there is a very significant difference: the original Greeks in Russia were Leftist fighters. After the Second World War no Leftist could go to the US as an immigrant. My opinion is that these men and women, now living in Russia, with roots in Greek villages can help the Greeks now tormented in the old country by those that drove their parents and grandparents to exile.

On the other side, this is what the Greek-Americans read about Tsipras meeting Putin in their world paper, The New York Times [of April 8]: Tsipras, the elected Greek Prime Minister of Greece, is ”misguided … to seek… support from … Putin”, etc., etc. And the final sentence: “… Mr. Tsipras should be careful not to let himself be used to undermine European unity.” What if the Egyptians threatened Mr. Obama “to be careful not to let himself be used by the ‘Council on Foreign Relations’ to murder people”? Would that make Mr. Obama uncomfortable?

That Greece can be a “bridge” between Russia and Europe, a Europe in which the ZYRIZA “virus” could spread not only to the European South but also to the European North and ultimately to Russia itself, this time as a benign “virus” that has nothing to do with the Soviet ”religion”, is something that could be not only a vision but a reality towards survival. What is more, there could even be a future mutation of the “virus” towards a ”participatory” civilization with its roots in a “society of the neighborhood”.


Audit Committee of Public Debt

In my Telesur article “Bulletin from Athens” of 3 October 2014, I wrote: “Mark These names: Zoe and Rena … Zoe Konstantopoulou is a young Greek woman, a lawyer and a member of the Greek Parliament with SYRIZA … Zoe [is] one of the most important women in Greece. It is her honesty, strength of character, and brilliance that has surprised the ordinary Greeks. … My opinion is that Zoe … will play an important role in the struggle for dignity that lies ahead for the Greeks.”

By now Zoe is President [Speaker] of the Greek Parliament  About ten days ago she established the “Truth Committee on the Public debt”. She chose and insisted on the word truth for obvious reasons. to help her in this rather tough job she has another serious Greek woman, Sofia Sakorafa, a former world champion in the javelin throw. Zoe succeeded in inviting experts on the public debt from all over the world with the Belgian Eric Toussaint as the leading expert on odious debt.

This has spread panic to  the Greek and especially the US and German elites who have been doing ‘’business” in submarines, jet fighters, tanks, etc. for decades. The Greek group of this cabal is rabidly foaming against Zoe as it is that part of humanity that has corruption as a  second nature. My estimate is that Zoe will give them quite enough trouble.


Greek islands and refugees

Gavdhos a tiny islet at a distance of about 25 kilometers  from the southern coast of Crete and about 200 kilometers from the coast of Libya, is the home of 50 Greeks. Seven days ago, on April 9, a fishing boat with 180 men, women and children, fugitives from Syria, Libya, Somalia, and Eritrea reached Gavdhos in a terrible storm. The Greeks helped the outcasts by giving them shelter,etc. The storm lasted for three days, and no ship could approach the islet. The Greeks scraped all the food and the water on the island and shared it with the refugees. After the storm subsided and ships from Crete reached the islet and the refugees were moved to the Greek mainland.

Today, April 16, about 400 refugees, mostly children and their parents from Syria landed to four Greek islands that are a couple of miles off the coast of Turkey. This has been going on for the last four days that the weather turned to Spring weather. During the past 80 days, mostly in stormy weather, about 20,000 such refugees landed on those islands. it is estimated that there are hundreds of thousands of such refugees on the Turkish coast ready to land on these islands.

Is it hate against the “lazy” Greeks, mostly by the Northern Europeans, or racist attitude by them against the dark-skinned refugees, that they have devised rules to prohibit the Greeks to move the refugees to the other European countries. The answer is: both. Is there a solution? Yes, and it lies on the other side of the Atlantic, the home of  … Hillary.


The Nazis on trial

On Monday, April 20, four days from now, the trial of the leadership of the Greek Nazis will begin in Athens. Most of them are members of the Greek Parliament, as they were re-elected in January and they are the third party of Greece with 6.28 percent of the vote. They are charged for constituting a “criminal organization.”

There is a call for all the Greeks to be present there and stop any attempt by the Nazi thugs to start trouble at the area of the trial. My feeling, and hope, is that all anti-Fascist Greeks will be there to protect their dignity. They should have understood by now that the basic characteristic of a Nazi is cowardice. A Nazi is “brave’’ only with a gun in his hand.

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