Turning Greece into a giant concentration camp (Middle East visits EU)
It is the triumph of Samuel Huntington and of his project, hidden inside his prophecy of a “Clash of Civilizations”. It is also a triumph for Neoconservatives who have engineered all western interventions in the Middle East (and also in Ukraine), during the last 15 years. They can now use their results and consequences, in the form of refugees, immigrants and terrorists, in order to try to alter European geopolitics and even attempt “regime change” in the “first world”.
Globalization, “la mondialisation heureuse” (happy), as its French supporters used to call it, was often confused with … easy traveling by international middle class and the use of I-pads. It's not about them. Every TV news watcher can easily understand now that the era of “globalization” is nothing but a state of permanent, destructive War of everybody against everybody. A Social War, against the poorer classes and nations of Europe, a Hot War, “against Islam”, a Cold War against Russia (tomorrow China). And the culmination of all that, the “War of Wars” against Nature itself.
Greece is shrinking under the weight of refugees and immigrants. Thousands of them are now living in terrible conditions around the country, in squares in the center of Athens or everywhere they can find a temporary (?) shelter. Even inside the “Hot Spots”, created for them, the situation becomes explosive, as the refugees do not want to stay in these establishments. They wish to continue their travel to Germany or Scandinavia and they are afraid they will be trapped indefinitely inside them. Often, they violate external fences and begin walking towards the frontiers. The main National Road of Greece, linking Athens to Salonica and then to the border, is now full of hungry and thirsty people, walking hundreds of km to reach only the first of the frontiers they need to cross. Groups of volunteers try to help them by distributing water and food, finding shelters for them to spend the night or help to provide emergency medical assistance.
The situation becomes rapidly surreal. You may find even some Golden Dawn militants helping Syrian refugees. Or unscrupulous merchants selling the bottle of water for three euros and attacking violently the volunteers, who insist on distributing for free food and water, impeding them to make profit out of the persecuted, as happened in one incident near the town of Larisa. Or you may see, opposite to people walking to the North, buses transporting ither refugees, who found the border closed, to the South, back to Athens. Both Greek authorities and the people look extremely confused and shocked by what is happening to their country. Europe and its nations seem to have lost completely their orientation and the same is true with simple people.
Greece can hardly feed, or provide with proper medical care all its citizens, having been the victim, for six years now, of “bail-out” programs imposed to it by its European “partners” and the IMF (1). With the massive refugee influx, it has to cope with an unprecedented situation, threatening directly its already shaken social stability and ethnic and national cohesion. The refugee crisis has had so far a cost of about one billion euros, while Athens has received only about 30 millions from Europe. Nobody knows if and how important will be the repercussions to tourism, one of the few industries in the country having survived the economic war launched against it by German and other European governments, EU institutions and the IMF.
But this is nothing compared to what is coming, as the Erdogan regime in the East goes on with sending thousands of people every passing day and the FYROM (2) and also Albanian authorities in the North, under the direct influence and control of Vienna, Ankara and Washington, decided to close hermetically the frontier, even to Syrian refugees EU has said is ready to accept and who have all the required documents. Hundreds of thousands of refugees risk to be “trapped” inside the Greek borders, further destabilizing the Greek nation-state and adding a new quality to the “death spiral” it is locked in, already for six years.
Is all this a mistake or an intended and planned result? We are in right of putting the question. As Wall Street Journal reveals in a recent article, there is already a plan to propose to Greece money to keep the refugees. First you ruin a country, a traditional nation-state, then you propose to transform it into homeland for the part of world population you have turned into nomadic, because of the policies you apply in the Arab and the Third World in general! (3)
Maybe you will ask who are they, as different governments are protagonists of different episodes of the whole story. US were responsible for invading Afghanistan and Iraq in a way that produced an unbelievable chaos there, as President Obama has publicly recognized (he was even elected because of that). Sarkozy was used for the destruction of Libya, Hollande and all the rest for supporting the Islamic State in Syria. In “debt wars”, the German government took the initiative of the financial, “debt” war which created the Greek chaos, in alliance with “markets”, EU and the IMF. Erdogan 's government was used against Russia and to send the refugees to Europe. Merkel helped the situation by inviting one million refugees to become Gastarbeiters, of limited rights and salaries. Even SYRIZA has emitted, by its mere presence in power and its rhetoric, a signal that everybody is welcome.
It seems what we have here is a collection of what we may call “partial players”. They have only limited understanding of the complex world strategic (geopolitical and economic) environment. They are often trying to give only tactical answers to the challenges they face, but they are unable to really ponder the strategic consequences of their action. A classic example is how the neoconservatives, who do have a global and coherent strategy, as they were facing, after Afghanistan and Iraq, the opposition of a considerable part of US establishment, were able to move to Paris, using the Sarkozy government to destroy Libya!
I understand well the reasons many people in the West with good intentions don't want to accept and believe it and how they feel. They would probably like to believe they live in a better world, but they don't. The sooner they realize it, the better. It seems there is quite a hidden Order inside the present Chaos. As it is a terrible order, we prefer often to disregard it, until we feel its consequences in our known life, or in our countries. But then it is often too late.
Greece again guilty of all sins
It is a fashion these years to accuse Greece and Greeks of everything. In 2009-10, international mass media, controlled as never before by international Finance, launched a quite successful communication campaign to present Greeks and Greece as the main culprits of the huge financial and political problems Europe is facing. This provided the “markets” with the pretext they needed to attack financially Greece and European governments and institutions, and also the IMF, with the justification to impose to Greece the economic program that led to its destruction and continues, by the way, to do it.
Now it became a fashion to accuse Greeks of not treating well the refugees, or of not protecting the borders of the Union. It is exact that there was delay on the part of the Greek government to build the “hot spots” - which prove already useless. But after, all the government, afraid of the consequences of any delay, mobilized the army, building them before the deadline expires.
A sensational revelation came from the Athens daily “Efimerida ton Sintakton”. It published documents substantiating its claim that high ranking EU officials falsified technical reports of EU inspectors send to the islands, in order to prove that Greece is not fulfilling its obligations to the EU and thus prepare the ground for expelling Athens from the Shengen area. If true, that means there is already a mechanism inside the EU apparatus, working to prepare the next attack against Greece, as has already happened in numerous occasions since 2009.
But the main accusation repeated from different politicians around Europe is that Greece is not protecting well the frontiers of the Union. The accusation is accompanied by threats to expel it from the Schengen zone (reminiscent of the ever present threat of expelling it from the Eurozone). But this accusation is based on a complete distortion of the facts.
The great majority of refugees and immigrants are leaving now with small boats from the Turkish coast of Minor Asia, which is in a short distance, of some nautical miles, from the Greek islands of Eastern Aegean and the Greek island of Kastelorizo in Mediterranean Sea. As soon as their boats enter Greek territorial waters, they sink their boats. Then the Greek authorities have to save them and transport them to the land. There is no more fundamental provision in the Law of the Sea and the international humanitarian right than to save under any circumstances persons in danger of life. After saving them, the Greek authorities have the obligation to transport them to the nearest land and this is Greek, as they sink their boats inside Greek territorial waters. Anyway, Turkey does not accept for the refugees to get back to its territory.
In these conditions, the only way the Greek state could “protect better” the “frontiers of the Union”, as some European politicians suggest, would be to drawn the refugees, or let them die in the sea without any help. Maybe some people in Europe would like such a radical “solution”, but one can easily imagine what they would say worldwide about Greece, just the next day, if its authorities followed such an advise.
But there is a state which could very easily stop, or at least diminish in a very significant way, the flow of refugees to Europe. Its name is Turkey. It has the means to do it. Refugees are preparing openly their journey at the Turkish coast. Everybody knows it and everybody, including international televisions, can see it. The Turkish Army, Gendarmerie and secret services control very well their national territory. Maybe even too well. Maybe some boats will leave finally from Turkey, but it would be easy for the Turkish coast guard to stop and return them back. And finally, Ankara could accept back even the refugees and immigrants from Greek territorial waters.
European governments are begging Ankara to do it and they have agreed to give it three billion euros for that purpose and they have done some important political gifts to Turkey. Ankara is asking for major concessions in the Kurdish question and a lot of other things. It agrees and then it is not applying the agreements, even the agreements signed previously with Greece and EU to accept back immigrants.
European governments and the EU has a lot of means to exert pressure on Turkey. But they don't want really to do it in the necessary extent. They are afraid of harming their exports to the Turkish market, Paris, Berlin and London want to safeguard their “special relationship” with Ankara, the Turkish regime is very useful for various “dirty jobs” in the Middle East or against Russia and, last but not least, they obey, more or less, the American desiderata. Washington remains, more than ever, the geopolitical master in Mediterranean. Germans, French or the European Commission can be very tough towards small countries like Greece, Cyprus or Portugal, some times even Spain or Italy. But they bow in front of the United States of America, even when European interests are in clear opposition to American ones.
For the above reasons, instead of pressing Turkey, European governments and the Union want now to transfer all the burden of the refugee crisis to a member of their own Union, already destroyed by the economic and social policy they imposed to it and isolate it in the same time inside the Union in which it is participating.
Would you bed your money on the survival of such a “Union”?
A monstrous project: create a refugee and immigrants “state” in Europe
Not wishing to accept any more refugees, not wishing to exert the necessary pressure to Turkey, not wishing also to revert their Middle Eastern policy, which has accumulated an unbelievable amount of ruins in a large region of the world, the European Union is converging to the idea of transferring again the whole pressure it receives to the weakest of its members, transforming Greece into a giant concentration camp. By doing this, it is adding new factors to the already very severe economic and social factors which push Greece towards a possible collapse of its state structures, chaos and, potentially, even civil war.
The idea is to invoke the “humanitarian emergency”, trying, in the same time, to exploit once more the weakness of the Greek government, which is acting under the blackmail of Creditors, the later asking for new severe pension reductions (the 12th consequent reduction of Greek pensions, since the beginning of the “bail-out” programs) and other terrible measures which will destroy what remained of both middle classes and social security system in the country.
The SYRIZA-An.Ell. Government, having capitulated without a battle in July, facing now enormous pressures from both the creditors and social strata which begin to revolt, and also pressures to make strategic concessions in Greek foreign policy and national interests by the Americans, always without any coherent strategy, very much relying to the US factor, without understanding where these dubious allies are pushing it, does not seem on the other side, competent in handling an, anyway, extremely difficult situation
The method they want to use is very similar to what they did with Greece regarding financial questions. By transferring all the burden of the 2008-09 financial crisis to Greece (and to a lesser extent to other South European countries), they were able to avoid taking any action to control a fraudulent international financial system. They avoided also to face the reality of the consequences the ill-conceived systems of “globalization”, EU and Euro have (except for a wing of German Christian Democrats, who had a plan to expel Greece from the Eurozone as an “answer” to its problems. The way they applied it, they inflicted a great political self-defeat to Germany, the most serious since 1945. Even if they attain their final goal, Berlin risks to be held finally responsible for ruining all Europe, for the third time in a century).
By destroying Greece after 2010, a process which continues, they bought some time of apparent “stability” for both the financial and EU system. Of course the problem was not solved. It is just waiting to explode again.
The same will happen if this “method” is applied in the refugee crisis. Greece will be pushed further to the abyss, the European Union will continue to loose any raison d' etre and the refugees will, sooner or later, find their way to Europe, either by crossing the mountains of Northern Greece and the Balkans, or by trying to escape through the Adriatic Sea to Italy.
What should be done
Refugees and immigrants deserve all our solidarity, if we wish to remain humans. Especially as we supported, or did not oppose enough, military interventions in their countries which made them refugees (or the economic and “climatic” policies which turned them into immigrants). Still, is it really a solution, for them and for us, to have half of the Middle East and Africa emigrate into Europe, in order to avoid the consequences of the disasters we helped accumulate in their countries? We contributed very much to destroy them, are we going now to complete this process with the emigration of their best educated and more active citizens into Europe?
It is obvious, in the same time, that both the refugee crisis and the terror threats, and also the generalized confusion about their roots and possible solutions, are used to influence in a radical way European politics, by the very totalitarian forces, like Neoconservatives and their allies, which are mainly responsible for creating them, especially by engineering military interventions in the Middle East, through their influence in the US, French, British and other states and governments. Who could have imagined, only some months ago, that a country like France, the motherland and the symbol of European Liberty, during the last few centuries, would enshrine martial law into its Constitution?
To face the situation, without being destroyed in its fundamentals and keeping its cohesion, unity, possibility of independence, but also its own democracy, Europe has to do two things in the short run. First, organize the accommodation for people having already crossed its borders and do it in an equitable and just way between EU members. Second, exert the necessary pressure on Turkey to stop the influx of more refugees into Europe through Greece. Measures should be taken to help refugees where they are now, waiting for conditions of safe return in their countries to be established. Such a policy is now absolutely necessary, still it is not enough.
We need to reverse radically course in the Middle East. We need to stop destabilizing all independent Middle Eastern powers, we need to help immediately stop the war in Syria and help restore its territorial integrity, we need massive economic help to permit the reconstruction of the countries we demolished or helped demolish. In the long run we need also to exert the necessary pressure for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Many people will say that all this is nice but unrealistic, “utopian”. Ok we can try to avoid such policies. But we should be conscious of the real, “realistic” alternative. And the real, “realistic” alternative is to import into Europe the Middle Eastern chaos, permitting, in the same time, to the very same forces they provoked it to continue their destructive work (and in reality to impose their regime) in our continent.
(1) After six years of application of a program supposedly to “help it”, imposed by German and other European governments, EU and the IMF, under the “guidance” of international finance, put under the quasi-direct rule of a Troika of Creditors, Greece has lost nearly 30% of its GDP, two thirds of its young people are unemployed, social benefits are massively cut, investment has fallen more than 50% and its debt is rapidly increasing. These numbers represent by far the biggest economic and social disaster in capitalist Europe after 1945, the material losses of the country being superior (in relative terms) to those suffered by France or Germany during the First World War.
(2) FYROM is the official name used by UN and EU for what is widely known as “Republic of Macedonia”. Greece is not recognizing the name “Republic of Macedonia”, considering that its use betrays territorial claims on its own province, named also Macedonia and implies that the historic and multinational region of Macedonia, now belonging to four Balkan countries, Albania, Bulgaria, Greece and FYROM, should belong only to the later. This difference has not permitted so far to FYROM to become a member of NATO.
(3) By the way, such prospects tend to confirm a number of analysts who expressed, during recent years, the opinion that in Greece we don't have just another, albeit extremely harsh, neoliberal “adjustment program” but an “experiment” aimed at destroying the very heart of a “nation-state” - its state and popular (democracy) sovereignty and the social protection system usually associated with nation-states. By the way, during the EU debates about the refugee crisis, it was accepted as basis for further discussion a draft providing for the possibility of Frontex to act even without the consent of the country where it would operate. Nobody put the simple question for what purpose such a provision was deemed necessary.
We are not speaking about abolition of the nation-state. It remains, but it remains as a sheer formality, with the real power taken away from its institutions. Such an experiment requires also a demographic change which is already happening with massive emigration of young well educated Greeks abroad and the dramatic falling of new births as a result of the bail-out program. A man with an enormous intuition, as all great artists, like Mikis Theodorakis, told this writer in an interview, back to 2012, when I asked him what is the aim of the program, that it wants to create “a Greece without Greeks”. After all, since the times of Pericles, we know that power goes where people goes.