The Greek tragedy deepens

Retired Greek Diplomat Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos spoke at CIB’s 2017 rally. This is a translation of an interview he recently gave to Afrique-Asie of France. Ambassador Chrysanthopoulos was the Secretary General of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization from 200 to 2012. He represented Greece at the U.N.,was director of the diplomatic cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Director general of EU affairs. His diplomatic experience extends from Toronto to Warsaw and from Erevan to Beijing. He is fighting today against the policy of reducing the sovereignty of his country by the EU and NATO.

1) Last January and February massive demonstrations were held in Greece in support of the return  of national sovereignty and the protection of territorial integrity of the country. After almost two centuries from the uprising of Greece against the Ottoman occupation, it seems that your country remains to be decolonised. How have we reached this point?

The issue is that we liberated ourselves from the Ottomans only to find ourselves under the influence of the great Powers of the time. Our first leader of independent Greece was Ioannis Kapodistrias, who as foreign Minister of Russia played an important role in creating the Swiss constitution. However we assassinated him and was replaced by a Bavarian king. Our first political parties were called the Frenchofile,the Russianofile and the Englishofile – all under the influence of the country they were named after.

During WW1, Athens and Piraeus were bombed by the French fleet in order to force the pro-German king to abdicate and Greece to join the allies. Then the fascist pro-German prime minister of Greece Ioannis Metaxas on October 28,1940 opposed Mussolini when he wanted to march through Greece. Greek armed forces threw the Italians back to the sea from Albania.

All through WW2 our resistance was under British domination until the USA took over in 1947.The NATO-supported military dictatorship collapsed after seven years in 1974 but at a tragic cost since almost half of Cyprus was and still is occupied by Turkey.

In 1976 we opted to join the EEC mainly for political reasons-to protect our fragile democracy and Greece from Turkey. We joined the EEC in 1981 and right after PASOK of Andreas Papandreou came to power, for a few years Greece enjoyed an independence that it never had before. The US bases were removed, Greece  became an important actor in international politics respected by the Non-aligned movement .

Papandreou had made world headlines by organising in 1983  a meeting between Mitterand and Gadaffi  in Crete.

From the 90s onwards a united Germany became gradually the driving force of the EU  which from an EEC of the people became the EU of the bankers. And as the EU supported the bankers, Greek politicians became professional liars and were elected on programs that were never  kept. George Papandreou  was elected in 2009 with the slogan that there were sufficient financial resources to allow the country to progress, only to put Greece under IMF and EU control with the Memorandum of 2010 which never was voted by Parliament and was instrumental in bringing financial and social collapse.

 The left party SYRIZA was elected with the slogan  we will denounce the Memorandum and thus save Greece. When Brussels started blackmailing the Tsipras government ,he called for a referendum which by a large majority – 62% – rejected further austerity measures. During a Summit in Brussels right after the July 2015 referendum, Germany blackmailed Tsipras by telling him that if he did not do what Berlin wanted, then they would create a bank run in Greece and further chaos. Tsipras got scared and instead of cutting off diplomatic relations with Germany for a period, he succumbed and since then has been following orders from Brussels to the detriment of Greece and its people.

2) Why is the Turkish army once again displaying aggression towards the Greek islands of the Aegean? Do you see a link between between the Turkish officers that have asked for asylum in Greece and the Greek officers being held in Turkey?

Erdogan is taking advantage of the fact that Greece and its people are exhausted by the austerity measures imposed upon it. Furthermore he is going through a phase of illusions de grandeur and wants to recreate the Ottoman empire. Statements like “We had territories that we lost but that we may get back, we will shed our blood to make Turkey a great country again and if necessary we shall shed the blood of others” are not helpful for consolidating  peace and stability. I do not see a link between the Turkish officers who have applied for asylum and the two Greek officers that were apprehended, but I cannot exclude the thought that the Turkish authorities make such a link. The issue of the Greek islands was first raised by Turkey in 1973 when oil was discovered in the Aegean. From 1923 until then it had never been an issue. Now this aggression is within the policy of taking advantage of an exhausted Greece.

3) Why is President Erdogan opening the issue of the Lausanne Treaty by threatening directly his Greek neighbour? Is it a simple populist manoeuvre?

I think that my answer to the previous question covers this question. It is not a populist manoeuvre. The Lausanne Treaty has been violated ad nauseam by Turkey mainly as far as the minority issues are concerned. The recent invasion of Syria also constitutes a violation of this Treaty which defines the eastern borders of Turkey. Turkey thinks that by reopening the Lausanne Treaty it may get a better deal than now. A few islands for example.

4) What is the situation of the Greek Armed Forces 10 years after the gradual descent of your country to hell? Do you think that they are in a position to defend the integrity of national territory?

It is true that the eight years austerity measures have taken a toll on the Greek armed forces but not to the extent that it cannot fight. Our air force is one of the best of NATO since we have been practicing everyday chasing away Turkish warplanes violating Greek air space and our Navy is in good condition. Overall the Greek Armed forces are in a position to defend  the territorial integrity of our country.

5) What is NATO doing to help Greece and Turkey, who are both members, to find a peaceful solution to their differences?

Absolutely nothing, since NATO does not deal with differences between its members. It only deals with differences between a NATO member and a non NATO country. We saw that in 1974 when Turkey invaded Cyprus and NATO stayed out of the issue.

6) Do you think that the Greek army can play a role so that your country can recover its sovereignty or it might awaken the old demons of the dictatorship of the colonels?

The Greek Armed Forces should remain vigilant to defend our borders against external threats. And when the Greek people attempt to overthrow the Athens régime, the Greek Armed Forces should refrain from following possible orders to defend the regime.

7) Returning to relations between Germany and Greece, how would you describe them today?

I would say that they would fit more to relations between a colony and a colonial power. With one difference, of course. In the colonial period, the colonial power would defend the colony against external threats which is not the case today. But between Greek and German people there are no problems. At least for the moment.

8) Where are we on the question of German reparations for the damages inflicted during the German occupation of Greece from 1941 to 1944?

There is no movement there also. Germany considers the issue closed, since Athens did not raise it at reunification. The Athens regime does not want to anger its masters by raising it. There is, however, one item that even Germany has difficulty in avoiding .That is the loan that was imposed upon Greece by Germany and Italy in 1942. According to that, Greece was obliged to pay 1.25 billion drachmas per month for costs of occupation to Germany and Italy. In 1964 it was estimated that the total amount that Germany owed to Greece was about 400 million DM. The loan is something separate from reparations which are still outstanding according to Greece. Yet the Athens regime is not doing anything about it. .The value of the loan today, if it were to be repaid by Germany to Greece, would cover the so-called debt amounting to 300 billion euros.

9) You write: “At the moment, capitalism without frontiers is crushing everything in its passage and that our leaders have chosen for a “globalisation” benefitting only the banks and the multinationals, they are presenting the collapse of our countries as a natural phenomena that is unavoidable. At the same time they are constantly repeating to us that the “minorities” (ethnic,national, religious) of Europe “are awakening” and that their claims are legitimate but result in the weakening of the sovereignty of the State to which they belong.”

Once again the Balkans are on the verge of a war, fomented by a reunited Germany. With the objective to strangle Russia, NATO is advancing its pawns, breaking the engagement made to Gorbachev at the moment of the German reunification. The last pieces of former Yugoslavia are being integrated, one by one into NATO. You condemn the breaking up of the Balkans to non-viable client states, while at the same time pointing your finger at Germany. According to you, what is the interest of Berlin in defending such a policy since the collapse of Yugoslavia in 1991?

It is actually the same policy followed by Hitler before and during WW2, to control energy resources. By controlling the Balkans, Germany has easy access to the energy resources in the Middle East, Eastern Mediterranean and Azerbaijan.Not only that but it will be easier for Berlin to transfer the oil or gas to Germany.

10) Do you think that the Macedonian question is on the way to be solved since the leaders in Skopje agreed to change the name of their international airport and their highway?

No. It is more complicated than that. Already there are problems. Greece insists that the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) changes its Constitution so that all nuances of irredentism are removed. Skopje refuses to do it. The vast majority of the Greek people are against ceding the name Macedonia to Skopje, a name that has belonged to Hellenism for the last three thousand years. Then if you give a country a false history, you create the conditions for a failed state. Also the politicians of FYROM do not believe in their “Macedonian” heritage. I have heard the present President of FYROM  Ivano, saying to a Georgian vice president in 2012 that the word Macedonia derives from the Turkish word dunya-which means world!!!!!!.Then why should FYROM enter NATO? What is the danger? where is the danger? Of course the West has so easily forgotten the promises given to Gorbachev in 1991 that Nato will not be enlarged  if Germany is allowed to be reunited. And we saw what happened .All the former Warsaw pact countries are today NATO members.

11)Is the current Greek Government in a position to defend Cyprus givne the ambiguous positions of prime Minister Tsipras on this issue?

Diplomatically it can but militarily it is not easy because of the distance. But that goes for all governments. We saw what happened in 1974. Itt was the coup d’état against Makarios organised by Athens that provoked the Turkish invasion. When the military regime collapsed the armed forces in Greece were in disarray and in no position to defend Cyprus. However if the circumstances were different it would have been very difficult for the invasion to have succesfully taken place, taking into consideration that the Turkish air force sank one of their destroyers.

The post-truth era – when it really began

Those who were shocked by the referendum vote to leave the EU and by the election of Donald Trump have attributed their disappointment to a “post truth” style of politics. The reverse, I suggest, is the case. However imperfectly, a majority of voters grasped that the long-accepted  “liberal” narrative was simply untrue.

Increasing suspicion of the official line on anything was massively increased by the revelation of the untruth of Tony Blair’s and the US government’s claims about “Weapons of Mass Destruction” in Iraq. But the organs of disinformation had rather a successful practice run in 1999 over the invasion of Yugoslavia. This was so effectively promoted in the mainstream British media as to have quite a high public approval rating. Tony Blair was always aware of the tremendous electoral boost which the “Falklands Effect” had given to Mrs. Thatcher and this was the closest he came to achieving it. Of course, the Falklands war was about repelling a genuine invasion of British territory and liberating its inhabitants from a truly fascist regime. Yugoslavia was very different, as I pointed out in the following article from 1999, to which I have added a few notes with benefit of hindsight.

NATO’S MALIGN METAMORPHOSIS TO AGGRESSOR

by Edward Spalton  published in Freedom Today, October 1999

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation has undergone a profound change, says Edward Spalton. In its new association with the EU , he argues, NATO is no longer a purely defensive alliance but a force which may be used for forcing questionable western values on other states.

When the troubles first started in Yugoslavia, reporting was fairly even-handed. The atrocities of all sides were shown. Gradually the media became gleichgeschaltet (as Dr. Goebbels would have put it) or “on message” as New Labour would have it: only the Serbs were demonised then. The defining moment was Germany’s recognition of Croatia before any of the normal criteria for full diplomatic relations existed  – settled government, recognised frontiers etc. The rest of the EU states, having vigorously opposed such a move, shuffled into line as part of the EU Common Foreign Policy. From this point the waters became ever muddier.

The Bosnian and Kosovo tragedies followed as night follows day.

As the intervention developed, the UN dropped out and NATO changed its character utterly, in contradiction of its own charter.

In concert with the developing Western European Union (the supranational armed forces of the European Union) it ceased to be a defensive alliance, protecting the sovereignty of its members and became an imperial entity, waging its first war of conquest.

The American, British and mainland Western European peoples have not yet fully grasped the enormity of this metamorphosis. Yet they are all now pieces in the Great Game being played with their countries by the unaccountable, undemocratic, supra-national new agencies of New NATO and the EU.

Throughout the past 50 years until very recently, there were few institutions which seemed more beneficent and protective than NATO. It was a purely defensive alliance in which members agreed to come to each other’s aid if attacked. Just how they did that was up to them. Most came into the NATO command structure, but the French left it, knowing that the rest would still come to their aid: having their cake and eating it as usual.

Nonetheless it kept the Soviets from carrying out Mr. Kruschev’s stated intention: “We will bury you”. The Marshals of the Red Army, who frequently proclaimed their indifference to the prospect of countless millions of casualties, were deterred by the clout of this united front, backed by the might of America and steadfastly supported by Britain and Canada. Mainland Europe owes Old NATO two generations of peace and deliverance from totalitarian rule.

This was nothing to do with the European Union, which did not exist when NATO was formed. From its inception the EU worked to destroy the sovereignty of European democracies (rather more effectively than the Red Army, as it turned out).

NATO was often cited as an example of “pooling” sovereignty, as in the EU, but this was never true. It was an organisation of sovereign states co-operating under international law for a limited purpose. It contained provision that states might leave by giving notice to other members (unlike the EU). There was no NATO Commission and there were no NATO Directives over-ruling members’ domestic laws.

Since the end of the Cold War, NATO has changed its character beyond recognition. It is no longer purely defensive but has arrogated to itself the right to go adventuring in other states. At its 50th anniversary celebrations, Tony Blair proclaimed a new doctrine which would justify NATO invading territory from the Atlantic to the Urals and beyond in defence of “peace” “democracy” “stability” or “human rights”. More or less any state in the world of second rank or less could qualify for the treatment, if it was not in the good books of Tony and his cronies.

He has also linked Britain’s NATO contribution with the Western European Union (WEU), a hitherto shadowy organisation which is now defined as the EU wing of NATO. Under the guise of closer co-operation, this is nothing less than the creation of an EU army, navy and air force. British forces will still wear British uniforms for the time being, but their command will be so integrated with the WEU as to be beyond control or recall by Parliament.

General Naumann, Supreme German Military Commander, gave a strong hint of WEU and New NATO thinking when he said “German troops will be engaged for the maintenance of the free market and access without hindrance to the raw materials of the entire world”. The implication is that if the entire world does not agree, so much the worse for it. We have ways of making you trade!

Tony Blair demonstrated his contempt and disregard of Parliament during the Kosovo war. William Hague made little enough objection although Madam Speaker said a few choice words. Those EU states with traditional, constitutional or treaty obligations of neutrality,  Sweden, Finland, Austria and Ireland, are being railroaded into associate WEU/NATO membership through an initiative called ” Partnership  for Peace”. This is Euro-Newspeak for “Command Structure for War”. WEU institutions contain no provisions permitting members to leave.

The atrocities of the various sides in the break-up of Yugoslavia were very similar. The leaders of Croatia and Bosnia, maintained in power by WEU/NATO, are both on record calling for genocide. They practised it vigorously when they had the chance. In this respect there is no difference between them and Milosevic. Yet only the Serbs were castigated. WEU/NATO succeeded in managing the media with frightening totality to minimise the atrocities of its clients.

The policy of New NATO and Germany in particular was to break up the Yugoslav state in which the Serbs were the senior partners rather as England is in the UK. Following the footsteps of pre 1914 Austro-German policy, this was the active aim of Germany from the early Eighties and they persuaded the Americans to their view.

Anti-Serb bias is profoundly ingrained in the psyche of southern and central Europe. Before he concocted his own racial theories, Hitler, like any other Roman Catholic Austrian subject would have imbibed the officially approved attitude that Orthodox Serbs were “worse than Protestants”. The Nazis later recruited Roman Catholic and Muslim Slavs (Croatians and Bosnians, genetically indistinguishable from Serbs, as well as Muslim Albanians) as honorary Aryans in elite, volunteer Waffen SS units. The Orthodox Serbs always remained SlavUntermenschen. Recent events reflect the continuance of this mindset in a hardly less overt form. Today’s government of Bosnia resurrected the name of one SS unit the Handzar Division. It provides the life guard for the President.

Collaborating wartime states like Slovakia and Croatia were clerico-fascist in nature, supported both by the local church hierarchies and by the Vatican.

Cardinal Stepinac, wartime Archbishop of Zagreb, wrote exultant reports to Pope Pius XII of of the hundreds of thousands of forced gun-point conversions of Serbs in Croatia. His clergy were active as concentration camp commanders and extermination squad leaders, dealing with those stubborn Serbs who refused to become Roman Catholics and thus “de-Serbed”

Yet the present Pope has set in motion the beatification of this gruesome character. John Paul II has apologised for the Roman church’s failure to speak up for Jews. Yet, despite his oft-expressed wish for reconciliation with the Orthodox churches, he shares the Roman blind spot with regard to the holocaust of Serbs, Jews and gypsies, carried out in his predecessor’s name and full knowledge within living memory.*

There are plenty of extant photographs of the papal legate to Nazi Croatia giving the fascist salute to parades of the Ustache, a force whose methods revolted even the SS. They were at work under clerical management well before Germany issued its Europe-wide Directive for the Final Solution of racial problems.

The achievement of an ethnically and religiously purified state of Croatia had to wait until 1995 when NATO’s “Operation Storm” caused the expulsion of all the Serbs from the Krajina region.

Warren Christopher of the US State Department callously remarked that this ethnic cleansing of Serbs had “simplified ” the Croatian situation. Compare this with the rightful humanitarian concern for other racial groups which suffered similarly. The West took a very different attitude to the no less appalling Serbian attempted “simplification” of Kosovo. Serbs, it seems, don’t count.

More recently Clare Short, British minister for overseas aid, said that the Serbs fleeing Kosovo were not refugees at all, but “people who had decided to move”. They were therefore unworthy of humanitarian aid as a lesser breed, outside her much publicised, caring compassion for humanity in general. The politically correct Ms. Short would not dare to display such racist bias against a minority at home.

This attitude to Serbs persists today, mostly unthinkingly but sometimes it is startlingly explicit. Among the most bloodthirsty advocates of condign punishment and all-out war on Serbia was an influential member of the European parliament, one Dr. Otto von Habsburg, heir presumptive of the former Austrian Empire, a blast from the past with malice aforethought, long matured! The terms of the Rambouillet agreement were just as extreme as the Austrian ultimatum to Serbia which touched off the Great War in 1914. The terms were quite impossible of acceptance and designed to be so.

A wiser leader than Milosevic might have preserved the Yugoslav federation, but the plans of the separatists and their backers had been long laid. They were also supported by aid and arms for the Bosniaks, Croats and Kosovo Liberation Army from the arsenal of the former East Germany and elsewhere. Germany trained and equipped the KLA from at least 1996 much more munificently than Colonel Gadaffi ever supported the IRA. Prior to this the unrest in Kosovo had been at a lower level than in Northern Ireland, as measured by reported deaths. Germany ensured a big enough conflict in Kosovo to provide a pretext for intervention.

The EU and the Americans had decided that a group of small, tractable, client states in the Balkans was preferable to a strong Yugoslavia, capable of self-defence. These statelets also provide economic Lebensraum for the EU. The treaties ending this phase of the Balkan wars are quite explicit in this respect. The new states must follow EU-decided economic policies, regardless of the wishes of the inhabitants. So the British people, unknown to themselves, have become accomplices in the creation of an old-style continental land empire with far more than its share of disputed frontiers and ethnic conflicts.

“Divide and rule” has long been a favoured maxim for imperial powers. We are experiencing the same principle applied to ourselves, as Britain too in this country is balkanised into regions.

While we owe a debt of gratitude to Old NATO for past services, New NATO and its associated EU organisations are profoundly inimical to freedom, as we have always understood the term. New WEU/NATO is no friend to a sovereign Britain nor to a sovereign anywhere else. From drinking the euro-federalist potion, Dr. Jekyll has become Mr. Hyde in the person of George Robertson. (The NATO Secretary General of the time).

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I am indebted to many people who gave information, encouragement and comment upon drafts of this article. Among them are Rodney Atkinson, Jim Bogusz, Andrew Bond, Ron Dorman, Hugh Meechan, John Ryan, Simon Stoker and Dusan Torbica. All errors and infelicities of expression are entirely my own.

* Courageous individual Catholics, lay and clerical, performed many acts of mercy at great risk. They appealed in vain for Archbishop Stepinac to denounce the terror. Official Church publications of the time show beyond all reasonable doubt that the Croatian hierarchy was politically committed to fascism, genocide and forced conversions

Note  December 2016

With benefit of hindsight, I should have included more about the Muslim aspects of the war in Bosnia where the Americans winked at the importation to Europe of Jihadi warriors, the same sort of people whom they sponsor today in Syria. I also gave far too much credence to NATO’s blackening of the character of Slobodan Milosevic, the Serb leader (“The Butcher of the Balkans”). Very, very quietly in July 2016 the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia exonerated him from complicity in the atrocities in Bosnia – 1,303 pages into the 2,590 page verdict on Radovan Karadzic. Milosevic died in custody before the verdict in his case had been delivered. So, in the Western propaganda myth, he “escaped justice”. PLEASE SEE ATTACHED REPORT ON TRIAL.

I consulted widely amongst colleagues in the independence movement because 1999 was the year when UKIP first gained its three seat foothold in the European parliament. The party was not successful in the East Midlands where Hugh Meechan was first candidate and I was second. Some people felt the article might make UKIP appear to be anti-Catholic. Hugh’s advice was particularly useful. Not only was he a barrister, able to weigh the evidence on which I had based the article, but he was also a devout Roman Catholic. He neither suggested nor requested alterations but I did insert the footnote after consulting him. Sadly, Hugh died of cancer in 2000, a great loss to UKIP and the independence movement. At his insistence, his funeral service was conducted in the Latin rite.

The Balkan territorial settlement, enforced at Western gunpoint, remains in shaky, unstable existence. Croatia is now an EU member state. Parliament decided that the war against Yugoslavia was “illegal but legitimate”. Because of highly effective propaganda, the war was the nearest New Labour came to achieving a popular “Falklands effect” like Mrs. Thatcher, something Tony Blair was very keen to emulate. General Naumann was made an honorary KBE.

Subsequent NATO “humanitarian interventions” in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya have been uniformly unsuccessful and the Western proxy wars in Ukraine and Syria have not prospered either. Public trust in propaganda for such enterprises was fatally undermined by Tony Blair’s lies about “Weapons of Mass Destruction” in Iraq.