Commentary of the Week: February 18-24, 2016

commentaryoftheweekBy Michael Nevradakis

It was a little over three years ago when I personally had the opportunity to travel to the heart of the beast: a week-long visit to EU institutions and to NATO, as part of an academic program I was invited to participate in. This was a week that was full of misery for me but which was nevertheless beneficial in that it was remarkably eye-opening. Hearing statements made by EU and NATO officials about Greece and hearing their viewpoints about such quaint notions as democracy were truly telling and spoke volumes about the regard with which these principles are upheld within these institutions. At the meetings that I attended, a number of very revealing statements were made by the EU and NATO technocrats who spoke to us, statements which I took note of, including the following highlights:

• “The sovereign state is a 19th century construct, and nothing lasts forever.”
• [Unelected prime minister] “Monti best thing that ever happened to Italy”
• “There are regions of Italy which we wish Brussels could govern directly”
• “The labor force should be ‘flexible’ and should ‘diversify’”
• “Mussolini ‘dealt with the situation’”
• “We believe in a Single European Consciousness”
• Three reasons for European economic crisis: “Bad design. Bad luck. Bad decisions: Greece.”
• That Ukraine must be placed in the “penalty box” until it learns to behave itself.
• When the United States Ambassador to NATO asked if there were any Greeks in the room and I raised my hand, he told me that only because I was there, he would call “Macedonia” the “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.”

If anyone has any uncertainties as to the democratic “leanings” of the Nobel Prize-winning European Union and of counterpart institutions such as NATO, the aforementioned quotes should dispel any such doubts.

And yet, here we are today, three years later, three years further into an ever-worsening economic and humanitarian crisis in Greece, and NATO, along with its lapdogs such as Turkey, is here to stay. With the blessings of Greece’s traitorous faux-patriot foreign minister Panos Kammenos, NATO has officially been invited to launch patrols in the Aegean Sea between Greece and Turkey, to guard against refugees trying to enter the European Union. We are talking here about a German-led NATO operation, one which began upon the invitation of Panos Kammenos but also only a few days after the latest meeting between German chancellor Angela Merkel with Turkish president Tayip Erdogan in Turkey. NATOs warships will patrol the waters between Greece and Turkey and will be supported by planes monitoring the influx of refugees. According to NATO, refugees found at sea will be sent back to Turkey. This was repeated by British defense minister Michael Fallon, who said that the aim of the operation is to send the refugees back to Turkey. In the meantime, as part of this deal, the Greek military command will now be officially and completely subservient to the whims of NATO, with the Greek military having to consult with NATO before launching any operations of its own, for any reason. As was written earlier this week by a journalist who managed to sneak onto a EU patrol ship, nobody on the ship actually believes that the deployment of NATO has anything actually to do with migration purposes.

Think this sounds far-fetched? Well then consider this: on February 7, the aircraft which was to fly Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras to Iran was forced to file a new flight plan, after Turkey objected to the flight landing for a refueling stop on the Greek island of Rhodes and then crossing Turkish airspace on the way to Iran, on the basis of Rhodes being considered, quote, a “demilitarized zone.” As could be expected, prime minister Tsipras responded with “yes, my Sultan” and a new flight plan was developed, for the flight to land in Egypt for refueling instead of Rhodes.

And if you still think this is all far-fetched and a load of bunk, then consider this: according to classified documents released by WikiLeaks, the oh-so-humanitarian, Nobel Prize-winning European Union has outlined a detailed plan, the so-called “Operation Sophia,” which outlines EU military operations against refugee flows in Europe, while also detailing a plan to develop a, quote, “reliable” government in Libya which will allow European Union operations to expand in the area. This report, dated January 29, 2016, is written by the commander of Operation Sophia, Rear Admiral Enrico Credendino for the EU Military Committee and the Political and Security Committee of the EU.

And perhaps not coincidentally, just as all of this has been taking place in the Aegean region, three members of Greece’s air force lost their lives when their helicopter crashed head-first onto the Greek islet of Kinaros. The helicopter had shown no signs of trouble prior to the crash, and there are many in Greece who believe that this incident was not merely an accident.

A recent article by the Pravda Report, accurately titled “The Silence of Greek Lambs,” sums up both the dangerousness of the situation in the Aegean and the embarrassingly weak “foreign policy,” if it could even be called that, on the part of the Greek government. The article mentions that just on February 15 alone, the Turkish Air Force violated Greek airspace over 20 times, between the islands of Hios and Samos, and the islands of Limnos and Lesvos. In 2015, the Turkish air force violated Greek air space a total of 1,375 times, with the aircraft in question being equipped with combat arms on 135 of those occasions.

As the article goes on to mention, Greece has forgotten the time when hundreds of thousands of Greeks were expelled from Constantinople and Asia Minor, or the invasion and continued occupation of almost 40% of Cyprus by Turkish troops. Enormous oil and gas reserves were found in the waters of Greece and Cyprus, and coincidentally, the EU enslaved Greece at around that same time with its so-called “bailout” program. As a result, as the article goes on to say, Greece is the only country in the region today that has not affirmed its rights to declare an exclusive economic zone. And in the meantime, the IMF wants Greece to sell its state-owned oil assets, while Turkey said that if Greece continues looking for oil, Turkey will consider it a sign of aggression.

That’s the situation in Greece and in the Aegean Sea today, a situation which I can guarantee you won’t hear about in the Guardian, the New York Times, the BBC, or NPR. And if you think Turkish violations of the Greek national airspace are something to be brushed off, consider that in 2006, such a violation led to the crash landing and death of a Greek air force pilot. Consider that these flight violations happen in a region that is home to a tremendous amount of commercial air traffic, particularly in the summer tourist period. And consider this as well: the oh-so-civilized NATO and European Union have not ever bothered to put a stop to this aggression, just as they have not stopped Turkey’s military occupation of Cyprus for 40-plus years.

And yet, it is Greece that is the bad guy. It is Greece which, according to officials from Germany and Austria and even the Czech Republic and Hungary and Poland and Slovakia, should be expelled from the supposedly borderless Schengen Zone, with these countries calling for a blockade of the refugees trying to enter Europe.

What we hear though from the international community, from morons such as Yanis Varoufakis and from the media, is all about how Europe’s stance, and particularly Germany’s stance, towards the incoming refugees has been honorable, that Germany alone has taken in over one million such refugees. No one says anything about how valuables have been confiscated from many of the refugees entering Germany, about the arson attacks against refugee housing centers in Germany and France and elsewhere, and about these new military operations to stop the inflow of refugees who are fleeing the very war and conflict that the EU, along with the US, are waging. And no one has stopped to consider that Germany, with a very low birthrate, is looking to exploit the incoming refugees as cheap labor to keep its industrial machine humming. And while the international community pretends to care about the immigrants, no one has said anything about the fact that, for Greece, this refugee influx is not new. Greece has been bombarded by refugees fleeing Iraq, Afghanistan, North Africa and other regions for at least a decade, and due to the European Union’s absurd Dublin II regulation, these refugees are stuck in Greece, because the country of entry for these refugees is the country which is responsible for processing all of their paperwork and asylum applications. No one, not the concerned journalists and professional Twitters, and not the northern European governments, has said a word about this inflow of refugees all these years. Nothing at all, other than to release human rights reports accusing Greece, the very country taking in these refugees, of racism and xenophobia.

This is the real Europe. One which claims to be borderless, but which knows how to erect borders and barriers…for others. It is time to realize a hard fact. There is no Europe. There are no open borders. There is no solidarity. There is, however, a European dream, one which is, in fact, a nightmare.

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