By Doctor William Mallinson*
Athens, 7 April 2018
Ever since at least 1791, when English Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger denounced Russia for seeking to dismember the Ottoman Empire, the world has been burdened with the Cold War. Britain was worried about Russian power in the Eastern Mediterranean, since she was paranoid about protecting her route to India and the Suez Canal. The obsession continued, with Greece as a victim.
Britain was forced to recognise Greek independence following Russian intervention, but managed to keep its finger in Greece as one its ‘protectors’ (In fact, Greece was to remain a de jure protectorate until 1923). Now it is still a de facto one, under NATO tutelage. In 1841, the British Minister to Greece said: ‘A truly independent Greece is an absurdity. Greece can either be English or Russian, and since she must not be Russian, it is necessary that she be English’. Then we have the Don Pacifico Affair, when Britain sent gunboats to threaten Greece, followed by the Crimean War, when Britain blockaded Piraeus. And during the Great Eastern Crisis, Britain grabbed Cyprus. Then, in 1917, Britain recognised the illegal government of Venizelos, thus forcing Greece into a war that was to prove catastrophic, ending with the mass slaughter and expulsion from Asia Minor of around one and a half million Greeks.
Behind Britain’s imperial strategy lay its support of the Ottoman Empire and obsession with Russia. This was to continue through the dreadful Greek Civil War, caused in part by Churchill’s obsession with having a Greek king, even though it was known that most Greeks were not in favour, but also caused by Britain’s obsession with Russia. Yet the Foreign Office had admitted that Moscow was not interested in controlling Greece. At that point, in 1947, Britain brought in the USA. Hence the Truman Doctrine, when Greece was literally forced to be anti-Russian.
Jump to recent times, and we can see that little has changed substantively. There are simply new colours: Britain and the US support Turkey strategically (whatever the childish rhetoric about freedom of speech in Turkey, and Turkish pseudo-love for Palestinians), and are obsessed with keeping Russia out of ‘their’ Eastern Mediterranean fiefdom. Turkey is still ready to co-operate militarily with the Jewish State, at US instigation, at least backstage: their secret agreement, dating from the late Fifties, still exists.
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