Tag Archives: Cyprus

Political Persecutions in Eastern Europe to prepare War with Russia (and a note on Hungary, Trump and the refugees)

By Dimitris Konstantakopoulos

We have witnessed during the last two years the multiplication of cases of political repressions in various Eastern European countries, like Poland, where Mateusz Piscorski, leader of the party Smena is detained illegally already for two years, without any accusations formulated against him! But this is not the only authoritarian action of the Polish authorities, which, by the way have been condemned by UN Human Rights Committee and by the Polish Ombudsman (Rzecznik praw obywatelskich) for their actions. Among them the process against the Polish Communist party, the harassment against the trotskyte group “Power to the Councils”, a pro-Palestinian conference and scientific conferences about Karl Marx! To all that you may add the massive expulsion to the streets of impoverished tenants due to the re-privatization process. Continue reading Political Persecutions in Eastern Europe to prepare War with Russia (and a note on Hungary, Trump and the refugees)

Le phénomène Trump, la course vers la guerre et la crise de l’ UE

Le phénomène Trump, la course vers la guerre et la crise de l’ UE

Dimitri Konstantakopoulos,

Conférence Internationale sur le capitalisme financier et ses alternatives, Chisinau, 15-16 décembre 2017

Lire aussi
The danger of Nuclear War and the Political Paralysis of Europe, the European Left, Russia and China

Antonio Guterres – an instrument of Neocons

By Dimitris Konstantakopoulos

The new General Secretary of the UN does nothing to stop the wars that are destroying Libya, Syria, Yemen or those threatening to erupt in Qatar, in Lebanon or against Iran or North Korea. He is doing nothing to stop the war against life by Donald Trump and the multinationals behind him. He does nothing about the many other explosive problems the planet is facing.

A large part of his activity is devoted to another goal: to destroying the Republic of Cyprus, in order to facilitate, among other goals, the new great war looming in the Middle East! This is the whole aim of the sinister operation named “solution of the Cyprus problem”.

Behind all the recent efforts to “solve the conflict in Cyprus” (which means in reality destroying the Cypriot state and its population, transforming a second member of the EU into a kind of postmodern protectorate, ready to explode at any moment), there is the same goal as the one to be found behind last year’s failed coup, supported by US neocons, in Turkey; behind the effort to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn by forcing an early election in Britain; behind the close, very “cosy” relations developed between Netanyahu’s Israel and the western Far Right (both Trump and Le Pen), in an effort to reshape  Western “antiglobalisation” sentiments” into a huge anti-Muslim political force, preparatory to launching a war in the Middle East much greater than those of the past.

Coups d’état, wars, dictatorships, regime changes are not something very original in the history of southern Europe and the Mediterranean countries. What is original about the Cyprus coup (disguised as an effort to “solve the conflict in Cyprus”) is the attempt totally to destroy the state in Cyprus, not just control its orientation or politics, and thus bring about the destruction of its population. Given the enormous strategic importance of this otherwise small country, such an outcome, if achieved, will be one of the biggest victories of Western imperialism and Western neo-totalitarian forces since the eruption of the “Eastern Question” two and a half centuries ago.

What makes “a solution to the Cyprus conflict” so urgent is that full control of both Cyprus and Turkey is absolutely necessary for  the task of encircling and neutralizing the Russian forces in Syria. And for Western imperialism in general and neocons in particular there is no more urgent need than encircling and neutralizing Russian forces in Syria.  Besides, the independence of Cyprus (and of Greece for that matter) was never fully accepted by Washington, London and its allies. As for US bases in Crete and British bases in Cyprus, they are considered the most important in a region stretching from Norfolk, Virginia to Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean! It seems rather clear that a hidden geopolitical agenda lurks behind both the Greek bail-out and the Cypriot bail-in programs.

For 25 years, since the first Gulf War was permitted by Gorbachev’s Kremlin in 1991, the USA, Israel, Great Britain and their allies have been making the law in the wider “Middle Eastern” region as a whole: they destroyed the most important Arab countries and they have been dominating the whole region in a way unprecedented in history. But since 2015 and the Russian intervention in Syria, which was also probably a response to Western aggression in Ukraine, the situation has been simply unacceptable for Western imperialism, for Israel and for the neocons. If the Russian presence in the centre of the wider Middle East region is stabilized, the West will face a strategic defeat more significant than the one it suffered in Vietnam. And it will become much more difficult, if not impossible, to wage war against Iran.

Cyprus is a small country, but one of enormous strategic importance for all of the Eastern Mediterranean. From an island one can attack whomever one wants, whereas to be attacked is difficult. This is one of the secrets underlying the domination of the world first by Great Britain and then by the United States. From Cyprus one can control the Suez Canal, Gaza, Israel, Lebanon, the Syrian and the Turkish coasts, including the port of Ceyhan, and also Greece, given the fact that no Greek government can remain indifferent to the fate of Greek Cypriots. It is enough to spend three minutes looking a map of the Eastern Mediterranean to understand why Cyprus is the real strategic centre of the Eastern Mediterranean.

The Eastern Mediterranean in its turn regulates access of Russia to warm water seas (and vice versa, the possibility of encircling and attacking Russia), but also access of Western Europe, of France and Germany to the Middle East and of Israel to Europe.

“Whoever controls Gibraltar, Malta, Crete and Cyprus rules the world,” Kissinger is said to have declared. Another country on which Mr. Kissinger has always placed much emphasis since his first and quite controversial book on nuclear strategy, is Libya. We know what happened to that country after the decision of Sarkozy, at the behest of Bernard Henri-Levy and on behalf of neocons, (who faced difficulties in Washington in the aftermath of the Iraq war), to use mainly France and Britain for the operation of attacking it. The pretence then was that Sarkozy wanted to save its population, and nowadays slaves are freely sold in the country’s markets. In 2011 in the Security Council Medvedev’s Russia and the Chinese leadership did not block the plans for the attack against Libya. By retreating all they achieved was to bring upon themselves  even more difficult problems in Ukraine, Syria or Korea! It will be interesting to watch what position Moscow, Paris and Beijing will now adopt on Cyprus in the Security Council.

Mr. Guterres has no bombers to send against Cyprus. The world’s top diplomat is using other means. He convened an international conference in Switzerland whose sole aim has been take the island’s sovereignty away from its inhabitants, overriding the consideration that it happens to be a member of the EU and the Eurozone! This Conference is open-ended, like the Holy Inquisition – every time it convenes it is removing a part of Cypriot sovereignty, and it  never ends. It will end only when the defendant, the Cypriot people, agrees to lose its state and commit suicide, like Mr. K. in Kafkas’s Trial.

At this Conference two countries are represented that in the past have waged bloody wars  against Cyprus: Britain and Turkey. Greece is represented, but the Republic of Cyprus itself is not – only the two biggest communities of the island.

What do they discuss there? The Constitution of the Cypriot state and its international status: whether it will be an independent state or whether other powers will have some rights over it! Yes. Unbelievable as it may seem, it is not a Constitutional Assembly elected by the citizens but an international conference deliberating in secret in Switzerland that is deciding the Constitution of the future Cyprus, and also what rights Britain and Turkey will have on the island!!! No citizen of Cyprus knows exactly what is being debated in Geneva, what the proposals of the participants, or of Mr. Guterres, are!!!

What we are witnessing is the return of Europe to the situation predominating in the continent during the Holy Alliance! An international Conference is being held to decide the fate of a small nation.

From leaks to the press and the declarations of the Greek Foreign Minister to the German DPA news Agency (January 2017) we know the general outlines of what is being discussed

– The majority of the population (Greeks, 82%) is to be put on an equal footing with the minority (Turks, 18%) making it necessary for foreign dignitaries to be introduced to rule the state, most probably representing the interests of the USA, Britain, Israel and the empire of Finance (they will probably accept some role for the Security Council, to permit the Russians and Chinese to swallow their own defeat, as they did with Libya in 2011)

– The new Cyprus will be disarmed. It will not have the right to self-defence, like all other normal states in the world. Its armed forces will be dissolved

– The island will be put under the supervision of an “International Police Force”.

Just in passing, given the influence that Ankara has over Turkish Cypriots, such a scheme will be tantamount to providing Ankara (and also Washington, London and Tel Aviv) with  influence and a veto on the Cypriot vote in the EU. It will also clearly mean  the transformation of a second member of the EU, after Greece,  into a post-modern protectorate. In practical terms it is not going to work and it will most probably lead to new bloody conflicts in Cyprus, as in the past.

All this became possible because the policy of the European Union in the Mediterranean is decided by Britain, the USA and Israel and also because of the policy of the SYRIZA party in Greece, which, in order to stay in power has accepted the role of organizer of Greek national and social suicide, transforming itself from a party of the “radical left” into a party of “radical neoliberalism”, surrendering all Greek foreign and defence policy to the USA, Great Britain and Israel.

Greece and Cyprus now provide us with an extreme – but not unique – indication of where we are heading in all of Europe in terms of national sovereignty and democracy. The decision made in Berlin to hand the economic “governance” of the continent over to the empire of Finance, the IMF and Goldman Sachs is now beginning to yield its first major political and geopolitical fruits.

As for Mr. Guterres, there is nothing strange about a European “Socialist” playing such a role. From the time the leaders of the German SPD sided with the Kaiser in the First World War through the time that  the French “Socialists” supported the campaigns against Libya, Mali and Assad, there is not any serious imperialist crime which did not find enthusiastic support from European “Social Democracy”.

First published at http://www.defenddemocracy.press/antonio-guterres-an-instrument-of-neocons/

The “Destroy Greeks” operation: Chapter II (Cyprus)

An international legal and political coup d’état is taking place these days, with the help and co-operation of the European Commission, against yet another state of the EU, after Greece: the Republic of Cyprus.  As unbelievable as it may seem, Juncker and Guterres are trying, through application of the guidelines of US and British policy, to destroy a second member of the EU after Greece and to transform it into a kind of post-modern protectorate. What is even more impressive, nearly nobody is speaking about that in international media, or, when they speak, they just reproduce the official narrative.

As 82% of the Cypriot population are Greeks by nationality, this coup should be regarded as continuation and “radicalization” of the “Destroy the Greeks” program that has been under implementation by the EU and the IMF, under supervision from High Finance in alliance with Germany, for the last seven years. From the economy they are now moving on to geopolitics. Up until now they have been usurping Greek sovereignty on matters of economic policy. With the Cyprus coup they are attempting to usurp “hard” sovereignty from the Greek people.

I am not using the term coup d’état as a rhetorical schema, I am using it stricto sensu.

An international conference has been convened in Geneva, with three foreign states (Britain, Turkey, Greece) represented along with representatives of the two largest national groups in Cyprus: Greeks and Turks. The Republic of Cyprus, a member state of the EU, is not officially represented in that conference. Two of the three states (Britain and Turkey) have in the past launched very bloody wars against the Cypriot people.

The purpose of this conference is to draw up a new “Treaty for a Federal Cyprus” and to decide the future constitutional and international regime of this state, without taking into account what the citizens of Cyprus think about this! The reason they have convened such a conference is that they are unable to persuade Cypriots themselves in a referendum to vote the solution the Western powers propose to the ethnic conflict on the island, a solution  tantamount to the suicide of the Cypriot state and its transformation into a protectorate!

The Greek government, which now acts more and more as a representative in Greece of the Troika and the West, not as a representative of the Greek people, has agreed to participate in this criminal farce. The same has happened with the President of Cyprus himself, who is openly, internationally and publicly being blackmailed with various criminal allegations, in  particular the Lebedev scandal, at the hands of the US administration and courts.

Unfortunately for the Greek people in both Greece and Cyprus, its political and ruling class has made the greatest progress in Europe in advancing the totalitarian agenda of the foreign powers that are seeking to subjugate and destroy the Greek people, their states and their democracy.

In the new “state” they want to create in Cyprus, the rule of the majority (the foundation of democracy) will be officially abolished, as the 18% minority will have a veto on all essential decisions, and foreign judges and officials will have to take the decisions in the very likely  contingencies where Greeks and Turks disagree.

The new state will not have any army or police of its own, but will be under the power of an International Police Force!

In fact, their intention is to return Cyprus to the status of a colony, which is what it was before its revolution of 1955-59 and before it achieved independence in 1960!!! They are gestating a monster, a kind of Frankenstein state.

This coup d’état is one more expression of the world-wide attack against popular and national sovereignty, against the social welfare state and against all forms of democracy.

It is the same attack which is also being organized through treaties such as TTIP, CETA, etc. which aim at establishing nothing less than a totalitarian world order, destroying any existing possibility of elected powers, at either the local or national level, having any influence on the decisions affecting people.

Neoliberalism was initially an economic and political proposal. It is now becoming a proposal for regime change.  It is already clear that, since the Maastricht Treaty at least, we have been witnessing a multi-faceted coup d’ état in the West, undermining the very foundations of the Western political order. They are abolishing the principle of popular sovereignty as such, seeking to replace it with a kingdom of Finance, whose power is embodied in various international organizations and their bureaucracies, including the EU institutions and bureaucracies and most “national governments”. They do not state as much openly but they are proceeding through various means, including TTIP, CETA and the other treaties of similar character.

We seem to live through a gigantic international counter-revolution, against the social and political results of the Second World War and the victory of the European peoples against Nazism and Fascism and, in reality, against also the very principles of Enlightenment and the French and similar revolutions (including the Greek one of 1821 and the Cypriot of 1955-59).

Our nations are in jeopardy and our states have already been, more or less, hijacked by globalization, that is, by the international dictatorship of finance capital, or at least its politically and strategically coherent wing, in alliance with the US military-industrial complex and NATO.

The content of the Western political regime as we have known it since 1945 has already been to a great extent abolished and its legal form is now gradually changing to reflect this new reality. One of the means being used is the previously mentioned international treaties. Another relevant factor is the way the European Union, the IMF and the ECB responded to the banking crisis of 2009, transforming it into a debt crisis and using it as a tool to destroy popular and national sovereignty, particularly in southern Europe.

Nowhere has this experiment gone as far as it has in Greece, which is being used, at the same time, as an example to frighten other Europeans, as a scapegoat and as a field of experimentation. The bailout program imposed on the country has already led to an economic and social crisis of unprecedented proportions, deeper than the huge crisis of 1929 in the US or the crisis in the Weimar Republic in 1929-33.

Greece is now the battlefield of the new financial totalitarianism, as between 1936 and 1939 Spain was the experimentation field of the rising Nazi and Fascist totalitarianisms.

The program being applied to Greece is not a classical program of neoliberal reforms. It is a mistake to describe what is happening in Greece using terms like austerity. What we face here is the assassination of a nation. The creditors have already taken away Greek national and popular sovereignty. A troika is running even the everyday affairs of the state and the government. All Greek public property is being looted. The Greek population is shrinking as young people are not having children; young people with specialized qualifications are emigrating in large numbers; mortality is rising among pensioners as a result of the crumbling of the health and social security systems. Greek pensions have been reduced fifteen times in the seven years of the “bail out” program. The psychology and morale of the Greek people are at an all-time low, strikingly similar to the psychology of Mr. K., the accused in the Trial by Franz Kafka.

It is not only a political, an economic, a social experiment. It is a kind of an anthropological one. They want not only to destroy the nation, democracy, the state. They want to destroy the idea of them and the very idea of citizenship. They want to lead Greece into committing a kind of collective suicide and they have up to now been to a large extent successful, especially since the betrayal by SYRIZA, one of the gravest betrayals in the history of the international Leftist movement.

Now, with the Cyprus coup, this attack against Greeks is taking new, unprecedented and even more dangerous forms.

What is happening in Greece, what is happening in the Middle East, what is happening regarding climate, all are proofs that we are faced with a horrible, extremely radical and ruthless offensive by the most dangerous and reactionary forces humankind has ever produced. No illusions are permissible. But most of us do not make a proportionate response to the situation. We frequently condemn these phenomena but we do not behave as if they are a question of life or death for human civilization.

It is important in these conditions to defend every element, everywhere, of popular and national sovereignty. But at the same time we should understand that such a struggle cannot ultimately be won at the local or national level, especially as we are already living, to a large extent, in what objectively is one state, and this state, whether we like it or not, is the EU.  Our opponents already have a sophisticated regional and world agenda, but we try to confront them within the narrow context of national realities that are becoming more and more irrelevant.

We need new political subjects that will take into account the radical character of the offensive we are facing, enshrined in our national realities but also, at the same time, in the objective international reality.

More than ever we need a Zimmerwald B conference, a century aft. ,,er the first one.

 Dimitris Konstantakopoulos

* The above is from an intervention to the Conference on a democratic response to Free Trade Agreements, organized by the Fundación Galiza Sempre and the Centre Maurits Coppieters in Coruna (Galiza).

Le Pen, Trump, Corbyn and the prospect of War

by Dimitris Konstantakopoulos (*)

Let me begin by expressing my profound and sincere admiration for the political instincts of the Islamic terrorists. They seem to possess a formidable sense of political timing.

For the last three weeks no serious and knowledgeable observer (unfortunately there are not many of them these days) could be in any doubt about our being thoroughly implicated in an accelerating momentum towards war.

Ostensibly against Islam, “radical” or otherwise, and against Korea. In reality against Russia, China and the rest of the world.

But also against ourselves! Becoming an empire, Rome has ceased to be a republic.

 

War and Peace

This is not just the opinion of the author of these lines. Mr. Leon Panetta, former US Secretary of Defense, has warned that Mr. Trump is risking a nuclear war in Korea. Former  acting CIA director Mike Morell has also characterized  Trump’s policies in East Asia as “provocative”.

The Russian Prime Minister has said that the world went one step away from a direct military conflict between the two nuclear superpowers that are present in Syria. His Minister of Defense thought it appropriate to recall, on the very day that Mr. Tillerson was in conference in Moscow, that his country’s entire nuclear arsenal is in a state of “combat readiness”. According to one of the best-known “Russologists” in the US, Professor Cohen of the University of Princeton, the United States and Russia are in their most dangerous confrontation since the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Of course your newspapers and televisions are telling you that nothing very important is happening. Our politicians are either trying to hide the truth (if they understand it themselves) or are at a loss to know how to face this situation.

This race towards war in reality began much earlier but now,   with the election of Mr. Trump in the United States, which has already proven to be political history’s most egregious act of deception, it has entered a decisive phase, though the process is not linear and much further twisting and turning may still be in store.

Most people, including decision makers and those who are well-informed, are not psychologically ready or intellectually prepared to accept what we have just written. But one should bear in mind that this is exactly how things were on the eve of the First and Second World Wars, and it greatly facilitated their outbreak.

The possibility of a large-scale war, though the progress towards it is complicated by the existence of nuclear weapons, was already inscribed in the global economic crisis that made its appearance in 2008 and is still ongoing.  This crisis is profound, comparable in  its depth to the crisis of 1873-96 that led to the First World War, and the crisis of 1929 that led to the Second World War. It also explains the crisis of the European Union, clearly the most important in its history.

 

Donald Trump exposed

Over ten days in April we had the bombardment of Syria, threats against Russia, Iran and Korea, the reminder from Russia of the existence of its nuclear arsenal, the threat of nuclear war in Korea, the bombardment of Afghanistan with the most powerful bomb employed in war since the bombing of Hiroshima, and the test of a new atomic weapon in Nevada, destined to destroy the enemy leaders, even in their bunkers.

The world has never before seen this kind of thing in such a short space of time, even at the beginning of the two world wars. Not a bad harvest for just ten  days!

They are trying to tell us that everything that is happening is nothing more than business as usual, that this is not a project that has been under preparation for years but is a just a sudden inspiration from Ivanka Trump and her husband, who come into Daddy’s office every day and suggest that he should bomb this country or threaten that country, risk or not risk a nuclear war, test this or that weapon.

If this is true Ivanka and her husband seem to combine the ambition of an Alexander the Great with the strategic skill of a Napoleon,  of a Marshal Tukhachevsky and the generals of Hitler, who planned the blitzkriegs at the beginning of the Second World War, all together.

One might expect that the international press would raise some very serious issues and ask questions. But there has been nothing. The big newspapers have treated all this as banal routine. They have even hidden from their readers information of very great  significance, which would have made headlines if we were living in the sixties or the eighties of the last century. Such as for example the reminder by the Russian press agency Sputnik on 13th April (the same day that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was having talks in Moscow) of the Russian Defence Minister’s statements that almost all of his country’s strategic nuclear arsenal is “combat readiness” and that 96% of the missile launchers in a state of “immediate launching”.

One cannot find such information in these same newspapers. Nor can one find a debate on the possibility of a nuclear war that could eliminate life on earth. But one can find numerous articles on the atrocious treatment of homosexuals in Chechnya, published simultaneously in many different publications. If Goebbels were still alive in our day, he would be green with envy.

All of the newspapers that were criticizing Mr. Trump so severely   only two weeks ago are now quite happy with him. It seems that what Mr. Trump has achieved is very much in line with the expectations of those who control global information.

 

Prepare Europe for War

On the face of it the war is against Islam and Korea. But the “real adversary”, as Monsieur Hollande would say, the enemy that is lurking behind Islam and Korea is none other than Russia, China and the rest of the world.

If one is in such a situation it makes no sense to try to understand and analyse what occurs in France, Great Britain, the United States, without taking into account the international context.

If, as just postulated, we are well entrenched in the dynamic of preparation for a war in a different category of importance from those we have seen in recent decades, then Politics is called to prepare the War (its continuation) and War has to condition political choices.

Whether she is conscious of it or not (this is not the most important aspect), this is precisely what Madame Le Pen is doing, attacking Islam every second day. It is the war for which she is preparing the French people by centering everything in her discourse on the question of security, characterizing as “totalitarianism” not the extraordinary hold of finance over all mankind, but “Islamic Jihadism”, which is the political result of our own interventions in the Middle East and the “organizational” result of the work in the Middle East of the American secret services and their allies.

That said, it is remarkable that this “radical” Islam is bending over backwards to… help Mme. Le Pen, choosing to carry out its attacks at the moments that are most opportune for her, whether on the eve of the regional elections in November 2015, or on the eve of the first round of presidential elections in France.

And in fact there has been in these last days a perceptible current, weak but perhaps sufficient, of voters moving from “radical Lepenism” to the “Mélenchon radicalism”. This little  current   could perhaps have propelled M. Mélenchon into the second round, and subsequently into the presidency. But the attacks in Paris three days before the elections may well have had the effect of checking the rise in support for Mélenchon,  securing his exclusion from the second round and so contributing to the final victory of Marine Lepen in the first round and of M. Macron in th second. We shall see.

 

Eliminate Corbyn!

If politics paves the way for war, war also conditions political choices. We cannot go into a great war with Jeremy Corbyn as the leader of the Labour Party. But all attempts to overthrow him have failed. This is most likely the reason why Theresa May decided to call early elections in Britain, hoping to inflict a defeat on Labour and thus finally enable the British establishment to get rid of this Mr. Corbyn. (It is perhaps also the reason for the violent attacks on the former mayor of London Mr. Ken Livingstone).

A few weeks ago, the British Minister of Defense made a very rare visit to Cyprus, where there are British bases of vital importance for any intervention in the Middle East. He declared that these bases “are more important now than at any moment in history.”  Given that “history” includes the creation of the state of Israel, the Israeli-Arab wars, the Suez crisis and the 1974 crisis between Greece and Turkey, there are reasons to be worried.

 

Controlling Turkey and Cyprus

Since September 2015, Russia’s military intervention has changed the strategic configuration of the Middle East as a whole.

If one wants to reverse the situation, neutralizing the Russian military force that is installed now in the center of the region,  it is necessary to impose the strictest possible control on the actions of Turkey, which finds itself between Russia and the Russian forces in Syria. This could be an explanation of the very hasty coup prepared against Erdogan in July 2016, a coup that was openly encouraged and announced before it happens by the American neocons.

To completely encircle the Russians it is also necessary to achieve total command over the island of Cyprus, which controls all the Eastern Mediterranean. This could very well help to explain the enormous pressures applied recently to “resolve” the Cyprus problem, avoiding the obligation of a referendum and imposing as a solution the transformation of the Cypriot state into a kind of post-modern Western protectorate, the second, after Greece, inside the EU.

 

“Encircle” Germany

In 2003 opposition in Paris and Berlin to the invasion of Iraq  gave Washington some problems. Now that something much more serious seems to be under preparation against Russia and/or China, it is absolutely essential to control Europe.

Words are not innocent. It has always been through words that one has prepared the way for wars. Mr. Steingart, editor of the most important German economic journal, Handelsblatt, and one of the most original minds still existing in the European press, wrote an article in August 2014. He did not take a position for or against Russia. He simply said that the German press is dealing with Russia and its leader Vladimir Putin, in reference to the Ukrainian crisis, in the same way that it dealt with Russia and the Russians in August 1914, that is to say at the outset of the First World War.

Germany already supports the US line on Ukraine and the Middle East, contrary to its own interests. But how long can it continue on such a course, for which it risks having to pay the costs?

There is no way of being sure in advance. This is why it is necessary, for a start, to control France and Great Britain. Consequently, given Berlin’s isolation from all of Europe’s periphery because of the economic war it has launched against its own partners, Berlin will find itself totally alone if it wants to oppose any project of a major war.

 

Reappearance in France of the US electoral triangle

On the eve of the first round of the presidential elections the French political landscape resembles last year’s scenario in the United States.

  • the emergence of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, totally unexpected, as was the emergence of Bernie Sanders in the United States (or of Corbyn in Great Britain), of a radical left current authentically  hostile to the wars in the Middle East and the confrontation with Russia. What is at issue here is not the chances of success of this current given the demands of the objective situation. The fact is that it constitutes a certain progressive opening and a certain impediment to the push towards war.
  • the official representative of financial capital and globalization, the ex-banker and financial advisor to the Rothschilds: Emmanuel Macron, the French equivalent of Hillary Clinton.
  • Marine Le Pen, apparently corresponding to Donald Trump in the United States.

Le Pen says that she is against the attack on Syria, but all her declarations on Islam prepare the political ground for a great offensive in the Middle East. Trump also said that he was against the policies of overthrowing Assad, but he has just started a new war against him.

Mme Le Pen says that she is a friend of Russia. Mr. Trump also let it be understood that he wanted better relations with Russia, but he has already led relations with Moscow to their most dangerous point since the Cuba crisis of the sixties!

Donald Trump also intimated that he is an enemy of Goldman Sachs, multinationals, finance, globalization. And he ended up investing Mr. Gary Cohn of Goldman Sachs (one of the architects of Greece’s economic and social ruin) with all the powers over economic subjects.

The fact that the adversary of Mme. Le Pen is M. Macron suggests to electors that she is an adversary of Finance, and that facilitates victory for her in a duel with Macron. But probably M. Rothschild realizes that as well as anyone else. If he really wanted to eliminate Le Pen and have her lose the election, why didn’t he advise his banker not to stand against her and propose a personality less well-known for his relations with the world of finance and more likely to beat Le Pen?

Is Mme Le Pen really what she makes herself out to be? Or is she too an accessory to what looks like world history’s greatest act of deception, which started with the election of Trump on a platform that is the total opposite of what he is now implementing?

It is one thing to judge ideas, another to judge people. People should be judged on the basis of their own ideas, not ours. A nationalist,  a fascist, a liberal, a socialist, a Trotskyist: they are to be judged by comparing what they do with the ideas they announce themselves as defending, with their own supposed ideology and system of ethics, not with ours.

How can one explain that Mme Le Pen, given her origins, has become a friend of Israel or of homosexuals? Could a partisan of General de Gaulle defend France’s colonial heritage in Algeria?

Is it a question of run-of-the-mill political opportunism, which is so prevalent? Or is it a question of a quasi-Faustian “historical compromise” that she has already concluded with the Devil, as each of our readers might like to understand him?

None of this means that Mme Le Pen is necessarily aware of the role she will be called upon to play.  Prior to her, Mr. Trump, Mr. Tsipras, M. Hollande, played out the role that was required of them, not because they knew it in advance but because they didn’t.

 

Trump’s Election – the coup of the millennium!

The election of Donald Trump in the United States has already proved to be world political history’s greatest feat of deception.  Elected as an opponent of Financial Globalization, an opponent of the Middle East wars, a supporter of better relations with Russia (exactly what Marine Le Pen claims in France), Donald Trump (or rather the forces that control him and set him up) has already handed over all the economic power to Goldman Sachs.

To follow up on that he utilized the Idlib provocation (as Hitler used the Reichstag fire) to recommence the well-known and well-publicized  program of the neocons in its most dangerous previsions (overthrowing of the regimes of Assad and North Korea, wars – probably nuclear –  against Iran and North Korea). A program whose most dangerous previsions had been halted  because of the strong opposition, albeit not open and political, of Obama, of an important section of the armed forces and secret services of the United States and Israel and, above all, of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s  decision to intervene militarily in Syria.

Despite certain differences, what is involved here is a repetition sui generis of the historical trajectory of German National Socialism. Nazism was propelled to power through a display of opposition to big capital and the victors of the First World War. Hitler pretened to be a friend, and even an ally, of Soviet Russia.

He then eliminated those, like Roehm and his friends, who helped him take state power (as Trump eliminated Steve Bannon), put himself at the disposal of German big capital and, finally, launched Operation Barbarossa to destroy his friend and supposed ally.

 

Published in DefendDemocracy Press

First publisjed in DefendDemocrasy on April 22nd under the title 

Mélenchon (et Corbyn) ou la Guerre

 “Translated from French by Wayne Hall

 

(*) Journalist, writer, graduate in Physics. Advisor to Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou on East-West relations and Arms Control (1985-88). Greek Press Agency ANA chief correspondent in Moscow (1989-1999).  Collaborated with Michel Pablo to launch the international review for self-management  Utopie Critique. Secretary of the Movement of Independent Greek Citizens (2011-12), Member of Secretariat of SYRIZA (2012-2013).

You can also read the following articles written in March before the initiation of the United States’ new military campaign.

Détruire l’UE, aller à la guerre au Moyen Orient, abolir les droits démocratiques – Qui et pourquoi a besoin de la mi-réelle, mi-fausse extrême droite française?

The Hijacking of France (from Donald Trump to Marine Le Pen)

Obama, Kissinger and Nuland: Cyprus 1974 – Cyprus 2017

By Dimitris Konstantakopoulos

06/01/2017

In July 1974 the US-controlled Athens military junta organized a coup d’état in Cyprus and an assassination attempt against the President of Cyprus Archbishop Makarios. Everything was executed in exactly the same way as it had been a year before in Santiago Chile. (Cyprus is an island of great strategic importance, now a member of EU and Eurozone. 82% of his population are Greek by nationality and 18% Turkish Cypriots. The country obtained its independence from Britain in 1960, after one of the most successful national-liberation struggles after the 2nd World War)

Unlike Salvador Allende, Makarios escaped death and with him his state survived also, albeit mutilated by the Turkish invasion that followed suit. Kissinger had to admit that Cyprus had been the greatest failure of his career.

Why did he do all this? Because Kissinger was the early neocon prototype, albeit much more capable than what his epigones proved to be. In spite of using his intellectual skills to build his image, he could never be something like Marcus Aurelius, the philosopher king, nor even like the shrewd Rabin, who knew when the time had come to transform into a permanent peace, from a hegemonic position, what he had won in the war.

Kissinger wants to play God (even though he should know that sometimes hubris is followed by nemesis. But this is not the kind of argument to stop such a man).

He has enormous capacities, great charisma and a global strategic vision, even if not everybody would agree with it. He was by far the most astute of the great cold (and also hot) warriors. By achieving an otherwise impossible alliance with the leader of the Chinese Communist Revolution, by what he did in Europe, the Middle East, Japan and even Latin America, he was able to encircle Russia and lay the strategic foundations for the demise of the USSR. His influence upon US foreign policy and strategy has lasted much longer than the time of his service as Secretary of State and National Security advisor.

The Master of Deception

His unparalleled achievements were due to the combination of two weapons he knows how to use very well.

One, he never hesitates. Every time he thinks it necessary to use every possible method, he has no moral, or any other, scruples. The end justifies the means, as the Jesuits used to say (or probably their opponents claimed they said).

The second and even more fearful weapon is his capacity to understand, better than they themselves do, what all the various players in a given game are thinking: their mentality, their needs. He is thus able to send all of them, including his rivals, the signals that are right for his purposes, signals formulated in the language the most likely to persuade them and make them move in the direction he wants them to go. Even if they continue to harbour some doubts, he is the master of the game because he knows what he wants and he does not hesitate for a moment. That was the secret of his triumphs.

I think even now Kissinger is one of the very few people who can maintain very good relations with both camps in what seems very much like a civil war at the very top of the Empire, probably between globalizers and practitioners of chaos, something like the war between the emperors Antonius and Octavius in ancient Rome.

Cyprus: a masterpiece of deceptive diplomacy

In 1974 Kissinger was able to prepare his Cyprus coup first by deceiving everybody about his real intentions, including the Greek dictator Ioannides, Archbishop Makarios and Soviet FM Gromyko (when he met both of them in Nicosia weeks before the coup), the British government and even his own President Richard Nixon, probably exploiting his serious troubles with Watergate.

It was a masterpiece of deceptive diplomacy, even if this is something he cannot openly claim.

In March 1974 Major-General Ioannides the Greek dictator invited to his office the ship owner Aristotelis Onassis. He told him, according to one of the very close associates of Onassis, “Aristotelis, everything is fine with foreign policy. The Americans told me to get rid of the priest (Archbishop Makarios, President of Cyprus) and they will give us the island” (Cyprus to be united with Greece). Ioannides was a little bit mad and the only thing Onassis could think of saying to him was “And why they don’t do it themselves?”. Such a question was not enough to make Ioannides think, let alone deter him from what he was already planning.

When Ioannides realized after the coup that he had been deceived and that it was Turkey not Greece that was to be “united” with Cyprus, he ordered the Greek Armed Forces to defend the island by all means and attack Turkey on all fronts. Nobody did anything. The USA were controlling all the Greek military hierarchy. The Turkish troops invaded the island essentially without resistance, proceeding to ethnic cleansing of the Greek population from the zone they controlled. Cyprus lost 3% of its population during this operation, which is more than the Iraqi losses during the invasion of 2003.

Ioannides, a veteran of anticommunist struggles in Greece, died in prison, always refusing to explain what had happened. He said only “I don’t speak because if I speak all Greeks will become Communists”. Some time after the events the Greek Parliament itself adopted a special provision to stop any investigations about Cyprus, invoking the need not to disturb the foreign relations of Greece.

Kissinger meeting Makarios and Gromyko

Just before the coup Kissinger himself visited Cyprus and there met with Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko and Archbishop Makarios. We don’t know much about what was said during their conversations except that Kissinger told the Archbishop as he was leaving the island: “Monseigneur, you are too great a leader for such a tiny place.” It was a flattering remark for this son of peasants to hear such words from one of the most powerful men on Earth.

If we don’t know what was said in those talks we do know what happened afterwards. Makarios began to act with increasing assertiveness in his relations with the junta, ignoring desperate messages from some people in Athens, that they were planning to kill him. He even wrote the junta a letter asking them to recall their officers from Cyprus. This served as the final pretext for the coup against him.

As for the USSR, it reacted only a posteriori to the chain of events and only by the usual diplomatic means. It was the opposite attitude to the one Nikita Khrushchev had adopted in 1964. Then, warned by Makarios’s envoy Vassos Lyssarides, the Cypriot socialist leader, who had met him personally at his southern resort, he had send a strong message to US President Lyndon Johnson explaining that a Turkish plan to invade the island would be unacceptable for the Soviet Union. Johnson sent a letter (published since) to the Turkish leader Inonu, telling him to cancel the invasion plans.

But all plans may have some problematic points. Not only did Makarios survive but the Socialists and other democrats resisted the coup on the ground. Kissinger’s chosen man in Cyprus, Clerides, who had in the meantime become the acting President, and Kissinger’s friends in Athens, could not do much finally but accept the return of the Archbishop to his island after some months abroad. He had saved his state, but nearly half of the island was already occupied and hundreds of thousands of refugees were living in tents. His heart broken, he died three years later.

Turkey enters the game

The Turkish forces invaded the island in July 1974 to “protect the Republic of Cyprus and Turkish Cypriots”. The constitutional order of the Republic had been restored on the island, nobody there was in any real danger, the Athens junta had collapsed. But one month later, while negotiations were being held in Geneva, the Turkish Army began its second phase of the invasion, occupying nearly half of the island, where it still stands. According to relevant UN documents the Northern occupied zone of Cyprus remains the most militarized region on Earth. The day before the second military operation Kissinger and the Turkish PM Ecevit had had 14 telephone conversations.

In November 1974 Kissinger met Denktash and explained to him what kind of solution he should demand for Cyprus. Later, US undersecretary of State Clifford explained to Makarios what kind of solution was fit for the island.

On the basis of a solution of this type, decades later, the “Annan Plan for the solution of the Cyprus conflict” was developed and presented to the Cypriot people in a 2004 referendum. Cypriots rejected the proposal.

From Kissinger to Nuland – from modernity to postmodernism (with Turkey invited to join EU)

Now Mrs Nuland wants exactly the same solution before she leaves the State Department. She wants to impose it on Cyprus through a new coup d’état, of a very different, less dramatic and more dangerous type. The coup d’état is to take place in Geneva, on 12th January.

She knows that she cannot win a referendum under the given circumstances. She will therefore try to take everything she can from the powers of the existing Cypriot state, on a legal and political level and at the level of international law, before holding probably two and not one referenda, which is logical as there will be not one but two states in Cyprus after January 12. She will hold the promised referendum she cannot win under the circumstances only when she has changed those circumstances. And she will hold two, not one.

All of this is illegal, but if Anastasiades and Tsipras or Kotzias sign the agreements under pressure from her, there will be not be many people around even to protest, as they did during the Iraq war. They will not survive such an act, politically, but I am not sure how they interpret the situation. The more so as most of the international players in fact prefer such a “solution”, and many of them, unbelievable as it may seem, just do not know the real details and provisions of the Annan plan. They know only that they have to support it! If all this planning does not falter somewhere in the next few days, it will soon be announced on the screens of CNN and world TV: Breaking News: Peace in Cyprus. The two sides announce the creation of a new partnership. Historic foes Greece and Turkey sign a Pact of Alliance.

At some point in the future Cyprus will be transformed into a Bosnia. But who will then remember what was on the CNN screen that day? Do you hear anything now about the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction? They will just say: “Oh, those Greeks and Turks, they are at it again. They never know how to behave. They are genetically or culturally disposed to violence.

The Cyprus settlement risks becoming, simultaneously, the last victory of the old “globalization” and a prelude to the new Order of Chaos!

One small detail: the Annan-Anastasiades-Nuland plan also provides for Turkey to become something like a full member of the EU, a decades-old project of US policy, which now seems all but unachievable through normal means.

One more reason for Mr. Obama and Mr. Erdogan to eye the cheese and ignore the trap. The only thing I don’t know is what Netanyahu thinks of all this.

Kissinger: The reasons I did it

Speaking to a closed seminar under Chatham House rules, Mr. Kissinger justified his policy by saying that whoever rules Cyprus, Crete and Malta “rules the world”. Given that he had already lost Malta, he could not afford also to lose Cyprus, ruled by this “red priest”, the “Mediterranean Castro”.

This is misrepresentation. Makarios was a very anticommunist, pro-American, conservative, right-wing politician. The only reason that he was flirting with the Soviet Union and that he became a leader of the Non-Aligned Movement, was the threat of extinction of his state, which was always London’s and Washington’s policy aim for Cyprus. .

As the Colonial Secretary of the United Kingdom said of the Commonwealth Harry Hopkinson said, answering a question about Cyprus from Labour’s ex-colonial secretary Griffiths in the House of Commons, “It has always been understood and agreed that there are certain territories in the Commonwealth which, owing to the particular circumstances, can never expect to be fully independent”. (28.7.1954)

Cyprus is an island like Britain and (strategically speaking) the USA. From there you can attack anybody in the Eastern Mediterranean, but nobody can easily attack you. When the British PM Disraeli acquired the island from the Ottoman Empire he said “we have got the link we were missing”. Imperial planners not only always thought it would be too risky to let the inhabitants of the island rule themselves (this used to be, and still is, the “Cyprus problem”). They often used the most destabilizing methods to attain their goal of taking the island from them.

Kissinger can say whatever he wants. He all but destroyed the South East wing of NATO. Monteagle Sterns, US Ambassador to Athens, said the only reason the Soviet Union was not able to make huge strategic gains out of the mess produced by Kissinger was its own unwillingness or incompetence.

From Kiev to Nicosia

The same is true of Mrs. Nuland. She could claim, for instance, that what she did in Kiev was necessary to stop Putin from recreating the Soviet Union. But it is not true. The West, if it wanted, could incorporate not only Ukraine, but also Russia into the Western system. They did it with Germany after the War. All that would be required would be to send money there, not IMF economists, and to avoid having NATO troops penetrate deep inside the ex-USSR. Now they don’t understand how it is possible that Putin should be ruling the Kremlin. They believe it is just a misunderstanding of history and they look for ways to remove him from his position. This attitude is not serious.

On the subject of Kiev, I really don’t know how to evaluate it. What happened in Kiev was the strongest possible motivation for Putin to decide to send his army to Syria. The West is already facing the consequences of the biggest strategic defeat it has suffered since the Vietnam War. Can you really call such an outcome a triumph?

Obama, Cyprus and two schools of imperial thinking

Some friends of mine will be shocked to discover that I greatly esteem the President of the United States, Barack Obama, for one thing he did , and I really do. He stopped the crazy neocon plan for a new Syria invasion (as in Iraq) and the even crazier idea of bombing Iran, probably with tactical nukes, as Seymour Hearsh was already warning us a decade ago. I consider the very existence of such plans as the most serious indication of a deep decline of our civilization

Of course Obama should be criticized for many other things. But one should not judge the presidents of the United States only by the policy of their country. Those seemingly all-powerful people are much more hostages of the mad machine they are running than we are! And for any judgment to be correct one should take into account the real situation in which one person acts.

Obama said something very serious, answering the critiques he had received of the “failures of his Middle Eastern policy”. He criticized the previous administrations for the legacy they had left him and for the method of “first shooting and then looking”.

But he also made the same mistake and he admitted it in the case of Libya, when he heard Sarkozy. He is a clever man and he probably understood finally that something had gone wrong with Kiev, but he will not admit it. He is familiar with Third World problems but not with Russia. He represents a generation that lacks the terrible education and experience that was the Cold War. About Russia, but not about Cyprus, he could gain a lot from talking with Kissinger and even more from reading Kennan or Cohen. As for Brzezinski, passions are usually misleading. His anti-Russian mania undermined the other aims of his interventions.

Of course nobody there in the White House has taken the time to read the Annan Plan (and the same is true for European bureaucracies and governments). They would easily understand, if they read it, that it creates a Bosnia in the Mediterranean. But this is how the world is run. By small minority groups inside the system which write the laws and push the decision makers to act accordingly, thinking they are deciding.

 

Published in:  www.defenddemocracy.press

Greece is not enough. They want Cyprus also. Why the EU is pressing for a “solution”

by Dimitris Konstantakopoulos (*)

There are two fundamental aspects of the Greek bail-out program that are usually overlooked, as most people consider it to be just a harsh neoliberal economic program.

But the Greek bail-out program is much more than that. It is first and foremost a regime-change program, experimenting in a EU country with the abolition of the bourgeois democratic regime such as we have known it in Europe since 1945, if not since the English and French revolutions. If it succeeds in Greece, it will be repeated elsewhere in the continent.

By essentially denying the principle of popular sovereignty, it is also denying the principle of national sovereignty, the (relatively) independent character of the Greek state. Greece occupies a strategic place in the Eastern Mediterranean, on the route connecting Russia with the Mediterranean and Western Europe with the Middle East. Its independence was never completely tolerated by the British and then the American empires. Greeks were also suspected of leaning towards Russians, or at least this was the argument justifying the innumerable Western interventions in this country.

The abolition of the Greek state is a strategic transformation of enormous geopolitical consequences. This is even truer for the Republic of Cyprus, located as it is in an even more strategic location in the Eastern Mediterranean and also inhabited by Greeks (82% of the population).

Both the US administration and the EU leadership now seem to be in an extraordinary hurry to secure an immediate solution to the Cyprus problem, a problem dating from 1974. They seek, if possible, to find a solution during 2016 or at the beginning of 2017.

They are applying the maximum of possible pressure on President Anastasiades to accept whatever Ankara is asking and to present as soon as possible to the Cypriot people, in a new referendum, a variant of the Annan project for solution of the conflict. This project was rejected by an overwhelming majority of Cypriot voters in the referendum of 2004.

It may be no coincidence that the same London law firm that drafted the Greek “Loan Agreement” had previously also drafted the Annan Plan for Cyprus, if, at least, we are to give credence to what is claimed in an article published in the Greek magazine Epikaira.

EU enters into the Cyprus equation

Everybody knows the astonishing successes the European Union has had in confronting its own crisis, in saving Greece or in addressing the problems of the Middle East. Of course there are always people of bad faith, who would say that Greece was destroyed while they were saving it, or that it was not a great idea to bomb Libya to save it from Gaddafi, as France and Britain did, or to send arms to Islamists in Syria. Others will say that the EU has failed to persuade its own citizens how correct its policies are, as demonstrated in successive elections and referenda. There are always people of bad faith, who can make only negative comments. The reality is that the European Union is moving from one success to another.

This is probably why Mr. Juncker believes that he should now exercise his know-how on other problems as well, such as for instance the Cyprus conflict, to which he devoted a part of his recent “State of the Union” speech. It is only coincidental that this sudden interest in Cyprus in Brussels also coincides with Washington’s great interest in solving this conflict, if possible, before the end of the year.

It is also a pure coincidence that USA and Israel seem now more pressed than ever to construct a pipeline connecting Israel with Turkey. They believe that such a pipeline would stabilize Turkey inside the Western system and would exclude Russians from the southern energy routes. But such a pipeline presupposes solution of the Cyprus problem.

The EU is so keen to help Cypriots “reunify”, that the Commission is said to be ready to override the EU’s own laws, accepting a “solution” to the conflict that will seriously contravene fundamental provisions of the Union.

No doubt all this represents a huge opportunity for Cyprus. It is easy to imagine how rosy the future of the island will be if the two strongest powers in the world, the Unites States and the European Union, cooperate to solve its problems. Cypriots can be sure of that. All their neighbors in the Middle East, such as Syria and Libya, have derived enormous benefits from the US and Europe being interested in them.

During his speech, Juncker explained that the EU will do everything possible to “reunify” the island. Now one may believe that Greeks were responsible for the conflict. Others will say that the Turks are to blame. (There are also some people of extremely bad faith who believe that the whole Cyprus question has been a by-product of British and then US imperial policy. They even blame the distinguished Henry Kissinger for the whole Cypriot tragedy of 1974!)

In any case, everybody can have their opinion on who was responsible for events in Cyprus. But, speaking from the viewpoint of international law and the unanimous resolutions of the UN Security Council, Cyprus is not “a divided country to be unified”, as Mr. Juncker put it. It is a country that has been invaded by another country that is still occupying a large part of its territory. This occupied territory also happens to be the territory of the European Union.

Division or invasion and occupation?

Mr. Juncker seems to be ignoring all this. He could have asked Mrs. Merkel herself who, when she was in opposition, wrote a letter to her counterparts in the European People’s Party explaining that it is not a good idea to invite into the Union Turkey, a country still occupying part of another country (Turkey occupying part of Cyprus). Then she became Chancellor and, we suppose under pressure from USA or opportunistic reasons, she forgot what she had written.

Another European politician, the French Gaullist Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, went on record in Europe 2, on August 2nd, 2005, to say that it is just inconceivable that Turkey and the EU begin accession negotiations while Ankara does not even recognize the Republic of Cyprus, a member of EU. He also had to forget his own position later.

The facts have proven beyond doubt that France, Germany and European public opinion count for less than the will of Washington, London and Israel, all of them pressing hard for decades to impose to unwilling Europeans the idea of the Turkish accession into the EU.

What has happened in Cyprus?

The very term “divided” Cyprus is rather misplaced, especially coming from EU officials, in reference to a country and a member-state of the EU that has been invaded by another country. Cyprus used to be one country and one state – the Republic of Cyprus – until Turkish troops invaded the island in 1974 and occupied a large part of its territory, from which they have expelled the majority of the Greek population, which happened to be the majority of all the population (Greeks were a majority in all regions of Cyprus, the territories occupied now by the Turkish army included).

During this military campaign 3% of the Cypriot population perished, proportionally more than the victims of the invasion of Iraq. Under threat, the remaining Greek Cypriots in the occupied areas had to move south, and Turkish Cypriots from the South were ordered to move to the north of the island.

The origins of the conflict

When Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974 it did so claiming that it had to protect the constitutional order of the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Cypriot minority living there, because of the coup fomented by the Athens junta against the elected government of Cyprus in July 1974. (Since that time Turkey has stopped even recognizing Cyprus. Ankara is now holding accession negotiations to the EU despite the fact that it does not recognize one of its members!) (*)

But, in any case, if the goal of Turkey was to protect Turkish Cypriots and preserve the constitutional order of the Cypriot Republic, this goal was achieved by the end of July 1974. Both the Athens junta and the regime it had imposed in Cyprus collapsed. Greeks were not in position to harm Turkish Cypriots and negotiations were under way in Geneva to resolve the conflict.

It was only in August 1974, after having achieved its pretended goals in Cyprus, that Ankara, encouraged by Henry Kissinger, launched a second military campaign, occupying nearly half of the island and laying the basis for completion of the ethnic cleansing of the Greek population from the north of the island, where, as we already said, they had constituted a majority.

This second military campaign was also necessary from Kissinger’s point of view. The real architect of the Cyprus tragedy simply wanted to get rid of the Republic of Cyprus. He wanted NATO to control the island and one way to do it was to divide it between Greece and Turkey, two members of the Atlantic Alliance, closely controlled by the United States.

But the plan did not remain successful to the end. In Chile, Kissinger had had Salvador Allende killed. In Cyprus President Makarios escaped the assassination attempt. With all radios announcing his death, Cypriots heard his voice (and they will remember this all their life), being broadcast from a Paphos local station and telling them “I am alive”, before calling upon them to resist.

Makarios escaped from the island with the help of the British. In the island itself the Socialists of Vassos Lyssarides were fighting for freedom. Soon the Greek junta collapsed and there was a revolutionary situation in both Greece and Cyprus, where anti-American feelings were at their height. The Kissinger plan would have totally collapsed and it would have had opposite results to those intended by its originators if a second Turkish invasion had not followed.
As a result of all these events, the Republic of Cyprus as a state has survived, albeit mutilated, to our day. The Security Council of the UN has unanimously recognized its government as the sole legitimate government of the island and asked for the withdrawal to Turkey of the troops kept in Cyprus by Ankara. (The north of the island, occupied by Turkey, is the most militarized region on Earth).

Same goals, different methods

What are the USA and the EU now pushing for? They want the Greeks essentially to accept many of the results of the invasion and of the occupation of the island, including the continued presence of significant Turkish forces. As for the internal structure of the state, the rule of majority has to be abolished, because Turkish Cypriots, who are a minority, cannot accept that they should live under Greek power.

It is only normal that a minority of the population should demand, and receive, special protection rights. It is not normal that, through invocation of the need to protect the minority, all rights of the majority should be abolished!

This is a way to transform Cyprus into a protectorate. If you have two parties within the decision-making process, every time they disagree, no decision can be made. Foreign judges and foreign officials appointed by Annan would take all final decisions according to the Annan Plan and the same provisions would be valid for the new regulations under discussion. In Greece you now have a foreign troika running the country like the judges at Kafka’s Trial. In Cyprus it has been proposed that a troika of foreign judges should rule it (and behind that judicial troika, there would be the real geopolitical troika of the region: US-Britain-Israel).

Here is where both ends meet. What they are pursuing now is that same goal as in 1974, namely the destruction of the Republic of Cyprus as a democratic, sovereign and independent state – exactly what they were able to achieve in Greece, by other means. In the past they were trying to do it through invasions, military coups and attempted assassinations. Now they do it employing post-modern political, diplomatic and economic methods, to the accompaniment of a lot of talk condemning nationalism. The essence of the proposed solution is that Cyprus should be transformed into a post-modern Western protectorate, with the potential for transformation into a Bosnia- like entity inside the EU.

Control Cyprus completely. Exclude any Russian presence from the Mediterranean. Transform European states into protectorates, in one form or another. These were the goals in 1974 and they are the same in 2016. This is what the US administration and, in obedient acquiescence, the EU bureaucracy and European governments want to accomplish as soon as possible.
(*) Of course, one should remember at this point that it was not an elected Greek government that organized the coup in Nicosia in 1974. It was a dictatorial regime, imposed by the US and NATO, which was ruling in Athens and organized the coup. Many analysts believe, by the way, that the only reason Americans imposed the dictatorship on Greece in 1967 was so that they would be able to organize the coup and provide Turkey with the pretext it needed to invade the island.

Before becoming an ethnic and religious conflict the Cyprus problem was a colonial one – and so in fact it remains. London wanted to exclude Cyprus from the decolonization process for one reason. It was the most essential link between the West and the Middle East and the most valuable strategic location in all the Eastern Mediterranean. “We have acquired the missing link”, said the British P.M. Disraeli, who hated Greeks, when his country took Cyprus from the Ottomans, in 1878. To keep Cyprus, imperial Britain fomented every kind of antagonism – Turkish Cypriots against Greek Cypriots, Turkey against Greece, communists against nationalists and so on. The USA under Kissinger followed suit.

 

First Published by Katehon

TOWARDS “REGIME CHANGE” IN CYPRUS?

By Dimitris Konstantakopoulos
It is usual in European politics those years, for people to vote one thing and their leaders to do another. This is what happened in many occasions, from the French referendum of 2005 on the European “constitution” till the Greek referendum of 2015, not to mention pre-electoral promises never fulfilled.

But there are also a few exceptions, when a leader cannot or does not want to go against the will of the voters. Such an exception was the referendum on Cyprus in 2004, when the population voted overwhelmingly to reject the Annan plan for the “reunification” of the island.

Many readers may think that what is happening in Cyprus, a small member-state of EU in Eastern Mediterranean, is of rather marginal importance. This is what mainstream media are implying by their (non) reporting on the real parameters of the Cyprus question. But, in reality, the opposite is true. Cyprus, in spite of its magnitude, is too important to speak much of it!

What what will happen in Cyprus during the coming months may have huge consequences for the direction both the European and the Middle Eastern crises will take in the near future. It may determine EU-Turkey relations and it will also deeply affect Greek politics and Russian interests in the Mediterranean.

Why all this? First, because the “solution”, now prepared, of the Cyprus conflict is tantamount to no more, no less than the … abolition of the state in Cyprus, something which will set an example for all nation-states in Europe. To make a long story short, the Annan plan – along the same lines will be the next proposal for Cyprus – was giving ultimate power in the island to three foreign judges and to dozens of other “international officials”, appointed by the General Secretary of the UN personally (without even the consent of members of the Security Council). Those judges and other “international officials” would be able even to appoint their successors!

Whom Mr. Secretary General would appoint to run, with such monarchic powers, this small Republic? We suppose it would not be Nigeria, Vietnam or Chile which would influence his choices. It seems more probable that countries like the USA, Great Britain or Israel would do it, as they have both vital interest and the possibility to influence the decisions of any UN General Secretary.

Second, the Cyprus conflict is one of the main factors affecting the EU-Turkey relations (if Annan plan was to be applied, Ankara would be granted many of the rights of member-states much time before it becomes, if it becomes, a member-state!). And third, any resolution of the Cyprus conflict along the lines of the Annan plan would have huge strategic implications, given that Cyprus is located in one of the more strategic places on Earth.

Those factors explain why the US administration, the EU and the British government have been mobilized massively in 2004 to “persuade” Cypriots to vote for the Annan plan. They created an atmosphere of fear and terror, which is the usual case in European referendums now. International and local “prestigious” commentators went public, predicting all the evils of the world, if voters decide to vote against the will of the “mighty” and the “civilized”. They paid also a lot of NGO’s to make campaign for the Yes vote. The greater part of the Cypriot and Greek financial oligarchy, of the main Cypriot and Greek media and of the political establishments in both Cyprus and Greece did a massive campaign to persuade Cypriots to vote Yes.

Greek Cypriots, who are 82% of the population, had all the reasons of the world to take seriously these threats. Cyprus is a small island, a large part of which is occupied by Turkey. Turkey is a military “superpower” compared to Cyprus and Greece is too far to help it very effectively (if an Athens government decides to do it, because in the past Greek governments had not expressed such a strong will).

In spite of all this Cypriots have just rejected the Annan plan in 2004. But, as Lord David Haney, the British diplomatic authority on Cyprus, has said back then, “if Cypriots reject this plan, we will put it again and again in referendum, until they vote Yes”.

Maybe the time for a new referendum, or even a crisis designed to provoke a shock to the population of the island, is now approaching, after the parliamentary elections scheduled for the end of May.

Victoria Nuland has already visited Nicosia.

Greece, Cyprus, Sanders and Dignity

by Dimitris Konstantakopoulos

We wrote about it again and again. Giorgos Mitralias has written about it before us in “contra-xreos.gr” and Giorgos Charvalias in the newspaper “Dimokratia”, and few others. Almost no one however, in the sinking Greece or in Cyprus, which are both now under threat of even bigger destruction, and no one among the grandiose members of the Greek-American community, seems to be willing to listen!

Bernie Sanders represents a great hope for Greece and for the whole world. We do not know if he can win against Clinton in the race for the Democratic nomination. What’s more, we don’t know if he could ever be elected US president or what he would do if he is ever elected. Sanders, unlike our own Greek politicians – those unbelievable hijackers of  Left values   and of the heritage of  the heroic fights given by its partisans  has repeatedly said that he will not be able to do anything unless the people help him do something. In fact, only the people do something, with his help!

But, in any case, the emergence, for the first time in many decades, in the United States, of a strong movement, opposing the omnipotence of the financial capital and the neoliberal economic model, a model already evolving into a kind of “destructive capitalism”, is something that should attract the attention of any thinking person on the planet. This is even truer for Greeks in Greece, in Cyprus and throughout the world, given that we are at the forefront of the attack launched by these forces and that our nation’s very existence and dignity are under threat. I wonder what we are waiting for, like the Rayahs of our history, before we finally decide to react. Are we going to wait until we become another Syria (in our case, by the use of economic and political methods) or until Greece is totally “squashed” and Cyprus is fully taken apart through a new Annan plan (as they already plan to do right after the Cypriot parliamentary elections)? It will be very late by then.

And yet, here we have, in the most powerful country in the world, a politician who, repeatedly and of his own accord, guided only by his political ideas and beliefs, has defended Greece in a way that no Greek politician has ever done, without expecting anything in return. By exposing the international financial system and the dreadful attack it unleashed against Greece, first directly and then by manipulating, in partnership with the German government, the rest of Europe to follow suit (1). But we, on our part, we remain simply indifferent to what is happening in the States with Sanders. Is there any chance that we will manage to save ourselves in this way? Absolutely no!

 

Sanders, the Middle East volcano and the fate of Europe

It’s not only his vision about the economy that should interest us. It is also his proposals about international politics, in particular about Middle East. Instead of him “worshiping” too the AIPAC, Sanders gave a historical speech about politics in the Middle East, declaring that he is proud that he opposed the war in Iraq and that Palestinians have a right to self-determination. He proposed cooperation with Moscow and moderates in Teheran for the stabilization of Middle East (2).

The possibility that Sanders will beat Clinton is considered rather small, though not inexistent. His campaign however has changed the terms of political debate in American politics. Some characterise what is happening in the US as a “political revolution”. It is the first time that someone – even if an “outsider” but acting within the realm of mainstream politics – offers a coherent alternative to the neoconservative politics of chaos and destruction. These politics have literally demolished the main countries of the Middle East causing untold suffering and misery to millions of people. Now we see their results exported to Europe through the refugee crisis, terrorism, the “clash of civilisations” project, the wars “against Islam” we are asked to fight. They want to use the results of such wars in order to provoke a “regime change” in Europe, destroying the heritage of Enlightenment and driving humanity into one of the darkest nights in its history.

Even Hitler, in the context of intra-war Germany, seemed to have some reasons, not justifications of course, for his terrible aggression and horrible crimes. Germany in 1933 was a destroyed, humiliated and exhausted country. The western victors of the 1st World War were trying to strangle it. Is there even a shadow of  justification for what the US, Britain, France  and other NATO states did  in the Middle East during the last 15 years? What is the situation in this entire region  today, after  15 years of direct and indirect interventions?

In fact, the paradox here is not that there are some Muslims who react in the ways they react; the real paradox is that they are relatively few! Nor do we have to become experts in Islamic, medieval theology, on Soufi and Wahhabi beliefs, to understand what is happening. Some empathy and sense of human dignity would suffice (3).

By the way the first thing we should do, if we are really interested in giving a fight  and keeping  our countries safe, would be to exercise better control on all the various “fractions” in our own security services, which seem to have developed a very “cozy” relationship with terrorists, in fact they have  helped them a lot to become what they became. As for the refugee crisis, the priority should be to address the source of the problem, the fighting in Syria. It is again Paris, – under the seemingly absolute domination of neoconservatives, going back to the Sarkozy election –  which is creating problems to a first agreement on Syria between Putin and Obama, as it tries hard, even now, to expel Assad from power.

Greece and Cyprus face today major problems which affect their “existence” and pose potentially the most significant threats these countries had to deal with over the last two centuries. The first has to deal with an “economic war” and the latter with a “geopolitical war”, while political and communication weapons are used against both. But even if their problems were to be solved by some miracle, there is neither an individual nor a nation that could ever have any future should the world continues to be ruled by the same forces which govern it now.

It makes no sense to suddenly start worrying about the symptoms, such as the refugees and the immigrants or the terrorists, when one remains indifferent to the root causes which generated them and continue to generate more of them.

 

Sanders and Greece

Yet, while all this is happening, few of the main “players” in Greece and among the Greeks abroad, show any interest in the case of Sanders. Our supposedly “left” government seems flattered by the attention it gets by some “clerks” in the Clinton “system” and by other, more obscure, international forces. The various self-proclaimed domestic “elites’, the great majority of the Greek media, the leaders of the Greek-American community do not pay any attention either to Sanders’ nomination to the US primaries. When anyone shows any interest at all, it’s rather for fighting it!

The so-called Greek-American “lobby”, not only  did not rise to its feet to do everything it can to support the Sanders candidacy, but, as it appears, it supports Mrs Clinton against him (4).

 

Henry Kissinger – the “killer” of a Nation

A particularly ironic and tragic aspect of the story is that Sanders strongly criticized Hillary Clinton for her statement invoking Henry Kissinger as her mentor. Kissinger is one of “the most destructive figures in American history” said Sanders (5).

Kissinger is not just any random person in the history of Cyprus. He is in fact the perpetrator of the crimes committed against Cyprus, the organizer of the coup of 1974of the attempted murder of Archbishop Makarios and of the ensuing Turkish invasion. (4) How could it ever be possible that Greeks would support the self-proclaimed student of Kissinger against the one who criticizes him? We are lost for words..

 

Greece, two countries in one

Time and again in our history, we witnessed the abyss between the Greek people and its supposed leaders and “elites”, a nearly permanent characteristic of our history and the reason behind the defeats of the Greek people..

It’s not that Greek and Greek–american politicians and the various figures dominating Greek “public life” cannot understand what is happening with Clinton and Sanders. They  chose not to understand. Their interest – at least they way they understand their interest – lies elsewhere, in their pockets. They are after the “security”and, “protection” of their foreign “masters”, they are happy if they are allowed to worship them. They often forget  that they themselves are also expendable!

Many years ago, Jean Meynaud, an important political scientist and biographer of Karamanlis, has described in amazement, the dominant mentality of Greek politicians, after the victory of the pro-western camp in the Civil War. As he wrote, it is not just that they serve foreign powers. They seem to spend all day striving to think of more ways to please them!

For a moment there, in 1974, and even more in 1981, we were under the impression that we had finished with all this. But there we are. Our past returning now even stronger to haunt us, perhaps in some other “postmodern” (for now at least) form and shape.

In fact, only a country that fights for its freedom, its independence and  dignity would need voices, such as that of Senator Bernie Sanders. Now, such voices are rather seen as a nuisance – a reminiscent of the pride, we preferred to forget.

(1) http://www.defenddemocracy.press/video-heres-bernie-sanders-say-greece-july-30-hart-senate-office-building-hearing-greek-debt-crisis/

(2) http://www.defenddemocracy.press/sanders-proposes-full-reversal-us-policy-middle-east/.

(3)  For the role of Henry Kissinger in the Cyprus coup there is ample litteratture substantiating it. Look for instance http://www.theguardian.com/books/2001/feb/26/extract.features11

(4) see for ex. http://www.i-eidisi.com/2016/02/08/o-m-santers-proigite-tou-n-chamsair-alla-i-ellinoamerikani-stirizoun-chilari/

(5) http://www.defenddemocracy.press/should-henry-kissinger-mentor-a-presidential-candidate/

 

 

TSIPRAS, AMERICANS, RUSSIANS AND ISRAELIS

By Dimitris Konstantakopoulos
Greece appears to have now sunk into a deep silence, particularly after the rumble following the unexpected debacle of its big “No”. A silence that is only being interrupted by the national core’s convulsions resulting from each new blow struck by the Creditors; blows struck in the context of an overt dictatorship imposed on Greece by European governments, the EU and the IMF after the 5th of July and for the first time since 1974!

The Greek people and nation suffered a serious blow to their self-confidence and self-respect (with the help of the PM’s communication advisors). Greeks are presently fully immersed in uncertainty and, in some ways, are going through a period of mourning. They choose to deny reality, or not to think about it, as they can’t see any obvious solution but they feel that the worst is yet to come. The very soul of the people has been poisoned by the suspicion of a horrible betrayal by exactly those whom it entrusted with its fate: a familiar scenario in Greek history.

Greece’s economic mess is now worse than ever, having all the disadvantages and none of the advantages of the infamous “clash” with the eurozone.

In such a situation, it is only natural that the major changes currently underway, or about to commence, in the area of “foreign/defence policy”, go unnoticed. Of course even these terms are put into doubt, are losing much of their significance, becoming an empty shell in the context of a “debt colony”, as Greece was described by the current Foreign Minister before he becomes a Minister. As for the Greek political elite, in its totality, its national reflexes have long ago reached almost the point of brain death. As is the case of all Europe, in this field, Greece is on the markets’ and EU “automatic pilot” in economic matters, on NATO’s automatic pilot in foreign and defence policy matters.

Under the circumstances, Greece’s major pro-Israeli turn almost went unnoticed, as it did Athens’s move towards a full reversal of its longstanding Balkan strategy and the gradual alignment to American and German policies in the peninsula, especially in Kosovo. The various “arguments” construed here and there in order to justify such changes are of minor importance. Such arguments are just a repetition, in this case in the field of foreign policy, of the usual “blather” we hear when in need to justify a gradual alignment to the will of the Sovereign
And the Sovereign is now, more than ever, represented by the Creditors, and perhaps even more by the USA, which Mr. Dragasakis (2) rushed to thank just one day after the agreement/capitulation!

This path, if taken, will probably jeopardize the very existence of the Cypriot state, with an effort, in the coming months, to revive the idea of a solution of the conflict in Cyprus along the lines of the Annan Plan. If this happens, it will almost certainly lead to the extinction of the Greek population in Cyprus.

“War on Terrorism”

Athens’s “pro-Israeli” turn shall disturb the equilibrium and continuance of the Greek policy followed in this field over decades by almost all Greek governments, regardless of their ideological orientation. This equilibrium offered the advantages of relative security in Greece and Cyprus, a “special role” in the region and a colossal prestige for Greece throughout the Arab-Muslim world. It prevented Athens from becoming a part of the Middle East conflict and the related risks (it permitted for ex., more effectively than the various C4I systems, which never worked anyway, the safe conduct of the Olympic Games); it also helped the campaign condemning Turkey’s invasion and occupation of part of Cyprus.

The “pro-Israeli” turn started some years ago and accelerated during the period of the consecutive Memorandums, but it is only now that it takes such an overt character. The Minister of Defence, Mr. Kammenos, in the inflammatory statements made already some months ago, rendered Greece a partner and almost a “protagonist” in the “war on terror”. This “war” was started under Bush’s administration with the invasion and destruction of Afghanistan and Iraq. It was continued, despite some reluctance on Obama’s part, with the destruction of Syria, Libya, Yemen and certain African countries. It is now headed towards a new climax under the pretext of the “Islamic State”. It’s a known tactic: playing the hero when you are actually the villain.

The policy shift of Athens continued with the conclusion by Mr. Kammenos, on behalf of Greece, of the most advanced military cooperation agreement ever signed between Israel and any other country in the world except the USA! Visiting Israel, the Minister of Defence, who over the years has maintained excellent relations with the Israelis and enjoys their trust, spoke about the danger of Iranian missiles (!) provoking outrage and strong protests by Tehran.

Apparently, the rationale behind the move to closer Greek-Israeli relations is the fact that the two countries share a common “hostility” towards Turkey. It is unclear how much hostility there actually exists and how much the “idea” of such hostility it is used at times. It would however be an irony, if not a tragedy, should this policy will lead intto Greece’s and Cyprus’s integration, as economic protectorates, into a Turkish-Israeli zone of influence over the eastern Mediterranean region, under the overall aegis of Washington.

This is a prospect that the Greek government, all of a sudden and perhaps too late, seems to have realized in a panic, as it is clearly indicated in an article published in Kathimerini on 4 August 2015, entitled “questions about Israel’s plans”(3). Such “questions” should in fact be obvious right from the start, if Greek politicians’ decision making did not benefit their own vested interests and if they were in a position to make a really informed assessment of the international state of affairs.

When a country’s services, considered often as its “eyes” and “ears”, have never really belonged to that country, as in the case of Greece; when the media play along with the games of various foreign “patrons”; when such a country (and its political parties) do not have an independent mind and the ability to think analytically/synthetically, then it becomes very easy, even if not intended by its leaders (as it is usually the case), to lure and mislead, in much the same way as a matador does in bullfighting, where the bull is always able to sense where the danger comes from, but the only one thing he sees every time is the red cape.

Starting with Simitis’s(4) administration in 1996, the Greek ruling elites and policy makers have since surrendered policymaking in the spheres of economy and foreign policy/defence to the EU and the NATO, sparing for themselves the time to freely indulge in the country’s internal looting. When the time came to impose the Memorandums, they did what they were always good at doing in every crucial historical moment for the nation: instead of trying to prevent the economic attack, or at least negotiate at basic level a tolerable compromise, they quickly transformed into a kind of “collective Tsolakoglou” (5). However, the transformation of the two parties, which the Greek people have elected in order to resist to the memorandums, into protagonists of such policies, constitutes, more than anything else, a huge triumph for the Creditors as a whole, for the American strategic interests and for the “Empire”. It also offers to its various centres of power a unique opportunity, or so they think, to implement their most advanced plans, so far lying hidden in drawers, starting with their first priority, which is the full, final and legally binding dissolution of the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus.

Costs and benefits associated with Israel

Returning to the discussion about Israel, which is in fact a “hidden superpower”, the author of this article believes, and has always adopted the same position both in public and privately, that Athens, especially under the threat of a nation-wide disaster, must engage in sincere strategic dialogue with all international centres of power, without any exception, including Israel. However, in any such dialogue it is of crucial importance whether one is able to participate as an independent strategic entity or just comes to the dialogue as a “novice chess player” trying his luck in a match with Kasparov, if not only for eliciting personal gains from the association with him. By this we do not mean only Mr. Tsipras but the entire Greek leadership.

Especially Israel, with its huge influence over international financial system, over the EU, the US and the international media, is naturally in a position, should it so wish, to offer significant service to Greece in reaching an agreement – a perhaps painful but sustainable compromise – on the most pressing issue for the country in this historical juncture, which is none other than the economic war launched against it. This could be Israel’s contribution, in the context of an honest and difficult, but also crucial and thorough dialogue between two ancient Mediterranean peoples; unfortunately such a dialogue does not seem likely or possible yet, but should it were to take place it would truly laid new sound foundations for building a new and deeper relationship between the two nations.
The major threat to Greece at this phase is certainly not coming from Turkey, but rather by the “depredation” of the entire Greek state through its economic destruction pursued by the “Creditors”. The Turkey-threat has been used extensively by the West (and Israel) in the past, in order to contain Greek and Cypriot independence. In the current circumstances they may again use it, but rather as a secondary weapon.

But in order for such a help to be provided by Israel to Greece, Athens should have requested it and Israel should have wanted it. Athens did not request it (in fact we don’t know, not even now, what Athens really wants). And we don’t know what would be the Israeli answer.

Greece has of course, a powerful negotiation weapon for incentivizing Israel, the US and Germany, to stop our country’s destruction. All three of these centres of power would in fact dread the idea of Greece turning for assistance to Russia, China or the BRICS, given that our favourite partners and allies are actively pursuing our country’s destruction. Such a policy would be strongly welcomed from the vast majority of the Greek people; however, it is not one that Tsipras can take. All such decisions would in fact require a different type of leader, such as Andreas Papandreou or Makarios, or, better still, such as de Gaulle or Hugo Chávez; that is, it would require one of history’s great and original leaders with a deep understanding of Greek and global issues and, what’s more, an almost “missionary-like” commitment to saving the country.

The government’s entire policy strategy towards Russia was reduced into something like “put the left signal on, then turn right”. A Copy-and-Paste approach, engineered probably directly by the same “engineers” who originally conceived such tricks on behalf of the George Papandreou’s (6) administration (one could only wonder, did Tsipras really expected his fate to be different than that of George Papandreou, given that he too incorporated so many of the latter’s advisors?). When Schäuble realized that actually, nothing significant is taking place between Athens and Moscow, he publicly mocked the Greek prime minister: “if he can get a loan from Russia, he can go ahead and take it. We have no problem with it”!
Konstantakopoulos.blogspot.com
The term “national issues” prevailed in Greece for denoting a number of external foreign policy issues of considerable national significance, because of their geographical proximity and/or related historical and political reasons. Such issues include for ex., the country’s relationship with Turkey, the Balkan countries and the question of Cyprus.

Yannis Dragasakis, deputy prime minister of the SYRIZA /Independent Greeks (ANEL) government

(in Greek: http://www.kathimerini.gr/826077/article/epikairothta/politikh/erwthmata-gia-ta-sxedia-toy-israhl) The article refers to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent visit to Cyprus where in discussions with President Anastasiades about closer cooperation between the two countries in the areas of energy and security, Netanyahu referred also to the trilateral cooperation between Greece – Cyprus – Israel. The article suggests that it is evident that Israel’s strategic decision is to restore its relations with Turkey. Netanyahu also questioned whether Greece, given the deterioration of the economic crisis and the continuing negotiations, would be able to continue its participation in the trilateral cooperation, with particular reference to this autumn’s forthcoming meeting between the three countries. According to the newspaper’s sources these remarks (made in the form of questions) reveal that the real reason behind Tel Aviv’s “anxiety” about Greece’s participation in the Tripartite is that this is an issue of negotiation with Turkey; Ankara would like to see either the dissolution of the tripartite or its transformation to a quadripartite with Turkish participation; this is also something that the US would like to see happening. The article also notes that in their recent visits to Israel, both the Foreign Minister N. Kotzias and Defence Minister P. Kammenos, made very explicit statements in favour of Greece’s cooperation with Israel and, in this light, the same sources wondered what was the true meaning of Netanyahu’s remarks.

Konstantinos Simitis, served as Prime Minister of Greece and leader of PASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Movement) from 1996 to 2004.

Georgios Tsolakoglou was a Greek military officer who became the first Prime Minister of the Greek collaborationist government during the Axis occupation in 1941-1942, after signing – on his own initiative and without the authorization of the then Greek government – the unconditional surrender of the Greek Army to the Germans. Although he maintained that his actions aimed at protecting the territorial and ethnic integrity of Greece by collaborating with Germany and averting Italian and Bulgarian influence, his claims were never given much credit and he is always remembered as the man who signed the capitulation of his country to the Axis Powers and the first official Quisling leader of occupied Greece. As such his name came in later Greek history to symbolise any act of betrayal, treachery or unconditional surrender to foreign interests.

Georgios A. Papandreou: son of Andreas G. Papandreou, Prime Minister of Greece from 2009 to 2011, of the PASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Movement) Government. He has won the 2009 Greek elections on a ticket of false promises for a “socialdemocratic correction”, then he led the country into IMF’s and EU’s neo-colonial control. His electorate campaign was based on opposing austerity measures, shown as inevitable by the then government of New Democracy, on the basis that he would fight tax evasion and corruption. After taking office he revealed that finances were far worse and soon after he initiated, by a declaration given while he was visiting Kastelorizo Island in Greece, the process leading to the first bailout agreement with the IMF and the EU on the basis of a heavy austerity programme. He resigned as prime minister in November 2011 (after announcing and then backing off from a national referendum on the acceptance of the terms of a eurozone bailout deal) and was replaced by Lucas Papademos, a former Vice President of the European Central Bank, who was appointed prime minister of a non-elected coalition government formed the conservative New Democracy, PASOK and the small nationalist LAOS (Popular Orthodox Rally) party. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has been criticised for extensive use of advisors and political staff who have also served the G.A. Papandreou administration from various positions (including Yianis Varoufakis, Elena Panariti, J. K. Galbraith and even the Lazard Group who also served as advisors to E.Veniselos when he was Minister of Economics in Papadimos’s coalition government)
(*) This article was published, under a different title, in the Greek newspaper “Paron”, on the 15th of August 2015. It is translated into English by Maria Komninou, who also wrote the notes.