Category Archives: Articles in English
Big graffiti on wall in Athens
I must inform everyone who still believe the European news media’s version of what happens in Greece, and what they report about Greece and the referendum, that a huge “yes”-propaganda machinery has been unleashed from all those who with their “courts” have brought the country to this position. Of course with huge foreign support and help, since at least WWII.
EPAM’s general secretary the economist Dimitris Kazakis says:
“The YES-side is struggling to hide that YES means confiscation of deposits, salary, pension, private and public property of Greek citizens, as required by the lenders. YES means the release of layoffs without compensation, permanency of the interests of the employer, unemployment and temporary short-term work for the vast majority of Greeks. It means the continuance and increase of misery, soup kitchens, suicides and deaths because of lack of the basic necessities. All this that the lenders call bailout.
And the government? What is the government doing? At the same time that they are closing the banks, leaving them at the mercy of the deliberately caused panic among the pensioners and the private sector, in the Government Gazette, Sheet no. 1295, June 30, 2015, the government gives new guarantees in public to the Eurobank, so that this particular bank can sell its own bonds of around 1.91 billion euros, and to the Greek National Bank for 4.26 billion euros.
The government supports bankrupt banks and guarantees that the Greek taxpayer will pay their debts if these banks cannot. But when it comes to protect the people’s savings, wages and pensions, they hold up their hands. It closes banks, puts a ceiling on withdrawals and paves the way for “haircut” savings from the first euro.
At the same time, and while having announced a referendum, Mr. Tsipras submit an ostensibly own proposal based on which the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) will redeem the IMF. In other words, it suggests that the Greek should be further burdened with the IMF debt with ESM money and with at least twice the rate.
And the worst, he proposes to put the whole country under the ESM, which operates as a super state with complete immunity and privileges capitulations. This will move away from the IMF, which is unable to declare Greece bankrupt the and thus surrender completely to the ESM. To a super state that has the ability to sell, dismantle, cut and maim entire Greece.
Even though he wants to hide it Mr. Tsipras can not. He is with the YES even if he in public says NO. As does the leadership of Perissos (head quarters of the communist-party) that very much would like to say yes, but for show throws in an invalid vote. The referendum has already clarified the cloudy landscape. Every crook goes back to his own counter and shows his true colors.”
The yes-side, everyone should know, are those who have become used to not work for their income, but want to keep a position in the corrupt system and the subservient Greece of the cartels and the European banksters. They exist in the top of all the established parties in Greece and in all top channels in Greece and all of them are dependent on money from the different private and political interests, domestic as foreign. It’s all those who want to keep Greece a plutocracy and an oligarchy in dependence and in the lap of the foreign vultures. And I am not talking about serious investors who have long-term interests in Greece and in accordance with the Greek people’s interests, but the vultures that roam from country to country waiting for national collapses and is pushing for such things to happen and who lives on blood money and crimes against humanity… These are the ones that EU generally mean when they talk about “investors” and those are the ones that the Eurogroup doesn’t want to disappoint.
Anyone who are advocating a “yes” in this referendum wants to put Greece in a final colonial status to Brussels and Berlin and the Greek people to become debt-serfs in their own country…
Since the images of fighting pensionaries’ stomping on eachother or chaos and havoc in ATM queues that the photographers wanted didn’t actually occur to extent that they expected, they simply arranged them or in some cases I even saw images from other parts of the world broadcasted by European media as if they were from Athens… Even a number of buses from Sofia was chartered by ND-members and filled with Bulgarians, who for 100 Euro per head acted as “yes-supporters” on Syntagma on the YES-rally. Friends tried to talk with some people and they talked some Slavic language they told me and many others discovered the same… The current European propaganda machinery is not only spreading a ridiculous kind of black “journalism” but it also is a great humiliation to the intelligence and the common sense of the European citizen. Well apart from a few remote and intellectually dark corners of Europe.
In Sweden where I happen to be at the moment, unfortunately as always almost everyone are more or less very supportive of EU’s “defend-the-criminals-and-blame-the-victims” policy, the austerity-policies and they are completely influenced by the European Brussels directed media, so they listen to and trust every imaginable crap that comes out of every media-parrot’s beak in TV. The alleged critical voices in main stream media are ludicrous and on a level that not even kids in first class would believe in Greece, Spain and Portugal. In Sweden those voices are the absolute limit for what they can handle.
But forget about the Swedes. The Europeans that are actually able to critically follow the current events are not that stupid or that well conditioned, so at this time in history the masks are falling and everyone will show their right faces and their right intents and I have quite solid reason to believe that the nations and the people in Europe with a spine will stand up and do their historic duty. The Swedes will read about it and get the point in the history books in 60 or 70 years.
by Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos, Ambassador ad.H.
Published in Diario de Noticias 29.06.2015
After five months of fruitless negotiations between Greece and its lenders, the Greek Prime Minister blasted the Institutions for submitting proposals that would destroy Greece and humiliate its people. So he proposed that a referendum be held next Sunday with the question of whether or not the Greek people support the EU proposals. On Sunday morning parliament adopted the proposal and the referendum will be held next Sunday.
The EU proposals were rejected because they would have devastating effects on the country. They anticipated reduction of wages and pensions, increase in food prices and other measures affecting the middle and lower classes.
The EU never expected that the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras would dare ask for a referendum. Now attempts will be made by the EU and other circles to prevent the referendum from happening as was done in 2010. Already Christine Lagarde of the IMF made statements today saying that the Referendum will be invalid because after Tuesday the proposals will no longer exist. The Eurogroup also rejected a request from Greece to extend the exisiting program until after the referendum. Consequently as from Tuesday, the so-called financing of Greece from the institutions will stop and Greece will be obliged to pay its outstanding debt to the IMF. More attempts will take place during the week by creating panic to the people in the means of preventing access to their accounts, fomenting internal unrest etc. The EU is good in this. We saw what happened in Kiev in December 2013. But panic exists in the EU where the fear is spreading that the eurozone is collapsing.
If the outcome of the referendum is NO, then presumabely the government will inform the institutions of the will of the Greek people. It cannot be excluded that the Government denounces the Loan agreement of 2010 on the basis of articles 48-52 of the Vienna Treaty on Treaties which anticipate under which conditions an international treaty is null and void,and it covers the Greek case too. The denunciation in written form will be sent to the Secretary general of the UN, since the Vienna Treaty has been deposited at the UN, and Greece will legally stop all payments to the lenders since the Loan Agreement will be null and void. The money kept will help Greece in its road towards economic recovery. The next step will be the gradual and orderly exit of Greece from the eurozone, which will take place in a period of six months to one year. This position is also supported by the Unified Popular Front (EPAM), a party of which I am a member, and it will actively participate in support of the no vote.
If the outcome of the referendum is yes then the road for Greece to achieve colonial status will become a reality.
We are witnessing an incredible event, the EU destroying its member-states. During the last five years, the member states of the Eurozone, the EU as an institution, the IMF which is only a specialized agency of the UN, and the previous Greek governments,have violated most existing international treaties on the respect for human rights, i.e. the Lisbon treaty, the International Covenant of economic, social and cultural rights, the UN Charter etc, making them also criminally responsible for these violations. But this not our EU, it is not the EU that neither Greece, Portugal or Spain joined. It is an aberration.
I personally hope that this Greek revolution spreads to Portugal and Spain and to the other EU countries for the benefit of the peoples of Europe and of humanity.
Former Greek Diplomat and ambassador Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos talks with RT about the current situation in Greece.
Introduction: Over the past decade fundamental changes have taken place in Southern Europe, which have broken with previous political alignments, resulting in the virtual disappearance of traditional leftist ’parties, the decline of trade unions and the emergence of ‘middle class radicalism’.
New political movements, purportedly on the left, no longer are based on class conscious workers nor are they embedded in the class struggle. Likewise on the right, greater attention is paid to escalating the repressive capacity of the state instead of state intervention in pursuit of economic markets.
Radicalization of the right, including massive cutbacks in social spending, has demolished welfare programs. The dispossession of households has uprooted cohesive neighborhood-based social organizations.
In place of the class based traditional left, ‘non-leftist left’ movements have emerged. Their leaders embrace ‘participatory democracy’ but engage in vertical political practice.
On the right, politics no longer revolve around conserving national economic privileges. Rightwing leaders willingly subordinate their economies and society to imperial led crusades, which empty national sovereignty of any meaning while pillaging the national treasury.
This essay will proceed to discuss these complex changes and their meaning.
The ‘Non-Leftist Left’ in Southern Europe
The economic crisis, in particular the imposition of severe cuts in wages, pensions and other social welfare programs by rightwing and social democratic governments have led to widespread discontent, which the traditional workplace based leftist parties have been unable to address and mobilize the people. Prolonged and deepening unemployment and the growth of temporary employment have affected over 50% of the labor force.
Union representation has declined precipitously, further weakening the presence of traditional leftist parties in factories.
Large-scale evictions, foreclosure of mortgages and accompanying job losses have led to neighborhood-based anti-eviction movements and struggles. Millions of young workers now depend on their grandparents’ pensions and remain with two older generations in their parents’ home. For the young workers, the degradation of everyday life, the loss of personal autonomy and the inability to live independently have led to revolts for ‘dignity’.
The traditional left parties and trade unions have failed (or not attempted) to organize the unemployed. They have failed to attract the young and the downwardly mobile temporary workers in anything resembling class-based, class struggle-oriented movements.
Paradoxically despite the deepening crisis among most workers, the traditional left has declined. Its workplace orientation and its language of class struggle do not resonate with those without jobs or prospects. For the radicalized middle class the traditional left is too radical in seeking to overturn capitalism and too distant from power to realize changes.
The radicalized middle class includes public employees, professionals and self-employed private contractors who aspire to, and until recently, experienced upward mobility but have now found their path blocked by the austerity programs imposed by rightwing, as well as, social democratic parties.
Frustrated by the social democrats’ betrayal and facing downward mobility, the radicalized middle class are disoriented and fragmented. Many have joined amorphous street protests; some have even embraced, temporarily in most cases, the alternative traditional rightwing parties only to encounter even more brutal job cuts, insecurity and downward mobility.
The middle classes deeply resent being denied the opportunity for upward mobility for themselves and their children. They resent their formerly ‘moderately progressive’ Social Democratic leaders’ betrayal of their interests. Their radicalism is directed toward restoring their past access to social advancement. Their deep-seated hostility to the authorities is rooted in the loss of their previous status as a result of the crisis.
Middle class radicalism is tempered by nostalgia for the past. This radicalism is rooted in the struggle to restore the European Union’s social subsidies and growth policies. They remember a recent past of rising living standards and “social inclusion”, now denied their own children. This vision guides the rhetoric that the progressive middle class had earned and enjoyed theirrising incomes as a result of their own ‘merit’.
Today the radicalized middle class looks for practical, specifically defined and government-sponsored policies that can restore their past prosperity. They do not aim to ‘level the playing field’ for everyone but to prevent their proletariazation. They reject the politics of the traditional left parties because class struggle and worker-centered ideologies do not promote their own social aspirations.
For most radicalized middle class activists the culprits are ‘austerity’, the mega-bank swindlers and the political kleptocrats. They seek parties that can reform or moralize capitalism and restore ‘individual dignity’. They want to kick out corrupt officials. They demand ‘participatory democracy’ rather than the traditional left’s goal of public ownership under worker control.
Under the specific conditions generated by the current social crisis, a non-leftist left (NLL) has emerged throughout Europe. Spontaneous, amorphous, ‘anarchic’, extra-institutional and ‘street-centered’, the NLL has adopted an irreverent style. The NLL, in its origins, rejected political parties, well-defined programs and disciplined cadres in favor of spontaneity and irreverence toward institutions.
As the appeal of the NLL grew, the unemployed, the temporary workers, the insecure and unprotected non-unionized workers and the radicalized middle class joined demonstrations and found safety in the crowds. They were attracted by the appeals from ‘the street’ to oust the incumbent kleptocrats.
Emerging from this movement aimed at the downwardly mobile middle class’ anger, Podemosin Spain, Syriza in Greece and Five Stars in Italy have appealed to all the people disconnected from power, by promising a restoration of ‘dignity and respect.’ They made amorphous appeals to ‘end austerity’ with only a vague promise that they would create jobs.
The NLL leadership, however, is most clearly influenced by the non-radical resentments of the downwardly mobile middle class.
They never engaged in class struggles and have rejected class ideology. For the NLL leaders, social polarization is mostly a vehicle for building an electoral base. Their participation in small-scale local struggles was presented as ‘proof’ that the NLL leaders spoke to authentic popular aspirations.
The Non-Leftist Left’s Transition: From Street to Public Office
From the street, the NLL moved swiftly to elections and from elections they proceeded to form coalitions with traditional parties. Strategic decisions were taken by a small coterie of personalistic leaders: They redefined ‘participatory democracy’ to refer only to local neighborhood activism and issues – not national issues, which were the realm of ‘experts’.
Syriza, the first NLL to reach power, reflected the immense gap between the radical posturingof its leaders in opposition and their cringing conformity before Established Power (the Troika: IMF, European Commission, Central Bank) once elected to government.
Syriza embodied middle class resentment toward the Euro-technocratic elite in Brussels whom they blamed for their loss of past prosperity and job security and for the ongoing degradation of everyday life. Syriza denounced the Troika while it remained under its tutelage. It excoriatedthe EU elite in the highest moral tones for doing what its elite class interests dictated, that is, defend the EU bankers, extract debt payments and threaten their underlings. In practice,Syriza never applied any class analysis to the Troika’s policy as it continued to refer to their ‘EU partners’. ..even as they imposed brutall demands.
Once in power the Syriza leaders never mobilized a single mass protest and never even threatened a general strike in the face of EU colonial dictates.
Syriza’s personalist leader, Alexis Tsipra,s appointed right wingers from former regimes to key posts. He negotiated with the Troika and caved on all strategic issues dealing with debt payments, austerity and privatizations. Syriza never considered ‘going to the people’. Syriza’s‘moral crusade’ against capitalism ended by their embracing capitalism and the colonial Eurozone system.
Syriza’s lack of class analysis, class struggle and class mobilization and its total commitment to working within a moralized capitalism and the Eurozone to restore middle class status and security has resulted in the most abject conformity and surrender – punctuated by shameless buffoonery on the part of some leaders.
In the end, Syriza surrendered to the dictates of higher powers of the Troika ad their Eurozone acolytes, but not until it had emptied the Greek Treasury. The leaders have combined the worst of all worlds: a bankrupt national economy, a ‘protesting’ but fundamentally colonial regime and a disenchanted electorate.
Where Syriza wildly succeeded was in marginalizing the traditional left (the Greek Communist Party). It reaffirmed the historic pattern: free floating movements of the moment end up being run by personalistic leaders who presume to speak for “the people” while bending over to their overseas overlords.
NLL in Spain and Italy: Podemos and Five Stars
Podemos in Spain and Five Stars in Italy are ready to follow Syriza’s path of colonial subservience. They rejected and successfully marginalized the traditional left. They have gained mass support, organized mass protests and loudly rejected austerity and the dictates of the Troika.
While Podemos leaders talk of ‘participatory democracy’, a handful of leaders make all policy pronouncements, decide which candidates to support in the elections and determine what kind of post-election coalition governments they will join.
What gives Podemos and Five Stars their radical appearance is their opposition to the governing parties, their rejection of ‘austerity’, their criticism of neoliberalism – and their support for ‘micro-politics’ of local grassroots direct-action.
At no time or place have they counterpoised an alternative to capitalism. Nor have they repudiated illicit debts or supported the expropriation of the banks responsible for the pillage their economies.
Podemos and Five Stars deliberately obscure their politics: They are whatever any of their affiliates’ claim to be…
The leaders raise populist demands and speak about ‘dignity’, employment and punishment of corrupt officials. They call for an end to authoritarian measures, but avoid any real commitments to institutional change, especially of the repressive courts, police or armed forces.
Podemos and Five Stars criticize the EU’s austerity programs while staying in the EU as subordinate members of an organization dominated by German bankers. They promote popular mobilizations which they have turned into vote-gathering machines for electing their members to office.
The NLLs contradictory politics of populist gestures and institutional commitments reflect the politics of a frustrated and blocked middle class demanding a restoration of its past status and security. Podemos and Five Stars leaders put on the grand show of thumbing their noses at the establishment to promote limited middle class demands. On a much broader front, the leaders of the NLL have not organized any mass protests – let alone formed a mass movement which would seriously challenge the imperialist powers, NATO, the Middle East wars and US-EU sanctions against Russia.
Since most of their supporters are anti NATO, in favor of Palestinian independence and critical of the Kiev regime the popular base of the NLL will act on their own but will have no real impact on the current national leadership.
The reason for the disparity between leaders and followers is clear: The NLL leaders intend to form post-electoral coalitions with the corrupt and reactionary ‘center left’ parties so despised and rejected by their own electorate.
Following the nationwide Spanish municipal and regional elections, Podemos allied with corrupt Socialist Party (PSOE). In the municipality of Madrid, Podemos supported the left-center coalition Ahora Madrid (Madrid Now), which in turn has allied with the center-right Socialists to elect the ‘progressive’ mayoral candidate, Manuela Carmena.
While the entire ‘progressive camp’ celebrates the defeat of the hard-right Popular Party candidate –little has been said about consequential changes in the municipal and regional budgets, structures of economic power and class relations.
‘Five Stars’,( Movimento Cinque Stelle or M5S), Italy’s non-leftist left is dominated by a single ‘anti-leader’, Beppe Grillo, he defines the party’s programs and affiliations. He is known for making clownish, provocative gestures against the authorities, calling for a “Fuck the Parliament Day”.
It is Beppe who selects the candidates to run for Parliament. While in opposition, M5S loudly opposed all NATO wars in the Middle East, US military interventions in Latin America and free trade agreements. But now ensconced in the European Parliament, Beppe has aligned with the Libertarian Right.
Five Stars (M5S) central demands revolve around ‘direct democracy’ and ‘sustainable development’. It has captured the electoral support of the majority of the lower middle classgaining 26% of the vote (9 million voters) in the 2013 general elections.
While Beppe and his colleagues engage in fist fights within the Parliament, make radical gestures and spout belligerent rhetoric, ‘M5S’ has not supported a workers general strike. It participates in each and every election, but has stayed away from factory struggles.
Radicalism, as grand ‘gesture politics’, is an entertaining, non-threatening response to capitalism since there is no concerted effort to form class alliances with workers engaged in workplace struggles.
‘M5S’, like Podemos and Syriza, expresses the disorganized radicalism of the young, frustrated lower middle class raging against their downward mobility, while refusing to breakwith the EU .They rail against the concentration of power in the hands of the banks, but refuse to pursue their nationalization. M5S mobilized 800,000 people in Rome recently but led them nowhere. ‘Five Stars’ convokes crowds to meet and cheer its leaders and to ridicule the power brokers. Afterwards they all go home.
While the ‘NLL’ movements capture the support of the ‘indignant’, the mass of unemployed workers and the evicted householders, their leaders do not articulate a serious plan of action capable of challenging the economic power structures: they raise popular expectations via demands for ‘change’. However, these vague and deceptive slogans allow the NLL leaders to join in a medley of opportunist electoral coalitions and governmental alliances, with decidedly establishment personalities and parties.
In Greece, Italy and Spain the traditional left has either disappeared, or shrunk to a marginal force. With little or no base outside of the workplace and trade unions, they barely secure five percent of the votes.
The NLL has deepened the isolation of the traditional left and has even attracted a part of its social base. NLL’s rejection of the traditional left’s tight organization and top down leadership and its pluralistic rhetoric appeals to the young. Moreover, as the left trade unions have sought compromises with the bosses to save the jobs of employed workers and ignored the unemployed, the latter has looked to the ‘open and spontaneous’ NLL to express their opposition. In Spain’s municipal elections, the United Left, a Communist-led electoral formation, joined with Podemos to elect Manuela Carmena, the ‘insurgent mayor’ of Madrid.
While the Euro-US academic left has rightly celebrated the emergence of mass opposition to the rightist regimes in Southern Europe, they have failed to understand the internal dynamicswithin the NLL movements: the limitations of middle class radicalism and their conformists’ goals.
The example of Syriza in Greece is a warning of the fatal consequences of middle class leaders trying to realize radical changes, within the neo-liberal framework imposed by the EU.
Currently, the best example of the opportunism and bankruptcy of the NLL is found in the successful Mayor-elect of Madrid, Manuela Carmena, whose victory was hailed by Podemos as the ‘great victory for the people’ at recent celebration.
For her part, Mayor-elect Carmena has wasted no time repudiating all ‘five basic emergency reforms’ promised during the elections. In a press conference, the so-called ‘progressive Mayor of Madrid’ announced (with a cynical grin) that ‘promise number one’ – a public bank – was no longer needed because she was satisfied to work with the private banking oligarchy. She refused to pursue ‘promise number two’ – to provide subsidies for electricity, water and gas for poor families cut off from those services, claiming such support was too early and could wait until winter
Regarding Podemos ‘promise number three’ – a debt moratorium, Carmena insisted that “we will keep paying, for now”. On ‘promise number four’ favoring public over private contractors for municipal contracts, Carmena reversed the position: “We can’t change right away”.
Carmena even repudiated ‘promise number five’ – to immediately implement a summer meals program for poor children, insisting that she would rely on the inadequate programs of far right predecessor.
Moreover, Mayor-elect Carmena went even further, staffing her administration with far-right holdovers from the previous government to strategic policy-making positions. For example, sheappointed Carmen Roman, a former Director General of the far right Prime Minister Aznar, as Senior Executive of Madrid. She defended these reactionary decisions claiming that she was looking for “technocrats who are the best professional administrations”. Indeed, Carmen Roman had implemented mass firing of public workers and the dismantling of social programs in the ‘best professional’ manner possible!
Carmena further betrayed her Podemos electorate by insisting she looked forward to working with the hard right Prime Minister Rajoy and flatly rejected the idea of promoting a progressive alternative!
In less than one week, the euphoria over the victory of Podemos backed candidates has been dissipated by these acts of cynical opportunism: the non-leftist left has betrayed its electorate, from the very start!
Many countries in the world see the U.S. as the single greatest external threat to their societies.
During the latest episode of the Washington farce that has astonished a bemused world, a Chinese commentator wrote that if the United States cannot be a responsible member of the world system, perhaps the world should become “de-Americanized” — and separate itself from the rogue state that is the reigning military power but is losing credibility in other domains.
The Washington debacle’s immediate source was the sharp shift to the right among the political class. In the past, the U.S. has sometimes been described sardonically — but not inaccurately — as a one-party state: the business party, with two factions called Democrats and Republicans.
That is no longer true. The U.S. is still a one-party state, the business party. But it only has one faction: moderate Republicans, now called New Democrats (as the U.S. Congressional coalition styles itself).
There is still a Republican organization, but it long ago abandoned any pretense of being a normal parliamentary party. Conservative commentator Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute describes today’s Republicans as “a radical insurgency — ideologically extreme, scornful of facts and compromise, dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition”: a serious danger to the society.
The party is in lock-step service to the very rich and the corporate sector. Since votes cannot be obtained on that platform, the party has been compelled to mobilize sectors of the society that are extremist by world standards. Crazy is the new norm among Tea Party members and a host of others beyond the mainstream.
The Republican establishment and its business sponsors had expected to use them as a battering ram in the neoliberal assault against the population — to privatize, to deregulate and to limit government, while retaining those parts that serve wealth and power, like the military.
The Republican establishment has had some success, but now finds that it can no longer control its base, much to its dismay. The impact on American society thus becomes even more severe. A case in point: the virulent reaction against the Affordable Care Act and the near-shutdown of the government.
The Chinese commentator’s observation is not entirely novel. In 1999, political analyst Samuel P. Huntington warned that for much of the world, the U.S. is “becoming the rogue superpower,” seen as “the single greatest external threat to their societies.”
A few months into the Bush term, Robert Jervis, president of the American Political Science Association, warned that “In the eyes of much of the world, in fact, the prime rogue state today is the United States.” Both Huntington and Jervis warned that such a course is unwise. The consequences for the U.S. could be harmful.
In the latest issue of Foreign Affairs, the leading establishment journal, David Kaye reviews one aspect of Washington’s departure from the world: rejection of multilateral treaties “as if it were sport.”
He explains that some treaties are rejected outright, as when the U.S. Senate “voted against the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2012 and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) in 1999.”
Others are dismissed by inaction, including “such subjects as labor, economic and cultural rights, endangered species, pollution, armed conflict, peacekeeping, nuclear weapons, the law of the sea, and discrimination against women.”
Rejection of international obligations “has grown so entrenched,” Kaye writes, “that foreign governments no longer expect Washington’s ratification or its full participation in the institutions treaties create. The world is moving on; laws get made elsewhere, with limited (if any) American involvement.”
While not new, the practice has indeed become more entrenched in recent years, along with quiet acceptance at home of the doctrine that the U.S. has every right to act as a rogue state.
To take a typical example, a few weeks ago U.S. special operations forces snatched a suspect, Abu Anas al-Libi, from the streets of the Libyan capital Tripoli, bringing him to a naval vessel for interrogation without counsel or rights. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry informed the press that the actions are legal because they comply with American law, eliciting no particular comment.
Principles are valid only if they are universal. Reactions would be a bit different, needless to say, if Cuban special forces kidnapped the prominent terrorist Luis Posada Carriles in Miami, bringing him to Cuba for interrogation and trial in accordance with Cuban law.
Such actions are restricted to rogue states. More accurately, to the one rogue state that is powerful enough to act with impunity: in recent years, to carry out aggression at will, to terrorize large regions of the world with drone attacks, and much else.
And to defy the world in other ways, for example by persisting in its embargo against Cuba despite the long-term opposition of the entire world, apart from Israel, which voted with its protector when the United Nations again condemned the embargo (188-2) in October.
Whatever the world may think, U.S. actions are legitimate because we say so. The principle was enunciated by the eminent statesman Dean Acheson in 1962, when he instructed the American Society of International Law that no legal issue arises when the United States responds to a challenge to its “power, position, and prestige.”
Cuba committed that crime when it beat back a U.S. invasion and then had the audacity to survive an assault designed to bring “the terrors of the earth” to Cuba, in the words of Kennedy adviser and historian Arthur Schlesinger.
When the U.S. gained independence, it sought to join the international community of the day. That is why the Declaration of Independence opens by expressing concern for the “decent respect to the opinions of mankind.”
A crucial element was evolution from a disorderly confederacy to a unified “treaty-worthy nation,” in diplomatic historian Eliga H. Gould’s phrase, that observed the conventions of the European order. By achieving this status, the new nation also gained the right to act as it wished internally.
It could thus proceed to rid itself of the indigenous population and to expand slavery, an institution so “odious” that it could not be tolerated in England, as the distinguished jurist William Murray, Earl of Mansfield, ruled in 1772. Evolving English law was a factor impelling the slave-owning society to escape its reach.
Becoming a treaty-worthy nation thus conferred multiple advantages: foreign recognition, and the freedom to act at home without interference. Hegemonic power offers the opportunity to become a rogue state, freely defying international law and norms, while facing increased resistance abroad and contributing to its own decline through self-inflicted wounds.
Everybody on this planet knows very well that since WWII the US governments has managed to acquire the longest criminal record in the history of mankind.
Only the insane, the emotionally constipated and the long term victims of exactly the manufacturing of consent policies that Chomsky talk about in this interview wouldn’t see that. The American nation managed to go from a rather popular country to a widely hated country because of what US foreign-policy, the CIA-methods and the NSA-practices had developed into, in just a decade after the WWII.
They managed this primarily by saving, protecting, inheriting and developing the Nazi-policies, methods and tactics into American foreign policies and intelligence service’s methods and by justifying their existence through continuous bogus roomers and lies about non-existing threats, and through false-flag attacks. The infamous universal justification for aggression is the security of the nation and the safety of the citizens doctrines. Doctrines that only US, Israel and a couple of the former colonial powers in EU have the right to practice.
The whole post-war world had become pro-American and both in Asia, the Arab world and in Latin America people looked at the American Dream life-style that Hollywood, the American car industry, McDonald’s and Walt Disney promoted, and they deliberately connected these newly advertised, displayed and spread values and liberties as the modern democratic world’s step into a new era of freedom.
The USSR, the nation that actually fought the Nazis fiercely throughout the war and that had defeated them, had in the western world already been pictured and presented as the new cruel dictatorial state, “the threat to the free world”. So from then on everyone could easily compare what they had learned was trustworthy, adequate reports of facts, and what news they spread about the USSR and about America’s own rising pseudo-democratic, imperialistic super-power.
Although most thinking people in the world understands the difference between the American citizens and the American government, by now the world’s citizens sympathies are primarily on the side of the victims of America and Israel. And I have a strong reason to suspect that as long as young American’s continue to, quite non-critically, buy their government’s crap and really believe that they will implement democracy in this way, the further the generalization of American citizens will escalate and fewer and fewer will care about the lives of those who doesn’t care about ours.
The last 40 years of hate that American government policy and the different CIA-operations around the world, has provoked and brought upon themselves and the American people, is really NOT because people outside America “envy” their freedom or their “way of life”. Something that American officials and presidents always explains it with but they could never present a single survey that supported those highly ethnocentric assumptions. According to all American presidents since Johnson, it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that USA have developed the most aggressive and lethal, globally spread, neo-colonial policies and legalized state-terror that one can find since the Nazis and the WWII.
Watch movies from other parts of the world from the 50’s and 60’s and see that from the Arab-world to the both Arctic regions and almost everything in between, apart from the USSR influenced parts people adored and copied American film industry, fashion and life-style. This, until the true backside of this coin became obvious through the Vietnam war and people could therefore see the lies and the fake promises of this new hypocritical super power.
It was two particular events that turned a big part of the citizens of the world against USA before the Vietnam war. The USA/UK-promoted Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and the USA/UK interests in Iran and the toppling of the democratically elected leader Mohammad Mossadegh. These both events helped the Islamic fundamentalist movements more than anything else had since its birth in 622 AD. Those two world events was the first indications and shocking evidences of a new real imperialistic terror-state rising in the post-war world.
Hitler’s war crimes, crimes against humanity and dictatorial excuses for ruthlessness and terror, was USA’s expressed reasons when they, first after two years of Nazi-rule in Europe, joined WWII. So it wasn’t at all “to save Europe” or to “fight for Justice and Democracy”. It was to not miss the geopolitical grab-and-scramble meal between England and the Soviet Union after the war. Roosevelt saw the chance to display himself and the USA as the saviors of Europe. This false assumption is what still color the view on USA to many Europeans. Except those who saw what USA was really after.
The August 14, 1941 Atlantic Charter established a vision for a post-World War II world, despite the fact the United States had yet to enter the War. The participants hoped in vain that the Soviet Union, having been invaded in June by her previous ally Nazi Germany, would adhere as well. In brief, the eight points were:
1. no territorial gains sought by the United States or the United Kingdom;
2. territorial adjustments must conform to the people involved;
3. the right to self-determination of peoples;
4. trade barriers lowered;
5. postwar disarmament;
6. freedom from want and fear;
7. freedom of the seas;
8. an association of nations.
Yeah, that worked out well! Actually, as a lip-service manuscript it still works out, for those who want to defend anything USA do today outside their borders and condemn anything the dissidents of US policies point at.
Nowadays, when we know about all the false-flag-operations, the proxy wars, the dehumanizing propaganda and the torture in American or American led detention and correctional facilities, it definitely looks like if they entered the war to slap the former “terror-experts” on their fingers, take-over their “terror-gurus” and their methods, tactics and rhetorical excuses for cruelty based on their pseudo-history and racist-logic.
Through the several thousands of Nazi and Fascist war criminals that the US army saved from the hands of the Red Army in the end of the war, they developed and established CIA, NSA and further developed FBI. To support that paradigm the EU was formed on Nazi-policies and by Nazis. Five years before Mr Holtstein became the first head of the EU, he was still in Spandau prison for war crimes.
Those who still refuse and deny to see this in the light of International Law, UN-conventions, the fundamental democratic principles and pure humanity, are as guilty to the atrocities of today as the Nuremberg Trials found the German citizens to be, who lived close to the 23 main extermination camps or any of the 1200 sub-camps. The citizens themselves claiming that they “didn’t know” or “couldn’t believe the roomers” still were taken by armed escort to the extermination camps to see the hills and piles of dead bodies.
The interviewer here, as well as the absolute majority of the western main stream media’s broadcasters, news anchors and “experts”, have hypocrisy ear-plugs on and most of them are victims of this kind of programming. The tops of the hierarchies in media are very aware of where exactly these policies are leading and they gain a lot by paving the way for such policies. “A hypocrite is one who condemn other peoples crimes, but refuses to look at his own crimes” says Noam Chomsky in this interview, and nothing could be more profoundly true nowadays and no other frequent, behaviour could manifest the racist-ideology’s rise so well as the western mass media’s tolerance and obvious promotion of clearly dehumanizing and misanthropic sentiments in the world.
Articles further explaining these issues
In their broadcasting of 30.5.2015 by Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert drew parallels between austerity and policies imposed today by Germany in EU countries, with the austerity and other measures imposed on the colonies of the British Empire, which led to the American Revolution and the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and they are urging Greeks to declare their independence from the EU, the IMF and the cleptocracy of Brussels.
Ελλάδα κήρυξε την ανεξαρτησία σου!
Στην εκπομπη τους της 30.05.2015 ο Max Keiser και η Stacy Herbert παραλληλίζουν την λιτότητα και τις πολιτικές που επιβάλλει σήμερα η Γερμανία στις χώρες της ΕΕ με την λιτότητα και άλλα σχετικά μέτρα που επέβαλε στις αποικίες της η Βρετανική Αυτοκρατορία, τα οποία προκάλεσαν την Αμερικανική Επανάσταση και τη Διακήρυξη της Ανεξαρτησίας το 1776 και προτρέπουν τους Έλληνες να κηρύξουν την ανεξαρτησία τους από την ΕΕ, το ΔΝΤ και την κλεπτοκρατία των Βρυξελλών.
Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos is a third generation diplomat and former Ambassador of Greece to Canada, Poland and Armenia. He was Director General in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece and Secretary General of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization. Extremely knowledgable on issues of the EU and on what is happenning in Greece now, Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos was a junior diplomat in the team that negotiated Greece’s accession to the EEC. He is now against Greece’s membership to the EU and believes that the EU is destroying his country. He is a member of EPAM (Unified Popular Front), a movement that was founded in the wake of the protests of 2010 and 2011.
Julia Vladimirova met him.
“You were on the delegation that negotiated Greece’s accession to the European Community. Why are you now against it?”
” I was in the team that negotiated Greece’s accession to the EEC, as it was called then. The decision to join the EEC was taken in 1975 by Konstantinos Karamanlis and it was based on two political reasons : The first was to consolidate democracy in Greece, that had just been restored after a seven year dictatorship. The other was to give us some protection against Turkey that had just invaded Cyprus in July 1974. During that period the EEC was a serious organization. During the dictatorship it rendered enormous assistance to the democratic forces to fight against the military regime.”
“Now you want to take Merkel and Barroso to court and to leave the EU.What brought about such a radical change in your thinking?”
“In December 2009 I gave an interview to the Greek newspaper “Eleftherotypia” and the title of the interview was “Nightmare a fascist Europe”. It is true that the EU has become more and more undemocratic. It is no longer the democratic organization that we had joined back then. It is also destroying its member states. In Greece it is being done with the austerity measures that have been imposed upon us. Everything is being destroyed : our society, our economy, our culture, our education and our people. So why should we belong to an organization that destroys us. Only a masochist would. I would suggest that the EU be dismantled and be replaced by a new EU that would be working for the interests of the European people and not for the interests of the European bankers.”
“What advice would you give to the young people who believe in the EU? For example in Bulgaria we are also in crisis. There are protests in Sofia. All intellectuals, the elite, and also young educated people believe that their future lies within the EU and that it will help our country to reach higher standards, higher wages. What would you say to these people?”
“I would tell them to closely follow the events in Greece, since what happens to us most likely would happen to them. We are being told by the EU, that in order to become competitive, we must reach Bulgarian standards, as far as wages are concerned. However they will never tell you that you must reach Greek standards, but perhaps they might propose to you to reach Pakistani levels. However, I do not wish to impose my opinion upon them. Just let them follow the developments in Greece and reach their conclusions.”
“How was EPAM created? I know that it was created as a result of the protest movement of 2010.”
“EPAM’s members come from all aspects of politics. From the Communist left, center and right. It is a movement created by the demonstrations of 2010. It became a party about one and a half year ago. We participated in the first elections during the crisis and received 60000 votes or 1% of the total national vote, which can be considered as quite satisfactory for a six month old party. We believe that Greece needs a regime change. We do not recognize the debt or the memoranda. We support the formation of a provisional government and then the election of a Constitutional Assembly that will formulate the new constitution that would, for example, prohibit former politicians to run for parliament while allowing the new ones not to serve more than two terms and in this way end the profession of politicians. We shall also leave the eurozone as a first step and later on the EU. All those who have contributed to the destruction of the country will be tried. We shall also file charges against Brussels at the competent International courts for crimes against humanity, since about four thousand people have committed suicide because of the pressure of the crisis and also ask for reparations for the damage done. In brief this is the EPAM program.”
In politics, whoever can better influence the international media to push forward their views has the upper hand, say political communications insiders. And this isn’t just the case during election campaigns: in the European Union, decision-making power depends not only on the size of a given player’s economy, but also on how it deals with international media.
It’s no secret that in Brussels lies a well-oiled media machine, which can distribute information to all major media outlets across the continent in a matter of hours. The machine, which has risen in influence since the financial crisis broke in 2008, operates on the basis of maintaining the anonymity of journalists’ sources that feed it; one of the sacred principles of journalistic ethics.
However, here this principle of anonymity is also used to protect the Brussels media machine itself and ensuring it remains hidden from public view. No journalist in the Belgian capital is prepared to risk their job to expose how the system works, thus preserving a ‘code of silence’ around it.
The most influential group in the Brussels media machine is made up of the euro zone’s ‘hard core’ bloc. This means the Permanent Representation of Germany, located in Brussels, and assisted by political and financial satellite countries of Germany: Spain, Portugal, Slovakia and the Baltic states (among which, Latvia currently holds the EU presidency). France and Italy have clearly less influence and access in this system.
In terms of collection and distribution of news, the main players in the system are the three major European-level media outlets: the agencies Reuters and Bloomberg, and the Financial Times newspaper. Whatever this group reports, all other media outlets in Europe rush to reproduce. Thus – intentionally or not – articles published by the group are spread widely.
Information that enters the Brussels media machine comes from three sources: people working inside the EU bureaucracy who monitor critical meetings (interpreters as well as civil servants), the politicians themselves (or their aides) and senior officials of the European institutions. These sources are used to satisfy the need for timely, exclusive coverage of news events, which makes journalists extremely competitive in pursuing information on what is discussed during these meetings.
The most common means of communication from these sources to journalists is SMS. When it comes to more detailed leaks though, journalists from the three main media players (together with others from mostly German and British outlets) are invited to an unofficial press conference and briefed. This has been the case for the past few months.
In these meetings, the person doing the briefing is very often an official that also works at the European Commission’s Spokesperson’s Service. Of German origin, this man sets aside EU etiquette as well as the theoretical neutrality of his professional position.
A recent example that highlights how well this system functions was in Riga, during the recent Eurogroup meeting. On April 23, Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis participated in a dinner with his colleagues, in order to prepare the issues for the forthcoming meeting. Everything proceeded normally. But the following day, the media ‘revealed’ highly aggressive rhetoric against Varoufakis from his colleagues during the Eurogroup meeting itself.
That same senior official of the European Commission, moments after the conclusion of the Eurogroup meeting, invited eight journalists for the ‘established’ daily informal press conference. “There was a lot of anger towards the Greek delegation,” a Brussels-based journalist, who asked to remain anonymous, told us. “When we asked about Mr Varoufakis’ position in the meeting, the official said ‘The guy lives on another planet’, and made derogatory gestures. This isn’t something we’ve seen before – neither from EU officials nor this particular person.”
An identical ‘update’ was given by two further EU officials, one working for the Eurogroup and one from a diplomatic mission of a Southern European country. “They were equally aggressive; trying to present Mr Varoufakis as an ‘alien’”, said the journalist, who was present during these discussions. “When we got to the heart of the matter concerning the Greek economy, the ‘sources’ refused to say any more. They just blamed Varoufakis.” These briefings were followed by tough statements from various ministers, echoing the German government’s point of view.
This specific information about the events of the Eurogroup meeting in Riga was published in all three aforementioned major media outlets, giving the impression of a war-like atmosphere at the meeting and breaking the unwritten rule of maintaining a professional distance from harsh words. Following these events, the Greek delegation decided for Varoufakis to not attend the planned dinner on the evening of April 24, to express his displeasure with the way his colleagues treated him and Greece. However, the ‘aggression’ from ministers, EU officials and the media did not subside. On the contrary, Reuters presented Varoufakis as “isolated”, simply because he did not attend the dinner, without asking for a statement from the Greek side. They also commented on Varoufakis’ decision not to wear a tie.
The go-ahead for this latest smear campaign was given by SMS, from a German official to a journalist at one of the three major media outlets. The journalist in question then called some of his sources in Athens in order to warn them what was coming.
During the Eurogroup meetings last February, the Greek government tried to breach the seemingly impenetrable ‘media wall’ being built around it. “The fact that the draft of Jeroen Dijsselbloem’s ‘decision’ was leaked by the Greek delegation, which essentially subverted debate on it, outraged many people in Brussels,” the journalist told us. “War was declared, and from that point on, the Greek positions were repeatedly leaked to Peter Spiegel of the Financial Times,” he added.
“Will Mr Varoufakis be able to survive the pressure?” asked the journalist. “At least Mr Tsipras still trusts him,” we replied.
“Then inform them in Greece, both the government and the people, that they can expect even more of these attacks,” he said.
Syriza: Plunder, Pillage and Prostration. (How the ‘Hard Left’ embraces the policies of the Hard Right)
Introduction: Greece has been in the headlines of the world’s financial press for the past five months, as a newly elected leftist party, ‘Syriza’, which ostensibly opposes so-called ‘austerity measures’, faces off against the “Troika” (International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and European Central Bank).
Early on, the Syriza leadership, headed by Alexis Tsipras, adopted several strategic positionswith fatal consequences – in terms of implementing their electoral promises to raise living standards, end vassalage to the ‘Troika’ and pursue an independent foreign policy.
We will proceed by outlining the initial systemic failures of Syriza and the subsequent concessions further eroding Greek living standards and deepening Greece’s role as an active collaborator of US and Israeli imperialism.
Winning Elections and Surrendering Power
The North American and European Left celebrated Syriza’s election victory as a break with neo-liberal austerity programs and the launch of a radical alternative, which would implement popular initiatives for basic social changes, including measures generating employment, restoring pensions, reversing privatizations, reordering government priorities and favoring payments to employees over foreign banks. The “evidence” for the radical reform agenda was contained in the ‘Thessaloniki Manifesto’ which Syriza promised to be the program guiding their newly elected officials.
However, prior to, and immediately after being elected, Syriza leaders adopted three basic decisions precluding any basic changes: Indeed, these decisions set it on a reactionary course.
First and foremost, Syriza accepted as legitimate the foreign debt of over $350 billion dollars, although most had been signed by previous government Kleptocrats, corrupt banks, business, real estate and financial interests. Virtually none of this debt was used to finance productive activity or vital services which would strengthen the economy and Greece’s future ability to payback the loans.
Hundreds of billions of Euros were stashed away in foreign bank accounts and foreign real estate or invested in overseas stocks and bonds. After affirming the ‘legitimacy’ of the illicit debt, Syriza followed up by declaring its ‘willingness’ to pay the debt. The ‘Troika’ immediately understood that the new Syriza government would be a willing hostage to further coercion, blackmail and debt payments.
Secondly, and related to the above, Syriza declared its determination to remain in the European Union and Eurozone and thus accepted the surrender of its sovereignty and ability to fashion an independent policy. It declared its willingness to submit to the dictates of the Troika. Once under the thumb of the Troika, Syriza’s only policy would be to ‘negotiate’, ‘renegotiate’ and make further concessions to the EU overseas banks in a totally one-sided process. Syriza’s rapid submission to the Troika was their second strategic, but not their last, betrayal of its electoral program.
Once Syriza demonstrated to the Troika, its willingness to betray its popular program, the Troika escalated its demands and hardened its intransigence. Brussels discounted Syriza’sleftist rhetoric and radical theatrical gestures as blowing smoke in the eyes of the Greek electorate. The EU bankers knew that when it came time to negotiate new loan agreements, the Syriza leadership would capitulate. Meanwhile, the Euro-American Left swallowed Syriza’s entire radical rhetoric without looking at its actual practice.
Thirdly, on taking office, Syriza negotiated a coalition with the far-right, pro-NATO, xenophobic, anti-immigrant Independent Greeks Party, guaranteeing that Greece would continue to support NATO’s military policies in the Middle East, the Ukraine and Israel’s brutal campaign against Palestine.
Fourthly, the bulk of Prime Minister Tsipras cabinet appointees had no experience of class struggle .Worse still, most were academics and former PASOK advisers without any capacity or willingness to break with the dictates of the Troika. Their academic ‘practice’ consisted largely of theoretical ‘combat’, ill-suited for real-world confrontation with aggressive imperial powers.
From a Scratch to Gangrene
By capitulating to the EU from the outset, including accepting to pay the illegitimate debt, hooking up with the Far Right and submitting to the dictates of the Troika, the stage was set for SYRIZA to betray all its promises and to worsen the economic burden for its supporters. The worst betrayals include: (1) not restoring pension payments; (2) not restoring the minimum wage; (3) not reversing privatizations; (4) not ending austerity programs; and (5) not increasing funds for education, health, housing and local development.
The Troika and its publicists in the financial press are demanding that Syriza cut the Greek pension system even further ,impoverishing over 1.5 million retired workers. Contrary to the media’s planted ‘examples’ of fat pensions enjoyed by less then 5% of pensioners, the Greeks have suffered the deepest pension reductions in Europe over the past century. In just the last past 4 years the Troika cut Greek pensions eight times. The vast majority of pensions have been slashed by nearly 50% since 2010.The average pension is 700 Euros a month but 45%of Greek pensioners receive less than 665 Euros a month – below the poverty line. Yet the Troika demands even greater reductions. These include an end of budget subsidies for pensioners living in extreme poverty, an increase in the retirement age to 67, an abolition of pension provisions tied to hazardous occupations and for working mothers. The earlier regressive measures, imposed by the Troika and implemented by the previous right-wing coalition regime, severely depleted the Greek pension fund. In 2012, the Troika’s ‘debt restructuring’ program led to the loss of 25 billion Euros of reserves held by the Greek government in government bonds. Troika austerity policies ensured that the pension reserves would not be replenished. Contributions plummeted as unemployment soared to nearly 30% (Financial Times 6/5/15 p4). Despite the Troika’s frontal assault on the Greek pension system, Syriza’s “economic team” expressed its willingness to raise the retirement age, cut pensions by 5% and negotiate further betrayals of pensioners facing destitution. Syriza has not only failed to fulfill its campaign promise to reverse the previous regressive policies, but is engaged in its own ‘pragmatic’ sellouts with the Troika.
Worse still, Syriza has deepened and extended the policies of its reactionary predecessors. (1)Syriza promised to freeze privatizations: Now it vows to extend them by 3.2 billion Eurosand privatize new public sectors. (2) Syriza has agreed to shift scarce public resources to the military, including an investment of $500 million Euros to upgrade the Greek Air Force. (3) Syriza plundered the national pension fund and municipal treasuries of over a billion Euros to meet debt payments to the Troika. (4) Syriza is cutting public investments in job creating infrastructure projects to meet Troika deadlines. ( 5) Syriza has agreed to a budget surplus of 0.6% at a time when Greece is running a 0.7% deficit this year – meaning more cuts later this year. (6) Syriza promised to reduce the VAT on essentials like food; now it accepts a 23% rate.
Syriza’s foreign policy mimics its predecessors. Syriza’s far right Defense Minister, Panos Kammenos, has been a vocal supporter of the US and EU sanctions against Russia- despite the usual flurry of Syriza’s faked “dissent” to NATO policies, followed by total capitulation – to remain in good standing with NATO. The Syriza regime has allowed each and every well-known kleptocrat and tax evader to retain their illicit wealth and to add to their overseas holdings with massive transfers of their current ‘savings’ out of the country. By the end of May 2015, Prime Minister Tsipras and Finance Minister Varofakis have emptied the Treasury to meet debt payments, increasing the prospects that pensioners and public sector workers will not receive their benefits. Having emptied the Greek Treasury, Syriza will now impose the “Troika solution” on the backs of the impoverished Greek masses: either sign-off on a new “austerity” plan, lowering pensions, increasing retirement age, eliminating labor laws protecting workers’ job security and negotiating rights or face an empty treasury, no pensions, rising unemployment and deepening economic depression. Syriza has deliberately emptied the Treasury, plundered pension funds and local municipal holdings in order to blackmail the population to accept as a ‘fait accompli’ the regressive policies of hardline EU bankers – the so-called “austerity programs”.
From the very beginning, Syriza gave into the Troika’s dictates, even as they play-acted their ‘principled resistance’. First they lied to the Greek public, calling the Troika ‘international partners’. Then they lied again calling the Troika memorandum for greater austerity a ‘negotiating document’. Syriza’s deceptions were meant to hide their continuation of the highly unpopular ‘framework’ imposed by the previous discredited hard rightwing regime.
As Syriza plundered the country of resources to pay the bankers, it escalated its international groveling. Its Defense Minister offered new military bases for NATO, including an air-maritime base on the Greek island of Karpathos. Syriza escalated Greece’s political and military support for EU and US military intervention and support of “moderate” terrorists in the Middle East, ludicrously in the name of “protecting Christians”. Syriza, currying favor with European and US Zionists, strengthened its ties with Israel, evoking a ‘strategic alliance’ with the terrorist-apartheid state. From his first days in office, the hard right Defense Minister Kammenos proposed the creation of a “common defense space” including Cyprus and Israel – thus supporting Israel’s air and sea blockade of Gaza.
Syriza’s political decision to ‘embed’ in the EU and the Eurozone, at all costs, signals that Greece will continue to be vassal state, betraying its program and adopting deeply reactionary policies, even while trumpeting its phony leftist rhetoric, and feigning ‘resistance’ to the Troika. Despite the fact that Syriza plundered domestic pensions and local treasuries, many deluded Leftists in Europe and the US continue to accept and rationalize what they choose to dub its “realistic and pragmatic compromises”.
Syriza could have confiscated and used the $32 billion of real estate properties owned by the Greek Armed Forces to implement an alternative investment and development plan – leasing these properties for commercial maritime ports, airports and tourist facilities.
Syriza buried Greece even deeper into the hierarchy dominated by German finance,by surrendering its sovereign power to impose a debt moratorium, leave the Eurozone, husband its financial resources, reinstate a national currency, impose capital controls, confiscate billions of Euros in illicit overseas accounts, mobilize local funds to finance economic recovery and reactivate the public and private sector. The fake “Left sector” within Syriza repeatedly mouthed impotent “objections”, while the Tsipras -Varofakis sell-out charade proceeded to the ultimate capitulation.
In the end, Syriza has deepened poverty and unemployment, increased foreign control over the economy, further eroded the public sector, facilitated the firing of workers and slashed severance pay- while increasing the role of the Greek military by deepening its ties to NATO and Israel.
Equally important, Syriza has totally emptied leftist phraseology of any cognitive meaning: for them – national sovereignty is translated into international vassalage and anti-austerity becomes pragmatic capitulations to new austerity. When the Tsipras – Troika agreement is finally signed and the terrible toll of austerity for the next decades finally sinks into the consciousness of the Greek public, the betrayals will hopefully evoke mass revulsion. Perhaps Syriza will split, and the “left” will finally abandon their cushy Cabinet posts and join the disaffected millions in forming an alternative Party.