The present fiscal crisis that has revealed the stark nakedness of the Greek economy, and the criminal foolishness of Greece's political class, is no exception. Amid the torrent of the markets, the wild play of "speculators" on the carcass of "strong" Greece, and the not-too-concealed hypocrisies of the European "support mechanism," the Greek people stand fearful, confused, and deeply pessimistic about the future.
What better domestic political "climate" then to push for and impose "stability" arrangements with Greece's neighbors to bring Greece under, par example, a model of Aegean rapprochement that would do away with such nagging inconveniences like Turkey being obliged -- the poor thing -- to the daily use of military antics to threaten Greek sovereignty in order to remind Athens Turkey's overriding strategic interests in the region; or, Greece continuing to offer token support to the Greek Cypriots, who are ever so close to reaching a Cyprus "fair reunification" agreement with Turkey's Turkish Cypriot puppets on the basis of political equality of the 80 percent of Cyprus's total population with the 20 percent of the remaining Turkish Cypriots and Turkish settlers resting under the protective shadow of a Turkish occupation army?
Suddenly, it all seems to fall all so conveniently into place.
Greece is in shambles, run by an administration whose bearings are distinctly "multicultural," "politically correct," "stability prone," "consensus comfortable," "human rights committed," and "internationally sensitive" -- and with a prime minister who is the darling of spurious "NGOs," "minority rights" advocates, foreign diplomats eager to promote their own agendas, and the "globalization" club, replete as it is with sworn enemies of "nationalism," national border integrity, and domestic societies that are not a motley assortment of things, religions, languages, and "cultural backgrounds" and not committed to life-long "diversity" evening education classes.
In other words, now that we are in the weakest, most vulnerable position since the end of World War Two, we possess the added advantage of "leaders" eager to tweak with the "fundamentals," reverse "unfruitful extreme nationalist perceptions" (read: "basic national interests") and provide "accommodation" in exchange for a license to barely exist as a state entity whose underpinnings are neither secure nor "guaranteed" by anything save the grace of our "saviors."
This is a terror-filled proposition. But, as we wrote on January 24, 2010, there is a certain inevitability to all this when you make yourself a street corner beggar:
Playing international hardball with a money noose around one's neck has rarely turned out uneventful. What remains to be seen then is what type of calamity is in store for us after decades of "proud" Greek policies that have permanently undermined the national interest, mortgaged the country's future for the next century, and broadcast over open channels the message that we will accept willingly to teeter on the verge of the abyss just for a few billions of borrowed funds more.
With the onset of the fiscal crisis immediately following the socialist victory at the polls in October 2009, Greece entered the extremely dangerous path of a national security crisis as well. There is little evidence that the incumbent government takes the latter seriously. Committed as it is to an imaginary "peace dividend" -- a relic notion bequeathed upon the present administration by the prime minister's own tenure at the foreign ministry between 1999 and 2004; and under enormous pressure to accommodate various "alliance concerns," not to mention bilateral ones with Greece's individual "partners" in Europe and the transatlantic "strategic partner," the Papandreou administration should be expected to move in previously unimaginable ways soon.
Candidates for "settlement" are the following:
1. The status of the Aegean. Turkey wants free hand in the air and at sea, including "arrangements" concerning the continental shelf and exclusive economic zones, with an eye on "joint exploitation" of rumored underwater oil reserves that could exceed even the wildest imagination, not to mention an "understanding" on the status of Greece;s Aegean islands. This factor alone is enough to cause shifts that could permanently and deeply modify Greece's status as an "independent, sovereign" country and rearrange a map that emerged beginning with the Greek victories in the Balkan Wars of 1912-13.
2. NATO's "new" structure. Closely associated with Turkey's ambitions as a regional superpower, NATO's "new" structure demands nicely dovetail with the overall tendency of our "partners" to require Greece to offer "accommodation" of Turkey's demands "for the good of the Alliance." Greece's "good" -- at least as it was defined since the fall of the junta in 1974 -- would have to suffer "adjustments" accordingly.
3. Balkans. Number one priority of our "partners" for the longest time has been the settlement of the "incomprehensible" row between Greece and FYR Macedonia over the Macedonia name issue. A recipe has been already concocted and the Greek government would rather readily accept a name that includes the term "Macedonia" as well as the abolition of its demand that the new name is agreed upon for general use. Neatly, Greece, after having made a complete fool of herself by allowing the "Makedonski" to play in the first place, will move out of the way of the "Republic of Macedonia."
4. Kosovo. A secondary issue at this time, the diplomatic recognition of the rump Albanian enclave will return to the fore, with our US "strategic partner" most likely taking the lead to nudge the Greek government toward a "quiet" written and sealed approval of the effects of NATO's 1999 "humanitarian" blitzkrieg against Serbia -- always in the interest of "regional stability."
5. Illegal immigration. One of the gravest threats against the long term domestic status of Greece, illegal immigration will continue as the critical strategic gap that the current government refuses to see as such. A reasonable expectation is that we will soon see more "initiatives" to provide mass amnesty to undocumented aliens, particularly to those from Africa and Asia. With "human rights" organizations and other Greek "partners" applauding, the self-inflicted creation of strong "minorities" inside Greece will take concrete legal, juridical, and international shape.
In his Melian Dialogue, Thucydides relays how the all-powerful Athenians spoke to the inhabitants of the small, weak, and neutral island of Melos during the Peloponnesian War, demanding that the Melians submit as a tribute state to the Athenian Empire. Attempting not to submit to the empire, and defend one's "honor," the Athenian envoys warned the Melians, would spell sure destruction for their island:
Many men with their eyes still open to the consequences [of not submitting] have found the word "honor" too much for them, and have suffered a mere name to lure them on, until it has drawn down upon them real and irretrievable calamities; through their own folly they have incurred a worse dishonor than fortune would have inflicted upon them. If you are wise, you will not run this risk; you ought to see that there can be no disgrace in yielding to a great city which invites you to become her ally on reasonable terms, keeping your own land, and merely paying tribute; and that you will certainly gain no honor if, having to choose between two alternatives, safety and war, you obstinately prefer the worse. To maintain our rights against equals, to be politic with superiors, and to be moderate towards inferiors is the path of safety.
This message, in modern modified form, has been delivered to the present Greeks though their government. What though remains questionable is whether this modern Greek government had the strength of conviction, and the courage of speech, the Melians displayed in opposing the Athenians and their uncannily "modern" demand of capitulation in the exclusive interest of empire "stability" and longevity -- knowing all along the fate that was to befall them.
Almost certainly, this government did not.
(The Athenians eventually laid siege on Melos, forced the Melians to capitulate, put to death every male citizen of their conquest and sold into slavery all Melian women and children).
(On May 14, Turkish prime minister Erdogan will visit Athens escorted by many of his government ministers. He has proposed, and the Papandreou government readily accepted, a high-level "joint council" bringing together cabinet ministers from both sides. The council will be charged with looking for ways of resolving the "Aegean dispute," i.e. Turkey's unilateral demands on Greece. "Stability" building is under way).