Blind anti-Americanism, prejudice or lack of judgement?

Any terrorist attack that costs the lives of 6,000 innocent victims is an atrocious event which has its own tragic autonomy. It justifiably induces pain and a unity in the grief of the nation struck by it. So much more so when it is accompanied by the fear, insecurity and apprehension that unknown terrorists are ready to strike elsewhere, using worse and more deadly weapons. Naturally Greece is not excluded from being a target. Geographically and politically it is Western. By its own choice it is a member of NATO. It aimed at and succeeded through effort in being accepted into the family of powerful European countries. Under American tutelage it managed to remain in the free and democratic world after the Second World War. And its reconstruction 50 years ago and subsequent prosperity was based on American money. In this sense our country is not excluded from being a target of international terrorism. Therefore it is logical for Greece to feel solidarity with those who were the first to be attacked by international terrorism and to stand by its allies and partners in stamping out this fearsome threat and restoring its citizens’ sense of security. These are simple truths which may sound trite. What is unrealistic and irrational is that fraction of Greek public opinion which displayed its anti-Americanism on the occasion of this heinous act of terrorism in the USA. We are not referring to the leadership and supporters of the Greek Communist Party. Most of them are genuine, adamant ideologues of a social system which for 80 years existed solely in their own imagination. Many of us also know communists who in their own homes exploit migrants from former socialist countries, all the while declaring their belief in the equality of all humanity which was supposedly destroyed by American imperialism and capitalism. We are referring to the anti-Americanism expressed by certain intellectuals who comment on politics, and also some politicians who deemed it fitting to judge the dreadful event from a theoretical and possibly prejudiced point of view. Let us not forget the initial reaction of Archbishop Christodoulos, who fulminated from the pulpit about the wrath of God who smites those that have lost their faith. While the dust had not yet settled over the rubble of the Twin Towers and hundreds of rescue workers are desperately searching for survivors with 6,000 people already dead, these commentators believed that what they called they deeper causes and the instigators of the tragedy were to be sought within the smoldering ruins. Is this a total lack of moderation? Blind prejudice? Lack of judgment? Or is it perhaps sick obsession and self-promotion by means of blatant and repellent discord? Of course international terrorism does have deeper causes: the unequal distribution of wealth in the world, the supremacy of the powerful that the great powers – and not only the United States – have always implemented, the oppression of nations and ethnic groups. But the horrific crime of September 11 has less deep and more tangible causes: blind religious fanaticism, crazed bigotry and primitive barbarity. It is a wonder that none of these people who are so concerned about the deeper causes of terrorism have not called attention to the Taleban’s religious regime, which is monstrous in this day and age. None of them thought it worth stating their unsullied progressive and overwhelmingly democratic views to a prehistoric regime which destroys cultural monuments it deems unholy, views women as beasts of burden, and has driven the Afghan people into a state of total wretchedness. Shouldn’t they all have maintained an equal silence, at least out of respect for the unjust and violent death of 6,000 of our fellow human beings? The Albanian press was full of these revelations, but attributed them, like everything else that happens in the country, to the conflict between Berisha and Fatos Nano. When the press became aware of the damage these reports were doing to Albania’s image abroad, the reports were then ascribed to a satanical Greek-Serbian plot.

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