OPINION

Re: ‘Our small role in a changing world’

I enjoyed your conciliatory commentary (Milestones & Footnotes, April 12-13) that attempted to explain the rising tide of anti-Americanism in the «motherland.» I would like to refute a few things that you stated. «Kathimerini… is a valuable source of info and comment and a forum for debate… readers are getting the truth from us.» The problem with the above statement and the problem with the Greek press is that it is ONE-sided commentary and debate. And who determines truth? Kathimerini? You see, the greatness of the American press is its diversity of opinion. One can find both (left and right) points of view in the same papers! The American press finds it ethical to portray both sides of the story. That is a huge complaint from the Greek-American readership who sees a biased, monolithic viewpoint. We don’t get to see both sides of the story, which is frustrating and discrediting. I urge you to do that. Concerning the deterioration of US-Greek relations secondary to the war in Yugoslavia: Once again the Greek press’s myopic writing refuses to look at the other side of the story. You get stuck in this rigid and simplistic thinking that «war is bad,» despite any potential aversion to near genocide of the Kosovo Albanians by Slobodan Milosevic. Greece’s response to Sept. 11… One should not be called «touchy» when the indifference we heard from our friends and relatives in Greece was: «You had it coming to you.» Iran, a country we do not have diplomatic relations with, showed more empathy than our «friends» the Greeks. Finally, «Despite their failings, the Greeks have their heart in the right place… We are an ancient nation that has lived through both empire and occupation… we are sensitive to danger.» The only thing I can say to that is that Greece and the Greek press have gone beyond the European anti-war rhetoric. I believe you will regret the falling relationship with the large Greek diaspora in America. This persistent, monolithic, conspiratorial, anti-American commentary is the same rhetoric that we are hearing from the Arab world that willfully distorts its news. Greece reminds me of the aging movie star actress that talks of her glorious past and blames everyone else for her humiliating decline. You see, we Greek Americans aren’t sensitive, we are disappointed. Although our heritage is Greek, we are now proudly American. And this American will no longer support his homeland with its past nostalgia as long it continues to marginalize itself into an ever smaller role in the world. DR MARK CHIONIS, Chicago, IL. Editor replies: You’re absolutely right about the «truth.» I didn’t want to say that we have the truth. What I wanted to convey was that our readers are getting the reality of what the debate is about in Greece, rather than the opinions that they would agree with. Your other points are valid, of course, but open to debate.