Letters to the Editor
The commentary Criticism and anti-Americanism by K.I. Angelopoulos (November 1) is based on the underlying presumption that Greeks are engaged in a rational debate regarding the terrorist attacks of September 11 and what response, if any, Greeks should support. There is no evidence of any critical thinking, nor have any rational questions been presented by Greeks regarding the response against the terrorist actions in New York City and Washington D.C., of September. Beyond a few generalized statements that some Greeks are engaged in critical thinking about these events in an effort to be useful and some defensive statements excusing the lack of substantive proposals from Greek political and intellectual institutions to their allies regarding terrorism, nothing has been offered. The claim that a new morality imposed by globalization has suppressed rational dissent of American foreign policies and the additional assertion that the United States seeks an international environment in which a servile stance is expected from allies instead of meaningful action against criminals is unsupported by any facts. Unfortunately, it is abundantly evident that some Greeks are unable to marshal the courage required to confront terrorists and strongly stand with allies that seek accountability and justice against individuals that believe that they are accountable to no one but themselves. Greece has always sought accountability for irresponsible individuals that commit barbaric acts and has always included herself among the community of civilized nations. The clearly stated goal of the United States and the international community is that the terrorists responsible for the crimes of September be sought, captured and punished. The reaction of some Greeks to the barbaric events of September cannot be justified by the hollow defense that Greeks are engaged in critical thinking regarding terrorism. There is nothing rational about the irresponsible allegation that critics of the Greek response to the events of September seek a servile stance from their allies for reasons that only they are aware of and that Greece’s allies would not consider meaningful proposals from Greece. Furthermore, those that attempt to defend the ongoing reaction of some Greeks to the events of September, tacitly supporting terrorism, by asserting that these critics are American ideologues without any objectivity is bizarre and smacks of demagoguery of the highest order. Nicholas James Fengos New York City Blocked drains I could not agree more with the article so well expressed on the recent Athens floods (November 6). I feel bad about this letter and would feel worse not writing it as I have on many occasions had magnificent hospitality in Greece. My wife is of Greek blood. We have a flat in Athens. I work in Hong Kong as a safety and environmental manager on a huge site which includes construction safety. My blood boils when I see from Palaio Faliro right up to Kifissia the wanton depositing of construction waste and concrete washing into storm water systems. Local people who complain are given the five-finger gesture by the perpetrators of these crimes, because that is indeed what they are. We have a top-floor flat and even to get the roof drains kept clear is a battle in itself. These construction debris drain-blocking episodes go on for weeks at a time (I am only in Athens for a few weeks per year) and local officials are either on holiday, choose to ignore the problem or are blithely ignorant of the potentially evil consequences of their actions or lack of actions. You say there are no typhoons in Greece. Maybe not, but it is a play on words. Force-eight-plus winds and massive rainfall for a considerable time are as potentially devastating as a typhoon. The officials need to be made to accept the responsibilities they are paid for. Greece is a member of the EU and has obligations under that and to its lovely people. Jonathan Amies Hong Kong Soccer values I have to say that Mr. Gavalas’s article about Greek players lacking values and fooling referees is somewhat pathetic (November 7) – especially when he compares them to English players who he says can do no wrong and are honest, whereas Greek culture seems backward and dishonest. I think he should watch a videotape of the England vs. Greece game, where the British players dived repeatedly to win free kicks, including the outrageous Sheringham who dove to earn England their free kick that drew the game. I have lived in Greece for years, and, having seen a lot of soccer living in America, including a great deal of British soccer, I can tell you that diving is a worldwide problem. I don’t think we can fathom the character of a nation from soccer, since if we had done so during the England vs. Greece game, the British would have been classified as cheating divers. Having lived in Greece, I found the people forthright and very honest, only some have a lack of confidence that makes them exaggerate their faults, thinking they are endemic only in their country.