OPINION

Readers’ reactions to riots in Greece

It is with great sorrow that Greeks living abroad such as myself witness the developments in Athens and all of Greece. How can the mother of Democracy give birth to such chaos? How can people who speak the language of the New Testament, which carried the message of Christianity to the Gentile world, be party to such loss of moral direction where the actions of one policeman under circumstances that cannot be easily understood ignite a wholesale condemnation of the rule of law, the institutions that represent it, as well as the enterprises, large and small businesses, that serve the very people that are now destroying them? If they could speak, what would the marbles of the Acropolis and Hill of Ares be telling us about the condition of the Greek state? Would they even accept us as the descendants of their creators, or merely impostors that are occupiers of their hallowed land? Even four centuries of Ottoman occupation did not stop our Hellenistic heritage being passed on to visionaries such as Ioannis Makriyiannis, who led a bloodless revolution in his time (the Septemvriana) so that modern Greece could have a constitution. Why is it that today, more than 250 years later, citizens and politicians try to undermine the very state that was born from the ashes and spilled blood of our forefathers for the benefit of a political agenda? If there is any national pride left in the citizens that peacefully took to the streets just over four years ago to cheer for their representatives bringing home a European football trophy and later watched with awe and pride as a country of 10 million people hosted one of the most successful Modern Olympic Games, let them put down their Molotov cocktails and go home. Otherwise, don’t expect any sympathy from the international community on any issues currently at stake, from FYROM to the Elgin marbles and beyond. Citizens that don’t respect their own institutions should not expect any respect from others in return. DIMITRI TRIANTAFYLLIDES, Charlotte, North Carolina. The Greek problem is endogenous this time, we cannot point fingers at external ghosts. It has its roots in the post-May 1968 movement, and the people who are now parents, who participated in, and were indoctrinated by it. Those same people were taken off the streets by Papandreou in the 70s, made into «professors» and «teachers.» Others made their way into the media and into the progressive intellectual circles of Greece. Their aim was to destroy the nation-state (as Professor Panagiotis Ifestos has written) that is Greece by undermining history, religion and by advocating relativism. They will not hesitate to promote violence as a means and an end. There are strong Trotskyite influences on this movement. Politically, they are represented by SYRIZA to a large degree, lesser so by PASOK. As strange as it may seem, the KKE Communist Party has cleansed its ranks of this mentality. That is why KKE has been the most vocal with examples in pointing out the source of the violence these past two years. They have, through blackmail, violence and threats of violence, shut down any administration/enforcement of the law (including the judiciary) and they ensure that no law is passed or enforced that shuts down violence or pre-empts violence. Essentially, they have succeeded in turning the police force and the judiciary into a troupe of pansies. They also ensure compliance through their media brotherhood that is rancidly full of their ilk. Mega, Alter, ERT, NET… all are rife with these «advocates» who turn vocally violent when confronted by facts, on air. Let’s not forget the large mass of print media that they also control, journalistically and through advertisements and inserts. Lastly, when 70 percent of parents approve of the violence of the post-May 1968 movement, exactly how does one expect their children to behave? When parents gleefully participate in the «civil disobedience,» what example is being set for the next generations? When it is considered «clever» to sit at coffeehouses all day long instead of finding work (all of us worked as busboys at some point in our lives) while complaining about the «establishment,» just what sort of society is being promoted? When educational establishments are the personal fiefdoms of party apparatchiks and terrorists disguised as «professors» and «teachers,» just what sort of culture is being cultivated? This is Greece 2008. No wonder the investments are going to Turkey, Romania, Albania and, yes, even FYROM. What sort of cables do you think Washington is getting and what sort of policy do you think is being cultivated in Washington vis-a-vis Greece? NICK GIANNOUKAKIS, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As a distant observer of the current events in Greece, I stand particularly in awe with the events currently unfolding there. I don’t understand them. And I feel totally alienated with the ruthless destruction of property. Where were all these demonstrators last year when their country’s forests were being ravaged by fire and many of their fellow countrymen lost all their property in seconds? How does destroying other people’s property, as well as their own (state property), bring about change? How does shutting down classes – once again – improve their chances for a better education, employment, and higher standard of living? And when order finally comes back, where are they going to find the bare essentials to move on with their lives? In the grocery stores they looted? The university classrooms they ransacked? Or the state unemployment offices they burned? Real change comes from informed, educated constituents, who vote for Change. Not from a mob that selectively chooses violence over apathy under the illusion of well-worn banners of »Change.» As governments come and go, the time is – unfortunately – ticking against these young people, and they are becoming part of the problem – certainly not the solution. DEMETRIS IOANNOU, Los Angeles, California.