OPINION

Conspiracy against reason

According to reliable sources, the grandson of Thomas Karamessinis, the CIA’s station chief in Athens in the 1950s, was seen throwing homemade bombs near the Law School. He is in fact a member of a special operational group set up by the US Pentagon whose ultimate objective is to destabilize the country. Or so some consipiracy theorists would have us believe. The fact is that this and similar scenarios blaming the domestic violence on outside forces remain popular in Greece to this day. Some people refuse to face reality in a mature fashion. It’s not the first time. The activity of the November 17 terrorist group spawned dozens of conspiracy theories. It was rumored that the late socialist leader Andreas Papandreou was the organization’s leader or that it was linked to NATO’s Red Sheepskin clandestine stay-behind organization after World War II. Newspapers back then were full of such theories that suited everyone, especially those who failed to do their job properly. The dismantling of November 17 proved that the group’s success in evading capture for so long was thanks to a deeply disorganized state. Police officers operated like old-style gendarmes. Failure to net them was always attributed to «bad luck.» Politicians did little for fear of some major blunder that would invite media criticism. Society ignored the problem and its casualties. So there was no conspiracy, but mere incompetence and lack of political will. When things got serious with the British involvement and the Athens Olympics, the problem was resolved. Unfortunately, history is repeating itself. A number of major events, such as the killing of a police guard in 2005, bomb attacks against former culture minister Giorgos Voulgarakis and other targets, were not given due attention by the state. It would be sad to return to the «outside forces» conspiracies of the 1980s. Most worrying perhaps, is that if an outside force really wanted to destabilize us, it would have no real difficulty doing so.