OPINION

Commentary

I was on my way to the office when I saw him heading to join the anti-war protest. I did not think, however, that the young man’s response was convincing enough. For I believe that there is nothing common between what we, in this country, have for centuries referred to as just and peaceful and what the terrorist dissident has in mind. We may perceive the present Greek man as a mere dot that balances itself between the West and the East. We may even accept that his mind is driving him westward even though his soul remains fixed in the East. But our East has nothing to do with the Taleban’s grim and distorted interpretation of Islam. It’s decision time; hence it’s a crucial time. There is the reasonable, albeit cowardly, stance that urges us to remain neutral during this great conflict that has unexpectedly engulfed the globe. It is not the first time that during a crucial juncture this view is veiled with an anti-war cloak. Unfortunately, however, Eleftherios Venizelos was right when he said it was the opposition which was to blame for causing a national rift. Even our modern views, as reflected in opinion polls, immediately convey the impression that we are prepared to betray our alliance merely out of fear that we could become a target of terrorism. But war is often nothing but a relentless quest for peace. For this reason, we have to keep our conscience clear. We are with our own people, those who will prevent insanity from spreading. We may not always agree with our allies. But we are closely tied to the Western democratic tradition, exactly because we defend our right to hold a different view, to criticize mistakes – and there are many of them – inside our own camp. But we will not relinquish our fundamental principles, as many on both the left and the right insist on doing.