Sunday, March 29, 2015

"Avgi" on the NATO war on Yugoslavia: "Srebrenitsa", 9/7/2005

From KKE obstruction of NATO train missions to Yugoslavia
The following article was published in the newspaper "Avgi" (Αυγή) on the 9th of July 2005. At the time of the article's publication, SYN, the basic party "Avgi" expressed, had already become the main constituent party of SYRIZA, which was founded in 2004. Its author, Dionysis Gousetis, later abandoned SYN to become a candidate for the neoliberal party "Action-Liberal Alliance." Like many others, the article is no longer accessible in "Avgi's" newspaper archives, but it is hosted by a neoliberal site associated with Mr. Gouseti's later alliances, and both its original venue and the date of publication are clearly visible.

What is a genocide? It is the most hideous of crimes: you kill the other exclusively on the basis of what they are. Srebrenitsa, 11 July 1995; ten years ago to the day; the first genocide in Europe after the Jewish and Roma Holocaust  in Hitler's hands; Srebrenitsa; 8,000 Muslims dead because they were Muslim; Srebrenitsa; a wound that remains open as long as those responsible remain unprosecuted; Srebrenitsa; the wound of civilized Europe.

There were consecutive occasions when our "brotherless" nation consensually exhibited its racism (we are the first in Europe), its intolerance, its insecurity, its corruption (we are also first in Europe). I remember the Macedonophagia of 1992, when the composite name was not to our liking, the psychosis on behalf of the criminal Ocalan, the unprecedented anti-American violence during President Clinton's visit, the cannibalistic joy in September 11 (excellently described by Manolis Vasilakis in his book Served them Right), the rage against the EU for the war on Afghanistan, the nationalist hooliganism in the Olympics (excellently described by Elias Kanellis in his own book). Let me add, eluding consensus, the hysteria on identity cards, the Annan Plan, soccer victories, winning Eurovision, and of course, the daily degradation of immigrants at schools, stadiums, municipal authorities issuing residence permits.

Still, Srebrenitsa has a special position in Greek events. It is the point where the obsession with patriotism meets Orthodox religious intolerance and dogmatic anti-imperialism, illegal business, easy money, and cheap macho attitudes. To fully comprehend the phenomenon, one must read Takis Mihas' book Unholy Alliance: Greece and Milosevic's Serbia

Greek volunteers went in to Srebrenitsa together with Serbs and Bosnians, unobstructed, without battle, since its UN (Dutch) defenders abandoned it. They went in in unmanly fashion and in equally unmanly fashion they slaughtered innocent civilians, as is clear in their own words and in the newspapers of the era. "Greek paramilitary and Serbs fighting together celebrated the withdrawal of UN forces", wrote the newspaper Ethnos. It was for naught that the then government (PASOK) representative E. Venizelos denied that a Greek flag was hoisted in conquered Srebrenitsa. The infamous photographs belie this denial. "We felt satisfaction in killing Muslims", two volunteers stated, not hiding their names, to Stelios Vradelis (Tachydromos, 13/11/2004). 

But volunteers should not be alone in lifting the cross of hubris and of torture. The ideological edifice had been ready in advance. Karadjic, a butcher and a wanted man, was roaming freely in Athens stadiums, lifted by enthusiastic fans, accepted by all political parties. The then Minister of Foreign Affairs Karolos Papoulias was stating that the only reason NATO was present in the area was to wipe Serbia off the map, militarily and politically, so as to deprive Russia of its only European ally! For this inspired analysis, he was rewarded with the honor of becoming President of the Republic. Today's Archbishop was wondering "when and how will the 'orthodox axis' of the Balkans" function more effectively. Famous singers (Dalaras, Dimitriadi [KKE]), were encouraging the Serbs, Greek cities were becoming affiliated with Serbian and Bosnian ones, and the Greek media was reversing the roles of victimizer and victim.

Greek obsessions did not remain obsessions. The state materialized them concretely through illegal bank transfers to aid the Serbian war machine (along with Cypriot banks), through the violation of embargo on fuel and ammunition to Serbians and Bosnians, through leaking Top Secret NATO war plans publicly. Behind this state illegality were the jackals that became rich on the blood of the slaughtered. There were also Milosevic's attorneys: ND MP Alexandros Lykourezos and the Greek Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos. For some, anti-imperialism is a profitable business.

At the time of Srebrenitsa and Kossovo, those of us who dared document reality in our writings were few, very few. Slander and ideological (and not only ideological) terrorism weighed heavily on the atmosphere. Our column was publishing the reports from Amnesty International, in case its prestige maδe people think. The opposite happened: even Amnesty International was slandered. It is fortunate that today, even a decade later, the conspiracy of silence is falling apart. There is a court investigation. The Erinyes must be satisfied. The volunteers must be held accountable. But only them? What about those who bear moral responsibility? But to whom would those be held accountable, when they include almost our whole country?

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