Former Greek PM Questions U.S. Motives in Not Ending Ukraine War
In a public address in Athens, on June 1, former Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis sharply criticized U.S. policy in Ukraine and failure to seek a negotiated settlement, as well as the current Greek government’s slavish support for that policy. The former PM also took issue with that government’s neo-liberal economic policies in general, and its dangerous approach to the ongoing tensions between Greece and Turkey.
The government’s decisions on delivering weapons to Ukraine have sparked a huge controversy. The growing opposition from all sides is reflected in the fact that the EIR interview with U.S. Colonel (ret.) Richard Black of April 26 has gone viral in Greece, with a translation of one segment and various articles circulating (cf. SAS 18/22).
As a member of the New Democracy party, Karamanlis is from the same party as Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, but under his premiership (2004-2009) the Greek government signed the contract with China for development of the port of Piraeus and developed good relations with Russia, in fact making the New Democracy Party a sister party to President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia Party, all to the consternation of Washington. This is the first extensive speech he has made in more than a decade, and as Greece is entering an election period, it has already set the tone of the political debate. While he remained “diplomatic”, not directly attacking the Prime Minister or his policy, political observers did not miss its targets.
Karmanlis warned of the dangers of the West’s geopolitical policy, as proved by the “useless and dead-end wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the so-called Arab Spring and a little earlier the civil wars in the former Yugoslavia”. And now, the “unthinkable” has happened, i.e., a “large-scale war on European soil.” While denouncing the “illegal, unacceptable and reprehensible” aggression by Russia, he cautioned that we need “to be aware of the consequences and dangers of war and, above all, its prolongation”, and likely extension beyond Ukrainian territory.
A new Cold War, he fears, that could lead to “a confrontation between the West and a broad anti-Western front. That is, countries that, for their own reasons, consider that the post-Cold War international system, political, economic, monetary, has been shaped by Western priorities and is largely controlled by it, to the detriment of their own interests…”
Karamanlis then took up the issue of Turkey and Cyprus, criticizing the U.S. and NATO for appeasing Turkey in order to keep it in the anti-Russian NATO camp. He concluded with a reference to Charles de Gaulle: “As Charles de Gaulle, the leading Frenchman and perhaps European leader of the 20th century, put it: ‘Patriotism is when love for your people comes first. Nationalism, when hatred for others comes first.’ We do not hate anyone. But we love our homeland and its people. Very deeply. De Gaulle added: ‘All my life I had a specific idea about France.’ And we, my general, by analogy, have a specific idea for Greece.”