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Guest Viewpoints

A Hellenic Case for Trump

May 24, 2024
By Theodore Karakostas

Bitter realities since the Genocide of the Greek populations of Asia Minor in 1922 and the irreversible pro-Turkish foreign by America, Europe, and NATO lead one to conclude that it it unlikely for the foreseeable future that the so called “democracies” will support Greece and Cyprus over Turkey. President Joe Biden was pro-Greek when he was in the United States Senate but his Presidency has been one of endless appeasement of the Turkish aggressor.

Turkish officials from all political parties have repeatedly put forward claims on the Greek islands.

When Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis asked NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to condemn Turkish threats against Greece, the NATO chief refused to do so. When Greece appealed to Germany not to sell submarines to Turkey, Berlin ignored Greek appeals. With the rise of anti Russian hysteria over the past decade, western powers have reverted to the Cold War position that led them to overlook Turkish crimes and atrocities. Even further back in 1853 with the outbreak of the Crimean War, anti-Russian sentiment led Great Britain and France to declare war on Russia and to support the Ottoman Empire.

As for the United States foreign policy establishment, Greece has two problems. The Democratic Party and the anti-Trump faction within the Republican Party support traditional pro-war policies that led to the bombing of Serbia, the invasion of Iraq, and the disastrous intervention in Syria. Furthermore, the traditional advocates for Middle Eastern war have promoted anti-Russian sentiment and the expansions of NATO to the Russian border since the American elections of 2016. As Turkey is close to the Middle East and to Russia and Ukraine, Ankara exercises a sinister and unhealthy influence that America and NATO rely upon for the achievement of their perceived aims.

Pro-War and Anti-Russia are inevitably pro-Turkish. It must be remembered that no administration that has made past promises to Greece have ever kept them. The Carter administration lifted the Congressional Arms Embargo on Turkey that Congress imposed after the invasions of Cyprus. The Clinton administration forced Greece to back down and remove the Greek flag when Turkey claimed the Islet of Imia on January 31, 1996. Furthermore, the Clinton administration did nothing when the Grey Wolves, a terrorist group in occupied Cyprus supported by Ankara, murdered Greeks Tasos Isaac and Solomos Solomou.

During the summer of 2020, the New York Times published an op-ed criticizing the Trump administration for interfering in Greek-Turkish matters.

This was when Turkey was threatening the area around the island of Kastellorizo. The Times specifically cited the Clinton administrations fictional ‘mediation’ in the Imia affair as an example to be emulated. The example of the Imia affair obviously did not end well for Greece as the Turks prevailed. Meanwhile, with the Kastellorizo affair, Greece was able to chase a Turkish ship away from the area. The Trump administration’s reluctance to intervene can be seen as a victory for Greece.

When American administrations involve themselves with Greece, they do so by exerting pressure on Greece to back down. This was what happened after the September 1955 pogroms in Constantinople and in 1965 when President Lyndon Johnson openly threatened and insulted Greek Ambassador Alexander Matsas. The Trump administration was a rare administration that did not exert pressure on Greece.

In some areas, the Trump administration did bad as when it betrayed the Kurds of Syria and allowed Turkish to occupy parts of Syria. But fixing American foreign policy cannot be done overnight. The Trump administration’s hostility to NATO and its anti-war and friendly stances toward Russia are factors that have the potential to help Greece. American foreign policy has long been pro-Turkish and is not likely to be pro-Greek any time soon.

Therefore, the most promising way over the short term to help Greece and Cyprus is to curb American foreign policy excesses and interventionism.

This means friendlier American ties with Russia are necessary to begin curbing Turkish influence, and ending American wars in the Middle East will certainly help curb dependence on Turkey. Turkey supported ISIS in Syria and Al Quada in Azerbaijan’s genocide against the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh.

For these reasons, this writer is voting for Trump for president.

Theodore G. Karakostas is the author of the books In the Shadow of Hagia Sophia, and With This Sign Conquer.

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