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Letter from Athens: Letter to Greece: Stop Refugee Pushbacks, Stop the Lies

Maybe it’s just me but the sound of a child crying in fear or pain cracks my soul, although it seems to be sweet music to the ears of Greek Coast Guard crews inarguably shown on videos pushing back refugee dinghies in the Aegean, ignoring the frightened wailing of children on board.

This time it came as the Hamas-Israel war was playing out and accounts of Palestinian terrorists tying up Jewish children in bunches, setting them on fire, beheading them, and torturing them like the brave warriors they are.

That horror show has pushed back – wait, can’t use that phrase in Greece or the National Intelligence Service (EEK!) that’s listening in on your phone unless you have Signal and Proton VPN will pick up on it and there will be a knock your door – with media stories of refugees and migrants being forcibly kept out of Greece.

Unless you believe it’s a Deep Fake production made by those people who obviously faked the 1969 moon landing that never happened, the latest video – there’s enough of them for a series – showed a Greek Coast Guard crew wearing ski masks to obscure their faces prodding a rubber dinghy in the Aegean near Lesbos, with rubber hooks hard enough to puncture it.

They looked like they were spear-fishing for refugees, extra points if you hook a baby wearing a life vest and dangle it around for the rest of the crew. But they didn’t seem to notice the travesty was being captured on cell phones that EEK! hadn’t been able to bug, although refugees said plenty have been taken from them.

Do any of these guys have children? Do any of them have a heart or conscience or the courage to tell the Captain they are not going to commit crimes against humanity and later say they were “just following orders?” Sound familiar?

The recent video was produced by Aegean Boat Report as Greece is trying to prosecute activists who rescue refugees at sea and are accused of aiding and abetting human smuggling by saving their lives.

Greece is not trying to prosecute Turkey – where refugees and migrants go fleeing war, strife and economic hardship in their homelands – for allowing human traffickers to keep sending them.

Now in a detente with Turkey, Greece won’t put any pressure on Sultan Recep Tayyip Erdogan, especially with the Hamas-Israel war likely to produce scores of thousands more Palestinian refugees, innocent civilians fleeing a political conflict.

The New Democracy government, blurred by visions of millions of purple 500-euro notes from investors, denied there had been pushbacks, meaning there weren’t and they were just imaginary.

You can’t watch this video without wanting to reach into the screen to try to take a baby being held up by a mother, but since these people are mainly Muslims from places like Syria and Afghanistan, some Greeks don’t count them as human.

There was a refugee shipwreck in June off Greece, which survivors said was caused by a Greek Coast Guard vessel trying to tow it further away from Greece and caused it to capsize – drowning hundreds, including women and children.

The Greek vessel’s cameras were turned off, the survivors – many rescued by a civilian yacht – were taken to detention camps and kept away from journalists and an alleged investigation hasn’t revealed anything because there isn’t one.

If that tragedy didn’t move you, or the government, or the Greek crews at sea – there have been other similar videos showing them shoving away rubber dinghies filled with hysterical children – then this one won’t either.

It’s already been eclipsed in the news by the latest news cycle of terror, malice, murder, ignorance, minor celebrities, TikTok twerkies, climate change dooming the planet – and forgotten even faster than a February train wreck killing 57.

What else can you expect in a world that doesn’t care about humanity and is divided over whether Israelis killing Palestinian children or Palestinian Hamas terrorists killing Israeli children is worse, making it hard to watch football.

There’s a lot of smoke on the water from both Greece, and Turkey – which is supposed to contain some 4.4 million refugees and migrants but lets human traffickers keep trying to send them to Greece, mainly to Aegean islands.

Turkey’s Coast Guard boasts it has rescued refugees pushed back by the Greek Coast Guard, but doesn’t mention it let the smugglers send them toward Greece in the first place, and then crowed about saving them later.

The European Union, which made a dubious 2016 swap deal with Turkey, hasn’t put any sanctions over the smugglers being allowed to operate, and the truth is nobody in Greece, apart from some activists, cares about these refugees.

Far-right wing whack job parties in Greece wish they could be on the Coast Guard boats taking shots at the dinghies and children, so maybe that could be in a Dark Tourism advertisement for Greece. There’d be a lot of takers with shaved heads.

The government is, shall we say – specious and juuuuuust a bit outside – denying there’s pushbacks, because you can’t hide this kind of stuff in an age where even refugees in dinghies holding on for their lives have cell phone cameras.

Would love to tell you more but the World Series came on the TV and I was apparently the only one really watching it.

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