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Greece, Cyprus, NATO, in the Context of Afghanistan

Αssociated Press

A Taliban soldier walks on the tarmac at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Sept. 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Wali Sabawoon)

All people should be sympathetic to the plight of the refugees in Afghanistan. Orthodox Greeks should feel sympathy as the conquest of Kabul by the Taliban resembles in some ways the horror of the conquest of the liberated Christian city of Smyrna by the Turkish Kemalists in September 1922. The Turkish conquest in Smyrna was accompanied 

by the wholesale and indiscriminate slaughter of Greek and Armenian Christians in the city. The book The Great Fire that was written by historian Lou Ureneck a few years ago did a masterful job in documenting and describing the genocidal campaign by the Turks. In those days also there was widespread panic and fear that preceded the arrival of Kemal's murderous armies. 

With regard to the events that are still playing out in Afghanistan, American and European advocates of internationalism and interventionism are lamenting that perhaps NATO will lose credibility.

For Greeks, NATO does not have credibility for several reasons. It should be recalled that during the anti-Greek pogroms in Constantinople in September 1955, the Greek Orthodox community (along with Armenians and Jews) were terrorized in a campaign of violence and terror. Greek army officers who were serving with NATO in Smyrna were assaulted and beaten by Turkish hoodlums. Neither the NATO alliance

collectively nor its individual members condemned the attack on the Greek community or on their Greek colleagues serving as members of NATO. 

We are now supposed to be horrified by the prospect that NATO's ‘credibility’ will diminish. In 1974, NATO member Turkey invaded the Republic of Cyprus which is not a member of NATO but was a nonaligned country during the Cold War. The Turkish army ethnically cleansed over 200,000 Greek Cypriots and committed war crimes including murders and rapes against Greek civilians. There are over five hundred and fifty Greek Orthodox churches and monasteries that have been destroyed by Turkey which has been actively Islamicizing the occupied territories. 

In 1999, under the leadership of the Clinton administration, NATO engaged in an act of aggression against Christian Serbia. The 

Serbs were forced to withdraw from their ancestral homeland of Kosovo and instantly became the targets of violence, persecution, and pogroms. NATO has never intervened to stop the violence against Serbs and hundreds of Serbian Orthodox Monasteries and Churches were destroyed. 

While the news media focuses on the crisis in Afghanistan (and one cannot help but have sympathy for the people who are at risk 

from the Taliban) it has ignored two other instances of horrific crimes against humanity. The western world has ignored the war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated against the Armenians by the aggressor terror states of Azerbaijan and Turkey.

Azerbaijani forces have committed horrific war crimes against Armenians and this humanitarian crisis has been completely ignored by the powerful of NATO, Europe, America, and the world's media. 

The Kurds of Syria fought heroically on the American side against the genocidal Islamic State which was supported by Turkey. The Trump administration betrayed the Kurds in an act of appeasement and permitted Turkish forces to occupy Syrian territory. 

This was another crisis featuring the fanatical jihadist regime of Turkey which was ignored by the powerful of the world. 

There is more. The Germans have denounced the Biden administration. Now, it is certainly true that the Biden administration chose to withdraw from Afghanistan in a terrible way and created a crisis. The Germans however are the best example of the 

hypocrisy of NATO and the European Union. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has asked Germany to stop arming Turkey. The Germans have refused to do so.

Turkey has threatened war against Greece and claims several of the Greek islands. If Turkey were to invade and occupy any Greek islands, the result would be ethnic cleansing and genocide which are the polices of any and all Turkish conquests. The 

likelihood that Germany, Europe, or NATO will show any support for Greece or will condemn any Turkish atrocities against Greece are non-existent. 

It is quite possible to have empathy as a Christian and as a human being for the suffering people of Afghanistan. It is also possible to simultaneously reject the propagandistic false image that NATO and the West are trying to present to the world. 

Both NATO and the European Union have been disastrous for Greece and Cyprus. Even at this late date as Turkey has openly become a jihadist state aligning itself with ISIS and Al Qaeda, Ankara continues to enjoy uninterrupted support from America, NATO, and the European Union. 

It is unclear what repercussions the crisis in Afghanistan will have for Greece and Cyprus. More migrants flooding into Greece is possible. The Syrian war which the Obama administration pursued flooded the Greek islands with Muslim 

refugees. Greece pays the price for the military adventures of the West even though Athens does not participate in them.

Commentators on cable television are warning of the ‘Russian threat’ in the midst of the Afghanistan crisis. This does not bode well for Greece or Cyprus. When the western world finds enemies either in the Middle East or Russia, it will look to Turkey for support. The abolition of NATO and the weakening of Europe may very well be to the best interests of Greece, Cyprus, and Armenia over the long term.