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Columnists

Remembering Junta, Greece Watches U.S. Go Authoritarian

June 14, 2020

Greeks of a certain age will never forget April 21, 1967 when a right-wing gaggle of Colonels conducted a military coup, starting with putting tanks on the streets of Athens before a seven-year authoritarian regime of terror and fear.

Almost like they are seeing burgeoning in the United States under President Psycho who, between hiding under his wife's skirt in an underground bunker in the White House and putting a fence around it instead of Mexico, showed he likes those tactics.

He had Armored Personnel Carriers put on the streets of the nation's capital, Blackhawk gunship helicopters flying overhead, Military Police checkpoints for motorists (“Show us your papers!”) and tear gas and pepper balls fired at peaceful protesters denouncing police brutality so he could walk to a church and show a bible.

What a profile in cowardice, but what would you expect from a gutless draft dodger who'd need diapers if he heard a gunshot, never mind never being in combat – unless you count oligarchs golfing with him fighting over the caviar on the 19th Hole.

The strategy is familiar to those who lived through the Junta that was toppled after students and people just like those peaceful Americans had had enough of totalitarianism and the privileged powerful who prefer fiefdoms to countries.

During Greece's coup, the leaders used the tanks to control the city while mobile units were dispatched to arrest leading politicians, authority figures and citizens suspected of left-wing sympathies, the Cuckoo Colonels so fearful that even high school students who wore jewelry on the left side of their clothing were called in for questioning.

President Psycho, heading for his Captain Queeg “Ah, but the strawberries, that's where I had them!” moment, sees enemies everywhere, even in a 75-year-old Buffalo activist pushed hard to the street by Buffalo, NY play cops during a demonstration against the killing of a black man, George Floyd, under the knee of a former Minneapolis cop.

The President reckoned it was a set-up to get him, and that the victim, Martin Gugino, was a secret terrorist working for the anti-Fascist group Antifa in a conspiracy and had a phone app that would black out the police communications and the eastern seaboard.

He might be right. Antifa is offering a discount for AARP members and the President said veterans who fought Hitler and the Nazis were probably founders of the movement because they were, you know, anti-Fascists.

The President saw the video but saw something only he can see, which is conspiracies everywhere, so it's surprising he doesn't have a food taster although he might be immune to anything given how many Big Macs he wolfs down.

He can't read so he said, “I watched, he fell harder than was pushed,” (Fake Fall!) not explaining the crack to Gugino's head and the blood that came out, leaving it to Republican National Committee spokeswoman Elizabeth Harrington to suggest it was phony blood, maybe from a special effects prop in war movies perhaps.

So now it's the turn of Greeks to lament what is happening in the United States and not the other way around, and where even journalists are targets because they are the purveyors of the truth that the President can't handle.

Greeks were lucky to have Kyriakos Mitsotakis as Prime Minister, who – no matter what you think of his political leanings that sometimes favor the Big Bucks Boys – is a man of decency and compassion and wisely ceded the limelight to scientists to handle the COVID-19 pandemic that President Psycho said was an exaggeration if not a hoax. Maybe a set-up too.

Nicholas Burns, the United States' former Ambassador to Greece and a severe critic of the Whack Job in The White House, said the tactics have left the world shocked at what's happened, as Greeks watched in dismay too.

“If you’re an American diplomat overseas, suddenly we look hypocritical,” said Burns, also a former Ambassador to NATO, reported The Hill.

“We’ve been saying to countries, ‘Do the right thing. Treat minority populations well. Don’t use force against protesters. Let people exercise their civil and constitutional rights in your societies.’ Now they’re coming to us and telling us to do that. How sad is that?” he added.

There were protests in Athens too over the death of George Floyd and police brutality, some 2,000 people taking to the streets, some throwing stones at riot police who responded by firing tear gas, which President Psycho would have applauded.

Chanting slogans against racism and police violence, the demonstrators tried to reach the U.S. Embassy but were stopped by police in the second of two protests by Greeks outraged about what they saw on the streets of American cities.

The Junta was far more brutal and murderous, of course, imprisoning, torturing, and killing people with the implicit blessing of the United States and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger who never saw a Communist he liked alive.

President Psycho likes chaos because it helps him and his base of invertebrate lemmings programmed to sound like him with robot voices (“You're fake news, you're the enemy of the people”) before their batteries die.

This is what the rest of the world besides Greece saw. "Looting, fighting and curfew: The U.S. at war," was the headline in Italy's La Stampa. Just like the Junta, that suffocated Greece, the U.S. can't breathe either.

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Three newspapers: Apogveumatini and Macedonia (Salonika) and the National Herald (New York) reported on June 20 and July 10, 1936, regarding the detention of Greek prisoners of war some 14 years after the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne in July, 1923.

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