Each of us is living through truly historical moments.
World order, as it was set up after World War II, has been shaken by the coronavirus and its economic aftermath.
However, I could never have imagined that the future of the American Republic would be a matter for discussion by serious people.
This issue has been elevated by two shocking articles in the American press: one is by a former head of the country's armed forces and the second quotes former CIA agents.
The first was posted on the website of the liberal magazine “The Atlantic” and is written by Mike Mullen, the 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It is titled: “I cannot remain silent,” and subtitled: “Our fellow citizens are not the enemy and must never become so.” He writes: "It sickened me yesterday to see security personnel – including members of the National Guard – forcibly and violently clear a path through Lafayette Square to accommodate the president's visit outside St. John's Church. I have to date been reticent to speak out on issues surrounding President Trump's leadership, but we are at an inflection point, and the events of the past few weeks have made it impossible to remain silent…I remain confident in the professionalism of our men and women in uniform. They will serve with skill and with compassion. They will obey lawful orders. But I am less confident in the soundness of the orders they will be given by this commander in chief.”
The second was published in the Washington Post and is titled: “CIA veterans who monitored crackdowns abroad see troubling parallels in Trump’s handling of protests.”
In fact, one of them is Greek-American with…a very Greek name: Marc Polymeropoulos. He “formerly ran CIA operations in Europe and Asia,” the Washington Post reported, adding that he “recoiled” at images of Trump hoisting a Bible in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington. “It reminded me of the reports I sent for years about the Third World," said Polymeropoulos, referring to dictators such as Saddam Hussein, Bashar al-Assad and Gaddafi. "They all did this," he noted.
Other former agents are also reminded of disturbing scenes they witnessed in the Third World that led to social disintegration – mass demonstrations, and their subsequent suppression by dictators attempting to show strength.
“I’ve seen this kind of violence,” said Gail Helt, “a former CIA analyst responsible for tracking developments in China and Southeast Asia,” the Post reported. “This is what autocrats do,” she said, adding, “this is what happens in countries before a collapse. It really does unnerve me.”