Wednesday, 17 September 2008

National security, not human rights

This report reveals that the situation with illegal immigrants is now so bad in the Dodecanese that islanders are threatening to block ports to prevent any more arrivals. In fact, on Patmos and Agathonisi, the illegals now outnumber the locals, who are overwhelmed and complaining that their livelihoods are in jeopardy.

Patmos hoteliers are so concerned by the situation that they have written to the Interior Ministry arguing that their island 'cannot be promoted as a destination for high-end tourism on the one hand and permit hundreds of illegal immigrants to wander around hungry and dirty, begging and stealing from tourists.'

Now, these illegals obviously are wretches and victims of sorts; but to dwell on their status and condition is to miss the point; which is that we all know who is behind the dumping of these people on Greek shores and the reasons why they are doing it.

It is the Turkish government that is aiding and abetting the people-smugglers in an effort to destabilise and embarrass Greece, particularly in relation to the islands off the Turkish coast, where Turkey disputes Greek sovereignty.

Clearly, then – as with the Muslims in Thrace and the Slavophones in Macedonia – what we are dealing with here is not a human rights issue, but a matter of national security. In fact, anyone who pretends that the question of the Muslims in Thrace, the tiny Slavophone population in Macedonia or the illegal migrants arriving from Turkey, is anything other than one of Greek national security is either ignorant or malicious.


Hermes said...

I'd say they are malicious.

The future will be a battle between national sovereignty (localism) and universal liberalism (globalism) which is really code for Americanism. People largely defined by what they inherent in time and place and people defined by what they acquire without time and place. Traditional Left and Right will become irrelevant.

By the way, Byzantine philosophy entry has now been added to Standord's website.

john akritas said...

A very interesting essay on Byzantine philosophy. Byzantine studies needs to be rescued from the priests. What a pity the Iliad is still not 'the most important textbook for secondary education' in Greece. In the essay's bibliography I was disappointed to see no references to works on the subject by contemporary Greek scholars. Are Greek intellectuals writing about Byzantine philosophy, or are they still banging on about Marx and Lenin? The latter, I fear.

I wonder if globalism/universal liberalism/Americanism – although it has its own unique characteristics – do not represent the same economic imperatives and political forces that have, more or less always, tried to organise the world, whether in the form of the Persian, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman or British empires, and in which the national sovereignty of smaller nations is always under threat. The trick is to become, one way or another, a powerful nation, to avoid being dominated. There is no other way.

Ivy said...

I have you in my google reader and I read you everyday, without leaving a comment as my knowledge in politics is not so good. I second your opinion in many issues you have raised. Thanks for adding me in your Food & Drinks column. I shall reciprocate as well. BTW the link to the Desperate Greek Women's site is not working.

Hermes said...

The original reference on Byzantine philosophy was Tatakis and Zakynthinos. Both Greeks. The latest reference is Ierodiakonou who is also Greek. She is referenced in the bibliography of the Stanford entry. I do not know the true state of Byznatine studies in Greece but translation must have something to do with it. Furthermore, Anthony Kaldellis has told me the best work is done outside of Greece today. Note, he works in the US and has written some groundbreaking but controversial work on the Byzantine world.

Even if our birthrate increased to 3 for the next 50 years and everyone else's stabilised, we would still need another 100 to 200years to become powerful. Forget it. Unless our elites change their attitudes dramatically we will disapear with a whimper within 20 years.

john akritas said...

I don't know what happened to the Desperate Greek Housewive's site. The woman who ran it was a London Cypriot who promised she was going to deliver a major site on traditional Cypriot recipes, but it seems her project never got off the ground. I'll leave her address up for the moment in case she changes her mind.

It wouldn't take Greece 100-200 years to have a powerful culture and vibrant economy, strong military and patriotic ethos that would contest hegemony in the Balkans and Eastern Mediterranean. It wouldn't even take that much – a few tax reforms, etc – to reverse the negative demographic trend. All Greece needs is a vision; not that there is currently anyone or any movement in Greece with such a vision – no Dragoumis, no Venizelos – so maybe your 100-200 years estimate is not that far out after all.