We were in Athens, near the end of July, having dinner with some Greek friends at Attikos, a popular rooftop restaurant with a view of the Parthenon. Like most conservatives, our friends are somewhat pessimistic about what the future holds for their country, and from their description it seems to me that as the left has grown more virulent, the soft-bellied right has, for the most part, lost its nerve.
Greece, like other E.U. countries, is being flooded by immigrants. In Greece, though Albanians continue to cause a great deal of mischief, a greater danger is presented by Muslims from North Africa and the Middle East.
For at least 800 years, Greece’s main threat has been Muslim Turks, who attacked and finally conquered the Byzantine Empire in 1453. Even after they were liberated, Greeks under Turkish rule have been harassed and persecuted. There was a terrific slaughter in Anatolia after World War I. In 1922 Kemal “Atatürk” personally presided over a genocide in Smyrna. And, in 1955, the Turkish government launched a pogrom in which some Greeks in Constantinople were killed, and many more raped and beaten. Their homes, schools, shops, printing presses, and churches were attacked and destroyed.
A cynical Allen Dulles, who happened to be in Turkey, advised the government to blame the disruptions on the communists, since Turkey was regarded as a solid ally in the Cold War. ...