Thursday, June 07, 2012

Mob Attacks Journalist in Athens as Greece Unravels

Street Violence Increasing; Foreigners Targeted 

A bloodthirsty mob of masked men attacked a Jerusalem Post reporter in Athens because he dared to photograph the mob's assault on refugees, homeless people and migrants. The reporter, who was on assignment in Greece for a story about the rise of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, was viciously beaten but escaped without serious injuries. Were his assailants Golden Dawn stormtroopers (most likely) or violent anarchists associated with the far left? He says he doesn't know, and the police aren't saying. One thing is clear: harsh austerity has destabilized Greece. Democracy is hanging on by a thread. Read more.

Editor's Note: the Post reporter may feel obligated out of some misguided notion of objectivity or evenhandedness to raise the possibility that his masked attackers were leftwing extremists; but the likely suspects are the fascist goons of the Golden Dawn, a far-right party that has made "Foreigners Out of Greece" its rallying cry, recalling the rise of Hitler's movement in Germany. The fact that admirers of Hitler can nowadays attract a mass following n Greece, which suffered so much under the Nazi occupation, is disturbing, to say the least. That the fascists dare to show themselves in public--let alone stage violent attacks and provocations in broad daylight--is even more disturbing. Do they have friends in high places? Remember: the Regime of the Colonels ended only 38 years ago. Next month marks the anniversary of the junta's fall. Is another coup in the works? Will the widely expected election victory of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) provide the pretext for the men in uniform--that they have to move to "save" the nation from Bolshevism? The possibility, though seemingly remote, can't be overlooked … owing to what (German) austerity is doing to Greek democracy.

Another point: fascism has always used violence--from above when in power, from below when in opposition whilst seeking to tap rivers of popular unrest and discontent. The failures of German and Italian governments to stop fascist street violence was a critical--in fact, an essential--element in the success of fascism before World War II. That, and the fact that the leading figures of the old order facilitated the fascist seizures of power--in Germany by the Conservatives and the aristocrats, industrialists and most of the politicians around Hindenburg, in Italy by the Conservatives and the monarchy. Is history repeating in Greece, or at least rhyming, to use Mark Twain's term? Time will tell. The situation is fraught with peril--for Greece in particular, obviously, but also for Europe in general.

Related: Neo-Nazi Physically Attacks Female Politicians on Greek TV Show