By Patricia H Kushlis
Just last week, a member of Golden Dawn, a Greek neo-Fascist political organization that has been expanding exponentially in recent months, stabbed to death Pavlos Fyssas, a leftist hip-hop singer outside a cafeteria in a working class suburb of Athens. The voices his murderer responded to may have been external but their message was certainly internalized and acted upon viciously in a pique of rage.
The voices in this Greek extremist’s head likely came from or were triggered by Golden Dawn’s virulent demagoguery, a political extremist movement that threatens to tear the country apart. Giorgos Roupakias, the 45 year old man arrested for this murder has, according to Greek police, confessed to both the crime and his connections to Golden Dawn and the Greek government is considering outlawing the party. This has been, according to the Athens daily, To Vima, the 300th case of violence perpetrated by Golden Dawn in the past three years.
Golden Dawn, now the third largest party in the country, is the latest version of the juntists who took power in Greece in April 1967 as democracy crumbled. These colonels (who then promoted themselves to generals) ran the country until 1974 before going down in a blaze of colossal ultra-nationalist mismanagement of the country’s foreign affairs over Cyprus. The result: Turkish military occupation of Northern Cyprus that continues today.
Today Golden Dawn’s demons are Communists, socialists and immigrants – people who threaten a perceived Greek social order as the far right wing believes it should be.
This far- right movement’s explosion in popularity is triggered by the country’ severe economic depression now in its fifth year. It should be a warning to the European Union, the IMF and Greece’s conservative leadership that Greek democracy can only be pushed so far before it cracks.
Meanwhile in the US – Different Voices
Shouldn’t we have learned well before now that guns, drugs and schizophrenia don’t mix? Neither, apparently, do US federal government security clearances conducted by private companies combine healthily in the mix either. These clearances – seemingly worth less than the paper they are printed on - have demonstrably failed to protect our government’s physical security - not to mention protect our national secrets.
How many more Snowdens, Mannings or Alexis' are out there lurking in contract agencies with all too much access to state secrets they are not authorized to reveal on the American, let alone the world stage. Or, alternatively, to drive unimpeded onto a major military installation in the country’s capital transporting a sawed off shot gun and then proceeding to embark on an indiscriminate killing spree?