Good News Among the Bad

September 17, 2015

As the Jewish New Year of 5776 entered, news arrived that offered cause for the gravest concern. In England the British Labor Party had just elected Jeremy Corbyn, a viciously anti- Zionist agitator who has lent moral support to Hamas and Hezbollah, has maintained close associations through the years with antisemites and Holocaust deniers and is unapologetic in his embrace of the local Muslim Imams who call for the destruction and conquest of the West. This is, of course, coupled with the likely admission, in the near future, of hundreds of thousands of Muslim refugees into European cities, which will only exacerbate the tensions in those societies between secular society and its unassimable Muslim minorities, thereafter, inevitably, spurring further attacks on Jews; And of course the Obama Administration has just secured Congressional support for the most catastrophic diplomatic agreement since the 1938 Munich agreement – directly endangering the national security of the State of Israel.

All of us who live in the West must see the tragic trajectory that our foolish leaders have now committed us to – enabling, rather than crippling our enemies; providing them with the means of facilitating our destruction instead of stanching their supply of weaponry and providing diplomatic cover and access to funds which will be used to finance future attacks against us.

How to respond to all this bad news?

With the recognition that at no other time in history have the Jewish people been fortunate enough to possess a State of their own which is equal in military prowess and intelligence gathering to any other such force in the world; that the Israeli economy is booming, despite the country’s continuing diplomatic isolation – and this is because the world wants and needs what it has to offer – technological creativity and know how on a scale that it can find almost nowhere else in the world; that the State of Israel will, within the next few years, become a net exporter of natural gas, controlling, as it does , one of the world’s richest deposits of the energy resource beneath its Mediterranean sands – making the State an extremely vital supplier whose link with the West will be guaranteed and enhanced – particularly in the event that Russia veers further and further into autocracy, territorial expansionism and isolation from Europe. And that the Jews of Europe, understanding that the contagion of antisemitism that doomed them 70 years ago, has not died but instead resurfaced in a new and more virulent strain – will increasingly bring their resources – financial and physical to the State of Israel, adding wealth and sophistication to an already fascinating, polyglot society.

I thought about all this recently after a recent encounter on a trip to Europe.

On a flight to Amsterdam, I sat next to a fellow whose accent I immediately recognized as Australian. We struck up a very friendly conversation that continued for hours, comparing our interests in Australian sports and talking about favorite haunts in Melbourne. I discovered that he was Jewish and was moving to Berlin with his German wife, who was pregnant with his first child. Near the end of the flight he asked me about my final destination and when I told him it was Israel, his expression soured:

” Aw, mate,I could never go to that place. Can’t stand the thought that Jews are practicing apartheid just like the South Africans. ”

When I asked him if he had ever visited Israel to discover if this accusation was true for himself, he said he hadn’t and that he wouldn’t and that his mind is made up and that I would be wasting my breath to try to convince him otherwise.

I was quiet for a while and then I said;

“Mark, you know 75 years ago, Jews who had babies in Berlin – and chose to stay there, were almost certainly signing their childrens’ death warrant. It wouldn’t have mattered to the authorities that you were an anti- Zionist, a non-practicing Jew or that your wife was non-Jewish. The Nazis didn’t care about any of that. They took you if you had the least ounce of Jewish blood in your veins. The Nazis may well be gone but don’t think that you or your children or grandchildren will always be guaranteed to have it as good as you have had it in Australia and America all this time. Thirty years years from now, you, your child and your grandchildren may thank G’d,- even if none of you believe in Him – that there is a state in the world willing to accept you and your descendants because every other country in the world has shut its doors to the plight of the new German Jewish refugees.”

He turned away and we didn’t speak for the rest of the flight. But I realized that I had just confronted the same blinkered, festering self-hatred that I have seen in the writings of Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein – intellectuals and activists who have joined with and given succor to the Jewish peoples’ enemies.

On this Rosh Hashana, let us then remember the miracle of the post-Holocaust, Jewish renaissance around the world; the extraordinary success of the people of Israel in building a flourishing democracy in a sea of hatred and contempt and the assurance that because that state exists, the Jewish people will live on and thrive and that the welfare and security of our grandchildren and great grand children is guaranteed because of it.

Shana Tova – Happy New Year -and may we all be blessed with health, peace, security and prosperity in the coming year.

With the elevation of Mr. Corbyn, the Labour Party is in the hands of the hard left for the first time in decades.
nytimes.com|By STEPHEN CASTLE
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Netanyahu Delivers a Warning

March 3, 2015

 


Greece vs Germany: A Tussle to the Death

February 12, 2015

by Avi Davis

Now that Greece has demanded additional reparations from Germany for that country’s WWII crimes on Greek territory, many other countries might well fall in line with their tin cups extended. Soon enough Russia will be demanding reparations from France for Napoleon I’s invasion of 1812 and India might make the same demands of Uzbekistan for Tamerlane’s brutal incursion of the 14th Century.  And lets not forget the Anglo-Saxons who might want some compensation for the 300 years of Norman occupation of  England from 1066 onward.

 

Don’t get me wrong.  The Germans committed heinous acts in Greece 1941-44, occupying that country for four very long years during the Second World War, deporting hundreds of thousands and exacting a terrible price from the Greeks.

But the Germans already paid and the Greeks accepted extensive reparations in the 1950s and 60s. That includes about $54 million to Greece and its citizens, an amount that would be roughly $450 million today when adjusted for inflation. No Greek public figure has made a claim for extra compensation from the Germans since that time and extra reparations have certainly not been a focal point of Greek/German relations in any sense in the intervening years.  But now some Greek politicians claim Germany owes the country more than €160 billion ($181 billion) in reparations.

Why now then? Because the Greeks need leverage to use against the Germans in attempting to restructure ( another word for forgive) their debt so that that they can climb out of the crater their new leftist government is presently digging them and from which there will be no way out except via a rope thrown down by the Germans.

To me this sort of reads like the kid who skips school for the entire semester and then blames his teacher and the school’s bias for his failure in the year’s final exams.

It should not be lost on anyone that three years ago the Germans rescued the Greek economy from certain collapse when Government debt – already at 180% to GDP  – was spiraling so far out of control that it looked like if the drain on Europe was not plugged it would empty the entire European economic experiment into the Aegean.  The Germans came to the rescue but demanded substantial reforms – and thus the imposed austerity measures about which so many Greeks are today complaining and which ushered in the leftist government of the inexperienced Alex Tsirpas.

But so far the Germans are having none of the Greek petulance and seem unlikely to yield on their demand that in order to renew loans due on February 28th the Greek government must absolutely commit to the same austerity measures which essentially brought down the last government.

Greece's new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras visits a shooting-range site on the outskirts of Athens in January. Members of the Greek Resistance were executed by Nazi occupation forces at the site during World War II.

 

No one , however, should mistake this for a stalemate.  Tsirpas’ government may think that it has the upper hand because skittish EU bureaucrats in Brussels, looking down the long barrel of the rapid devaluation of the Euro, will not allow Greece to simply walk away from the currency – which would be the inevitable result of a massive default on government debt.

However the German central banks – which are the real power behind the Euro – have so far expressed remarkable determination and show no willingness to renegotiate Greek debt with Tsirpas’ envoys.

Which brings us to the issue of the reparations.  They are a clearly transparent and cynical means of building resentment against the Germans, adding fuel to a fire which had already caught ablaze among the Greek public and has enticed them into this present sleep walk over a very steep fiscal cliff.

And here’s what that fiscal cliff looks like:

Greece’s bailout from the eurozone runs out on Feb. 28. At that moment, without an extension, it will lose its last €1.8 billion disbursement from the currency union’s bailout fund, €1.9 billion in profits from Greek government bonds held by the European Central Bank and around €11 billion still sitting in Greece’s bank bailout fund. The fate of a €3.5 billion transfer from the International Monetary Fund is less obvious, since the IMF’s program for Greece runs until the end of 2016. What is clear is that Athens won’t get any money from the fund without an agreed aid deal with the eurozone.

Greek government officials have said that they could run out of money in early March, especially if tax revenues deteriorate further. At that point, the government won’t be able pay things like pensions and public-sector salaries. Crucially, for the eurozone and the IMF, it also won’t be able to repay its creditors, including the fund and the ECB. Between March and August, Greece has to repay €4.7 billion in old IMF loans and €6.6 billion in bonds held by the ECB and national central banks. Those numbers don’t include interest payments to private creditors, the fund and the eurozone along with a few smaller redemptions. They also don’t include €13.4 billion in short term debt, so-called Treasury bills, that Greece needs to roll over by the end of August.

So in order top restructure that debt, the Greeks desperately need time – or else the trains, which rarely run on time anyway, will really stop running altogether.

So what happens now?

Almost certain default. Cut off from rescue funding, Greek banks would suffer dramatic cash outflows as depositors worried about Greece being forced out of the single currency region. Currently, the European Central Bank’s emergency liquidity assistance program, operated by the national central bank, ensures that Greek banks have enough cash to cover depositor outflows. Because depositors know this, there hasn’t been a stampede of funds out of the banks.

Yet.

But without the ECB, the flight of funds would cascade, threatening a Greek banking collapse. Greece would be forced to put up capital controls, limiting withdrawal of funds, and force the banks’ creditors to take losses.

Ernest Hemingway once wrote there are two stages to going bankrupt: “Gradually, then suddenly.” He could just as easily have been referring to the process of being ejected from the eurozone.

Greece’s sudden banruptcy will hurt everyone – even us here in the United States.  But it might be preferable to have a temporary electric shock than a long painful death from a million minor cuts.

Avi Davis is the president of the American Freedom Alliance and  the editor of the Intermediate Zone


Jonathan Sacks: Right on Western Civilization; Wrong on Islam

February 2, 2015

by Avi Davis

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks is almost certainly one of the leading religious figures in the world today.

As the former Chief Rabbi of Great Britain and the Commonwealth, he commands attention -not only for his former illustrious position, but equally for his erudition in Jewish law, his undoubted grasp of the dynamics of the political world and for his vast store of secular knowledge which embraces the disciplines of philosophy, literature, psychology and sociology.

He is beyond question one of the most worldly Jewish leaders to emerge since the polymath Maimonides took up a pen in the 12th Century and he is deeply admired for it.

I have read a number of Rabbi Sacks’ books including To Heal A Fractured WorldThe Dignity of Difference and Science, Religion and the Search for Meaning- all of which have fascinated me with their insights into the modern world and its challenges for both Jews and non-Jews alike.

Most impressive to me has been his understanding that the fate of Israel and the Jewish people is tied inextricably to the fate of western civilization.  In book after book, article after article, he propounds this same point  – our futures are bound together and those who attack Israel and the Jewish people are in fact attacking the very idea of civilization itself.

So I greeted with some anticipation Rabbi Sacks’ essay in the  Wall Street Journal’s Weekend Review titled The Return of Anti Semitism  which sought to address the recrudescence of antisemitism in the 21st century.

As usual I learned a great deal from this essay.   Among Rabbi Sacks’ many insights are that antisemitism is only contingently, even accidentally, about Jews.   Jews die from it, but they are not its only victims.   The elimination throughout the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia of hundreds of Christian communities is an incontrovertible extension of  antisemitism.   Thus he can assert: “ The hate that begins with Jews never ends with Jews.”

 

Auschwitz survivor Miroslaw Celka walks out the gate with the sign saying ‘Work makes you free’ after paying tribute to fallen comrades at the ‘death wall’ execution spot in the former Auschwitz concentration camp in Oswiecim, Poland, on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp on Jan. 27

Traditional Christian antisemitism, from the time of the Crusades onward objectified the Jews as having “mysteriously yet actively sought the harm of others”.  They were suspected of being actively involved in destroying the foundations of civilization.

Why, then, such a focus on the Jews?  Sacks posits that it always amounts to a peoples’ sense sense of their humiliation.   Societies which have suffered military defeat, widespread plague or the onset of the collapse of self confidence learn to externalize their pain by focusing on an explanation which provides clear and simple answers for it. Thus:

“By turning the question “What did we do wrong?” into “Who did this to us?”, it restores some measure of self-respect and provides a course of action. In psychiatry, the clinical terms for this process are splitting and projection; it allows people to define themselves as victims.”

This of course goes a long way to explaining what happened to the Muslim world after careening into its rapid decline in the 17th Century.

So far, so good.   It is when we reach the end of the essay that  we might find ourselves startled by an awkward conclusion. In pointing out how imbedded hatred destroys civilizations the author makes an impassioned plea for amity:

“Judaism, Christianity and Islam are religions of love, not of hate…… All of us—Jews, Christians and Muslims, brothers and sisters in Abraham’s family—must choose another way.”

The implication in this final paragraph (although not implicit in the essay itself) is that both Judaism and Christianity, in their purest form, exist on the same moral plain as Islam – as if they all profess the same fundamental values.

Is it political correctness which impels Sacks to make such a lachrymose and nonsensical statement?

For surely this thoroughly erudite and omnivorous scholar knows that Islam, from its very founding was not a religion of love or of peace;  that Islam did not acquire its anti- Jewish animus only in recent times but it was implicit in the religion from from its very inception. Muhammed set the example for what was to become a long tradition of Islamic antisemitism.  The oldest extant biography of Mohammed, that by Ibn Ishaq in the 8th Century, is replete with the Prophet’s evident hatred of Jews. He had individual Jews  asssasinated if he felt they had either insulted or disobeyed him;  When Muhammed gave the command to “kill any Jew who falls in to your power,” one of his followers, Ibn Mas’ud, assassinated  Ibn Sunayna, a Jewish merchant.  The Jewish tribe the Banu Qurayza consisting of between 600 and 800 men was exterminated while the Banu’l Nadir were attacked and dispossessed of their wealth.

Besides these specific acts of atrocity perpetrated against Jews in the 1400 years since Muhammed began his ministry, one can see how Jew hatred gained its foundation in the Koran, the hadith and in the sira (the earliest Muslim biographies of Muhammed) to the point where the existence of a virulent antisemitic thread in Muslim scholarship becomes undeniable.

This was conclusively summed up in 1996 by Sheikh Muhammed Sayyid Tantawi who became (and remains) the Grand Imam of Al- Azhar University in Cairo:

” The Quran describes the Jews with their own degenerate set of characteristics ie: killing the prophets of Allah, corrupting his word by putting it in the wrong places, consuming the people’s wealth frivolously , refusal to distance themselves from the evil they do and other characteristics caused by their deep seated lasciviousness….only a minority of the Jews keep their word….all Jews are not the same. The good ones become Muslims. the bad ones do not.”

There could be no more poignant an example of Islamic Jew hatred emanating from the heart of Islamic scholarship today than this.

Isn’t it time then for our religious leaders to take off their rose colored glasses and begin to comment on this world for how it really is?  While Jonathan Sacks has provided us with a very accurate analysis of why antisemitism emerges and how it wreaks damage on the societies where it gains its firmest foothold, it is counterproductive for him to keep pretending that the scourge is a phenomenon that only becomes evident in broken, humiliated civilizations.

Antisemitism should be recognized as dangerously inherent within Islam itself – infecting the societies that revolve around it – and that without a total reformation of the precepts and tenets of Islam it is likely to continue to exist not just as a cancer eating away at the core of the Muslim world but as a contagion which will eventually envelop humanity.

Shying away from this reality and pretending that Islam seeks only peace and exhibits love lends it just more cover for its continued propagation of the oldest of the world’s hatreds and enables it to attract even more adherents to its destructive force.

 

Avi Davis is the president of the American Freedom Alliance and the editor of the Intermediate Zone 

 

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Deaths in Mexico are a Reminder of American Exceptionalism

January 30, 2015

by Avi Davis

 

There are certain stories which offer sharp reminders of how truly fortunate we are to be living in a country with the rule of law as well as a profound respect for human liberty.

On September 26, 2014, 43 male students from the Raúl Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers’ College of Ayotzinapa went missing in  Guerrero State, Mexico. According to official reports, they commandeered several buses and traveled to Iguala that day to hold a protest at a conference led by the mayor’s wife. During the journey local police intercepted them and a confrontation ensued. Details of what happened during and after the clash remain unclear, but the official investigation concluded that once the students were in custody, they were handed over to the local Guerreros Unidos (“United Warriors”) crime syndicate and then slaughtered. Mexican authorities claimed Iguala’s mayor, José Luis Abarca Velázquez, and his wife María de los Ángeles Pineda Villa, masterminded the abduction.

 

Both Abarca and Pineda Villa fled after the incident, but were arrested about a month later in Mexico City. Iguala’s police chief, Felipe Flores Velásquez, remains a fugitive. The events caused social unrest in parts of Guerrero and led to attacks on government buildings, and the resignation of the Governor of Guerrero, Ángel Aguirre Rivero, in the face of statewide protests. The mass kidnapping of the students arguably became the biggest political and public security scandal Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto had faced during his administration. .

On November 7, 2014, the Mexican Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam gave a press conference in which he announced that several plastic bags containing human remains, possibly those of the missing students, had been found by a river in Cocula, Guerrero. At least 80 suspects have been arrested in the case, of which 44 were police officers. One student was confirmed dead after his remains were identified by the Austria-based University of Innsbruck.

When contemplating this terrifying atrocity one’s mind is drawn back to Mississippi and the night of June 21, 1964 when three American civil rights workers, James Earl Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner, were abducted and shot at close range by members of the Mississippi White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, the Neshoba County Sheriff’s Office and the Police Department located in Philadelphia, Mississippi. The three had been working on the “Freedom Summer” campaign, attempting to register African Americans to vote.

But what happened to those three students was an anomaly in modern American history, rarely ever to be repeated.  It is difficult to imagine a massacre as what I have  just offered above – with police handing whole busloads of students over to gang members in order to eliminate them  –  occurring today in  21st Century America.  Yet sadly we see it occurring every day in Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Congo, Sudan and other parts of both Africa and the Middle East.

Yet several centuries ago – during the Thirty Years War – such scenes were not unusual and even expected.  Butchery became a hallmark of European wars and invading armies and militias were given to a blood lust which knew few boundaries.

What distinguishes the West today from those brutal times 600 years ago – and from the countries, such as Mexico, where gang dominion leads so often to summary execution of innocents, is not only the rule of law which is dutifully respected by a majority of American citizens, but an abiding respect for the value of human life.  Reading the stories and seeing the photographs of the executions of students who were only exercising their peaceful constitutional rights to protest, must not only send a chill down the spine of every American but also remind us of our deep fortunate to be living where we are living and at a time in history when such things are not regarded as ” usual ” or in the normally accepted course of events.

 

Avi Davis is the President of the American Freedom Alliance and  the editor of The Intermediate Zone

 

 

 

 

 


In Like Flynn

January 28, 2015

By Avi Davis

The sense that the United  States is not receiving adequate leadership in the war against terrorism is gaining steam from an even more audible group of critics.

On Monday, Michael Flynn, the former head of the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency slammed the Obama administration as paralyzed and playing defense rather than offense in the fight against Islamic militancy.  He said the administration is unwilling to admit the scope of the problem, naively clinging to the hope that limited counterterrorist intervention will head off the ideological juggernaut of religious militancy.

His calls were echoed by Gen. Jack Keane, the former Vice Chief of the Army who told the Senate Armed Services Committee that al Qaeda’s influence has grown exponentially over the past several years and despite the killing of Osama Bin Laden, the hydra headed movement is threatening American Interests all over the world and not just in the Middle East.

Flynn’s and Keane’s comments reinforce calls by other former Obama administration officials such as former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and former CIA Director and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta who say that while in office they urged more intervention earlier in the Syrian conflict but met with a deafening silence from the Obama Administration. Repeated demands for a greater commitment in those theaters went unheeded.   No doubt Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, once his own inevitable memoirs are published, will amplify the criticisms of his two predecessors. It is no secret  in Washington DC that Hagel was dumped because of his strident advocacy of greater American military involvement in Iraq and Syria.

All of which is anathema to this president.  His decision to pull all troops from Iraq – and to leave only a handful in Afghanistan – after years of American sacrifices in both countries to bolster regimes friendly to the United States,  was more than  just the fulfillment of a campaign promise;  it was the practical reflex of an ideology which harbors only contempt for what he sees as  imperialist or internationalist missions and views America  as far too extended. He sees no good national interest advanced by the presence of U.S. troops in any theater of conflict and is viscerally opposed to the kind of nation building and interventionism which became a hallmark of the Bush Administration.

But as the world situation develops it is becoming clearer that the United States  – just like  every other Western nation – can no longer hide from the reality that if the war is not fought on foreign soil it will be fought on our own soil.  The Kouachi brothers in Paris two weeks ago brought back what they had learned about ambush strategy and tactical frontal assault warfare from their training and experience with ISIS in Northern Iraq and executed a technically perfect raid on the Charlie Hebdo offices in central Paris; ISIS inspired plots have been uncovered in Australia, Indonesia,  the U.K. and of course France.

What is patently clear is that the contagion of ISIS is going to bounce back to the United States.   We cannot leave a vacuum in the Middle East and expect it not to be filled by al Qaeda , ISIS and a host of other insurgent forces dedicated to undoing the work of the United States and using the countries in the region as platforms for striking out against the West. We can also not expect ISIS and al Qaeda to fail to export their military successes to the streets and boulevards of our cities and our leaders would be foolish to blindly turn away from this eventuality.

Avi Davis is the President of the American Freedom Alliance and the editor of The Intermediate Zone


Beware of Greeks Returning Gifts

January 27, 2015

 

by Avi Davis

On Monday morning, the Greek people awoke to find themselves confronted by a new reality.

 

 

In a landslide, the anti -austerity party, Syriza, won a decisive victory in national elections, positioning its tough-talking leader, Alex Tsipras, to become the next prime minister.

Appearing before a throng of supporters outside Athens University late Sunday, Mr. Tsipras, 40, declared  the era of austerity over and promised to revive the economy.

He also said his government would not allow Greece’s creditors to strangle the country.

 

Such a victory was hardly unexpected.  Since  Germany and other northern European countries had forced Greece to swallow the bitter pill of austerity in 2011,

the country has groaned under the dramatic cuts in government spending, the loss of public sector jobs ( at one time the public sector made up nearly 45% of the workforce)

and the evaporation of the once booming housing market.  The Greeks could not become accustomed to a situation in which  their future was controlled by other countries

and  there has been increasingly loud rallies calling for an end to the Euro mandated austerity regime.

But Tsipras’ plans to end austerity and grow the economy quickly will immediately encounter some insurmountable hurdles to which  the economists

in his party have not given sufficient attention.

 

For lets be clear about one thing:  Greeks economic pain is not due to the austerity measures forced upon it by the Eurozone.  It came about because of years of profligate

spending, irresponsible budgets, a debt to GDP ratio that was the highest in Europe and a country that failed to produce anything much at all that the rest of the world wanted.

Greece joined the Eurozone in 1999 flush with the expectation that the high valued Euro would bring with it a rush of international investment

which would power the economy into the 21st Century and contribute to widespread prosperity.

 

But in those giddy years, the people of Greece neglected to affirm the one value that they would need to enshrine in order to grasp their new golden egg:

they still needed to work and work hard.

 

That was not to be.  Given to years of lassitude, the Greeks, and most Europeans have no stomach for the kind of effort it takes to sustain a modern economy.

Profligacy, social welfare, neoptism, corruption, an over loaded and under-worked bureaucracy and a vibrant, fairly open black market, has produced a country where people don’t work much, retire young

and take long vacations. Add to this severe institutional problems – such as the fact that a third of the country doesn’t pay tax and a quarter of the economy operates

under the table and you have a recipe for economic catastrophe.

 

The Greek model actually describes the bulk of Europe, where the work ethic has given way to the pleasure ethic and the

lambent idea that government can always be counted on to bail out failed enterprises.  But what happens when the government has no money to bail out anybody

and the source that it must rely on – namely foreign investment, remains skittish and uncertain about the country’s future?  What happens when no one – not the European Union,

not the United States and not China – is prepared to say we believe in your future and we will continue to fund your debt?

That is exactly what  the new prime minister will face in the coming days and weeks when  the EU stands its ground and tells the Greeks that if they

welsh on their commitments then their debt will be called – leading to a pain unlike the people of Greece have ever known before.

 

For the EU, Greece and the austerity regime imposed upon it has represented the plug that has prevented them from hearing that sound of the wealth of Europe

gurgles down the drain and emptying into the Aegean.

Would detaching Greece from the Euro and letting it drift back into the drachma bring great pain to the heart of Europe?  Almost certainly, but it would not be fatal.

Will the Greek revolt against austerity encourage other countries under the same austerity regime – Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Italy – to follow their example and

buck their benefactors?  Almost certainly not.  The difference is that these countries have mature statesmen who have been able to convince

their populations that a  temporary belt tightening and fiscal discipline could lead to a far more prosperous future.

Unfortunately in Greece that kind of leadership has been absent and that absence is now even more pronounced with the ascension of  a new leader who eschews

the kinds of sacrifices the Greeks have needed to make for years

 

In 2011 the European Union – and most particularly its wealthier countries in Germany and France – handed Greece a gift.   Now the Greeks wish to

return that gift with contempt, thinking that the EU has more to lose than they do.  They could not be more mistaken. The Northern European countries

will rather let Greece sink into the Aegean before opening the floodgates to other fragile economies demanding the same accommodation.

 

A titanic tussle is about to take place.  But lets set it in perspective:   In this Olympian wrestle for dominance,

it is the Europeans who hold the Greeks by their vulnerable parts and not the other way around.

 

Avi Davis is the President of the American Freedom Alliance and the editor of The Intermediate Zone

 

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