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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 6/28/11

A Greek Tragedy

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Jill Jackson
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"What a tragedy," said Alice to the Mad Hatter, "Greece used to be so beautiful.   And now, the poverty, the riots."

"Ha," said the White Rabbit.   "That's what you  get when the fascist oligarchy and their corporate minions promote unpayable loans that provide a windfall for corrupt politicians and their greedy connections.   The resultant debt is loaded onto the backs of the middle and working classes, students, retirees, public servants, the disabled, the vulnerable.   These current "austerity" measures will only serve to delay the eventual default, perhaps providing enough time for the burned bankers to palm off the bad debt to gullible investors while betting on the short.   In the long run, Greece's assets will have been picked clean to pay just the usurious interest."

"Indeed," concurred the Mad Hatter, "If it works in Greece, we'll be seeing this scenario repeated--in other European countries and quite likely some US states.   The financial motivations now seem clear and well-nested in the corporatism that has infected our global economy and colluding governments."

"O-kay." Alice sounded troubled.  "But why Greece, why now?"   

"You know, that's a very good question," said the White Rabbit.   "It was no secret in 2003, 2004 that Greece was very overextended.   The pressures of putting on an Olympic extravaganza coupled with the upgrading of infrastructure and policies demanded for EU compliance had severely strained the Greek budget.   Using an analogy of an upside-down homeowner:   Would any banker continue to lend a mortgagee scads of money years after he was unable to make his house payments, or would the banker foreclose soon after he sees the homeowner sinking?   In the case of Greece, the IMF and EU waited six years to knock at the door.   Peculiar, hmmm?"

The Mad Hatter scratched his goatee.   "Maybe they hoping the Greeks would find a way to come up with the money.  Low-salt feta cheese?   Competing with the Chinese in manufacturing?   Patenting a zero-calorie olive oil?   Or maybe stumbling onto a gusher of oil, perhaps by drilling offshore of those pesky tourist-laden islands?"  He stood up.  "Yeah!  Why didn't the EU "foreclose" years ago?"

"Huh?" Alice looked up from her smartphone.   "What'd'ja say?"

The White Rabbit put down his teacup and stared at them both.  "Well, let me answer you with another question, my favorite: qui bono, who benefits?"

The Mad Hatter didn't hesitate.   "The oligarchy, the bankers, the middlemen, those who have stolen and secreted funds in the Swiss banking ether, etc.  they've all   benefited, despite their malingerers' wails of pain.   And they will benefit even more. Their actions could be a potential strategy to claim Greece's resources, such as ports, airports, utilities, islands, etc. Naughty bankers to be so greedy.   We should scold them all and send them to bed without supper."

The White Rabbit raised an eyebrow.   [Ed.:   Do rabbits have eyebrows?]   "Can't argue with that.  But, what if we examine the "who benefits" at a deeper layer?   Location, location, location.   Offshore drilling, mining for resources to provide energy--yes, those islands are certainly mighty tempting targets.   But, Greece's real estate has another value, one that may become even more crucial in the near future--its location on the Med and its proximity to the Middle East."

The Mad Hatter frowned.   "Well, NATO is already in Libya.   I've heard talk of possible expansion of activity against Syria, Lebanon, and even Iran.   Greece would be well positioned to reopen its old NATO bases. They could be used for airstrikes or to prep troops for ground offensives across the Med and the Middle East.   Especially if a different Islamist government in Turkey makes it a less reliable ally."

"Exactly," said the White Rabbit, chewing on a gold carrot.   "A bankrupt Greece might be forced to accept selling or renting land to the Allies for military use.   Even  worse, civil unrest and economic devastation could be used as a pretext for introducing a government in Greece very receptive to that idea."   The rabbit hid his mouth in his elbow.   "Cough--junta--cough."

"Wow," said the Mad Hatter, awestruck, "Amidst this economic turmoil, I'd never considered hegemony."

"Sounds good to me,"     Alice said, looking up from her texting.   "With Greece going down the tubes, I'm gonna have to switch my holiday.   Thought I'd try Majorca this year instead, but, hey, I'll spring for a ticket to Hegemony."

Before her companions could respond, Alice went off to watch Fox, I mean Sky, News.


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Jill Jackson is a practitioner of kindness and common sense. Unlike her cat, she prefers to think out of the box.

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