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The Greeks have good reason to fear. The Communists are burning the Greek banks. Greece is the last place in Europe with a serious unreconstructed Stalinist party. The Communists came within an inch of putting Greece behind the Iron Curtain - if you look at the map it is the easternmost point to remain outside the Soviet bloc. I guess they never abandoned their dream even if there is no bloc to join anymore.My opinion of the Greeks was not high before this all started and the recent events have not raised it at all. It is one of those societies where individually the people can be very nice (or not) but collectively there is no concept of civic duty. Again I think this comes from having been an occupied country where the government is your enemy, but the Turks have been gone for 150 years and the German for over 60, so it's time for them to realize that they are cheating themselves, rioting against themselves, etc.K
J, read this on Greece and this on Earth Day. I would imagine that the same military spending that cripples Greece also holds back Israel.
Ronduck - it's an interesting argument but I don't think the statistics bear this out at all. No one with any real knowledge of the situation has suggested that military spending is the root of Greece's problems. Greece spends around 4% of GDP on defense which is in line with the US if more than most other European countries. Even if they were to cut this back to the typical European level of 2%, that would only make a small dent in the budget gap which runs more like 12% in recent years. (Israel has not been "crippled" by defense spending either but that is for another discussion). If some other European countries are leaving themselves naked and defenseless with only the prayer that the American defense umbrella will keep covering their nakedness, they are the ones who will be wrong in the long run. Historically, all of Europe is a "bad neighborhood" and people like the Dutch have just taken a vacation from reality, but inevitably such holidays draw to an end.K
K, Yes, we tend to forget that Europe is a bad neighborhood. The best is to move to Australia. Or New Zealand.
I don't think it is "forgetting" - it is more like "denial". If you pretend that everything is great, that Iran is not a threat, that demography and Islam is not a threat, etc., etc. then you are not obligated to do anything about it and you can go on living in your little liberal world with generous social benefits for everybody. Once you admit that history has not been repealed and that evil still exists it becomes much more problematic - you might have to have a real defense capability and not just a token play army with military bands and paper pushers. K
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