Some murders are justified. Putting a bullet in Hitler’s head would have saved about 40 million lives and spared the world of the horrors wrought by a maniac. Greece’s neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party believes he should have won the Nobel Peace Prize and that World War II was a staged movie produced by Hollywood Jews and the international Zionist conspiracy, the same people who made the 1969 film about the moon landing that was also faked.
The Holocaust? Never happened. Six million Jews and millions of others – gypsies, homosexuals, other enemies of the Third Reich – are still in hiding on the dark side of the moon, or they committed mass suicide over a six-year period before burning themselves in ovens or throwing their own corpses into mass graves and then burying themselves.
That’s the kind of cockeyed thinking that drives Golden Dawn and drove one of its members to allegedly kill 34-year-old hip-hop artist and anti-fascist Pavlos Fyssas in September, a murder that investigators say was orchestrated by cell phone which organized a flash mob of neo-Nazi thugs (because Golden Dawn members, cowards that they are, never confront people one-on-one) to go after the victim and his friends.
That rightfully led to an angry chorus of denunciation against Golden Dawn and sparked a government roundup of its leaders on charges of running a criminal gang, which it is. Golden Dawners are not neo-Nazis or crypto-Nazis. They are Nazis.
But justice, not murder, is the answer and antidote to the poison they spread so the killing of two of the party members on Nov. 1 was wrong and a provocation for Greece’s already volatile political and social landscape.
You can’t wait for cooler heads to prevail in Greece because there aren’t any, only hotheads, and the last thing Greece needs right now is a blood feud. Let the courts, not guns, settle it.
Greeks buried under more than three years of austerity measures imposed by the government on the orders of international lenders – big pay cuts, tax hikes, slashed pensions and the coming firing of scores of thousands of public workers – are frightened not for their future but for the present.
They are fearful they can’t survive and expect another onslaught from politicians who fire fiats, not bullets, and whose policies have killed many more people than Fyssas or the two Golden Dawn victims, Yiorgos Fountoulis and Manos Kapelonis. Murder is murder, no matter who commits it.
The killings – all of them – should have been denounced without equivocation from all sides, but they weren’t. Golden Dawn shrugged off Fyssas’s murder and tried to distance itself from a stab-in-the-heart that was really caused by its jailed leader, Nikos Michaloliakos, spreading messages of hate and seeds of violence, the same way the major opposition party, Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) sometimes does when it condones anarchists and those who attack the symbols of democracy.
Two wrongs make a wrong, but if Golden Dawn hadn’t been allowed to flourish like the disease it is – which can be blamed on Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ New Democracy Conservatives and his coalition partner, the PASOK Socialists – turning a blind eye to the extremists, then Fyssas, Fountoulis and Kapelonis would still be alive and Greece wouldn’t be being torn apart by partisan viciousness.
And the three dead young men – along with Shehzad Luqman, a 27-year-old Pakistani worker who was stabbed to death by a 29-year-old fireman and his unemployed, 24-year-old accomplice, both Greek and suspected Golden Dawn members – would still be alive too if Golden Dawn hadn’t been allowed to perpetrate attacks against immigrants, gays, atheists and anyone else perceived to be an enemy and the police had done their job.
Giorgos Roupakias, the 45-year-old truck driver and Golden Dawn member charged in Fyssas’ killing was said to be so bold in believing he could get away with stabbing a man in the heart in front of police watching the show that he casually dropped the knife. He would have gotten away if not for the heroic actions of a still-unnamed policewoman – her male colleagues did nothing it was reported – hadn’t pulled her gun and arrested him.
The people who executed Fountoulis and Kapelonis in 10 seconds with 12 bullets had all the hallmarks of well-trained and organized terrorists, police said, which means they could be very difficult to catch. It took decades for authorities to track down the ringleaders of the Nov. 17 terrorist group and these types are slippery and shady characters who disappear in the night.
NO RIGHT WAY TO DO THE WRONG THING
Samaras has plenty of blame on his plate too because earlier this year he set aside a bill to increase the penalties for hate crimes – aimed at Golden Dawn – because he wanted to court some of their less-crazy voters into his center-right party. After the Fyssas killing, he took it off the table, three killings too late.
And all this could have been avoided if New Democracy and PASOK hadn’t hired everybody in the country who didn’t already have a job in return for votes, plunk them in do-nothing, no-show jobs for decades to smoke, drink coffee, ignore people looking for help and waiting for an early retirement, draining the public coffers instead of adding to them.
That helped create the crisis that required the government go to hat-in-hand to the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) for $325 billion in two bailouts that came with onerous austerity measures that made people so angry they actually thought Golden Dawn’s anti-Troika stance had some merit beyond refusing rescue monies.
What’s remarkable is the lack of response so far, beyond the media. “Twelve Bullets Against Democracy,” Ta Nea wrote on its front page. “The double cold-blooded murder was a coarse provocation against stability,” it stated.
“The murderers – whoever they are – will be dealt with unsparingly by our democracy. Let everyone know this,” the government’s spokesman Simos Kedikoglou told reporters outside the prime minister’s mansion.
“(Prime Minister Antonis) Samaras’ anti-Greek government is to blame for the crime, which allowed out of control terrorists to murder young kids in cold blood,” Golden Dawn said when it was the victim instead of the killer and let its own terrorist murder a young man in cold blood.
Dimitris Papadimoulis, a lawmaker from SYRIZA, which has fiercely opposed Golden Dawn, called the shootings a “blow to democracy,” and said correctly on Twitter that, “It feeds fascism, it does not beat it.” Too bad he didn’t say it about the anarchists who killed three Marfin bank workers in 2010.
All these words that would have been unnecessary if New Democracy and PASOK hadn’t been dangerously out-of-control with wild overspending and Golden Dawn had been kept in a petri dish instead of allowed to cultivate its savagery and go after immigrants and people it didn’t like.
Now there will be anxiety over whether Golden Dawn will seek to avenge the murder and perpetuate the cycle of violence that has extremists on both sides going at each other like the Hatfields and McCoys, and whether Greece will wind up like the village Corleone in The Godfather where all the men are dead in vendettas.
The hunting season is over, and now Greece has opened the killing season and you have to hope it ends here but it probably won’t because hope keeps people alive but hate kills them.