Richard Cottrell

It’s all Greek: military coup postponed – for the moment

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

By Richard Cottrell

Contributing writer for End the Lie

George Papandreou (Photo: NewsTalk)

For the moment, a Greek military putsch seems to have been quietly nipped in the bud.

At an extraordinary meeting of the Council of Foreign Affairs and Defense, which consists of the prime minister and other key cabinet members, the defense minister, Panos Beglitis, won approval for a complete change of all of the military top brass.

All the key officers of the army, navy and air force were summarily replaced by new commanders. The Greek government would seem to have quite sufficiently piled on its plate these days.

So why choose this moment for a distracting game of musical chairs in the Greek Pentagon?

Let’s go back to another moment of crisis in April 1967. One bright spring morning Greeks awoke to find themselves under the heel of three smirking, obscure middle ranking army officers who had seized control of the country during the night.

“The Colonels,” as they came to be known, and widely feared, staged a coup with a NATO-designed blueprint called Prometheus.

This was the script to forestall a communist insurrection. Elections were looming that promised a victory for the forces of Georgios Papandreou, a veteran statesman and left leaning agnostic when it became to NATO’s over-bearing influence over Greece.

It was actually a triple coup. Aside from the government, the Colonels also upstaged the King of Greece, Constantine II, who was planning his own velvet revolution. They also arrested their own senior officers, who in yet another complication, had the same idea in mind.

The Colonels had the strongest cards. They were ruthless, they were backed by NATO and they had the support of the CIA.

The high command, preoccupied with their own slow motion putsch, foolishly moved all the key plotters close to Athens. Queues soon began for the torture chambers.

History lesson over.

About six months ago, senior Greek officers began to mutter that a military coup might be the only way to resolve the crisis of power in Greece.

The rising prospect of a Greek default leading to auto destruct of the euro, coupled with the on-going political impasse, unquestionably creates circumstances favorable to a coup d’état – in a country where such take-overs are anyway commonplace.

Qui bono? Who gains?

The answer is the same as before. Namely, the predominant western elites that actually rule Greece and have done since the end of WWII. The EU did not of course exist in its present form back in 1967, but its component elements were all in place.

When the Colonels fell in 1974, Greece was hustled into what was then the European Economic Community, with little more than a skimpy health check on the pulse of democracy. Rinse and repeat when the time came to join the euro.

I am quite sure that Prometheus Mark II was in the offing before defense minister acted so precipitately to shuffle the top brass.

One has to give full credit to the incumbent Prime Minister, Georgios Papandreou, for recognizing the unreliability of the officer corps and in the circumstances, acting swiftly and decisively. But it does not mean that either he – or the Greeks – are out of the wood.

The circumstances are not so dissimilar to 1967, Greeks see their country as, once again, hostage to the western powers.

The EU is a powerful colonial colossus that does not take lightly to backsliders. It does not possess a military arm. For that, it looks to NATO.

So the power nexus is against the people of a small country, who are again in the helpless situation of being unable to decide their own fates.

The Papandreou clan has supplied three prime ministers since WWII. They have proved to be calculating and clever conspirators, if not always in the interests of the Greek people.

Giorgios Papandreou’s sudden conversion to a government of national unity followed closely on the reverse putsch against the high command, so did his tentative resignation.

The sudden willingness of the conservative opposition to haggle terms with Papandreou’s nominally socialist government is another important clue.

There’s nothing like the threat of another gang of colonels muscling their way to power to concentrate the mind.

For the moment, the danger has ebbed. However, should any new cross-party or even technocratic government fail to deliver the goods to the vultures of Wall Street and Frankfurt, then more extreme measures may well come back into play.

So, would NATO promote another coup in Greece?

You bet. All that it requires is a political vacuum and the right degree of synthetic disorder, which the appropriate agents provocateur can be guaranteed to create.

Richard Cottrell is a writer, journalist and former European MP (Conservative). His new book Gladio: NATO’s Dagger At The Heart Of Europe is coming shortly from Progressive Press.

Edited by End the Lie

One Response to It’s all Greek: military coup postponed – for the moment

  1. Anonymous November 9, 2011 at 3:31 AM

    It’s probably just postponed. They will get Greece to fall in line one way or the other.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>