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Victims Of September 11 Essay

953 words - 4 pages

The Greek approach to tragedyHelena Smith in Athens explores why the Greeks seem to have little sympathy for post-attack AmericaHelena Smith in AthensGuardian UnlimitedTuesday September 25, 2001In the birthplace of democracy, the right to demonstrate is viewed as a hallowed tradition. In the wake of the assault on America, the Greeks have been living up to that time-honoured practice with outbursts of anti-Americanism by protestors who chant that Uncle Sam had it coming.Last week, around 30,000 Athenian football fans attending a Uefa match against Scotland jeered throughout the minute's silence held in honour of the terror victims. The doughty Scots looked on aghast as the fans then tried to ...view middle of the document...

That failure, they snort, is a perfect example of "American double-standards". The reaction is mirrored in Cyprus, where one in four Greek Cypriots told the Politis newspaper last weekend that the Americans "deserved" to be targeted.51 percent of those polled said they thought it would be wrong for Washington to retaliate because the quest for justice would almost certainly turn into one of revenge.In private, Greek Cypriots will even go so far as to suggest that Osama Bin Laden, the Saudi-born militant and suspected mastermind of the attacks, had been driven to act "out of despair" over America's misguided policies in the Middle East."What you hear, all this logic of 'let's excuse them' is absolutely shameful," said one Greek Cypriot civil servant, who went out of her way to contribute to the New York Firemen Victims' Fund to "let them know that not all of us think like that".By contrast, the governments in Athens and Nicosia have also given support to Washington with public pledges to help stamp out the "the terrorist scourge" even though, in the the case of Greece, Prime Minister Costas Simitis has said Greek troops will avoid participating in any Nato-led action.Instead, Athens has offered to provide military facilities and airspace, while Cyprus has hinted it "won't interfere" with the Alliance making use of the two British Sovereign bases on the Near Eastern island.It was a balancing act that both leaderships were forced to follow during the Nato bombardment of Serbia in 1999. Then, Greeks and Greek Cypriots had opposed the action against their...

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