THE DETROIT NEWS
December 30, 1999, Thursday
SECTION: Letters to the Editor; Pg. A12
Greeks not anti-U.S.
The News' reports largely misconstrue the nature of protests that [led to] President Bill Clinton's decision to shorten his visit to Greece ("Security fears cut trip by Clinton," Nov. 11).
Mischaracterizations of the protests as anti-American or as stemming from nationalist sentiments are based on outdated notions of a nation that has matured into one of the most progressive, stabilizing and globally oriented members of the European Union.
Greece, for example, took in more Albanian refugees from Kosovo than any other European Union country, and the Greek government has taken a key leadership role in regional peace-making and peacekeeping initiatives, using a sophisticated mix of economic and diplomatic incentives.
The same humanitarian concerns that underlay Greece's opposition to our bombing of Yugoslavia resulted in the outpouring of support by Greeks for the victims of Turkey's devastating August earthquake, ushering in the much-heralded seismic thaw in Greco-Turkish relations.
Greek sentiments have not been so much anti-American as anti-war, opposing an excessive and unnecessary use of force that targeted civilians and razed a neighboring country's infrastructure under the pretext of humanitarian intervention.
P. D. Spyropoulos
American Hellenic Media Project