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ITHAKA ON THE HORIZON: A Greek-American Journey



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11 July 2008



1. Greece does not belong culturally to east nor west. has contributed its culture a long before any kind of culture was found in west, as of east well you said abt Alexander. yes there were country's like Egypt, China, India with very strong background. But with the exception of Egypt i doubt we had any other influence from the above mentioned countries.
2.Constantinople was seized on May 29 1453 not 1463
3. You said that you don't subscribe to conspiracy theory's. Ok, but can you explain me then, why some high ranking officials like, foreign ministers, ministers of economy, from all govts of the world, gathering every once in a while with all their expenses paid by the public funds to which everyone is contributing through taxation, and yet they deny to disclose information of the talks. well if i pay i want to know for what i payed for.
They might just sitting and playing chess, thats fine but why all that secrecy from their part, isn't it a bit suspicious? On one of my previous posts on "The Internet Agora" i posted a link with a photo of the ecumenical Patriarch in a masonic lodge, what exactly a man of faith is doing there?
4.Nobody is expecting that all the problems with our neighboring country's will be solved with a magic stick. But at least we expected to let us deal with our own problems and not creating new ones. We have done our mistakes & they are big ones. but we never, ever tried to destabilize any country of this world.
5."countries, even superpowers, operate on self-interest, not friendship". i couldn't have said it better.
6."To see Greece as surrounded by traditional enemies led by the United States" Well, Albania is strongly supported by the US on the Kosovo case -that destabilizes the region- Us strongly supports the so called "republic of Macedonia" -that also destabilizes the region-, US is a super supporter of a country that is trying its best to destabilize the Aegean & the Balkans,-a small reminder here, during the WWII Turkey declared war on axis 23/02/1945 effective 1/3/1945, Greece entered the War 28/11/1940. WWII ended 7-8/5/1945-
The above mentioned does not demonstrate a "strong" ally either.
Our biggest mistake is that we still believe in friendship, which apparently is nowhere near in the horizon.



Thanks for the correction. An important date and I should have gotten it right.

I am not familiar with the meeting you are talking about. I don't think it is necessary for the average citizen to know what leaders discuss in detail. Their actions are what counts. As for Masons, the Orthodox Church discourages membership in such organizations however, I don't think their is a prohibition. The Masons are a fraternal organization that do philanthropic work not a group of people conspiring to take over the world. As for the Patriarch being photographed with Masons, he has also been photographed with Catholics and Protestants. That does not make him one.

I will grant you that US policy in the Balkans is muddled, even poorly conceived, however, the United States is only one player in the region. It may exert influence and power, to a degree, but all the countries have their own agendas and act accordingly. If the US influence over Turkey was so great, for example, why couldn't we make the Turks open a second front during the War in Iraq? The Turks deemed the prospect of such an action as contrary to their own interests and they acted out of pure self interest not friendship. Unfortunately, self interest always trumps friendship in politics. I agre Greece deserves better given the historical record.

It is good to hear from you. I will be in Greece soon so I will not be blogging much. I'll try to pop in and check out what's happening on MGO. Best wishes for the summer.


Annan Plan a gift to Turkey from the United States for the invasion of Iraq.



Hi Stavro.
Nice to hear that you are coming to Greece. i wish i could be there so we could share our views in person along with a nice, gold, beer at monastiraki.
well you see its not that US didn't want turkey to open a second front, what US really wanted was just to use turkey's facilities thats it. Turkey from the beginning they were eager to enter, but the us had second thoughts abt a)the status Turkey would have gained in the region after that and b) the total annihilation of every Kurdish soul living in the region.
When turkey not long ago entered the Iraqi territories & for 5 or so days were bombarding Iraq the US, reaction was merely noticed. As i said i do not count anyone responsible for my (our) actions, we should have known better. An old greek saying says "το δις εξ'αμαρτην ουκ ανδρος σοφου εστι".
as for the patriarch if you checked the photo and the caption on the right it clearly states "that he was proclaimed honorary president of the lodge" that was not just a photo near by some masons or some pope's. and it was never - ever denied.
Again if i elect my govt, and i pay my taxes i want to know what is going on with my vote & my money.And not hear from Mr Alogoskoufis that "this was a private meeting", o yea since when a public personage of his caliber is allowed to conduct "personal" meetings of unknown content. If he wants "private" meetings then let him return back to his civilian life and pay for his expenses at his "private" meetings.


Frankly, most of Stavros's post is a disaster.

"First, I don't individually subscribe to conspiracy theories......."

Pure multiculturalist post-modern sentiments i.e. "no one is to blame, everyone is equidistant". Let's not offend. And even have presidential candidates from the PROUD USA grovel in front of Moloch. I say why not point the finger? If it was the other way people would not hesitate to point the finger at us.

"Second, countries, even superpowers, operate on self-interest, not friendship....."

If that is the case, assuming this is a normative statement, if it simply is really a Will to Power, then do not begrudge Arabs blowing a few buildings up. They are acting in their own self interest.

"That's why countries like Israel and Turkey, two unlikely allies..."

Unlikely allies??? The naivety is hilarious.

"Lastly , I believe it is dangerous and counterproductive to create an atmosphere of xenophobia and isolation...."

The laundry list of problems: Albanian irrendentism, Islamic radicalism in the Balkans, Turkish expansionism in the Aegean, intransigence in Cyprus and meddling in Thrace, organized crime, illegal immigration, designs by Skopje on "Aegean Macedonia, provides ample justification for extreme concern. And no one has laid all the problems at the door of the Americans.

"The real threat is not Europe or America per se. It is those in all our respective countries that seek to undermine who we are"

Oh yes, let's blame some unidentified group of people. Do you ask yourself the question who are these people sponsored by?

And Lefteris makes an excellent point. Public officials are elected by the public and are accountable to only the public. Therefore, public officials do not have private meetings at the expense of taxpayers.

Simon Baddeley

Working doubt plus relentless curiosity seems the mode for navigating the confusions of our time (why i like your blog). I've spent much time studying amd mixing in government (as you know) and so have my family. It's a fantasy that people in high places understand the world better than the rest of us - some do, some don't - but there's not the consensus needed to start up and carry through the kinds of conspiracies attributed to 'the powerful'. Our rulers ride the storm we stir. I part enemy. part friend; part of the solution, part of the problem - one of my joys is the mix of different races in my road in Birmingham but I fear overcrowding; my vexation at the ravaging corruption of the spirit produced by turbo-charged capitalism is boundless - but I consume its products; I believe air-conditioning (cooling me while heating you) is not a morally neutral invention, and I use it now and then; I believe, with Melville, that 'depravity in the oppressed is no apology for the oppressor; but rather an additional stigma to him, as being in large degree, the effect, and not the cause and justification of oppression.' Any moral person must favour personal and institutional actions that seek to remove the chasm between rich and poor (in spirit as well as food and shelter) but whether their route to that end is via socialism or capitalism is a false distinction.
For me the most helpful tho' distant mirror for our times is the plethora of individual philosophies, cults and religions that sprouted in Greece with the decline of the Greek city state. Deprived of that source of identity and guide to civility and right behaviour, people resorted to stoicism, hedonism, cynicism, apathy, and cults of increasing eccentricity, aimlessly roaming the blighted agoras of a dying polis - the emergence of a classical me-generation. They would have been great bloggers, and the talented ones, like you, would have been a source of consolation, amusement and instruction.



Apologies for not responding to your thoughtful comment sooner however, I have intentionally been away from the computer for awhile as a way to recharge my batteries. I read with consternation about the fires on Corfu and pray that you and your family have not been affected.

Your input meshes nicely with a book I have been reading about Athenian democracy and I intend to write a future post about it.


Lefteri and Stavros Mi spanete to kefali sas It may interest you to know that the masonic Grand Lodge of Greece list the following past church leaders as members,

Basil III Oikoumenikos Patriarhis
Benedict (Papadopoulos Vasilios) Patriarch of Jerousalem
Ioakem III Oikoumenikos Patriarhis

Other Greek luminaries include

Eleftherios Venizelos Greek PM,
Dimitrios Gounaris Greek PM,
John Metaxas Greek PM
John Kapodistrias, Filiki Eteria,
Alexandros Ipsilantis Filiki Eteria
George II King of Greece
Andrew Prince of Greece
Nikos Kazantzakis The giant of world literature.
Pavlos Melas

You will be surprised as to who is on the list.

Check the full list on the web - Grand Lodge of Greece- you may find your Papou's name there too!



Very interesting. It is a non issue for me.


Hi thanks for the info & the link.
I'm quite familiar with the topic & the names you mentioned.
As of my Grandfather... he wouldn't qualify for that!! lol


Gia sou Lefteri.
On an earlier post you mentioned a secretive group that meets annualy. The group you are thinking about is called the BILDERBERG Group. They have their headquarters in Holland. They do not have a website! and they meet every year "invitation only" They are indeed politicians and high ranking officials from around the globe. In 1993 the annual gathering was held at the Nafsika Astir Hotel in Vouliagmeny Greece April 22 to 25. Some of the Greeks at this conference were,
Stelios Argyros- Chairman federation Greek Industries, Yannis Costopoulos- Chairman Credit Bank, George Livanos -Shipping, John Lyras - Chairman Union Greek Shipowners, Stephanos Manos - Chairman National Economy, Constantinos Mitsotakis Greek PM, Theodoros Pangalos Spokesman Foreign Affairs PASOK. these are just a few of the Greek Nationals at this conference, Greek politician and industry leaders attend every year. Politicians state that they are not there on official government business however this is questionable as the law states that politicians cannot attend private meetings with the leaders of large business corporations. Recent Greek atendees include the Greek Foreign minister Ms. Dora Bakoyanni.


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