Racism; The Greek Variety
On October 21, 1999 my wife and I attended the presentation of the latest book of a friend, in downtown Athens. After the presentation, at around 12 midnight, the author invited five or six of us to dinner at a nearby tavern. My wife was not feeling well, so we excused ourselves and started walking towards our car, parked about four blocks away. The others took the opposite direction towards the tavern. As they were entering into the tavern they heard gunshots coming from not very far. They looked down the, at that time deserted, street, but could not see anything unusual. My wife and I heard nothing as we had already walked the few blocks at the opposite direction.
The shots came from a handgun held by a 23-year-old white male in military fatigues named Pandelis Kazakos, a Greek, working as a security guard at the state-owned broadcasting network. There were three shots. The three bullets hit the back of a 34-year-old black male, Abdul Tsimoti, a Nigerian immigrant.
Kazakos walked away down the street and after covering a distance of a few blocks he spotted, through the open window of a ground floor apartment, Ahmet Mesa, a 34-year-old Pakistani. Kazakos shot Mesa three times ,through the window. It was 12:15 past midnight. Mesa, although heavily wounded, managed to call the police and describe Kazakos.
Kazakos walked away and after covering a distance of five blocks in about 15 minutes he shot a white male, George Kudesiani, 30, a Georgian (east
European) national, killing him instantly. The time was 12:30 past midnight.
Then, Kazakos walked a distance of about 800 yards to Omonia Square, the center of downtown Athens (the watering hole of immigrants and junkies during the last 10 years). He stayed there for about a little more than three hours. There he met a young Greek, Apostolos Apostolou, 22, a junkie. Eager to impress Apostolou, Kazakos, around 4 in the morning told him to follow him. After walking nine hundred yards form Omonia Square Kazakos told his companion; "Now look" and he shot Aldi Saad, an Egyptian, three times. A few minutes later Kazakos was arrested by the Police.
That was the post-midnight part of the Kazakos murder rampage. The Kazakos "operation" had started about 3 hours before midnight. At 9:10 he shot in the back a black male, Kofie Tomi, 30, a Ghanaian, a few hundred yards away from the spot of his last victim, the white Georgian.
Forty minutes later, at around 10:00, Kazakos shot Mohamed Emdi Danton, 28, A Bangladeshi, straight in the face, about 100 yards away from the previous spot.
Yet, Kazakos did not start his "undertaking" at 9:10 p. m. of Thursday, October 21. Two days earlier, on Tuesday, October 19, around midnight, a white male shot three Kurds killing Abdi Hosevi (through 2 shots in the back) and injuring Serif Hadel and Yosef Rasoul, both around 25 years old. The place: near the spot of the shooting of Danton, the Bangladeshi above. The Police, eager to close the case, assumed that the white male was an Albanian, who settled a score with the Kurds. The white male was Kazakos.
Kazakos on Thursday was killing and injuring mostly people of color for almost 7 consecutive hours in an area of about 15 hundred yards by 7 hundred yards. No one knows why it took the Greek Police 7 hours to stop him. The policemen that arrested Kazakos expressed their relief by declaring that "finally the Greeks have woken up." Meaning it was about time to kill the nigger immigrants, etc. (PRIN, Oct. 24, 1999, p.1)
The TV screens and the newspaper photos revealed Kazakos as a tall, well-shaped young man wearing a huge, about 2.5 inches, (golden?) cross with the body of Christ sculpted in three dimensions hanging on the cross.
Immediately after his arrest Kazakos' only concern was to know what the Greeks thought of him. He persistently asked his father, who visited him in the jail, whether the Greeks "considered him a hero or a murderer." We were told that his father disappointed him by answering: "They consider you a murderer." The father considered his son "a normal boy" not a crazy, as he told the Police. Also, Kazakos was disappointed when the Police told him that Kudesiani, the white man that he had killed, was a Georgian and not an Albanian, as he (Kazakos) intended to kill an Albanian.
When the Police asked Kazakos why he shot all those people he answered that he "did not dig them and that their breath bothered him" and that "he is a Christian and they are Muslim." Also, he said that he could not stand to see the "Albanians burn the Greek flag during a soccer match."
Kazakos' words alarmed Christodoulos, the Greek Orthodox Christian Archbishop (see Commentary of March 3, '01), and Chrysochoidis, the Greek Minister for Public Order and the "darling" of the US (see Commentary of Oct. 21, '00), who in panic rushed to mouth the usual crap about their horror for the horrendous acts of Kazakos, etc.
To generalize on social matters is to walk on very slippery ground. So, to say that all white ADULTS, raised in the culture of the societies of the West are racist is a risky generalization. Yet, trying to find if there is a racist tendency in a given society is legitimate. Thus, examining the Greek society, the "cradle" of the culture of the West and the fountain-head of Orthodox Christianity, is enlightening (and tragically amusing).
Let us review some of the reactions of the Greek adults after the Kazakos exploits:
"That masturbator (Kazakos), as long as he (decided) to kill, why didn't he kill ten Albanians to become a hero." (The words of an Athens taxi-driver as related by Pericles Korovesis, author of the famous book "Anthropofylakes," in which he describes his brutal torture in the hands of the Greek Security Police, during the 1967 junta).
John Felekis, eyewitness of the shooting by Kazakos of Abdul Tsimoti, the Nigerian, nauseated when he heard somebody in a Police Patrol car say: " They (the blacks) deserved it (the shooting)."
"Honour and Glory to the Heroes Kazakos and Apostolou"; text on leaflets distributed in Salonica, which also had the Greek flag and the map of Cyprus printed on them.
"... In Athens in one elementary school in the first grade out of (a total) of 22 pupils only 7 are Greek children," words, warning the Greeks of the fatal danger to the fatherland, offered by Stelios Papathemelis, the epitome of the Greek Orthodox Christian, a passionate Greek patriot and nationalist, a mortal enemy of the Turks and the Slavs, and a former Minister of Public Order, before Chrisochoidis (but obviously not approved by the US, I guess for not being as "charismatic" as Chrisochoidis).
Five days after the murder spree by Kazakos "about 4,000 Asians and Africans held the biggest anti-racist protest march ever at the center of Athens. The political parties were absent. Very few Greeks marched by their side." (ELEFTHEROTYPIA, Oct. 27, '99). The Greeks on "the sidewalks hastily walked away when the marchers approached." When asked why, a Greek lady said: "We are afraid" (Ibid). Afraid of what !?
The day after the Kazakos shootings in a (US copy) of a Greek talk-show out of 1,000 TV-viewers 700 voted (by phone) approval of the acts of Kazakos!!! Unbelievable? Not really. The same day, the (Greek) Athens Press Agency released a wire in English referring to the shootings as "settling of scores between (African, Asian, etc) foreigners."
Finally the reaction of Kazakos himself after his deed:
To the investigating judge (a lady) he said: "I do not repent because I believe I rendered my fatherland a service." And, "I was allotted (to kill) ten. That is the number of foreigners that were apportioned to me. Now let others pick up the baton." And he wowed "to kill more Albanians in the prison" where he was going to be incarcerated. Also, he said that he wished that the "injured (Africans and Asians) should die of their wounds."
(Note: The similarity of the arrogance, the deep hate, the bogus patriotism, the need and skill for showing off, etc, between Kazakos and McVeigh is astonishing. All that Kazakos wanted was to be seeing as a hero. McVeigh managed to keep his eyes open, as he was dying, to show off his heroic toughness. Also, as a last PR act he asked for the sacrament, honoring thus the name, Timothy, given him by his parents, which is Greek for "the one that honors God." Kazakos did not repent and at his trial looked at the crippled victims of his acts with a broad smile of contempt. McVeigh glared at the window behind which the survivors of his victims stood.
Where are this kind of humans bred? My opinion: In the elementary schools and the Christian Churches of the West. (The family, a product of these same forces, perpetuates the evil.).
Also, there is an impotant opposite side to McVeigh, bred by the same forces. It is the side of the victims and the survivors. The majority of them are ordinary decent people trying to live a normal life. But, a few of them become the Generals of the US Army, or the Officers of the CIA, or the officials of the US State Department. McVeigh killed 168 humans. General James Van Fleet. of the US Army and his US government killed 160,000 Greeks during the decade of 1940. It is about time that the decent people in the US start to understand the seriousness of the last sentense. End of Note.)
Back to Kazakos. On December 13, 1999, about a month and a half after the shooting, George Votsis, a journalist with ELEFTHEROTYPIA, made a passionate appeal to the Greeks and to the Greek state to help the victims of Kazakos, who with no money at all, with no relatives to take care of them, etc, were scattered in various hospitals in Athens; Saad, the Egyptian needed physiotherapy after multiple surgery, Tsimoti, the Nigerian, after surgery on his liver was about to be operated on the spinal cord, Serif Hadel, the Kurd, was paralyzed from the waist down and there was danger of septisemia. Credit is due to Votsis, a fighting journalist for almost four decades.
On February 15, 2001, almost 16 months after the shooting, Kazakos was tried in an Athens court on two counts of murder and on seven counts of attempted murder. As expected, his defense played the card of insanity. I wonder how many Greeks felt the pain of one of the victims in a wheel-chair paralyzed for life from the waist down, when they watched him in the evening news expressing his anger against the tricks of the lawyers.
Kazakos was pathetically incompetent in playing the role of the insane. The Public Prosecutor (a lady) blew the defense tricks to dust. Kazakos was sentenced to 2 life terms for the two murders and to 25 years for the 7 attempted murders.
Of Kazakos' victims:
Kofie Tomi, from Ghana, has still a bullet lodged in his head, he is blind in one eye and is losing the sight in the other one, and suffers terrible headaches. _ Aldi Saad, from Egypt, is paralyzed for life.
Serif Hadel, the Kurd, is paralyzed for life.
Tsimoti, from Nigeria, still has trouble with his liver, etc.
Kazakos' defense lawyer, G. Prassianakis (a former socialist parliamentarian!) "argued in his summing-up that Kazakos' motives were not racist. The slogan "Fatherland, Religion, Family' which Kazakos believes in is not so bad, as (Communist Party politician) Costas Zouraris and Archbishop Christodoulos believe the same."
Robert Nigh, one of McVeigh's defense lawyers, argued in his closing remarks before the cameras: "We also killed Sergeant McVeigh...", who, of course, fought for his "Fatherland, etc" in the Gulf War.
Up to the early "70s most of the Greeks insisted that as a nation they are not racist (the only black in Athens being a taxi driver), now they know better.
PS In today's ELEFTHEROTYPIA we are informed that a neo-Nazi, who is to be tried because last year he attacked with a knife some anti-racist demonstrators, is the policeman John Andraskelas, serving in the precinct where Kazakos shot most of his victims.