Friday, February 2, 2024

Greek Army cadet prosecuted over anti-NATO views

By Nikos Mottas

The spectre of censorship seems to be back in the Greek Armed Forces these days. Konstantinos Kesopoulos, Cadet reserve officer of Infantry in the Hellenic Army, has been summoned for an official apology after expressing himself against Greece's military involvement in the Euro-Atlantic imperialist plans in the Middle East.

The cadet's “crime” was the fact that that he publicly expressed his opposition to the dispatch of a Greek frigate in the Red Sea within NATO and EU's operations against the Houthis. He also demanded the closure of all foreign military bases and the cancellation of the Greek-US joint drills which actually prepare the Hellenic Army for active participation in the imperialist war fronts in Ukraine and the Middle East. 

At the same time, the Greek Government deepens its involvement in the EU Naval Mission against the Houthis in the Red Sea by assuming its command, thus using for this purpose the Hellenic EU Operation military headquarters in Larisa. This development creates reasonable concern, taking into account Athens' staunch support towards the far-right, war mongering Netanyahu Government which has turned Gaza into a vast slaughterhouse.

In an intervention to the Minister of Defense, Communist Party (KKE) parliamentary representative, Thanasis Pafilis, demanded the immediate termination of the Cadet's prosecution, while KKE MPs submitted a relevant question in the Parliament. Support and solidarity towards Kesopoulos has been expressed by organizations and groups of the popular movement, 902 portal reports.

This isn't the first time a member of the Greek Army is threatened with disciplinary measures due to his anti-imperialist views. Back in 2022 a soldier of the National Militia Battalion in the island of Rhodes was punished by his unit because he had published a letter against NATO, US and the EU. Four years earlier, in 2018, a soldier of the Hellenic Army had also been punished for participating and speaking in an anti-war demonstration organized by the KKE in Athens.

This is how the leadership of the Hellenic Army, on the orders of the Ministry of Defense, deals with the officers who have the courage to stand up against the transformation of Greece's into NATO's major bastion in Eastern Mediterranean. 

The patriotic task of the soldiers and officers who serve in the Greek Armed Forces is one and only: To defend the country's borders and territorial integrity and not to sacrifice themselves in the altar of imperialism and monopoly interests. 

* Nikos Mottas is the Editor-in-Chief of In Defense of Communism.