Greece about to get “Obamaed” by Tsipras?

Let’s be more informal about posting diaries.

Not everyone feels confident about their writing skills, or has the time to commit to writing articles for the sole purpose of publishing them on one, not heavily frequented – at least not yet – website.

Yet we know of one another mostly through disqus and the follow feature which we use when other posters comments find resonance with us. So fuck it. A good thought, a challenging question, or some random musings which may invite debate are good enough to share on Mosquito Cloud’s front page.

So here go I, knowing that my intellectual sloppiness may leave holes which I can fill in comment threads, should the need arise.

Two articles which combined offer some food for thought:

Update: Alexis Tsipras and his radical, leftist, anti-austerity, anti-authoritarian Syriza party won the Greek general election today, January 25th, 2015. With 92% of the votes counted, Syriza has 36% of the vote and what looks like just shy of a majority government. The next step for Tsipras and his party is to demand debt forgiveness and renegotiate the terms on the €270 billion [$268 b U$] bailout with the troika: The IMF, European Commission and European Central Bank. Well, after forming a government, of course.

Update II: Alexis Tsipras is sworn in as Prime Minister. A coalition government was formed with the right-wing Independent Greeks party who are also anti-bailout. With 99.8% of the vote counted, the Syriza party has 149 out of the 300 seats in parliament with 36.3% of the vote — two votes short of an outright majority. Greek and European markets are down but hopefully that’s indicative that the relevant plutocrats’ accumulation of wealth will slow.

  • Gina

    “Once you label me, you negate me.” — Soren Kierkegaard

    Great motto especially in our times.

    The Danger of a Single Story by Chimamanda Adichiehttps

  • Two Americas

    KKE got 15 seats. Why form a coalition with the far right? A coalition with the Left would have given Syriza a working majority. Syriza ran on a campaign that featured lots of leftist sounding rhetoric, and people in the US are being told that the good guys won. Of course, if they formed a coalition with KKE, they might actually have to deliver on their promises. That begs the question – what will the far right want in return for their support of the Syriza government? Doesn’t any of this sound familiar to the people in the US who have witnessed the last 6 years of this sort of bait and switch?

    Perhaps, as in the Ukraine, we are being told to pay no attention to the fascists behind the curtain.

    • aprescoup

      I believe that KKK is Eurosceptic and wants a “Grexit” which 75% of the Greeks, at least at this point, do not want.

      I think that the leadership of Syriza understands that debts which cannot be repaid wont. They also understand that they need to act pragmatically instead of flying off ideologically, come what may. They need to build up leverage.

      This is a high stakes game and the first moves are telling:

      1) Tsipras’ visit the Kaisarini rifle range to commemorate the execution of 200 Greeks by the Nazis. Frau Merkel is being reminded…

      2) Tsipras meeting with Russia’s Ambassador Andrey Maslov.

      3) A meeting in Brussels opposing EU’s sanctions against Russia.

      While negotiating with the Troika, they will be visibly courting the BRICS. And then there is Podemos, and Spanish elections in December…

      • Two Americas

        I don’t understand why you are buying into this charade when it happens in Greece, but reject it when it happens in the US.

        • Gina

          Maybe, because in the US it has already happened, but in Greece there were just the elections, & the BRICS are involved. Another situation – hopefully.

          • Two Americas

            Understood. Hope springs eternal. My point is that this hope is the very trap that led people to support the Obama campaign. Can we not apply the same rigorous analysis to politics in Greece that we now apply to politics in the US?

            • Gina

              Understood. Hope springs eternal.

              You’re all too right!

              I think as you do that a far right party is a strange bed fellow for a socialist party. & alarming is that this party isn’t for an exit from the EU.

              • Two Americas

                The pattern should be familiar. Run around pandering to people’s discontent, make nice speeches about how you are on the people’s side, and then once in office immediately sidle up to the banks and the right wing. Then start talking about “bi-partisanship” and “coalitions” and tell everyone that they need to be realistic and practical, and marginalize and attack any critics for the Left.

                A far right party is a strange bed fellow for a socialist party, as Wall Street would be a strange bedfellow for a politician who was elected because he waged a marketing campaign that convinced people he was the second coming of FDR. We can keep talking about the beautiful new clothes the emperor is wearing until the cows come home. Or, we could refuse to be fooled and state the obvious.

                The simplest and most logical explanation for a “socialist party” to get in bed with neo-Nazis and spurn the Left, the unambiguous and unapologetic Left, is because they are fascists in socialists’ clothing, just as Obama is a creature of Wall Street in FDR clothing.

              • aprescoup

                Hey, TA,

                I posted a piece with your comment in mind…:

                Neoliberal Europe Is Radical – Syriza And The Greek Public Are Not.

              • aprescoup

                Greeks want to stay in the EU. The nut to crack, especially given that SYRIZA got barely more than a third of the vote total (only 64% of the electorate voted) and 75% of the public does not want a “Grekxit,” the “mandate” is fuzzy at best.

              • Two Americas

                I am going to question the premise that delivering on the low ball promises can lead to an increasing number of the electorate getting behind bolder policies and deeper structural changes, as well as the premise that the public there (or here) is “center-right,” conservative by nature, and so therefore we must temper our advocacy for fear of offending them, or be careful to stay in the center.

              • aprescoup

                We know that the US public is not center right, yet she is governed by two center right parties.

                Can you explain that and suggest a remedy?

        • aprescoup

          I don’t see anything like it happening in the US.

          Obama’s background, as reported by Paul Street in the run-up to the elections, revealed a neoliberal insider.

          Within Syriza there are social-democrats, socialists, as well as committed Marxists; a bunch of Bernie Sanders’, Kshwama Savants and then some…

          • Two Americas

            As I said, hope springs eternal.

      • Gina

        “courting the BRICS”:

        The viability of EU Bonds Rollover Debt with a Chinese Bailout makes the case why the EU is vulnerable to the mountains of their own obligations. The most likely outcome from the election of Alexis Tsipras is that a rescheduling rather than a reduction in the amount of indebtedness will take place.

        • aprescoup

          I think that we’ll be seeing a lot of “extend and pretend;” rescheduling, but also some real, albeit small, reforms favoring the jobless working class and freezes on further privatization of national industries and treasure, and perhaps a demand on expropriating the Greek oligarchy, for the duration of this year.

          Friends don’t let friends starve. The onus here will be on Germany and France. In the kong run nothing less than a repudiation of debts will do.

      • Gina

        I believe that KK[E] [funny typo] is Eurosceptic and wants a “Grexit” which 75% of the Greeks, at least at this point, do not want.

        But the election is won, there is no need to comply with a shortsighted attitude of an uninformed public.

        • aprescoup

          Then it’s incumbent on SYRIZA to first turn the public’s understanding and preferences around with open debates and an information campaign. They need to get the public on their side before moving ahead.

          Otherwise we might as well be justifying and enabling the authoritarian actions of charlatans like Obama.

          • Two Americas

            As is the case with the Democratic party in this country, once in power nothing will be incumbent upon Syriza. They have no interest in turning the public’s understanding and preferences around, since their power depends upon that not happening. Any attempts at “holding their feet to the fire” will be dealt with the same way that Obama dealt with Occupy.

            • aprescoup

              All EU governments are neoliberal or, as in the case of Hungary – “illiberal.”

              SYRIZA is hardly a radical left party. It does, however, strongly oppose neoliberal policies and neoliberalism as an political ideology. I’d compare them to the American Greens and not another inch to the left, at least not at this point in time.

              Greece does not stand a chance going full bore against Germany, Brussels and Frankfurt. However, if SYRIZA starts building alliances – even bilateral – with the BRICS and NAM nations especially given the intent of the US to push against them with all means at hand; color revolutions, coups, sanctions, etc., Greece’s foothold on the EU continent may make her a special, symbolic prize, for the ant-neoliberal BRICS worth extending extraordinary support to her.

              Imagining and expecting that socialism will spring fully armed and matured out of Greece’s electoral rebellion against the neoliberal status quo is not where my head is at. I like Greek mythology – birth of Athena, and all that,,, – but am not about to confuse it with reality.

              Greece, IMO, deserves our support and best wishes. If Syriza, under these circumstances, will extract concessions (extend and pretend, even) from Berlin and manage to alter/reverse the political-economic trajectory across the next 12 months, then Podemos in Spain will likely become the next domino to fall…

  • SF

    Ditched DQ ?

    New comment system…interesting 😎

  • aprescoup

    The second link: has currently 2 comments. I found the article – somewhat anecdotal – rather interesting.

    The comment I left at the source:

    Very interesting article which would require a lot of unpacking without prejudice to understand the dynamics involved.

    What is nationalism in a neoliberal world? Is it bad to reject the homogeneity imposed from above by a western consumer ethos and the 1% who own the better part of all of global wealth and resources?

    How do the ecological-socialists fit into this picture when they advocate for more localism, both in terms of direct democracy and ecological sustainability?

    Neoliberal neo-colonialism has immiserated third world populations, supported brutal right wing strong men, and left many in Africa without hope, other than to put limb and life on the line and seek a better future in the colonizers’ own back yard. These “forced” [im]migrations would not be much noticed or objected to by vast majorities of local publics in conditions of prosperity. In the current conditions of joblessness, falling wages, and loss of opportunities migrants become marks for simple folk easily swayed by charismatic leaders.

    Do they understand that these migrants are victims of the policies of their own leaders, just as they are themselves? Apparently not. Are the “leftist bourgeois” parties’ leaders openly denouncing neoliberalism and methodically explaining to the public the correlation between these displaced by unbearable, colonizer imposed conditions, immigrants and neo-colonial criminality? I don’t know.

    I want to believe that the percentage of pathological haters is small, and that the sentiments present on the right in Greece and Hungary are bound with the deteriorating economic conditions wrought by neoliberal policies aiming to turn to shit everything in their pursuit of a fascist and brutal new world order. And, therefore, nothing which better economic prospects couldn’t fix.

    To these new neoliberal world order technocrats and courtiers in Brussels, the left party Syriza headed up by Alexis Tsipras represents an insurgency. In Hungary, the right party Jobik, headed up by Victor Orban who exhorts the nation to embrace an “illiberal” brand of political economics, also represents a worrisome threat. (Putin, a conservative nationalist, as well.)

    Just my two, quick, cents…

    • kokanee

      Now 3 comments. 😉

      You raise some good points, AC. However, the rise of neo-fascists worldwide scares the shit out of me.

      • aprescoup

        Me as well, though I wonder how much the nasty portions – possibly outliers – are being accentuated and magnified by the MSM in order to keep myths alive and thus keep the public divided.

        Pegida seems real enough to be sure, but when Germany was still a Social(welfare) Democracy the “Gastarbeiter” were culturally marginalized but not hounded as they are today.

        I have a feeling that what is happening is a direct outcome of jobs and wage destroying neoliberal policies, more than anything else.

      • Veri1138

        Hola. The rise of neo-fascists coincides with economic hardship. It is the Dear Leader syndrome where people look to leaders instead of systems (such as the American Republic), to solve their problems. This in turn, allows for charismatic leaders to arise, who promise the masses everything – yet gives very few while maintaining or reordering the levers and pulleys of power to their benefit – personal power.

        The American Republic is a system that requires cooperation. Economic conditions have led to rise of (pathetic and mostly Right Wing) charismatic leaders. The Left has their Obama. The Right has… well, several loons who are not up to snuff. Romney came close. Charismatic leaders operate on personal power, reorder the mechanisms of power (corporate, state, personal) to their benefit; using economic conditions to overthrow the old order.

        It is the nature of charismatic leaders to use emotion and rhetoric from any political movement in order to obtain the support of the masses.

        Thus we see Stalin rising atop the “Leftist” USSR. Mussolini and Hitler rising atop “Right Wing” Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. Both The Left and The Right provide mechanisms to authoritarian governments for charismatic leaders to use to their own personal power and to the detriment of the masses.

        As long as the masses perceive that they are getting the better, under a charismatic leader; they will follow.

        • Gina

          As people accept man-made crises as something inherent in life, they are equally willingly misled by a “savior”. & it is the masses that don’t want to understand Marx’ “Religion is the opium of the people”.

          & it is the masses as well, that reject the findings of Alice Miller, which give us the possibility to at least let our children be more genuine & independent.

  • kokanee

    Re: Let’s be more informal about posting diaries.

    I agree. Let’s have some fun!

    • aprescoup

      Hey kerry,

      I cannot access the dashboard, New posts…nothing. Says error 500. Any ideas?

      • kokanee

        Clear your cache or try a different browser.

        Southernfink – Can you access the dashboard?

        • Southernfink

          Dash working — Access normal.

          Well done ~!

          • kokanee

            Disqus got deactivated somewhere. I didn’t do it. Nobody saw me do it. Can’t prove anything!

            • Southernfink

              And now it’s back, you’ve been very naughty (^^,)

              • kokanee

                You have no idea! 😉

              • Southernfink

                I’ve got an idea, where did my comment go ?

              • kokanee

                It will be in the dashboard comment section.

              • Southernfink

                O wait, now it’s on the left – how appropriate (^^,)

              • kokanee

                I didn’t do that or at least I didn’t do that on purpose. But I kinda like it there. 😉

              • Southernfink

                Another mystery.

              • kokanee

                It flips! On the homepage it’s on the right and when you go to the article the side panel moves to the left side.

              • Southernfink

                It flip flops — brr panic — quick change it back.

              • aprescoup

                Hey hey hey, Kerry!

                Looks great!

                The posts even update themselves 😉

                I love it!

              • kokanee

                I had to change the sub-theme in order to blow away the adware. I leave it to others who are more familiar with the themes to set up the layout. But I like it too – it’s cleaner and brighter.

                Re: “The posts even update themselves.” 😉 ”


          • Gina

            Great new design on Mosquito Cloud! Congratulations!

            • Southernfink

              Congratulate Kokanee the new design had nothing to do with me.

              Personally I find the page too bright and would suggest more contrast.

              • Gina

                I like it that bright. It’s clear, there is much space, so that the page is not so cramped like other sites. Very nice font on an off-white ground – I bet after some time you don’t want it different.

              • Southernfink

                Too bright makes it harder on my eyes, blue is alright but I’d change the bright white to add more contrast.

            • didactic1

              Accidents have and will happen. C.V. Elvis Costello.

        • aprescoup


          Editor working!

          The above post was originally sent to wait as a draft, but I’ll finish it later…

          Well done, kokanee!

          I hope that people will be comfortable posting as though this was a comment board—just to get a conversation rolling on topics which are often precluded by the content of the articles to which we attach our comments.

        • Harlan County

          Your doing a heck of a job Kokanee.

          • kokanee

            I try… 😉

    • Gina

      Great design! I like it very much. Looks elegant, an off-white background & a fine font. Congratulations!