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Fortællinger fra Kreta | 67

Tales from Crete | 67

Even if the world can breathe a sigh of relief right now (so far), I'm afraid we shouldn't feel completely safe. The US economic stranglehold on Iran has tightened and is tightening further after the missile attack on two US bases in Iraq. This suggests that the conflict between the two countries is far from over. Rather, they have returned to the status quo from before the US liquidation of General Suleimani. In no way do I have to make myself wise about what is right or wrong, but I know that in every conflict, human life is at stake.

In early 2011, it was the 2011 Libyan Uprising or the Libyan Civil War that began with a series of unrest and demonstrations that broke out on February 15, 2011, targeting the regime of Muammar al-Gaddafi in Libya. The uprising was probably inspired by and seen as part of the 2011 uprising in the Arab world, particularly the uprisings in neighboring Egypt and Tunisia. At that time, the American base at Souda in Crete was a central point because it was from here that the American fighters were based, as they still are. I clearly remember there in 2011 where I stood and watched one American fighter jet after another take off from Chania airport, heavily loaded with bombs, while the passenger planes had to wait politely until the squadron of 8-10 planes took off one after the other. It was a breathtaking sight at first, to see the fast planes take off one by one with a distance of only a few meters, to quickly disappear into the horizon, after which the passenger planes shortly after resumed their routines of arrivals and departures and everything rested peace and idyll again, with expectant holidaymakers. A few hours later you could then stand in the same place and see the American fighters again. But this time because they had to land and it was now somewhat easier as their bombs had been dropped on Libya and destroyed their targets. I remember feeling really bad about it because I knew it also meant that several human lives had probably been lost in a cruel war. Sitting in the evenings on my small terrace in Agia Marina, it was not uncommon for the peace to be interrupted by the noise of low-flying American fighter planes, either leaving on the night flight, fully loaded with their deadly weapons, or returning home from the day's mission .

Today, almost exactly 9 years later, it is a new conflict again with the United States as a party, this time with the Iranian regime, but still with the American base in Souda on Crete as one of the focal points. Indeed, it was proclaimed earlier this week that Iran would consider Greece an enemy of war if the United States wanted to use one of the American bases in the country as a starting point for a possible retaliatory attack. So once again Crete was in the spotlight because of the US base in Souda, and even without Greece being involved in any way. Unreasonable, yes, but also an expression of how the world today is screwed up internationally. Again, the risk was that the Cretans would have to stand in the way and turn their backs on the actions of others, and this is exactly what the Cretans are deeply distressed about and pretty much always have been. The Cretans do not have the self-determination they think they should have, but everything is controlled vertically from Athens based on completely different norms than those you usually work under in Crete.

Right now, it all looks very reassuring for the Greeks. The economy has improved a little and there are many indications that things are increasingly moving in the right direction for Greece. But this does not at all mean that everything also goes in the direction that the Cretans believe is best for Crete. The Cretans know some only too well of war, occupation and destruction, having been occupied by foreign nations for most of Crete's history. Therefore, the Cretans also have many wounds on their souls from the dominions of earlier times. For the Cretans, this is history that you don't just forget, but something you have to take with you and pay attention to, in order to also be able to look forward, because as they say: "You don't have to stick your hand in the fire to find out , that you burn yourself....but once you've done it, you never forget it."

Fortunately, Crete and the rest of the world can breathe a sigh of relief right now and let's hope it stays that way so we can all live in peace and tranquility together on this beautiful planet we call earth.

Have a nice weekend everyone.

Tales from Crete | Elena's - The taste of Greece

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