Είπαν / Έγραψαν

Tales from the Coffee shop

THE EMBASSY of the expanding Russian Federation sent a strongly-worded letter to Politis describing an article by columnist Costas Constantinou, as “completely unacceptable” and urging him “to avoid unfounded accusations and fantasies and not to give us absurd and worthless recommendations”.

It also said it had noted that “the thirst for accusations and fantasies is a common characteristic of Mr C. Constantinou and Mr M. Drousiotis”. Most readers would have guessed by now that the Embassy was complaining because the columnist, a few days earlier, had the nerve to criticise its announcement/letter attacking Drousiotis and his book.

Constantinou described the announcement as “blatant intervention” in another country’s affairs and reminded Ambassador Osadchiy that in Cyprus there was freedom of expression, in stark contrast to Russia where the media were suppressed and journalists had been murdered. If the ambassador did not approve of this he should return to his country or ask to be posted to Minsk which was run by a Moscow-approved dictator, he wrote.

It was not surprising that the embassy, for decades accustomed to being worshipped by naive Cypriots, took great offence, accusing Constantinou of “anti-Russian rage and of overstepping every acceptable moral boundary.” The letter also adopted a didactic tone, telling the writer that “democracy does not mean the freedom to insult all those who disagree with him when he has not other arguments.”

This was a touch hypocritical, considering the embassy had used this tactic in its letter about the book, insulting Drousiotis because it disagreed with him and had no other arguments.

OUR ESTABLISHMENT is considering writing a letter of complaint to the Russian ambassador, because he never wrote to us to tell us off for all what was written last Sunday. Was this because he does not take our establishment seriously or because the output was not as offensive as that of Politis?

Admittedly, we did not tell him to go back home nor did we bring up the freedom of expression practised in Russia, but we did say that Osadchiy was “behaving like some Soviet overlord posted in the DDR or Bulgaria during the time of the Warsaw Pact, issuing instructions to errant locals…” Why did he not take offence? Should we have mentioned that ridiculous embroidered, military jacket he wears at official functions instead?

We will leave our bitterness for being so provocatively ignored aside and focus on how right we were to describe him as a Soviet overlord. The letter to Politis giving lessons on democracy, freedom and correct behaviour showed that our assertion was neither an unsubstantiated claim nor a fantasy.

WE HAVE heard from two completely different sources that the attack on Drousiotis, although presented as a Russian embassy document had been written by an Akelite, which would make a lot of sense if it were true.

It would explain all the nonsensical sermonising about “the scientific methodology of historical research and the principles of historical study and impartiality,” as well as the reference to the forged letter, supposedly written by the NATO General Secrteray Joseph Luns in July 1974, which had been used by our House of Representatives as conclusive proof that the coup and invasion were a NATO-US conspiracy.

Once again, the embassy advertised its hypocrisy by substantiating its claim of NATO-US involvement with a document that only a moron would think was authentic. And this was in an announcement slamming an author for allegedly not substantiating his claims. Only a dim-witted Akelite, well-versed in the scientific methodology of historical research, could have been responsible of such commendable double standards.

THE DUD document – an allegedly top secret letter from NATO chief Joseph Luns to the US Secretary of Defence – about which we wrote in July last year, featured such appallingly bad English it could only have been a shoddy Photoshop job that could not have fooled anyone with half a brain.

The two line letter featured the following line: “We agreed with Mr Sisco for supporting the Turkish army during the landing, as well as, in the violent expulsion of Makarios.”

It fooled our deputies and journalists who, despite having a whole brain, saw this as triumphant confirmation of their anti-West prejudice and gut feeling that NATO and the US had orchestrated the coup and invasion of ’74. These certainties were shattered a couple of weeks ago by UK-based researcher Fanoulla Argyrou.

Ms Argyrou wrote to NATO in Brussels, asking its archives department to confirm the authenticity of the letter. The response from a NATO archivist was that “the document is not considered authentic. The evaluation was based on a number of criteria, including the signature and the codes which were not compatible with NATO coding.”

In an article in Simerini, in which Ms Argyrou dropped her bombshell, she noted that the NATO ‘document’ that the House Committee on the Cyprus file, used to place the responsibility for the coup and Turkish invasion on NATO “is not genuine document of the organisation.”

THE RESEARCHER wrote to EDEK former deputy Marinos Sizopoulos, who had been the chairman of the committee in charge of the Cyprus file investigation, to break the bad news to him.

Ms Argyrou naively believed that Sizopoulos needed to know the truth about the document included in the House investigation file, especially as she had heard him citing it on radio shows as conclusive proof of NATO’s sinister role in the coup and the invasion.

Sizopoulos told her that the document and many others had been obtained from a Greek source, he did not name, and asked “why had NATO not reacted” when it was publicised? He also said that it was possible “Luns did not leave a copy at NATO.”

If Luns did not leave a copy of the damning document at NATO, where did Sizopoulos’ Greek source find it? Had it burgled Luns’ house?

Cyprus Mail