Monday, January 15, 2007

The attack on the US Embassy's WC - an update

/ dude, this wasn't really major /

[cellphone camera image of damage inside the US embassy, from Greek e-journal e-Liberta]

OK, since a few people in the US (the comments, see the comments) were over-reacting and being in a rather implausibly conspiratorial mood about the attack on the US embassy in Athens, I'd like to point out a few things:

  • A false-flag operation - Mossad or CIA - an Iranian retaliation, an Al Qaida attack should all have in common some level of competence. And some level of bloodthirstiness too, I guess. The guys (and gal possibly) who launched the rocket against the US embassy's loo, were neither competent or murderous: They aimed (and missed) at the shield with the eagle in front of the embassy, and fired at a time when it was least likely that any people would be inside the offices.

  • Not only that, but the missile they used was so old and badly preserved that, the reports state, it didn't do much damage (except for the bathroom). The missile was a 1974 Chinese replica of a Russian RPG-7 (but the Chinese know nothing about it), which likely found its way to the embassy via an Albanian army arsenal, raided during the 1997 pyramid scheme riots, possibly passing through Kosovo and/or Tetovo and ending up, through a rather efficient arms smuggling ring that involves (my home island of) Crete (possibly the EU region with the highest number of illegal guns and firepower per capita - hey its "tradition", what can I say..) which is a major consumer and traffic center for illegal arms in the broader Eastern Mediterranean, Near East and SE Europe, into the hands of some person related to the strike - who quite likely was ripped off in the process since the damn thing couldn't explode because its explosives were eroded/degraded, according to the Greek press and TV.

    Greek TV BTW, has gone beyond the realms of the surreal, finding first a photo of the arms stash of the "Revolutionary Struggle", right out of Wikipedia - from Fallujah it turns out, and then, despite lamenting the lack of real leads, going on to such a detailed description of the terrorists, their origins, age groups and political affiliations (leaked supposedly from the antiterrorist squad or the police) that these journalists either have very vivid imaginations, or they're psychic... Another possibility is that they're printing whatever the intelligence services are leaking - for they're own purpose.

  • If one wants to be somewhat realistically more conspiratorial, I would point out that the first reactions coming out of the Greek government were to call for a toughening of antiterror laws, including easier and more extensive wiretapping provisions, extensive use of surveillance cameras for non-traffic purposes etc. This is the same "terror group" BTW who exploded a "bomb" against the former Minister of Public Order (some sort of explosive tied to a bicycle) at a time when he and the whole government was in political deep shit, allegedly for helping and allowing foreign intelligence services to roam freely in the country and for covering up the huge wiretapping scandal. The attack happened outside his house, a few meters away from the bomb-squad which was equipped with explosives'-sniffing dogs, and "three minutes" before he was scheduled to leave his house. The attack created some sympathy for Voulgarakis and a much needed diversion for the Greek government - which was sliding in opinion polls amidst the various scandals... The Greek Intelligence Service would also be very likely to be Clouseau-like in their attempts, given their history of gaffes and would have had to operate with full knowledge of the US government (which could have used a more "successful" attack for obvious reasons of their own)... But I dislike conspiracy theories, even the marginally more plausible ones, so I suppose that it is indeed a minor local armed group, which tried to pull off a highly symbolic yet bloodless attack. As long as nobody got hurt, it would have been rather popular (occurring almost on the anniversary of the opening of the Guantanamo detention camp) here, so that alone would have been reason enough for them to strike... By the way, if they're real, I expect they will probably get better at it...

  • As I noted, these inept "terrorists" supposedly called the private security company's offices to claim responsibility - a world first. One of my favourite Greek bloggers, Old Boy, announced yesterday that he received a written statement from Revolutionary Struggle, which I think is brilliant enough to be worth translating:

    We assume responsibility for yesterday's rocket attack against the American Embassy. We choose to publish our proclamation in a blog because we believe that the revolution will start and spread through the internet. In fact the revolution has already started...
    ... Unfortunately in terrorism, just like in football, everything is judged by the result: a few centimeters off and the ball hits the post, the game is lost and all the players are bums - a few centimeters off and the rocket, instead of hitting the shield, lands in the crapper. Shit.
    We live in the age of the image and the image of the destroyed US emblem would immediately reach the four corners of the planet. What's more effective than that? We would be adored across the world. Our image would become a global inspiration, a symbol, a standard. We would have become legends. But because of a few fucking centimeters, our dream was shattered like the glass and ended up in the loo. Our strike, beyond its global dimensions, would have made us especially loved and accepted by the Greeks. Just like November 17 was in the beginning, when it attacked CIA station chiefs and Greek torturers. But today, thirty years later, we, the younger generation, have realized that by killing a minor officer you simple take a life, while by blowing up a symbol you speak to the hearts of everyone and achieve a far greater effect. Honestly, which Greek hasn't looked up at that particular shield and emblem, at some point in his or her life, with hatred? We took the protester's rock and we turned it into a rocket. But we missed. And that hurts. But whether we like it or not, that's how terrorism goes, the rocket is cylindrical and a whore (to paraphrase Ivica Osim [Who had stated that in football, the ball was round and a whore]) and we have no other option but to pick ourselves up, see where we made mistakes, and work hard in correcting them, and focus on our next strike, taking each strike one at a time [standard football-coach talk after a defeat].

    R.O. Revolutionary Struggle

    Warning: For the really clever officers of the anti-terrorist and cybercrime squads: do not arrest this person! It's satire/commentary. He didn't really receive a proclamation. Seriously.


    Renegade Eye said...

    I'm sure you'll find the guilty party.

    easycruise said...

    This is quite possibly the most interesting site i've come across for weeks, i've done no work all afternoon!

    Thomas said...

    Crete (possibly the EU region with the highest number of illegal guns and firepower per capita - hey its "tradition", what can I say..)

    And yet what's the leading cause of death down here (in my new home)? From accidents on the road! I say we get the government to hand out even more free weapons in exchange for their cars and 4x4's, and things will be perfect!