The very tense situation at the border between Greece and Turkey continues; but Austria and the Visegrad group are among those helping to reinforce the Greeks.
Turkey, as many will known, is attempting to send large numbers – maybe tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands – of migrants (“refugees” is a euphemism for a group most of whom are young, strong, military-aged men, in good health) from the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa into Europe via Greece. Greece, needless to say, has no desire to allow this to occur. Nor, for that matter, does Europe, which has apparently (if somewhat belatedly) learned a lesson from the “refugee” crisis of 2015.
Indeed, the President of the European Commission (of the EU, of all things!), Ursula von der Leyen, has called Greece the ασπίδα (aspida, meaning “shield”) of Europe. And several countries, including Poland and Austria, have sent police and border guards to reinforce the border between Greece – indeed, Europe – and Turkey: formerly Anatolia, sometimes also known as Asia Minor, and through much of ancient and medieval history reckoned as part of Europe, but since the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, firmly in the Eastern (and Islamic) camp.
The players in this are interesting: on the one hand, we have Turkey, home of the Ottoman Turks who not only captured Constantinople, last – save Rome! – of the Five Patriarchates of ancient Christianity, four of which were in the East, and all of which fell to Islam, but also invaded Europe on multiple occasions, the last significant attempt of which was defeated before the Gates of Vienna in 1683 by the combined armies of the Holy Roman Empire (the Habsburgs, with their seat in Imperial Vienna) and the Holy League, lead by King Jan III Sobieski of Poland, whose Winged Hussars led the massive cavalry charge that finally and definitively broke the siege.
On the other, we have Poland, whose leadership of the armies of the Holy League I just mentioned; Austria, spiritual and ancestral heirs to the former Holy Roman Empire; and of course Greek herself, who was not only forced back across the Bosporus when Constantinople (capital of the Eastern, or Greek, half of the former Roman Empire) fell to the Muslim Ottoman Turks, but who (with the later Rome) was one of the fountainheads of Western / European civilization in the first place, and her defender against another menace from the East, the Achaemenid Persian Empire.
Watching what is going on at present, one thinks both of the Gates of Vienna, but also of the Pass of Thermopylae, in which the Spartans, with allies from other Greek city-states, held back the massed armies of the Persian Emperor, Xerxes the Great. It is not hard to believe that we are watching history in the making, and which was the battle will turn is still in some doubt. However, the fact that Europe as a whole seems (with some vocal exceptions) to be taking Greece’s side in this is encouraging.
Indeed, we seem to be seeing the beginnings of a swing away from globalism, open borders, free passage of any and all for whatever reason, etc., and back toward a more robust defense of national sovereignty and both territorial and cultural integrity. This is all to the good, in my opinion, and I hope it continues and increases!
Marcus Follin, the Swedish YouTuber known (with what I think is intentionally ironic hubris!) as “The Golden One,” points to this, commenting that the globalist lifestyle is losing its lustre; that people are beginning to decide that “maybe it’s better to create a local community, with people you trust and you like, create a family, etc.,” as “a natural response to a tougher societal climate” – both due to issues like the Turkey-vs-Greece situation mentioned above, and also the cononavirus pandemic (as it has now been officially dubbed by the World Health Organization).
Perhaps it can be said of Europeans as the quote frequently, but perhaps apocryphally, attributed to Winston Churchill said of Americans: that “they can be counted upon to do the right thing – once they have exhausted all other possibilities.”