Michas, Takis 1948-
MICHAS, Takis 1948-
Agent—c/o Author Mail, Texas A & M University Press Consortium, John H. Lindsey Bldg., Lewis St., 4354 Texas A & M University, College Station, TX 77843-4354.
Eleftherotypia (Greek daily newspaper), journalist.
Unholy Alliance: Greece and Milosevic's Serbia, foreword by Michalis Papakonstantinou, Texas A & M Press (College Station, TX), 2002.
Author of two previous books; contributor to periodicals, including the Wall Street Journal and New Republic.
Journalist Takis Michas documents Greece's support of Slobodan Milosevic's regime following the dismantling of Yugoslavia in Unholy Alliance: Greece and Milosevic's Serbia. Greece was the only member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) or the European Union to do so and had supported Serbia from the onset of war in Yugoslavia in 1991 until its occupation eight years later. Michas studies the relationship between Greece and Serbia and questions how the former could support Milosevic and Radovan Karadzic and condone Serbian aggression and war crimes.
Michas draws on interviews, media accounts, and his own recollections to demonstrate that Greek support of "the darkest side" of Serbian activities came from the intelligentsia, politicians, the Greek Orthodox Church, the media, and began with the Greek populace. Only Greece and Iraq certified the 2000 Serbian elections as being legitimate, and eighty members of the Greek parliament signed a bipartisan petition to the new Serb government, asking that Milosevic not be extradited to the Hague tribunal.
Brendan Simms wrote in the Times Higher Education Supplement that "undoubtedly, factors such as anti-Islamic, anti-Albanian, and anti-Turkish feelings played a part, as did a sense of pan-Orthodox solidarity. On the left, there was a strong residual sympathy with the Old Yugoslavia, of which the Serbs were fondly believed to be the mainstay. But, according to Michas, the real roots of the phenomena are to be found in a virulent strain of Greek paranoid ethnonationalism."
Greeks who favored the murder or expulsion of Bosnian Muslims are opposed to the entire spectrum of United States history, society, and ideals, and particularly to its multiethnic model, which Greek conservatives feel Americans wish to impose on the Balkans.
Panayote Dimitras wrote for the Diplomatic Observer online that Michas attributes Greek intolerance "to the prevalence to this very day of a militant and rather primitive form of ethnonationalism in Greece. In the end of the book, he develops this theoretical argument and also explains the role of the Orthodox Church as a component of Greek nationalism; he looks for the roots of anti-Westernism and anti-Americanism of the left and of the right, a major element in Greek society's 'irrational' attitude; and he recalls the consequent and continued persecution of dissident voices and refusal to recognize minorities that go hand-in-hand with the prevailing intolerance."
"What makes Michas's book so important," wrote Vladimir Tismaneanu in the Times Literary Supplement, "is his thorough exploration of the deep affinities between the Greek elites and the Serbian ultranationalists: his 'unholy alliance,' which included Greek volunteers ready to die for the 'sacred Serbian cause,' was strongly backed by Greek public opinion. Part of this sad story is linked to religious affinities (both Greeks and Serbs tend to define their national identity in terms of their Orthodox religion.) But the real story was not religious: it was political, including the role played by the militant Greek Orthodox Church which helped determine anti-Western attitudes."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Times Higher Education Supplement, January 31, 2003, Brendan Simms, review of Unholy Alliance: Greece and Milosevic's Serbia, pp. 26-27.
Times Literary Supplement, October 25, 2002, Vladimir Tismaneanu, review of Unholy Alliance, p. 28.
Diplomatic Observer,http://www.diplomatikgozlem.com/ (July 9, 2002), Panayote Dimitras, review of Unholy Alliance. *