Archive for September, 2008

U.S Congress supports Greece….

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

MENENDEZ/SNOWE: Macedonian quandary

Bob Menendez and Olympia Snowe
Wednesday, September 24, 2008

 COMMENTARY:With the attention of Euro-Atlantic diplomats understandably focused on cooling the conflict in the Caucasus, the United States must not forget that much work remains to be done to address tensions elsewhere in the mountains of Southeastern Europe.

Enhancing and preserving the hard-won stability of the Balkans requires that Washington not become complacent about remaining irredentist agendas in this complex region. This should be Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s focus when she is in New York this week at the convening of the United Nations General Assembly with the foreign ministers of Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

In 1944, Secretary of State Edward Stettinius expressed concerns about Yugoslavian communist leader Josip Broz Tito creating a “Macedonian” province and consciousness among his people. Stettinius saw the destructive potential in Tito’s choice of a name describing an ancient geographical area, 52 percent of which is located in modern Greece, 9 percent in Bulgaria and 39 percent in Yugoslavia. His description of Tito’s actions as “a possible cloak for aggressive intentions against Greece” manifested years later when Tito’s “Macedonians” crossed into Greece as participants in Greece’s anti-communist civil war (1946-49).

Nearly half a century later, that Yugoslavian province became an independent nation in 1991 identified by the United Nations and internationally as the “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” or “FYROM.” Yet Tito’s furtive aims live on in many ways, including the nation’s pursuit of the name “Macedonia.” Its new constitution called on all “Macedonians” in neighboring countries to rise up and unite. In addition, FYROM printed currency featuring the White Tower of Salonika (Thessaloniki), Greece, and created a flag featuring the Macedonian symbol from the dynasty of Philip of Macedon and his son Alexander the Great, which was located in Greece.

Years of productive U.S. and U.N. diplomacy moved FYROM to drop the offending language from its constitution and symbols from its currency and flag. Many believed FYROM was moving toward adopting a name such as “North Macedonia” or “Upper Macedonia” which appropriately describes its own geography.

However in 2004, the administration disregarded possible long-term consequences and focused exclusively on short-term intra-FYROM political goals. It split from U.N., NATO and EU policies to recognize FYROM as the “Republic of Macedonia” in a misguided attempt to provide cover to Western-oriented leaders in an intensely nationalistic political environment. This sudden about-face undermined international efforts to solve the name issue, and emboldened those within FYROM opposed to a diplomatic solution.

Shortly thereafter, a videotape surfaced showing FYROM’s state schools teaching that northern Greece is FYROM territory occupied by Greece. Maps showing northern Greece as part of FYROM also appeared in school textbooks and one was recently displayed behind Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski at a ceremony. Most recently the political leadership in Skopje launched an unprecedented campaign of claims against Greece, thus undermining the ongoing talks under United Nations auspices.

Due to FYROM’s intransigence on the name dispute, it was prohibited from joining NATO at the group’s April summit, thus thwarting American security interests. In Bucharest, NATO leaders unanimously decided that an invitation to FYROM will be extended as soon as a mutually acceptable solution to the name issue has been reached. In breaking with the international community on FYROM’s name and failing to condemn its provocations, the U.S. administration bolstered FYROM’s intransigence and inadvertently contributed to the deadlock in NATO.

To correct this, we recently requested clarification on the administration’s position on this issue. The State Department responded with a letter that stated, “Our ambassador [to FYROM] will, as well, help these leaders understand the dangers of irredentism in any form and the importance of avoiding the implications of irredentism in any form.”

From our perspective, this was an improvement on the U.S. position. Yet when this language from the letter was recently read aloud at a State Department briefing, the department’s spokesman indicated its position on the issue had not changed. We strongly believe it would be an error to eschew progress on this issue at the very moment it is most required.

Miss Rice has an ideal opportunity in New York to demonstrate America’s opposition to any form of irredentism in FYROM and resolve the question of accession to NATO. She can tell FYROM that unless it accepts an international name that describes only its territory, such as “North” or “Upper” Macedonia, to be also used in the bilateral relations with the United States, by a time certain, the U.S. will withdraw bilateral recognition of FYROM as “Republic of Macedonia.”

She can thus regenerate the American pressure necessary to resolve the problem, avoid sowing the seeds of another potential conflict in Europe and open the door for FYROM’s accession to the European Union and NATO. This requires engagement, leadership and proactive diplomacy. Such a solution will have bipartisan support in the Congress.

Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, and Olympia J. Snowe, a Maine Republican, are members of the United States Senate.

Henry Kissinger supports Greece

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

‘Greece has historical rights to the name ‘Macedonia’ ‘ was his answer to Skopje’s Parliamentary President of Foreign Affairs and Defense during a meeting on September 4, 2008. Can we say that the current Greek Foreign Ministry feels the same?
From the Greek-Canadian Newspapers “????” on 13th September of 2008.


However as already pointed out, this was not the first time the experienced diplomat and former US minister, Henry Kissinger had commented about the issue. In 1992 we had:

The 1992 Top Management Forum Competing in Global Markets
Henry Kissinger
An Analysis of the Global Geopolitical Environment
Management Centre Europe
18-19 June 1992, Paris

This is an abstract of the minutes kept during the annual meeting of Management Centre Europe held in Paris on June. During the question time at the end of Henry Kissinger’s presentation one of the questions was:
“What is your opinion for the problem which Greece have to accept the name Macedonia which the Skopje Government is trying to implement?”
Mr. Kissinger asked the man who asked the question:
“Are you Greek?”
Reply “Yes”
“Look, I believe that Greece is right to object and I agree with Athens. The reason is that I know History, which is not the case with most of the others including most of the Government and Administration in Washington.
The strength of the Greek case is that of the History which I must say that Athens have not used so far with success.”
Other questions followed.

The following are also statements made by the infamous Henry Kissinger and were published from our blog in a previous article on 5th of April 1999 on CNBC show “Hardball”. Read carefully what H. Kissinger says:

When the US engages itself in war, there is no substitute for victory, and we have to do what is necessary to prevail. I frequently expressed doubts before we went in there about whether the US should make the Balkans a central point of its foreign policy. But now that we are in, I believe that we have to do what is necessary, and if that requires ground troops, we have to send ground troops”.
When asked what would winning look like in this context. Dr. Kissinger said:
“In this context, it means the removal of Serbian combat forces from Kosovo, the return of refugees and the establishment of some international status for Kosovo that is under some sort of international supervision. Nothing else can now work.”, and added “Serbia is a country of less than 10 million population with poor resources and not very effective army except against unarmed civilians.”
“After the ethnic cleansing and after the aerial bombardment, you cannot ask the refugees to return to Serbian sovereignty. We all talk about self-government for Kosovo. But the Balkans is a whole mixture of ethnic groups that have been thrown together there by a succession of wars. Once the objective in Kosovo has been reached, that will open the chapter of Macedonia, because in Macedonia, there are 800,000 Albanians and it’s going to be a problem to deny them what has just been granted to the Albanians in Kosovo“.

” And when that happens, the Slavs in Macedonia who are almost exclusively Bulgarians, will raise their demands. And so we may face the disintigration of another country. And therefore , the administration absolutly requires some strategy for political settlement of all of the Balkan issues before we are being dragged step by step into becoming the successor of the empires that used to govern there and who had atleast one thing in common, that they were hated by the populations over whom they ruled.”
“Once we have achieved self-government for the people of Kosovo, which I now support, this is not the end of the story. Then we have to consider what happens , to the many ethnic clans that exist in the Balkans to avoid being triggered into crisis after crisis by this sort of issue and especially by the issues that will emerge in Macedonia and maybe even in northern Greece.“, concluded Dr. Kissinger.

Diodorus Siculus historian- 1st century B.C

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

“Such was the end of Philip … He had ruled 24 years. He is known to fame as one who with but the slenderest resources to support his claim to a throne won for himself the greatest empire among the Hellenes, while the growth of his position was not due so much to his prowess in arms as to his adroitness and cordiality in diplomacy.”

(Diodoros of Sicily 16.95.1-2)

“Along with lavish display of every sort, Philip included in the procession statues of the twelve Gods wrought with great artistry and adorned with a dazzling show of wealth to strike awe to the beholder, and along with these was conducted a thirteenth statue, suitable for a god, that of Philip himself, so that the king exhibited himself enthroned among the twelve Gods. Every seat in the theater was taken when Philip appeared wearing a white cloak and by his express orders his bodyguard held away from him and followed only at a distance, since he wanted to show publicly that he was protected by the goodwill of all the Hellenes, and had no need of a guard of spearmen.”

(Diodoros of Sicily 16.92.5-93.2)

“After this Alexandros left Dareios’s mother, his daughters,and his son in Susa, providing them with persons to teach them the hellenic dialect,…”

(Diodoros of Sicily 17.67.1)

“Alexandros observed that his soldiers were exhausted with their constant campaigns. …The hooves of the horses had been worn thin by steady marching. The arms and armour were wearing out, and the Hellenic clothing was quite gone. They had to clothe themselves in materials of the barbarians,…”

(Diodoros of Sicily 17.94.1-2)

“Is considered this king (Philip) began his monarchy with the bad conditions and he conquered the bigger monarchy of Hellenes (Macedonia) increasing the hegemony no so much with the heroism of arms, as long as with the skilful handlings and his diplomacy.”

(Diodorus Sikeliotis, 16-95)

“and the Athenians were not ready to concede the leading position among the Greeks to Macedon.”

[Diodorus of Sicily, 17.3.2]

“Similarly, the Thebans voted to drive out the garrison in the Cadmeia and not to concede to Alexander the leadership of the Greeks.”

[Diodorus of Sicily, 17.3.4]

“First he [Alexander] dealt with the Thessalians, reminding them of his ancient relationship to them through Heracles

[Diodorus of Sicily, 17.4.1]

“where he convened the assembly of the Amphictyons and had them pass a resolution granting him the leadership of the Greeks

[Diodorus of Sicily, 17.4.2]

He [Demosthenes] was generally believed to have received large sums of money from that source [King of Persian] in payment for his efforts to check the Macedonians and indeed Aeschines is said to have referred to this in a speech when he taunted Demosthenes with his venality:At the moment, it is true, his extravagance has been glutted by the king’s gold, but even this will not satisfy him; no wealth has ever proved sufficient for a greedy character””

[Diodorus of Sicily, 17.4.8]

“he spoke to them in moderate terms and had them pass a resolution appointing him general plenipotentiary of the Greeks and undertaking themselves to join in an expedition against Persia seeking satisfaction for the offences which the Persians had committed against Greece

[Diodorus of Sicily, 17.4.9]

Plutarch’s Lives of the Noble Greeks & Romans

Saturday, September 20th, 2008

Serbian folklorist and linguist, Vuk Stefanovich Karadjich

Thursday, September 18th, 2008
In 1822 the Serbian folklorist and linguist, Vuk Stefanovich Karadjich (1787-1864), published the first work containing grammatical facts about the Bulgarian language. Interestingly Karadjich’s analysis of the Bulgarian language was based on the Macedonian dialects. Prior to formation of the Bulgarian Exarchate in 1870, there was a small, but influential group of Serbians, mainly politicians and some academics, who supported the concept of a “Greater Serbia”. However, this was not the popular view and most Serbians saw Bulgarians as their Slav brothers and foresaw a close future relationship. In 1860, the Serbian Academic Society published Bosnian Croat, Stefan Verkovich’s first volume of “Folk Songs of the Macedonian Bulgarian” awarding him the Serbian “Uceno Druzestvo” (Scholar’s Society), in his preface Verkovich said:

I call these songs Bulgarian and not Slavic, because if someone today should ask the Macedonian Slav “what are you?” he would be immediately be told: “I am Bulgarian” and would call his language ‘Bulgarian’