By: Bill Nicholov
How many times has the United States, in its ?noble? goal to ?spread freedom and democracy throughout the world? chosen the wrong side in a dispute that it had no business getting involved with in the first place, and subsequently wreaked havoc for decades afterward?
Well, consider the debacle that is the name dispute between Macedonia and Greece. In an interview with CNN on January 16, Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski said that?“Greece is not ready to make a compromise … so we cannot solve the issue.”?Who in their right mind would even consider a discussion about changing their country?s name? Well, thanks to immense pressure by the United States, every Macedonian politician has done so since the beginning of the UN-sponsored name negotiations over 20 years ago.
Now who deserves more blame is debateable, Macedonia for negotiating its own name, the United States for holding it hostage and demanding that Macedonia change its name, or Greece for creating this mess in the first place? If Macedonia withdraws from the name negotiations, the United States has threatened everything from pulling economic and military support to claiming that a civil war would erupt with Macedonia?s Albanian minority.
What possible benefit could there be for the U.S. if Macedonia changes it name? Other than, of course, to continue appeasing Greece in their perverse romanticized relationship.
The myth of Ancient Greece was created by the West, as was modern Greece in 1830, and the propping up of Greece continues to this day. Greece was allowed to blatantly lie about its economic position, get into the Eurozone, cause the global economy to plummet, then get a huge bailout. It was permitted to use its veto power to deny Macedonia entry into NATO, despite every other member-state voting in favour of it. Greece loses?a countless number of?European Court of Human Rights cases, but there are no repercussions when it continues to persecute its ethnic minorities. Greece was the first country since Nazi Germany to elect members of a neo-Nazi party to parliament. And to make a splash, they elected 21 of them. Greece is the most openly racist country in the Western world, yet, it is celebrated as the ?cradle of civilization? and ?birthplace of democracy? at a time when even the idea of ?Greece? as a unified entity didn?t exist.
The coddling of Greece continues with the nonsensical name negotiations. Former Greek Prime Minister Constantine Mitsotakis admitted in 1995 that Greece initiated the name dispute as an excuse to keep denying the existence, and persecution, of its large Macedonian minority and the Macedonian people as a whole. It has been stringing the world along in the claim that Macedonia is trying to usurp an ?historically Greek? name. But, until 1988, Greece?s well-documented policy was that Macedonia did not exist. Yet it?s complete 180 degree turn on this issue goes unchecked. Greece annexed half of Macedonia?s territory after its partition in 1913 and tried to eradicate its very existence, then decided to claim that Macedonia?s land belongs to them, but the people still do not exist. It is, in fact, Greece that is trying to usurp Macedonia?s name, but God forbid anyone exposes this propaganda reversal.
Instead of dangling the ?prizes? of NATO and EU membership if Macedonia changes its name, Western Europe and the United States should actually practice the ideals of basic human rights that they preach, and support Macedonia in ending the name negotiations. Especially considering that the vast majority of the world has recognized Macedonia using its proper name including, of course, the United States.
Bill Nicholov, President
Macedonian Human Rights Movement International
Macedonian Human Rights Movement International (MHRMI) has been active on human and national rights issues for Macedonians and other oppressed peoples since 1986. For more information:?www.mhrmi.org,?www.twitter.com/mhrmi,?www.facebook.com/mhrmi,?[email protected], +1 416-850-7125.