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Ohrid Ten Years On
read in Macedonian


There is a belief that if you repeat something often enough and long enough that people begin to believe it.  This applies to something whether the thing you repeat is true or false.  Myths and “old wives tales” come under this belief – how often do you repeat an old wives tale as if it were true?  A lot of what both elected and unelected officials say falls under this as well. 

This same belief applies to the so-called name issue – people have been repeating the same old mantra for so long – Macedonia must solve the name issue before it can get into the EU or NATO – that people around the world have actually come to believe it.  Elected and unelected officials who have nothing to do with Macedonia, let alone Europe, now believe that this is a legal condition for Macedonia’s membership, which is, of course, a lie.  But the Great White Fathers of the EU and NATO, the über nanny, say it so often that most people now believe it.  Overcoming that is imperative to Macedonia and a great challenge but that is the subject of a future column. 

What is the subject this week is the fact that many of those who say the name issue must be solved before Macedonia can achieve its rightfully earned place in NATO and the EU are also saying that the Ohrid Framework Agreement is now an integral part of Macedonia’s very existence.  This too, is untrue.  While the Ohrid Framework Agreement is an important part of Macedonia’s history, like all agreements written on paper, it is both flawed and subject to change. 

Two parts of the so-called Ohrid Framework Agreement trouble me greatly.  Let’s start the issue of amnesty for the so-called NLA fighters.  The original idea as envisioned by President Boris Trajkovski was to give the so-called rank and file of the NLA – basically the kids in their late teens and twenties who had a misguided though romantic notion that they were fighting for land, or rights or who knows what – these punks were the ones President Trajkovski had in mind when he agreed to amnesty.  I know this to be true.  I was with him when it was discussed.  Of course such a granting of amnesty to know-nothing idiot kids who pick up guns is often common around the world and a painful part of the reconciliation process, however wrong it is. 

President Trajkovski’s idea was not to give amnesty to the leadership of the NLA nor those who committed atrocities against mankind (the four cases often referred to at The Hague).  These people Trajkovski wanted tried.  A statement that was prepared for him stated in part: “However, for those who have committed grave crimes or for those who refuse to turn in all their weapons, justice will follow another path.”   

Naturally, however, everyone was given amnesty.  Wrong triumphed over right, truth over falsehoods, evil over good.  And many of the young punks who joined the NLA of course lost their lives in the process and are now, in fact, paying for eternity as they inhabit Hell itself.  And many – if not most of the leaders of the NLA along with those involved in the four Hague cases – will too, join them, at least in the next life.  My prayer is that some of the current and living leaders of the NLA will repent of their past wrongs, beg forgiveness from those they have wronged and turn from Islam.  I’m not holding my breath though. 

Another part of the so-called Ohrid Framework Agreement that troubles me is language.  It would also trouble the very leaders of the EU and NATO who champion this if they applied it to their own countries.   

I promise you that the leaders of the United States would never support making Spanish an official language in the US (for the record, we actually do not have an official language).  But while knowing that many people of many different cultures and languages make up US society – and celebrating that – we all know that in order to have a functioning society one language must prevail – and  that is English.  The same is true of Macedonia.  Macedonian is and should remain the one official language of the country.  What the Ohrid Framework Agreement granted – the use of minority languages in certain places and with certain restrictions – has now become a full-fledged attempt to make Albanian co-equal with Macedonia.  Again, I tell you the truth – no (sane) US lawmaker would ever want this.  And yet the so-called leaders of the EU and NATO will continue to push Macedonia to reinterpret the Ohrid Framework Agreement to include this “new right.” (This is a tactic of the Liberal Left who believe that life is made up of so-called collective rights ignoring individual responsibility). 

Where we go from here is anybody’s guess.  But the Ohrid Framework Agreement 10 years later is not what many envisioned it being 10 years ago.  What is important is that when certain individuals try to reinterpret Ohrid in favor of collective rights, that they be reminded of both individual responsibilities and the fact that this would never be allowed in their own countries.

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Jason Miko
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