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The Name and the Identity - Where do we go from here
read in Macedonian


The NATO Summit is over and another summit will not happen for 18 months to two years.  Now, there is a growing chorus of voices calling for Macedonia to leave the name negotiations.  Many calling for this are friends of mine.  Many feel that it is no longer worth the effort.

While I understand this call, I must respectfully disagree.  Macedonia must remain committed to this farcical act, if only for the show, which is all it is.  We all know that Greece will never – never – accept the name and identity of Macedonia, but the show must go on.

Here is one very good reason why the show must go on: the Greeks would love nothing more than for Macedonia to walk away from the name negotiations – they would shout and moan loudly, beat their chests and then point the blame at Macedonia saying that Macedonia walked away, and – you know this to be true – the internationals would agree with Greece.  For this reason alone, Macedonia cannot walk away.  If the internationals refuse to publicly blame Greece for starting this ridiculous problem and instead insist “on a mutually acceptable solution” then you know that the internationals will – true to their lack of a backbone and their hypocrisy – blame Macedonia.

Here’s a good example of what I’m talking about: Italy’s unelected prime minister (installed by unelected and unaccountable European Union officials) Mario Monti recently said this about Greece and the choice Greece is now facing: “Greece has lost its sovereignty, it’s under the instructions of the IMF, the ECB, the European Commission. Having the others tell you, ‘here is the money but I'm deciding,’ must be a terrible, terrible humiliation.”

Well, yes, Mario, I’m sure it is.  But why haven’t you, Mario, or any other European or American leaders, ever said the same thing about Macedonia?   Why haven’t you, Mario and the international community, publicly stated that for Macedonia to be forced to negotiate its very name and identity is a “terrible, terrible humiliation,” because it is?

Let me answer my own question – you have not said anything or stood up for Macedonia because you are a hypocrite, full stop.  We see a lot of hypocrisy going on with regard to this issue these days.  We see former NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson giving interviews now saying that NATO should accept Macedonia in spite of Greece’s objections.  Though he never said that when he was in charge.  There are plenty of hypocrites in the international community on this issue.

If the internationals were not hypocrites, they would do the right thing.  In NATO, they would adopt the policy of our Turkish friends.  When Macedonia is mentioned in NATO documents under its temporary and provisional UN reference, there is a small footnote like this1. Since almost all NATO countries – bilaterally at least – recognize Macedonia by its constitutional name, why can’t we flip this?  So that every time Macedonia is mentioned in NATO documents as Macedonia, there might be a small footnote like this2.  The NATO countries could easily do this.  Sure, our Greek friends would scream and cry and throw a fit like the children they are, but then what? Would they leave NATO?  (Hope springs eternal).  In the EU, the internationals could do the same thing.  After all, United Nations Resolution 817 of April 1993 which governs Macedonia’s entrance into the UN only applies to the UN itself.  It is not binding on NATO, the EU or any other international organization.  There is no reason they should adopt UN policies.

Look, let’s face the truth and deal in reality: Greece is a bankrupt state – financially, socially and morally.  Its so-called leaders are moral lepers.  And the internationals who continue to coddle Greece while referring to Macedonia by the temporary and provisional reference are moral pygmies and moral failures. So where do we go from here?

My message to our Greek friends: The tragedy you are going through now is the result of bad choices and bad judgment.  I am so sorry that you have chosen to continue wallowing in your sin, the sin of denying another people their name and identity.  There is still time to repent, turn from your wicked and evil ways, and do what is right. Do what is right and maybe you will be shown mercy.

My message to the international community: Damn the niceties and politeness of your international diplomacy!  In the name of all that is holy, sacred, and moral – do the right thing and recognize the Macedonians by the name and identity they have chosen for themselves, publicly and in your so-called international organizations that supposedly celebrate values such as freedom, democracy and the rule of law. If you do not do the right thing then a pox upon you as individuals.

My message to my Macedonian friends and family: stay the course.  Keep your head held high.  Keep working hard, keep building your country, stay creative, stay hopeful, stay full of the warmth and hospitality that you are known for around the world. Do what you know to be right and true and moral and you will be rewarded for it.

1 Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.

2 Greece and France cannot bring themselves to say “Macedonia” because they are immature children.

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Jason Miko
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