Loading...

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

MACEDONIA - ELECTION & POLITICAL LABELS

How would you label or classify Levica activist Zdravko Saveski, one of the leaders of Macedonia’s Colour Revolution?

December 11, 2016 - The Macedonian elections - western labels and templates

By Sasha Uzunov


Reuters wire service can't make up its mind - the governing VMRO-DPMNE is called a Macedonian "nationalist party" but in another report by the same Reuters correspondent, Ivana Sekularac, it's a "centre right party."

Western political classifications such as Left wing or Right wing in Macedonia virtually have no meaning… they are redundant…as for "nationalist" tag, even those who claim to be "internationalist" in Macedonia end up, oddly and paradoxically, supporting a neighbouring or foreign nationalism.

Left wing, Right wing, nationalist, internationalist are "interpreted" differently in Macedonia than in other parts of the World !

Both the “nationalist” VMRO-DPMNE has a right wing Serbian nationalist coalition partner in the form of Ivan Stoijlkovic and a left wing Titoist-Yugoslavist in the form of Slobodan Ugrinovski whilst SDSM, the “Social Democrats” and “internationalists” have a hard right wing Serb nationalist Dragisa Miletic as a coalition partner, who in 1994 at Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic’s bidding tried to destabilise Macedonia. see link. 

Hilarious ! Comedy Gold !




NO LAUGHING MATTER

No matters who comes to power - and it is looking like either VMRO-DPMNE or SDSM can form government  -- one thing is for certain and that is the issue of federalisation of Macedonia is well and truly out of the bottle….with the Albanian political bloc the big winner…. whose nationalism as well as Serbian nationalism seem to both get a free pass or at least a turning of a blind eye to or the subject of some muted or “cute” mild criticism on Twitter by those claiming to be “internationalists,” in Macedonia.

This time round without launching a second uprising, the Albanian bloc is in a better position politically as the kingmaker. Federalisation, should it be implemented, will simply mean the end of Macedonia as a unitary and independent state.

Which brings me to my next point, political labelling in Macedonia.


My understanding of “internationalism” which comes from two tours of peacekeeping duty as an Australian soldier in East Timor (1999 and 2001) is that the headquarters of internationalism is the United Nations in New York. If you are an internationalist, that means you can’t be selective in your internationalism. If something is “nationalistic” it needs to be called out.

In Macedonia, “internationalism” is interpreted in a different and unusual way. It’s sometimes confused with Serbian Cultural Hegemony or with Yugoslavism. We’ve talked about this subject before. You can see the links here and here to save going over old ground.

Take for instance Zdravko Saveski, who leads a new leftist group in Macedonia, called Levica, the Left, which is opposed to “nationalism” and so on. Saveski has been at the forefront of protests against the Nikola Gruevski government over claims of corruption and authoritarianism. We’ve discussed Levica before and spoke to one of its other leaders Branimir Jovanovic. See the link here.

- Should Saveski be called an “internationalist” or even a “ leftist” in the western tradition of “internationalism” and “leftism”? Or is he something else? 

Levica only got about 12,000 votes at the recent Macedonian election and no parliamentary seats after all the hype, including a gushing and uncritical write up from Balkan Insight’s Sinisa Jakov Marusic… whose cultural role models include two Serb nationalist icons Dositej Obradovic and Gavrilo Princip, but I digress !

The headline to the story reads: “Zdravko Saveski not your usual Macedonian politician.”

And goes on - link :

"A front man in the recently formed far-left Levica party, social rights activist and currently unemployed political science professor prefers causal clothes to suits and shiny shoes. It’s a look, he says, that fits his ideological standpoint”

Saveski says the proposed non-party, non-partisan candidates would be prominent professionals and proven “anti-regime fighters” but not members of parties. - 

He believes NATO membership cannot guarantee Macedonia’s stability, as the military alliance is only obliged to protect its members from an attack from abroad - and Macedonia does not face an external threat, he says.

“The greatest security risk [for Macedonia] comes from a civil war and NATO cannot interfere in internal affairs,” he adds.

“To prevent this risk, we need an improvement to inter-ethnic relations, not NATO membership. The solution lies in the fight against nationalism, not in militarism,” he explains.

Saveski also dismisses parallels drawn with the old Communist Party of the Yugoslav era.

“There were some positive aspects in the past system, especially in the field of social policies. The living standard of a large part of the population was much higher back then … but there were also many faults, especially concerning democracy,” he recalls. 

“We are not only more democratic than the Communist party in the past system but are more democratic than all of today’s parties,” he insists. “We want further democratisation.”
--------
But the name Levica itself has been taken from the Serb-Yugoslavist movement set up by the wife of Slobodan Milosevic, Mirjana Markovic (see below), now living in exile in Russia. Levica’s fist symbol has been copied from Serbian “internationalist” NGO Canvas / Otpor. The Yugoslavist Levica advocated democratic socialism, “moderate” Serb nationalism (hard to tell it from the the extreme variety !) and of course Yugoslavism.



It does not really sound like any fresh or new thinking. TEAM UZUNOV is wondering if Levica is a front organisation set up by Macedonian pundit and Belgradist Borjan Jovanovski, who has called for Macedonia to return to defacto Serb-Yugoslavist control whilst publicly supporting Albanian rights? It’s a deliberate contradiction. See links here and here and here 

Levica’s collaboration with Serb activists from Canvas raises some serious questions about interference in Macedonia’s independence. Srdja Popovic, the founder of Canvas and its predecessor Otpor has a history of working with ultra Serb nationalist figures such as ex Serb President Vojislav Kostunica and the highly reactionary Serbian Orthodox Church, which refuses to recognise the existence of Macedonia. Popovic, as an “internationalist” has rarely if ever taken his own Serb government over its haughty treatment of Macedonia. And sending Serb activists to Skopje to vandalise monuments during anti government demonstrations shows a lack of cultural sensitivity and is no different to the burning of the US Embassy in Skopje, the Macedonian capital, in 1999 by Serb nationalists. 

As yet no Croat or Macedonian activists of any kind or ilk have made the journey to Belgrade to target Serb monuments. So Popovic’s behaviour remains enigmatic so to speak.

1999


2016

----
First and foremost, if you understand Serbian cultural hegemony and its historical influence in Macedonia, then you discover Saveski is not unusual nor does he offer anything fresh or new. If anything Saveski’s behaviour is utterly predictable.

SAVESKI’S TEMPLATE? Cookie Cutter? Anticipating his moves…

To prove this we conducted a simple experiment on Facebook, bare in mind Melbourne, Australian time is 8 to 9 hours ahead of Skopje, Macedonia time. May 7, 2016.

Team Uzunov predicted that Croatian Member of the European Parliament Marijana Petir visiting Macedonia would be the subject of a protest, which proved correct. We based this on understanding the psychology of “activists” such as Saveski, as well two hardcore Macedonian Belgradists Borjan Jovanovski and Branko Geroski, a suspicion and hatred of Croats, a legacy of Serbian cultural hegemony, dressed up or hiding behind the pretext of a protest against the Gruevski government, for we will show that this isn’t blatantly true. If anything, there was a hidden agenda in the attack on Petir, who has been a thorn in the side of Greece and Serbia.


In her role as a Member of the European Parliament, Petir has been active in raising questions about Macedonia and putting Greece’s nose out of joint. see link. Serbia is Greece’s traditional ally.

You will notice that the same level of scrutiny is never applied to say Serbia or for that matter Greece nor even Albanian nationalists by Macedonian ‘activists.”

According to a 2015 Serbian Helsinki Watch Committee report, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic backed Macedonia Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski over the controversial Kumanovo shootout. see link here.

Yet, there were no protests outside the Serbian Embassy in Skopje, Macedonia, by the likes of Saveski, Jovanovski, Geroski over the strong endorsement of Gruevski.

Likewise, Serbian Prime Minister Alexander Vucic has been very close to Gruevski. There has been a joint embassy agreement deal signed between Serbia and Macedonia in 2014. Again, no protest from Saveski, ,Jovanovski to this move, which could be perceived as being “anti Albanian.”



Robert “Bob” Spasenoski is a former Australian Federal Police officer and a staunch critic of Nikola Gruevski. He supports the Colour Revolution movement in Macedonia. see link here.

He was born and raised in Macedonia, then under Yugoslavist rule before emigrating to Australia. He now spends his time retirement living in Australia and Macedonia.

His view is that the Petir demonstration has racist overtones:

“It is very easy to stir up anti-Croat feeling in Macedonia; against Serbia it is almost impossible. Macedonians are, in the large, so close to the Serbs. As to why, indoctrinated over the years. No one thus far, at least officially, has ever spoken or said anything negative about Serbia.

As an “anti-nationalist” Saveski hasn’t touched Albanian nationalism nor Greek extremism nor even Bulgarian interference in Macedonia. It’s the strangest form of internationalism that goes no where near the Serbian or Greek Embassies to protest… see link


Tahir Veliu, an ultra Albanian nationalist politician, was in Skopje, Macedonia in August to deliver a lecture on a Greater Albania which would include a large slice of Macedonia. Oddly, Saveski did not protest at this manifestation of “nationalism.”

THE SHORT AND TALL 

Saveski and Levica’s record of “anti-nationalism” includes going after a petite Croat woman who endorsed the Macedonian government. But ignoring the two metre tall Serb Prime Minister Alexander Vucic as well as his equally tall mentor and Serb President Nikolic who was in Macedonia some months ago to attend to a Serb nationalist event. It’s a strange record, to say the least.



The political crisis in Macedonia has brought to the surface a number of hatreds, biases long suppressed within ethnic Macedonians since Macedonia’s independence in 1991. Not as well known as the Albanian North-South cultural divide of Ghegs and Tosks. These Macedonian divisions go beyond simple political party allegiances.


They are the PAPAPPSY ! Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue !

The prolonged political crisis in Macedonia has given rise to a new political class, which broke off sometime ago from an original archetype (see below for an historical rundown) and has now fully evolved into its own distinguishable class - embracing new characteristics…and keeping old habits - and with a contradictory mishmash of an ideology.

PAPAPPSY - Pro American, Pro Albanian, Paradoxically Pro Serb-Yugoslavist. They are a class of Macedonians, ex Yugoslavists who have aligned with the United States; acknowledged the political power of Albanian Kosovar and the ethnic Albanian political bloc in Macedonia. But paradoxically hold Yugoslavist views (see link here), which the Albanian bloc opposes in principle but doesn’t seem to mind too loudly as the Albanian nationalist agenda is advanced.

THE ORIGINS OF THE PAPPASY:

One group, the traditional pro Serbian or Yugoslavist archetype, is in a stage now of morphing and branching into separate subcategories. Some have loyalties to Belgrade, others to Brussels and Washington, and some are without loyalties, they’re some kind of nihilists or distorted internationalists with no identity striking out at phantom Macedonian “nationalism” as an act of revenge or over some grievance. What unites them is a belief that Serb culture, either left wing or right wing, is superior and sophisticated to Macedonian. You will rarely, if ever, find them protesting against Serbian nationalism outside the Serbian Embassy in Skopje, Macedonia, but will tell you they are “anti-nationalists.” The extent of their “anti-nationalism” is usually a Tweet in Macedonian thrown in with some Serbian words “condemning” Serbian nationalism but nothing more. Instead it is easier to target a Croat woman, such as Marijana Petir, or an Alexander the Great statue in the Macedonian capital !

Since the collapse of Yugoslavia in 1991, some have cleverly reinvented themselves by claiming to be pro American, pro West. see links here and here and have toned down the blatant Serb nationalism or cultural hegemony by cloaking themselves in internationalism and saying what the West wants to hear. 


One pundit has even woven an incredible and extravagant self-hagiography about being a “dissident” in Yugoslavia yet no such hard proof exists, other than his own contradictory claims. There are many like him in Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia etc. 

A DISCUSSION ON SOCIAL MEDIA ABOUT NATIONALISM AND ALEXANDER THE GREAT IN MACEDONIA:


A bizarre example is a young Macedonian woman, Ivana Dragsic who claims to be an “anti-nationalist” and internationalist so much so that to prove it she spells her Serbian sounding surname in Albanian style, Dragsiqi, on Facebook. She hates Alexander the Great statues and Macedonian “antiquisation" but when asked about Serbian nationalism, she became aggressive and defensive. Calling such criticism as deranged. Others in the conversation attack criticism of Serb nationalism in particular the atrocities in Bosnia by posting a “Monte Python” clip. I don’t know about you but the massacre of Muslim Bosnians at Srebrenica is no laughing matter.











Most of these people don’t feel a cultural connection to Macedonians outside their milieu including ethnic Macedonians in Greece, Bulgaria, Albanian and in the diaspora in Australia or the United States. They feel more of an affinity to Serb intellectuals in Belgrade, such as Srdja Popovic of Canvas / Otpor fame. see link here

In modern day Macedonia, once taboo issues such as drug abuse, children born out of wedlock, political corruption, gay rights, can be talked about by young people but Serbian cultural hegemony still remains a taboo or touchy subject to discuss or even debate. In comparison, Indian and British scholars can now sit down over a civilised cup of tea and discuss the impact of British colonialism and Imperialism; American academics such as Noam Chomsky can critique US “cultural imperialism” etc. The same can’t be said of Macedonia’s elite and its need for “validation” and status as a consequence of Yugoslavist influences.

VALIDATION AND JUXTAPOSTION:

Two Macedonian journalists epitomise the strange symbioses and juxtaposition: you have pro government mouthpiece Milenko Nedelkovski and his arch rival and anti-government activist Borjan Jovanovski. They are on opposing sides of the political fence - yet they share a common thread:

Nedelkovski has appeared in a number of “seminars” and “conferences” alongside Serb nationalists, including those from Milorad Dodik’s Republika Srpska in Bosnia in Belgrade, which rage against the West. “Pro-West” Jovanovski, half Macedonian and half Serb and scion of a Yugoslavist “aristocratic” family,” paradoxically supports Albanian rights in Macedonia but wants to return Macedonia to defacto Serb-Yugoslavist rule, a move that would spark certain civil war and engulf the whole Balkans. see link for more - here

Both have expressed little or no interest in the affairs of the Macedonian minorities in Greece or Bulgaria. When a documentary film by Polish Macedonian film maker, Petro Aleksowski, about the status of Macedonians in Greece, where they are denied civil rights, was broadcast in the European Parliament in April 2016, neither Nedelkovski nor Jovanovski showed any interest but were more preoccupied with events in Belgrade, the Serb capital.


The Macedonian - a film by Petro Aleksowski - link here


PUPIN PLAQUE: another international inconsistency?

Mihajlo I. Pupin (1858-1935) - link here

A memorial plaque to the famous Serb-American inventor Mihajlo Pupin was unveiled in Ohrid, the historic lakeside town in Macedonia recently. Yet no one from Macedonia’s Colour Revolution or any “internationalists” threw any paintballs at the plaque.

Pupin once donated a church bell and offered some scholarships in Macedonia then under Serbian colonial rule. English colonialists also built schools, churches in Africa too.

The plaque to Pupin is odd - he was one of the architects of Serbia’s establishment of a mini-empire in the Balkans in the guise of Yugoslavia, where Macedonians were simply regarded as South Serb and banned from using their language. In fact, a kind of apartheid existed in Serbian colonial ruled Macedonia (1912-41). Respected American historian Keith Brown writes of an armed camp that you would picture in some kind of African colony.


Pupin was instrumental in raising funds in the US for Serbia’s imperial ambitions beginning in 1912 with the Balkan Wars which saw Macedonia partioned amongst Serbia, Greece, Bulgaria and a tiny scrap given to Albania later in 1919. In all parts of Macedonia, the Macedonian people were subjected to brutality and denationalisation: surnames changes; language banned; repression and so on.

Pupin never once spoke out about the Serbian colonial regime in Macedonia unlike British writer George Orwell who spoke out against British imperialism in Asia; having served as a colonial policeman in Burma before World War II. Pupin never agitated for Macedonian rights.

Frenchman Henri Pozzi was damning of Serbian colonial rule in Macedonia, yet Pupin remained silent:


Pupin was very close to US President Woodrow Wilson and the Serbian King and acted as his representative at the Paris Peace Treaty in 1919 never once raising the issue of Macedonian independence or autonomy. He was a staunch supporter of the Serbian Orthodox Church, which to this day denies the existence of the Macedonians.

link here

A British diplomat R.A. Gallop perceptively observed a kind of apartheid in Skopje in 1926.

- 1926 report by British diplomat R.A. Gallop who spent a week in Macedonia (then under Serbian occupation), including the City of Skopje.

This is R.A. Gallop, third secretary of the Legation at Belgrade, spent a week in April 1926 in Vardar Macedonia; his report after the tour is most revealing:

“The most striking thing to one familiar with North Serbia [Serbia proper], who has been accustomed to hear Macedonia described as Southern Serbia and its inhabitants as Serbs, was the complete difference of atmosphere which was noticeable almost as soon as we had crossed the pre-1913 frontier some miles south of Vranje.

"One felt as though one had entered a foreign country. Officials and officers from North Serbia seemed to feel this too, and I noticed especially in the cafes and hotels of Skopje that they formed groups by themselves and mixed little with the Macedo-Slavs.

"Those of the latter that I met were equally insistent on calling themselves neither Serbs nor Bulgars, but Macedonians....There seemed to be no love lost for the Bulgars in most places. Their brutality during the war had lost them the affection even of those who before the Balkan War had been their friends..."

Sited by Canadian historian Andrew Rossos - original source - British Foreign Office, FO371/11405, Kennard (Belgrade) to A. Chamberlain, 21 April 1926, Enclosure, R.A. Gallop, "Conditions in Macedonia," 19 April 1926,.
-------------

So the unveiling of a plaque in Ohrid in 2016 remains a strange event, considering Pupin regarded Macedonians as South Serbs and was one of the supporters of brutal colonial rule in Macedonia. It’s also puzzling that Macedonian internationalists should be alarmed by an Alexander the Great statue in Skopje, the Macedonian capital, when Alexander has been dead for over 2,000 years and Macedonia has never invaded anyone since and nor is likely to do so, when Serbian nationalism is still alive and kicking and only as recently in the 1990s led to massacres in Bosnia. In 2001 Albanian nationalism started a war in Macedonia.


Here Macedonian “Yugoslavist” or “Belgradist,” Branko Geroski, who now cynically supports Albanian rights in Macedonia and attacks alleged Macedonian nationalism makes an interesting revelation:

In 2001 Geroski said the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA /UCK) were after territory not human rights for Albanians in Macedonia …. and no one in Macedonia should accept terrorist blackmail….

quote:

“It is clear to all that the terrorist attacks have nothing to do with human and minority rights for Albanians. They have to do with something else - a blatant attempt to try to divide the country; to first attain military objectives, and only then to establish some kind of "political platform".

“No politician or party in this country should accept terrorist blackmail, even when it has the support of the world’s strongmen.” see link here.


2001 EXIT PLAN ! Borjan Jovanovski sitting on two chairs ? 

Interesting comment from fellow Yugoslavist Borjan Jovanovski about the 2001 war - the escape hatch - exit.

It's an interesting admission. Perhaps it’s why he keeps the door open to Belgrade and Brussels whilst pretending to be pro West and pro Albanian "rights" in Macedonia. Perhaps another reason why Jovanovski never demonstrates against Serbian nationalism or cultural hegemony…

I mean why would you flee Macedonia if you believe that Albanians should be given rights? Why would you be so afraid of the Albanians?

On Twitter In 2015 - Borjan called for defacto Serbian-Yugoslavist rule in Macedonia. It’s an odd statement to make if you support Albanian rights in Macedonia, considering the Albanian nationalist movement spent over 40 years agitating to leave Yugoslavia. Such a move would cause civil war in Macedonia.

Quote: from the New York Times - over the 2001 war in Macedonia - link here

"Virtually everyone has prepared an exit plan in case they have to flee the city and even the country, said a local journalist, Borjan Jovanovski. ''I think there could be a big mess here,'' he said. ''People are planning to move out.''
-------

There is a kind of moral perversity in such deliberate selectivity and picking on a “soft target” or red herring such as Alexander the Great and avoiding real threats to the Balkans, such as Albanian separatism, Serbian, Greek and Bulgarian nationalisms as well the rising influence of ISIS.  Macedonia has never invaded anyone in over 2,000 years; Serbian nationalist were committing atrocities in Bosnia up till recently, as in the mid 1990s;  and Albanian separatists from Kosovo launched an invasion of Macedonia in 2001. Yet Macedonian “nationalism” poses a danger? It strongly suggests a hidden political agenda…polarisation of Macedonia…hence the silence on Serbian cultural hegemony, Albanian separatism and Bulgarian and Greek interference in Macedonia.


An Albanian double headed eagle statue unveiled in Cair, a suburb of Skopje, Macedonia “celebrating” the KLA / NLA’s uprising in Macedonia in 2001. No paintballs were thrown at it in protest by the “anti nationalists” from Macedonia’s Colour Revolution nor were any thrown at the Mihailo Pupin plaque. Odd…
-------------
UPDATE - 

Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic’s recent nasty comments and previous racist comments about Macedonia and Macedonians - see here and here and here and here 

LIKE CLOCK WORK - anticipating Macedonia’s strange “internationalists and their reactions. 

TEAM UZUNOV was close in its prediction:

One group, the traditional pro Serbian or Yugoslavist archetype, is in a stage now of morphing and branching into separate subcategories. Some have loyalties to Belgrade, others to Brussels and Washington, and some are without loyalties, they’re some kind of nihilists or distorted internationalists with no identity striking out at phantom Macedonian “nationalism” as an act of revenge or over some grievance. What unites them is a belief that Serb culture, either left wing or right wing, is superior and sophisticated to Macedonian. You will rarely, if ever, find them protesting against Serbian nationalism outside the Serbian Embassy in Skopje, Macedonia, but will tell you they are “anti-nationalists.” The extent of their “anti-nationalism” is usually a Tweet in Macedonian thrown in with some Serbian words “condemning” Serbian nationalism but nothing more. Instead it is easier to target a Croat woman, such as Marijana Petir, or an Alexander the Great statue in the Macedonian capital !
--------
Ever since TEAM UZUNOV began monitoring two years ago Borjan Jovanovski’s strange brand of “internationalism” which tickles Serbian nationalism with a feather of criticism we have noticed that the vile sexist swear words aimed at Macedonian critics have been toned down and the deferential and polite manner towards Serbian extremists who incite hatred in Macedonia has also disappeared. Long overdue in our view…

You’ll notice Jovanovski’s refusal to condemn Dacic’s racist comments about Macedonians and Papua New Guineans, despite playing the “progressive leftist” (which he isn’t)…this is December 2015. see link here





But by January 2017, and more than a week after Dacic’s recent nasty comments on 2 January about Macedonia and Macedonians, in particular defending Serbia’s brutal colonialisation of Macedonia (1912-41), came a bleated “blistering” response from Borjan Jovanovski. Perhaps his western handlers may have pointed out to him that he needed to say something, albeit over a week later. TEAM UZUNOV contacted the US Ambassador Jess Baily some time ago over Jovanovski’s strange call for an independent Macedonia to return to de facto Serb-Yugoslavist rule. see link here and here  and here

Once again, this time like many times before, there is no call for a protest outside the Serbian Embassy in Skopje, the Macedonian capital. Jovanovski only calls for protests against Hungarian diplomatic stations and his followers attack a Croat MEP, Marijana Petir (see above).

It’s simply play acting for western consumption…

What gives the game away, is despite the Tweet condemning Dacic, which is over a week late, Borjan Jovanovski has previously called for Macedonia to return to de facto Serb-Yugoslavist rule.  Why you would want to plunge Macedonia into a certain civil war is bizarre. Why you would want to live in the same “joint state” with the likes of extremists such as Dacic is crazier. Dacic was born and raised in Tito’s Yugoslavia - yet he was not available to free himself of such chauvinistic anti Macedonian views… That tells you of the failure of Tito’s utopia to tackle Serbian chauvinism. There are many like him, like Dacic… and there are many like Borjan Jovanovski in Macedonia who have a strange interpretation of “internationalism…which regards alleged “Macedonian nationalism” more frightening than Serb nationalism or for that matter Bulgaria, Greek and Albanian… Macedonia hasn’t started a war in nearly 2,000 years…!

Friday, December 16, 2016

TENSIONS RISING IN MACEDONIA - Trump and Macedonia - Part 2

US Ambassador Jess Baily

TENSIONS RISING - Why fierce anti-US sentiment and resentment exists in Macedonia
by Sasha Uzunov

Tensions are building in Macedonia over the disputed election results with growing fierce anti US sentiment….

There is a perception that US Ambassador Jess Baily has been interfering in the election count and favouring Albanian parties in an attempt to to get Macedonians to change their name at the behest of Greece and to agree to federalisation to satisfy Albanian nationalist demands, charges he strongly denies but his critics maintain that he does interfere. see link here to Foxnews AP wire story:

"The U.S. Embassy in Skopje is rejecting allegations in pro-government Macedonian media that the ambassador has met, or intervened with, electoral officials following the country's parliamentary election.

"In a statement Wednesday, the embassy expressed "concern" at reports that Ambassador Jess Baily was interfering with the work of the electoral commission. It said "this is not a time for fake news or conspiracies."

"Sunday's election gave former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski's conservative VMRO-DPMNE party a narrow victory over the opposition Social Democrats, who are challenging the official results in an appeal to the electoral commission.

“The vote, held two years early, was part of an internationally-brokered attempt to end a festering political crisis prompted by opposition claims that Gruevski's government orchestrated a massive wiretapping scandal."
----

Let’s put aside what the may or may not be the reality and deal with perceptions of reality, which are in many cases more important.

Anti US sentiment in Macedonia developed a head of steam in the early 1990s when the US refused to lean on Greece to remove it veto over Macedonia’s name and the fledgling independent country, which broke away from Yugoslavia in 1991, was nearly strangled to death by a Greek trade embargo, declared illegal. Macedonia was strong armed into changing its flag, its constitution and even concern for its ethnic minorities in Greece, Bulgaria and Albania whilst the same principle doesn’t apply to Kosovo or Albania’s concerns over its kin in Western Macedonia. You can see the double standard. Because of Greece, Macedonia is still left with the humiliating acronym of FYROM - Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia - a term used by the European Union and the United Nations and NATO, though hundreds of states recognise Macedonia under its constitutional name of The Republic of Macedonia.

Then came the 1999 NATO war in Kosovo and against Serbia, and with a little prodding from Serbian intelligence Serb nationalist supporters were able to run riot and set alight cars in the car park of the US Embassy in Skopje, the Macedonian capital in 1999. That’s an intelligence operation that an Al Qaeda terror franchise or an offshoot ISIS can pull off in places like Africa.

In 2001, as a result of the Kosovo War, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) turned its attention to taking Macedonian territory by starting a war under the pretext of “human rights.” This then lead to the Ohrid Framework Agreement, which Macedonian critics see as nothing more than a step by step blueprint for federalisation of Macedonia and eventual partition and the establishment of a Greater Albania. Time and time again Macedonians have been hit with exorbitant Albanian demands that cannot be met.


ADDING FUEL TO THE FIRE OF US CYNICISM

We all know those who oppose the US in Macedonia - ranging from critics of US foreign policy etc etc - but the strange thing is those who support the US in Macedonia are largely anti US in their views despite the playacting and thinly disguised "internationalism."  It’s a bizarre phenomenon, which actually is counter productive. It generates even more anti US sentiment.

When Macedonians see Macedonian opinion leaders who claim to be pro American lecturing them on their identity and their “nationalism” but these very same people hold anti US views and defend someone else’s foreign cultural hegemony, i.e. Serbian cultural hegemony or turn a blind eye to blatant Albanian nationalism, then you can understand why Macedonians are skeptical towards Washington.

For instance Macedonian pundit Borjan Jovanovski, and there are many like him, who says he is pro American attacks two key US and NATO allies in Europe, Hungary and Croatia, which both Greece and Serbia don’t like. In 2001 he lied to the US, as a Voice of America correspondent, by urging Macedonians to give up Yugoslavism but in 2015 he revealed his true colours by urging its return. see link

A view that US Ambassador Jess Baily had to “clarify” - see link

Borjan Jovanovski runs NOVA TV news website which receives funding from USAID but no one from USAID has ever bothered to look at his anti US views, in particular his call for Macedonia to return to defacto Serb-Yugoslavist rule, a move that would plunge the country into civil war.

Borjan Jovanovski’s supporters attacked Croatian Member of the European Parliament Marijana Petir on the flimsy pretext of her endorsing the Macedonian government but don’t touch Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic for doing the exact same thing, this then leads to charges of an anti Croatian and racist agenda.

Instead Borjan Jovanovski says cute things on Twitter “criticising” Serbia but calls for no protests. He refers to Serbian nationalist extremists as “respected colleagues” (postovane kolega) even though they incite hatred in Macedonia. It’s an odd way to address people who peddle hate. Most of these Serb government controlled journalists peddle anti US, anti Albanian stories, some taken from Russian “think tanks” and then recycled and used in Macedonia.

It’s blatant ‘foreign interference’ by Serbia but you won’t find Borjan Jovanovski and his followers anywhere near the Serbian Embassy in Skopje to protest but they can find the energy to protest against a small petite Croatian woman.

The Serbian Helsinki Watch Committee confirms Serbian President Nikolic’s “endorsement of Gruevski back in 2015 over the controversial Kumanovo shootout. Yet Borjan and his “internationalist” crew didn’t take to the streets or the Serbian Embassy in Skopje to protest. Why? They are “internationalists” opposed to all forms of “nationalism”… They targeted Marijana Petir for endorsing the Macedonian government. Yet Croatia has excellent relations with both Macedonia and Kosovo, whilst Serbia doesn’t recognise Kosovo’s independence. Odd behaviour from Borjan Jovanovski. But when we consider that Petir is also a thorn in the side of Greece -see link, as is Hungary’s Viktor Orban, then it becomes apparent that “anti nationalism” is just a smokescreen used as cover for a political agenda.

Robert “Bob” Spasenoski, a former Australian Federal Policeman and Macedonian activist, is a staunch critic of ex Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and supports the Colour Revolution which led the protests against Gruevski. Spasenoski puts it down to pure anti Croat sentiment on the part of Borjan Jovanovski and his followers:

 “It is very easy to stir up anti-Croat feeling in Macedonia; against Serbia it is almost impossible. Macedonians are, in the large, so close to the Serbs. As to why, indoctrinated over the years. No one thus far, at least officially, has ever spoken or said anything negative about Serbia.” see link here

There are the racist comments from Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic who nastily said that Serbs liked Macedonians like they did Papua New Guineans - the inference being both are primitive tribes. His dummy spit came over Macedonia’s support for Kosovo’s UNESCO application, which peeved Belgrade and out of pettiness it used a road sign with the insulting FYROM for Macedonia. But again Borjan Jovanovski largely remained silent and did not call for protests at such blatant racist behaviour. Instead he calls the journalists who share the same views as Dacic as “respected colleague” (postovane kolega). Go figure? see link here.

Jovanovski uses vile sexist swear words against Macedonians. People are not blind to the obvious bias and contempt he has for the Macedonian people and the favouritism towards Belgrade, though poorly disguised as “internationalism.”

The vile sexist swear words aimed at Macedonian critics by Borjan Jovanovski (above)
The polite manner towards Serbian extremists who deliberately incite hatred in Macedonia (below)


He did not call for nor lead a protest against ultra Albanian nationalist politician Tahir Veliu who was in Skopje some months ago to deliver a lecture on a Greater Albania, which would include a large slice of Western Macedonia. If Albanian rights are being denied in Macedonia, then how was it possible for Veliu to gain legal entry into Macedonia when he was banned from holding lectures in Greece and Serbia? - see link here

Tahir Veliu

Likewise, when Greece bars entry to Macedonian activists, Borjan Jovanovski remains silent. There are no protests outside the Greek embassy. When ultra Bulgarian nationalists arrive in Macedonia, such as Kressimir Karakachanov and Angel Dzambzki, Jovanovski never holds any protests against Bulgarian extremism. Instead his obsessive focus is a soft target, alleged Macedonian nationalism and stripping Macedonians of their identity, even though Macedonia has never started a war in over 2,000 years.

He says he supports Albanian rights in Macedonia but then paradoxically wants to return Macedonia to defacto Serb-Yugoslavist rule. You can’t get any more extreme than that. It’s deliberately nonsensical and polarising and will lead to certain civil war. see link. Someone who says they want to return to Yugoslavist rule cannot be a genuine advocate for Albanian rights but is simply in a calculated manner using Albanian rights as political tool to hit Macedonians over the head with.

Can you imagine Albanian political leaders from Macedonia, Ali Ahmeti of the DUI party or Ziadin Sela of Besa or Menduh Thaci wanting to “return” Macedonia to Yugoslavist rule? You have to ask what planet is Borjan Jovanovski on and why the deliberate polarisation of Macedonian society in the pretend guise of “Albanian rights?”

Even ultra Serb nationalist Vuk Draskovic in 1991 advocated “Albanian rights” in Macedonia in the shape of cantonisation or federalisation but his motives were obviously to speed up Macedonia disintegration. see link. Perhaps that is Borjan Jovanovski’s real objective, not “anti nationalism” and human rights?

QUICKSAND QUESTIONS: tough questions relating to social issues are asked of ethnic Macedonian politicians such as women’s rights, the right to abortion, same-sex marriage and so on. But those questions are rarely if ever asked of the Albanian political bloc in Macedonia. They are protected in a kind way. Why doesn’t Borjan Jovanovski ask what Ziadin Sela’s views on same-sex marriage are? Should two gay Albanian women in Macedonia have a right to marry each other?

The average Macedonian sees Borjan Jovanovski and his followers’ behaviour and becomes cynical and skeptical towards the US. It’s high time Washington did something to readdress this hypocritical behaviour and extremism. By doing so it will eliminate many of the negative perceptions that a large number of Macedonians have of the United States.

2012 - Ziadin Sela, ethnic Albanian politician in Macedonia - Macedonian Parliamentary debate:

"Do you know how to block the introduction of this legislation? When this discussion is finished over you last amendment, we will burn this microphone, this speaker's lecturn and this [Macedonian] parliament down."

To add to the provocative and extremist statement and to emphasise his point, on leaving the Parliamentary chamber, Sela pulled out a cigarette lighter and lit it in front of the media.

"Зна­е­те ли како се блокира носењето на овој закон? Кога ќе заврши дискусијата на вашиот последен амандман, ќе ги запалиме овој микрофон, оваа говорница и Соб­ра­ни­е­то", рече Зијадин Села.

За да биде оваа изјава уште поскандалозна, тој на излегување од собраниската сала на новинарите им покажа запалена запалка, пишува Вест.

Link here



























THE EVIL SLAV TEMPLATE? 

On 17 September 2014, at a hearing in front of the US Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, Ambassador-designate to Macedonia, Jess Baily, made the following statement:

"I would note that within the fabric of Macedonian society there are more than ‘Slavs and Albanians’. There are Turks, there are Roma and others, so this is a microcosm in many ways of the richness of the Balkans and to get all those populations to see a common future, I think the US can play important role given our own history and our own set of values.”

His answer was in response to a question from Senator Chris Murphy, Chairman of the Committee in the American Senate who asked:

"You touched on some recent concerns raised about ethnic tensions within Macedonia, of course, ethnic reconciliation is a key element of lasting regional peace in the Balkans and so, you’ve got a Slavic majority, an Albanian minority, you’ve got reports of rising tensions and you got, as you mentioned, the Ohrid Agreement. Um….what’s your understanding of where the Ohrid Agreement stands…………?” see link here

Senator Murphy's question to Ambassador Baily was a “loaded” one - set up to incite a reaction in Macedonia. In that regards it worked. The prefix Slavic is seen as deliberately offensive by many Macedonians; as a way of undermining their identity. Ambassador Baily's comments, whether unintentional or not, pressed a number of buttons.


But further to the story is that Senator Murphy is a supporter of the Albanian lobby in the US. In 2014, he organised a “get together” of Albanian political leaders in the US; even bringing out Ziadin Sela, a rising Albanian political star in Macedonia and the mayor of the town of Struga. see link here

Sela began with the Democratic Party of Albanians (DPA) before setting up a splinter party called DPA - Movement for Reforms.

Sela has actively called for the federalisation of Macedonia, which would spell the end of Macedonia. It is no doubt why there has been growing anti US sentiment in Macedonia.

Sela, whose party trick includes once threatening to burn down the Macedonian parliament if his demands were not met, was facilitated in his rise to power because of the US. see link here

As a “sweetener” to stop Macedonian attempts to hand over the town of Struga with a prominently Macedonian majority to the Albanian political bloc the US offered to recognise Macedonia under its constitutional name of the Republic of Macedonia.

In contrast, no US politician has ever gathered all Macedonian leaders from the Republic of Macedonia, and from Greece, Bulgaria and Albania where sizeable Macedonian minorities live and push for their rights.



PLAYING WITH HISTORY?

Peddling untruths about Struga ! The story fails to mention that Struga was under Nazi occupation during World War II and not “officially part of Albania" over 60 years ago.... Albania was a vassal state of Facist Italy..

The current Republic of Macedonia was then under brutal Serbian colonial rule when it was invaded by Germany, Bulgaria and Italy. A Macedonian Partizan Resistence movement made up of Macedonian communists and nationalists banded together to fight the Germans, Bulgars, Italians and the Balle Kombetar (Ballists) - Albanian collaborationists. In Albania proper Communist Enver Hodxa led an anti fascist resisence.

From 1941 until November 1944, Struga was under Axis or Nazi occupation. In 1943 Facist Italy capitulated. In September 1944 Bulgaria changed sides after coming under Soviet military occupation.

Struga is a city currently with a Macedonian majority within the borders of the Republic of Macedonia and which in 2004 was handed over to the Albanian poltical bloc because of US pressure, hence Sela's rise to prominence.

It remains puzzling why his claim has gone unchecked.


Italy had financial interests for invading Macedonia in 1941 - Count Ciano - Italian Foreign Minister and Mussolini's son in law.

ITALY AND BULGARIA DIVIDE UP MACEDONIA - 1941. Germany mediates.

“…the [Bulgarian] King had come to present his demands to Hitler. King Boris had been chielfy interested in the fate of Macedonia and much of the discussion had centred upon certain chromium deposits which were to be found in the Ohrid district.

"It appears that whilst Bulgaria was interested in Ohrid for purposes of national expansion, Italy or rather, Count Ciano - had a financial investment at stake.

“The matter was settled three days later in Vienna, when Ciano and Ribbentrop met to approportion out the spoils to each of the interested parties. The haggling over the extent of Bulgaria's gains continued for some time . Clodius, who saw Boris after his return from Hitler , reported!

" In a conversation lasting two hours, the King very candidly presented his position regarding all political and territorial questions arising from the collapse of YugosIavia would like to emphasize that the King is primarily concerned with the questioning of determining the frontier between Albania and "Bulgarian" Macedonia. He is anxious that Ohrid, Struga, Gostivar and above all Tetovo should go to Bulgaria."

- Cited in Sheperd, David (1968) Relations between Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, 1918-1941. Masters thesis, Durham University, UK. link here:
---------------------------

Cynics see the playing of the Albanian card against the Macedonians as a way of keeping Macedonia polarised by the US. Greek, Bulgarian and Serbian interference don’t help things either.

In 2001 Ali Ahmeti, the leader of the ethnic Albanian uprising in Macedonia, and his lieutenants, openly boasted that the war was for territory and not for “human rights.” That they were never prosecuted for starting the war remains in many Macedonian people’s view one of the gross injustices of the conflict with salt rubbed into the wound by Ahmeti being amnestied by the Macedonian government, due to US pressure - another source of anti-US sentiment.

“Just because the politicians and the courts in Macedonia have abdicated their responsibility to prosecute the UCK/NLA terrorists of 2001, like Ali Ahmeti and others, doesn’t mean the local and international media need to practice 'selective amnesia' on the topic as well. Unfortunately, we live in an age where a new political correctness puts all ethnic Albanian politicians above reproach, and that includes illegitimate bit players like the mayor of Struga, Ziadin Sela” Mr Mark Branov, former editor of United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD)’s Voice Magazine told TEAM UZUNOV.

ALI AHMETI - The Coming Balkan Caliphate book by Chris Deliso. Ahmeti told a western journalist in March 2001,
quote:

“our aim is solely to remove [Macedonian] Slav forces from territory which is historically Albanian.”

One of Ahmeti’s commanders: “like all wars, ours was for territory- not because of some human rights problems.”

2001 WAR IN MACEDONIA: US commentator Charles Krauthammer on Clinton’s 1999 Kosovo Crusade:

"Macedonia, the single most peaceful ex-Yugoslav republic, is now in an incipient civil war. From NATO-liberated Kosovo, guerrillas have attacked Macedonia, ostensibly in the name of civil rights but clearly in the hope of detaching its Albanian-populated region (Macedonia is 30 percent ethnic Albanian) to Kosovo and a Greater Albania.

"This was all utterly predictable. "An independent Albanian Kosovo will surely seek to incorporate the neighboring Albanian minorities - mostly in Macedonia," wrote Henry Kissinger in February 1999.

Other realists, such as National Interest editor Owen Harries, expressed similar objections. I wrote (Feb. 26, 1999) that "NATO intervention ... would sever Kosovo from Serbian control and lead inevitably to an irredentist Kosovar state, unstable and unviable and forced to either join or take over pieces of neighboring countries."

"The Albanians did not wait for their Kosovar state. They have already struck. And peaceful Macedonia, some of whose soldiers went into battle this week in sneakers, is a poor candidate to fight a deadly counterinsurgency.” see link here


Ali Ahmeti (right) and Branislav Sinadinovski (left)

Ahmeti has been busy with other activities - In 2014 he attempted to create an Albanian Orthodox Church in Macedonia…he is a secular Albanian nationalist (ex Maoist / Enver Hoxharist), nominally Sunni Muslim, who understands the power of identity and how you can assimilate people !

It’s odd that Macedonia’s "internationalists" didn't do anything at the blatant misuse of identity and religion. In Ahmeti’s plot he found a willing accomplice in a character by the name of Branislav Sinadinovski who was claiming to be an ethnic Albanian Orthodox Christian. However, there was one big problem: he wasn’t Albanian.

His sister revealed he was a conman short of cash and had tried his luck with SDSM, as a Macedonian “internationalist” then as a Macedonian “nationalist” with VMRO-DPMNE before transforming into an Albanian Orthodox Christian.

His sister, a medical scientist, gave the following statement for the Macedonian media - “I have nothing against the Albanian people but my brother is an opportunist and con man who tried his luck with SDSM, VMRO and DUI (Ahmeti’s party) for pure financial gain” -

"Бранислав Синадиновски не е православен Албанец, туку обичен измамник – тврди родената сестра сестра на Синадиновски, Лилјана Синадиновска – Андреевска, докторка специјалист по епидемиологија.

"Таа во изјава за „Алсат М“ вели дека нема ништо против Албанците, ги почитува како народ, но реагира против злоупотребата на името на семејството за личните политички и финансиски цели на Бранислав Синадиновски. Таа објаснува дека брат ѝ талкал од СДСМ до ВМРО во потрага по позиции, за сега да заврши во ДУИ.

"Синадиновска – Андреевска вели дека освен лакомоста за политички позиции, Бранислав Синадиновски се изјаснува како Албанец за да исполни и лични финансиски интереси. Тој се обидува да присвои многу семејни имоти преку судски тужби за членовите на неговото семејство, со помош и политичко влијание врз судиите што донесуваат одлуки за овие предмети.” see link here

Balkan Insight reporter Sinisa Jakov Marusic made no mention of this important backstory in relation to Ahmeti’s opposition to a cross being erected in Butel, a suburb of Skopje earlier his year. Instead the scenario that was painted was the “evil Macedonians” were trying to impose their christian beliefs upon Albanian sunni muslims, even though Ahmeti had cynically tried to use religion. see link here 


This one piece of blatant selectivity out of many that has led to growing anti US sentiment in Macedonia.

A GREATER ALBANIA - end game?

In 2015 TEAM UZUNOV wrote:

A Greater Albania poses a serious threat to Macedonia's very existence. These forces were unleashed because of Kosovo’s detachment from Serbia. A fact even acknowledged by ex US Foreign Minister (Secretary of State) Henry Kissinger. see link An ethnic Albanian uprising took place in Macedonia in 2001 under the cover of “human rights” but in reality a land grab to expand Kosovo. To cover American complicity and get Washington off the hook, the Ohrid Framework Agreement was signed in order for the Albanian rebels/terrorists to lay down their arms. But is it a prelude to the “federalisation” of Macedonia into an “Albanian republic” and a rump Macedonia? If so, then it would mean the end of Macedonia as an independent nation-state, with the rump probably absorbed by either Serbia or Bulgaria. see link

It’s now being openly floated in the Western media, perhaps to soften up and prepare Macedonians to losing a large chunk of their territory. see link here 

BULGARIA GETS INTO THE ACT:

Bulgarian nationalists have also made inroads into Macedonia. They have pushed for “commemorating” or “celebrating” historical events relating to Macedonians. One controversial development has been a push for a “joint Macedonian-Bulgarian” celebration of the 2 August 1903 Ilinden Uprising against the Ottoman Empire. Why Bulgaria needs to muscle into a Macedonian event when it actively sabotaged the Uprising is strange but also smacks of opportunism. It is a crude attempt to peddle the incorrect view that Macedonians are Bulgars. Moreover, an attempt to whitewash pro Nazi Bulgaria’s brutal occupation of Macedonia during World War II and its part in the holocaust of Macedonia’s Jews.

Ultra Bulgarian nationalists such as Kressimir Karakachanov (above) and Angel Dzambazki have been very active in the Republic of Macedonia. see link here. Karakachanov has a nasty reputation of targeting ethnic Macedonians who live in Bulgaria. see link here.
-------
WASHINGTON, D.C. - May 14, 2008 - The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) joins the European Free Alliance (EFA) and the Macedonian Human Rights Movement International (MHRMI) in their condemnation of Bulgaria's reactivation of unjustified and immoral investigations against the members of OMO Ilinden-PIRIN.  UMD reminds the public that Bulgaria's actions have been condemned by the European Court of Human Rights, yet Bulgaria's government refuses still to register the only political party fighting for the rights of true Macedonians living in Bulgaria.
The plight of these Macedonians is further jeopardized by upcoming actions by ultra-nationalist organizations within Bulgaria, including the VMRO-BND party of Krasimir Karakachanov (a noted anti-Macedonian bigot), which plans to release an "almanac" detailing the "Bulgarian" character of Macedonia.
UMD is shocked that a state which purports to support Macedonia and Macedonians on their obstacle-strewn road to Euro-Atlantic integration would inflict such slander on it's own human rights record.  Furthermore, we urge Brussels to exert the very same  ood-neighborly relations" clause (which has been abused by Macedonia's neighbors) against Bulgaria and Greece, in regards to recent events following Greece's veto of Macedonian integration into the NATO alliance.
-------
Why these two, Karakachanov and Dzambazki have been given free reign in the Republic of Macedonia by the authorities, including the Macedonian government and opposition, and the US, remains puzzling? Their effect is to simply polarise Macedonia even more.

Ljubco Georgievski, the former Macedonian Prime Minister (1998-2002) is seen as an advocate of “Bulgarianism” in Macedonia. Accusations were levelled against him in conspiring with Albanian nationalists in provoking the 2001 ethnic Albanian uprising in order to defacto partition the country and leave it susceptible to Bulgarian subversion. see link.

Others, too, such as British academic James Pettifer, have warned of a Bulgarianist faction that set up within Macedonia’s VMRO-DPMNE party in 1997:


- Cited in Pettifer - “The New Macedonian Question,” Springer, 1999, page 145.

2013 - US Senate Select Committee -intelligence assessment on global threats - US monitors growing tensions between Macedonia and Bulgaria. link 
POLARISATION?

Greece and Bulgaria are both EU and NATO members and allies of the United States; Albanian separatists also are pro US; a faction of the pro Serb or Yugolslavist Macedonian archetype, such as Borjan Jovanovski, have thrown in their lot with the US. If you’re a conspiracy theorist, all the key players pulling and pushing Macedonia, polarising it have the same connection… Yet the US does nothing to reign in Greece, Bulgaria, Albanian nationalist bloc, the pro US Belgradist faction in Macedonia. Why?

That’s not to say Russia does not have its own strategic objectives in the Balkans. To assume it does not is very naive. Whether its interest in Macedonia is genuine or simply convenient remains open to question. Traditionally, Moscow has been pro Serb, and Macedonia simply seen as an appendage of Serbia. However, in 1944, Soviet leader Stalin gave his blessing to a Macedonian republic within a Yugoslav federation led by Marshal Tito. Macedonia was elevated from brutal Serbian colonial occupation to “equal” status as a republic along with Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Bosnia-Hercegovina. But still culturally under the thumb of Belgrade.


COLD WAR II - Macedonia - Checkpoint Kire (Cyrill) ?

Puzzling - Why did the Central Intelligence Agency change its mantra on Macedonia after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s warning in 2015?

James Clapper - US Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and his testimony before the Senate Select Committee - 2013-16.

Having gone through the US Intelligence "threat assessments for World hotspots - Macedonia is mentioned in 2013, 2014 but not 2015 and then gets mentioned in 2016 - and there has been a change.

In 2013 and 2014 - it's the same cliche Macedonian nationalism polarising Albanians; tensions with Bulgaria and Greece's obstinance over Macedonia's name. When you read the assessment you get the impression that tiny Macedonia is somehow the aggressor against it larger neighbours. Interestingly enough there is little or no mention of Kosovo and its role as a recruiting centre for ISIS… Suddenly in 2015 Macedonia is not mentioned at all - meaning it’s not a world trouble spot and utopia reigns; and the ‘evil slav” template is not hurting “Albanian rights.”

Remarkable !

And after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s warning in 2015:

“Russia is alarmed that, in order to put pressure on the Macedonian government, the Albanian factor is being engaged; in particular, speculation is under way on even more substantial federalization of Macedonia, he said.

“It’s been suggested now that Macedonia needs to be federalised even deeper, so as to turn into a flexible federation or perhaps a confederation, and ideas have even been aired as to why not dismember it as an artificial state, with part of it going to Bulgaria and another part to Albania,” Lavrov said.” see link here.

The 2016 US assessment finally admits that there are concerns about radicalisation within Macedonia’s Albanian bloc... Wow ! So it took Lavrov to let the genie out of the bottle, right?

- links to the US Senate committee reports 

2016
2015
2014
2013

----------

TRUMP AND MACEDONIA - PART 1 - link here

TRUMP AND MACEDONIA: what’s in store for Macedonia? - Part 1 - (Prelude)

By Sasha Uzunov

You all have been amused or bemused by some enterprising Macedonian teenagers from the town of Veles who made some very good money in running "fake news" assisting  Donald Trump win the US Presidency against favourite Hillary Rodham Clinton. It's a cute funny story - probably a Hollywood move in the making down the track, perhaps a Disney teen coming of age film ! Zac Efron, Lindsey Lohan or Taylor Swift as stars. Probably too old by the time the film is ever made.

There is a perception amongst Macedonians both in the Republic of Macedonia and abroad - and perceptions are sometimes more important that realities - that Trump is pro Macedonian as opposed to Hillary, seen as pro Albanian. The scope of this story is not to go over old ground - Hillary and husband Bill, US President (1993-2001) and their support for the Kosovar War in 1999 which then spilt over into Macedonia in 2001 - because of US aid to the Kosovo Liberation Army.

We have ex-US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger plus a number western commentators such as Charles Krauthammer who saw the 2001 war in Macedonia as simply a land grab by the Kosovo Liberation Army wrapped up or hidden by the demand for "Albanian rights" in Macedonia. There are those who dispute this assertion. Be that as it may. On the whole, in one shape or form US culpability remains

We still don't know what Trump's views are about Macedonia - there have been murmuring from advisers about support for Macedonia. But we will have to wait and see after the dust settles where Trump actually stands. Will he pressure Greece to stop its outrageous destabilisation of Macedonia? Will he give short shrift to Albanian separatists who are simply looking for any excuse to break away from Macedonia, no matter that their demands keep getting more and more deliberately unfulfillable?

POLARISATION THEORY OR FACT? - Washington’s Belgradists, Albanian separatists, and Bulgarianists in Macedonia?  Greece’s historical ally and proxy in the Balkans is Serbia. What Athens can’t do, Belgrade can…The US doesn’t lift a finger to stop it? In recent times we saw the European Union and the United States lean on EU and NATO member Croatia to remove any veto to Serbia’s application to join the EU. Yet the EU and US can’t do the same for Greece’s nearly three decade long blocking of Macedonia, since it became independent from Yugoslavia in 1991. Why?

Is there a deliberate polarisation of Macedonian culture and society pushed and pulled by Pristina-Belgrade-Sofia; thus making Macedonia virtually ungovernable until it self-implodes? Why hasn’t the US done anything about it?

read on at link here