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.


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


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.


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.


“…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,

“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.


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 


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 

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 




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

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