THE BLAME GAME - Macedonia’s crisis
An interview with Mr Nestor Oginar, an American Macedonian community leader and dissident member of the Macedonian VMRO-DPMNE political party - after his very recent return from Macedonia to the United States. He is a former English teacher in the United States and holds Bachelor and Masters Degrees.
He offers his views over Macedonia’s political crisis, which was triggered last year by the Opposition party SDSM led by Zoran Zaev who confronted Macedonia’s Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski of the VMRO-DPMNE party with secretly taped recordings showing corrupt government dealings. (The full interview with Mr Oginar will follow in a separate article). A previous interview with Dr Ico Najdovski-Perin explains in detail the Cultural Crisis in Macedonia. See link
Prime Minister Gruevski resigned his position as part of an EU deal known as the Przino Agreement - see link for more details . There is now a caretaker government led by VMRO-DPMNE but with Emil Dimitriev as PM until new elections sometime this year, in which Gruevski will return as leader to contest the election.
'GRUEVSKI AND ZAEV MUST GO' -In one of the most powerful rebukes delivered by a diaspora leader:
Mr Oginar: As a Macedonian patriot and a Macedonian intellectual, I feel morally obliged to defend the basic tenets and principals of a free and democratic society which has been my life long pursuit because I am convinced that in defending Macedonia in principle I can help defend my country against foreign and domestic adversaries.
- NIKOLA GRUEVSKI
Mr Oginar: Macedonia’s democracy today is in peril. It has been for all of its 25 years of independence, but the last 10 years of rule by the Gruevski government has taken a most dramatic turn for the worst. What we have today in Macedonia is a pseudo civic society ruled by an organized political mafia on the pattern of Cosa Nostra. Macedonia is governed by a single family, an extended family of Nikola Gruevski, blood related or in laws who have imposed upon the people their own brand of rule by fear, intimidation, coercion, bribe, extortion and nepotism. These are characteristics of a neo-communism which borders with neo-fascism.
Nikola Gruevski took over the party VMRO-DPMNE, and in the course of ten years transformed it, from the principal founder of Macedonia, based on national ideology into a party of opportunists, sycophants and yes-men and women who have abandoned the party's founding principles of unity, love for one's country and nation and devotion to the right republican ideals. He has been personally responsible for an unprecedented historical period of social division, disunity, party affiliation, hatred and rampant crime at every level of the society. He and his ministers have been extremely liberal in their fiscal policies which are much closer to the extreme left known in communist societies.
During his mandate, Albanian irredentism has imposed control over the entire western Macedonian territories . His unnatural coalition with the UCK (KLA/NLA) terrorists [Ali Ahmeti] masked as DUI has paralyzed the normal functions of law and order in every national and local institution. Further more, he has squandered national treasure on unproductive projects such as Skopje 2014. He has wasted time on settling accounts with his political and ideological opponents, many of whom have been expelled from the party or jailed by improvised political trials . The catalogue of this man's misdeeds is too long to explain here."
- ZORAN ZAEV
Mr Oginar: I must mention that all of this evil in Macedonian society has been assisted and enabled by a week and inept opposition or absence there of , especially embodied in the SDSM. It's current leader Zoran Zaev is weak and an inexperienced man whose political life has been resuscitated over the course of the past years by the scandal of the so called "Bombs". I hold him and his party directly responsible for the current chaos and the crisis which has engulfed Macedonia. He is responsible, despite his seeming popularity because of his latent intentions in managing the revelations by the "bombs". I consider Zoran Zaev to be nothing but a left wing liberal, political opportunist who has not been able to offer a feasible solution for the quagmire.
Let us keep in mind that before he began publishing the revelations of the Gruevski's government crimes, he had tried to negotiate a deal with Gruevski by which he would succeed him. It was only political expediency that forced him to proceed with his plan which he and his party call "The truth for Macedonia".
I am revolted by Zaev's opportunistic overtures to the Albanian nationalist leaders to whom he promises, in violation of the Constitution, an even greater role in the future government eventually led by him. I am equally alarmed by his lack of national strategy to defend Macedonia's national name and identity.
For me, personally, Nikola Gruevski and Zoran Zaev are disloyal, and do not deserve to be in the position of leadership even for a day. And I hope that the growing movements toward decentralization and democracy in their respective parties will bring about long awaited necessary changes with new people who will be willing and able to have an open national dialogue so much needed in order to achieve at least a semblance of unity and agreement on a new doctrine which will save Macedonia from the pending crisis."
THE BLAME GAME II - other views
Some of the pro-EU pundits initially pinned the blame as to where a lot of the conflict and tensions in Macedonia have come from over the past 24 years since independence and then at the very very last minute have backed away or pulled away and pinned the blame on another cultural template, a softer target, alleged "ultra Macedonian nationalism.” Is it really to blame?
-Ex-European Union mandarin Erwan Fouere was "almost there" - as in he was on the right track - the right direction - yes, correct in mentioning the spectre of Slobodan Milosevic and Serbian cultural hegemony in Macedonia…
But he then stopped short..it remains inexplicable why?…However, he takes aim at only one party.
Erwan Fouere's quote:
"The [Gruevski VMRO-DPMNE] Macedonian government's ethno-nationalist and populist brand of politics, a throwback to the era of Slobodan Milosevic, has resulted in the re-emergence of deep tensions in a country that already witnessed a bloody ethnic conflict in 2001.”
Milosevic was in no way a "Macedonian nationalist" - quite the opposite, he was a Serbian nationalist. It's well documented that in 1992 he had offered to divide Macedonia with historical ally Greece, which has blocked Macedonia's EU and NATO bids for the past 24 years. Therefore someone "copying" Milosevic's style or the template of Milosevic's homeland, and using it in Macedonia can't be a Macedonian nationalist, whose ideological underpinning has evolved from a different historical context than the neighbouring forms of nationalism such as Serbian, Greek, Bulgarian, Albanian, Croatian etc. So if any Macedonian politician is said to be using Milosevic tactics, he or she can't possibly be a "Macedonian nationalist" but is simply copying the cultural template from the "North" of Macedonia. Maybe the problem lies with the copying, the inability to think independently?
On the subject of "copying the North" - pardon the segue.
RUNNING WITH FOX AND HUNTING WITH THE HOUNDS?
- This from ex-Macedonian Presidential advisor Borjan Jovanovski who acknowledges where the hatred between Macedonians and Albanians is generated from but then oddly dignifies the inciters of such hatred by calling them "respected colleagues."
Quote: "I ask my [respected colleagues] poshtovane kolega from Serb who work in tabloids to stop incitement to hatred in Macedonia.”
This from Kurt Bassuener, from a pro EU think tank, who actually hits the mark:
No Stability without Accountability – The West’s Responsibility in Macedonia - A DPC Policy Paper
"Unfortunately, claims of agitation for Greater Albania are not completely fanciful; there are vocal adherents of such a goal, particularly in Kosovo. A public rally at a Prishtina sports hall for the eight Kosovars killed in the Kumanovo operation, included members of Prime Minister Isa Mustafaj’s Democratic Alliance of Kosova and opposition party Vetovendosje. The Kosovo Defense Ministry refused requests to host the event officially. Xhavit Jashari, Head of the Association of Veterans’ Families, said of the men “They are heroes of Kosovo. They fought for the freedom of the occupied lands, and for their unification in one country, Albania.“
"This direct endorsement by major political figures of ethnic separatism in Macedonia is a dangerous and destabilizing escalation of inter ethnic and interstate tension, and is generating ample fodder for regime-oriented press in Skopje, Belgrade, Banja Luka, Moscow, and beyond.
"The lack of a clear and credible Western security guarantee for Macedonian territorial integrity and sovereignty – even identity – has left ample room for nationalists throughout the region to entertain grand designs, as well as giving Moscow inroads in a country in which it had few.” Link
-This from staunch critic of the current Macedonian government pundit, Saso Ordanoski, from way back in 1994, despite the political elements he criticised back then not having changed their platform today in 2016 even though Ordanoski has:
“Throughout the formation of Macedonia, they [Albanian nationalist bloc] have boycotted all political processes that would link them to it," said Saso Ordanoski, Skopje's leading commentator. "It is quite clear that their eventual aim is to declare their own federal republic and secede within [from] Macedonia.” link
TWO TEMPLATES WHICH ARE IMPORTED?
Surely, if the EU pundits know which two cultural templates, that is forms of extreme nationalism, Serbian and Kosovar Albanian are to blame, why then do they pin the blame on the wrong cultural template - alleged "ultra Macedonian nationalism." It doesn't make sense?
Sinisa Jakov Marusic (right in photo), a number of experienced old Balkan hands have told Team Uzunov, has virtually come out of nowhere to be ensconced as the head reporter for a pro European Union website called Balkan Insight, which despite breaking some good stories about corruption, has an obsession with replicating another Yugoslavia and pinning the blame on Macedonia’s problems on alleged “ultra Macedonian nationalism,” ignoring the powerful effect of Serbian cultural hegemony and Yugoslavist culture upon Macedonia, which has also impacted upon both of Macedonia’s political parties.
In an allegory of Balkan Insight’s Yugoslavist obsession - Mr Marusic joined commentators from Belgrade and Sarajevo speaking in Serbian about statutes in Belgrade and Skopje, the Serb and Macedonian capitals. see link. Why the need to link Macedonia with Serbia or for that Bosnia? No disrespect to the Serb and Bosnian peoples, but I am sure they also appreciate their independence, as do the Macedonians.
"Books, brother, books, not [church] bells and sleigh bells” -
"Knjige, braćo moja, knjige, a ne zvona i praporce” - Dositej Obradovic (1739-1811)
It is a paradox for a man who critiques “ultra Macedonian nationalism” as Mr Marusic does so with relish but to have as his Facebook profile photo, a controversial and provocative quote from a 19th century Serb nationalist by the name of Dositej Obradovic, who according to Austrian academic, Wladimir Fischer, Obradovic believed in a form of dictatorship known as “enlightened despotism” where Serbia’s ruling elite should abandoned superstition and embrace books, secular education and submit to the Austrian Emperor. It is a very very odd ideology. Fischer also points out Obradovic was against democracy for the masses:
"Obradovic was not, as his interpreters often have it, in favor of democracy and equality; he was a champion of enlightened despotism.” see link
Obradovic’s legacy has been misunderstood and misused by Serb nationalists, secularists and internationalists (in an ex Yugoslavist sense).
TEAM UZUNOV has attempted to contact Mr Marusic (initially on 28 February 2016) to offer his perspectives on the crisis in Macedonia and why his choice of Obradovic quote , but we have not received a response, despite a few more follow up emails.