The Macedonian Tendency: Impact of Trajkovski's death on George W. Bush

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Impact of Trajkovski's death on George W. Bush

One of these days, a journalist is going to ask George Bush a question about the tragic situation of the oppressed ethnic Macedonians in Greece who are looking to the United States of Amercia for freedom and liberty.

In my opinion the death of Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski, a fellow Methodist Christian of the US President, had a profound effect on George W. Bush. He could not have helped but be impressed that Macedonians who are 98% Orthodox Christians would be so open minded as to elect a Methodist Minister as their President.

It didn't help that Colin Powell was prevented from attending the closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games which were financed mostly by American television rights!

Daily Press Briefing for November 29 -- Transcript

QUESTION: Another issue. FYROM, Mr. Boucher. I am fully aware of your aversion to ancient history, but there is a matter in which ancient history affects present-day reality. The November Background Note you just released the other day on the so-called "Republic of Macedonia," internationally known as FYROM, as written, since legitimized the arrogant disclaims of FYROM, no more, no less. This DOS note implies that the so-called "Republic of Macedonia," like the U.S. Marine manual for which the Greek Government protested earlier, leaves the clear impression that this state has its mission the liberation of the rest of Macedonia.

Is the Department of State aware of the implication arising from its practices of attributing "national identity" via geography?

MR. BOUCHER: I guess I -- my basic point would be I don't agree with your interpretation of the Background Note, that you say it implies this, it leaves the impression of that, that somehow we're supporting wider claims of a broader Macedonia. That is not the policy of the U.S. Government, nor is it the policy of the Macedonian Government, and I just don't -- I'll look at our Background Note again, but I really don't think it leaves that impression or implies that, frankly.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) of the Background Note, including the new appointed Ambassador to Greece, Charles Ries, who at the present time is in charge for the European affairs, too, here at the State Department, explain to the average Greek why a state that comprise of only 38 percent of the total land of ancient Macedonia should be treated as the "liberated segment" after it accept totally the name of the Greek region with the same name that consisted of 58 too of the total of the ancient land?

MR. BOUCHER: Who's referring to it at the "liberated section"?


MR. BOUCHER: We are doing that? No, you are. I'd say you are. I just want to make sure.

QUESTION: Let me explain. In the whole historical page --

MR. BOUCHER: First of all, I don't think we imply or leave the impression or want to intimate, in any way, that we support Macedonia beyond Macedonia's borders. We think that the Republic of Macedonia deserves to be called by that name. We've explained that already. But that is not implying something about expansionism or a greater Macedonia or any of those terms that you keep throwing around.

Nor do we view the Republic of Macedonia as the liberated portion of Macedonia. We see it as an entity that deserves recognition and respect from the United States and the international community because of the way it's handled its own affairs, and that it's not itself committed, nor are we pushing it or encouraging it, to take any expansionist ideas in mind.

QUESTION: Let me be more -- to clarify. Why did Department of State force history, based on this move, presented Alexander, parenthesis, quote, "the Great," unquote, parenthesis, why, in parenthesis and quotation? May we have an explanation? It's in the text.

MR. BOUCHER: I honestly don't know.

QUESTION: It's a very serious matter.

QUESTION: It sounds like a movie review.

QUESTION: It's from the text.

MR. BOUCHER: I honestly don't know why he's referred to that way. There must be a style manual somewhere that says it.

Okay, let's move on to other things.

QUESTION: Wait, wait, I have a Macedonia question.

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