The Macedonian Tendency: September 2006

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Louie Dimitrovski's "I am Macedonian (Canadian)

I don't know Louie Dimitrovski, but he is a very funny guy. This is a great satire on what it means to be a Macedonian in Canada. I am trying to collect more fun inofrmation about being Macedonian that is already published on the web. Please send your links to the Macedonian Tendency.

Louie Dimitrovski's "I am Macedonian (Canadian)


I have started a website, powered by Google Pages, so I can put material that no other website has published. Just a work in progress.

The Macedonian Tendency Links


Monday, September 25, 2006

Freedom House On Macedonians in Greece

Freedom House is a pseudo-human rights group. It gives Greece a #1 for being fully free thereby removing any pressure on Greece to change any of its behaviour towards its ethnic minorities. The second paragraph is a joke, let me edit it properly:

"Despite government (stated) efforts, racial intolerance is still pervasive. (Maybe because) The government does not officially recognize the existence of any non-Muslim minority groups, particularly Slavophones (n-words). In addition, the government does not recognize Macedonian as a language, as officials fear the secessionist aspirations of this group (who are not free)".

If any country adopted the Greek position on minority rights ... well, you know the drill.

Greece

Greece tentatively considered a new name for the Republic of Macedonia-Republic of Makedonia-Skopje-proposed by a special UN envoy. Greece has waged a long campaign to deny its northern neighbor's use of the "Macedonia" name, which is also that of a northern Greek province.

Despite government efforts, racial intolerance is still pervasive in society and is often expressed by people in the media, in politics, and in the Orthodox Church. Ethnic and religious minority groups face a number of barriers. The government does not officially recognize the existence of any non-Muslim minority groups, particularly Slavophones. In addition, the government does not recognize Macedonian as a language, as officials fear the secessionist aspirations of this group. Using the term Turkos or Tourkikos ("Turk" and "Turkish," respectively) in the title of an association is illegal and may lead to persecution. Police officers have recently been provided with sensitivity training with respect to human rights and the prohibition of racial discrimination.

1995 US State Department Report on Human Rights in Greece

As I have said before, the US State Department is providing more information on the plight of ethnic Macedonians than either Radio Free Europe and Freedom House. "It's-a-low-down-dirty-rotten-shame."


Greece

The government and public opinion considered that minorities were defined exclusively in the Treaty of Lausanne and reacted negatively to any definition of "minorities" based on the mathematical standard of a group being referred to as a "minority" because it does not form a "majority" or a plurality of the total population.

The government did not recognize the Slavic dialect spoken by persons in the northwestern area of the country as "Macedonian," a language distinct from Bulgarian. Most speakers of the dialect referred to themselves as "natives." A small number of Slavic speakers insisted on the use of the term "Macedonian," a designation which generated strong opposition from the ethnic Greek population. These activists claimed that the government pursued a policy designed to discourage use of their language.

On October 20, the ECHR ordered the government to pay $42,294 (35,245 euros) to the Rainbow Party for violations of 2 ECHR articles: the right to a fair hearing and the right to freedom of assembly and association. The ruling faulted police for failing to take measures to prevent, or at least contain, violence during a 1995 demonstration instigated by the town council and local priests, during which Rainbow Party members were assaulted after the group hung a sign written in both Greek and the "Slavomacedonian dialect" outside party headquarters. The ECHR also held that the seven years and one month that authorities took to investigate the case was an excessive and unreasonable amount of time.

In May 2004 a former Greek Orthodox priest who became a priest of the Macedonian Orthodox Church was issued a three‑month prison sentence, later suspended, for holding religious services without a house of prayer permit. He appealed the sentence, but at year's end there was no decision.

The law permits the government to remove citizenship from persons who commit acts contrary to the interests of the country for the benefit of a foreign state. While the law applies to citizens regardless of ethnicity, it has been enforced in all but one case only against persons who identified themselves as members of the "Macedonian minority." The government did not reveal the number of such cases, but it was believed to be low, and there were no reports of new cases during the year. Dual citizens who lost their citizenship under this provision sometimes were prevented from entering the country on the passport of their second nationality. Activists charged that several expatriate "Slavo-Macedonians" whose names appeared on a "black list" were barred from entering the country.

A number of citizens identified themselves as Turks, Pomaks, Vlachs, Roma, Arvanites (Orthodox Christians who speak a dialect of Albanian), or "Macedonians" or "Slavomacedonians." While some members of these groups sought to be identified as "minorities," or "linguistic minorities," others did not consider that these identifications made them members of a "minority." The government formally recognized only the "Muslim minority" and did not officially acknowledge the existence of any indigenous ethnic groups, principally Slavophones, under the term "minority." The previous government, however, affirmed an individual right of self‑identification. Some individuals who defined themselves as members of a "minority" found it difficult to express their identity freely and maintain their culture. Use of the terms Tourkos and Tourkikos ("Turk" and "Turkish") is prohibited in titles of organizations, although individuals legally may call themselves Tourkos (see section 2.b.). To most Greeks the words Tourkos and Tourkikos connote Turkish identity or loyalties, and many objected to their use by Greek citizens of Turkish origin.

US State Department (again!) Takes Greece to Task Over Ethnic Macedonian Minorit y Rights

I love ironies and this is a big one.There are a number of psuedo-human rights groups, starting with Radio Free Europe and Freedom House, which ignore human rights abuses against ethnic Macedonians by the Greek government. These groups are funded by the US government. However, US government reports, such as this one on religion,and one on human rights, put a spotlight on Greek government abuses. If someone can put together a good analysis as to why this should be so, I would love to hear it.

Greece
International Religious Freedom Report 2006
Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor


In May 2004, Nikodim Tsarknias, a former Greek Orthodox priest who is now a
priest of the Macedonian Orthodox Church, was sentenced to three months in
prison, a sentence which was suspended by the Aridea Criminal Court of
First Instance, on charges of establishing and operating a church without
authorization after he held Macedonian language religious services without
a house of prayer permit. Tsarknias's sentence could not be appealed in the
country; he intended to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

Catalan MEP Comes to the Rescue of Macedonians in Greece

The report below is from Bernat Joan i Mari, the Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the European Free Alliance Party which represents minorities from Scotland, Spain and Greece, among ohters. It is just par for the course that in meetings with Greek Officials, the Macedonian representatives of the European Free Alliance (Rainbow Party) were excluded from the meeting. These are EU values at work! This is the link for the Rainbow Party of the same meeting.

Greece and Bulgaria fail to comply on national minority rights says Catalan MEP

Florina/Lerin & Blagoevgrad/Gorna Dzumaja, Wednesday, 20 September 2006 by Georgios N. Papadakis
http://www.eurolang.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2711&Itemid=0

Greece and Bulgaria are continuously failing to comply with international accords concerning human rights and protection of ethnic and linguistic minorities, while historic-based propaganda is used to justify the hostile attitude of both states towards their Macedonian minorities. These were the main conclusions of the European Free Alliance's, a European Parliament political party (EFA), fact-finding mission in the region held last week. It was led by the Catalan MEP and EFA Vice President , Bernat Joan i Mari, and the Partys co-director Guenther Dauwen.

In a press conference held in the city of Florina/Lerin after the European Free Alliance delegations meetings with Greek local authorities, Bernat Joan i Mari stressed that it is unacceptable and counter-productive to continue to deny the existence of the Macedonian people and their language and urged Greece to organize an open census allowing Macedonians to declare their ethnic, linguistic and cultural origin.

The Catalan MEP, who sits on the Culture Committee of the European Parliament and a sociolinguist by profession, rejected the Greek allegations that Macedonian is a not a distinct and different language. He concluded that now is the time to overcome the burdens intentionally raised by Greeces obsession with disputable historical facts and look towards the future based on the present situation.

The EFA representatives had the chance to witness how Greece deals with the issue of Macedonians living in the country in a meeting with high-ranking officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and university professors in Thessaloniki/Solun.

Although the delegation was invited to visit Greece by local EFA affiliate party EFA-Rainbow, which campaigns for recognition of the Macedonian minority, the representatives of this party were expelled from the above-mentioned meeting because they did not have a personal invitation. It is considered by EFA Rainbow that it is part of the policy of the Greek state to avoid any kind of direct dialogue with Macedonians.

The fact finding mission of EFA continued in the Pirin region of Bulgaria, home to the majority of ethnic Macedonians. According to Guenther Dauwen the situation there resembles that in Greece, Bulgaria recognises no separate Macedonian nation or language and puts all sorts of obstacles in order to avoid electoral participation of Macedonian political parties. For example, Bulgaria changed the law for the formation of a legal political party. Now 5,000 signatures are required for the official application instead of 500 in the past.

OMO Ilinden Pirin, the organization for Macedonians in Bulgaria, and EFA observer member, is so far the only victim of the 5,000 quota policy, they also face hostile Bulgarian authorities and press. Stojan Georgiev, vice president of OMO Ilinden Pirin, told the delegation that after a request to host an event in the city of Blagoevgrad/Gorna Dzumaja, the mayor replied that they should go to Macedonia to do it.

According to OMO Ilinden Pirin the mainstream media often use defamatory statements when referring to the Macedonians in Bulgaria. EFA were told during the visit that there were reports that OMO Ilinden Pirin tried to bribeRoma and Turks in the city of Goce Delcev with 50 leva (24 euro) in order to collect the necessary amount of signatures for the registration of the party. Georgiev categorically rejected these allegations, pointing to the miserable financial situation of the party and its members and urged EFA to intervene so that the EU makes the recognition of the Macedonian minority conditional to Bulgarias EU accession.

Last Sunday in Istanbul, speaking to a conference organized by Turkish associations from western Thrace in Greece, Turkish PM, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, accused Greece of ignoring international treaties and not applying the commitments it undertook regarding the protection of minorities. He also urged the EU to take a closer look at member states that do not fulfil certain human rights criteria while at the same time being extremely critical to candidate countries over the same issues. (Eurolang 2006)

Related links:
www.e-f-a.org
www.focus-fen.net (Bulgarian News Agency)
www.maknews.com (Macedonian News Portal)


Hiding Your Ethnic Macedonian Identiy

Because I am a Macedonian from Greece, I am fascinated by people, who have gone to great lengths to hide their ethnic identity. Jews are one group that seem to be susceptible to this pressure, even in free societies. Yet when outsiders look at the Macedonian question, they seem to be amused by the concept of people choosing to be something they are not. Loring Danforth is someone who has written well on the Macedonian question, but has not done enough to show other people, such as Jews (you know… the self-hating kind) respond.


Story about a Macedonian visiting his Grkoman Relatives in Canada


This is a story I heard about a young Macedonian visiting from the Republic of Macedonia. He made the rounds to all the relatives including two Grkoman cousins.

Both brothers were married to Greeks. The younger one was married to a fair haired, good looking woman, (probably a Vlach ... as my mother would say), while the older one was married to someone that looked like Maria Callas ... you know the type ... a real Greek.

It turns out when he arrived at the house both brothers and their families were waiting for him. The brothers first starting talking to him in Greek. Since he did not speak Greek, they switched to English. He also did not speak English. There was an awkward pause and they then started to speak in Macedonian.

The good-looking wife of the younger brother, naively started asking, in a chirpy voice, what language are you speaking? How did you learn to speak this language. How come you did not tell me you spoke another language. Probably realizing that is must be the language they speak in "southern Serbia" she said that she want to learn this language. The two brothers totally ignored her, as did her sister-in-law.

The jaw of the wife of the older brother ... dropped. It seems that she must have immediately realized that she had unknowingly been married to a "slavic gypsy pig" for all these years. Yikes!

Not Only Macedonians Hide Their Identiy

This is an interesting article by Charles Krauthammer about Jews hiding their ethnic identity, even to their own families. This is happening in America with no offical policy of discrimination against Jews. As an ethnic Macedonian from Greece, I know that I have relatives in Greece who do not know that they have ethnic Macedonian roots. I am sure that they have gone to demonstations shouting "death to slavic-gypsy-pig-skopians". Greece does have a well defined strategy against its ethnic Macedonian minoirty. The aricle after this relates to an incident in Toronto

Everyone's Jewish

Strange doings in Virginia. George Allen, former governor, one-term senator, son of a famous football coach and in the midst of a heated battle for reelection, has just been outed as a Jew. An odd turn of events, given that his having Jewish origins has nothing to do with anything in the campaign and that Allen himself was oblivious to the fact until his 83-year-old mother revealed to him last month the secret she had kept concealed for 60 years.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Slate, Franklin Foer, and Michael Kinsley (An Itch I Cannot Scratch)

It is just over nine years ago that the paragraph below was published in the on-line news magaize, Slate. I immediately sent a correction to the writer Franklin Foer (who is currently editor of "The New Republic") and then editor Michael Kinsley, to no avail. In the past 9 years, I have made a nuisance of myself sending letters to almost everyone at Slate including "Corrections", "Kaus Files", "Explainer" etc, plus I posted this letter to Alt.News.Macedonia. I no longer receive confirmation emails from Slate, so I think that I must be blocked by the "spam" filter.

A few years ago, Howard Kurtz, media critic, of the Washington Post, was amazed to learn that during the
"Jason Blair affair", no one, who was quoted by Blair, called the New York Times to report that Blair's articles were complete fabrications, and that they had never met the man. Their reason was that it would do no good to contact the Times, because nothing would be done. I believe that Kurtz' comment was "incredible".

Well Howard, this coming April 27th, 2007 will be the 10th anniversary of this article and I intend to publish a reminder that this article will not, as I expect, have been corrected.

This is an itch I cannot scratch.


Eastern Europe
By Franklin Foer
Sunday, April 27, 1997

Macedonia (-3.2 percent growth; 50 percent private. Democracy relatively strong: free elections, though minority groups claim oppression.) Though Macedonia avoided the Balkan War, ethnic tensions and instability are a problem. Last year, the country's liberal, pro-West president was seriously injured in a car-bomb attack. A Greek minority demands that Macedonia, with its ethnically Albanian majority, be absorbed into Greece.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Lets Build a Statue to Donald Rumsfeld in Macedonia's Capital City, Skopje.

Glad we can help Rummy, by providing Macedonian troops to fight terrorism in Iraq!

Thanks for your role in recognising the Macedonians, against Greek objections, as "a people" and not, as the Greek slander would suggest slavophones "with no history, no culture, no religion, no identity."

DefenseLINK News: Rumsfeld Honors Macedonian Troops, Visits Romanian Airbase

Earlier today Rumsfeld was in Skopje, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, where he met with President Branko Crvenkovski and other officials and attended a bilateral meeting with Defense Minister Vlado Buckovski.
The secretary signed an agreement in Skopje calling for U.S.-Macedonian military cooperation to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The United States also agreed to provide Macedonia with technical assistance, training, equipment, and $250,000 to be used in the fight against global terrorism.
During an awards ceremony, Rumsfeld thanked three Macedonian soldiers cited for their actions in Iraq that helped save U.S. servicemembers' lives. One other Macedonian soldier who'd been similarly cited wasn't present at the ceremony.
Rumsfeld arrived in Skopje on the evening of Oct. 10, after spending the day in Iraq visiting U.S., coalition and Iraqi troops at Al Asad, Baghdad, Kirkuk, and Irbil.
At a press conference held at a Macedonian government building, Rumsfeld praised Macedonian troops in Iraq for "standing shoulder-to-shoulder with American and coalition forces to help to create a free Iraq, a liberated Iraq." There are now about 32 Macedonian soldiers in Iraq, including Special Forces troops.
Macedonia's work in NATO's Partnership for Peace program and the Adriatic Charter, Rumsfeld noted, "is helping to improve stability in the region."
The secretary also praised Macedonia's actions to reform and democratize its military and political system, noting he assured senior Macedonian government officials that the United States supports those reforms and Macedonia's desire to join NATO.
The secretary said he deeply appreciates Macedonia's "steadfast support" in the global war on terrorism. The U.S. looks to continued partnership with Macedonia, Rumsfeld said, "to strengthen our military cooperation in the future."

Condi Rice named "Person of the Year" by The Macedonian Tendency

You have to read this article by Gene Rossides, President, American Hellenic, Institute and former Assistant, Secretary of the Treasury. I like to watch Greeks as they piss in their own soup. He blames a number of high ranking Republicans for past, present and anticipated future setbacks for Greece and Cyprus. These people have Greece by the "yaceh" and he proceeds to spit in their face. Thank you Gene!

Based on Gene's report, we are pleased to announce that Ms. Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State Designate is The Macedonian Tendency's "PERSON OF THE YEAR"!

Ms. Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State Designate, has been in the center of all the foreign policy decisions of President Bush. During the first Bush administration she was the foreign policy person closest to the President. She will have a far greater influence on foreign policy than Secretary of State Colin L. Powell.

Ms. Rice, as National Security Advisor, was involved in the betrayal of Greece in the administration ľs unilateral decision to recognize the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) as the Republic of Macedonia. The U.S. policy had been that we would use the name FYROM until Greece and FYROM by negotiations determined a solution to the name issue. The U.S. broke its pledge. It appears that a staff member of the NSC proposed the change in policy which Ms. Rice approved as did the State and Defense Departments.

77 US Politicans Adopt the Greek Postion on Human Rights for Ethnic Macedonians

September 7, 2006

From: David Edenden, The Macedonian Tendency
To: The 77 Co-Sponsors of H. Res. 521: (see below)

Re: "People good, politicians bad"

When my grandmother used to talk about the the Germans in WW2 or the Greeks and communists in the Greek Civil War, or why ethnic Macedonians, struggling for human rights in Greece, cannot gain support from the government of the US, EU, and Canada, she always said, in broken English, that "people good, politicans bad". That is why ...

Ethnic Macedonians Hate the 77 Co-Sponsors of Resolution 521, They Love America

Using the issue of human rights for Macedonians in Greece, I want to discuss with you the perception that people around the world hate the United States. Some say that only extremists hate the US because of its' values of freedom and democracy. Others say this hatred is based, not on what the US is, but what it does. The debate in the US has been clouded by the war on terror, Islamic fascism and anti-Semitism. However, I stand with those who say hatred of the US around the world is based on what the US does.

Your resolution supports the Greek position that Macedonians should change the name of their country (The Republic of Macedonia), their religion (The Macedonian Orthodox Church), their language (Macedonian), their national anthem (Denes Nad Makedonija - Today Above Macedonia) because the very word "Macedonian" belongs to Greek culture. I guess, for good measure, every ethnic Macedonian folk song that has the word Macedonia in it should also be changed. At the same time, you applaud Greece as being a close friend of the US in the Balkans.

You are obviously aware that Greece's values regarding minority rights are based on the denial of the existence of ethnic Macedonians. Greece does admit to a "slavophone" minority that speaks an "idiom" and does not have a language, history or culture, you know … a bunch of "N….. Words". Even so, you ardently support Greece in its' cold war with the Republic of Macedonia over the "name issue". You must agree that your support of Greece's (Nato member) minority rights values are also your values. You are with them (Greece) and against us (ethnic Macedonians). Certainly Greece's values are Nato values, by definition, since Greece is a member in good standing of Nato. You must also agree that any former communist country in Eastern Europe, using Greece as a model for minority rights, will be admitted into Nato, no questions asked … by definition.

Most ethnic Macedonians in Greece, Bulgaria, Albania, and the Republic of Macedonia love the US. They have close family ties with the Macedonian Diaspora in the US. In addition, everyone in the Republic of Macedonia is aware of the assistance the US gave to its capital city, Skopje during the 1963 earthquake, which almost destroyed the city. With US assistance, Skopje, one of the most backward cities in communist Yugoslavia became the most western looking. You may not know this, but a much young and a much thinner US State Department employee, Lawrence Eagleburger spearheaded the relief effort. In Macedonia today, he is still known as "Lawrence of Macedonia" in honour of his efforts.

But, let's get back to the hatred of the US around the world. For all ethnic Macedonians, living in all the Balkan counties and around the world, it's not the CIA, it's not Walmart, it's not US rap music, it's not Hollywood movie sex and violence, it's not American drug culture,its not Donald Rumsfeld, its not Condoleezza Rice and it's especially not President Bush (1), (2), that they hate. It's you, every member of the "Greek Issue Caucus". The refusal of the "Greek Issues Caucus" to even look at the human rights abuses of ethnic Macedonians in Greece, may be useful in gathering political donations to your election campaign from the Greek community, but is hurting America. It is what you have done, not what you are.

My suggestion, is for you to ask the American Hellenic Institute to fund your fact-finding trip to Florina (where most ethnic Macedonians in Greece live). When you get to Greek customs, bring along a Macedonian language Bible and Macedonian dictionary to see if they will allow you to bring them into Greece or will they confiscate them at the border (good luck). Ask to attend an ethnic Macedonian wedding to see if people are courageous enough to sing in the Macedonian language (no way). Ask to be taken to an ethnic Macedonian Church (so sorry) or ethnic Macedonian language radio or TV station (dream on). You can meet with the ethnic Macedonian political party, the Rainbow Party (watch your back). Go to a high school to see if Macedonian is taught as a second language (don't even think about it).

Anyway, at least you have taken the time to read this. Good luck and God bless.

77 C0-Sponsors of H. Res. 521: (09th U.S. Congress (2005-2006))


"Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) should cease its distribution of negative and nationalist propaganda and should work with the United Nations and Greece to find a mutually acceptable official name for the FYROM."

Sponsor: Rep. Carolyn Maloney [D-NY]

Cosponsors

Monday, September 04, 2006

Venice of Macedonia? I doubt It.

A bombastic headline conceals an interesting article about ancient boats in Nakolec, Republic of Macedonia. Nakolec, an ancient Venice ... yeah right! Therefore, Dolno Dupeni must be the Paris of the ancient Balkans! And don't get met started on Podmocani! Next time Ivan, write your story before you consume a bottle of "rakia".

Forgotten Macedonian Venice Reveals Pre-Historic Artifacts:

Monday, 04 September 2006

Source: Macedonian daily newspaper Vreme

Written by Ivan Blazhevski

Translated by UMDiaspora Staff

For decades now, the Cultural Center in Resen has housed boats, some 4,000 years old. They belonged to the Prespa inhabitants of the Stone Age, and were discovered on the shores of Lake Prespa."

Sacred Mysteries of Macedonia

This is an upscale "adventure travel"firm that is taking people to Macedonia. Anyone who has any non-Macedonian" friends, and who really want an adventure, direct them to this site. As an added bonus, this Richard Brangs adventure to Macedonia has really pissed off the Greeks!

Richard Bangs Adventures Presented by Yahoo!

Sacred Mysteries of Macedonia

This month we visit Macedonia, a country better known in legend than in fact. Historians know Alexander the Great came from this mountainous land north of Greece; Bible-school children learn that Paul made his first Christian converts here. But few know that Macedonia has endured through the ages, its cultural integrity intact. We'll unearth some of its ancient mysteries and share its modern-day pleasures.

As usual, the dispatches are written by Richard Bangs, one of today's leading travel writers. He has led first descents of 35 rivers around the globe, including the Yangtze in China and the Zambezi in southern Africa, and has published more than 500 magazine articles, over a dozen books, a score of documentaries and several videos and CD-ROMs. He founded the adventure travel company Sobek Expeditions in 1973, and since has traveled the world, taking a global audience with him.

Sean Connery Plays the Reincarnation of Alexander the Great

This is a good movie about the Kalash people in Pakistan who are said to be descendents of the army of Alexander the Great. Macedonians and Greeks are fighting an internet war ( No support for a Greek Origin of the Kalash) as to whether they are the descendents of Greeks or ethnic Macedonians ... good fun!

The Man Who Would Be King
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

The Man Who Would Be King (1888) is a short story by Rudyard Kipling concerning two British ex-soldiers who set off from 19th century British India in search of adventure and end up as kings of Kafiristan (now part of Afghanistan). The story was inspired by the travels of American adventurer Josiah Harlan.

The story was first published in The Phantom Rickshaw and other Eerie Tales (Volume Five of the Indian Railway Library, published by Wheelers of Allahabad in 1888). It also appeared in Wee Willie Winkie and Other Stories in 1895, and in numerous later editions of that collection.

In 1975, it was adapted into a feature film by director John Huston, starring Sean Connery as Daniel Dravot, Michael Caine as Peachey Carnehan, and Christopher Plummer as Rudyard Kipling (giving a name to the story's anonymous narrator). The doomed Billy Fish is played by Saeed Jaffrey."

Sunday, September 03, 2006

In Soccer, Sedloski is Macedonia's Man Of Steel

Nice article about Macedonian soccer team.

Macedonia’s man of steel - Football - Times Online
The Sunday Times September 03, 2006

Macedonia’s man of steel
JONATHAN NORTHCROFT
Goce Sedloski may not have made an impact during his time in Sheffield but he is set to lead Macedonia when they face England on Wednesday

The player “made his mark in history”, according to Uefa. That there has been no rush of acclaim in his direction was due partly to the “feat” in question, scoring the first goal of the Euro 2008 qualifying competition, a landmark sufficiently contrived to bring to mind those small towns in the US whose road signs trumpet “Home to the World’s Largest Paperclip” or some such.

The obscurity of the player was also a factor. Goce Sedloski? No, me neither.

Yet the name means something to certain people. “Ah, you’ll be phoning about Sedloski,” said Steve Chu, the communications manager at Sheffield Wednesday, as soon as I uttered the word “Macedonia”. The Sedloski who was captain and scorer in Macedonia’s 1-0 victory over Estonia last month is the same Sedloski who signed for Wednesday in 1998, to be billed by Ron Atkinson as the Balkan Tony Adams. His transfer cost £750,000, with Wednesday agreeing to pay Hadjuk Split a further £1m once he had gone on to make 100 appearances.

Learn Macedonian

This is the only computer course on learning the Macedonian language that I know of. It requires Windows 2000 or higher. If anyone has had experience with it send a brief review or comment and I will publish it.

Learn Macedonian or 31 other lang Publish Post uages with free software downloads

Friday, September 01, 2006

Ethnic Macedonians Hate Ileana Ros-Lehtinen , They Love America

Sept 1, 2006

From: David Edenden,
The Macedonian Tendency

To:Ileana Ros-Lehtinen,
US Republican Congresswoman
Greek Issues Caucus
18th District, Florida

Dear Ileana Ros-Lehtinen,

Using the issue of human rights for Macedonians in Greece, I want to discuss with you the perception that people around the world hate the United States. Some say that only extremists hate the US because of its' values of freedom and democracy. Others say this hatred is based, not on what the US is, but what it does. The debate in the US has been clouded by the war on terror, Islamic fascism and anti-Semitism. However, I stand with those who say hatred of the US around the world is based on what the US does.

Your article, in the National Review took the position that Macedonians should change the name of their country (The Republic of Macedonia), their religion (The Macedonian Orthodox Church), their language (Macedonian), their national anthem (Denes Nad Makedonija - Today Above Macedonia) because the very word "Macedonian" belongs to Greek culture. I guess, for good measure, every ethnic Macedonian folk song that has the word Macedonia in it should also be changed. At the same time, you applaud Greece as being a close friend of the US in the Balkans.

You and your staff are obviously aware that Greece's values regarding minority rights are based on the denial of the existence of ethnic Macedonians. Greece does admit to a "slavophone" minority that speaks an "idiom" and does not have a language, history or culture, you know … a bunch of "N….. Words". Even so, you ardently support Greece in its' cold war with the Republic of Macedonia over the "name issue". You must agree that your support of Greece's (Nato member) minority rights values are also your values. You are with them (Greece) and against us (ethnic Macedonians). Certainly Greece's values are Nato values, by definition, since Greece is a member in good standing of Nato. You must also agree that any former communist country in Eastern Europe, using Greece as a model for minority rights, will be admitted into Nato, no questions asked … by definition.

Most ethnic Macedonians in Greece, Bulgaria, Albania, and the Republic of Macedonia love the US. They have close family ties with the Macedonian Diaspora in the US. In addition, everyone in the Republic of Macedonia is aware of the assistance the US gave to its capital city, Skopje during the 1963 earthquake, which almost destroyed the city. With US assistance, Skopje, one of the most backward cities in communist Yugoslavia became the most western looking. You may not know this, but a much young and a much thinner US State Department employee, Lawrence Eagleburger spearheaded the relief effort. In Macedonia today, he is still known as "Lawrence of Macedonia" in honour of his efforts.

But, let's get back to the hatred of the US around the world. For all ethnic Macedonians, living in all the Balkan counties and around the world, it's not the CIA, it's not Walmart, it's not US rap music, it's not Hollywood movie sex and violence, it's not American drug culture and it's especially not President Bush that they hate. It's you Ileana … and every other member of the "Greek Issue Caucus". The refusal of the "Greek Issues Caucus" to even look at the human rights abuses of ethnic Macedonians in Greece, may be useful in gathering political donations to your election campaign from the Greek community, but is hurting America. It is what you have done, not what you are.

My suggestion Ileana, is for you to ask the American Hellenic Institute to fund your fact-finding trip to Florina (where most ethnic Macedonians in Greece live). When you get to Greek customs, bring along a Macedonian language Bible and Macedonian dictionary to see if they will allow you to bring them into Greece or will they confiscate them at the border (good luck). Ask to attend an ethnic Macedonian wedding to see if people are courageous enough to sing in the Macedonian language (no way). Ask to be taken to an ethnic Macedonian Church (so sorry) or ethnic Macedonian language radio or TV station (dream on). You can meet with the ethnic Macedonian political party, the Rainbow Party (watch your back). Go to a high school to see if Macedonian is taught as a second language (don't even think about it).

Anyway, I am asking a lot from you since probably no ethnic Macedonian has ever contributed to your electoral campaigns. Instead, why not meet with members of the St. Demetrius (oh-god-dam-it … it's a Greek!) Macedonian Orthodox Church, Plantation, Florida.

Anyway, at least you have taken the time to read this. Good luck and God bless.


Macedonia’s unresolved title has been an obstacle to Balkan stability.

By Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

On May 8, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) for the first time in its history marked Europe Day. A few weeks earlier, foreign minister Ilinka Mitreva met with ambassadors of NATO countries to emphasize her country’s serious aspirations to become a member of the transatlantic security network.

A candidate country for European Union membership since December 2005, and lobbying for a positive signal from the NATO summit in Riga this fall, FYROM is actively preparing to become a full member of the international community. But one crucial precondition of this process is still missing — the country is still referred to by its transitional name, FYROM.

As a senior member of the House International Relations Committee and dear friend of the Greek people, I am troubled by the unresolved dispute over the name used to identify this West Balkan nation. Finding an internationally acknowledged name could bring substantial stability to the region and pave the way for further integration of FYROM into the international community.

Since FYROM declared its independence in 1991, it has asserted its right to be recognized as the Republic of Macedonia. Greece has objected to this name, saying it causes confusion with regard to the Greek region of Macedonia. Even though Greece and the FYROM have been consistently consolidating their relationship, and Greece, being FYROM’s leading trade and investment partner, just recently confirmed its support for FYROM’s EU membership, the name issue continues to be an irritant.

This dispute has slowed Greece’s efforts to help FYROM through far more consequential problems in the region. Greece, recently referred to by Condoleezza Rice as America’s “best friend in the Balkans,” is the region’s giant in terms of democracy, economic investment, security, and stability. Over 3,500 Greek firms are already operating in the Balkans; Greek investment exceeds $10 billion and trade exceeds $4 billion; and Greece’s GDP is twice as large as the combined GDP of the six other Balkan countries. Greece’s full engagement will be necessary for success in the Balkans.

It is now time to solve the only serious obstacle remaining: the name issue.

I welcome the Bush administration’s efforts to deepen their diplomatic engagement in the Balkans, as illustrated by Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns, when he testified on Capitol Hill earlier this year. As former U.S. ambassador to Greece and former U.S. ambassador to NATO, Burns knows the Greek and Balkan sensitivities involved in the name issue very well.

I view the undersecretary’s engagement as a positive signal that the U.S. will return to a more balanced approach to the name dispute. In November 2004, the Colin Powell-led State Department decided to suddenly change its policy and recognize FYROM as “The Republic of Macedonia,” a step which caused great dismay to Greece. NATO, the EU, and the U.N. continued using the name “the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.”

In a letter I recently sent to Secretary of State Rice, I noted that “it is important that our government return its focus to solving this difficult name issue and to helping officials in FYROM understand now that their domestic vote issue has passed, they must move back to sincerely trying to find a name that is acceptable to both sides.”

An American engagement makes sense for a number of reasons. The Administration’s switch in title recognition for FYROM was not a change of principle. All along the U.S. has maintained that FYROM’s final name should be acceptable to Greece, and we have encouraged the U.N. and others to maintain that position.

In March, the Greek government also accepted as a basis for negotiations a title presented by the Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary General, Matthew Nimetz. He recommended “Republika Makedonija” for domestic use and “Republika Makedonija-Skopje” for international use.

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has played a small but symbolic role with regard to the Global War on Terror and our mission in Iraq. FYROM employs troops in Iraq and also supports the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.

The U.S. has encouraged FYROM’s preparations for NATO membership by signing the Adriatic Charter initiative, which underlines Albania’s, Croatia’s, and FYROM’s dedication to strengthening their individual and cooperative efforts to intensify and hasten domestic reforms which enhance the security, prosperity, and stability of the region.

As a member of the Hellenic Caucus, I have co-sponsored various pieces of legislation encouraging the involved parties to find a mutually acceptable name for the FYROM. One such bill received more cosponsors than 97 percent of 809 House resolutions introduced in the 109th Congress. For the benefit of FYROM and the benefit of the region, the U.N.’s proposal should be accepted as a basis for serious negotiation. I am confident that Greece and FYROM can negotiate a mutually acceptable win-win title for both countries.

Peace and stability in the Balkans are crucially important to the United States. and resolving the FYROM name dispute will be an essential step toward this goal.

— Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is a senior member of the House International Relations Committee as well as the Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and Central Asia

Pseudo-Human Rights Group - National Democratic Institute (NDI)

This is one of the many pseudo-human rights groups that have reproduced like rabbits after the collapse of the cold war. It studiously avoids mention of Macedonians in Greece, Kurds in Turkey and nothing on Saudi Arabia. It is chaired by Madeleine K. Albright, so you know that it is going to part of the US effort to destabilise various governments around the world that piss off the US. Macedonia can't do anything about this group, but if I was Putin, I would show these guys the door … pronto.

NDI - National Democratic Institute:

"In Macedonia, NDI support has made parliament one of the strongest in the region through public legislative hearings, constituent relations offices, and a flagship internship program. "

Don't Throw Out the Baby with the Bath Water

This is a really good article about the US automatic reflex to tell other people what to do. I agree that the US is in no position to judge others, however some of these reports are too valuable to lose. The US State Department Report on Human Rights in Greece has been one of the first agencies that has documented the violations of human rights of Macedonians in Greece. What we need is for the US to "work with allies and in coalitions" to have other international agencies take over the publishing these reports. My suggestion is the IMF or World Bank , not he UN ... for obvious reasons.. Get rid of the OSCE reports, EU reports, UN reports and other time wasters.

Scold War Buildup:

"Each year we issue detailed human rights reports on every country in the world, including those whose performance appears superior to our own. We judge whether other countries have provided sufficient cooperation in fighting illegal drugs. We place countries whose protection of intellectual property has been insufficient on 'watch lists,' threatening trade sanctions against those that do not improve. We judge respect for labor rights abroad through a public petition process set up under the System of Generalized (trade) Preferences. We publish annual reports on other countries' respect for religious freedom."