The Macedonian Tendency: Hoare on Nato and Macedonia

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Hoare on Nato and Macedonia

By David Edenden

Obviously I agree with Hoare on the Macedonian issue but also on the Bush issue. I am not a Bush supporter, on most issues, but neither an I a Bush hater. I like Bush! Bush has had the political courage to stand up to the powerful Greek lobby and support Macedonia, whereas the Bush haters are AWOL on the Macedonian issue!

I'm talking to you Eric Alterman!
NATO’s double disgrace
... Nor has the Bucharest summit upheld the noble principle that NATO should serve as a framework within which the states of ‘new Europe’, along with ‘old Europe’, can coexist and cooperate. Not only did the NATO states let down Ukraine and Georgia, but they could not even muster the will to pressurise Greece into allowing Macedonia to join the alliance without first having to change its name. Macedonia’s membership in NATO is crucial for the stability of South East Europe, and Greece’s policy of trying to crush the sovereignty and national identity of a European country has nothing to do with democratic values, and much more in common with fascist traditions - it was Greece’s 1930s fascist dictator Ioannis Metaxas who pioneered the most extreme measures to forcibly Hellenise the Macedonian national minority in Greek Macedonia. (my emphasis - David Edenden)
This point was amply reaffirmed by recent Greek attempt to interfere with freedom of expression in Macedonia, by pressurising the latter over the appearance of billboards in the Macedonian capital of Skopje, showing a swastika superimposed on a Greek flag. The billboards were private advertisements for which the Macedonian government was not responsible; the Greek regime’s attempt to link Macedonia’s NATO bid to its removal of these billboards puts it on a par with the Muslim fundamentalists who rioted over the Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed. (my emphasis - David Edenden)

Greece has been a very poor member of NATO; it has only about 130 troops in Afghanistan - the same number as Macedonia, a non-member with one-fifth its population. Nevertheless, a senior NATO source apparently blamed Macedonia for Greece’s veto of its NATO bid.

The sad truth is that the widely reviled Bush has shown himself to be a much better European than France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy. Although Sarkozy is an improvement on the last two French presidents, is at least relatively pro-American, and has agreed to bring France back into the NATO integrated command structure, yet he has persistently shown himself ready to put considerations of narrow national interest above higher principles - and to justify it in the crudest terms. He argued against Turkey’s entry into the EU on the grounds that ‘Turkey is in Asia Minor’ and that ‘I won’t be able to explain to French school kids that Europe’s border neighbors are Iraq and Syria.’ (This from the president of a republic that includes territories in the Caribbean, South America and the Indian Ocean as its integral parts or ‘overseas departments’). He supports Greece against Macedonia in the ‘name dispute’ on similarly principled grounds: ‘I always stressed that we support the Greek position in the name issue. Greeks are our friends.’
The US has shown itself to be more principled and more pro-European than France. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has contradicted NATO’s source, and stated unambiguously that Macedonia was not to blame for the failure of its NATO bid. The US has now promised to boost assistance to, and bilateral relations with Macedonia. It is a sad day for NATO when the US must bypass it to support the more youthful and vulnerable members of the European family.
One of the sorriest aspects of this dismal NATO summit was the failure of our own Prime Minister Gordon Brown to support the US, either over Ukraine and Georgia or over Macedonia. The charitable explanation is that this was the inaction of a PM inexperienced in foreign affairs who still has not found his feet. The more worrying possibility is that Brown is reacting to Tony Blair’s controversial experience by attempting to be less pro-American and more ‘pro-European’ (i.e. anti-European but pro-Franco-German). This would be a mistake. If it is left to the US, alone of all the major NATO countries, to stand up for the East Europeans, this will not be good for European unity.


  1. Sad but true!!! Many thanks to the US government for understanding the issue as it is, and for all the support during all this time.

    Macedonian civilian directly supporting US troops in ME.

    Sad but true!!! Many thanks to the US government for understanding the issue as it is, and for all the support during all this time.

    Macedonian civilian directly supporting US troops in ME.