days ago, Macedonian media broke a shocking story. Leaders
of two Albanian political parties in the new unity government,
Arben Xhaferi and Imer Imeri, held secret talks with the political
leader of the "UCK," Ali Ahmeti, and signed
a joint policy platform. The talks took place in German-occupied
Prizren, deep inside Albanian-ruled Kosovo. They were organized
by OSCE’s ambassador to Macedonia, American diplomat Robert
Unconfirmed reports also linked NATO’s envoy to Skopje with
Political representatives of Macedonia’s Albanians, who were
wooed into the unity government under strong pressure from
EU and NATO, had used the very first opportunity to stab their
colleagues in the back – with the help of an American diplomat!
With one stroke of a pen, Xhaferi and Imeri had proved they
shared the same goals with the "UCK."
politicians have said as much in public, and repeatedly. Imeri’s
party even insisted that Macedonian Army declare a unilateral
ceasefire, before they would enter the unity government. Only
the blind would have failed to notice the matching rhetoric
of the UCK and the political leadership of Macedonian Albanians.
There is a unity of purpose between them unprecedented even
in Kosovo, where Hashim Thaci’s UCK routinely murders members
of Ibrahim Rugova’s LDK, even though they both passionately
hate the Serbs and desire independence.
only need compare the demands of Xhaferi’s DPA and Imeri’s
PDP with the bandit’s publicly stated demands: from changing
the Constitution so Albanians are elevated to nationhood status,
and recognizing Albanian as a second official language, to
giving Albanians state subsidies for parallel education structures
and more jobs in government service. Until the Prizren platform,
the only difference was that the DPA-PDP wanted to accomplish
its goals through negotiations, while the "UCK"
preferred to use the business end of the AK-47 assault rifle.
Now, however, the politicians and the bandits have agreed
to bring the ballot and the bullets together in pursuit
of the cause they already shared.
A LITTLE HELP FROM SOME FRIENDS
all the pieces of the puzzle are firmly in place. The day
the story broke, Frowick
left Macedonia for Bucharest, ostensibly to report to
OSCE’s current chairman, Romania’s foreign minister. Meanwhile,
Skopje declared him persona non grata and kindly asked
him not to come back, ever. Javier Solana, EU’s top political
officer most responsible for the creation of the unity government,
immediately flew to Skopje and tried to reconcile the treacherous
Albanians with their Macedonian partners.
is by no means too strong a word. When officials of a government
sign a pact with their ethnic kin in a terrorist "army"
currently at war with that government, that is treason by
any definition. Yet Xhaferi and Imeri not only admitted to
signing the Prizren papers, they actually refused to renounce
his "mediation," Solana gave
further legitimacy to the treacherous two by agreeing
to their refusal to disavow the Prizren platform. Instead,
the coalition partners signed a pledge to pretend
Prizren never happened. This, in the words of the Reuters
reporter, "underscored how vital their [Imeri and Xhaferi’s]
cooperation is to the survival of the coalition and the prospects
of a political deal."
would be more merciful towards the Macedonians if NATO simply
demanded unconditional surrender to Albanian demands. Which,
actually, may not be too far from the truth…
while claiming to support Macedonia’s integrity and its fight
against the "UCK," leaders of the US, EU and NATO
their support to Albanian goals. For example, NATO’s Secretary-General
George Robertson, said "There should be no place at the
negotiating table for those who prefer the bullet to the ballot
box." Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Colin Powell expected
NATO to "encourage the government of Macedonia to move
more aggressively on reconciliation" with Albanians.
EU, through Solana, "backed" the Macedonian government
by urging it to "press ahead with discussions on increased
is support? This is mediation? The only thing obvious
from these statements is that the US, NATO and EU’s chief
concern is the speediest possible appeasement of Albanian
demands! Since the Prizren platform unified ballots and bullets,
and since Albanian "rights" is the stated aim of
the "UCK," why would anyone rational continue fighting
the "UCK" and at the same time fulfill its demands?
message to Skopje is clear: fight all you want, you will have
to surrender eventually.
SINISTER, RACIST AGENDA
Prizren platform is just one more physical confirmation that
Macedonia’s Albanians – all of them – are pursuing a sinister
ethnic agenda. This column has stated repeatedly,
and will continue to do so again, that the conflict in Macedonia
has nothing to do with Albanian "rights," or human
rights in general. That is merely a pleasant fiction, calculated
to court outside support. What those "rights" would
mean in practice ought to be obvious.
amending the Constitution to give Albanians nationhood status,
Macedonians would effectively lose their own nationhood –
i.e. the legitimate right to have a nation-state of one’s
own. Unlike Kosovo, where they have been a presence at least
since the Middle Ages, Albanians in Macedonia have grown in
numbers from nothing at the end of World War Two, to just
under half a million by 1994.
the other demands – language, education and civil service
jobs – are calculated to give official approval to a separate
Albanian society within Macedonia. Such an apartheid currently
exists, but it is not imposed by the Macedonians. It is the
Albanians who wish to remain separate, never intermarry, refuse
to speak Macedonian, go to Macedonian schools or even salute
the Macedonian flag. They literally want the end of Macedonia
as a state.
this direct explanation does not sound convincing, consider
symbolism, then. Former Macedonian president Kiro Gligorov,
an old statesman with decades of experience, pointed out to
the Belgrade daily Glas Javnosti the symbolism of Prizren
as the chosen place for the talks. It was there, in 1878,
that Albanians formed a political organization – the "League
of Prizren" – tasked with "liberating"
all the "Albanian lands" in the Balkans.
the political treachery comes at a time when Macedonian security
forces are mauling the "UCK" bandits left and right.
fighting north and east of Kumanovo, Macedonian special
forces took three out of seven bandit-held villages over the
past week, rolling
up both flanks of the UCK front.
two northernmost bandit-held villages, Vaksince
and Lojane, were taken by Saturday. On Tuesday, Macedonian
troops entered Matejce, the southernmost "UCK" strongpoint.
Faced with complete failure of their conventional tactic,
the bandits said they were preparing to start a campaign of
classical terrorism – blowing up people in the cities.
is hard to imagine this affecting Western policy. All it can
accomplish is to further radicalize the Macedonians, who are
increasingly fed up with Albanian violence. The "UCK"
and its political arm, the PDP-DPA, are playing with fire.
But then, perhaps fire is exactly what they want. It would
not only leave most ordinary Albanians without a choice but
to join up – and this is already happening, though slowly
– but the resulting carnage is certain to score big points
on the Western propaganda front. Already the news reports
of fighting in Macedonia are routinely accompanied with pictures
of weeping Albanian
refugees – an eerie throwback to the Goebbelsian nightmare
of 1999. Add to this the sensationalist and uncritical reports
of Macedonian soldiers torturing
the Albanian refugees, and the stage is set for another
in Washington are already calling
for action. Color-bearers of militant imperialism, such
as Jim Hooper (of the BAC, ICG and now something called "Public
International Law and Policy Group") are openly calling
for Washington to embrace Albanian nationalism and use it
to further its own goals in the Balkans – as if this was something
yet to be done, instead of an established reality.
dailies have already published accounts of participants in
several meetings, organized by the US State Department and
the British Foreign Office, which outlined plans for a partition
of the Balkans into ethnically pure statelets. These accounts
focus on Kosovo and Bosnia; so far, no one has mentioned the
possibility of Macedonia being dismembered and fed to Albania
and Bulgaria, respectively. Yet this is a very real possibility.
From a strictly utilitarian standpoint, it would simplify
US control over the proposed corridor for a strategic