September 6, 2001

Macedonia's Tragedy Masquerading as Farce

Nine months ago, Macedonia was known for being the only part of the former socialist Yugoslav federation to gain independence without a war; for having a bitter dispute with Greece over its name, and with Bulgaria over its ethnic identity; for sheltering hundreds of thousands of Albanians who left Kosovo during NATO's 1999 air assault, and serving as a logistical base for NATO's occupation of southern Balkans; and for its superb food and textile products.

Now its name stands for a tragedy masquerading as farce.

Two days from now, Macedonia is supposed to celebrate its tenth birthday as an independent nation. If the Sobranie, the Parliament, succumbs to pressure and blackmail from both NATO and the Albanian bandits, the only thing that will be celebrated this September 8 will be its funeral.

Macedonia has been flayed alive, then accused of suicide. Its people have been stripped of their ethnic identity, nationhood and even their right to life and property. Albanian thugs control swathes of its territory while pretending to disarm. German tanks rumble through its landscape again, after sixty years, while British paratroopers stand at their side and pretend to be gathering weapons from the bandits they helped train.


The farcical operation "Essential Harvest" is essential in only one regard: to convince the citizenry of the soi-disant "international community" that their governments honestly intended to stay in Macedonia for only 30 days and help the "peace process" there. Alas, cruel fate has forced the brave defenders of democracy to stay much, much longer, because peace has been so elusive. Yet what did they expect? As daily images from Northern Ireland, Israel and now Macedonia keep proving, peace process is the exact opposite of peace.

Denizens of Imperial lands may be such complete morons as to believe this claptrap, their rulers certainly know better. In a shockingly rare display of honesty, a British Defense Ministry source told The Scotsman on Monday, "This mission was a way of getting in. Once you're on the ground it's much easier to justify staying." For someone who has seen the slow creeping infiltration of NATO into Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo, this statement should be quite enough.


However many times it has been said before, it needs to be said again: none of this would be possible without a powerful and committed propaganda apparatus. Slow to react at first, it is a terrifying sight when operating in full gear. Day after day, it churns out stories that are at best only illusions of truth, at worst pure, unadulterated lies. Who, what, where, when and how are usually drowned in the sea of editorial guidance, which seeks to present a politically correct version of the "why."

Thus Macedonia's Prime Minister, top policeman and even chairman of the Parliament are smeared as "hard-liners," "nationalists," even "certified hardliners" and "ultra-hardliners," in an effort to bolster the subservient President Boris Trajkovski at their expense. This is the same President who invited foreign "mediators" to compose an ultimatum to his own government, invited foreign troops to occupy his country, and sold his people for hundreds of millions of dollars in aid, none of which will ever materialize. No matter. All that makes him a "moderate," and all those who see something wrong with this picture are… "certified ultra-nationalist hardliners" perhaps?


Why, then, are Georgievski and others still going along with NATO's nefarious scheme? Why is everyone in the Balkans so pathetically willing to do NATO's bidding, almost always at their own expense? For answers, look just across the Macedonian border to the northwest, and some two and a half years in the past.

"We should not play with NATO's authority," said Georgievski in his bitter address to the Sobranie, in which he urged the delegates to ratify the Treaty of Ohrid despite its treasonous implications. He knows, as everyone should, what happens to those who defy that authority. NATO's power comes out of missile tubes and off the bomb racks, from legions of obedient reporters, millions of dollars in bribes, and millions of willing servants throughout the world. This power set a haunting example when it pulverized the Serbs and turned them into a pathetic, servile rabble.


Another reason could be that Macedonia's leaders might be afraid of ending up like the Serb leadership, imprisoned in a Dutch castle at the mercy of NATO's judges and prosecutors, whose only rule is "guilty until proven innocent – and we dare you to try!" Where else in the world can anyone be tried multiple times on the same charges by a self-appointed court, given harsher sentence after appealing, accused by anonymous, protected witnesses and already convicted in the media before the arrest, let alone trial?

The Hague Harpy is currently roaming Belgrade, asking for more heads for her collection, but she may well soon descend upon those "hardliners" who just can't seem to get with the program in Macedonia. Then again, Georgievski and others should not worry – if it so desires, the Inquisition will come for them regardless of what they do. Even without the examples of Croatia and Bosnia, Macedonians ought to know that submissiveness to NATO has never been a guarantee of protection.


Rightfully important as they are to their residents, who are most affected by imperial meddling and the incessant pandering of local collaborators, Macedonia and the Balkans are but a strand in the vast web of the Empire's policy. Just as the Empire's experiences in Latin America, the Middle East and Afghanistan were used in staging massacres and arming "insurgents" in Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo and now Macedonia, experiences from the Balkans are now being applied in other corners of the world.

The Great Belgrade Experiment, which produced the 18-headed creature now supposedly in charge of the hemorrhaging Yugoslavia, is now set to be replicated in Belarus. A day after Macedonia's moribund anniversary, this nation is supposed to hold elections, in which the Empire hopes to topple the current President, Aleksandr Lukashenko.

Geographically speaking, Belarus is as far from the Balkans as France. Belarus is, however, no older than Macedonia in terms of statehood. For the past decade, it has been an exception to the rule in Eastern Europe, surviving as an oasis of peace and relative prosperity as other former socialist countries slid into a social, political and economic morass. Unlike her neighbors, Belarus did not sell off its economy to foreign predators, nor did it pledge allegiance to NATO – quite the contrary, it expressed a desire to rejoin Russia in a federation! Belarus did not attack anyone; there have been no wars on its soil in the past decade, nor has it expressed territorial ambitions or aggressive tendencies. Its only sin is that President Lukashenko refuses to bow to the "international community" and its notions of "democracy" and "human rights," which have so devastated the rest of Eastern Europe.

Now Lukashenko is being targeted for removal, the same way Slobodan Milosevic was targeted in 2000.

What happened in the Balkans is already being used as a template for other parts of the world. Yesterday Serbia, today Macedonia, tomorrow (it is planned) Belarus. After all, they are all "Slavs" to the Western media. Who will be next? Fill in the blank.


As the macabre spectacle in Macedonia continues, one is left with an exasperating question: if this is happening despite everything that was said and written about Kosovo, everything that was said and written about Bosnia, everything that has been said and written about Macedonia itself… is there hope?

The answer should, perhaps, lie in history. It is not for nothing that the Balkans is known as "graveyard of empires." Its people have shrugged off the Communists, defeated the Nazis, broken the teeth of the Hohenzollerns and smashed the scepters of the Hapsburgs – not to mention surviving five centuries of oppression under the Ottoman Turks.

Perhaps this time, this particular empire bit off more than it can chew.

One can only hope.

Text-only printable version of this article

Nebojsa Malic left his home in Bosnia after the Dayton Accords and currently resides in the United States. During the Bosnian War he had exposure to diplomatic and media affairs in Sarajevo, and contributed to the Independent. As a historian who specializes in international relations and the Balkans, Malic has written numerous essays on the Kosovo War, Bosnia and Serbian politics, many of which have been published by the Serbian Unity Congress. His exclusive column for appears every Thursday.


Past Articles

Macedonia's Tragedy Masquerading as Farce

A Day to Remember

The Serbian Standoff

Macedonia's Futile Surrender

Murdering Macedonia

Rambouillet Repeated?

Empire's Willing Servants

Kostunica's Choice

Betrayal in Belgrade

The Empire Shows Its Hand

The Return of Kings

Meditations On The Edge Of The Abyss


Terms of Betrayal

Presevo – A False Victory

The Balkans: Land of Delusions

Enemies at the Gates

ICG's Blueprint for Destruction

Kosovo: Between Death and Taxes

Madness in the Mountains: Montenegro's Looming Secession

A House Divided


Empire at the Gates

Macedonian Maelstrom

Pax Americana

The Fourth Balkan War

Mayhem in Macedonia

Surreal Realm

Santayana's Curse

The Croatian Conundrum

March of the Black Eagle

Showdown in Belgrade

Out of the Shadows

With a Grain of Salt

Crusade's End

The Worst of Times

Moments of Transition

Déja Vu

The Crucible

Bandits on the Border

It's the Spelling, Stupid

Zoran Djindjic: Serbia's Richard III

Wheels of Injustice

The Tragedy of Bosnia

The Suspended Castle

Hand Of The Empire: Decision in Kosovo

Introduction: The Balkans Babylon

ITN: Case Closed

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