By Michael Celik
Like an earthquake, the new Macedonian encyclopedia published in Skopje has shaken and undermined imperialist political architecture on the Balkan Peninsula. The imperialist conquest and gains in the Balkans were founded on “new thinking” or better still, no thinking at all. The new thinking was supposed to lead to new prosperity and the peoples and nationalities in the region were led to believe that embracing European and American imperialism must be accompanied by wholesale denial of people’s historical experiences. In other words, the smaller peoples in the Balkans were asked to adopt “new identity”, “foreign mentality” and to institute a regime of self denial in exchange for promised prosperity. Insecure in their post socialist neighbourhood, peoples like the Macedonians sought safety under the skirt of imperialism. However, there are two inherent problems with that strategy. First, all their ancient enemies are already under the same skirt and nobody was ever allowed to shout: “Imperialism stinks, I want out”.
The formula is simple; everyone abandons his own self interest for the sake of U.S. imperialism, which then defines everyone else’s interests. And since imperialist needs and strategies shift with time, some nations become less or more valuable than others. This has happened to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Macedonia was very important for the breakup of Yugoslavia and now it is practically worthless. It is a captive nation with a gun to its head. At the end of the process, Macedonia is an economic basket case, internally divided and unable to do much about it. The promised prosperity, for which Macedonians did all the silly things, is nowhere on the horizon and Macedonians dream of prosperity and stability they once had in Yugoslavia.
Skopje, the capital of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has become the largest C.I.A. operational base for American espionage and manipulation in the Balkans. The Americans feel there more secure than anywhere else in the region. And now, when the Macedonians are expected to parrot imperialist falsehoods, there comes the new Macedonian Encyclopedia leaking forbidden knowledge. Just when the imperialists thought that they have supplanted truth with their self serving rhetoric, the encyclopedia speaks what the Macedonian Government does not dare to say. This is not an insignificant thing, as the encyclopedia was issued under the auspices of the Macedonian Academy of Science and Arts (MANU).
What did the Macedonian Encyclopedia say that is so heretical? For one thing, the encyclopedia declares that the Macedonians are Slavs, which undermines the imperialist scheme of inventing new nations on the territory of former Yugoslavia. The encyclopedia further reveals that the Albanian inhabitants of Macedonia are not indigenous to that land and that they forcibly settled there in the sixteenth century, displacing the Macedonians. There is another more contemporary aspect in which once top secret information is revealed. The 2001 Albanian terrorist separatist plotters against Macedonia were trained by British SAS and American Special Forces in Albania and in the occupied Serbian province of Kosovo. On the one hand, the Americans have trained and supported the Albanian terrorist organization ONA for mischief and mayhem in Macedonia and on the other, they have designated the same organization as “terrorist”.
This duplicitous American game is only possible because all the client states of the region have one and the same supreme master who promises the same land to two inimical peoples. While it is absurd that Americans should promise Macedonia to the Macedonians, it is even more despicable to promise parts of Macedonia to the Albanians and set them on the path of murder and terrorism as they did in Kosovo. However, this is imperialism’s modus operandi. Those who provide greater and more valuable services to the master reap greater rewards, (maybe and sometimes), for imperialism is selfish and immoral. In this case, the Albanians are more useful than the numerically insignificant and land locked Macedonians.
The outcry against the Macedonian Encyclopedia and its authors and editors is nothing other than the cacophony of American, British and Albanian voices with veiled threats and demands that the Macedonians realize and correct their own mistakes. The embassies of all three countries have been active in threatening the Macedonians, demanding firing of people responsible for this publication, especially Blaža Ristovski. They claim the encyclopedia is “scandalous” and needs to be withdrawn from circulation.
To understand how much pressure Macedonia is under, one only needs to look at Serbia where the EU already censors that country’s school textbooks, removing what it does not like and forcing the Serbs to publish what they do not like. Even the new Constitution of Serbia was co-authored by the former NATO Secretary General, Javier Solana, who had presided over that notorious organization during its savage bombing of Yugoslavia.
In its relatively short period of independent existence, Macedonia has managed to intimidate its neighbours, Greece and Bulgaria and ally itself with its own historical enemy, Turkey. Turkey at the same time backs Albanian expansionism against all the Balkan states, including Macedonia. The imperialist powers have their own misgivings about the Macedonians who sympathize with and admire the Serbs and had staged massive protests against NATO during its bombing of Yugoslavia. Some British soldiers were even beaten up in Macedonia during that time. When it comes to the question of Kosovo, the Macedonian people are unequivocally on the side of Serbia’s right to her own province. As victims of Albanian terrorism themselves, the Macedonians feel that American interpretation of things there is cooked up for the consumption of more distant and naïve peoples. But Macedonian – Serb relations have also had their strains when Serb Orthodox Bishop Jovan was jailed 18 months for his religious conviction and for distributing Serbian Orthodox church calendars and pamphlets in his parish. Both Serbs and Macedonians share the same Orthodox religion but have separate religious hierarchies.
Today, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has a government which aims to bring the country into NATO strictures and the European Union, as panacea for the plague of poverty (22%) and unemployment (37.2%). Ethnic instability and corruption do not readily attract foreign investment to Macedonia where Macedonians boast 64% of the population. While the subservient Macedonian Government dares not say what its academics reveal, the story would be even more shocking if the ordinary Macedonians’ lament were put to paper.