|They heard its “|
Let us Stick to Facts!
United “Macedonian” Diaspora’s recent underhanded vitriolic attack against anything and everything Greek and Greece, has raised questions as to the content of UMD’s accusations2. The article appeared on the National Post, which was more than happy to print trash without checking facts against true sources such as the UN, International Red Cross, etc.
The Skopjans have brought up the subject of paidomazoma and the Greek Civil War. According to them, the Slavs were killed and children were kicked out of their land. In essence they have unwillingly admitted that their parents committed treason against Greece by fighting the democratic forces of Greece in favor of their communist patrons. They also admitted that the well-known to the Greeks as paidomazoma (gathering of children) or children refugees, as the Skopjans are enjoying calling that occurred between 1948 and 1949 was actually genocide, except that the gathering of the children was done by them. I must explain that Skopje has been caught red-handed committing it as recorded in the annals of the UN and Red Cross, along with the reaction of Harry S. Truman, XXXIII President of the United States and Sam Rayburn, Speaker of the House of Representatives. My essay “Eliminating Opposition One Way or Another” offers a few facts on the matter while adding the plight of the Swabian Germans3.
I am offering furthermore web links to United Nations General Assembly Resolutions that explain a few things for truth’s sake (UNGA 313 Plenary Meeting, December 1, 1950 § 381, §282 A, B, C; UNGAR 508-510, 355 Plenary Meeting, December 14, 1951, and UNGAR 517 (VI), 371 Plenary Meeting, February 2, 19524.
The Canadian Minister of Defense Robert G. MacKay’s statement regarding “consensus minus one” for new membership was a political absurdity aimed to collect votes from the desperate Skopjan diaspora given that in order to adopt such a change, consensus is required. There are a number of countries besides Greece that would not consent to the proposal, i.e. Skopje’s ally Turkey and Albania. Under that proposal, Turkey would have no say on Cyprus joining NATO and Albania would be out of the loop from objecting to Serbia’s membership before its recognition of Kosovo’s independence.
Regarding the ICJ, Eric A. Posner, Kirkland & Ellis Professor of Law and Aaron Director Research Scholar at the University of Chicago, author of a series of essays on Intelligence, Security and International Law has concluded in the essay “Is the International Court of Justice Biased?”
The data suggest that national bias has an important influence on the decision making of the ICJ. Judges vote for their home states about 90 percent of the time. When their home states are not involved, judges vote for states that are similar to their home states—along the dimensions of wealth, culture, and political regime.
By its very statute (article 65.I) the Court’s opinions are advisory and do not interfere with national security or internal issues of member states. The ICJ advisory opinion per FYROM’s request on whether Greece had violated the Interim Agreement was unfortunate and clearly political. It is an erroneous opinion.
If the only country that objected was Greece, NATO decision would have stated that the FYROM did not meet the requirements of the Alliance, period. The fact is that the Alliance not only stated that the FYROM meet the requirements, but in addition it set a special pre-condition that the FYROM had to solve the name dispute before it can get the desired membership. That means that NATO went much further that an alleged simple objection by Greece. A single country could not have swayed and reversed the opinion of the Alliance, including Turkey and Slovenia, both known for their pro-Skopjan stance unless they all thought that they had to have trustworthy members among them. The Court has missed the point, because the Greek side did not make the connection to this fact. The FYROM was found untrustworthy of a military alliance.
In April 2008, NATO had taken a decision by consensus not to invite Skopje to join it because of its name dispute with a member state, Greece. The decision came about by consensus, not because of a veto, but because a number of countries did not want to bring a problem into the Alliance5.
As for the effect of the ICJ advisory opinion on NATO decisions, it will be nil. The internal procedures of NATO could not be touched by the ICJ finding it as being not competent to decide. Since NATO membership is voluntary, candidate states have to meet all requirements (pre-conditions and criteria) with exceptions. The attitude of the Alliance basically is “take or leave it.” One of the pre-conditions is that a solution of the name issue to Greece’s satisfaction is a must. This can be reversed only by consensus as long as such a decision does not affect the national security of a state member (Greece), not the way Skopje likes it to be, but the way Greece understands it. This is very important because if the national security of a state member is at risk, the whole Alliance is at risk.
The argument by Skopje that Greece should allow it to join NATO and EU and then solve the problem is definetely another maneuver. Firstly during the last twenty years of the dispute, Skopje has indicated that it does not think of changing the name of the country not adhering to the principle pacta sunt servanda. Secondly Greece did not disallow Skopje to join NATO, but since it was a collective decision, the Alliance has to reverse itself. It is not going to happen because it is a matter of national security of its member Greece. In addition, Turkey is a bad example of political bad faith in negotiations with the EU and thus since most of the countries of NATO are members of the EU, NATO is not about to consent.
Skopje keeps bringing up the agreement between Slovenia and Croatia to settle their disputes after Croatia joined NATO. The border disputes between the two countries are negligible next to the name dispute between Skopje and Greece considering Skopje’s behavior. The border disputes of those two countries do not closely amount in strategic importance naming Old Serbia (later Governorate of Vardar) to Macedonia. The future of Greece depends as a country on it. Greece has very legitimate strategic concerns against the FYROM, because under the aegis of a powerful patron the FYROM could officially claim Greek territories and even acquire them. The matter of Eastern Rumelia in 1885 and Kosovo in 2001 are powerful examples on how the Great Powers work in the Balkans. It would be unwise if Greece allowed the FYROM to set the foundations for a second Asia Minor catastrophe.
The dispute between Greece and Skopje involves territorial claim on the 34,177 km2 (13,195.8 sq mi) real estate of the Greek region of Macedonia, inhabited by 2.5 million Macedonian Greeks. A good example would be bringing Slovenia and Austria into the discussion. Could Slovenia be a member of NATO or EU if it had raised directly or indirectly, officially or unofficially claims on Austrian territories of Carinthia (Koroška) and Styria (Štajerska)? Not a chance. But the Slovenes are simply intelligent, not conniving! The fact that the FYROM has modified its Constitution means nothing compared to the constant demonstrations of maps of a united Macedonia promoted internally and abroad. One should compare these indications to the pre-Falklands War period when “a generation of school children had been taught that the Malvinas were Argentine. Postage stamps proclaimed that the Islands were a part of the Argentine Republic. Argentine maps labeled the Islands as “occupied territory6.”
Skopje’s defense sufficiency does not provide or set as a target the security of all defensive means, as well as the quality of manpower, which constitute the necessary and sufficient conditions for the deterrence of any threat. At the same time, a systematic effort for the introduction of new technology and weapon systems that ensure the maximization of “cost-effectiveness” is absent because of lack of funding. The FYROM lacks necessary funding to buy new weapon systems and new equipment. Crop dusters cannot replace F- 16s. Besides, serious sums have been diverted from the Defense to the Ministry of Internal Affairs denoting that Skopje’s true enemies are internal not external.
In other words the FYROM not only does not meet the set pre-conditions, it does not meet NATO criterion of “Added transaction costs of a new member for the alliance’s cohesion and ability to perform its main missions on the basis of consensus” since it spends only 1.4% of its GDP while the required minimum percentage is 2%. Furthermore, the FYROM and UMD constant attack on the consensus decisionmaking of the Alliance, makes NATO decision makers wonder why should they accept a candidate who fights the way the organization works?
In addition, the article has attacked Greece’s financial mess, but we all know that financial services companies as Standard & Poor, Fitch, Moody’s and Dagong have downgraded a number of euro zone countries and one of them, S&P has threatened to downgrade 15 euro zone countries, including Germany and France. Is the attack against Greece by association an attack against all 15? The fact however comes from a study by the Bonn International Center for Conversion, which indicates that despite its financial mess, Greece spends 3.6% of its GDP versus 1.4% of the FYROM with BB rating stable economy!
But there is something else that one must consider. It is the testimony coming from the FYROM’s White Paper on Defense, which states,
The Republic of Macedonia [sic] is of the firm belief that isolated security systems, especially those of small and developing countries, are irrational and inefficient. Since its independence the Republic of Macedonia [sic] has therefore focused on participating in collective security activities with the ultimate objective of becoming a NATO member. To the Republic of Macedonia [sic], there is no alternative approach except to join NATO and the EU. This opinion has a wide political consensus robustly supported by the vast majority of the citizens.”
Breaking down the above statement one concludes that the proclamation made by the FYROM’s Ministry of Defense. “This opinion has a wide political consensus robustly supported by the vast majority of the citizens” is false. According to the MIA News Agency a total of 66.5 percent “the vast majority of its citizens” chose the name against 26.2% who favored FYROM’s EU, NATO membership8.
In addition to the conflict of statements, we have FYROM’s admission that for its security depends on NATO not on its own armed forces. It is nothing wrong with such mentality considering the size of the country. However that country may not simultaneously consider itself that important, indeed the center of the Earth, while it begs NATO for its external security and at the same time diverting its forces against its own citizens as we saw above. In view of the fact that it has realized that “there is no alternative approach except to join NATO and the EU” the FYROM has to conform to the conditions for membership of those two organizations. In order for one to play with the big boys, one has to be a big boy. Let us stick to facts!
1Marcus A. Templar is a former U.S. Department of Defense Subject Matter Expert in Intelligence Analysis specializing in the Balkans. He holds an MA in Human Resource Development from Northeastern Illinois University and an MS in Strategic Intelligence from the U.S. National Intelligence University (U.S. National Defense Intelligence College). He is member of National Intelligence Education Foundation (USA), National Military Intelligence Association (USA), Political Studies Association of the UK, Greek Politics Specialist Group (Greece).
2Metodija A. Koloski & Mark Branov, “Time to let Macedonia play with the big boys” National Post Nov 28, 2011, http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2011/11/28/metodija-a-koloski-mark-branov-time-to-let-macedonia-play-with-the-big-boys/ (accessed December 13, 2011).
3Marcus A. Templar, “Eliminating Opposition One Way or Another” http://www.macedoniahellenicland.eu/content/view/2490/78/lang,el/ (accessed December 11, 2011).
4Secretary General Trygve Halvdan Lie, United Nations, Treats to the political independence and territorial integrity of Greece, repatriation of Greek children (Lake Success, 1949).
www.worldlii.org/int/other/UNGARsn/1950/44.pdf (accessed 2011), www.worldlii.org/int/other/UNGARsn/1951/7.pdf (accessed December 13, 2011), and
http://www.un.org/depts/dhl/resguide/r6.htm (accessed December 13, 2011).
5Marcus A. Templar, “NATO is a Bona-Fide Military Alliance, not a Socio-Political Private Club” http://www.macedoniahellenicland.eu/content/view/1928/76/lang,el/ (accessed December 11, 2011).
6Lieutenant Commander, Richard D. Chenette, USN, “The Argentine Seizure of the Malvinas (Falkland) Islands: History and Diplomacy” Marine Corps Command and Staff College, Marine Corps Development and Education Command, (Quantico, May 04, 1987). http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/1987/CRD.htm (accessed December 13, 2011).
7Jan Grebe and Jerry Sommer, , “Greece: High military expenditures despite the financial crisis,” Bonn International Center for Conversion, http://www.bicc.de/uploads/pdf/publications/focus/9-griechenland/BICC%20Focus_Griechenland_engl_fin.pdf (accessed December 11, 2011).
8“Poll: Citizens choose name over Macedonia’s EU, NATO membership, Skopje, 12 July 2010” MIA, http://www.mia.com.mk/default.aspx?vId=75449646&lId=2&pmId=501, accessed December 12, 2011).