Saturday, December 29, 2007
Claiming Macedonia: The Struggle for the Heritage, Territory and the Name of the Historic Hellenic Land, 1862-2004
Secretary of Edward R. Stettinius, Jr.
U.S. Secretary of State
December 26, 7944
"'The Macedonian Question" is an international problem that presents many puzzling historical and political problems. Originally, the problem dates back to the era immediately following the Greek War of Independence and The ill-fated attempt of Bulgaria to annex the former Ottoman region.
The modern fabrication of the so-called "Macedonian Question," however, is one of the greatest cases of historical revisionism and fraud that was fabricated by Josip Broz Tito, Communist leader of Yugoslavia in 1944. The Communist government of Yugoslavia, invented the pseudo-state by changing the name of "South Serbia," (or "Vardar Macedonia") to "Macedonia." To go along with the new name, came an attempt to create a new cultural-historical heritage: A new language from the South Slavic dialect of the region was officially "declared," A new, self-proclaimed "Macedonian Orthodox Church:" not recognized by any other Orthodox churches; and a fabricated history that denies the Hellenic character of the land of Alexander the Great.
Seeing the creation of the Skopje pseudo-state, the administrations of Presidents Roosevelt and Truman categorically denounced the apparent land grab and historical fraud at the expense of Greece and Hellenism.
The current political problem has come about with the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1991, when the United Nations, NATO, the European Union and most nations recognized the new state as the "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia," or "FYROM." Successive governments of Greece have clearly stated that they have no territorial designs on this area, but do not want to relinquish the Hellenic character, history and heritage of Greek Macedonia. With strong historical evidence of this Hellenic character, references to Macedonia are found in both Herodotus and Thucydides. Further, Mt. Olympus was the home of gods in Greek mythology.
The struggle for Macedonia is one that has perplexed and agonized Hellenes. This is a problem of more than just geo-politics, it is the wholesale distortion of history to promote the creation of a state at the expense of Hellenic heritage. The poet, Odysseus Elytis reminds us that "Our name is our soul," and therefore, who can give up their soul? What becomes necessary, is a clear, candid, historical analysis of the "Macedonian Question," through its unique Hellenic character. This detailed argument from a Greek perspective is given by author George C. Papavisas in his "Capturing Macedonia."
Papavisas has written a thoughtful account of the Macedonian issue, unlike any other publication to date. He examines the nature of Hellenic Macedonia and traces Macedonia's Hellenic past. He focuses on the deliberate creation of a fraudulent history to promote wholesale misconceptions about Macedonia's past and present. The author gives us a clear insight to the evolution of the problem from its beginnings as a Bulgarian land grab, through a Communist historical hoax to the present dispute with the Skopje, FYROM, government. He gives us a very comprehensive study of the issue from an accurate historical, cultural and political perspective. To those wishing to understand the Hellenic viewpoint, the author's comprehensive study covers the conflict from initial stages to the present challenges.
George Papavisas states his intentions clearly in his Preface: "It is not my intent to add another historical book on Macedonia. It is to add a different book, one with uniquely interpreted approach, easily read and understood by the common English-speaking people interested in the Macedonian issue and in the long political, diplomatic and military struggle for the heritage, the territory and the name of the Hellenic land."
To his credit, the author certainly has achieved this lofty goal and his book is a must read to Hellenes and Philhellenes that want both historical accuracy and the preservation of heritage. In the words of former Congressman John Brademas, "The proper teaching of history can be crucial in promoting tolerance and peace." To this noble end, George Papavisas has given new meaning and appreciation to the "Macedonian Question" and Hellenic heritage.
Reviewed by: Dr. James F. Dimitriou. Past Supreme President
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
"Much to our surprise, the reason why Greeks did not show a close relatedness with all the other Mediterraneans analyzed was their genetic relationship with sub-Saharan ethnic groups now residing in Ethiopia, Sudan and West Africa (Burkina- Fasso). Although some Greek DRB1 alleles are not completely specific of the Greek/sub-Saharan sharing, the list of alleles is self-explanatory. The conclusion is that part of the Greek genetic pool may be sub-Saharan and that the admixture has occurred at an uncertain but ancient time."
Department of Genetics, Stanford University School of
Medicine, Stanford, California 94305, USA
Department of Genetics, Biology and Biochemistry,
University of Torino, Via Santena 19, 10126 Torino, Italy
L. Luca Cavalli-Sforza
Department of Genetics, Stanford University School of
Medicine, Stanford, California 94305, USA
Friday, December 14, 2007
- On the outbreak of the second Balkan War between Bulgaria and her former Allies, a very considerable portion of the Bulgarian population in the districts to the north of Salonika followed the retreating Bulgarian Army into Bulgaria. The districts affected were, principally, that of Kilkis and, to a lesser degree, Goumentza, Demirhisar and Seres. The total number of Bulgarians who migrated at this moment was about 15000
- Towards the end of that year the whole Greek population of the Macedonian districts ceded to Bulgaria by the Treaty of Bucharest (qazas of Jum'a-i-Bala, Razlog, Melnik, Nevrokop, Strumitsa) emigrated to Hellenic Macedonia. They numbered about 5000
- A similar movement took place from the Macedonian districts ceded to Serbia (qazas of Monastir, Gevgeli and Doiran). The Greeks from these districts, to the number of about 5000 settled for the most part at Thessaloniki, Florina, and Kilkis.
- At the same time the Greek population of the Caucasus, excited by the news of the Greek victories in Macedonia and by reports of free distribution of land, started to emigrate. Although the movement was discouraged by the Greek Government, which already had its hands full with other refugees, some 5000 * Caucasian Greeks succeeded inbeing admitted into Macedonia.
AS the result of the action of the Bulgarian Government in Western Thrace, which territory had been ceded to Bulgaria by the Treaty of Bucharest, and the settlement there of Bulgarian emigrants from Macedonia, practically the whole of the Greek population were forced to emigrate. Of these some 40,000 settled in Macedonia, others going to Old Greece.
- After the conclusion of peace between Turkey and the Balkan States, the Young Turkish Government started a vigorous propaganda among the Moslem inhabitants of the ceded districts, to induce them to emigrate to Turkey. Although Western Macedonia was hardly affected, a considerable portion of the Moslems of Central and Eastern Macedonia, estimated at 100000-115000 left for Turkey and were settled in Eastern Thrace and on the western coast of Anatolia.
- With the object of bringing pressure to bear upon the Greek Government to surrender the Egean Islands which had been occupied by Greece during the first ~ a l k a n War, the Young Turkish Government proceeded to expel, during the summer of this year, a portion of the Greek population of Eastern Thrace and the Asiatic littoral. About 100000 of these refugees (80,000 from Thrace and 20,000 from Anatolia) took refuge in Macedonia, where they were settled by the Greek Government.
- During the European War the Bulgarian Army occupied Eastern Macedonia, and all the Greek inhabitants-to the number of 36,000 were deported to Bulgaria.
Immediately after the Armistice the survivors of theabove deportation-to the number of 17000only-were brought back and reinstated in their homes.
The successive occupations of Western Thrace, Eastern Thrace, and Smyrna by the Greek Army were followed by the re-emigration of the Greeks who had been expelled from these countries in 1913-1914. The total number repatriated from Macedonia was about140,000.
In the course of 1919 the Greek Government decided to remove to Greece the Greeks of South Russia and the Caucasus, many of whom had been reduced to the condition of refugees by the Bolshevik Revolution. Of these, 55,000" were settled in Macedonia.1919. After the defeat of General Wrangel by the Bolsheviks at Odessa and in the Crimea, a portiori of the Russian White Army, including large numbers of Russian civiliall refugees, was transported to Greece. Of these about 1000 were settled at Thessaloniki.
In 1919 a Convention was signed between Greece and Bulgaria to facilitate the reciprocal emigration of the Greek and Bulgarian minorities in the two countries. Under this arrangement 27,000 Bulgarians had quitted Greek Macedonia for Bulgaria up to the end of 1924.1922-1924. After the Greek disaster in Asia Minor practically the whole of the Greek population of Western Asia Minor and the Black Sea littoral (Pontus) took refuge in Greece. Also, immediately after the signature of the Mudania Convention by which the Allied Powers agreed to surrender Eastern Thrace and Constantinople to the Kemalists, the greater part of the Greek and Armenian population of Eastern Thrace and a portion of the Greek inhabitants of Constantinople, fearing reprisals by the Turks, removed to Greece. Of these refugees, up to November 1924, about 200000 had been installed in Macedonia and 120000 in Western Thrace.1923-1924. In January 1923 was signed the Greco-Turkish Convention for the exchange of populations, which differs from the Greco-Bulgarian Convention in that it makes the emigration of the Greek and Moslem minorities in the two countries compulsory, only the Greeks of Constantinople and the Turks of Western Thrace being exempted from its provisions.This Convention came into operation in October 1923. By November 1924 the whole of the Moslem population of Macedonia, amounting to 348000persons, with the exception of a few individuals of Albanian origin whom the Greek Government had agreed to exempt from the exchange, had been transferred to Turkey.1924. In May of this year the remnant of the Greek population of Eastern Thrace and Asia Minor began to be transferred to Greece, under the provisions of the same Convention.By December 1924, at which date the exchange was practically completed, 150,000 Greeks (94,000 from Anatolia, 18,000 from Eastern Thrace, and 38,000 from Constantinople) had been transferred to Greece.Besides the above-mentioned wholesale migrations, a factor which must also not be overlooked is the settlement in Macedonia, immediately after the Balkan Wars, of considerable numbers of Greeks from Old Greece. Taking into account the Government officials, gendarmes, etc., 10000 would not be too high a figure. This does not include the army.
In 1913 the population of Greek Macedonia, according to the census taken in that province by the Hellenic Government immediately after the annexation, was 1,194,902. At the census of 1920 it had fallen to 1,120,079, a decrease of 7%.
In order to be able to explain the cause of this decrease and to ascertain how the relative strength of the various racial elements coin posing the population of Macedonia has been affected, one must take into account all the migrations which, during the intervening period between the two censuses, resulted in either an increase or a diminution in the strength of each separate racial unit.It is also necessary to know what the relative strength of these units was at the beginning of the period, that is, just before the Balkan Wars.
This information is available from various auxiliary sources.We take, as our starting-point, a statistical table of the population of Macedonia, by races, published by the Greek Government in 1904 and derived from Greek and Turkish official sources.
"Greeks . . . . . . . . . . . . ...523,472
Bulgars . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 119,005
Moslems . . . . . . . . . . . . 404,238
Various . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68,902
The figures in question were published in the Bulletino d'Orient of 1904 and also in the Trnlps of 27 December 1904, and are reproduced in Virgilj, 'La Questione Rumeliota,' pp. 233-4.The figures include, under the heading of Greeks, the Slavophone Macedonians acknowledging the authority of the Ecumenical Patriarch, and, under the heading of Bulgars, the Slavophone Macedonians acknowledging the authority of the Bulgarian Exarch, as, under the Turkish regime, ecclesiastical allegiance was the test of national sympathy. Koutzo-Vlachs, for the same reason, are classed as Greeks, unless they had officially registered as " Koumans." This classification, based on the principle of national sentiment, does not, of course, pretend to take account of the much.disputed question of the racial origin of the various elements of the population. In the Lausanne Convention for the exchange of populations (1g23), ecclesiastical allegiance was accepted as the determining test of national sympathy.
In his book " Slavphone moovements (1913-1930), War Statistics" Iakovos Michailides analyze all the known Greek and Bulgarian sources regarding the census of the Slavphones in Macedonia.
In this book the writer publish for a first time two secret statistics as about the Slavphones populations that done from the Greek authorities in Macedonia and Thrace.
1st Document(Central and West Macedonia)A.Y.E./1925/B/40,2Synoptiki Statistiki tou Pluthismou ths Genikhs Dioikiseos MakedoniasSlavphones
2nd document(Drama-Kavala)A.Y.E./1925/B/40,2Statistiki Pluthismou Ypodioikiseos ZyrnovouandStatistiki Pluthismou Ypodioikiseos Dramas, Komotene 19-11-1925
In the analysis we can see that the slavphones(Greeks and Slavs) comprised the 11% of the Total Macedonian population.The exarchists comprised the 5%.
I think and in my opinion these statistics is the most accurate regarding the composition of the Slavphone community.
The writer also comment ironically and the FYROMacedonian statistics (actually they use the Bulgarian sources) and the transformer of the Slavphones into "Macedonians"!!!
Slavamcedonian writer Todor Simovski in his book "Summary of the Inhabited Places in Aegean Macedonia" mention as about the status in Greek Macedonia..
".... From totally 2.000.000 inhabitants in Macedonia on the whole before its partition, more from the half of it, in other words, 1.163.477 inhabitants lived in Aegean Macedonia. The national structure of its population, which, as a result of the five century slavery, met with serious ethnic changes on the eve of the Balkan Wars, was the following: Macedonian Christians about 326.000, Macedonian Moslems 41.000,Turks 295.000, Greek Christians 240.000, Greek Moslems 14.000, Christian Vlachs 46.000, Moslem Vlachs 3.500, Albanian Moslems and Christians 9.000, Jews 60.000, Gypsies 30.000, and the rest from other minorities. "
as you see the FYROMacedonian claims just follow the Bulgarian statistics as Iakovos Michailides clearly state in his book. The only that they can do it in every statistic is to change the Bulgarians in "Macedonians".
1-A. Pallis,'Racial Migrations in the Balkans during the years 1912-1924'
2-Statistics of (a) the Mixed Commission for the exchange of populations between Greeceand Turkey ; and(b) Mixed Commission for Greco-Bulgarian emigra
3-Slavphone moovements (1913-1930), War Statistics, KEMO,Iakovos Michailides,2003
4-Summary of "the Inhabited Places in Aegean Macedonia,Todor Simovski
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Publisher: C. Hurst & Co (Publishers) Ltd (Jul 27 1999)
This academaic book is a rare example of a reasonably unbiased account of the occupation and subsequent civil war in Greek West Macedonia. It describes the politics of communal violence amongst an incredibly disparate number of ethnic groups. In addition to the native Greeks the area was home to Vlachs and Slavs as well as refugees displaced from Turkey in the 1920's.
Below is a review from John O.Iatrides as publish in the Journal of Military History, Vol. 64, No. 3. (Jul., 2000), pp. 894-895.
The book's primary purpose is to examine the "changes and mutations" that the ethnically divided population of (Greek West Macedonia underwent during World War II, when Greece was under German, Italian, and Bulgarian occupation, and during the ensuing bloody civil war.
Plundered Loyalties is history from the bottom up. The author's spotlight is on ordinary people that circumstances have turned into combatants. If national identities are artificially constructed, the process is very often a violent affair, its agents as well as its victims are almost entirely common folk, and what is now called "ethnic cleansing" is a major part of it. This is one of the most important books on Greece during the turbulent decade of the 1940s. Its author, a prominent historian at the University of Thessaloniki with first-hand knowledge of the region and the issues he discusses, has captured well the human dimension and the grass-roots dynamics of the events he chronicles. His monumental research, meticulous documentation, and judicious analysis, which is often based on little-known facts, will benefit greatly all those interested in modern Greece, Macedonia, and the Balkans. His humane disposition toward the individuals and factions he has studied will satisfy all but the most partisan among his readers. ]
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
AHC article on Political Action
Posted by user:
On November 3, 2004, in its first act a day after being reelected, the Bush Administration recognized the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (“FYROM”) as “Republic of Macedonia”. This act marked a sudden and unexpected departure from the long-standing US, UN, and EU policies and came despite the statement issued by the Bush/Cheney 2004 campaign stating, among other things, support for issues of importance to Greek Americans and philhellenes. It is an act which will have unforeseen consequences in the Balkans and it came at a time when Athens and Skopje had agreed to intensify their bilateral talks under the auspices of the U.N. to find a mutually acceptable solution regarding that country’s name.
The issue at hand is one of great importance to Greeks everywhere because claims over the Greek province of Macedonia and its most valuable port of Thessaloniki have been attempted many times throughout our tumultuous history. After the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1991 and the formation of FYROM, that country’s constitution made claims to the northern Greek province of Macedonia and its flag was the Sun of Vergina, the symbol of Phillip of Macedon, Alexander the Great’s father. Although references in its constitution have since been dropped, the flag has been changed (although it still resembles the symbol of the ancient Macedonians), and bilateral relations have been dramatically improved, the issue of the name still remains. Furthermore, it is well documented that extremist elements in FYROM have circulated maps which include large sections of Northern Greece and made claims that they are the direct descendants of the ancient Macedonians!
And there are further reasons to be alarmed.
It has recently been revealed that a US Department of Defense strictly classified handbook on FYROM included a map that showed parts of northern Greece and western Bulgaria as “occupied Macedonian territories”. Included were the city of Thessaloniki, Halkidiki and Mount Athos (see map)!
As of this date, bilateral talks between Greece and FYROM regarding the name are set to begin in New York under the auspices of the UN. Meanwhile, intense negotiations are under way between EU and Turkey to determine the date and the circumstances under which talks for Turkey’s entry into the EU can begin. The American Hellenic Council will continue to follow developments very closely, and inform members of the US Congress and the US Administration regarding policies that promote US interests in the region. The US policy objective should be directed at supporting and promoting the strong, stable and peaceful bilateral and multilateral relations, and the development of true democracy throughout the Balkan region and Turkey. At this critical juncture when the interests of Greece and Hellenism are under stress, it is vitally important we remain vigilant and united.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Brussels (ANA-MPA/M. Spinthourakis) -
Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, who represented Greece at the NATO foreign ministers conference, warned the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) here on Friday to change its stance to enable the finding of a mutually acceptable solution to the issue of the neighbouring country's name by this coming April.Speaking during her address on NATO's future enlargement, she said that all the member-states of the Alliance desire a successful course for Croatia, Albania and FYROM, but stressed that nothing must be taken for granted.
Referring specifically to the prospect of FYROM joining NATO, the foreign minister said that the Skopje government must make "laborious" efforts to meet the terms and preconditions set by the Alliance to accept new member-states.
"The timely, mutually acceptable solution to the issue of the name constitutes a substantive and essential precondition for the accession of FYROM to NATO," Bakoyannis said and pointed out that the stance of the Skopje government to date, as has been manifested with a series of counter-productive actions and decisions of intransigence and irredentist logic deals a blow at relations of good neighbourliness and prevents the prospects of building allied relations.
The foreign minister further said that the neighbouring country's government must take political decisions "of a similar boldness with those that we have taken in Greece to enable a change in direction."
She added that "now is the time for a solution to issues whose perpetuation has a negative impact on regional cooperation and security."
Asked to comment on recent statements by Skopje Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki (who said that the speedup in negotiations between Greece and FYROM on the name issue is a positive development without, however, this meaning that the problem will also be solved soon), Bakoyannis said that she focuses primarily on the point in the statement that mentions that the speedup in negotiations is positive.
Elaborating further on the issue, the foreign minister said that negotiations for a solution to the name issue have a specific topic and it must not be considered that they have the nature of confidence-building measures between the two sides.
Summing up her views on the issue, Bakoyannis said that as the situation stands now, with regard to NATO's enlargement, Croatia is the candidate country finding itself in the best position, followed by Albania, while FYROM must make considerable efforts.
"The decisions on the invitations for accession to NATO must not be considered and they are not foregone conclusions," she said.
The foreign minister mentioned that she also briefed U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Greece's positions, who extended an invitation to her and whom she met in Brussels on Friday.
Bakoyannis said that she briefed the U.S. Secretary of State on the reasons that Greece believes that there should be a specific timetable for the finding of a mutually acceptable solution between Greece and FYROM on the issue of the latter's definite name.
The foreign minister also mentioned that, apart from the issue of FYROM's name, the other issue she discussed with the U.S. Secretary was developments in Kosovo.
Bakoyannis stressed during her address on Kosovo at NATO's conference that the international community, and the Atlantic Alliance with it, must make every effort to achieve security and stability in the wider region.
The foreign minister further underlined the importance of the continuation of the mission and presence of the NATO force in Kosovo, based on the UN Security Council's resolution 1244. She also pointed to the significance of the fact that the government of Serbia requested from NATO itself to keep KFOR in Kosovo.
Lastly, referring to the situation in Afghanistan, which was one of the main issues that preoccupied NATO's conference on Friday, Bakoyannis said that peace and stability in Afghanistan is a basic aim for the Alliance, just like support and training for the national Afghan security forces is, and which are assisting the efforts of the Afghan government.
TALKS TO RESUME
Greek leadership and visiting UN special mediator on the FYROM "name issue" Matthew Nimetz agreed on Wednesday to intensify and accelerate UN-brokered negotiations on the sole remaining difference between Athens and Skopje, following a one-hour meeting at the foreign ministry in the Greek capital between the UN envoy and Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis.
Nimetz, who arrived in Athens after his talks in Skopje, was also received by Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis at the Maximos Mansion. The former was accompanied by Bakoyannis.
Later in the day, foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos confirmed that Greek and FYROM negotiators, Amb. Adamantios Vassilakis and Nikola Dimitrov, will meet in Skopje after the Christmas holidays, following a decision to accelerate UN-brokered negotiations.
The meeting will be held in Nimetz's presence and hosted by FYROM Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki, with the prospect of a follow-up meeting hosted by the Greek FM in Athens. Such a second meeting would also be held at the negotiators' level and in the presence of the UN special mediator, Koumoutsakos said.
After the meeting with Bakoyannis, Nimetz underlined the strong international interest for a solution to the issue, something that became apparent during contacts he had with the American government and European governments, as he said.
He stressed that the matter is not simply a bilateral issue between two countries, pointing out that it is a UN matter concerning a number of countries in different ways, whereas a resolution will be a relief.
Koumoutsakos said the continuation and intensification of the talks meant that FYROM has not rejected Nimetz's package of ideas as a basis for the negotiation, while he clarified that during Wednesday's meeting between the UN envoy and Bakoyannis, which he said was held in a "very good climate", the two officials reviewed developments in the “name issue” since the Nov. 1 commencement of a new round of talks.
The Greek side stressed that the negotiations had a timeline up to the day when FYROM will possibly receive an invitation to join NATO, Koumoutsakos said, whereas Nimetz said that his mission does not have a specific timetable, but that all the developments in the region, such as those concerning the future status of Kosovo and NATO enlargement, were leading to an acceleration of the procedures for settlement of the outstanding issue with FYROM as well.
Regarding the Athens-Skopje interim agreement of 1995, Nimetz said that although he had heard "different interpretations", nevertheless, "I did not hear anyone disputing it".
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Greek-Americans cannot explain what happened to the effective lobby we used to have. Some believe we have lost political influence and others that we have lost effectiveness. One could consider both assumptions as being not viable; nevertheless, it is a fact. The well-known powerful lobby of the old times is not powerful after all.
I however, believe we have lost effectiveness, not political influence. We have political influence in the polls, but we are not effective as a group, as power brokers, simply because we are not organized. Simultaneously, Albanians, Slavs of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (The FYROM), Turks, and others have gained effectiveness and they keep demonstrating that they can play better hardball than we can. These ethnic groups have learned on how to play the game. They have received support from the U.S. government under a dual formula; they have persuaded the American public and through it U.S. politicians that their old country is strategically important to the United States and its interests; if this does not work, they play the victim card. Some of them can do both and thusly they have made it for the duration.
The change of the Greek Orthodox Church a few years ago upgrading the local Metropolitans to Archbishops is a de facto downgrade of our effectiveness, since we have lost our real power, the only unifying factor, the Church. Perhaps, the power that Archbishop Iakovos had accumulated was bad for the Patriarchate of Constantinople, objecting that one single person had become too powerful. It proved however, that the decision was misguided because under the current world political climate a unified Hellenism could be a deterrent to Turkey's unchecked appetite and constant bullish attitude and to the Slavic, or even Albanian farsighted strategic designs against Greece.
The above ethnic groups have their old homeland's governments' full albeit silent support regardless of who governs. On the contrary, Greek politicians taking advantage of the vacuum in our unified leadership have preyed on the phylarchy of unconsciously incompetent self-proclaimed "leaders" of our Diaspora in order to advance their party politics at the expense of Greece's strategic security and political stability. They simply divide the Hellenic Diaspora instead of amalgamating it. A good example is the creation of SAE. Other countries had established such organizations in the '80s and their activities differ from political to cultural. The formation of SAE started very well until partisan politics deemed more important than Hellenic national issues. It has become a tool of successive Greek governments, and because of it, it is ineffective.
The aforementioned self-proclaimed phylarchs are concurrently irresponsible. They are the ones who signed a document relieving former President Clinton from his pledge not to recognize the FYROM, but they think they are not at fault, since they abode with the Greek government's request. It is "the devil made me do it" defense. If they are not responsible for their actions, what kind of leadership do they provide? Leadership is a constant decision making process that aims to direct correct or wrong decisions. A real leader may not take credit for correct decisions, but dodge blunders. President Truman was very correct when he said "the buck stops here." Whether one likes him or dislikes him as President, and I do not, one has to admit that he demonstrated what leadership is all about.
I blame the loss of effectiveness to the lack of a solid national policy of Greece. Politicians of Greece do not even agree as to what constitutes a national Hellenic issue. As the Mayor of Athens, Dora Bakoyanni admitted to the delegation of the Pan-Macedonian Association that she could not see the matter of Macedonia as a national issue. But if the potential loss of the country's most important province and the loss of historical, cultural, and linguistic heritage do not constitute a national issue, then what does?
The Hellenic Diaspora in the USA being the oldest of all, with fourth and fifth generation Americans being caught in a time warp maintains, in my opinion, the idiosyncrasy of a 19th century Greek. Most of them being purely Americans, lacking minimal Hellenic conscience and education owe 100% allegiance to the United States and its interests; whether these interests are real or not.
The effective influence of the above-mentioned ethnic groups direct the US government as to what it is, or it is not beneficial to her in the S.E. Balkans. Thus far, we have not done anything, because we lack direction and purpose. The problem is that we have to persuade the US Department of State and the White House, while fighting the Greek government at the same time.
On the other hand, Greek politicians and even voters have not discovered the seriousness of their position. Immediately after the elections of 16 September 2007, Mr. Papoutsis, a representative of PASOK, blamed on radio the voters for his party's defeat, although everything indicated the fact that his party was unable to make its case to the voters. Then the elections for the new leader of the same party took place with results that did not make sense to me. About a month before the elections, polls showed that PASOK voters did not consider Papandreou capable to win elections against Karamanlis. Instead, they thought that Venizelos was the person that could bring PASOK to the government. Yet the internal PASOK elections brought Papandreou to leadership. Why did these people vote for a person that cannot, by their own admission, win the first political place in the Hellenic Parliament? Weird, isn't it!
Athens news Agency reported that Prime Minister Karamanlis said that
… any perception that the responsible parliamentary procedure, the procedure set out in the country's Constitution, was a process of "reduced democracy" was "erroneous and dangerous," stressing that Parliament was fully able to ratify a prospective agreement with FYROM on the name issue if such an agreement was achieved.
The Constitution, he explained, "does not rule out the choice of other procedures, such as a referendum', adding that "it does not, however, gradate democratic sensitivity and responsibility."
"If and when a final agreement arises, parliament can responsibly fulfill its own duty," the prime minister stressed.
Is the Prime Minister of Greece saying that a referendum downgrades "democratic sensitivity and responsibility?" If that is the case, why then is it included in the Constitution of Greece? Is he saying that in a referendum the voters would make an irresponsible decision, because they are incompetent to choose wisely what is good for the national issues of Greece? If the Prime Minister feels this way, perhaps he could explain to all of us in what way the same voters have been competent to place him into the office of the Prime Minister. Alternatively, is it perhaps, when these same voters go to the parliamentary election wearing their competent brain, but when they proceed to vote in a referendum in a way that the political leadership of the country dislikes, they lose their brains? Perhaps one of you smarter than I am, could explain it to me.
One of the most interesting facts is that the Greek Diaspora and the Greek governments lack communication. Greek politicians rely heavily on the Hellenic Diaspora for its lobbying in Washington. At the time that the FYROM, the Albanians, and Turks spend millions of dollars they do not have, the Greek government has placed the idea of professional lobbying in the back burner and only when difficult times appear, they want things to be happening NOW.
They do not understand that firstly lobbying is not a switch one turns on or off, at will. Secondly, it requires a lot of money, insistence, and persistence, utilizing people who have studied public relations and communications and furthermore they do it as a profession. Love for our old country and knowledge of history are not enough. Understanding how the U.S. government works, knowing how to get access, and employing people who have unlimited access, as former U.S. Congressmen, to various U.S. government offices, are the fundamental pillars of lobbying.
Our Greek –American friends have to understand that the need for real leadership is of utmost importance. We need superior persons, not ostentatious braggarts who consider a visit to the office of an U.S. official more of a photo opportunity than a duty to their Hellenic roots. We need people who surround themselves with experts in regional security, regional politics, and have an insight in the psyche of Greece's neighbors.
Greek-Americans have lost their lobbying power they once had. They are equally responsible for this loss as the successive governments and politicians of the Hellenic Parliament are. They resemble chickens with their heads cut off maundering to their death. I hope someone in the Parliament of Greece realizes that mingling in the affairs of the Hellenic Diaspora is detrimental, not beneficial to Greece. Instructions coming from Greece to our Community on how to do things do not work in the United States. We understand the American people. I cannot say the same regarding the degree of the Greeks understanding their neighbors. Greek-Americans have to take back their rightful place in the U.S. politics, and they have to do it, NOW!
source:Hellenic News of America
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) exercised a vacillating and often seditious "Macedonian" policy for Macedonia, aligning itself with Comintern's anti-Greek position, undermining its own unity and its leaders credibility. The KKE was compelled to cooperate with Bulgarian autonomists, such as Gotse or Elias Demakis.
Except Gotse Paschal Mitrofsky, Naum Pejov, and others were among the first to transform themselves from Ochrana-Nazis to SNOF communists. Some of Ochrana's methods, besides terrorization, were similar to those of SNOF:
- demand that the Slavomacedonians openly declare their ethnic identity
- proselytize the KKE leaders sympathizing with the Bulgarian dreams and
- plans cooperate, when feasible, with pro-Bulgarian ELAS leaders
John Koliopoulos (Plunderes Loyalities, 1999, page 153) mention as about his life:
Last but not least in this galaxy of Slav Macedonian leaders and communist cadres involved in the process of turning 'Bulgars' into 'Macedonians' was Elias Dimakis or Gotse (named after Gotse Deltcev, a hero of the struggle for Macedonia killed in 1903 and claimed first by the Bulgars as Bulgar and afterwards by the founders of the People's Republic of Macedonia as Macedonian). Dimakis was a native of Melas, the Korestia village named after another hero of the same struggle, Pavlos Melas, killed there in October 1904. When he was still a child his family moved to Florina, where he attended the town's Greek elementary school. His father emigrated to the United States but returned after some seven years to Florina and set up as a baker with his son as assistant.
Elias soon became known locally as a thief and served terms of imprisonment, his last being shortly before the war. He is said to have become a communist during the Metaxas dictatorship, when he was imprisoned for his political views but released shortly afterwards after publicly renouncing communism. He was tall, strongly-built and brave. He flirted with local Komitadjis before being co-opted into ELAS and joining SNOF.
After a decision of the Macedonian Bureau of the Communist Party of Greece, and the necessary order from the commander of ELAS 28 Regiment, the 'Vitsi Detachment' was divided in September 1944 into 25 battalions, of which the 2nd became the 'Slav Macedonian Battalion'. As commander of the new unit Kosmas Spanos or Amyntas of Lechovon, a seasoned ELAS commander, was appointed with Gotse as the political commissar. The division was decided on after a sudden increase in the number of men of the initial unit, the result of 'the enlistment lately of a considerable number of men', according to the relevant regimental order.
In November 1944 Gotse made Monastiri his headquarters and worked hard at reorganizing his band, recruiting widely from refugees in Greece. Before very long he had a body of about a thousand men, which he named the "First Aegean Strike Brigade". Gotse himself became the Brigade commander. As his second-in-command he chose Naum Pejov, a veteran of the SNOF and Ochrana ,a native of the village of Gavros, near Kastoria.Pejov had fled to the PRM in June 1944. Dimakis Political Commissar was Mihail Keramiziev, from the same village as Pejov, with Vangel Ajanovski-Oche from the Edessa region as Keramiciev deputy.
The influx of men which made the creation of a new unit necessary was due to the accelerated pace of recruiting 'disarmed' Komitadjis and Okhranite which increased even faster now that the Slav Macedonians of Greece had their own unit to accommodate all the 'misguided' brethren.
Many Bulgarian komitadjides, afraid they might be punished after the war, suddenly became "Macedonians" and joined the Yugoslav partisans, their motivation surely being the desire to dissociate themselves from the crimes they had committed and the treasonous acts perpetrated against their country. Many escaped to Yugoslavia and joined the armed bands of the Bulgarian fascist Vancho Mihailov of IMRO. Some joined the Yugoslav partisans, whose leadership did not care whether they were komitadjides or Ochranists. ELAS make huge mistake as George Papavisas (Claiming Macedonia,2004, page 142) remarks :
It allowed formation of the "Slavomacedonian Battalion," with Gotse as its political commissar, to absorb the komitadjides defecting from the Germans. In less than a month, the battalion doubled its strength, incorporating many German or Bulgarian collaborators. The battalion became the salvation for many desperate individuals attempting to avoid reprisals at war's end: komitadjides, Ochranists, Siavomacedonian adventurers, Bulgarian and Yugoslav agents, and autonomists guided by communists freed from Akronafplia by the Germans, struggling to bury their Bulgarian past.
The journey from Bulgaria to SNOF, to western Macedonia, and then to Yugoslavia was completed. Gotse had assumed four nationalities: Greek, Bulgarian, Slavomacedonian, and finally communist Yugoslavian; were he alive today, he would certainly have been "Macedonian" in FYROM, a direct blood connection to Alexander the Great!
This is the story of a "Bulgarian" that transformed in "Macedonian"
Sources (and recommended for reading):