Greece and The Macedonian Question Today
Everything you wanted to know about Macedonians and Greeks

Greece and the Macedonian Question Yesterday
Don't watch the History Channel, read this instead!

How To Find News on Macedonia.
See this article on Macedonian news sites.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

"The Macedonian Tendency is Moving

This is the last post on this site ( ).

The Macedonian Tendency has moved to this new URL ("). The post below is the the first post on the new URL.

A Guide to Contributors to "The Macedonian Tendency"

by David Edenden

I am turning "The Macedonian Tendency" into a group blog. The first thing you will notice is the new URL "". This new URL should make it easier for journalists and politicians to find the blog, although there will be a period of adjustment as the search engines indexes it. The old site, will continue for the time being, until all the articles have been migrated to this site. If, like myself, it is necessary for you to use a pseudonym, please fell free to do so.

If you receive an invitation to join, you must apply a Gmail account which is free and easy to use. Feel free to introduce yourself and write on any topic relating to Macedonia, its history and culture without my prior approval. I do not expect that everyone will agree with my eccentric views, so debate within the blog is not a bad thing. In your Blogger profile, write what your interests are relating to writing for the blog. In this way, we will develop a division of labor so that we are not all writing about the same thing.

Identify yourself and format your writing in italics, while keeping the other material in regular fonts. Hopefully you will write at least one article per week ... not a great commitment. If you have written something in the past, please feel free to publish it here.

The purpose of this blog is to inform foreign journalists and politicians about "the Macedonian question" today. My main focus is to help in the process of recognition of Macedonia's constitutional name, the fight for the rights of Macedonians in Greece and Bulgaria and to a lesser extent in Albania.

We really need book an movie reviews along with the other arts. Sports reviews are also welcome.

I am not really interested in using this blog to display the divisions that are reflected in Macedonian politics. I generally support all Macedonian governments, although I disagree with many of their individual positions. Macedonians need a big tent. One of my favorite expressions is " some people look for converts, while others look for heretics." Lets all look for converts and not needlessly look for battles within our community.

Lets use Jews and Israel as a model. Jewish support for Israel is unwavering, however many Jews fell free to offer suggestions for Israeli policy. I have in the past published warnings against Nato membership, the EU and other issues without damning the Macedonian politicians who promote them.

Since it is a blog and not a online news magazine like "Reality Macedonia", articles should be short with links to the original source. I usually like to comment, no matter how small on all posts, but there have been exceptions. (1)

This long post about Robert Kaplan is a good example of the use of links. This post about Barack Obama needs to have links added. I decided it was worth posting first and then adding links later. After publishing your post, editing the title is not advisable since the search engines will lose the post. Editing of the actual posts is OK for spelling and formating issues.

For the sake of readability, I usually do not copy the entire original article, but do copy relevant material that could be lost behind a "subscription wall" (1) (2) (3). there are exceptions.

Make sure to include the link, the name of the author, relevant people and the core issue that are discussed.

"The Macedonian Tendency" is one of the few blogs where a comments on a specific news item are published from a Macedonian perspective. Lets try to improve it.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Will the Macedonian-Greek Dust-Up Sink Barack Obama

By David Edenden

Sooner or later the Greek lobby will be come knocking on the door of Senator Barack Obama for support for their position that ethnic Macedonians change the name of their country, the Republic of Macedonia, their Macedonian Orthodox Church, their Macedonian language, their history and finally to cease and desist in advocating for human rights for ethnic Macedonians living in Greece.

Loula Loi Alafoyiannis & Obama

How he deals with this issue may determine how the media treats his persona as a politician who is different; a politician who is offering hope and integrity for Americans.

Obama does' 't have that luxury to pander to the Greek lobby since, as a member of a racial minority that continues to face discrimination, you can't be seen as supporting discrimination of others. That's news - "thats man bites dog news", "thats democrat crosses picket line news", "thats republican ignores troops news".

I can see the right-wing smear machine proclaiming "Obama supports the cultural genocide of ethnic Macedonians in Greece!" Big news!

The "right wind smear machine" will be able to go into overdrive and "swift-boat" Obama on this issue because President Bush has taken a position on principle (maybe accidentally or maybe not.). He has recognized "The Republic of Macedonia" rather than the name "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) that the was forced upon Macedonia as a deal to get into the UN. The "smear machine" will slice and dice Obama's position to destroy his reputation and subvert his credentials as one who is interested in decency and human rights. It will be on Fox, Rush Limbaugh, bloggers and along with radio and TV ads.

The liberal media will be hard pressed to come to his defense when this issue becomes headline news. That's the beauty of this type of smear ... its true! The pundits will say "what was Obama thinking" ... "he blew it on that one" ... "how will he get himself out of this jam".

I am not a fan of the politics of personal destruction ... but there you go.

Jewish and Israel News from New York - The Jewish Week

Jewish and Israel News from New York - The Jewish Week:
"How Future Pope Helped Save Jews

New book details efforts of Monsignor Roncalli (Pope John XXIII) during the Holocaust.
Jay Bushinsky - Special To The Jewish Week

Details of the combined efforts to rescue thousands of Jews during World War II by a representative of the Jewish Agency for Palestine and a Catholic cleric, who later became pope, have come to light through a recently published book.

Professor Dina Porat of Tel Aviv University, a historian who has written extensively on the Holocaust, gained access to the private papers of Chaim Barlas, who together with Monsignor Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli (Pope John XXIII), used a variety of tactics to rescue thousands of endangered Jews from Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Greece and especially Hungary by enabling them to flee the ongoing Holocaust.

Barlas’ official papers, documents and letters were forwarded to the Zionist Archives in Jerusalem. But his personal records, stored in cardboard boxes and stashed in his family’s Tel Aviv residence, include dramatic accounts of Monsignor Roncalli’s emotional reaction on learning of the horrors described to him of the Auschwitz death camp.

“He cried when Barlas showed him the evidence,” said Porat.

Macedonian Link to Nicolas Sarkozy

Telegraph newspaper online: "Nicolas Sarkozy was born in 1955, the second of three sons born to a Hungarian immigrant, Pal Sarkozy de Nagy-Bocsa, and his French wife, Andrée Mallah.

The couple met in 1949 but separated 10 years later, with Pal eventually marrying several more times. Nicolas's maternal family also originates outside France. Andrée Mallah was the daughter of Benedict Mallah, a doctor who at the time of his daughter's wedding had gained a formidable reputation as a urologist and lived in the affluent 17th arrondissement of Paris.

A Sephardic Jew, he was born in Thessalonica, Greece, in 1890. However, the Mallah family can trace their roots back to Provence in Southern France, having originally been forced to leave during the persecution of Jews in the Middle Ages.

At the age of 14, Benedict left Greece to further his education, taking up a place at the Lycée Lakanal boarding school in the southern suburbs of Paris, where he studied medicine. He stayed in France and became a citizen, repaying his debt to his new home by acting as a doctor in the French army during the First World War."

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Osama Bin Laden focues on the Balkans

By David Edenden- A good article on Bin Laden in the Balkans.

Osama Bin Laden focues on the Balkans- A 2003 analysis, still very relevant-

By Yossef Bodansky, Senior Editor (Defense & Foreign Affairs Strategic Policy, September 19, 2003)

Starting in the mid-August 2003, radical Islamist leaders elevated the role of the terrorism infrastructure in the Balkans as a key facilitator of a proposed escalation of conflict into the heart of Europe, Israel and the United States. The terrorism campaign aims to define the US occupation of Baghdad as the turning point in the fateful jihad for the future of Islam. The importance of the concurrent expansion of Islamist operations in the Balkans should be examined in this overall context.

The most telling development was the nomination of Shahid Emir Mussa Ayzi to coordinate and run special recruitment operations. Ayzi is a veteran of Afghanistan who is close not only to the al-Qaida elite but also the Taliban leadership. Recently, al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden’s senior commanders decided to expand the recruitment and activation of Slav cadres, because they look European and non-Arab, in order to enhance their ability to operate at the heart of the West.

In August 2003, Ayzi took over this sensitive recruitment drive. The main recruitment pool consists of Bosnian Muslims with a smaller effort relying on Russian converts recruited in Chechnya and the Caucasus as a whole. Although the Islamists had run a recruitment and training drive of Bosnian Muslim expert terrorists and would-be martyr-bombers since the early 1990s, these cadres had not until now been used.

Now, circumstances seem to be changing. In late August 2003, Ayzi sent a report to Mullah Qudratullah, a senior Taliban official, about his success in enlisting “persons of Slav ethnicity” to the Islamist jihad. He added that some of these “white devils” had already been indoctrinated and trained to the point of sending them to carry out “Allah’s Work” - that is, terrorist martyrdom-strikes - “in a number of European cities and on Israeli territory.” The preparation of additional Slav cadres for US operations is in progress, Ayzi reported. The training and preparation of Ayzi’s recruits is taking place in the Balkans and the Caucasus, mainly Georgia.

The Balkans undertaking is part of an overall increase in the Islamist buildup under the overall supervision of Muhammad al-Zawahiri, the brother of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the number two leader in al-Qaida. The senior Islamist commanders now consider what they call “the Albanian land” - Albania, Serbia’s Kosovo province and parts of Macedonia - to be safe for use as a springboard for the insertion of a new wave of expert terrorists, including the Slavs, into Western Europe and onward throughout the West.

Indeed, starting in mid-August 2003, there was a discernible increase in the number of foreigners in the Islamist mosques throughout Albania. “They [originally] come from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Iran. They come from many countries,” noted an eyewitness in Tirana. They arrive [in Tirana] from Afghanistan,” he added. These expert terrorists are being prepared in Albania for their specific missions in the West.

This training program is conducted under the cover of the Albanian National Army (ANA or AKSh in Albanian) with most senior trainers and commanders being “mujahedin who retreated from Bosnia” and are affiliated with al-Qaida.

In return for the Albanian support of this endeavor, the Islamists assist the local terrorists in preparing for launching spectacular terrorism into the major cities of Serbia and Montenegro, with Belgrade and Nis believed to be the top targets. As well, Islamist cadres, mainly veterans of Bosnia, are providing advance training to thousands of Albanian terrorists in camps in Kosovo-Metohija, near Prizren, on the slopes of Mt. Sara, in the Kosovo Morava River valley, in the Albanian towns of Kukes and Tropoje, and around Tetovo in western Macedonia.

These operations are also run under the banner of the ANA/AKSh.

Significantly, the growing importance of the Balkans cause was also reflected in the Islamist communiques claiming and explaining the bombing of the UN building in Baghdad. This was the most important and authoritative doctrinal statement of the Islamist leadership in August 2003.

The statements stressed the situation in Bosnia as a major grievance of the Islamists against the UN and the West. The first statement was issued on August 19, 2003, by the Abu-Hafs al-Masri Brigades, itself a front group of al-Qaida. The Islamists claimed that UN officials “oversaw the massacre of Bosnian women and children in 1992 and 1995,” and that “the United Nations was responsible for the massacre of 7,000 Muslims in Srebrenica in 1995 because it sponsored the idea of ‘not establishing an Islamic state in Europe.’”

On August 24,2003, the London-based Al-Muhajiroun, bin Laden’s primary mouthpiece in Europe, elaborated on this theme in order to explain why the UN building in Baghdad was a legitimate target: “Verily it was the UN soldiers in Bosnia who were recorded to have stood by when the barbaric Serbs massacred Muslims. The UN first decided to take away the weapons of the Muslims (fearing that they might actually defend themselves and establish Islamic rule) and thereby facilitated their massacre, and were then even photographed helping in the mass murder and gang rape of Muslim women and children. The wounds are still fresh.”

The statements were clearly intended to compound the disinformation that 7,000 Muslims were killed in Srebrenica, when all independent forensic evidence points to Muslim casualties in the hundreds, possibly the low hundreds. Continued emphasis on such allegedly high numbers of Muslim deaths at Srebrenica also obfuscates the Muslim murders in that city, earlier, of Serb civilians.

Indeed, the August 2003 statements and intelligence, leading up to the proposed September 2003 opening of the new Islamist shrine - built at Srebrenica with US funds - all support analysis that a significant new wave of terrorism, this time by many European Islamists, is to begin soon.

Yossef Bodansky is the Director of the Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare of the U. S. Congress, as well as the World Terrorism Analyst with the Freeman Center for Strategic Studies (Houston, Texas). He is a contributing editor of Defense and Foreign Affairs; Strategic Policy. He is a contributing expert at the Israel-based Ariel Center for Policy Research. He is the author of several books (Target America, Terror, Crisis in Korea, Offensive in the Balkans, Some Call it Peace, and Islamic Anti-Semitism as a Political Pursuit), as well as several book chapters, entries for the International Military and Defense Encyclopedia, and numerous articles in several periodicals, including Global Affairs, Jane’s Defense Weekly, Defense and Foreign Affairs: Strategic Policy, Nativ and Business Week. In the 1980s, he acted as a senior consultant for the Department of Defense and the Department of State.

One has to note that since 2003, attacks have happened in London and numerous attempts elsewhere. Unfortunately the warnings in the past by experts, have yet to alert the mainstream media of the dangerous presence of terrorists in the Balkans.

Albanians Make Sicilians Look Good

Thousands fear as blood feuds sweep Albania | International News | News | Telegraph: "Thousands fear as blood feuds sweep Albania

By Bojan Pancevski and Nita Hoxha in Tirana, Sunday Telegraph
Last Updated: 12:39am BST 03/06/2007

Stuck in their cottage outside the northern Albanian village of Mnela, 14-year-old Flori Bardoku and his younger sisters watch suspiciously whenever anybody makes the hour-long journey up the path to their home.

The reason for their caution is understandable: while most of their trickle of visitors are villagers bearing food and gifts, they know that one day someone may come to kill them.

The four siblings and their mother have lived in fear of their lives ever since their father, Martin, killed his cousin's wife in Mnela after discovering her in bed with another man. He is serving 10 years in jail for her death, but in conservative rural Albania, justice is seldom served by courts alone. In accordance with ancient clan tradition, the murdered woman's brothers have declared a 'blood feud' against Bardoku's family - which means any of his nearest and dearest can be killed in exchange. - News - U.S-born Macedonian sells free-trade mission to the Western world - News - U.S-born Macedonian sells free-trade mission to the Western world: "Macedonia, one of the world's least-populated countries, is an unlikely candidate to take on the world's largest, China.

But Gligor Tashkovich, its feisty Cornell-educated minister for foreign investment, wants the former Yugoslav republic of 2.2 million people to become the dragon slayer of the globalized economy, taking its place alongside Singapore as a booming industrial mini-state.

'We have wage rates as low as China, and lower transport costs,' says Tashkovich, a 42-year-old communications expert who was born in New York state. 'We have the lowest cumulative taxes in Europe, and we have more than 40 free-trade agreements from Iceland to Turkey, a market of 650 million people.'

In Canada this week on a whirlwind trade tour, he is hoping to attract investors who will launch businesses from computer hardware to food-processing plants. And, he says, rejecting Macedonia's sales pitch is not an option.

'I don't accept no as an answer. If people ask why they should consider Macedonia, I tell them it's because we're offering a better deal.'

Tashkovich is a true blue believer in Macedonia, with a family history to prove it. His grandfather, for whom he is named, was a prominent politician whose civil engineering firm built the parliament and presidential buildings in the Macedonian capit"

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Matthew Nimetz, What's in a Name?

From: David Edenden
To: Mathew (?) Matthew (?) Niemitz (?) Nimetz (?) Nimitz (?)

How do you spell your name? Inquiring minds want to know.

, The International Herald Tribune, The BBC and Wikipedia spell it Nimitz.

The New York Tmes, and The Council on Foreign Relations spell it Nimetz.

The UN (1) (2) and The US State Department (1) (2) spell it both ways.

As an ethnic Macedonian, I am not one to besmirch anyone's identity so I really would like to spell you name correctly.

You recently issued a press release saying that you would continue as negotiator, after a number of years, in the Macedonian-Greek dispute. I would like to make the case that you should quit the role of negotiator, and issue a press release denouncing the US, EU and the UN for ignoring the plight of ethnic Macedonians in Greece in this negotiating process between Macedonian and Greece. Also, please write your memoirs on how this issue inflamed the Balkan wars in the 1990's since no one in the Balkans can trust the US, EU or the UN to come to defend their human rights.

On a personal level you should accept responsibility for for participating in a process, which after all is akin to cultural genocide, because you, Matthew Nimetz, have studiously avoided any discussion of the plight of ethnic Macedonians in Greece, even though the US State Department report on Human Rights documented abuses. 1995 2006. It may be because of how your mandate was structured, but you could have responded to the Macedonian media by saying that Greece was wrong to suppress its Macedonian minority.

It is important to record your role, the role of the Greek Issues Caucus, the role of the US State Department, and the role of the UN in siding with the Greek government in it's demand that Macedonians change the name of their country, The Republic of Macedonia, their religion, the Macedonian Orthodox Church, and their language, Macedonian and finally their national anthem Denes Nad Makedonija -Today Above Macedonia. Your memoir can help the US reform their foreign policy process to really support democracy and human rights around the world.

Thank you and God bless.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

VOA Makes it Offical: Terror Plotters Are Ethnic Albanians

I think that the Voice of America is just rehashing the AP story below, that should have been run in the first place. I am really interested in what the CIA has to say about the relatives of these guys in Debar, Macedonia. The Macedonian Ambassador to the US should make it his job to find out now!

It is only a matter of time when some leading politician in the US proclaims that if only the Albanians in Macedonia and Kosovo are allowed to join Albania, then terrorism in the Balkans would be solved. Expect something soon from Congressman Lantos.

Watch for Macedonia to be blamed for the "Fort Dix Terror Plot".

Three Men Charged in US Terror Plot Are Ethnic Albanians
VOA News

Three of the six men who were arrested and charged with plotting to attack U.S. soldiers at the Fort Dix Army base in New Jersey are ethnic Albanian brothers born in Macedonia.

Relatives of the three brothers interviewed in their hometown of Debar, a remote town on Macedonia's border with Kosovo, expressed anger and disbelief that the three would want to attack the United States. The relatives said they are all thankful to America for its support during the wars in Kosovo and Macedonia. The brothers are Dritan Duka, Shain Duka and Eljvir Duka. All three were illegal immigrants."

3 brothers implicated in Fort Dix plot had roots in fiercely pro-American region of Balkans,
International Herald Tribune, AP May 9th.

Relatives in the ethnic Albanian-populated town of 15,000 said they had not seen the brothers in more than two decades, but expressed disbelief Wednesday that the three would attack the United States.

"We all have been supporters of America. We were always thankful to America for its support during the wars in Kosovo and Macedonia," a cousin, Elez Duka, 29, told The Associated Press.

"These are simple, ordinary people and they've got nothing to do with terrorism. I expect their release and I expect an apology," he said, waving his hands. "I see injustice. These are ridiculous charges."

His indignation captured the mood among Muslims in Kosovo, Macedonia and Albania — places that have repeatedly expressed gratitude to the United States for intervening in the 1998-99 Kosovo war and a 2001 ethnic conflict that pushed Macedonia to the brink of civil war.

Greek Caucus Up To ITs Old Tricks!

By David Edenden 
While the is trying to assure the Serbs of Kosovo that their rights will be protected, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) and Congressman Tom Lantos are busy putting the boots to ethnic Macedonians in Greece. If they really wanted peace in the Balkans, they can support the "Joint History Project for the Balkans". But they don't ... there's the rub!

UMD Sends Letter to Greek Caucus about H. Res. 356

The United Macedonian Diaspora reacted swiftly to the unjust, insulting, and inaccurate house resolution that was introduced by the co-chairs of the Helenic Caucus Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) and Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R-FL). Please read our action alert to see how you can provide additional support to our efforts.
If anything, this resolution is hypocritical because the said Interim Agreement was forced upon the Republic of Macedonia in 1995 as a condition to end the Greek Embargo. This temporarry agreement achieved several Greek aims including: (1) a tentative reference term for the Republic of Macedonia at the UN and within certain international bodies, (2) changes to the historic national symbols of the Republic of Macedonia with new ones, and (3) constitutional changes that were unwarranted.

Even after all this humiliation, Macedonia has revealed itself as more than willing to compromise in this ridiculous situation by proposing several resolutions to the “name dispute.” Notwithstanding the Republic of Macedonia’s efforts and the concessions it has already made, Athens continues to incredulously refer to Macedonian “intransigence” on the purported “name issue.”
You can read the full letter to the members of the Congress that participate in this Caucus by clicking HERE.