How silly, really, is the dispute over naming FYROM, Macedonia?
Let’s consider if Chihuahua or Coahuila decided to change their name to Texas or to California. (Chihuahua and Coahuila are provinces in Mexico). So Chichuahua changes its name to Texas. It wouldn’t even have to declare independence to start some nasty cross border fights.
Now we have a former Yugoslavian province becoming an independent country and naming itself Macedonia although it borders the Greek province of Macedonia.
Greek Macedonia has been identifiable for hundreds of years of history as the birthplace of King Phillip and Megas Alexandros. So by naming their new country Macedonia (after the fall of Yugoslavia) the gauntlet has clearly been thrown down to challenge Greece.
Now add to the mix the nationalists who describe themselves as Albanian nationalists, they resemble the white supremacist movement in the USA. They keep no secrets about their deep wish and plan to create a Greater Albania from Albania to the eastern side of the Balkan Peninsula; and they are not shy about threatening the Greeks in northern Greece.
Perhaps you have met some of them or at least viewed their documentaries?
Now let’s add to the mix the American military base that goes by the name of Kosovo. Who do you think the Americans will support when push comes to shove? the Greeks? the Albanians?
Hard to tell but not much fun to think about.
I hope you all will consider for a few moments the important details that have made the renaming of the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia to simply Macedonia, not a petty or silly problem.
This is the type of situation which has started wars in the past. The European Union has been successful in alleviating disputes before they become wars, perhaps this will be another success.
There is racism involved, no doubt about it.
Not only by the nationalists but also by the people who are constantly dismissive to Greeks. Racism is not an easily solvable problem as far as I know.
The roots of racism run deep and have been watered more than once by the wet dreams of Empire.
Time to get serious.
Barnaby Phillips comments in his AJE blog, “On the other hand, the Greeks know, regardless of their conviction that they are right, that their insistence on this issue is, to put it politely, frustrating to most of the rest of the world.”
Could it be that Greeks are also frustrated? Frustrated by the superficial way “the rest of the world” regards the dispute, especially with the support of the last declining but brutal Super Power always playing a hand against the Greeks even though the USA military still has bases in Greece?