Whose Macedonia is it, anyway?
By Stella L. Jatras
1 December 2002
An error made too frequently is the misuse of the name, "Macedonia." Rather than referring to The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) by its formal name, too many journalists consistently report on events in FYROM as though "Macedonia" were its official name. I, myself, have been guilty of this by not clarifying to whose "Macedonia" I was referring when I wrote about wayward "smart" bombs hitting the wrong targets in my "Open Letter to Lieutenant General Michael Short." http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a3820cf4d2861.htm
Lets take a closer look at the facts.
To begin with, the name "Macedonia" belongs to a northern province of Greece and its use by the government of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) usurps Greek history and, according to the Greek government, implies territorial claims.
It is important to note that in 1944, Yugoslav dictator Josef Broz Tito established a new republic within Yugoslavia by changing the name of a southern region of Serbia which had been known as Vardashka since 1913, to "Macedonia," giving rise to the myth that Macedonia and even Alexander the Great were something other than Greek. The region was populated primarily by Bulgarians and Serbs. However, ethnic Albanians today are rapidly constituting a larger part of the population and with any luck, will be able to wrest the province of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) to add to their "Greater Albania," just as Kosovo is being wrested from Serbia.
In an address to the international academic community, former Greek minister Nikolaos Martis, (http://www.hri.org/Martis/contents/foreword.html) stated that "The Macedonian Question is more than a mere squabble over a name. It is a well-designed scheme for annexing the northern Greek provinces of Macedonia and Thrace. It started during the inter-war period, by the decisions of the Comintern and the Balkan communist parties seeking to establish a united (Macedonian and Thracian) state." Because of legitimate Greek concerns about claims against its territory, the international community did not recognize the new nation under the name, "Macedonia." Instead, its official name is "The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia," or "FYROM." Martis is also the author of "Falsification of Macedonian History."
A small item in The Washington Times of 25 April of this year, reported that Lawrence Butler introduced himself as the new U.S. ambassador to "Macedonia," not as the U.S. ambassador to "The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia." By referring to FYROM as "Macedonia," a U.S. ambassador at best committed a diplomatic faux pas or, more seriously, sent signals to Greece that we intend to be a party to wresting away that which belongs to them. This undiplomatic action by the U.S. government can only foment further distrust between America and our traditional ally, Greece. The Washington Times article went on to report that the name, FYROM was "foisted" on it to satisfy "Greek sensitivities."
Again quoting Nikolaos Martis: "The Macedonian Nation does not, nor did it ever exist. The Macedonians were Greeks, they spoke the same language and worshiped the same gods (who inhabited the Macedonian mountain of Olympus) and performed the same sacrifices, in the same sanctuaries as all the other Greeks." Martis also commented on the Macedonian language: Skopje's claim that the ancient Macedonians' language was not Greek is preposterous. The National Research Center in Athens has collected and published 5,000 Greek inscriptions from Macedonia. However, there has not been one inscription produced of the supposed ancient "Macedonian, non-Greek" tongue, a fabrication by Tito.
It was not until 860 A.D. that Saint Cyril (nee Constantine) and Saint Methodius, brothers born in Thessaloniki, Greece, gave the Slavs written material in the Slavonic language based on the Greek alphabet. The missionaries then went out and spread the Gospel to the Slavic nations. (http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/02/14.html).
Several years ago, I attended an exhibition of Alexander the Great in Tampa, Florida. The exhibit featured historical documents, archeological discoveries and history books connecting Alexander the Great to his historical Greek roots. It is not unusual, however, for other cultures to claim Alexander for their own. Even the Muslims are claiming Alexander the Great as there were several paintings depicting Alexander the Great greeting Mohammed, the insinuation being that Alexander the Great embraced Islam. Of course it would be 1000 years before Mohammed ever came on the scene.
History books tell us that Alexander the Great spoke Greek, not a Slavic language. Today, there is an attempt to change what our history books taught us. Alexander the Great spread Hellenic culture, language, art and customs, not Slavic culture, language, art and customs. Even the coins used during the time of Alexander the Great, and his father, Phillip of Macedon, were of Greek coinage.
As the old adage puts it, "If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, and acts like a duck, what is it? Its a Duck!"