Jason Miko: Macedonia’s crisis – three years on (but take heart!)
On Monday Carl Bildt, a former prime minister and former foreign minister of Sweden, jetted into Macedonia on behalf of his current employer, the European Council on Foreign Relations, an organization he co-chairs and which is lavishly funded by George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, among others. Before arriving, Bildt, who has an uncanny knack for self-promotion, tweeted about the “grave situation” of the “constitutional crisis in Skopje” (apparently the entire country of Macedonia exists alone in Skopje). We’ve seen this movie before: so-called “experts” from non-governmental organizations representing the elite jet into Macedonia, make a few notes, and then jet out while making pronouncements about the need to uphold democracy, the rule of law, and, well, you get the idea.
Next week will mark three years since the beginning of the current crisis in “Skopje” and the rest of Macedonia (note to Bildt and other cowards who cannot bring themselves to say “Macedonia.”). It was three years ago, at the end of the 2014 presidential and parliamentary elections, that Zoran Zaev’s SDSM participated in the elections and then promptly said on that Sunday, “we won’t take our seats.” After eight years out of power, and because the people of Macedonia were not buying the far-left ideas that SDSM was selling, Zaev resorted to the childish tradition of stating “I will hold my breath until I turn blue in the face unless you give me what I want.”
It’s worth remembering what happened next:Parliamentary boycotts, non-recognition of President Ivanov, followed by the attempted blackmail by Zaev of then-prime minister Nikola Gruevski in the fall of 2014 in the prime minister’s office (you might recall how Zaev told Gruevski about his illegally obtained and illegally recorded tapes and his offer to Gruevski to withhold the tapes if Gruevski brought SDSM into government), followed by the slow-drip release of the tapes beginning in early 2015, followed by various agreements and EU negotiators (including those who are madly in love with cats) throughout the balance of 2015, the creation of the SPO, the so-called “colorful revolutionaries” who used tactics advocated by the American radical Saul Alinsky and who rampaged while destroying public property (US presidential candidate Hilary Clinton did her university thesis on Alinsky and USAID translated Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” into Macedonian with the help of Soros), along with not one but two attempted parliamentary elections and then finally, the December 2016 parliamentary elections. But as advertisers in America like to proclaim when selling you something you don’t need, don’t want or don’t have the money for: BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!” The December 2016 elections were followed by the Tirana Platform presided over and blessed by Albania’s Socialist Prime Minister Edi Rama and released on Christmas Day 2017, followed by the refusal of President Ivanov to give the mandate to form a government to Mr. Zaev, followed, these days, by Macedonia’s patriots all defending the unitary and sovereign character of Macedonia and all of this combined with a good old-fashioned parliamentary filibuster in parliament – all mixed in with pronouncements, statements, threats, and a host of other utterances from the international community and the Carl Bildt’s of this world that the Macedonians had better do what the elites say or else.
And yet. The sun rises and sets each and every day over Macedonia. People get up, go to work, send their kids to school, go on vacation every now and then, and try to live as normally as possible. The government functions, as well as it can, and we all recognize that there is always room for improvement at every level of government and in every government on planet Earth. Tourists still visit Macedonia, with record new numbers of tourists coming each month to Macedonia (not just Skopje!). Foreign investment already in Macedonia hums along, though I am sure some are worried and yet they continue with their operations. And new foreign investment continues to come in, albeit not quite at the pace that it once did. That pace will pick up again. I promise you that. Life goes on as it should.
I leave you with these thoughts this week: In September of 1859, future US President Abraham Lincoln (who became president in 1861) was coming off his election loss of a seat in the US Senate. As part of his post-election therapy, he spoke to a group of folks in Wisconsin and delivered this famous story. He told the assembled that “an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence, to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: ‘And this, too, shall pass away.’ How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction! ‘And this, too, shall pass away.’”
The moral of the story is that this current crisis, this too, shall pass away. Take heart and take courage, and remember that we should not allow ourselves to be like the proverbial deer caught and frozen in the headlights of an oncoming car. There is too much at stake, too much work to do, and too many futures represented in our children and grandchildren to allow ourselves to become frozen to the point of inaction through worry or anxiety. We’ve just celebrated Easter and we remember, daily, the words of Jesus of Nazareth who told his disciples, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”