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Marcus Templer 05/05/10

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May 5, 2010

Dear Secretary Clinton,

Subject: April 2010 issue of State magazine


In the April 2010 issue of State magazine, number 454, published by the U.S. Department of State, “Skopje – Ancient Macedonia builds modern democracy,” the author claims that Skopje is the legitimate heir of the ancient Kingdom of Macedonia, a statement that not only has no historical foundation whatsoever, but also reflects the mentality of the Department under your watch. It willingly buries historical truths in order to gain ephemeral alliances. In all fairness, I cannot see how such behavior reconciles to "Truth and Justice, the American way."

Ms. Rowlands’ article lacks support of historical facts, demonstrates prejudice, and it is obvious to the reader that the author is not well versed on the subject at hand.  Whether the ancient Macedonians were Greeks or not, is a scholarly question, best settled in scholarly journals.[1] If Ms. Rowlands has a scholarly contribution to make, let her do so in an academic journal, instead of using US taxpayers' money to promote individual agendas.  However, the connection of the ancient Macedonians to the Slavic-speaking majority in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) is not a scholarly matter; there is just no connection. To sum it up, the article is entirely lacking any fundamental elements of research, effectively reducing State to the level of a tabloid publication.

And how is it possible for the editors of a magazine that in the eyes of the world represents the views of the U.S. State Department to ignore the domestic turmoil which the government of the FYROM has been spawning ever since the country's independence?  Suppression of free speech, violation of human rights, disregard of group rights, arbitrary incorporation of Greek and Bulgarian heritage and history have been the modus operandi for Skopje’s nationalist governments.

The State Department, has disregarded consistent violations of the pacta non servanda of the two agreements: the Interim Agreement with Greece and the Ohrid Agreement with the Albanian population. How could a country that keeps violating every agreement it signs – anytime it does not like a provision – become a trusted and faithful ally?

Or is that going to be someone else’s problem?  I do not want it to become my problem.  I, as an American taxpayer, do not feel that I should be paying for your Department’s ignorant, shortsighted, and biased reporting nor do I want to send my child to fight in the Balkans as the result of “someone else’s problem.”

Stability in the country or the region cannot be achieved by fuelling the ethnocentric nationalist ideology of the FYROM merely because it serves our present interests in Kosovo and allows us a foot in the Balkans.  The FYROM under its present constitutional name and its derivatives based on an historical void adds to the ethnic tensions in the region, constitutes a strategic security threat to Greece, our friend and ally, and undermines the territorial integrity of Greece.  As for the name, one had better check the reasons behind the Treaty of St. Germain en Layé (1919) that forced German Austria to change its name to simply Austria.  One of the countries that insisted on the change of Austria's name was the United States.  In addition, the history of the Balkan Region in these last two centuries proves that I am right.

Ms. Rowlands’ article is implicitly anti-Hellenic, politically manipulating, and motivated, and it is teeming with fallacies of an emerging nationalist narrative.  Skopje’s own historian, the late Fanula Papazoglu (Central Balkan Tribes, 1978, 268) disputed such historical distortions stating, “It is often forgotten that ancient Macedonia occupied only a relatively small part of the Yugoslav Macedonia of today!” Skopje is not the heir of the ancient Kingdom of Macedonia and the majority (1.2 million) of its citizens, according to the Yugoslavian Military Encyclopedia of 1974 is of Slavic descent. In this name dispute between Athens and Skopje, the United States should re-examine the long-term implications of its strong, but questionable support to Skopje, before it is too late to reverse the path of the Balkans.




Marcus A. Templar

Researcher – Linguist - Historian

Dialectometrist of Ancient Greek Language

cc:  President Barack H. Obama

U.S. Senator Richard Durbin, Illinois

U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, New Jersey

U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe, Maine

U.S. House Representative Carolyn Maloney

U.S. House Representative John Sarbanes

U.S. House Representative Gus Bilirakis

Mr. Theodore Spyropoulos, Coordinator of SAE, USA

[1] Please refer to the letter to President Obama co-signed by over 360 classical scholars (http://macedonia-evidence.org/obama-letter.html).

Last Updated on Saturday, 08 May 2010 02:36  
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