Old habits never die July 2, 2010Posted by Yilan in Macedonia, Yunanistan.
Tags: Macedonia, Risto Stefov
After proving to the Greeks, a hundred times over, that Macedonians do exist and have existed since Neolithic times, or as my friend Tone from Slovenia would say “the Macedonians lived in Macedonia uninterrupted for at least 40,000 if not 70,000 or even 100,000 years!”, we still have Greeks “insisting” that Macedonians do not exist and that the only people that can call themselves Macedonians are Greeks who live in Macedonia!
How does one interpret this and what does one make of it? Allow me to say that, the way I see it, Greece and most Greeks have not changed a bit since their Philhellene patrons sent them on their way and gave them their “fake” Modern Greek identity. Greece is like a sailing ship without a rudder and no amount of “wishing” or in this case “providing proof” can change its course or attitude towards the Macedonians. What is truly “changing”, especially lately, is not the Greeks but the general population´s understanding of Greece and its treatment of the Macedonians.
Macedonians like me, born and raised in Greece, understand perfectly well where they stand with regards to Greece. What Greece has done to us is so bizarre and unbelievable that even fellow Macedonians from the Republic of Macedonia have difficulty accepting it. Many think we made things up! One of the most hurtful things to hear from them is “it couldn´t have been that bad, could it? Nobody does that to people!”
It took me more than four years to get through to them, to make them understand that our plight in Greece is “real” and that indeed we were treated miserably. Think of it this way; we did not change our personal names voluntarily. We did not rename our place names voluntarily. We did not stop speaking our Macedonian language because we wanted to. We did not drink castor oil voluntarily when we were caught speaking Macedonian. We did not leave our lands and abandon our homes because we felt like it. All these things were forced upon us by Greece, the same Greece which today you call “democratic” and the “cradle of democracy”. Yes, people do “bad” things to other people and yes they were done to us Macedonians in Greece!
I suspect that my Macedonian compatriots believed me only because Greece began to show its belligerence towards the Republic of Macedonia. Then ironically, these same people began to tell me their problems with Greece and that Greece had no right to do “bad things” to them, especially since they had done nothing wrong to Greece! All I can say to them now is “welcome to my world”!
It has always been my intention to “inform” the “uninformed” Macedonians and let them know who they are dealing with, with regards to Greece. It has also been my aim to lead the Macedonians away from their “defensive” role of having to “justify themselves and their existence”, especially to the Greeks.
The Greeks, through their bizarre and unsubstantiated accusations, have become good at putting Macedonians on the defensive. All the Greeks have to do is say: “Macedonians do not exist”, “you are not Macedonians, Macedonians are Greeks”, “Tito created the Macedonian identity”, “you are Slavs who came to Macedonia during the 6th century AD”, “you are communists”, “you are autonomists”, “you are Skopjans”, “you are filthy Gypsies”, “you are Bulgarians”, “you are Fyromians”, etc. and you can be sure that, instead of walking away, Macedonians will take the defensive and respond to the accusations!
After being “shocked” by such ridiculous claims, Macedonians immediately take the defensive and, in spite of the ridiculousness of the claims, try to prove the opposite. Using factual and historical information they again and again prove to the Greeks that “yes Macedonians do exist” and here is the evidence in history books, gravestones, old newspapers, etc., which proves it. Unfortunately there is never enough “proof” or evidence to satisfy the Greek desire.
It has been my experience that Greeks “couldn´t care less” if God himself stood before them and testified that “Yes Macedonians do exist and here they are!” because the Greeks are not after “finding proof”. They just want Macedonians to “go off on tangents” and idly spin their wheels. That way they can control what Macedonians do!
I have personally watched Greeks demand proof of the Macedonians for over forty years and from what I have learned from history, they have been doing this for over two centuries. It has always been a “Greek ploy” to put Macedonians on the defensive because Greeks know that this way they can control the Macedonians! But I believe it is more complicated than that. I believe it is also an assimilation method, a technique of turning Macedonians into Greeks. No matter how much “proof” Macedonians produce, it is never enough! So there is a tendency for people to simply “give up”, accepting that the Greeks may be right and that Macedonians indeed may not exist!
You see, besides making the “existence of Macedonians” very elusive and impossible to prove, Greeks have made it easier for people to believe that they are “Greeks” because no Greek will ever question or ask a Macedonian for “proof” or ridicule them if they say they are “Greek”!
Seeking acceptance from the Greeks (I don´t know why people would want it but they do) is not “the be all and end all” of our problems as some people may think. But it does have its benefits. Seeking proof of their existence forces Macedonians to think and learn more about themselves, which has been of great benefit to me.
Macedonia´s enemies had an entire century to distort Macedonia´s history and to prove to the world that Macedonians don´t exist, implying that the only heirs of the Macedonian heritage are the Greeks, Serbians, Bulgarians and Albanians. But to do this they had to use lies and deception and now that Macedonians appeared literally “out of nowhere” Macedonia´s enemies are stunned and don´t know what to say so they continue with their policy of denial insisting that, in spite of the “Macedonian presence” before them, Macedonians still don´t exist!
But, as long as Macedonians “keep taking the bait” over and over and assuming a “defensive” role, they will never break the “Greek shackles”! The Greeks “have the Macedonians where they want them” and no amount of proof will convince the Greeks to release them because frankly that is not their aim!
That is why it has been my mission to take this “war of words” away from the Greeks and deploy it in a new strategy;
(1) Continue to expose Greek (and Bulgarian) lies and propaganda about the Macedonians, and
(2) Open a new front and expose the Greek lies about themselves.
If Macedonians want to “play” on a “level playing field” with the Greeks then they must learn to go beyond always taking the defensive and once in a while take the offensive and “challenge” the Greeks regarding the validity of their identity!
By now all my readers should know that the Greeks are a “fake” identity, artificially created by the Western Philhellenes and, in spite of their lies and falsehood, they still have the “upper hand” on the Macedonians! Why is that?
Macedonians have no defense against this because as long as they continue to take the defensive, Greeks will lead them and take them where they want them to go! Case in point; “name negotiations”! We all know Greece couldn´t care less about “the name” it only cares to “destroy the Macedonian identity” but here we are “negotiating” about “the name” because Greece led us to this!
Greeks will continue to lie and deny the Macedonian right to exist as long as the Macedonians let them, as they have done in the past. The best defense for Macedonians is to take control of the situation away from the Greeks and themselves lead this “war of words”. Macedonians must learn to demand from the Greeks what the Greeks demand of them. Macedonians must challenge the “Greek right to existence” as the Greeks have done to the Macedonians!
There was “never” a need to reply to Greek demands for “proof” of our God given right to exist!
Since Macedonians are challenged on this subject, they now have the right to challenge the Greeks right back and demand of them “proof” of their existence.
Let us demand of them, what they have demanded of us for years, to “prove” that they are Greeks! Let´s attack their “Greek identity” as they have attacked ours.
It is only fair that we deliver to the Greeks what they have been delivering to us for over a century!
I also have a warning for all Macedonians to “beware” of “Greeks” and “Bulgarians” bearing gifts. Our enemies have consolidated their forces and have invaded our space. They come dressed in Macedonian clothing, call themselves “Macedonians”, speak the words we want to hear and are all around us but we cannot see them for who they are! Their motives are to divide and weaken us, to take our power away from us. So please be vigilant, trust no one and always be suspicious of everyone. This is not a joke. If we are to survive we need to look beyond what is before us; we need to be able to spot a Trojan horse and to foresee and understand the consequences associated with “offers” being made to us! Words are cheep; we need to look beyond the “sweet patriotic” words whispered in our ears!
If Greece and Bulgaria will go as far as “publicly” denying our existence then you can´t even imagine how far they will go “privately” to do us harm in every possible way!
Greece and Bulgaria are prepared to offer Macedonia entry into the European Union, if the Macedonians voluntarily change their own country´s God given name. So what is wrong with “changing” your country´s name “just a little bit”, they ask? You will still be Macedonians. Right?
Why should Macedonians do that? How is changing their own name going to benefit the Macedonians? What will be the consequences and what will the Macedonians face in the future if they do that? And most importantly, how will this benefit Greece, since Greece, our worst enemy, is the only country asking for this?
If it were up to me I would not do anything Greece asks of me because I don´t trust Greece, as my experience has shown, “nothing good for the Macedonians has ever come out Greece”! In fact, I am willing to go a step further and say that Greece has been the “worst” tormentor of the Macedonian people in Macedonia´s history!
If we rush into things because we are being challenged and put on the defensive by Greece, we will make “regrettable” mistakes.
The fact that Macedonian authorities today are in the process of “negotiating” with Greece over our name IS one such “regrettable” mistake.
It is imperative that we think very carefully before we act and be suspicious of any and all offers put before us, especially by our enemies, so that in the future we can avoid being trapped! And if we want to eliminate any risk of “making even a bigger mistake” we need to “stop” the “negotiations” with Greece NOW and immediately withdraw from these talks.
If Greece has made it its mission to destroy the Macedonian identity, what makes you think Greece will stop “if we give in a little” on our God given name?
If there is pressure from the International Community to “settle” the so-called “name dispute” as soon as possible and if Macedonian authorities do “give in” to this pressure, what makes you think this same International Community will not come back in the future again and again pressuring Macedonia to make more concessions?
The “world” usually follows “precedents” and once a “precedent” is set, Macedonia, even by another name, will have no choice but to “give in” to International pressure again and again because “Macedonia by another name” will be known as the country that “gives in” to demands. And what will “Macedonia by another name” gain by giving up its God given biblical name? Will it gain entry into the dysfunctional European Union, a union which may or may not exist in the next five years? It may or may not but are the sacrifices worth it?
Living in the Diaspora, I cannot even imagine the humiliation that Macedonians will have to endure from the Greeks, Bulgarians and their supporters if Macedonia changes its name. And what will our ancestors, who spilled blood to defend our Macedonia, say if they could speak? Will they approve of this change?
Countries like Greece and Bulgaria, which refuse to recognize the Macedonian identity, could not possibly have anything good to offer the Macedonians.
Greece and Bulgaria will continue to lie and deceive the world about the Macedonians because it is in their best interest to do so. So it us up to us Macedonians to not only expose their lies and deceit but to also expose their “motives” towards us, our lands and our country. And as a friend recently reminded me, “Greeks and Bulgarians” or rather “Grkomani and Bulgaromani” have become friends not because they want to partition the Republic of Macedonia in some future time. They have become friends because “they have already agreed to partition the Republic of Macedonia”! It will only be a matter of time if we let them!
Other articles by Risto Stefov:
You can contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org