June 9th, 2016 – Fort Russ News –
NetPress – Interview by Marija Kotovska
The US has no interest in Macedonia`s development. The country has been targeted because they see it as an ally of their geostrategic adversaries and they don`t want their opponents to have friends with whom they can cooperate in the important energy and transport projects for the region, such as the Russian gas pipeline and the Chinese high-speed railway, says Joaquin Flores, director of the Center for Syncretic Studies think-tank, editor of Fort Russ and president of the Independent Journalists Association for Peace – in an exclusive interview with the Macedonian NetPress correspondent Marija Kotovska.
Commenting on the political crises in Macedonia provoked by the opposition SDSM backed by west, Flores says that Washington and Brussels were pushing for cancellation of the early elections due to the the fact that the Macedonians, as intelligent people, are aware that the ruling party VMRO DPMNE has done an acceptable job which will lead them to a new victory. US plans for the region are quite similar to the ones for Macedonia. According to Flores, aside the cancellation of any cooperation with BRICS and the agenda for destabilization and Greater Albania, Washington’s scenario for the region includes leading the countries towards poverty, social and moral degradation, prostitution and hooliganism.
Kotovska: The Color Revolution against Macedonia was activated last year, when the opposition backed by the West, started publishing the illegally tapped phone records from state officials, while there were attempts to destabilize the country with violent opposition protests and terrorist attack. More or less, all of this was handled timely and effectively by the Macedonian authorities and the ratings of the ruling party leader Nikola Gruevski are 6 times higher as the ones of the opposition leader Zoran Zaev. All the work that some western embassies in Macedonia have done in the past 10 years in terms or intercepting, systematizing and processing the millions of phone calls, together with the millions of dollars poured over the fifth column in the country are not working out like they hoped, but its naive to think they will give up that easily. What can we expect next in the frames of the second round of the Colored Revolution against Macedonia?
Flores: It is true that it is naive to think that the US and its European allies will give up that easily. First, I think it is important to separate every European power center, from the NATO dominated security apparatus, which nevertheless has considerable pull over Europe. By extension, through political and financial sectors, especially after 2008, the US has considerable control over much more of EU decision making at the level of Brussels than they had before. Nevertheless, it will be important moving forward to understand the US and EU as possibly distinct areas of interest, which can in fact be used by Macedonia and its friends, to Macedonia’s advantage.
Of course the democratic processes and popularity of a leader, whether Gruevski, Dmitriev or anyone else, are irrelevant to the so-called West.
We also need to clarify that it does not matter how friendly to European power centers, including the Atlanticist one (US backed), that Gruevski is, or anyone after him, nor does it matter how reasonable he is or isn’t in his or his successor’s approach. Finally, whatever concessions he made to them are, in the final analysis, totally irrelevant to the Atlanticist needs. We have seen this thesis proven since he agreed to step down. Every concession which the Atlanticists request or demand, is meant to further weaken the Macedonian state. This has very little to do with Gruevski or Dmitriev as people, and everything to do with the future of Macedonia and its statehood itself.
Thus, it is important to understand that the goal of the US and, to a large extent, Europe, was not simply to replace Gruevski with some puppet. The goal is to destabilize the region, and use the Greater Albania project as a weaponized agent meant to draw the entire region into a broader conflict. Thus the Pržino Agreement was a setback not just to one or other political party, like the VMRO-DPMNE, but in fact for Macedonia’s sovereignty. The inclusion of European mediators and oversight teams is a direct violation of Macedonia’s right to exist.
That the US has called for a cancellation of the June 5th election is not only expected, revealing, but also highly offensive to all sovereign and free people of the world. The US has no legal or moral foundation to make such a call, and such calls conversely ought to be seen as illegal and immoral. Those parties backed by the US should perhaps be censored and banned from participating in Macedonia’s internal life. They ought to be forced to register as consular offices of foreign governments, and not political parties as such.
The Color Revolution tactic on Macedonia has failed, and instead we need to be looking at direct coup attempts, compromised military and intelligence organs, and Albanian terrorist-militia attacks – any of which can be a pretext for Bulgaria to violate Macedonian territory with military force, and other NATO type direct intervention.
The Color Revolution tactic requires that things move quickly, and the opposition leader must be seen positively in terms of public opinion. That is not the case in Macedonia, where the attempts by George Soros’s team faced numerous setbacks, a successful counter-Color movement that was vast and popular. Additionally, the public grew tired of Zaev.
Zaev was poorly advised, and played at politics instead of the ‘revolutionary’ tactics required to stage the Color tactic. He thought he was holding cards, and didn’t play them all at once. But rather than being ‘strategic’, this simply made the process too slow and drawn out, giving people enough time to view Zaev as a self-interested public nuisance. His failed tactics made the process long and drawn out, causing the whole population to become fatigued. They associated talk of the crisis with Zaev, and by logical extension, the crisis itself. It became clear during this protracted failure that Zaev was the one issuing threats and actually holding the country hostage. His numerous appearances on TV and ready access to yellow journalism and questionable media machines in Macedonia did not build his credibility, but detracted from it. The fact that his actual mass base of support was not simply the minority Macedonian liberal class, but instead Greater Albanian irredentist nationalism, also became ever-increasingly clear to everyone in the country.
Zaev’s failure to inspire a mass movement independent of Albanian irredentists and a smattering of ‘westoxified’ Skopje liberals, who lived for more time outside of Macedonia than inside Macedonia, meant that he came to rely on peer-to-peer talks with Gruevski. His playing at ‘politics’ made him part of the very same so-called ‘political class’ that he attempted to rail against. For all these reasons, the Color tactic is without a visible alternative leader, it was Zaev or nothing, and Zaev has become nothing.
There is no doubt that VMRO-DPMNE will win this next election. Let’s face it, Macedonia is not a fabulously wealthy country – but what it has are intelligent and prudent people, who understand what is realistic and what is not. Given the reality of Macedonia, its natural and human resources, its historical factors, and so on, the majority of voters are right in seeing that, all things considered, the VMRO-DPMNE has done an acceptable job, and one that will ensure it the respect and authority required to lead the next government.
Therefore, we should expect not another attempt at a Color Revolution – not just yet. First it will be required for the US to pressure the EU to bring about some process of economic sanctions against Macedonia. But this will backfire, and create more space for investment from other proactive and interested countries, whether China or Russia, even India – all of whom have large economies and could make room for some of Macedonia’s biggest export products – reaction and catalytic products, centrifuges, ferroalloys, and so forth.
When the EU sees that it is losing opportunities to India or Russia, because the US has pressured it to do so, it will cause further, if minor, divisions between the US and EU – which is an important development towards multi-polarity and the development of world-historical factors itself. But Macedonia may return to normalcy and stability. If an outright coup or actual Albanian aggression can be averted, then it seems more certain that Macedonia’s future, in the coming decades, will be assured.
Kotovska: Many today argue that Gruevski’s original “sin” was his multipolar approach in both global politics and economy, in accordance with the national interests, while nurturing friendly relations with Russia and showing open interest in cooperating with BRICS in various projects such as the Chinese “Balkan Silk Road” and the Russian “Balkan stream” pipeline. What on the other hand has been offered by the opposition lead by SDSM to their western masters if they manage to get them in to power?
Flores: Well you’ve really cut to the chase, haven’t you? That’s precisely the point – the SDSM has nothing to offer in return, except for outright vassalage. The US has no historical or economic interest in Macedonia’s development – they see Macedonia as an ally of their geostrategic adversaries, and for that reason, they target Macedonia. But a regional conflict or even war, destabilization, and the mobilization of radicalized armed groups from Albania, is all on the agenda.
The US wants nothing for Macedonia. They simply don’t want their opponents to have another friend who can cooperate on these important energy and transport projects.
The first things that an SDSM run government would do, is entirely integrate the Macedonian intelligence and security apparatus into the NATO command structures, thus making Macedonia nothing more than a footnote in the NATO binder. Nominally, Macedonia would fall under direct EU control, more so than ever seen hitherto.
Accession negotiations for EU would resume at full speed – but not because the EU can viably make use of, or fully integrate the important sectors of the Macedonian export economy. It would simply serve an historically outmoded method – it would create a banking-speculative bubble within the EU’s ECB, where bonds and stock options could be bought and traded, along with the connected derivatives market internationally. But this bubble would not have tangible value in the physical economy. The EU is operationally incapable of offering Macedonia anything better. We can see a similar dynamic in Ukraine, for example. EU negotiations with the SDSM government would be a media spectacle, perhaps allowing for a measly 500 million EUR tossed in: a few roads would be paved, one or two buildings repaired, a hospital might acquire a few new ambulances (but disgustingly covered in EU ‘thank you’ flags). This would be the end of it, however. The rest would go to the operational budget of the SDSM, and money would be spread around in the standard crony fashion. But that’s not all.
With the destruction and realignment of Macedonia under NATO command, Macedonia would be relegated to a mere banana republic like Montenegro, and the passage of Syrian ‘refugees’ (and terrorists) along with human and opium trafficking would increase by 10 fold. The targets would not only be Macedonia, but Serbia, and in fact Central and Eastern European populations, to further erode their culture and social morality, leading to decadence, increased poverty, prostitution, hooliganism, and social degradation. All of this is connected to the US’s general outlook and plan, of creating regional destabilization. The US’s main interest is not ”economic development” – that’s what they advertise. Their main interest is war and destruction. This is what is most profitable for the US – not just because of the benefits to its military industrial complex, but in fact because setting back the opponent economically is, in terms of numbers and forecasts, just as advantageous is setting yourself forward. Because the US is structurally incapable of setting itself forward, its main strategy is to set others back – by physically destroying infrastructure, demographic groups, industry, and the actual-real economy.
Kotovska: The same western media machinery for propaganda that has been demonizing the Russian president Vladimir Putin, since last year started with aggressive attacks towards the Macedonian ruling party VMRO-DPMNE, while especially targeting the leader Gruevski. For example, they have been calling him a dictator although he has 6 times more support than his opposition rival Zaev. What is it that Gruevski and Putin have in common that made them Wests` mutual “enemies”?
Flores: Because I’m an independent journalist and analyst, I can speak freely about many things. And, I can say things which at first may upset people, but once it’s thought about, will make sense. The truth is that historically the US opponents were obvious, overt, and rather inspirational leaders from the start. You had Gaddafi and Lumumba in Africa, Nasser in Egypt, Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, and so forth. They said to the US: ‘We are your adversaries!’. This was obvious, and of course it was easy for the US to target them, using people also from those targeted countries as proxies.
Gruevski, like Putin, are men from a later era, where political intrigue and geopolitical tactics have evolved, becoming more complex. They actually fooled the west. They came on the stage saying, “Hey, we are reasonable people – we are here to do business. Banking, investment – that’s no problem. How can we make a deal?” They spoke the language of the west, they let western leaders believe that they were ”one of their own”. Let’s be honest, they had cigars and champagne with western leaders. They had fine wine and played golf, or whatever. They were able to even bring in and draw in other oligarchs and elites in the country who saw themselves close to the west. But they used this to buy time, to bring back to life an independent security and intelligence apparatus, to broaden their international base of support and connections outside of the US dominated sphere. They reorganized political structures and the economy – and they did this stealthily and in such a way that left even the best western intelligence analysts a bit confused. By the time the west realized what they were dealing with, it was too late. This is what really infuriated the West, and this is something that Putin and Gruevski share.
What they also share is a similar understanding of reality – yes they are realists, sure. But they also understand that there is really only so far that money can go. Being seen as a ‘good European’ just isn’t worth what it used to be, the cost is too high. Gruevski, like Putin, have thrown in their lot with their own people. I mean this literally, physically – their actual lines, ropes if you want to say, of support are the people. Without popular support, you cannot have the power to make a difference. Even from a position of pure self interest and Machiavellian realism, being a western puppet does nothing but afford you a few honorific titles and positive treatment in western media. But so what? If they put you in, they can take you out. So, I think Gruevski and Putin have a similar, rational-realist understanding of power, and why popular support is so important. In order to have popular support, you actually have to give something back to the people. And a weak people supporting you is useless, so you have to build the people, the nation, and the state, to make it a strong and coherent unit. Thus, personal interest is directly tied to the interests of the nation, the people. This mechanism ensures that Gruevski can only be in the position to make decisions if he does things which make Macedonia stronger.
Kotovska: When this is all over, should Macedonia consider following Russia example regarding the Law for NGOs and after some serious examination, to maybe ban part of the so called NGOs who seems to be nothing more than a tool in the hands of the axis of evil for overthrowing recalcitrant governments and provoking serious chaos in the targeted country with long term consequences?
Flores: That’s an easy one – of course they should. These NGO’s should at the very least be properly defined as FGO’s – Foreign Governmental Organizations, and forced to register through the very same government’s consular official requirements that the embassies do. Some NGO’s claim to be interested in health care, reproductive rights, childcare (education and pedagogy) and so on. In reality, they are proxy organizations meant to foster penetration and foreign control. But maybe also they serve a dual purpose, and the part maybe is good. So, at the very least, security and intelligence ombudsman, trained by the Russians, and working as employees of the Macedonian state, must be assigned to work in these offices. I’m not talking about searches with warrants, but I mean permanent ombudsmen whose job it is to oversee the operations, working in the same office. So, if a healthcare NGO is doing good healthcare work – then fine, great, let them do it. Maybe it’s good for Macedonia. But they must be policed very closely, and made sure that they are fulfilling their mandate, and nothing more.