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Old 08-08-2016, 11:58 PM   #1
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Default MHRMI op-ed published in The Hill - End US interventionism in Macedonia

For those wondering, Hillary Clinton called for Macedonia to change its name on July 19, 2011. MHRMI and AMHRC immediately denounced her. See today's op-ed in The Hill, where US politicians get their news and a first-hand look at MHRMI's reaction to the USA's and Hillary Clinton's disastrous policy in Macedonia.

Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party's misguided foreign policy
http://www.thehill.com/blogs/pundits...guided-foreign

Bill Nicholov, President
Macedonian Human Rights Movement International


When did Democrats become Republicans? Thankfully, they are still socially liberal (or “progressive” as Americans say, because God forbid they use the L word) but their foreign policy is, unfortunately, very Republican. American interventionism will seemingly never end unless, of course, Donald Trump becomes the next president. This should scare the hell out of Democrats. Not imagining Trump as the next commander-in-chief, but Donald Trump being their voice of reason.

Let’s get this out of the way, Trump is acting like a…candidate who is non-presidential, but his foreign policy message is much more coherent and responsible than the Democrats’ policy. Bernie Sanders and Rand Paul had the same message, that the US would end its interventionism, which is what America and, more importantly, the world needs. But it’s too bad that Bernie Sanders is out of the race. And too bad that Rand Paul was never in it. The recent rise of the Libertarian Party, while destined not to succeed, at least offers another voice in calling for an end to US foreign interference.

Quite simply, the precursor of American interventionism is the American superiority complex. If somebody thinks that they’re the best, they’ll eventually go around trying to prove it…under the guise of spreading their values and improving the other’s moral deficit. Take the DNC, which was an excuse for Democrats to overblow their credentials in an over-the-top display of extreme patriotism. For example, Michelle Obama’s speech really was incredible and inspiring, but America is not “the greatest country in the world” as she said. Personally, I think Canada and Macedonia are the greatest countries in the world. Should we have a competition? Let’s start with arm-wrestling, then a disco dance-off. Whatever country you’re from could be the greatest…for you. No need to diminish anybody else.

American foreign policy failures have been on display for decades, so why continue? And what gives the US the right to continue? Usually we hear both parties espouse their expertise in running the world but, this election cycle, it’s only the Democrats’ turn. And when they do it, they’re all in. Anyone who dares disagree with their flawed thinking must be a complete moron. The timing is perfect now, as we just saw Macedonia walk in the Olympic opening ceremonies behind the letter “E”. In Sochi it was “B”, English-speaking countries, “F”. This sounds like Sesame Street. These are all translations for the word “Former”, as in “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” (“FYROM”). While the US and the vast majority of the world have recognized Macedonia using its proper name, Greece is still complaining that their plan to eradicate Macedonia’s existence was interrupted, so the UN agreed to keep using the term “FYROM”. Robin O’Neil, the first UN mediator for the so-called name dispute, said as much, adamantly. Former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger called the name dispute “unfounded” and that Greece’s claim to the name Macedonia is “false” and “not fact-based”. Yet, the UN continues the 20-plus year name negotiations, trying to force Macedonia to change its name to appease Greece.

The pure stupidity of this dispute is astounding. And it is simply pathetic to keep watching Macedonian athletes walk in the Olympic opening ceremonies behind a sign that literally says “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”. The sheer size of the sign is comical. Do Macedonian fans chant “Let’s go FYROMians, let’s go!”? The most basic human right is that of self-determination. Of course, Greece has actually admitted to manufacturing this dispute as a way to keep persecuting the large Macedonian population that it inherited after Macedonia’s partition among Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and Albania earlier last century. It is also Greece that is trying to appropriate Macedonia’s name, not the other way around as it claims. At least it has learned that the best defence is a good offence. But this is Greece’s MO, claim that everything is Greek and hope that something sticks, like Turkish baklava or international yogurt.

But how does this relate to the US election? Because Hillary Clinton has called for Macedonia to change its name. Macedonian-Americans cannot, in good conscience (a term we’ve been hearing a lot lately), vote for her. So let’s see who is willing to denounce the ludicrous name negotiations as an attack on common sense and Macedonia’s most basic of rights. Secure the Macedonian-American vote in the process. As a bonus, signal to the world that the US is willing to learn from their numerous foreign policy mistakes and that real change is actually possible.

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Macedonian Human Rights Movement International (MHRMI) has been active on human and national rights issues for Macedonians and other oppressed peoples since 1986. For more information: 1-416-850-7125, [email protected], www.mhrmi.org, www.twitter.com/mhrmi, www.facebook.com/mhrmi, www.mhrmi.org/OurNameIsMacedonia
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