Jahja Esli and Boneva Boyka make the case on atlantic-community.org for Macedonia
(FYROM) to join NATO. They argue that NATO's Open Door Policy was reaffirmed
at the last Chicago Summit, but its doors remain firmly closed for Macedonia
which has been aspiring membership since 1999 and continues to contribute more
than its fair share to missions.
The article reads like a case of victim orientated opinion; the usual argument is expressly and impliedly centered around Greece and its intransigence with FYROM regarding their name and that if only this was sorted then NATO membership would be assured and how much the FYR Macedonians deserve this NATO membership. Let me elucidate why I believe this vein of thought should be taken in the light it deserves.
My military unit deployed to the Balkans and had driven to Skopje via Greece as part of Op Agricola and before we had even arrived at our destination in Skopje, locals had got on a bridge over-looking the ‘motorway' and dropped a huge boulder into the cab of one of our passing vehicles, badly injuring my two friends and they were CASEVAC'd home. This was our introduction to the friendly deserving locals; every work trip out, we were attacked by locals whose intent was to maim or kill us. Stones, rocks and fire were all used against us; we learnt very quickly when we went out, that we had to go out fully equipped and armed for trouble, all of our vehicle windows were covered in Mesh for protection. Sat in the vehicle all kitted out for war in a supposedly friendly country; it could have passed for a normal day patrolling the bad lands of Ulster. The locals, their faces distorted by anger and rage, whipping up violence wherever we stopped, provoking, spoiling for a fight, damaging anything, everything to do with NATO. The same NATO that stands for peace, democracy and civilization in the Western World for over 40 years attacked because it had the audacity to stop Slavs ethnically cleansing a neighbor.
There were signs, graffiti and posters all over the place directing their Slavic bile at NATO troops; most of it was racist, bigoted and xenophobic and written in English, just in case we didn't get their message. The authors laudably claim that NATO is in a state of ‘Obsolete Existence' wallowing in their own mire unless this international giant takes on a deserving FYR of Macedonia to their books then everything will be fine as Macedonia can be used like Eastern Europe as a bulwark against Russia, although I'm not exactly sure what Macedonia's bulwark is against? The dreaded Turk? oh wait no they're already a member, So who?
What benefits are there for NATO, for Europe come to that, when the majority of the FYROM's Slav population detests NATO for kicking the fellow Slavic Serbs out and bringing the ethnic Albanians power in neighboring Kosovo? I can't help but feel this is duplicitous with their indignation at being ignored by NATO, insisting what good Europeans they are when at the same time treating NATO soldiers so badly, I saw the way that FYROM subjects their ethnic Albanian minority as third class citizens, treating them with such disdain and disrespect pretending that they aren't actually Macedonian at all.
What they really need is a reality check and recognize that whilst they treat their own minorities and NATO troops so poorly its advancement into the international arena of NATO will be a long time coming and by extension that of the EU. All I see is a country using NATO to get to the Golden Goose of the EU. A stipulation of accession to NATO is that the accession country must be Democratic and at peace with itself and its neighbors; the FYR of Macedonia is none of these.
If FYROM wants NATO membership, then it must earn it and it must stop acting and thinking it is the victim all the time, FYROM is only reaping what it sowed when it allowed their Slavic people to wage a campaign of hatred against NATO troops who were only helping the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. They don't deserve membership of NATO until they sort out their own internal problems and only then confront Greece's and Bulgaria's intransigence. FYROM doesn't need a MAP from 1999 to see that....
The author is an Intelligence Consultant within a joint UK/US Intelligence Company; he has completed a 22 year service in the Intelligence Corps where he worked within UK and US Military SIGINT, with worldwide operational experience. He is a qualified English law graduate and a Russian and French Linguist.