The messages that Evelyn Farkas, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense in the administration of Barack Obama, and a current member of the Atlantic Council, sent in yesterday’s interview with Nezavisen/Independent newspaper are terrifying. She says NATO membership will mean stability and security from any external threat, modernization and growth of democracy, but the possible “no” in the upcoming referendum will affect the situation in the region, not excluding the possibility for war. In order to move towards the future, and not back to the past, she most plausibly explains to us what can happen if we refuse to be in the company of the great ones.
Unfortunately, this is not a lonely voice in space, but an overtone that is often heard in the past period. And it’s not just that they threaten us from Brussels and Washington in order to intimidate us, so it does not occur to us to invalidate the agreement with Greece. We are witnessing the harsh rhetoric about Kosovo, where things got so mixed up that is longer clear to anyone who is offering what, who wants the Presevo Valley, and who prefers Kosovska Mitrovica. Leaders in Belgrade and Pristina, including those from Tirana, are auctioning the purchase of land for the field as soon as possible, so European leaders have been asked to tell their children to stop playing around. British Ambassador to Kosovo, Ruairí O’Connell, points out that the borders may be negotiated words, but are changed with bullets. In the meantime, even the local Albanians here warn us that they will not sit still if Macedonia rejects the possibility of fast entry into NATO.
It is sad that this is also said by Prime Minister Zoran Zaev’s advisor, a man who was so far considered an experienced analyst and politician whose statements and interpretations were gladly used by the media.
Border-redefining has long been the favorite hobby of Balkan politicians. In our country one could hear thoughts about the exchange of territories, which were rejected from the get-go. But the danger, in reality, still exists.
Unfortunately, Macedonia has always served for vengeance between neighbors and the world powers. And this will stay this way until we sit equally at the same table with them, although it is clear that the voice of barely two million people will never be as strong as others. There will always be outside influences that eagerly wait for us to stay alone and unprotected. If we were united, things might have been different. Thus, divided in every way, starting with political party, nationality, religion, and even within the same ethnicity, we are a safer bet for rapid destabilization than Ceca will fill the square of any city in Macedonia.
A country that does not have an efficient administration, a developed economy, an incompetent political elite, a weak social consciousness, a corrupted judiciary, a displaced youth, and a state of hopelessness can hardly be challenged on its own. From any field and from anywhere.
What’s bad about this is that many, even the makers of political decisions, think that everything will be resolved on its own, when the majority of citizens going to vote “in favour” in 45 days. No, even then it will be dangerous for them, because the great ones will not allow their incapacity. The fact that they have become accustomed to an apathetic people will fire back at them soon. It would be better if we immediately start working to make Macedonia prosperous for our sake from now on, because then we will care less for histories, nationalism, borders, policies… We will be happy, something that after 27 years of defiance seems as an inconceivable feeling for our society. Still, it is not all about politicians. We have the last say. And we are deciding for ourselves and for the future of our children.