Hush… The President is expecting NATO Membership!

Hush… The President is expecting NATO Membership!

Erol Rizaov

If morning reveals what kind of day we are going to have, and the year is known from the first day of it, then we can expect more bright days. The first child born in 2019 one minute after midnight is called Vedran (Bright), and the first three days were sunny and enjoyable, though quite cold. A good sign for a start in the middle of the winter with announcement of snow and days of cold polar weather which means more health, and death to viruses and bacilli.

The President, in his last days as head of state, said something on the first day of the New Year before the soldiers in Kicevo that made me pinch myself and check whether I’m dreaming or really hearing this, when the supreme culprit and person who hinders the future of the country said: “I expect that this year the country will finally get the invitation and become a member of NATO.” He said what he said, and after the army bean stew he left to sleep through the remaining five months of his post in the Vodno bear cave, where he spent 10 years lost in time and space. This was the statement of the decade, although Ivanov has repeated it for ten years and at least ten times a year, almost on every occasion. This time there is one essential difference, which at first glance is not noticeable, so I had to check if my colleagues missed something when quoting him. The words “no conditions” in his New Year’s greeting to the soldiers are missing. When President Ivanov has a strong need to publicly announce that he is a great advocate for Macedonia’s accession to NATO and the EU, he does not forget to say that Macedonia’s entry into NATO should take place without conditions, which in other words means that it is an illusion and populist lie, because this can not happen without compromise with Greece. Although, everyone from the top of NATO and the EU, both in public statements and in personal meetings, they all clearly inform Ivanov that, without a mutually acceptable solution with Greece, Euro-Atlantic integration is impossible, Gjorge is acting ignorant, collecting miserable points with his hypocrisy for achieving state strategic interests without conditions. Thus, in the interests of Gruevski and Ivanov, we lost a whole decade.

After the Prespa Agreement was reached and when the prospect of joining NATO became realistic, President Ivanov took a dual role, and the Don Quixote role and also the one of Sancho Panza, a knight, a servant and a decorated soldier, who lost his battle against time and was left fighting windmills. He hit strongly against the changes in Macedonia by defending Balkan Macedonia.

From the UN’s rostrum, at international symposiums, in the Macedonian Parliament, Ivanov spoke everywhere about capitulation of Macedonia, about the shameful agreement with Greece, for concessions that would mean the loss of national identity, the Macedonian language, of dispossession of the Macedonian people, always with his Itar Pejo-like announcement as a shield that he is fully determined for Macedonia’s NATO membership and its EU membership. It was a ten-year-long grotesque, a kind of parody and tragicomedy that the president expressed through a pose of anger and patriotic ascension. And now, as if he has fallen from another planet, suddenly the Supreme Commander of the Macedonian NATO military, having understood about the secured two-thirds votes in parliament, announces that he personally expected that finally this year the country will get an invitation and become a member of the alliance.

Not a word about capitulation and the lost national identity, and all of this spoken in fluent Macedonian language. As if he is the one who has done all the great work done by the courageous Prime Ministers Alexis Tsipras and Zoran Zaev, and their foreign ministers Nikola Dimitrov and Nikos Kotzias, and expert associates with the participation and strong support of the whole international community. His colleague in Greece, President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, whose hardline stance is well known, not once attacked Prime Minister Tsipras for the reached Prespa Agreement. At least we have not heard of such news. He wisely left it to the protectors of national interests, the famous nationalists and radicals both in Greece and Macedonia.

Now what’s left to see is whether President Ivanov will forward the same New Year’s greeting and message not only to the soldiers, but also to the MPs of VMRO-DPMNE, encouraging them to vote on constitutional changes because he was expecting accession to NATO, so as preparation he borrowed the pen from his grandfather Stefan with green ink to sign the constitutional changes after it became a reality. What do you think – whether President Ivanov’s message will soon be followed by a new regretful greeting which is not valid for the MPs, but only for the soldiers. Nothing out of the ordinary. Such things could happen to the president. His double personality is not something unknown and strange. He had such periods several times. He played one role as president when he theatrically raised the voice before the MPs that he would defend the sovereignty and autonomy of the country, the name, the nationality and the language until the last day of his presidential term. And he played his second role in Kicevo as supreme commander, when he severely warned that he expected Macedonia’s membership in NATO this year finally. Do you remember his abolition and withdrawing abolition of accused of heavy crimes, his non-signing and signing laws passed twice in parliament, his compromises that work cross-eyed as a cosmodisc and an entire three-volume lexicon from different statements of the same thing.

Starting May, President Gjorge Ivanov will clarify these matters in his memoirs of everything he has done to Macedonia during these ten years. After those of Stojan Andov, these memoirs will be the most exciting pages of our recent historical past, which we had the privilege of witnessing. Professor Ivanov will have to hurry, because it could happen Nikola Gruevski and Branko Crvenkovski to write theirs before his memoirs which will be, I suppose, the biggest bestsellers ever in Macedonia. It is a great fortune that historical science does not accept these writings as evidence that there are serious problems with the reliability and bias of the memoir for their own role. Of the six founders of VMRO 1893 in Thessaloniki, only one, Hristo Batandziev, has not written his memoirs. The founders of independent Macedonia are expected to have more heroic acts than written and unwritten works by the participants and victims in the National Liberation War and the founders of ASNOM. Probably because in the anti-fascist war thousands of victims have fallen for freedom and their own homeland , and the greatest aspiration for independent Macedonia has come without any fired shot. Perhaps this is the reason why these generations are hesitant on what to do with freedom and how to fulfill the greatest state interests.

It is always better to write your own memoirs, than someone to write it for you postmortem while you are still alive.

Views expressed in this article are personal views of the author and do not represent the editorial policy of Nezavisen Vesnik