By all accounts from Greece and Macedonia, a majority in both countries will be happy that a new name for Macedonia has been agreed upon by the governments in Athens and Skopje. After years of facing Greek vetoes to join the European Union and NATO under the name “Republic of Macedonia,” the Greek government agreed to drop its opposition, so long as Macedonia change its name to “Northern Macedonia.” Northern Greeks always objected to Macedonia’s use of that name because they believed it represented a goal of Slavic and Albanian Macedonians to lay claim to the northern Greek region that also uses the name Macedonia.
Ever since Macedonia declared independence from Yugoslavia 25 years ago, Greece insisted that the United Nations call the country the “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,” which became an acronym known as FYROM. Some nations recognized the country as the Republic of Macedonia, while others opted for FYROM.
The Macedonians also claimed Alexander the Great, a Greek national hero, as one of their own and named their international airport after the ancient conqueror. As part of Macedonia’s name change, Alexander the Great International Airport has been changed to Skopje International Airport. Macedonian history books are to be altered to reflect that Northern Macedonians are not ancient Macedonians. Actual Macedonians, claims Athens, are northern Greeks or “Aegean Macedonians.”
Macedonians, who are now governed by a George Soros implant named Zoran Zaev, are undergoing the type of cultural change that was externally visited upon the nation of Rwanda after General Paul Kagame, a Rwandan expatriate from Uganda, seized power after a very bloody genocide in 1994. Rwanda forced Rwandans to scrap their native French for English, the French-like national tricolor was replaced with a new flag, and Rwanda joined the Commonwealth of Nations, which is led by the British queen. The only thing that did not change in Rwanda was the name of the country, although one could not put it past Kagame to revert back to the colonial name of “Ruanda.”
Northern Macedonia was agreed upon by Macedonia and Greece after several other options were discussed. The Greeks favored the name “Republic of Vardar Macedonia,” but that was rejected by the Macedonians, who preferred “Republic of New Macedonia.” The United Nations mediator said there were other candidates for the name, including the Republic of Upper Macedonia and Republic of Macedonia (Skopje).
Greece suggested many other names for their northern neighbor, including “Dardania and Paeonia,” the ancient names for the region; South Slavia, the Vardar Republic, the Central Balkan Republic, and the Republic of Skopje. The Macedonians offered up the Constitutional Republic of Macedonia, the Democratic Republic of Macedonia, the Independent Republic of Macedonia, and the New Republic of Macedonia.
Names now mean everything in an era of “new nationalism.” The U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, a former hack attorney for Donald Trump, has referred to the illegally-occupied West Bank as “Judea and Samaria,” a hat-tip to the Jewish illegal settlers who want Israel to annex the West Bank and have Israel become a full-blown apartheid state, with Palestinians treated as inferior “untermenschen.” There are reports that after having moved the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the Trump administration is a hair-trigger away from recognizing all of Jerusalem, including illegally-occupied East Jerusalem, as the capital of Israel and recognizing Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights from Syria. That would leave the open-air Palestinians ghetto of Gaza as a target for Israeli re-annexation. Menacingly, the Trump administration is already calling Gaza “southern Israel.”
There are other proposals afoot for name changes. In 2017, South African Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa sparked a fierce debate when he suggested that South Africa should become “Azania,” a name with Greek origins. That proposal was tabled quickly by a government that did not want self-engineered headaches to be piled on all of its other problems. Likewise, there is little interest in the Central African Republic to revert to the country’s French colonial name of Ubangi-Shari, two rivers that converge in the country.
The South Africans may want to think twice about Azania. South Sudan considered using that same name upon independence from Sudan in 2011. Could the world survive with two Azanias? Why not? There have been two independent Congos since the 1960s — the former French Republic of Congo and the former Belgian Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The DRC did change its name to Zaire during the dictatorship of Mobutu Sese Seko, but changed it back again after his ouster in a popular rebellion. The South Sudanese apparently liked the name South Sudan, after rejecting, along with Azania, the names Nile Republic, Kush Republic, and Juwama. Some South Sudanese still want a name change, favoring Tochland or Savannah.
If pro-independence activists get their way in civil war-ravaged Yemen, South Yemen will re-emerge as an independent nation and that might provide some solace to South Sudan and South Africa, but not South Korea, which, after Trump’s recognition of the north as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or DPRK, will now insist on being called the Republic of Korea or “ROK.”
On the occasion of his 50th birthday, Swaziland’s King Mswati III — who has 15 wives, 12 less than Trump’s known number of ex-wives — proclaimed that the name of his country would henceforth be known as eSwatini.
Kazakhstan is no longer Kazakhstan. The nation’s president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, has decreed that the Kazakh language will no longer be written in the Cyrillic alphabet but Latin. “Qazaqstan” will now be joining Qatar as the only two countries in the UN General Assembly’s “Q” section. Nazarbayev also dislikes the appendage “stan” on the name of his country, He is on record in favor of dropping “stan” and calling his country Qazaq Yeli, or “Land of the Kazakhs.”
Some politicians in Kyrgyzstan also want to drop the “stan” part of their country’s name and have it officially be known as Kyrgyz Land or Kyrgyz Zher, the name in the Kyrgyz language. These politicians bemoan the fact that their nation is often confused with Kurdistan, which, thanks to Turkish and Iraqi pressure, is not an independent country represented at the UN. The Kyrgyz have a point. The Czechs, in pushing the name Czechia, did not seem to mind that some people confused the name with Chechnia, a Russian autonomous republic.
In 2013, the small half-island nation of East Timor announced it was changing its name to Timor-Leste, a hat-tip to its history as a Portuguese colony. Not to be left out of the Portuguese nostalgia, Cape Verde changed its name to Cabo Verde that same year.
The President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte has entertained the possibility of changing the name of the country to something that no longer honors Spanish colonialists and their colonizing monarch, King Philip II. There have been moves in the Philippines Congress to establish a geographical renaming commission to come up with a new name. One idea floated is the Tagalog name, Haring Bayan.
Country name changes are tough on some merchandise retailers. In 1997, the American Safety Razor Company reintroduced the Burma-Shave brand of shaving soap. But Burma had become Myanmar nine years earlier and “Myanmar-Shave” lacked a certain appeal. All the marketers of Ceylon tea were aghast in 1971 when the island nation changed its name to Sri Lanka.
If the independence referendum in New Caledonia in November of this year results in a majority vote for breaking colonial ties with France and going it alone, the country’s name will be Kanaky. The name is an homage to the native Kanak people. If Greenland opts for independence from Denmark, it’s goodbye Greenland and hello Kalaallit Nunaat, the Inuit name for the country.
Resurgent nationalism across the globe are keeping mapmakers and diplomats busy. Country name changing is the current vogue and there are no signs that it will end anytime soon.
Originally published on 2018-06-21
About the author: Wayne Madsen is investigative journalist, author and syndicated columnist. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and the National Press Club.
Source: Strategic Culture Foundation
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest.
Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!
Donate to Support Us
We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.
An inquiry by the EU has found “compelling indications” that ten Serb captives had their body organs harvested for illegal trafficking during the 1998-99 Kosovo war. However, it wasn’t widespread and there will be no trial, the lead investigator said.The chief prosecutor Clint Williamson, who led the investigation, said there was no evidence of widespread organ harvesting, but that the crime had occurred a number of times.“There are compelling indications that this practice did occur on a very limited scale and that a small number of individuals were killed for the purpose of extracting and trafficking their organs,” he told ...
The facile and indiscriminate use of the term fascism has led to a widespread misunderstanding and misuse of its meaning. Asked to define fascism, most people would respond in terms such as dictatorship, anti-Semitism, mass hysteria, efficient propaganda machine, mesmerizing oratory of a psychopathic leader, and the like.Such a pervasive misconception of the meaning of the term fascism is not altogether fortuitous. It is largely because of a longstanding utilitarian misrepresentation of the term. Fascism is deliberately obfuscated in order to sanitize capitalism. Ideologues, theorists and opinion-makers of capitalism have systematically shifted the systemic sins of fascism from market/capitalist failures ...
As it appears Lithuania expects major changes in the near future. Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius was on an official visit to the United States of America from the 20 to the 24 of February 2017. During a visit he said that Lithuania seeks the permanent presence of United States troops in its territory."We have requested stationing of military forces in our country on a more permanent basis - not only rotational but also more permanent," the minister told BNS in the telephone interview from Washington D.C.Linas Linkevicius' call for the permanent presence of United States troops in Lithuania territory ...
One of rock's greatest albums is Pink Floyd's 1973 Dark Side of the Moon.This somber, surrealistic album paints a picture of what society has become, both 44 years ago and now. Such is this present American Empire, replete with our phony wars, excessive militaristic mindset and of course the drive for super wealth by greedy corporations and equally greedy individuals.Those of us who "knew better" foresaw the economic bubble burst of 2008 years before it occurred. So many of our friends and neighbors cared not a damn about the phony wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, and later on against Libya and now proxy ...
Known and documented, since the Soviet-Afghan war, recruiting Mujahideen (“holy warriors”) to fight covert wars on Washington’s behest has become an integral part of US foreign policy.A 1997 Congressional document by the Republican Party Committee (RPC), while intent upon smearing President Bill Clinton, nonetheless sheds light on the Clinton administration’s insidious role in recruiting and training jihadist mercenaries with a view to transforming Bosnia into a “Militant Islamic Base”.In many regards, Bosnia and Kosovo (1998-1999) were “dress rehearsals” for the destabilization of the Middle East (Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen).With regard to Syria, the recruitment of jihadists (according to Israeli intelligence ...
On January 19th, 2016 on the bilateral meeting between Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and the official representatives of the European Jewish Congress the latter applied to Putin to take necessary steps for the sake to improve the generally bad position of the Jewish community on the Old Continent. Surprisingly, the President, not so much as a joke, invited both all the present-day European Jews and those Jews who left the USSR simply to immigrate to Russia.
At the first glance one can say – very gentle and even democratic move by the President. However, lets a little bit to analyze the ...
Crimea’s breakaway from Ukraine and rejoining Russia is treated in the US-and-allied world as being justification for the explosive re-emergence in 2014 of America’s Cold War NATO alliance as being a restored war against Russia; and, so, whether or not that ‘justification’ is truthful is the paramount geopolitical issue in our era; and it will therefore be discussed and (via the links here) documented in this article.Though international law is generally an unenforced mess that is interpretable far more by partisanship than by any clearly applicable principles, the US Government does quite blatantly violate it on a routine basis, by ...
There has long been speculation about a Turkish good-bye to NATO.The U.S. and its military proxy organization in Europe are doing their best to further such a move:The image of Atatürk was displayed as a target during the drill at NATO’s Joint Warfare Center in Stavanger, Norway held between Nov. 8 and Nov. 17, while a NATO soldier posted defamatory words about Erdoğan on the social media.Atatürk is the founder of the secular Turkey. He was designated as "target" during a desk-top drill. NATO's Joint Warfare Center is not a low level school but an elite officer training institution led ...
There was an interesting announcement recently that went almost entirely unnoticed in the Canadian media.
On June 17, Peter Szijjarto, foreign minister of Hungary’s centre-right government, made the startling declaration that his national security forces will erect a four-metre wall along the entire 175 kilometres of shared border with Serbia.
Szijjarto’s rationale for resorting to such a drastic measure results from a months-long flood of asylum seekers pouring into southern Hungary. While tens of thousands of these desperate illegal immigrants have been caught, detained and returned into Serbia, the vast majority have used the processing time for their asylum applications to simply ...
Antisemitism needs an excuse and Netanyahu sadly provides it every day on the Israeli- Gaza border. His heavily armed snipers have gratuitously killed over 200 unarmed Palestinians at the March of Return protest and injured over 10,000 at the border since 30 March 2018 in a sickening exhibition of state sponsored violence that has brought death and disability to those actively, and largely legitimately, demonstrating for return of their land and property.
You cannot deprive 2m of their human rights, enshrined in international law, without consequences. Israel is not an island in the sky and the dispossessed Palestinian people are very ...
War President of Bosnia-Herzegovina Alija Izetbegovic - author of jihadist "Islamic Declaration" in 1970
One of the most outrageous and heinous hoaxes and Hitlerian Big Lies perpetrated by the US and Western media during the Bosnian civil war of 1992-1995 was that Bosnian Serbs had used rape as an “instrument of war”. In order to discredit the Bosnian Serbs, they were accused of committing mass rapes against Bosnian Muslim women, in “rape camps” and “rape motels”. Even the United Nations commander in Bosnia, Canadian Major-General Lewis MacKenzie, a veteran of eight UN peacekeeping missions, was accused of committing rapes against Bosnian ...
With respect to Greece’s role in the Mediterranean security system, the multilateralist formula applied to the region including the Balkans as well as is the orienting principle for the Greek foreign policy since the end of the Cold War. Since 1994, the opportunities for NATO’s and EU’s initiatives were more than apparent for Athens when Greece (wrongly) understood the Euro-Atlantic community as a fundamental security player for the extending the values of security and co-operation into this structurally unbalanced region. During the Cold War, the Greek policy-makers also found (wrongly) since 1952 that the US-led NATO offered allegedly excellent opportunities ...
Long live the European court, the most humane court in the world!
That is why seven times as many Croat and more than ten times as many (Kosovar) Albanian war crimes suspects, in percentage terms relative to Serbs, were acquitted by the Hague Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, with Radovan Karadzic being just its latest victim. (Source via this recent infographic from Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda).
No matter that well before Srebrenica you had Sisak, where 595 Serb civilians of which 120 were women were disappeared by Croatian paramilitaries in 1991-1992. Everyone has heard of Srebrenica; almost nobody has heard heard of Sisak. The largest ethnic cleansing ...
USAID is spending $300,000 to fight traditional Christian morality in the Republic of Macedonia.A reader passes along a government document putting out bids for a contract. Here’s the top of the document:Apparently the (former Yugoslav) Republic of Macedonia, a small Balkan nation that emerged from the breakup of Yugoslavia, is insufficiently progressive on LGBT issues. So the American government is spending $300,000 to undermine the traditional Orthodox Christian culture of the country. Excerpts from the document (emphases mine):Macedonia has ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Human Rights Convention. Through ratification of these human rights treaties, Macedonia has ...
SERBIAN SETTLEMENT IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA BEGAN IN THE SEVENTH CENTURY A.D.Note: Croats settled much later and in insignificant numbers. That is why they are not mentioned much in the literature.THE EMPEROR CONSTANTINE VII PORPHYROGENITUS (reigned 913-957) REFERRED TO BOSNIA AS PART OF *THE LAND OF THE SERBS*.BOSNIA-HERCEGOVINA… THE LARGEST SINGLE NATIONAL ELEMENT IS THE ORTHODOX SERBS, followed by Moslem Slavs (few of whom can trace their origin to Turkish colonists) and Catholic Croats……The republics of Croatia and Slovenia are predominantly Roman Catholic, while the republics of Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and BOSNIA-HERCEGOVINA (!!!) are predominantly ORTHODOXIn the ’90-ies Alija Izetbegovic, former SS ...
On 4 April 2019, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, better known as NATO, marked the 70th anniversary of its existence with a conference attended by the foreign ministers of member nations in Washington DC. This will be complemented by a meeting of the heads of state of member nations in London next December.Coinciding with the anniversary event on 4 April, peace activists and concerned scholars in several countries conducted a variety of events to draw attention to, and further document, the many war crimes and other atrocities committed by NATO (sometimes by deploying its associate and crony terrorist armies – ISIS, ...
The goal of this article is to investigate and describe the text of one very significant, but so far forgotten, document and historical source upon the question on Serbian liberation from the Ottoman sway and national unification. The document was written in 1804 during the first months of the First Serbian Uprising against the Ottoman oppression [about the uprising see in Petrovich 1976; Vucinich 1982; Temperley 1969; Ђорђевић 1956].
The Serbian nation was divided at the dawn of the 19th century by the borders of Ottoman pashaliks and by the state frontiers that separated the lands under Ottoman from those under ...
A decade ago I published a book, Israel and the Clash of Civilisations, that examined Israel’s desire to Balkanize the Middle East, using methods it had refined over many decades in the occupied Palestinian territories. The goal was to unleash anarchy across much of the region, destabilising key enemy states: Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.
The book further noted how Israel’s strategy had influenced the neoconservative agenda in Washington that found favour under George Bush’s administration. The neocons’ destabilisation campaign started in Iraq, with consequences that are only too apparent today.
My book was published when efforts by Israel and the neocons to move ...
According to the prevailing wisdom in the West, the Ukraine crisis can be blamed almost entirely on Russian aggression. Russian President Vladimir Putin, the argument goes, annexed Crimea out of a long-standing desire to resuscitate the Soviet empire, and he may eventually go after the rest of Ukraine, as well as other countries in eastern Europe. In this view, the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014 merely provided a pretext for Putin’s decision to order Russian forces to seize part of Ukraine.
But this account is wrong: the United States and its European allies share most of the ...
Churchill once said that in war the truth is so precious it has to be surrounded with a bodyguard of lies. In Germany over the last two months one clearly saw the fabrication of such a bodyguard.
Even as air attacks proceeded against civilian targets—destroying factories, electricity works, refineries, bridges, streets, railway lines and apartment blocks— German government representatives spoke of a ” humanitarian action ” . Despite the fact that the NATO attacks unleashed the massive wave of refugees and reduced towns and villages in Kosovo to ruins , it has been maintained to the very end that the aim ...
Western Intelligence Operation “Kosovo Liberation Army” Harvested Serbs’ Organs – The EU’s inquiry
Distorting Fascism to Sanitize Capitalism
Breaking the Constitution: Lithuania Seeks the Permanent Presence of the U.S. Troops on its Territory
The Dark Side of the Empire
Bill Clinton Worked Hand in Glove with Al Qaeda
Why Putin Discriminates Kosovo Serbs?
The Lies that are Used for Denying the Legitimacy of Crimea’s Breakaway
NATO adds to Turkey’s Chagrin
Ukraine could Learn from Kosovo’s Troubles
Israeli Blockade of Gaza: The Only Solution is the Establishment of an Independent Palestinian State
Rape and War: Bosnian Muslim Rapes at the Celebici Camp
Greece in the Mediterranean Security System
The Hague Tribunal: Only the Serbs are Prosecuted
America’s Culture War Mercenaries
USA & Islamists in Balkans in Coalition Again
Understanding NATO, Ending War
The Memorandum (1804) by the Karlovci Metropolitan Stevan Stratimirovic
Syria and the Project to Balkanize the Middle East
Why the Ukraine Crisis is the West’s Fault
German Interests in the War Against Yugoslavia