- Analysis/Opinion – Sasha Uzunov
The newly appointed US Ambassador to Macedonia, Ms Angela Aggeler-Price, began her term with all guns a blazing, pardon the US Wild West phrase, demanding the right of the US to investigate “corruption” in Macedonia, nominally a “sovereign, independent” state. Alternate Comms has written about this earlier and the US hidden agenda behind this.
What is now interesting and hot on the heels of Ambassador Aggeler’s anti corruption crusade is a US company, Bechtel, has been awarded a contract by the Macedonian government to build two new highways/freeways/motorways. One of those is called Corridor 8 and the other Corridor 10. It is part of an overall European project.
Bechtel has a chequered past. It was awarded under controversial circumstances a massive contract by the US government to rebuild roads in war torn Iraq, which was invaded by the US in 2003 under the false pretence of Weapons of Massive Destruction (WMD), allegedly held by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Bechtel, though a private company, has long ties to US’s Central Intelligence Agency. Two of its executives, George Shultz and Caspar Weinberger, became key members of US President Reagan’s Administration in the early 1980s.
US companies muscling into the Balkans is also a strategic objective – it keeps Chinese and Russian influence out of the region.
Roads serve a number of purposes, the most obvious is civilian vehicle traffic. Alongside roads, railway lines can also be added and so forth. To take the weight of heavy trucks transporting goods, roads need to be sufficiently strengthened.
But another important use of roads is for military purposes. Heavy military armour such as tanks, armoured fighting vehicles, armoured personnel carriers, self-propelled artillery and so on would need good roads.
The two highways being built in Macedonia by Bechtel are in the west of the country where a sizeable Albanian minatory lives. Macedonia’s First Deputy Prime Minister Artan Grubi, has boasted that these roads will help to unite Albanians in neighbouring Kosovo and Albania with Western Macedonia.
Grubi belongs to an extreme right wing Albanian nationalist party called DUI, set up by Ali Ahmeti who led an ethnic Albanian uprising in Macedonia in 2001 to establish a Greater Albania, that is carve out a chunk of Western Macedonia, ethnically cleanse Macedonians from that region and unite with Kosovo and Albania.
It was put into brutal practice in WWII under the aegis of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany and involved in deliberately settling Albanian colonisers in Macedonian towns to change the ethnic composition.
Ahmeti was a member of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and set up own his “franchise” in Macedonia called the NLA (or UCK) – National Liberation Army. He was trained and equipped by the US which claimed it had no role in starting the 2001 war in Macedonia. Suffice to say, Ahmeti began to change his rhetoric from a Greater Albania project to a fight for supposed civil rights for Albanians in Macedonia. The war did not last too long and a US created peace deal called the Ohrid Framework Agreement was signed; in effect securing Ahmeti as a permanent polticial king maker and US proxy in Macedonia and establishing a de facto Albanian statelet in Western Macedonia. Ahmeti has been in nearly every coalition government in Macedonia in the past 20 years.
He says and does the things the US wants but can’t always openly do so, pretending to be an impartial actor in Macedonia. Ahmeti’s DUI party openly venerates WWII Albanian Nazi collaborators but the US deliberately plays dumb over this fact. Mainstream Western media refuse to report on it because of the embarrassment it poses for the US to support such extremists.
How does this all tie up with the new roads being built in Macedonia, you might ask? Without indulging in conspiracy theories, a prominent US academic Professor Daniel Serwer, testifying in front of US Congress in 2017, laid out on the table a hypothetical worst possible outcome (US term -worst case scenario) in which the US or European Union could be called in militarily to occupy Macedonia and partition it should nation-state building fail in Macedonia. Disingenuously, Professor Serwer left out that the US has deliberate made Macedonia dysfunctional and divided along ethnic grounds. It is the old Roman Empire/British Empire principle of divide and rule.
Having excellent roads in Western Macedonia makes it easier for US or NATO military armoured vehicles to move around and implement this hypothetical. Let’s hope that this scenario only remains a hypothetical! But the signs are not good. It was the US which imposed name change of Macedonia in 2018 to get it into NATO by responding to Greek opposition and the US also supports Bulgaria’s blackmail demands which in reality mean Macedonia and Macedonians acknowledging they are Bulgarian and Bulgarians.
Recent comments by US State Department mandarin Gabriel Escobar, referring to Macedonians as Orthodox people and not Macedonians, adds to concerns that the US has no interest in allowing a Macedonian identity to remain.
HIGHWAY TO HELL? Connecting the dots? Highway to Hell and Serwer Scenario.
In 1992 the US Central Intelligence Agency & National Security Agency’s official position on the break up of then Yugoslavia was to rearrange borders and conduct “supervised” ethnic cleansing into nice neat manageable packages of states. This would include Bosnia and Macedonia being carved up.
This ties in with a 2017 hypothetical “worst case scenario” of Professor Daniel Serwer mentioned above. It has not transpired but nor has it ever been taken off the table by Washington. As things stand, Macedonia is on the road to partition. That it did not happen in the 1990s does not mean it is not US long term policy as conditions were not ripe at the time: neighbouring states Albania and Bulgaria were not within the US umbrella of NATO. Both now are.