Twisting History on Macedonia

Article excerpt

Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES

I understand the U.S. government's decision favoring the so-called Republic of Macedonia over Greece in the Macedonian name dispute because the former helped the United States by being part of the coalition in Iraq. The "Republic of Macedonia" has become a U.S. ally, while Greece and its media have joined the majority of Western Europeans, their media, the U.S. media and the U.S. liberal politicians in condemning military action in Iraq. However, in his letter to the editor, Dragi Stojkovski, president of United Macedonians Organization of Canada has used this alliance to twist history ("Macedonia's right to its name," Oct. 12).

Mr. Stojkovski claims that in 1913, Greece occupied the Greek province of Macedonia for the first time. Though it is true that in the 20th century, Macedonia was part of a country officially called Greece, it also is true that all the provinces in Greece became part of a country called Greece for the first time from 1821 to the first half of the 20th century. He fails to mention that Macedonia, Sparta, Athens, Thebes, Korinthos, Ithaca and the rest of the states in the region were separate Greek states. They were all Greek-speaking and had a Greek identity.

The truth is that ancient Macedonians, like the people in the rest of the Greek city-states, spoke Greek; were educated as Greeks; were taught Greek history and philosophy; believed in the Greek gods; and had Greek heroes such as Achilles, Hercules and King Leonidas of Sparta. As a matter of fact, Alexander the Great's sacking of the Greek state of Thebes was caused in part by King Phillip's and son Alexander's belief that the city-state of Thebes was a traitor to the idea of a unified Greek confederation with Macedonia at the helm.

The people of the modern Republic of Macedonia have no connection with the people of ancient Macedonia or their descendants. They have Slavic origins - not Greek or ancient Macedonian. Whether they call themselves Spartans, Romans, Germans, Macedonians or Ninja Turtles, these Slavic people in the Republic of Macedonia have no historic connection to ancient Macedonians or any other ancient Greek peoples.

JOHN N. MYSEROS

Centreville

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I have read Metodija A. Koloski's column "Name dispute or ethnic misdeeds?" (Commentary, Oct. …