|This interview appears in the August 24, 2001 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
INTERVIEW: PROF. NESTOR OGINAR
The Olympian Gods and
The Rape of Macedonia
[PDF version of this article]
When on Aug. 9, thousands of Macedonian-Americans marched from the State Departmentwhere a delegation met for one hour with Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitageto the White House, one man was marching in front of the huge banners, flags, and posters, a megaphone in his hand. He was Nestor Oginar, a professor of English literature in New York City, whose family are still in the city of Tetovo, Macedonia, the center of the Kosovo Liberation Army's bloody assault. Professor Oginar's sister had abandoned the family home after it was targetted by 70 large-caliber shells; but in a "surge of pride," she had gone back. There were many from Tetovo at the demonstration.
Oginar addressed the crowd in an unusual style, using his classical English to reach the Macedonians and the curious American tourists. It was a strong political and emotional oration, but at the same time a lesson of history, at a level for graduate students and above. Oginar told the demonstrators about the historical roots of the Macedonian and Balkan tragedy: He spoke about the Berlin Congress of 1878, the Conference of Paris of 1919, and the Bucharest Treaty; about the "Arc of Crisis" of Zbigniew Brzezinski and Henry Kissinger's "geopolitical game;" about Lord David Owen's plan to "redraw the Balkans' borders;" and about the ongoing crash of the speculative bubble on Wall Street, and the need for Macedonians to save the world from this, if they want to save their country.
It was an unexpected symbiosis of an insightful political leader and a passionate educator. These are "heavy concepts," without any concession to the banal or to "entertainment tricks," very unusual especially in the Washington of 2001. The impact on the Macedonian-Americans was surprising, the level of emotional and intellectual concentration remarkable. When the demonstrators saw an attempt to cut short the Professor's speech, they broke out into a spontaneous chant, "Nestor! Nestor!" This happens often during Oginar's speeches. During Macedonia's last electoral campaign, when he travelled around the United States, these situations were a daily occurrence.
On July 24, at a webcast seminar addressed by Lyndon LaRouche, Professor Oginar had an exchange with LaRouche, which has since been circulated widely in the United States and Macedonia, where it was translated, printed, and posted on the biggest web pages. (See EIR, Aug. 3, 2001. p. 19.)
On Aug. 14, the day after the main Macedonian parties signed, under an explosion of Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) violence, a "peace agreement" that allows the deployment of a 3,500-man British-led NATO force (some officials in Skopje, Macedonia's capital, believe that the number will be much higher), Professor Oginar was interviewed by Umberto Pascali. Professor Oginar explains that he has been struggling to find an image adequate to communicate the "depth of this historical tragedy."
Oginar: I'm looking for a metaphor to describe the horrors which I as a Macedonian, as a Macedonian-American, as an intellectual, but [also] I believe as a human being, experienced. And I am sure that everyone who is interested in this drama would say: "What goes on in Macedonia is simple rape of an innocent country, of an innocent nation, of an innocent people, by brutal force of the so-called international community." What goes on in Macedonia is simply legalized mugging, looting of a nation, and it is a crime. I can say that as the United States of America and its NATO allies have squeezed in, and pressured in the Macedonian government and the Macedonian people on every side. The KLA gangs from Kosovo and Albania are armed and trained to their teeth by their American sponsors. The consequences are terrible.
This reminds me of the ancient myth of the "Rape of Europa;" if you remember, the wild bull which was really Zeusthe head of the Olympian godsdisguised as a bull in order to satisfy his perverted, insatiable appetites, simply raping the beautiful maiden and carrying her on his naked, bare back off away from home. The maddened, wild, savage forces of the so-called international community, disguised under the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and led by the British and the United States governments, as well as some of their witting partners, are doing this to Macedonia, all in the name of the New World Global Order which they have been trying over the last decade or more to impose upon the civilized world.
EIR: Why has Macedonia been targetted by the Olympians?
Oginar: Let's start with the determination to redraw the borders in the Balkans on the basis of purely racist criteriathe concept of so-called ethnic purity, which of course means nothing else but the creation of a Greater Albania, not for its own sake of course, but a Greater Albania as an entity. As Lyndon LaRouche termed it in our most interesting conference exchange on the 24th of July, if you want to know the problems of where this all stems from, really you have to go and knock on the door of Zbigniew Brzezinski, on the door of Lord Owen, Henry Kissinger, Lawrence Eagleburer....
The idea of this New Berlin Congress and its offensive was launched, as we all know by now, by Lord David Owen, a former British Minister for Foreign Affairs and a former special envoy of the Balkans. You will be reminded of course, that on March 13th Lord Owen made his plan known in the Wall Street Journal, in the commentary that he titled, I believe, "In Order to Secure Balkan Peace, We Must Redraw the Balkan Map," in which he stated, "What is needed today is a global solution through a modern equivalent of the Berlin Congress of 1878, with previously agreed-upon changes of borders supported by the Great Powers."
The interesting phrase here is, "with previously agreed-upon changes of borders." He does not mention who it would be that would be agreeing upon this, but supported by the Great Powers.
This, of course, as we all know by now, was preceded by a seminarwhich I spoke about openly during our demonstrationthat was held on Feb. 26 and 27 at Columbia University; which, by the way, I learned from eyewitnesses, was organized by the American War College, and was under the title of "The Future of the American Presence in the Balkans." All participantsgenerals from the Pentagon and NATO, and other high officers and officialsagreed ... that the current state borders in the Balkans must be changed, in order to create "more stable and mono-ethnic states" as the only guarantee for a long-lasting peace in the Balkans. According to the participants at this seminar, it could be mentioned that the new borders of the newly-created ethnic entities, or cantons, as they are called sometimes, would follow "the historical development of events and the natural instincts of Europe over the last 300 years."
The former Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, by the way, is the one who is the precursor of all of thiswhat has been termed the racist politics of Lord Owen. Should I remind you of what he said on Sept. 18, 1996 in a commentary in the Washington Post, in which he talked about the necessity of creating long-term stability in the Balkans, that you have to correct ethnic cleansing by simply allowing these mono-ethnic entities to remain apart.
And for everyone that knows and understands that, it will be more than clear, more than evident, that the problem does not stem from the flaws of the Macedonian constitution or from the flaws of the Macedonian democracy, but it stems from the flaws and the designs of these forces that we have mentioned, that are simply going to proceed with their policies of destruction of nation states, of the creation of cantons, or mono-ethnic mini-states and protectorates, from which they can carry on their designs of ruining the world until we all go into the abyss.
EIR: I noticed that as the moment for signing this agreement was approaching, there was a growing mobilizationespecially in the Diaspora in the U.S.and a determination to do something about this, as Macedonians and as American citizens. I saw also the kind of support that you enjoyed in the Diaspora. It seems you are being pushed more and more into the position of leadership, in a moment of exceptional crisis for Macedonia. But you repeatedly stressed that the assault against Macedonia cannot be defeated in any other way but going to the strategic, economic, and historical roots of that attack. Last May, in a rally in Lafayette Square, you stated, "In order to save Macedonia, we have to save the world!" and you paraphrased Friedrich Schiller, asking the Macedonians to "become bigger than themselves, so that a great historical moment does not find, again, small people." What do you think can and must be done now?
Oginar: It is not really easy to express things in an objective way, when it is something that is so purely subjective. Because as I speak to you, my sister, with whom I spoke today, informed me that she has been hiding in the cellar of our house over the last four days [from KLA gangs], surviving only on bread and milk smuggled to her by a neighbor. Therefore, I need to take an objective distance, and to look at the whole of this terrible scenario. But you are right. I am, if you will, reluctantly, brought into the center of this vortex, because I seem somehow to be perceived by the Macedonian Diasporaand I will say also, by some Americans who have begun to take notice of Macedonia's national tragedyas somebody who seems to embody the desires, the yearnings, and the needs for all of the Macedonian-Americans.
So, of course, there is an obligation toward Macedonia from people like me, in a sense like Mr. Lyndon LaRouche has vis-à-vis the world. By the way, I must report that Mr. LaRouche generated, with his July 24 response, much more interest in the Macedonian Diaspora and in Macedonia proper, and all over the world, than I did with my comment. The key is that we take a moral stand, calling to account our responsibility and pricking the conscience, not only of an individual American citizen, not only of an individual Macedonian citizen, but poking and probing into the depths of the consciousness of humanity at large, because we cannot remain silent at what is happening around us. Because the Macedonian tragedy is a European tragedy, is a United States tragedy, it is a humanitarian tragedy of gigantic proportions. ...
What is troublesome to me, is the silence, the complete ignorance of the American public, living in the greatest of the democracies that has been known in modern times; living in a country which, herself, 200 and some years ago, rose up against the brutal colonial domination of the British Empire; living in a country which was founded by the sheer determination of people to shake off the shackles of colonialism and base their existence on the inalienable principles of sovereignty, independence, justice for all of the people of a nation-state. This is really what we have to bring to the American public, and if we can begin to change them, as Mr. LaRouche argues in so many of his articles, as I do also argue, then we can begin to change the opinion of the world.
Let me try to explain what I mean when I tell my fellow Macedonians, "in order to save our country, we have to save the world." Something that has to be done right now, is to realize that a number of these so-called hotspots that are growing all over the map of the world, have a common characteristic: They have experienced a total financial and economic collapse. That is to say, that this is done by design.
Of course, I am not an expert on that; I do not pretend to be. But following some of Mr. LaRouche's readings,... and, of course, following the readings of other economists in the world who seem to share the same notions and ideas, it is not difficult to see that so many of these financial crisesSouth Asia's, South America's, the Argentine and Brazilian crises, the Western and Eastern European and Turkish problems, and now in the Balkansare provoked by what we call oligarchical forces. [These forces] seem to have as a last goal, nothing else remaining to them but a complete, full looting and destruction of the sovereignty of the nation-states, and the destruction of their infrastructures and their economies, so that they can become dependent on these monstrous usurers such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, which are under the control of the same financial vultures that sit in London and in New York on Wall Street. And then you have a complete collapse of that system.
We have to go back to a Bretton Woods kind of agreement, as it was conceived historically: the great concept of helping the world based on the principles of national sovereignty, that, as we know, was perverted in the 1970s, as Mr. Lyndon LaRouche has so eloquently explained, with the beginning of President Nixon's Administration. Only if we are able to contribute to this worldwide process, could we really save Macedonia.
EIR: A drama within the drama was the meeting with Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.
Oginar: First of all, what I expressed to the Deputy Secretary was that, despite the terrible things happening to my family at that very moment, I was determined to see the situation from above, and, if you will, disinterestedly. Among other things, I mentioned to him the recent indictment by former Canadian Ambassador James Bissett, who stated that, with the KLA, "we have created a monster." By using the plural pronoun, "we," I think that he is implying that his own country bears a portion of the collective guilt of the West for their involvement there.... And it is not only the Macedonians who are suffering; it is the Albanians who are suffering. And my sympathies go to all of these Balkan people who have been simply been taken advantage of by this new politics of "divide and conquer."
The current problems in Macedonia started not only with the collapse of the former Yugoslaviathis was, by the way, Mr. Armitage's argument. But then, he stopped there. Well, of course, chronologically speaking, we can argue that, but we have to take into account what happened in Albania with the collapse of the Albanian financial system [in early 1977], with this infamous pyramid-scheme explosion, with the collapse of the Albanian government, with the breaking down of the border, with the collapse of the Albanian institutions, that poured into Kosovo and into Macedonia.
We do hold NATO responsible for the ruination of the Macedonian constitutional state as a republican order.... The most serious troubles in Macedonia came once NATO moved into Kosovo. And everything that has been happening since then, has been happening under the eyes of the NATO KFOR in Kosovo, and we have the right to accuse these NATO forces for not performing the mandate that was given to them by UN Resolution 1244. If you visited Macedonia today, Mr. Pascali, as I did a few months ago, you would see how ruined the infrastructure is, how ruined the routes and the bridges are. You would see NATO's forces, with their tanks and armored vehicles, passing through from Salonika [Greece] to their destinations in the Macedonian bases and northward into Kosovohow ruined these routes and communications are.
I asked Mr. Armitage about the intervention of American troops to rescue the KLA terrorists from the village of Arachinovo near Skopje [see EIR's coverage, Aug. 17]. His position is something that has been officially stated by the State Department: that that was an intervention agreed upon by the Macedonian government. Now, we have never been provided with any evidence that this is true. However, if it had been true, now we'll go back to what we stated previously: How was it done? Was this government really forced into it, blackmailed into it by these threats of a Hague [war crimes] tribunal, or some other tribunals that might be lurking in the near future for the Macedonian government? But, he mentioned that this was done as a favor by the NATO forces, because the Macedonian Army had been weak and that it had been unable to take Arachinovo territorysomething which I consideredand I mentioned this to Mr. Armitageto have been outrageous. All evidence points to the fact that the Macedonian Army did everything to retake that village, and almost had it under control, and that would have really meant a complete turnabout of the entire Macedonian situation.
Now why this mysterious interference? Why the involvement of the 17 American advisers? ... So, it really resulted in greater and more intense attacks by these Albanian terrorists, because they were only transported to a nearby village, and they continued their attacks. They have not stopped ever since then. This has cost many innocent lives, both Macedonian and Albanian.
EIR: I understand that the mention of the Treaty of Westphalia that put an end to the [17th-Century] Thirty Years' War, produced great interest in Macedonia.
Oginar: I should mention that many of my relatives and supporters have called me, since they have gained access to the discussion between Mr. LaRouche and me on the webcast, in which they really learned a historical lesson on Westphalia. I know that many were running to the library to find out all of the details: what century, what country, and so forth. And they seemed to be fascinated with the phrase of the inviolability of the borders, and all of those concepts that were embodied in that Westphalia conference.
But I will go back to a paraphrase of Mr. LaRouche's statement, in which he calls for the Peace of Westphalia to be a model for ending all religious or ethnic wars, or any wars of any similar kind in Europe, and, of course, to be universally applied all over the world. He stated, and I think we would all agree, that, in that, lies the center of European civilization. And it is in that, I would add, that has to lie the strength of what we have now, the American civilization. It is in the full implementation and the respect of those principles.... So, it is with this principle that I want to confront the world, here and in Macedonia, and to say that we Americans have a moral responsibility to go around and not teach the dubious human rights policies as exercised by [former Secretary of State] Madame Albright and those around her, but the policies of this concept of Westphalia, of the respect of the nation-state.
If we accept that in the Balkans, soon I think that we can have Macedonia respecting the sovereignty of Albania, or Yugoslavia, or Greece, and we can all live in peace and cooperation and ... look forward to the future for many of the generations that are yet to come.
Let me end with a brief paraphrase of a great Elizabethan poet and moralist John Donne, taken from his book titled Devotions, in which he reminds us that ... no man is an island, an entity unto himself: Every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a fragment is washed away and sunken to the sea, Europe is the less. If Macedonia, that once stood as a bridge between Europe and the East is washed away, will not Europe be diminished? Will Europe be able to cross to Asia and the far East on a broken, burnt bridge?... Therefore, do not sit passively and listen to the bell which is tolling for Macedonia; it may be tolling for you.