Friday, 19 October 2018 | News today: 3

Arguments and violence

Dozens of Albanian intellectuals of all kinds supported the violent protests in which about twenty protesters and policemen were injured, but, most importantly, damage has been done to the country that was considered stable and investment-friendly. At the same time, none of those public figures, journalists, singers, professors, politicians etc., did not analyse the reason which brought to the violence in the streets, but they a priori, without even mentioning the reasons and who has started the violence, blamed the Macedonians for terrorizing of the Albanians

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Goran Momiroski

Not even a word on the five murdered innocent persons in the Easter massacre, not even a word on the demolition of the court building and the physical attacks on policemen who stood still while the group of violent persons,  in the month of Ramadan, kicked and hit them, than threw at them stones big enough to kill someone. If it was only a matter of expressing a frustration piled up for years and dissatisfaction with the treatment of Albanians post-2001, than it should stated honestly, without any manipulations, but to discuss the particular event precisely and support it with arguments, otherwise, any further debate would be in vain.

Nobody disputes the verdict

If we take America, for instance, considered to be an ideal country for both Macedonian and Albanians, violence would have been preceded by a serious public debate such as the one when O. J. Simpson killed his wife, but avoided a conviction eventually, just so the African American community in the USA does not get irritated. Such debate would have contained serious arguments to oppose the prosecution. Renowned criminal lawyers would have discussed the defendants alibi, former judges could claim Prosecutor Geshoska has made a mistake in the procedure. Active or former members of court institutions of the Albanian bloc would have been persuading the public that DNA evidence was not valid. Nongovernmental sector representatives would have been quoting similar processes in the world, human rights experts and the lawyers of the Easter massacre executors would have been claiming the court has made specific material mistakes in the process. Media in Albanian language or media close to them could have find the verdict or the prosecution act and find the disputable moments in the verdict, and a third person could have stated the audio materials, in which Smilkovo Lake killings are being discussed, have been forged.

Unfortunately, none of it happened. Nobody, especially not in Macedonian media, spoke of process injuries or lack of evidence. We did not hear anything else but the same old story that “innocent Albanians have been convicted by the Slavomacedonian regime, who has no better thing to do than chase Albanians and put them behind bars for life”.

On the contrary, by the violent acts on Tetovo and Skopje streets, protesters have only confirmed the prosecution and the judge are right. Actually, their best ally are precisely the two suspects Kosovo does not wish to extradite, while they proclaimed the court unjust in advance. One of the videos on the portals showed us exactly what type of protesters and justice are in question, when one could see a crowd that probably recognized someone with different convictions, religion or ethnicity and started to hit and kick him. Naturally, no medium or nongovernmental organization even less a politician, did not say a word on that exact violence, which was the best example of what type of justice can be expected from those who protest in the name of injustice.

Who would succeed Ali Ahmeti?

The only new thing in the entire case is that now, 13 years after Ohrid Framework Agreement, besides the Macedonian part of the Government, its Albanian coalition partner DUI and its leader Ali Ahmeti are also being targeted. Aware that if the protests continue, DUI might lose a half of the record of 153.000 votes won at last elections, Ahmeti requested immediate return of the procedure to first instance and international monitoring of the entire trial process. Although Ahmeti most probably knows who committed the crime and kept silence until now, it is a good thing he requested for foreigners to oversee all allegations and arguments of the prosecution. Ahmeti’s problem now would be that foreigners know even better than we do whether Skopje criminal court is wrong and even if such monitoring becomes e reality (which would mean Macedonia indirectly conforms it believes in its judiciary), he would have to tell his fellow countrymen that there has been no mistake in the verdict and that they would have to live with it.

Just what Nikola Gruevski did a couple of years ago with the Hague cases when in the name of coexistence was forgiven what cannot be forgiven according to any legal definition or in life in general. Just like Gruevski did not say even a word on the policeman from Gostivar who, according to Macedonians, shot and killed two fellow citizens in self-defense. That same man was sentenced to life imprisonment and no one protested that verdict and no one demolished any courts or attacked policemen and municipality offices.

Therefore now, if Ahmeti truly believes in this country, he would have to publicly say what he thinks on the “Monster” case, not in terms of politics, but in terms of law, but not to apply any pressure, it would be sufficient for him to just consult with the minister of justice, that was his suggestion, and to say whether Macedonians convict Albanians just because they hate them, as many claim these days.

That, actually, is the biggest problem with violence. Policemen and protesters are not in difficult health condition. Their wounds will heal. But, the manipulation caused with the protests will probably never cease. Those who are familiar with how social networks work, know that based on the principle of centripetal and centrifugal forces on many levels, lies related to the “Monster” case will live for years and will create a dozen groups and subgroups on religious and ethnic basis, which might pose danger to coexistence and state functioning in the years to follow.

Therefore, the Twitter post which claims Albanians in Macedonia are being molested just because they are Muslims, and that even women and children are being taken to special camps, can be presented as absolute truth in the future, especially in Islamic circles where it is hard for the true information on what is really going on in Macedonia to penetrate.

Posting photos of policemen and one protester with bloody head on Facebook and in traditional media, which conceal what is behind the true drama in the photo, can engage hundreds of others in the next protests. The will produce a dozen of other photos which will recruit hundreds of other people and eventually a political set would have to calm them down, otherwise protests will turn into a bigger thing. That would probably mean accomplishment of the goal of those who stand behind the current protests in citizens with significant number of Albanian population.

Most of those who supported  the protests claim that demonstrations had no religious character, but they do not have any explanation on to why the incident has begun from the mosque after the Friday prayer, and Islamic flags were waved, chanting slogans with ethnic Albanian symbols of a great state, chanting ‘Allahu Akbar”, which makes no sense at all. Experts on Macedonian politics situation from the Albanian bloc are aware that religious symbols during the protests harm the image of Albanians in the eyes of the Western allies. The large number of Albanians who fight and die in Syria and Iraq poses threat to the excellent Albanian-American relations. Recent arrests Albania and Kosovo conducted to identify recruits who leave to fight for the Islamic state of Iraq and the Levant, can safe those relations, but cannot completely stabilize them, especially if the announcements on attacks of U.S. installations in Kosovo are true, as Kosovo media reported.

Those same people Albania and Kosovo are now looking for pose danger for initiating a new Macedonian-Albanian conflict, as well as another internal conflict in Albania, which both domestic and foreign security services fear of. According to certain assessments, moderate Albanians lose the battle with the radical currents, which are especially strong after the events in Syria and Iraq and the money they receive from some other countries could make turn them into a major political force in Macedonia in the future.

 This scenario probably has nothing to do with the call for establishment of a new political party in Macedonia of about a month ago. However, it is a fact that with the weak position of DPA and the small number of votes won at the last elections, and the crisis in DUI after the protests, broad space for a new political subject opens. The concerning matter in this context is that any time there are tectonic movements in the Albanian political stage, each next structure is more radical than the previous one. That is how PDP replaced DPA, Thaci and Dzaferi were too soft, and they were succeeded by DUI. And now, even those who with guns in their hands succeeded to win better status of the Albanians are no good, all those who they were convinced will be eternal heroes. It is very hard to guess what type of radicalism will be promoted by the next political entity that would have to emerge if DUI’s rating keep dropping. Although it would disrupt the great overall Albanian relations with Washington, inserting religious elements in the political platform of this entity would seem to be able to bring biggest success to the potential Albanian party.

The triumphalism behind the protests

There is no specific evidence on the claim that Albanians have begun to celebrate the demographic victory over Macedonians too soon, which many consider to be a done deal already. Judging by social networks, where arguments on ethnic basis more and more frequently end with threats that Macedonians will be a minority in 20 years and will have no place to go, than it is clear that such triumphalism, where the Macedonian is considered to be a middle term loser, does exist. Observing Macedonians as a minority on Albanian territory, many of our fellow citizens cannot grasp how such behavior would lead to inevitable conflict in which there will not be just two or three enemies, but, as history tells us, everyone who has any interest of these territories would participate in. Such there are many. If such thing happens, Macedonians would suffer, but so will Albanians, everyone would suffer. Hence, before institutions are being demolished and before assaulting a policeman, it is good to remember that nobody protested when the police officer from Gostivar was sentenced, although most of the Macedonians are certain the cop was nothing but defending his family when he shot the two neighbors. But most importantly, it should not be forgotten that in no conflict thus far, especially on the Balkans, there has never been a winner. Everyone will get killed: those who sparkled the conflict, and those who think their families are safe, and those who are convinced they are unbeatable in the armed clashes.