(1) A letter by the American Hellenic Media Project to The Los Angeles Times; and
(2) A correction of sorts published by the LA Times
American Hellenic Media Project
P.O. Box 1150
New York, N.Y. 10028-0008
Via fax & e-mail: (213) 237-7679
June 25, 1999
To the Editor of The Los Angeles Times:
In her June 24th article ("Ethnic Quilt Looks Frayed in Macedonia"), Alissa Rubin validates concerns that the distortion of Greek history will be used to fuel nationalist myths in one of the most unstable regions of the world. She remarks that "[d]espite its heritage as the homeland of Alexander the Great, Macedonia has been a nation for only eight years."
Only the southernmost part of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) was part of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedonia. Its heart still lies in the northern Greek province of Macedonia, where today visitors can view the mass of ancient Macedoniaís archeological finds and visit Alexanderís capital in Pella. FYROMís Slavic predecessors moved into the area almost a millennium later and had no direct linguistic or cultural connection with the ancient Macedonians, who were Greek by language, religion, self-identification and most likely by race.
Perhaps of greater concern is Ms. Rubinís groundless assertion that Greece has expansionist designs on FYROM. Such torturing of both ancient and modern history is a critical reason why our foreign policy in the Balkans has become an unmitigated disaster. The dispute that transpired earlier this decade between Athens and Skopje had nothing to do with Greek claims on FYROM but with concerns over the misappropriation of Greek history and over nationalists in FYROM agitating for a "Greater Macedonia". The danger to FYROMís territorial integrity never came from EU-member Greece, by far the most democratic and stabilizing country in the Balkans, but from our current administrationís destabilizing policies of aggression and from nationalism by ethnic groups within FYROM itself.
Very truly yours,
P. D. Spyropoulos, Esq.
cc: Michael Parks
The American Hellenic Media Project is a non-profit organization created to address inaccuracy and bias in the media and encourage independent, ethical and responsible journalism.
THE LOS ANGELES TIMES
June 29, 1999
Section A, page 3
For the Record
Macedonia--In a Times story Thursday about Macedonia, a reference to that country as the homeland of Alexander the Great was misleading. Alexander was born in the ancient city of Pella, in what is now the Greek province of Macedonia, not the country of the same name. In the 4th century B.C., when Alexander was born, the entire area was known as Macedonia.