From today’s RFE/RL Newsline:
NATO CHIEF CALLS ON MACEDONIA TO COMPROMISE ON NAME ISSUE. NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said in Athens on March 3 that the Macedonian authorities should take the first step in resolving the long-standing dispute with Greece over Macedonia’s official name, news agencies reported. He stressed that “we have to realize that Greece is a staunch member of NATO. Aspiring nations are not members of NATO, and that is the basic difference.” Macedonia hopes to receive an invitation to join NATO at the alliance’s Bucharest summit in April. The name issue has bedeviled relations between the two countries ever since Macedonia declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. It was admitted to the UN in 1993 under the name Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). Greece maintains that the name “Macedonia” alone implies a claim on the northern Greek province of the same name. PM
The merits of this particular case aside, I have to admire de Hoop Scheffer’s frankness. It makes me think of a great Greek authority on matters military and political. In the Melian dialogue, Thucydides writes
The strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.
Which is more or less de Hoop Scheffer’s point. Of course, Thucydides puts this argument in the mouth of those who massacre the men of Melos and sell the women and children into slavery.