William F. Marshall, intelligence analyst and Senior Investigator for Judicial Watch, writes about the abuse of USAID funding in Macedonia in favor of far left groups led by George Soros in the American Thinker. In his article, The Soros – Obama Axis of Chaos, which we carry in full, Marshall details the similarities of the disruptive events in Macedonia in the past years with the tactics employed by Soros funded left wing groups in the United States such as Black Lives Matter
The Soros – Obama Axis of Chaos
Ronald Reagan must be grimacing in heaven as he witnesses America fund the very forces in Europe he labored to defeat. In Macedonia, a beacon of conservatism in a heavily liberal Europe, U.S. taxpayer dollars are bankrolling a multitude of George Soros’ chaos-creating leftist organizations to oppose and ultimately defeat the pro-American, center-right government there, known by the acronym VMRO-DPMNE (pronounced “VOOM-row”). We have Barack Obama and his ambassadorial minion, Jess Baily, to thank for this turn of events. We should pay careful attention to Soros’s activities in Macedonia, for they serve as a useful case study in the methods he uses to sow discord throughout the world, including in the United States.
Through a U.S. Agency for International Development program called the Civil Society Project, the U.S. government funneled nearly $5 million to Soros-backed groups in Macedonia between 2012 and 2016. Just prior to the U.S. presidential election in 2016, the CSP program in Macedonia was extended from 2017 to 2021 and its funding increased to $9.5 million.
A little recent history on Macedonia reveals how remarkable is the shift in direction that has occurred in the diminutive country during the Obama years. Macedonia had been part of the formerly Communist Yugoslavia. Following the Reagan-promoted dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, its ally, Yugoslavia, completely unraveled. In its wake, Macedonia, Yugoslavia’s southernmost republic, achieved peaceful independence.
About a quarter of Macedonia’s population consists of Albanian Muslims. Two-thirds of its people are ethnic Macedonians, mostly of Orthodox Christian Slavic background, and about 10 percent are of smaller communities. Although not impacted by the Balkan conflict of the early 1990s, Macedonia was affected by the Kosovo War of 1999, with over 350,000 Albanian Muslims seeking refuge in Macedonia. With the urging of Albanians in Albania and Kosovo, the Albanian Muslim community in Macedonia launched an armed insurgency in 2001, attacking the Macedonian police and army, thus enflaming ethnic strife in the country. During the conflict, many Macedonian churches were destroyed or damaged by the Albanian insurgents. NATO intervened, however, and brought a peaceful resolution to the conflict, convincing the Albanians to disarm and cease their efforts to break away.
Under its conservative government, since gaining independence Macedonia has done remarkably well in throwing off the yoke of socialism, pursuing market-oriented reforms, and creating a modern, pluralistic democracy. The World Bank ranks Macedonia 10th in the world for doing business. Individual and corporate taxes in Macedonia are a flat 10 percent. Total public debt runs 38.6 percent of GDP. Compare that to the United States, with total public debt running 105.8 percent of GDP, individual tax rates as high as 39.6 percent and a corporate rate of 35 percent. Macedonia has also enjoyed a steady, relatively strong GDP growth rate averaging 3.26 percent between 2004-2016.
Macedonia’s government has also been closely aligned with traditional U.S. interests. It is a close friend of Israel. Unlike most other countries of Old Europe, it recognized the dangers of unfettered Middle East/North African immigration during the 2016 refugee surge, and built a fence along its southern border. It sent troops to serve alongside U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Macedonia’s capital, Skopje, even has a street named after Ronald Reagan and airs pro-life public service television ads.
Macedonia accomplished much of its steady growth and transformation into a free-market, business-friendly, pro-Western country through nonideological U.S. assistance channeled through USAID, which sent Macedonia anywhere between $11 million to $63 million per year since 2001, according to USAID data.
That is, it was nonideological until George Soros and Barack Obama entered the picture. Beginning in 2012, that financial support turned very ideological. The Obama administration began funneling U.S. aid that year to numerous George Soros-created Macedonian entities whose mothership was something called Foundation Open Society — Macedonia. The FOSM-affiliated subentities receiving U.S. tax dollars through USAID’s Civil Society Project are also closely tied to the main opposition political party in Macedonia, the country’s former Communists, now called SDSM. They have innocuous-sounding names, like Youth Educational Forum, Center for Civic Communication, and Reactor-Research in Action.
Yet beginning in 2015, these organizations’ methods of operation were anything but innocuous: protests by masked youths, rock-throwing at police officers, smashing windows of buildings, burning down government offices and other destruction of public property. Protesters proudly wear “Soros Army” t-shirts. They have translated Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals into Macedonian. The leader of this so-called “Colorful Revolution,” Pavle Bogoevski, a prominent LGBT activist, is a member of the NGO Forum, which is funded by both Soros and USAID. He was elected a member of parliament on the SDSM party ticket, illustrating the ties between the leftist opposition party and the Soros/USAID-backed groups.
If the tactics of protest and mayhem above sound familiar, they should. Following the massive destruction inflicted on Baltimore by Black Lives Matter in 2015 associated with the death of Freddy Gray, Soros’s organization, Open Society Institute, donated $650,000 to BLM. And Soros’s organizing mass demonstrations to oppose a conservative government is also something we’ve seen close to home. According to no less an authority than the New York Times, Soros funded 50 “partner” organizations to protest the election of Donald Trump in the “Women’s March on Washington.” Other countries in which Soros is funding massive, often violent, leftist turmoil against right-leaning governments include Albania, Israel, and Hungary.
Soros’s organizations in Macedonia, numbering perhaps as high as 61, are working now to align the forces of leftist mayhem with the historically volatile Albanian Muslim community of Macedonia, to wage a combined frontal assault on the conservative government. According to an American Spectator report, whose author consulted U.S. and Macedonian-based conservative analysts, “Our [American] foreign policy has destabilized the country and promoted Islamic extremism.”
In a conversation with me, senior Macedonian officials advised that the entire contingent of personnel at the U.S. mission in Skopje, from the ambassador on down, are hardcore leftists in the mold of Obama/Soros and are hell-bent on bringing down Macedonia’s conservative government.
To their credit, various outstanding members of Congress are investigating the U.S. aid going to these organizations. As the congressmen detail in a letter to the Government Accountability Office, the U.S. Mission to Macedonia “has actively intervened in the party politics of Macedonia.” Such partisan activities by U.S. officials violate the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961), which imposes on U.S. diplomats “a duty not to interfere in the internal affairs” of foreign countries.
Judicial Watch has also launched an intensive investigation into the matter. In the meantime, the Trump administration should recall Ambassador Baily. It should institute a wholesale housecleaning of the U.S. mission in Skopje and stop funding the organizations of the proud, admitted former Nazi collaborator, George Soros. Let’s return the smile to Ronald Reagan’s face and help Macedonia continue its recovery from its Communist nightmare.