How the lies become accepted
Jess Baily returns
British author Douglas Murray (“The Strange Death of Europe” and “The Madness of Crowds”) points out that fellow British author Theodore Dalrymple has made the bold statement that telling lies is a way of keeping people demoralized. This is a true statement and using lies to keep a people demoralized has been and remains a useful tool for various governments whether they be communist, socialist, fascist (socialism and fascism being two sides of the same coin), totalitarianism, authoritarianism, or even, these days, democracies.
In light of that truth, I listened to this podcast so you don’t have to — goodness knows that most Macedonians had enough of former US Ambassador Jess Baily after all of the damage he did to Macedonia, the Macedonians, and certainly Macedonia’s identity, history, culture, language, and much more.
Unfortunately, he has resurfaced, if only in a brief podcast. But it is the content of his words in this podcast that I want to focus on as it points to a truth — Baily tells lies in the podcast and because of his position as a former US Ambassador, his lies will be willingly accepted by those listeners who a) don’t know any better and b) agree with him and his lies and want to continue furthering those lies.
To recap: Jess Baily served as the US Ambassador in Macedonia from December of 2014 to March of 2019 and was instrumental, in my opinion and in the opinion of many Macedonians and friends of Macedonia, in helping Zoran Zaev not only achieve power and the position of prime minister, but also in forcing through the so-called Prespa agreement which has done great damage to Macedonia.
The podcast is titled “The General and the Ambassador” with a subtitle of “North Macedonia: The Long Slog to NATO & the Role of the Vermont National Guard.” The “general” referred to in this podcast is Major Gene Enriquez of the Vermont National Guard but I will focus on Baily because of his outsize role in Macedonia and the damage he did. I have added minute marks, below, in case you want to have a listen yourself.
To be fair to Baily, he does discuss how Macedonians have felt surround by neighbors who want to deny the name (Greece), the Macedonian identity (Bulgaria), Macedonian Orthodox Church (Serbia), and who support separatism (Albanians in general) and he also discusses how the agreement was really about identity more than anything else. All of this is true, which, in a way, helps his listeners to believe his subsequent statements.
Next, when the host asks Baily how he “managed the process” of getting the agreement ratified, he launches into his lies. From about the 20-minute mark, Baily begins discussing how this name decision was solely that of the Government and the people. For instance, at the 20:17 mark, Baily says “…this was a sovereign decision by the Government and citizens of North Macedonia.”
But that is simply not true: the Government of Macedonia, encouraged, aided, and abetted by the US Embassy, other EU embassies, and certainly NATO and all of the formidable forces it could bring to the table, ignored the will of the Macedonian people — the Lockean “consent of the governed,” with its blatant disregard of the September 30, 2018 referendum which failed, and failed massively.
One would think that changing the name of a sovereign nation ought to have widespread and broad support and that if it did not garner that support, then perhaps a different path should be charted. But no — Jess Baily and all of the other actors supporting this move deemed it unacceptable, in so many words and ways, to allow Macedonian voices to be heard — and heeded.
In discussing the needed changes to the Macedonian Constitution, Baily asserts that, while opposition votes were needed, “…fortunately, there were enough members of the opposition who saw what this opportunity represented…” (22:40). Again, untrue and the eight, now former members of VMRO-DPMNE, were bribed, threatened, and actually arrested as Zoran Zaev and his government used “Balkan tactics” in the words for former EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn, to achieve their desired ends.
Next Baily naturally blames Russia for attempting to derail the agreement and states, explicitly, that the Russians “amplified a lot of conspiracy theories and messages of fear…that the name agreement was going to destroy the Macedonian identity…” (from about the 25 minute mark). Well, we see that today — the Macedonian identity is still under threat, primarily from Bulgaria, but also from continuing Greek Government demands. Before the agreement, people were fine with talking about “Macedonian” this and that. And today? It is, increasingly, “North Macedonian” this and that. “Macedonian identity” intact? Not so fast.
Finally, at the 34-minute mark, we hear Baily sum it all up stating “…clearly the United States wanted to see this go forward but at the end of the day this was a sovereign choice by North Macedonia and its citizens…” Again, again, and again, this is simply not true and is, in fact, a blatant lie.
But that’s how lies become accepted and I, for one, believe that Baily and people like him continue telling these lies to keep the Macedonians, in this case, demoralized because you can do anything with, or to, a demoralized people.
The antidote to all of this, of course, is to pursue and shout out, the truth.