Tuesday, February 7th, 2017: “I’m sorry, but Macedonia is not a country … Kosovars and Albanians from Macedonia should be part of Kosovo and the rest of Macedonia should be part of Bulgaria or any other country to which they believe they are related.”
This outlandish statement was said during an interview to Albanian TV by Senior Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (CA-48). Not only is foolish rhetoric like this deeply insulting, it is just plain crazy. The devout-Catholic Rohrabacher seems to have reached a moral turpitude of the faith–he may read the Acts of the Apostles, but he seems to forget that the Apostle Paul was called to Macedonia to preach unity and spiritual salvation, and not currying favor with neighbors who covet our land for political expediency. Politically, to recommend a country (with thousands of years of history) be wiped off the map is incredibly dangerous. Here’s why:
What’s important to know is that Representative Rohrabacher sits on the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee. And under that Committee, he serves as the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats. But what does that mean?
As we all know, our legislative branch is split into two houses. All bills that are introduced in either house have to start somewhere within this giant machine we call Congress. In the House and Senate, Members serve on Committees which cover a range of topics from Energy and Commerce, to Veterans’ Affairs, to Agriculture. Bills work their way through their respective Committees and must be approved before they reach the House or Senate floor for debate. Learn more about the complex process here.
The significance behind Mr. Rohrabacher’s role is that as Chairman of his Subcommittee (Europe and Eurasia), is that he controls the discussion on matters concerning this specific area of the globe. Such jurisdiction includes political relations between the United States and countries in the region and related legislation, disaster assistance, boundary issues, and international claims.
Obviously, a man in his position is influential in foreign policy–until we dig deeper into his past. Once the former voice of President Ronald Reagan, Dana has fallen far from being considered a serious and respected U.S. official. Here are some of his greatest hits:
- Rohrabacher Doesn’t Think Global Warming Is Caused By Humans & Once Suggested ‘Dinosaur Flatulence’ Caused it
From appearing on Russian right-wing, anti-American propaganda arm, RT, to claiming he fought alongside the Afghan Mujahideen, many high-ranking government officials have spoken out on Dana’s antics. Former US Presidential Candidate and Arizona Senator John McCain described Rohrabacher as part of the Republican Party’s “lunatic fringe”.
However, this is far from just a nonsense-filled rant. It’s obvious special interests are at play.
Rohrabacher can be tied to a lobby group called the Albanian-American Civic League (AACL), which under the leadership of former Congressman Joe DioGuardi, has lobbied on behalf of the Kosova Liberation Army (KLA).
In 2001, during a deadly conflict in the Republic of Macedonia, Rep. Rohrabacher was the guest of honor at an AALC Fundraiser. He has also tried to use his position of power to prosecute Albanian enemies of the AALC. This press release comes directly from his office.
Dana Rohrabacher has gone from Presidential Speechwriter to Congressional sellout.
The Congressman isn’t just throwing one staunch American ally under the bus. In the past, Rohrabacher seems to have been bought out on issues regarding arguably the strongest U.S. ally, Israel:
“House of Representatives disclosure records show that, between 1998 and 2002, the Arab American Institute and the Islamic Institute gave Rohrabacher 4 all-expenses-paid trips to the Middle East. In such limited circles, Rohrabacher has complained of Israel’s influence on U.S. foreign policy” source: http://www.ocweekly.com/news/mr-taliban-6381527
“Rohrabacher was one of four Republicans who voted no to a May 2, 2002 Congressional resolution (HR 392) that expressed support for Israel as it faced a wave of terrorist attacks that killed more than 600 civilians. The resolution, which radical American Muslim groups lobbied against unsuccessfully, also stated that “the United States and Israel are now engaged in a common struggle against terrorism.” source: http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=14440
Unfortunately at times, foreign policy in the United States can be sold to the highest bidder. This comes in the form of campaign contributions from individuals and PACs (Political Action Committees). But it takes a special kind of officeholder who feels awfully comfortable in their seat to pervert their duties like Congressman Rohrabacher has.
While some may go to the ballot box to voice their concerns in 2018, here’s what we can do about it now:
The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) has called for Dana Rohrabacher’s immediate resignation from the Europe Subcommittee and their Headquarters in Washington, D.C. needs all the grassroots help it can get.
Recently, I wrote a Twitter thread on the steps we can take:
Voice your concerns
The most effective way to influence a Congressional Office as an average citizen is calling their direct lines:
48th Congressional District Office: (714) 960-6483
Rep. Rohrabacher DC Office: (202) 225-2415
Feel free to contact those numbers and express your displeasure. Always be polite, yet firm with that staff as they keep record of who calls about which issue.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Mention how outrageous it is to call a staunch American ally “not a real country”. Bring up how dangerous it is to suggest the partition of a nation and how that can further destabilize the already fragile Balkans. Demand a retraction and apology.
To go a step further, Call Dana’s bosses:
Grow the Macedonia Caucus
The United Macedonian Diaspora’s endeavor to build and maintain a Macedonia Caucus is the single, most powerful tool we Macedonians have to impact the legislative branch of our government. The next day after Rohrabacher’s diatribe, Congressman Dave Trott (R-11), who recently became the Caucus Co-Chair, issued this press release reaffirming the Macedonian-American friendship. Check it out:
Proud to stand for a sovereign and strong Macedonia. We must support, not undermine, our important ally. –> https://t.co/X8Ab0wcQ15
— Dave Trott (@repdavetrott) February 8, 2017
This is advocacy in action. Urge your Member of Congress to join the Congressional Caucus on Macedonia and Macedonian-Americans using this very easy and simple-to-fill-out form:
UMD needs all the help it can get. Monetary donations go a long way in boosting operations in Washington, D.C. and around the world. Donate now to the leading international non-governmental organization promoting the interests and needs of Macedonians and Macedonian communities worldwide.
Not only will your money go to making sure this guy…
…doesn’t utter a single word about Macedonia unless it’s “Makedonija za Makedoncite”, but other programs that are so beneficial to advancing the Macedonian cause like the Birthright Macedonia program, Ajvar 5K, Bitove Scholarships, and of course, Generation M.
Situations like these call for wise words and sound reminders. Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” The time is ripe for Macedonian-Americans to become the citizenry that takes charge.