December 23, 2015

Old-style land grabbing

"...Greece wanted the rest of European Turkey; so did Bulgaria. Both Greece and Yugoslavia contemplated a division of Albania. ... Serbia, Greece, and Bulgaria all wanted more of Macedonia. There was fine talk of saving civilization and fighting for right and honor; undermeath were calculations of realpolitic.

In the hayday atmosphere of 1919, it was madness not to grab as much as possible. Balkan statesmen claimed to admire Wilson; they talked the language of self-setermination, justice and international cooperation, and they produced petitions, said to represent the voice of the people, to bolster their old-style land grabbing.

They showed beautifully drawn maps. 'It would take a huge monograph,' wrote an American expert, 'to contain an analysis of all the types of map forgeries that the war and the peace conference called for.
...It was in the Balkans that the use of this process reached its most brilliant climax.' ...."

(Margaret MacMillan, "Paris 1919", Random House Trade Paperbacks, New York, 1919, page 121-122)

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