I wrote this almost three years ago:
It’s been almost ten years since Malaetu Shakor stepped into office as the Republic’s prime minister (later ‘Sanmatar’).
While more patient minds cautioned against it, many clans supported him, because he made them promises of new glory, of a full-out war at last, the final throwing off our shackles. At his inaugural speech, he seemed confirm their hopes: “Sons and daughters of Matar, make no mistake about it. [—] Let it be known from this day forth that we are a race of warriors, not slaves, and that we will fight to the last drop of blood for what we hold dear.”
Almost a decade. Not slaves but warriors.
And what do we have to show for it?
Oh, we have fought the Militia wars. We have even won it, for a short while, and some of us have metal to show for it. But where was the push on from that victory? The Empire was in turmoil, we held the field, slaves were returning and turning into warriors, and then what? The next step is causing a controversy with his choice of companion and attire?
I am sure our sisters and brothers still in the darkness rejoiced and complimented his bravery.
Where is our war , Sanmatar Shakor?
Since then, there have been three years more of the militia wars, of constant attrition on the warzone. Atrocities in the Kingdom have been met with trade sanctions. Major Rebellions in Thebeka and Alkabsi got close to no support, and neither were they used as an opportunity for pushing it elsewhere.
Now Sarum prowls in Floseswin and while forces under Command’s General Filmir fight valiantly on the ground and capsuleer forces fight persistently in space, we see no push whatsoever from the government or the Fleet. Not even enough to match that of Sarum’s - let alone to seize the opportunity and form a counter-attack.
I was, once, a proponent of Midular’s ‘appeasement’. Trust me, I understand diplomacy. I understand plausible deniability. I understand “the art of saying nice dog until you find a bigger stick”. I would have preferred to just build until we are strong enough for the final push, maybe even strong enough that that final push is not needed, because we can negotiate for what we want. For the small gains that would bring us the final victory, I was willing to sacrifice a lot.
But taking small steps back to delay an inevitable loss does not serve the same purpose. We cannot just drop sanctions we put up against atrocities if all it buys us is the status quo before Sarum razed Floseswin. We cannot just give in to buy back 150,000 hostages, if all it gets us is an Amarr promise not to take them again. Fleet cannot just decline to use the superiority in space we have, when Amarr forces do not have any issues using theirs. If we cave in a little every time the Empire makes a move, if we keep on pouring resources to the pendulum wars without utilizing the openings it gives us, that is not strategy. That is complacence, negligence, cowardice.
And what it will lead to, again, is terrorists and warlords taking matters into their own hands. Loss of life, loss of unity; for nothing.
Where is your war, Sanmatar Shakor?