State of Edencom, and the future of the Republic / Empire war

Brothers and sisters of the tribes, esteemed allies; and those outsiders who would listen.

I think the time has come to take a very close look at the Republic politics of the past decade, and realize the mistake of the Bloody Hands for what it was: baseless warmongering, soothing wounded prides, and strategic decisions given to masses with zero understanding of the scope of the Great Game.

Take one look at Edencom, and you have to realize, that more than ever, these old wise words hold:

"Proud people… You forget how precious the Republic is… and how fragile. The Republic is here to protect that most precious thing. It is here to protect our freedoms. And so it does. The Republic serves its people, and the Fleet protects its people.

You would see the Amarr come tear this all down? You live in a dream brothers. I care not for the politics, I care for the people of this Republic and my solemn duty to protect them all, a Duty that Karishal himself swore to as well, as my men here swore too. Yes, we protect the people here. It is our Duty. It is the Duty. And it is not easy.

You think there is not one of us who does not want to take the fight to Amarr and bring all our people back? You think we dont hear their cries? We dont hear their prayers? We dont see them? Everyday we do so. Every damn day. Yet we carry on our duty, we carry on with our protection.

I am too old to fear the Amarr. I know certainties, that you would not. And one of them is this, and it is a sad one: The Republic Fleet is not strong enough to invade Amarr and have enough strength left to defend what it had freed. Nor could we stand against the Amarr without losing more than we would gain.

You are children, brave children, but children still."

@Kanth_Filmir, Pator, YC109.02.12, when resigning over the Muritor incident

Yes, we won in Floseswin, and yes, those who fought that battle deserved to be drunk on that victory for a while. But after the party comes the time to sober up.

Here are the facts:

We did not “come for our people” on Floseswin IV. No one is free due to that campaign who was not free before Sarum’s landing.

We have no clear information on the 300,000 hostages the Enemy took. We do not hold anything in Floseswin we can use to negotiate further.

With the help of simultaneous massive attacks by invading aliens in multiple Empire systems we barely held the line.

The Amarr Navy is the only one of the national navies that fights off the Triglavians with ease. Amarr Empire is getting fortified all over. There is a double fortress on the Mandate border.

And now the warzone has fallen again.

How many Floseswins do you think we could fight and not lose one? How many planets could we take from the Empire?

Oh, if we fought The War now, we could make every step cost for the Amarr. We have, we could again, and if we have to, we will. And I trust to Fate that they have the sense to see that, and not want to pay that cost.

But we must see clearly, brothers and sisters. The beginning of all wisdom is facing the facts. Shakor’s war never came, and it is not coming. We had our window, and we missed it. A distasteful peace to protect what we have is better than a war where everything is lost.

It is our Duty. It is the Duty. And it is not easy. But never again another Long Night.

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May your path bring peace to those who can be reached, and resilience for those who can not.

Sometimes one must take one step back to take 3 forward.

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So we’re back here, then. I suppose it was inevitable, and in practice it had never truly changed much from back then.

It does bring back memories, really. It really didn’t take long back when I first came to the Republic, crippled and weak, handed to the authorities by the brave capsuleer who had managed to sneak me and some others from Imperial space, for me to realize that man was not considered a hero. He was damn near considered a traitor. A provocateur. A warmonger. He hadn’t saved his his people, he had betrayed his own by freeing us by force. It wasn’t like they resented us, exactly. We were given a lot, cared for and aided. It obviously wasn’t all they felt. Deep down, there was embers of resentment. Of having burdens foisted on them. Of having to spend their resources on what was kin in blood, but not in mind. With the added price of potentially increasing the threat of a new Amarr war.

This freelancer capsuleer of the very first generation, who I suspect I will never learn the name of, came for his people… and in so doing his people considered it dereliction of his Duty.

It is of course not a horrendous aspiration. Peace. Peace is good. Peace is safe. Peace allows us to build. To thrive. To care for our people. Of course, that’s just nonsense in reality. Peace, just like war, never lasts. The threat always comes back. The war always starts anew. The myths get rolled out again and the blood runs hot and then it is shed. It’s utterly and completely inevitable. Unless…

There is one path to guaranteed peace, and that is surrender. Lay down your arms and allow yourself to be taken. Surrender the Republic. Surrender the Tribes. It is the only way, and that… that is what will happen through this path of appeasement. You turn utter defeat from a likelihood to an absolute certainty. The Empire will never stop building either. It will not stop growing stronger. More so than us. Every day of peace means they churn out ships and troops in numbers far greater than we can. Every day of peace means their faith spreads further. Every day, our people’s will and strength is eroded.

When the day comes, when the appeasement has given and given and given in order to maintain a ‘peace’, and the final ultimatum comes with their fleets at the ready… you will have your true peace. Utter and complete surrender, because they know you would rather live on your knees than die on your feet. Because they know there is no will for war.

Of course, it matters little by then. Right now, this very day, brothers and sisters of mine break and succumb in the Empire. Free Minmatar, once upon a time. Now not merely slaves, but willingly so, because they weren’t freed in time. Because they were abandoned and betrayed by the freeborn who traded them for peace. Because they too had heard you. Because they had heard the Republic abandon them. Perhaps some held strong, given some hope by the words of Shakor and capsuleers, but by now I’m sure they realized he was as much of a lying failure as Midular was.

This is why I may now be a Volur of the Gripdjur Clan. A Sebiestor of Mikramurka, although born on the Isle of Thule past the vast seas separating Matar and the Empire. And yet… not of the Republic. All the way back then, those many years ago, it became rather clear that the Republic had no will to come for its people. It didn’t even consider us such. If you, Midular and the Republic had its way, I would be dead or a slave right now, and so would every last person I have had a hand in freeing from the Empire. Millions would be dead or slaves right now, without that one capsuleer back then denying you, your Midular and your Republic and going out to save his people.

He knew. He knew that if the price of life is chains and slavery, then it is a price not worth paying. He knew that the life of the Republic is not so precious that it can be bought with a false peace that will only create the certainty of its death. He knew he would rather deny the Republic than ever surrender or betray his people.

The Long Night will come again, this is not even in question. The question is… when it comes, will you already have surrendered?

I will not. Live on your knees. Live for your peace, which will obliterate us all. I will never kneel again. I will never be of the Republic. I will stand for the chance of a victory through the crucible of war, and be willing to lay it all on the line for that one slim chance. Not for the Republic. It abandoned and betrayed me long before I knew it even existed. Be it on Matar, in Thebeka, in Floseswin… For those who stood for all our people, in spite of the odds. For those who will die on their feet rather than live broken and defiled. For my people.

For the Tribes.

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May your path clear the way for those it reaches, and bring determination for those it does not.

Some trees grow stronger when fed with blood rather than water.

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I don’t think anyone here is blind to the truth in what you say, but most of that truth is over a century old, and it’s all but certain that men and women from every tribe spoke as earnestly and urgently in support of war then as you do now; yet one hundred and forty-two years after the rebellion, the tentative false peace endures, it is because and only because of that peace that the seven Tribes still have a nation.

I see no appeasement in Elsebeth’s words, only an acceptance of hard truths.

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Elsebeth speaks the plain truth. We do not surrender—but better to accede to a truce than to be eliminated. Our time will come; until then, we follow the example of our forebears:

Hold the line.

Have patience.

Remember.

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Both Elsebeth and Mizhara have valid points. The duty we have to our people is not only to those who live in the Republic, but neither is it only to those who live in the present. And that understanding leaves both points still in full force:

We have a duty to protect what is, for our children and grandchildren, and for their children and grandchildren. A war we cannot win will not end with the choice of living or dying on our feet. It will end with our future generations clapped back in chains, without any hope of a second Rebellion. It will end with the end of hope for those who are currently in chains.

And yet, we have a duty to rescue all that we can, to risk ourselves for our people, no matter where they are. Every day, more of them break. Every day, more of them are wounded beyond healing and forget what it is to be themselves. These are our people, our kin, and we cannot abandon them. Not now, not ever. And that means we cannot leave them with nowhere to be rescued to.

However…

I am who and what I am, and I am not who and what I am not. I work to save lives in combat. I try to help people survive. But I am not, for example, a medical doctor. I don’t try to be, and I don’t perform surgery or prescribe medications.

The Republic cannot risk an all-out war it cannot win. And it shouldn’t. The Fleet cannot possibly liberate all of the slaves within the Empire. Leaving aside the issue of sparking such a war, the Fleet simply wouldn’t succeed. Outnumbered by an enemy who has access to their own cynosural network, they’d be outmaneuvered as well, and probably lose entire fleets we cannot afford to lose. Then, weakened against a provoked enemy, we’d lose those of our people we have.

But it wasn’t the Republic Fleet who saved Mizhara. And it isn’t the Fleet who save more slaves every day. Independent actors, capsuleers especially, operate with complete deniability. The Republic isn’t responsible for what we do. And independent actors need to do what the Republic cannot.

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… and every day we wait, the more certain it becomes that the Republic will not be able to stand when they do come. Kicking the can down the road to the next generation, or the one after that only ensures the task becomes more insurmountable, more impossible. Justifying more ‘patience’, more ‘peace’, more waiting.

The Republic can’t risk a war it can not win? Then the war must come soon, because the war will come and the odds are already nigh impossible, and waiting until it becomes absolute certainty is an end of hope beyond imagining. You could have every freelancer capsuleer from Paragon Soul to Tenal raid the Empire and it would do nothing to change that.

A war now means risking obliteration. A war when it is too late, and the Empire comes for the Rebel Provinces with more than just an heir or two? It means certain obliteration.

Not that it matters all that much. I am far from a stupid woman, I have never had any faith in the Republic being willing to do what needed to be done, be it under Midular, Shakor or a Tribal Council. The war will never come from the Republic’s side. Even the Elder Fleet was done in a manner so cowardly that they could pretend it was not their responsibility. It is the sad truth that no politician will ever have the strength to do the things that need doing, on the scales of the great game of New Eden nations clashing. Even knowing inaction now ensures doom tomorrow, the fear of being the person who will go down in history as taking the risk and failing will stop them every single time.

Elsebeth’s ‘peace’ is what we will have, until the Empire comes knocking with force against which we can not stand. This is barring massive upheaval in the order of New Eden almost guaranteed. There is no reason to fear a war from the Tribes, as things stand now. Too many will kneel ardently until they will welcome the collar as a relief from even having the option and thus responsibility to take the risk.

I speak my words less in the hopes of them being heeded, than simply because these truths must be spoken by someone. Our responsibilities and choices must be laid bare for all of New Eden to see and know, because when the day comes when the Republic falls and some of us are jumping Hels and Ragnaroks stuffed to the brim with as much of our clans as can fit into whatever voids we think may hold succor, while others give their very last against an enemy they can’t defeat…

… we will do so knowing we had a choice. It was at one point not a certainty, just a likelihood.

Of course, I may be wrong. Perhaps my words find homes in more hearts than I think. Perhaps we will lay it all on the line for the chance of success, rather than cower until failure is certain. We will have to see what the future holds. Until then… well. All we can do is adhere to what each of us feel must be done, and speak our truths so history will know how to judge us honestly.

On that note, the satellite link window is closing, and I have work to do.
Matari Invictus, brothers and sisters.

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Good grief your tirade gave me such a staggering sense of déjà vu, I had to briefly ponder if I was stuck in a recursive time loop. Alas, I am not.

As horrid as many seem to think the notion, the most optimal and the most practical way of ending slavery in the Empire, would be through diplomacy. Then, however, considering that the root of the practice is mired in religious tradition, it is questionable if diplomacy can reach such levels as to make ending the practice even a remote possibility.

The thing is, there are no easy answers. All out war will risk everything, not just the Minmatar but the entire cluster. Counting on diplomacy to solve it is similarly a very slim hope. And even the broken record is right twice-a-play, inaction is also unbearable course of action.

While Arrendis’ notion that the capsuleers can operate with complete deniability is a great one, we are also tied down by CONCORD on how much we can do. Smuggling a handful of slaves out of the Empire is also highly inefficient, but it is better than doing nothing, certainly.

Greater minds than ours have tried to solve this predicament, and failed. Maybe some day, however.

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The Republic has never been a vehicle to deliver a military victory over the Empire, and regardless of the distain of those who see acceptance of that truth as cowardice, the Republic’s value is in protecting the freedom of as many of its people as it can, for as long as it can.

It has carried the burden of that impossible task for longer than any of us have been alive to remember, none of us know how long it may yet do so, and to end that freedom before its time in an act of national suicide would be perhaps the greatest betrayal any leader could make.

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A war now means certain obliteration, and continuing to waste people and materiel in the ridiculous Pendulum just makes it worse.

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This.

There was a window; it has now become clear we waited too long.

How can anyone justify risking the peace we had for a war, and then not deliver that war in the time it was winnable, this I likely will never understand.

It was not the warmongerers that destroyed us, mind you. It was the promises given them and betrayed.

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Since when have you become so defeatist, Elsebeth Rhiannon? Have you lost your confidence in the Tribes? The Great Save proved that victory can be achieved, despite the odds. Floseswin proved that we are capable answering the the enemy’s aggression. Perhaps if we compare Ship numbers you would be correct, but that is not the only path to victory. Our very existence is proof of that.

However this false peace has always been doomed to fail. So long as the Amarr continue to exist, at least in this current form, they will pose an existential threat to the Republic and to the Matari way of life. First it was the Federation that guaranteed our safety, however we cannot count on others to hold the keys of our own sovereignty. Then the adoption of Concord has provided at the very least an intergalactic framework for maintaining the peace, however it is increasingly clear that Concord entities are merely puppet networks for the Empire, as proven with Edencom, not to mention that Concord would restrict the very efforts that we take to liberate our Kin.

With that said, Arrendis has the right of it, for the most part. The Fleet is there to protect the Republic. It is their duty to protect the Old Mother and her children. They are the Shield that protects and guarantees that all that have been saved from the clutches of the enemy have a place to call their own. Any one who suggests that the Fleet should be invading the Amarr are either too drunk on their own revenge or wish to see our destruction.

What the Republic needs is an Expeditionary force capable of taking the fight to the enemy. The Spear, to match the Fleet’s shield. What every one tends to forget is that we had such a force. The Midular-Shakor alliance built the the Elder fleet, and it served to free Millions of our lost brothers and sisters. We did not lose that window. It was forced open by the discovery of the Starkmanir and the opportunity was taken. Thanks to that, the Tribes are whole again.

Filmir was correct in his speech when he said the Republic Fleet is not strong enough to invade the Amarr. Notice how he specifically said the fleet, and not the Republic at large. For know it is up to individuals, Matari unbound by duty to the Republic to continue the work of the Elder fleet and to see through the Vision that the Ray had, until the Republic has rebuilt its spear. For now, WE must be the spearhead. Filmir knew this. He practically told us this. I’m surprised, as intelligent as you are, you seem blind to this truth. Perhaps you should take a step back from your fondness of Filmir, and look at his words objectively?

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Fine. We had a window, and we used it. But it’s gone, in any case.

The peace you call “false” is why we still exist. We did the impossible, taking three whole regions from the Amarr, establishing a tribal nation, coming with nothing but still making powerful allies. And we’ve survived free for 140 year since. That is not false, even if it is temporary.

And we did grow in that 140 years, grew much faster than the Amarr Empire, relatively. And yes, we did get our people out too - I’ve ran the border more times than I care to count. Shield and sword, plausible deniability, capsuleer immunity.

Been there, done that. Got the medals.

The Republic can no more control indie capsuleers than indie capsuleers can change the outcome of The War.

But this post is not about capsuleers. It is political debate among capsuleers, but it is about the nations.

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My Sebiestor sisters all make good points, and I think this is one of the more important ones. Should the Republic cease to exist, the dream of freedom would cease for a lot of our enslaved kin. Even now, within the communities of our enslaved kin, there are organisers and agitators who use the Republic as a beacon of hope for those willing to rise.
Were that beacon to be extinguished, those organisers would face nothing but ridicule and mockery from within their community, and any chance of an effective rising would also be crushed.
Hope is what allows the risers to sell their lives dearly, as opposed to simply throwing them away.

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Pol shakes his head slowly.

"Best to be out trying to smashing windows instead of standing behind one waiting for it to be smashed. Never again another long night? just sit and wait Else I’m sure the Amarr will leave the Republic alone. Thankfully we have some Minmatar who haven’t surrender our imprisoned people to a fate worse than death.

We now and forever are coming for our people! We may be the only voice they hear that keeps them from despair! and it will never be silenced."

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Its not about the Medals, and the fights not over until the are no more Kin to save. As Pol said, we can sit here and cry about what was, waiting for the Amarr to come invade us again, or we can do something about it. As simple as that.

I am surprised if I have to tell you that the bit about medals was entirely sarcastic.

As I see it, we can wait and live, and maybe have a chance later, or we can have a final glorious stand for nothing now. Or, I suppose, we can continue the war of attrition against a vastly larger opponent, and die that way.

Honor that achieves nothing is not honor, it’s pride.

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And we can grow, and we can build so that when the War finally comes we can win it. This vision is not mutually exclusive to where we continue to do what we can to weaken our Enemy. Nor do I think that any has expressed any sort of support for the CEMWPA conflicts. But this is the realiaty we are faced with so this is the one in which we must operate.

By all means, propose an alternative thats more than “Its all meaningless!” and then lets talk.

If we had given the Amarr provocation at any time in the last decade they would have crushed us, and they would have made sure we stayed crushed this time. - Kanth Filmir YC110

I will credit you that unlike most who seek this war, you have given thought to what it would look like, unfortunately your plan hinges dangerous assumptions. The Great Save can be considered a victory only because it went unanswered; I cannot imagine that a second one would be, it is far more likely that we would prove Kanth Filmir’s words prophetic.

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