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International Newsyear: Review of 2009


Bob Janova

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The story 2009 is entirely centred around one thing: Karma. At the beginning of 2009, the cornerstone of the Hegemony (Continuum) was beginning to crack, after Grämlins' departure, and the trend continued in January with FOK's departure. After the removal of BLEU and One Vision from the picture during the BLEU war in 2008, Continuum was the headline bloc of the hegemony, and the loss of two of its stronger alliances in a month left its sheen of invulnerability damaged.

The visible state of affairs did not change greatly until March, when Viridia jumped across the treaty web from the Hegemony to Superfriends, where they remained through the rest of the year. This programme carried details of the political movements earlier in the year, with FOK, Sparta and Ragnarok joining VE in making moves away from the hegemony. The grip of the old guard alliances over politics was shown to be weakening by the release of GATO from terms and the stopping of EZI.

But it was not enough. As everybody knows, war broke out soon afterwards, in a combination of paranoia, strategy and incompetence, as NPO, TPF and TORN took the opportunity to strike OV while the iron was hot. It didn't have the effect they were hoping for, as crucial diplomatic errors drove key alliances TOP, MHA and NpO to the Karma side or at least away from Hegemony. A contemporary analysis from this show was aired in late April explains in more detail why the war was lost from the beginning, a result which shaped not only the rest of the year but that of 2010 and probably beyond.

That war was not a foregone conclusion in principle, and a quick look at the world we would be in today had it been executed differently would be chastening to those who claim that nothing has changed. An unfettered Hegemony, victorious and unchallenged with its more moderate elements having left and been destroyed, would have returned to the dark ways of the Unjust. But the mistakes were made, Karma became the unstoppable cannonball, and Hegemony lost. Our friends over at the History Show made a prescient contemporary history review in July, when the final fronts were still being fought, and their conclusions largely remain the case. TORN, the forgotten alliance, never recovered from its Karma era decline and sits today at 40 members and out of influence, a shadow of its pre-Karma self.

Domestically, and on an alliance level, 2009 was a year of mixed fortunes. As a part of the Grämlins leadership, Seria grew into a top 50 nation and was part of a successful military campaign against IRON in Karma. The alliance rose to as high as 11th in the global rankings, commanding 9 million NS and great influence on the world stage.

But after Karma, the alliance went into a decline, first with the creation of Kronos (of the founder members, several were Grämlins) and then a gradual trickle of highly respected long time or founder members leaving to find new challenges. Today, that alliances sits at 69 members and under 6 million NS, in 24th strongest and a marginal political position.

In November, Seria became the latest to look for a new start, resigning its membership of the alliance and joining Viridia. The Entente was battered and bruised in Karma, losing over 2 million strength and a sanction, and is in a different centre of power to our old friends (many of whom hopped across the border into TOP), but its sense of morality and justice is in line with the Serian approach to life. Having always been geographically in the Green sphere, being for a long time an outpost of Aquatic politics, a return to full Greenness is generally appreciated within our nation.

We retain a top 50 position, and for the first time hold a no. 1 in an alliance. Viridia has regained its sanction. 2009 threatened to end in an orgy of destruction, but cooler heads – within and without the Entente – have prevailed and 2010 looks set to be another year of prosperity and growth for Seria and her new alliance!

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