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Some opinions on the current wars


Bob Janova

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Firstly, the Viridian war on Polar, which expanded due to the entry on both sides of several allies. The CB for our war is clear, laid out by Impero in our DoW thread and honestly I am surprised so many people seem to think it is weak. There are logs there of a foreign official discussing potential target alliances with a spy and telling him he should spy on VE, which he then did and reported back to the leader in question.

I am in Viridian government and have been fully in support of Impero's moves since the logs were first brought to us. Yes, Dajobo and Polar got played by Lennox, who wasn't really trying to help them get information, he was trying to start a war. But he still sent Lennox to spy on VE. As for jumping straight into war, the political moves recently meant that when a good reason for war was presented to us, against an alliance in one of the Orders' power spheres, it was likely to be advantageous to take it. That made it extra silly to provide such a good one.

Regarding the 'exposure' made by RV in World Affairs: a sting operation was carried out, after we had already received the logs and were fairly sure that there was a CB against Polar, to make absolutely sure that we weren't just being played by Lennox and that it really was Dajobo and Polaris involved. We did not set up the original logs, the meeting between Lennox and Dajobo or anything apart from the final screenshot handover that acts as final proof of Dajobo's involvement.

And secondly, the Doomhouse war on Pacifica, which is also escalating through the entry of allies – alliances which were tangentially bound to the Polar war but had found ways not to enter find their own power sphere (and MDP partner, in many cases) under direct attack and have to respond. While I can understand some of the reasoning behind this attack, I cannot support it.

I am not against pre-emptive or aggressive attacks in all circumstances. For example, one could argue that the Polar front of the War of the Coalition was pre-emptive, and it was certainly aggressive. I criticised C&G for playing the moral high ground card so strongly in Bipolar, because I believed TOP and IRON's move to mostly be a strategic mistake, rather than morally abhorrent as the C&G propaganda corps would have had you believe.

However, there are two things which make this attack unsupportable to me. Firstly there is the obvious hypocrisy. Some ex-Hegemony propagandists who care more about PR than I do have gone through the Bipolar War threads and selected some relevant quotes to demonstrate it, but I'm sure we all remember how MK in particular (but also other alliances now fighting with them or supporting them) railed against the injustice of the pre-emptive attack on them, and used it as justification for imposing very large reparations on the pre-emptive attackers. It is then deeply hypocritical to perform a pre-emptive attack themselves.

And the second problem with it is that it is not (unlike TOP and IRON) a genuine pre-empt. The NPO was attempting to stay out of the Polar part of this war – if the rumours are to be believed, going so far as to pressure mutual allies of the Polar and Pacific power spheres to find ways to stay out. That makes this not a pre-emptive attack, but simply an aggressive attack on an alliance at its moment of weakness. It is a sound material strategic move, but it is exactly the sort of actions that the Orders-led Hegemony was (rightly) demonised for.

A lot of nonsense gets talked about Karma every time there is political drama. But I, at least, did not fight Karma simply to put a new alliance at the top of the tree – and, in fairness, the 'better world' really has been better so far. Rolling alliances because you don't like them and they represent some vague threat in the future is something most of us explicitly fought against, either from a moralist platform or through the experience of it happening to them. Have MK really forgotten the lessons of noCB?

This war, or these wars, remind me strongly of the position Citadel found itself in in the War of the Coalition. We attacked Polar with a fairly good CB, but at the same time, some allies and allies-by-proxy attacked a related alliance with pretty much no CB at all. We ended up linked to them in the mess of coalition warfare, even though we were justified and they were not. Once again, my alliance and its coalition attacks Polar, and then a related but not aggressive alliance is attacked with (in this case literally) no CB.

The dogs of war are now well and truly loosed, and the political fallout will come later. But I would ask those who have attacked simply because they could to look in the mirror and to pull back from the abyss. Do not become what you once fought against.

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read the first few sentences and realized one major weakness in your argument. Nowhere did Dajobo order Lennox to spy on VE. he suggested{/i] 2 alliances, but honestly, VE cannot claim an order was ever made. there was nothing definitive at all about Dajobo's statement about VE. to claim there is is simply ridiculous and one of the huge flaws in your argument.

gotta run for now, but considering the first paragraph at least has one major flaw in it, i am sure the rest of the piece will also contain all the other flaws in the VE argument.

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read the first few sentences and realized one major weakness in your argument. Nowhere did Dajobo order Lennox to spy on VE. he suggested{/i] 2 alliances, but honestly, VE cannot claim an order was ever made. there was nothing definitive at all about Dajobo's statement about VE. to claim there is is simply ridiculous and one of the huge flaws in your argument.

gotta run for now, but considering the first paragraph at least has one major flaw in it, i am sure the rest of the piece will also contain all the other flaws in the VE argument.

Alright, maybe I'm a newb and I don't know what I'm saying, but it seems to me that when a suggestion to spy is made, and then the spying is carried out and the transaction is made, regardless of whether it is an order or a suggestion, it was condoning and supporting espionage.

Also, I like that someone who is on the same political side as Doomhouse is willing to call them out for their wrongs.

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Alright, maybe I'm a newb and I don't know what I'm saying, but it seems to me that when a suggestion to spy is made, and then the spying is carried out and the transaction is made, regardless of whether it is an order or a suggestion, it was condoning and supporting espionage.

The issue with going for the "condoning and supporting" line rather than the "ordered" line is that VE would violate its own past precedent, namely the Karma War, wherein (much as here) screenshots were accepted, and the person accepting them condoned and supported them, going as far as to say that he would protect the information with his life for the explicit reason of preventing security measures from identifying who the leak was.

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The issue with going for the "condoning and supporting" line rather than the "ordered" line is that VE would violate its own past precedent, namely the Karma War, wherein (much as here) screenshots were accepted, and the person accepting them condoned and supported them, going as far as to say that he would protect the information with his life for the explicit reason of preventing security measures from identifying who the leak was.

Oh, okay! I did not know this. Thank you! :)

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Oh sigh I guess it will turn into another Karma discussion. Receiving screenshots and then not passing them on to the source alliance is not the same thing as sending a spy into the alliance in the first place. All Seth's 'protection' was was doing nothing – and unless OV had a PIAT with NPO he had no obligation to share the intelligence that you had a spy with you (though it would have been polite to do so). If Seth had sent Demeanor into NPO to get the screenshots in the first place, it would be different (and analagous to the situation with Polar here) – but that was not the case.

Nowhere did Dajobo order Lennox to spy on VE. he suggested 2 alliances, but honestly, VE cannot claim an order was ever made

You are playing semantics. He told Lennox that he should spy on VE or MK. He then proceeded to discuss details of the operation (helping him choose his nation name). I didn't use the word 'order' anyway.

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"The NPO was attempting to stay out of the Polar part of this war – if the rumours are to be believed, going so far as to pressure mutual allies of the Polar and Pacific power spheres to find ways to stay out."

Heh heh heh, you actually believe that?

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It would be epic if the same thing that happened to TOP when they tried this were to happen to Doomhouse and the rest of the war peaces out to all hit them. :P

Although at the very least, I think VE should get rid of PB, as DH found starting another war more important than helping PB members who were already engaged in war. I don't dislike VE, but I've always disliked your alliance's choice to ally such alliances who stand for nothing.

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Oh sigh I guess it will turn into another Karma discussion. Receiving screenshots and then not passing them on to the source alliance is not the same thing as sending a spy into the alliance in the first place. All Seth's 'protection' was was doing nothing – and unless OV had a PIAT with NPO he had no obligation to share the intelligence that you had a spy with you (though it would have been polite to do so). If Seth had sent Demeanor into NPO to get the screenshots in the first place, it would be different (and analagous to the situation with Polar here) – but that was not the case.

My comment pertained to the fact that the manner of that 'protection' definitely showed "condoning" and "support", thus challenging the idea that what you choose to define Dajobo's action as is irrelevant, since the aspect of support would be, in itself, a CB. Whether it was "sending" or "suggesting" is a different, though not unrelated, axis of argument.

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You are playing semantics. He told Lennox that he should spy on VE or MK. He then proceeded to discuss details of the operation (helping him choose his nation name). I didn't use the word 'order' anyway.

actually it is you and others who are playing semantics. reread the line and again tell me where he definitively told Lennox to do anything? you can't. you are playing semantics in trying to even suggest Dajobo ordered (a direct command, which was never given by Dajobo).

20:36 Dajobo|NpO| VE or MK are the two who are heavily involved in world politics

20:36 Dajobo|NpO| anything that happens will come through them first

20:39 Chancy I will consider spying on VE

where in there is an order (mind you this part is bolded by VE in the DOW. if Dajobo ordered Lennox to spy on VE, then why is Lennox stating "I will consider spying on VE" which means he has a choice in the matter. If Lennox has a choice, then you cannot even attempt to suggest that Dajobo ordered anything, otherwise Lennox would not have a choice in the matter.

so again, VE is pretty much lying by stating that Dajobo ordered this whole thing. and Bob- you are the one playing with semantics here and you know it.

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actually it is you and others who are playing semantics. reread the line and again tell me where he definitively told Lennox to do anything? you can't. you are playing semantics in trying to even suggest Dajobo ordered (a direct command, which was never given by Dajobo).

20:36 Dajobo|NpO| VE or MK are the two who are heavily involved in world politics

20:36 Dajobo|NpO| anything that happens will come through them first

20:39 Chancy I will consider spying on VE

where in there is an order (mind you this part is bolded by VE in the DOW. if Dajobo ordered Lennox to spy on VE, then why is Lennox stating "I will consider spying on VE" which means he has a choice in the matter. If Lennox has a choice, then you cannot even attempt to suggest that Dajobo ordered anything, otherwise Lennox would not have a choice in the matter.

so again, VE is pretty much lying by stating that Dajobo ordered this whole thing. and Bob- you are the one playing with semantics here and you know it.

What on the earth could a spy find these days even if they did infiltrate a forum.

It would take months, if not years to get the level of forum clearance needed to gain any usable information beyond receiving orders and the usual spam/social boards.

So infiltrating a spy into an alliance is not a viable option. I do not believe that VE's forum security is so lax that new recruits get to see sensitive info like war plans and readiness levels until they have proven themselves to be trustworthy.

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What on the earth could a spy find these days even if they did infiltrate a forum.

It would take months, if not years to get the level of forum clearance needed to gain any usable information beyond receiving orders and the usual spam/social boards.

So infiltrating a spy into an alliance is not a viable option. I do not believe that VE's forum security is so lax that new recruits get to see sensitive info like war plans and readiness levels until they have proven themselves to be trustworthy.

not sure why you are posting that considering my whole point was to contest Bob stating Dajobo ordered Lennox to spy on VE. the length of time it would require to actually gain anything useful is irrelevant to what i am speaking of.

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Bob Janova, I have often held you in high regard for presenting reasoned and respectable positions. This presentation is again no different. However while it is well composed, I find you are missing an important aspect of this and every other war discussion. That being, if we are to be honest about things, that people often begin their decision making process by first identifying which "side" they want to be in the right, and then working back from that point, interpreting the facts and forming judgment opinions of events in order that they inevitably lead to the already predetermined conclusion of who is correct.

Thus once again if we are honest about it, most individual's viewpoints may be their truthful opinion. This does not however mean that it is a non-biased or factual based assessment of the situation.

Thus it should be little surprise that many will be in disagreement over the CB. If the evidence is anything less than overwhelmingly clear-cut it will be manipulated in people's thinking to fit their desired outcome. Thus while one side sees the logs as a clear indication of Polar's second in command orchestrating a spy operation, others see a private joke that was manipulated by lennox in order to create a war. This multi-viewpoint dance carries on and on across all the evidence until you are left with diametrically opposed camps.

In the end the real and absolute truth is probably somewhere more in the middle. Such that Dajobo probably is more culpable for the incident than one side admits, but likewise VE is being a bit more hypocritical (given their position about such a similar incident that led to the Karma war) than a another side admits.

Additionally there is also the issue of consistency that is often over-looked. When a party uses a specific term or position, whether they do so for the mere PR propaganda or earnest belief, they need to recall that it will stick with them, and it will be used to judge actions that they take later down the line. Thus if you are stating that a government member holding screenshots and not notifying the victim alliance is NOT a CB, then it will again and again be brought up in the current situation as being an inconsistent position.

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Since when I became an "ex-Hegemony propagandist"? :huh:

Since when did I mention you? :P I was thinking more of Alterego and whoever's making the NPO sigs at the moment.

SyndicatedInc: Yes, of course everyone comes to an issue with considerable personal bias. But that shouldn't stop them actually seeing the facts in front of their nose. I thought (incorrectly apparently) that the proof of spying was strong enough that it would get past people's bias.

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The proof of spying was frankly weaker than the evidence against sethb.

Before you get all in a huff, I opposed the attack on OV. Yes we defended NPO, because we honour our treaties, but it was a stupid thing to do in the first place.

In sethb's case, you had the evidence from the questioning of sethb which established that sethb had had the screenshots in his possession for quite some time, and had been told by the spies he got them from that revealing them to NPO would compromise the spy's identity, and he had colluded with those spies to keep the screenshots hidden.

In Dajobo's case, you have some vague allusions, indicating that MK and VE are more politically active than MHA. Well duh. Then when Lennox convinces him that he's seriously spying, he doesn't sit on the screenshots for months - he tries to contact your government, who are already preparing to go to war and so shut him out.

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Well that depends on what you mean by 'stronger'. There is very strong evidence that Seth sat on the screenshots and didn't tell NPO about them, indeed. Stronger perhaps than the evidence of Dajobo's participation in Lennox's spying. But it's strong evidence of something which isn't a CB – failing to inform an alliance that they have a spy – compared to fairly strong evidence of something which is – actively working with the spy to get the information.

And honestly it is far more than vague allusions. He says 'don't spy on MHA, they're not worth it ... VE or MK would be worth it' (paraphrased). So he doesn't actually say 'go spy on VE or MK' but it is very strongly implied by the contrast with the 'don't spy on MHA' that was just before. And then he helps Lennox choose a reroll name and nation and watches him take it to VE.

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But it's strong evidence of something which isn't a CB – failing to inform an alliance that they have a spy – compared to fairly strong evidence of something which is – actively working with the spy to get the information.

See that is the thing Bob, I have long respected your opinion, and mean no disrespect now. I agree with this first statement, that knowing of a spy but not informing on him isnt really a rock solid CB. It could be, it could not be, depending upon other outside circumstances, namely how the alliance in questions handles it.

However with that in mind read your own statement here:

And honestly it is far more than vague allusions. He says 'don't spy on MHA, they're not worth it ... VE or MK would be worth it' (paraphrased). So he doesn't actually say 'go spy on VE or MK' but it is very strongly implied by the contrast with the 'don't spy on MHA' that was just before. And then he helps Lennox choose a reroll name and nation and watches him take it to VE.

By your own, and all the involved parties statements, Dajabo did not recruit the spy, the spy recruited himself and approached Dajabo. Dajabo did not order the chosen target, just pointing away from a less interesting target and acquiesced on the target the spy chose. Dajabo did not solicit for the information nor request or choose what information to be targeted, the information was brought by the spy to Dajabo at the behest of the spies own interest in creating drama (as admitted by the spy himself). Lastly Dajabo was not even aware that the spying would be real and he would actually be given information until the moment it actually happened. Up until that point they both agreed that Dajabo thought it was a joke, or some minor griefing.

Thus Dajabo and sethb both received screenshots, they both knew of a spy's identity and behavior. That is the similarity. The differences are

Dajabo:

-helped pick the spy's reroll name

-dissuaded the spy from an uninteresting target, suggesting two different ones

-was unaware the spying conversation was real until he got the information

-reported the incident as soon as he knew the spy was for real

sethb:

-did not pick the spy's name

-as far as we know did not pick the target

-was aware the spy was real and offering real information

-kept the incident hidden from the offended alliance and protected the spy

Based upon that, as an uninvolved party, and being completely OOC, ignoring all sides and politics, I can not reasonably see how any party which argues that the sethb situation does not warrant a CB (of which I am one), can in good conscience, and reasonable logic, argue the Dajabo situation is even equivalent, let alone worse.

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I disagree with this point

"-was unaware the spying conversation was real until he got the information"

If he wasn't aware Lennox was serious when it got to picking the nation name he was going to reroll into VE with, even if you let him off for 'playing along' up to that point, he had at best very poor judgement.

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I disagree with this point

"-was unaware the spying conversation was real until he got the information"

If he wasn't aware Lennox was serious when it got to picking the nation name he was going to reroll into VE with, even if you let him off for 'playing along' up to that point, he had at best very poor judgement.

Well that is what I meant by griefer. I know of rerolls in the past who came back in to the game to grief an alliance by stealing aid, roguing, and spilling internal secrets publicly while speaking of the actions as spying. Honestly reading the logs on that first day, before I got to the logs of the screenshots, that was what I thought lennox was implying that he was doing.

There is a big difference between joking with an old friend turned griefer and running a spy operation wherein you recruit/select/train a spy, pick their target, send them in, and intentionally receive their information hand-offs.

Had Dajabo sat on the info, I would be 100% with you that it seems likely he was mostly acting in the in the latter, however since he immediately took steps to out the spy and report the incident to the victim, it seems as if he was far more the former.

If the infringement is that he picked the nation name and was aware lennox was going into VE to spy, that is an identical offense to sethb knowing the identity of a spy in NPO, accepting information and then keeping it secret to protect the spy's identity. In both cases the individual is guilty of keeping a known spy operation secret.

Again on that I agree with you that this is not really CB worthy. Knowing of a spy operation and keeping quiet is quite rude, but deserving of more diplomacy resolution than fireworks on uninvolved nations. Actually RUNNING one (deliberately going out to setup a spy operation, then actively maintaining and directing it) I feel would be a solid CB.

However given Dajabo's surprise at receiving actual screenshots, and behavior by quickly moving to out the spy (thus cut off any further flow of juicy information) indicates a lack of intention to actually run such an operation. When one intends to run a spy operation, one generally does not report the information and spy to the victim the moment the spy is successful as doing so defeats the purpose of gaining access to a flow of secrets.

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