I have never, and I never will, apologize for my part in GW4 on the side of the Unjust Path. I stood with my allies in the face of poor odds and a great deal of propaganda because they were my allies, irregardless. That said, it's been noted more than a few times how quick most of us survivors let the war go and just moved on with life after the fact, and I'd like to explain why that was.
Part of it was fear - without a doubt. Most of us figured ES & BLEU would be happy to get rid of us permanently and logs that got leaked to us certainly did nothing to dispel this. A lot of us didn't even re-ally because we thought it'd likely prompt an attack we couldn't handle in the midst of paying off reps.
Another part of our silence was realization of what it was like to lose a war. I won't lie that a lot of us were responsible for some harsh terms and general jerk behavior prior to that war, and few of us had sympathy for 'the vanquished' - but the war taught us what it was like to be on the other side of the gun, and to have your fate in the hands of an opponent. You have to realize - going into that war, few if any of us had ever actually suffered a defeat. GOD certainly hadn't.
We were always on the winning side, and frankly, it made us obnoxious. Some might call it power-tripping . Though, the same was true for the ~ side, as became incredibly evident after the war was over - both with the witch hunt and the emergence and extreme escalation of public apologies, among other asinine demands, over trivial behavior, and minor insults uttered in private back channels.
It's really hard to put into words what it's like to surrender, especially to people who despise you pretty fiercely. I will confess I was against surrendering whatsoever, even as the rest of our side did so. We had, in all actuality, sent our orders to flip into peace mode and start turtling if you'd been staggered, before we approached NoV for terms. What changed? Well, two of my Triumvirs (Nuke Winter and Big Z) offered to see to getting and implementing the terms, knowing I couldn't stomach it, and I left it in their hands.
It's also pretty hard to describe what it's like to think you're done, and that all your aid for a month + has been divvied up among your opponents, only to have another alliance (around 8 total hit us in that war) pop up demanding their share of the pie. And after all that, we ended up with a grand total of one ally surviving of the 3 that brought us into the war. GOONS were disbanded, as were \m/, but MK got by, as did we.
So, around late September, early October, we were essentially friendless and under pretty harsh terms (195 mil* doesn't sound like a lot these days - but it was massive back then, I think I was like 5,000 infra and Top 5 in GOD - the only way we could pay it as quick as we did was because we had experience aiding on a large scale on a semi-normal basis) ... not to mention we'd eaten quite a few nukes.
Luckily, RIA invited us to SuperFriends, and VE reallied us without a second thought. I don't think GOD would be alive right now if it wasn't for either of them. The war also taught us a lot... for one, none of us went into it with warchests - which hurt us pretty bad once NoV started dropping nukes on us - and we realized that nukes were pretty important if you expect someone to uphold a No First Strike Nuclear Attacks agreement.
We had... 50 104 nukes? In that war, in a couple of nations. We also learned that even with pretty powerful allies, you always have to rely on yourself for your own defense. Luckily, admin implemented Wonders not long after the war - and more importantly, Manhattan Projects. The lessons learned in UJW were the reason both MK, and us, stocked up on those.
We never wanted to be caught with our pants down ever again, and we haven't been. It's true - no amount of nukes will stop someone determined to wipe you out - but it certainly forces them to have a really good reason to. Combine a lot of nukes and good manners, and you could be pretty comfortable on CN - independent or allied into the Web.
But yeah, on the whole, the main thing about it was perspective. It gave all of us a major douse of cold water on what we'd been putting others through, and though I can't speak for my ex-comrades, I know it's something I've kept firmly in mind when handing out terms since. It's one of those things that just effects you.
Anyway, thought it'd make for some intriguing reading, so there it is.
*It should be noted that The Order of Halsa, despite not taking up arms in the war, did pay out about 15 mil on our behalf in the reps for that war. Also, thanks to Cpt for correcting the nuke figure and Z the rep figure. My memory continues to suck.