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2191 Days of Glorious Brown Democracy

Laslo Kenez

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[center][font="Franklin Gothic Medium"][color="#A0522D"][size="7"]The 6th Anniversary of the First Alliance[/size][/color][/font][/center]

It's my honour to be serving as Assembly Chairman as we pass another milestone. It might not be quite as catchy as 5, but I am proud to be at the helm of a community that has stood the test of time like this. And what a hell of a year it's been for us, a real rollercoaster. Our bloc, Synergy, disbanded, and we absorbed part of it in the now deceased and honoured Imperial Assault Alliance. We changed our laws and our attitudes, and joined the blood brotherhood in Complaints and Grievances, and then for the first time in our history pre-emptively attacked an alliance in order to defend our blocmates TLR in their effort to defend NPO. I'm proud to say we won that one, to top off a turbulent if ultimately great year. I doubt many people would have predicted it this time last year.

It hasn't always been so easy, but regardless the flame has never gone out here, and people have always been around that wanted to represent us and keep on building. And the reward for that has been a fantastic, diverse and inclusive community that helps and knows each other well, that's gone well beyond this game and into the real world for some of our members. Many faces may have changed over time, although we still retain some of our old farts like Kevlar and Chris, but at the core we still strive to be a nice democratic community with plenty to keep people interested. Glory in this game is fleeting, but if I can contribute to the more lasting community in the long-term, I'll be very happy. I'd also like to give a big shout out to all of our friends past and present. Not just our friends in Complaints and Grievances, and our allies in The Brain, Hooligans, LoSS and NsO, but also to all of the people I bump into in embassies who remember fighting by our side many years ago, or moved onto pastures new but still remember their time with us.

In honour of our birthday, we've put together some content for a special edition of The Gazelle. First though, I'd like to announce that we are going to begin the process making our histories complete and open to the public. It's a reasonably big undertaking, but I hope it'll be done in the next month or so; when it's done, I hope it'll let any interested soul get a glimpse into everything we've been through and enjoyed together.

First up are [b]Laserwolf[/b]'s thoughtful words on the years he's spent in GATO. While many members have come and gone and come back again, Laser has been consistently in GATO through pretty much everything since Great War II.

Six years ago an idea was birthed. A hope. A dream. A concept of a group of individuals from around the world standing together for a common goal and purpose - Strength, Unity, Justice, & Honor. Thus the formation of the Cross-Atlantic Treaty Organization on January 12, 2006. Within a week it was renamed the Global Alliance and Treaty Organization. Since then, GATO has become synonymous with Planet Bob. Few alliances have been involved in as much controversy, as many wars, or experienced the gambit of drama. Despite our ups and downs, GATO has always focused on doing the right thing. Our community is much more than a gathering of people from various backgrounds, philosophies, and senses of humor, GATO is a family. Each day is a family reunion of the well-known and liked to the known and tolerated but at the end of the day we have each other's backs. We may troll each other, argue like middle school girls, or even baw like testosterone infected males, but when our security is threatened, we join arms, put our differences aside, and roll together because we know GATO is bigger than one person and larger than one criticism.

So today we pause and look back. Remembering, laughing, cringing, at things that have made GATO what it is today. We remember our past leaders: Chris_Kaos, Depraved, BenPG, Walford, Jsims8, Arciel, Letum, Vincent Xander, DragonsPhyre, Turbomammoth, BarbulaM1, Laserwolf, Magicninja, BrotherLouie27, Das Girl, Billy Shears, King Gregory, Greg23, Manis_B, Benjaminperdomo, Vlad Tepes/Morte, Kevlar, Omniscient1, and Randle to name a few. We also look forward to the new generation of GATO: Laslo Kenez, Lanore, Sgummo1, Overlord Wes, Jaquesparblue, DarthCyfe, and Kubla Khan to name a few. Today we remember our past, we strive to learn from it and not let it define us. We know we can't be the GATO of years gone by nor can we blindly go into the future pretending our past doesn't exist. Today we remember, we celebrate, our past, enjoy our present, and dream and hope for the future.

Today, GATO celebrates another birthday, our sixth one to be exact. We are halfway to our teenage years and yet feel like grumpy old men. Each birthday GATO celebrates is a special one. GATO you are loved by most, hated by some, and neglected by a few but then we wouldn't be GATO if everyone loved us right?

When it is all said and done and the dust has settled, GATO is the alliance you can place money to be around at the end of the day.

Happy birthday GATO!

Few alliances have had more storied relationships with us than the [b]New Pacific Order[/b]. In honour of that, they have supplied me with an essay [b]Cortath[/b] wrote on his experiences as part of the Viceroy team that ruled over us following our defeat in the GATO-1V war. The essay, while slightly outdated now, goes a long way to explaining how we overcame our rivalry of several years and ended up as the friends we are today.

The New Pacific Order went to war with GATO over their re-admission of Chris Kaos to the alliance, in violation of their prior terms of surrender. They were, of course, a shadow of their former selves (CATO, one of the first alliances), and no match at all for the might of Pacifica and her allies. But nevertheless, we pounded GATO into the ground. During that time, Bakunin issued his famous statement that GATO nations who did not exist PM would be brought to PZI.

Enter me. I had been raised on Pacifican propaganda and glory, and though no fool to believe everything I heard, one could not deny the simple truth: we always won. As the GATO war continued, I began publishing some of my first essays, the “Principles of Pacifica” series on the OWF, and seeing the reaction they provoked. I realized very quickly that our war against GATO was a terribly unpopular one. We gained little; GATO was not a threat. One benefit was that those who feared us feared us even more afterwards, but most of all, we became particularly hated during this period. Not just from the GATO incident, but it certainly played a prominent role in what was to come: Vox. But this is really a personal history, and I had little to do with Vox other than refuting their propaganda on the forums.

Eventually, the war with GATO ended, and we instituted the Viceroy upon them. I, at that point, was an Executive in the Tech Corps (and I think also a Bank Executive), and I was called upon by the Viceroy Koona to see what we could in GATO. I was told, later on, that Koona had been given the job as something of a sinecure: he wanted it, he didn’t want to do much to GATO but stomp them to ground, and that was it. I didn’t know at the time that that was what Koona wanted, but I sensed the latent hostility he had towards GATO. He suggested that we simply take all their tech. From an economic standpoint, it was simple, but not feasible over the long-term: tech runs out.

I developed a plan one might tongue-in-cheek call a sort of paternal mercantilism. Pacificans would run GATO like we ran (then) our Tech Corps: we would ship money to GATO, which badly needed it to regrow their destroyed nations, and they would in turn, supply us with tech. Although the Pacifican debates over the value of tech and the means to distribute within the alliance are perhaps a story unto itself, at this point, the Imperium seemed to recognize the general value in having a mass, state-sponsored organization provide tech to nations. And thus, plan in hand, the Viceroyalty began.

Koona was vicious. He expelled dissenters from GATO almost immediately, many of whom fled GATO and hold a grudge to this day. He appointed Sir Donald R. Daemon, then not an Imperial Officer, as his Deputy, with MariMassa (then General of the NPO) in charge of their military, with myself in charge of all economics.

Generally speaking, the middle management, below SDRD, got along fine with the GATOans. They were certainly resentful (and rightfully so) of our presence, but they recognzed that we brought benefits to them. They generally hated Koona and SDRD to a much lesser extent. This was one of the most frustrating points of my NPO career. Myself and my comrades from the Tech Corps, namely Comrades Bakamitai, Elegarth, and ZetaDefender, built up an economic apparatus to deliver money to bill-locked GATOans, build them up as Procurers and then import tech to the NPO.

But as the months went by, our mission seemed more and more complete. GATO was economically self-sufficient and had a semblance of military order. Yet did not release GATO from its terms of the Viceroyalty. I spoke with the Emperor himself, a daunting task in those days when the chain of command was very rigorously observed, and tried to persuade him that the time was right, but he demurred. The ostensible reason was that we were to wait for GATO to ratify a new Constitution, a ludicrously long process in their society. I thought that if we gave a pullout date, that would speed up the process.

Koona was a wholly inactive Viceroy, and he was eventually replaced with Vladimir and subsequently the Emperor himself, which made the matter that much more tricky to deal with this. When before, I had complained to the Emperor about how we needed to release GATO, now the Emperor was theoretically “on the ground” himself and could observe things, although he was none too active himself (though moreso than Koona). It was during this time that I fully understood how our hubris had led to Vox. Here I was, a fairly competent, I felt, middle manager: weighing all the matters before: the benefits of tech from GATO versus the manpower spent running the place, and the huge international outcry over our continued occupation. It seemed an easy sell to me, though few would listen. Imperial Counselor Vladimir was always a good ear to hang on during those times.

Eventually, we left GATO simply because we knew the Armageddon War was coming, and we needed to jettison all non-essential obligations as soon as possible. It wasn’t out of an understanding of the hate we engendered by being there, and certainly it wasn’t out of any sense of compassion for the GATOans, whose alliance we had occupied for more than half a year. It was done purely as a PR move. And then, Armageddon began, and the entire GATO episode faded into Pacifican memory, until an apology was issued months into the wars. So ended a particularly sordid event in Pacifican history.

Manis also conducted some quick interviews. The first is with a group that's older and whiter than your Dad's country club, a number of our former ACs, some of whom were active in the game when it was an entirely different place. The second is with the head of CSN, Liz, an alliance we were once great friends with, and now sit relatively opposed.

Manis_B: we're all here because we're ex Assembly Chairman
Manis_B: and the 6th anniversary of GATO is coming up in a few days
Manis_B: so
Manis_B: well how about this illl ask the room a question and everyone can answer
Manis_B: how long have you been around in CN?
Manis_B: i've been around since 06. jsims made me joing GATO like a chump
TimLee: I've been around since September of 2006.
Arciel: December of 2006 up until March (I think) of '08.
Dr[a]gonsPhyre: I'd have to look up my first application.
Dr[a]gonsPhyre: owait, those forums are gone.
@Manis_B: Yeah. Couptober'ed
Arciel: Left the game and went back around December of '08. :P
Dr[a]gonsPhyre: That happened in 06, right?
Arciel: You guys are old.
Arciel: Yeah.
TimLee: What'd you expect. I'm almost a fossil.
Dr[a]gonsPhyre: Yeah, a few months before that. I remember quitting in November because it stressed me out so much.
Arciel: Omni's the youngest here, I think.
Dr[a]gonsPhyre: cat fights all over the place.
Arciel: In CN years. :P
Manis_B: I think me might be youngest in RL too :P
Dr[a]gonsPhyre: Then I rejoined in mid-07, lost my nation after 1V and rejoined 08.
Arciel: When was 1V?
TimLee: 07? 08?
Arciel: 08, right?
Chris_Kaos: I'm Charman Prime
Dr[a]gonsPhyre: April 2008, I think.
Arciel: Oh, right.
Dr[a]gonsPhyre: My dates are probably all wrong.
Manis_B: Worst time in GATO history, and we dont remember when it was.
Omniscientone: Barb is still around ever so often

Manis_B: What major events happened when you were AC?
Arciel: ...Ferocitas. <_<
Arciel: And UPS.
Dr[a]gonsPhyre> The glorious war against the entirety of One Vision.
Dr[a]gonsPhyre: And the beginning of the viceroy.
Arciel: Much more eventful term than mine.
TimLee: Some war happened during my term. I'm too old to recall
TimLee: :P
Manis_B[GATO]: DP did you take over for barbula, or was it the other way around?
Dr[a]gonsPhyre: I remember our raid in defense of Arciel fondly.
Arciel: DP took over.
Dr[a]gonsPhyre: I took over.
Arciel: Oh yes.
Chris_Kaos: Great War I.
Dr[a]gonsPhyre: Yeah, war was April 2007. I've still got old PMS talking about viceroy-related stuff on the new forums dated Aug 08.
Arciel: That was simply awesome to behold.
Manis_B: ive got all my old pms. ive reached my limit on the forum
Dr[a]gonsPhyre: Couptober -> Oct 21-22, 2006.
Dr[a]gonsPhyre: Worst birthday gift ever.
Manis_B: I didnt have any wars that I can remember, my biggest event was the GARO merger I guess
Chris_Kaos: I did GWI, post GWI and pre-GWII
jsims8: I led us through the war declard via a PIAT against FOK
Arciel: I don't remember, but when did OFS split?
Arciel: Hola josh.
Dr[a]gonsPhyre: GATO's foray into GW3, jsims?
Chris_Kaos: OFS was July 2007
Arciel: So before my term then.
jsims8: barb did that
Arcie: That'd be josh's term, I think.
Chris_Kaos: I believe OFS was under josh.
jsims8: wait yeah
<Chris_Kaos: Gonzo case.
<Chris_Kaos> Remember that, Josh?
Arciel: Gonzo, heh.
@Manis_B: Arciel single handedly disbanded that alliance, if i recall :D
jsims8: I remember watching the sun rise writing my rebuttals in that case
Dr[a]gonsPhyre: Oh hey, I still have your response to my asking why the hell you nominated me for AC in March 2008.
Dr[a]gonsPhyre> ^ARcy
Arciel: We disbanded an alliance while in a losing war.
Arciel: What did I say?
Dr[a]gonsPhyre: Yes. Arciel against OFS. OFS lost.
Dr[a]gonsPhyre: "I believe you'd make a good AC if you did win. You're able to stir people up with your posts, something which I could never do."
Manis_B:ok, another question
Manis_B:what were your first impressions with GATO as an alliance? her membership?
Arciel: When we joined?
Dr[a]gonsPhyre: I've lost my creativity since then. Harder for me to write anything good nowadays. :/
Arciel: The best damn alliance back then.
Chris_Kaos: Aloof. Uninvolved. Lackadaisacle. Irresponsible.
Arciel: According to das. :P
Chris_Kaos: GATO had all this power, and just sat back doing nothing. It was morally irresponsible.
jsims8:I thought everyone knew what they were doing until I became employed in government
Chris_Kaos: Of course when I joined, GATO was heads and shoulders above everyone else.
Manis_B:I was in awe of the whole thing. I thought everyone was a expert on what they were doing.
Dr[a]gonsPhyre: I joined up with the firm belief that the forces of democracy, headed by GATO, were all that stood against the fascist forces led by NPO.
Dr[a]gonsPhyre: Or something.
Arciel: Membership was fairly active on the forums, but it's easier to mistake 300 people commenting on the forums as major activity when your alliance has 1200 members.
Dr[a]gonsPhyre:I think AEGIS was still in force. Whole NATO v Warsaw Pact feel.
Manis_B: I remember we used to have major debates. Things really ethical and always eLaw
Manis_B:Do you feel GATO has changed from your first impressions? for better or worse?
TimLee: For better and drastically over the past year.
Dr[a]gonsPhyr: I remember more catfights than orderly debates. Personality cults abounded.
Chris_Kaos: Changed a lot, in good and bad ways. I prefered GATO of 2006, to be fair, but only because I miss the game back then.
Chris_Kaos: Where there was real political intrigue and maneuvering.
Dr[a]gonsPhyre: What CK said. Except the GATO of 2006 part.
jsims8: I hate how wars are all nuclear now
Arciel: Can't comment on that, Manis, since I've been fairly inactive. But we're stronger militarily and diplomatically than back then.
Arciel: Hah.
Arciel We should've nuked in GW 2.
Dr[a]gonsPhyre: My personal opinion of GATO is a lot less positive now than it has been, but it's not negative.
Manis_B:That was a differnt time back then. CN had standards. No first strike policy? That really was an achievement in game based on war.
Manis_B: Or rather, a game based on nation building is on a sliding level. Back then it was on the politics side, now its slide towards the war side
<Dr[a]gonsPhyre>: I remember the drama over nukes.
<Dr[a]gonsPhyre: Oh man, who was that ODN guy who posted in every drama thread?
<Dr[a]gonsPhyre: "Everyone below my rank can't post" type.
Chris_Kaos: Pingu
Arciel: Lol.
Chris_Kaos: Probably.
Arciel: Gag orders.

@Manis_B: Ha. everyond did that
<Dr[a]gonsPhyre> It got so bad we started parodying it.
Dr[a]gonsPhyre: I have Barbie's PM to me and a couple others about the CK affair leading up to 1V.
@Manis_B: will GATO achieve any notable feats in 2012? What would you like to see from GATO?
Chris_Kaos: Global domination
jsims8: a rockband formed
Chris_Kaos: A resurgence of espionage of the highest calibre
Dr[a]gonsPhyre: Leaving CnG.
Arciel: Top 5 in sanction?
Chris_Kaos: Subtle manpulation of the rest of the world via puppet leaders
Chris_Kaos: Chris_Kaos for AC
Manis_B: lol

Manis_B: id like to see some innovation again. and some leadership on the world stage.
Manis_B: and id like to see GATOans hold themselves to a higher standard again
Manis_B: Any words of advice for GATO?
jsims8: make the game more political again. revive the concept on non-nuclear wars
Dr[a]gonsPhyre: That would be good.
jsims8|snooze: or no nuke-first policy
Dr[a]gonsPhyre: Go back to your roots.
Dr[a]gonsPhyre: Not the catfighting - the political game.
Manis_B: Yeah. Lets lead the way in world policy and a more political game
Arciel: Make use of other alliances again.
Dr[a]gonsPhyre: I've always wanted to see a resurgent GATO that prided itself on being itself - a champion for democracy and freedom.
Arciel: :P
Dr[a]gonsPhyre: Nowadays, it seems content to be led around the nose as long as it gets strong friends.
Manis_B: Ck, Tim, you have anything else to add?
Manis_B: I guess they fell asleep.
jsims8|snooze: let's develop a cult-like mythology about CK; an omage to North Korea
@Manis_B: Kim Jong Kaos
Dr[a]gonsPhyre: Christ Kaos.
Arciel: lol
Arciel: Wasn't that one of the names NPO et al used to call CK?
Chris_Kaos: Yes.
Chris_Kaos: They're just sore I beat them.
Dr[a]gonsPhyre: walford was also made fun of for his Christ-like qualities.
Arciel: Does the guy still play?
Chris_Kaos: I think they got more milage out of Hero of GATO though, for me
Dr[a]gonsPhyre: Yes, walford still plays.
Dr[a]gonsPhyre: I think he's out in the open again.
Dr[a]gonsPhyre: he was in disguise for a long-ass time.

Manis_B: ok lets start with you, whats your alliance position and how long have you been around in CN?
Liz: Head of State
Liz: 2006
Liz: I'm a reroll =)
Manis_B: what were your first impressions with GATO as an alliance?
Liz: I was introduced to GATO by Lizzy actually =) People always confuse the two of us.
Manis_B: that was part of my next question, any particular GATOans that you respect or admire or dislike?
Liz: I liked GATO as a first impression. It's got a good community and its always prettu friendly.
Liz: Lizzy. Definitely. No matter what alliance I was in, TOOL, Kronos, CSN, always a friendly face.
Manis_B: how do you feel about the relationship between GATO and your alliance?
Liz: Always respectful, personable, and an informed voice that represented GATO well.
Liz: Hmmmm. GATO and CSN? eek.
Manis_B: heh. its ok. you wont offend me
Liz: Well, until No Vision very close. We tried to rekindle the relationship previous to the last war. Unfortunately I think our assault on LoSS ended that.
Liz: It's got a lot of tension for sure presently.
Manis_B: do you think that GATO has changed from your first impressions? for better or worse?
Liz:An alliance changes by leadership and gov changes, but some things are just part of the culture. Overall GATO is still the same friendly people, but we're politically in an opposition of sorts for sure. That doesn't change the impression from a positive friendly alliance. It only changes the means of business interaction and issues.
Manis_B: what would you like to see from GATO in 2012?
Liz: Probably some actual political interaction between us. Work through tbe issues and try to get back to where we were before our past issues.
Manis_B: any words of advice for GATO?
Liz: Just the best of luck to GATO. Happy anniversary. =)

And finally, to top it off, I asked for three words on GATO from a few foreigners and friends over the last couple of days:

<&andyt2k> "GATO supermegaduperrule forever"
<%The_Chief> GATO: gay, gay, gay
&italia|away> GATO: solid, dependable friends
<@Vitsen> Chief's Brown !@#$%*es
<%Comrade_Trotsky[INT]> Loyal. Courageous. Cultured
<@J[away]> GATO: Best.Pre-Empt. Ever

Lovely. Anyway, I hope someone can come and repeat this in another year, here's to a good run so far!

Laslo Kenez
Assembly Chairman

Edited by Laslo Kenez
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I've really grown to like and respect GATO over the previous year or so, and I'm glad we've finally begun to move past the hate, as Cortath said, we rightfully engendered as part of the Viceroyship. Congratulations on six years GATO - not a lot of people [s]can[/s] will be able to ever claim that milestone.

Edit: Fixed for Baltus :P

Edited by Farrin Xies
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Welp, we beat the [url=http://forums.cybernations.net/index.php?showtopic=97006&view=findpost&p=2573467]odds of making it to 6 years[/url]. Sorry Chef had to do it. :P

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in GATO and look forward to the future.

Happy Birthday GATO! I tip my hat in your honor.

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[quote name='Farrin Xies' timestamp='1326411160' post='2898344']
I've really grown to like and respect GATO over the previous year or so, and I'm glad we've finally begun to move past the hate, as Cortath said, we rightfully engendered as part of the Viceroyship. Congratulations on six years GATO - not a lot of people can claim that milestone.
Considering they were the first alliance found, nobody can claim the milestone. :P

Congrats GATO!

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Wow, where do I even begin with this post? I have now served in GATO for nearly 5 years, and despite having spent time in other alliances, nothing can remotely compare to being a member of this fine alliance. GATO is comprised of rulers from every race, background, and opinion, each with their own voice as part of the general assembly. This same group of nations have kept me playing CN far longer than any addition to the game or political spectrum ever could have. Because of the constitution of our members, we have survived tests and turmoil that would have shattered most alliances long ago. We remain prosperous and vibrant to this day, with loyal allies and incredible friends.


Who knows, maybe we will see you around for year 10.

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