Crime & Punishment in micronationalism

When one speaks of crime and punishment within the micronational community, this Author is often reminded of that famous Apollo Skyline cartoon from the September 28, 2002, edition (pictured below). The subject of that mocking depiction of micronational justice was Fidel Nico of the long-former Micras micronation of Baracão, who had, in the “in-situ” reality of the community, fled persecution in Babkha and gained asylum in Baracão, only to be extradited back to Babkha to his certain execution. All while sitting comfortably, and quite lively, in his chair at the computer in his macronational abode. What a show it must have been to witness one’s own execution at the hands of the gruesomely violent Babkhan “justice” system.

cartoon37

The Skyline chose to mock an example that was ripe for the picking, some may argue – obviously a micronation can’t really “execute” a person as a true punishment for his or her transgressions against its laws. Such an act is merely the grandest statement of official contempt.

Then again, how effectual is any punishment imposed by the micronational courts? Even banishment from a micronation is ineffectual, insofar as the convicted micronationalist will always be able to find another micronation wanting of new citizens to accept his or her involvement, despite past transgressions (most of which are arguably conflicts of personality rather than reasonable law). The imposition of fines, too, are fraught with enforcement difficulty, as micronational currency is valueless, and any collection of macronational monies is an ultimately hopeless endeavour.

Perhaps it is our desire, as victims – perceived or real – to have justice done that still sees the micronational community engage in the prosecution, or sometimes persecution, of disagreeable individuals in our midst. Perhaps it is simply that the micronational arena is the best hope some have to see justice done, for lack of the financial resources to pursue the Accused macronationally, or simply because the wrong that has been committed is not one likely to be prosecuted – or understood – outside micronationalism. Maybe it is the convergence of the underpinning interest in law and experimentation on which micronationalism is built and the happen-chance transgression that motivates a desire to see the laws and courts we create in action, with the imposition of a punishment merely a sideshow. Or maybe, especially in the case of character-based Simulationist micronations such as those that inhabit the Bastion Union on Micras, it is just a captivating way to write one’s current persona out of the wider narrative.

Regardless of the motivation for seeking out punishment for transgressions in our community, it is nonetheless a reality of it, as it has been since the popularization of micronationalism by the Internet at the turn of the millennium. While each and every micronationalist who has been convicted in a micronational court remains very much alive and with their personal wealth intact, their cases have nonetheless formed an important part of the history and development of the particular micronation, and indeed the wider community, at the time.

This historical significance is one that admittedly should not be diminished by the ultimate futility of micronational justice as so accurately conveyed by the Apollo Skyline, for those contemporary micronationalists involved in each case were truly vested in the matter. After all, many of them used that sandbox to help develop the legal skills and interests that have propelled them, in this Author’s recollection, into the law firms of Belgium, Britain, Canada, and the United States. And that is perhaps the one tangible benefit of micronational justice, much like that of all aspects of micronationalism – it helps us learn skills, explore interests, and develop as individuals and macronational professionals.

Maybe that’s where we need to keep our focus when it comes to micronational justice – that it is a developmental endeavour, rather than one that is meant to be punitive. Cases should not be brought for malice, as alienating any member of an already dwindling populace is ultimately more harmful to the micronation than any crime most are capable of perpetuating. Rather, turn the Courts to administrative matters, such as dissolution proceedings for locally insolvent companies or judicial review. In such proceedings, micronationalists can learn and explore the law, and thereby grow individually, as opposed to needlessly carrying on momentary vendettas caused by frustration and the pouring salt on open wounds by imposing flagrantly unenforceable punishments.

Crime & Punishment in micronationalism

One-on-One: Stellus Yastreb

For those readers who are unacquainted with you, would you please give us some background as to how you came to participate in micronationalism and what it is you do in the community today?

A stupidly long time ago, there was a communistic micronation called the PRNSE (People’s Republic of the New Soviet Empire). It existed in a more volatile age when micronations were created as flimsy pretexts for attacking other micronations, and wiping out forums with Denial of Service attacks was considered good clean fun. The PRNSE, or more accurately certain individuals who happened to be closely associated with it, engaged in its fair share of various micronational dark arts under the leadership of, among others, an enigmatic individual known as Yuri – one of those high archons of micronationalism of the same blisteringly unassailable calibre as Ras Diga, Scott Alexander and Ardashir Khan to name but three. I didn’t cross paths with him until the after PRNSE’s demise, but the encounter remains important as he is the one most responsible for luring me into the eternal pixelated maelstrom that is the Micras Sector.

I arrived among the PRNSE folks in late 2002, sometime after its grand poohbah Siberian Fox span it off into a largely non-micronational Soviet-themed social debating type community (Soviet-Empire). However some of their regulars still kept a hand in the old micronations game full-time, and I guess it was inevitable that I was recruited for their latest project in that sphere, a largely forgotten place called Noviykrazniystan. Aside from the aforementioned Yuri, the intermicronational master criminal known as William Jesmer had a large hand in dragging me into this business. What neither of them told me at the time was that they were some of the most reviled people on Micras on account of their various misdeeds, and that by mere association with them I would be treated with vitriolic contempt by pretty much everybody for no discernible reason. It was a hard upbringing, to be sure.

Between then and now I was mostly involved in Baracão, Yuri’s USSR reboot and its better-known spinoff Novaya Zemlya, and of course Shireroth. I have kept an intermittent presence in the latter since the back end of 2003, and over time it has become my home. My current roles in Shireroth are limited as I’ve deliberately avoided high positions in anticipation of real-life time constraints this summer. My two last big roles were Imperial Steward (second-in-command) and Minister of the Exterior. I do however maintain the rule of Lunaris, a county in Goldshire which is quite convenient for expressing my floridly effeminate side without attracting too much ridicule. I love that place like the very stars themselves, and it makes a good retreat for when Shirerithian politics are getting too hot.

Congratulations on winning the RIMA Award for Excellence in Micronational History during the 2014 FNORD Awards for your work on documenting a historical timeline of Shireroth’s Duchy of Goldshire. Should we expect any new history-related projects from you this year in an attempt to make it two awards in a row?

Shireroth’s Kaiser has put out a renewed call for updates to the ShireWiki, particularly the legal records which are abominably outdated. I may work on that. I have also been tasked with more medium-term recordkeeping by my appointment as Imperial Malarborist. This is a formalisation of the fact that I have been unofficially updating the Malarbor news box for the reigns of several Kaisers now. I seem to step into these roles as an emergency measure and end up being stuck with them. I also made that mistake by being the last Minister of Trade to run the Imperial finances with some semblance of function, prompting incessant calls for my resumption of that role ever since …. I guess that makes me some kind of sucker.

Regarding the longer-term histories, although I am able to inject small nuggets of knowledge to suit the demands of the day (usually the heartily Shirerithian exercise of berating my peers for their historical ignorance), sitting down and actually writing a comprehensive weighty tome on anything requires far more time than I have available at this point. I may try to incorporate some history into another cultural work like a theatrical play at some point, killing two birds with one stone – but the fact is that my Goldshirian timeline, although badly needed, was a rather rushed affair. My FNORD for it was only awarded due to an embarrassing absence of alternatives. Certainly when I look at the other winners of the RIMA over the years, it doesn’t feel right to be counted among them.

One-on-One: Stellus Yastreb

The Amerada Series – Part 2: The Experiences of War and Terrorism

The Amerada Series is a collection of articles concerning the history of the Republic of Amerada, which was an active Anglophone Simulationist Community micronation in the early twenty-first century. Most of these articles were originally published in Liam Sinclair’s Amerada: the Story of a Nation book in 2002/2003. The articles as published by RIMA were subsequently updated and expanded for what was intended to be a more detailed edition of that book in 2007. Additional updates since the original manuscripts were re-written in 2007 have been made in an effort to complete articles that were left incomplete in 2007 upon cessation of the Amerada: the Story of a Nation fourth-edition effort.

The development of a national security and defence infrastructure was never a policy that was taken seriously during the development of the Amerada nation. Even during times of upheaval, attack, and invasion such policies were far from the minds of Ameradians. This can largely be attributed to the attitude of the population; they were concerned with far more important political and state issues than with responding to the immaturity of other micronations such as Freenesia and the Union of South Mondesia which decided to indulge themselves in the laughable act of “rec-warring.1

Amerada was not immune from the acts of war and terrorism that often plagued the micronational community in the early part of the twenty-first century. While not lending any major weight to the creation of a national security infrastructure, Amerada was by far not the pacifist micronation its founders wished it to become. Incidents of internal terrorism at the hands of a radical; other micronations attempting to make it the subject of rec-warring caused tumultuous times in the micronation. Eventually the Amerada government was forced to create the office of “Chief of Security” for the micronation, with the holder of that position charged with protecting the national forums from spam and other security threats. Two persons would go on to hold that position, the first being Yuri Andropov.

Andropov was generally seen as a micronational security threat, not for any particular technical abilities, but for his ability to cause trouble wherever he went. The government would regret appointing Andropov to that position, as well as to the position of governor of the colony of Floerta, when he misused his powers to attempt to steal funds from the Second National Bank of Amerada and cede Floerta from the Republic.

Amerada, while not very concerned with military issues, did have some federal military infrastructure, though it largely consisted of one designated base to which an army of “Borg” (from Star Trek: The Next Generation) were stationed. That military force itself underlined the lack of importance Amerada’s federal government placed on the development of a model military force. At the colonial level the story was largely that of no military forces, except in the colonies of Tebec and Califario, and later Oh Scotia.

Colonial Defence – Serious Attempts at Mimicking Military Forces

By and far, the most serious attempt to model a macronational military force was that of Tebec’s governor, Liam Sinclair. An avid military history and studies student, Sinclair would create the largest and most detailed simulation of military structure and force that the Republic would see, known as the Tebec Militia.

That force would be deployed overseas to the United Bobessian Republic to support its defence against threats from the Amerada government (this being when Tebec was an external territory of Amerada in August 2002). It is important to note that a copy of the agreement between the Bobessian and Tebec governments at that time explicitly noted that if hostilities broke out with Amerada, the Tebec Militia units deployed in Bobessian territory would act as peacekeepers and not fight against the Amerada government. While tensions were always high between the Amerada and Tebec governments, Tebec Militia troops would never be deployed against Amerada.

In the Tebec Government’s Defence Plan 2002: A Combat Capable and Effective Tebec Militia document, the case for the development of colonial defence forces was put forward succinctly:

“…the Amerada Government is unwilling in providing defensive services against external threats….Amerada’s defence minister is inactive and … incompetent….Amerada itself has no coherent defence or military plan.”

The creation of these defence forces was further legitimized by the Amerada government performance in the attempted annexation of Amerada by the Free Territories of Freenesia, a micronation led by Philip Locke, the perpetrator of the 4/11 terrorist attacks against the United Republic of Tymaria. In that conflict of August 2002, Amerada’s government arbitrarily gave away colonial lands to appease Freenesia, which had no real claim as Amerada was not a participant on the Micronational Cartography Society’s world map project. It was not the first time that Freenesia had attempted to cause destabilization in Amerada – in April of the same year, it “invaded” Amerada soil, attempting to make it a battleground for its ongoing rec-warring with the Republic of Baracão.

This clearly angered the various colonial leaders involved, regardless of political affiliation, and it confirmed what the opposition movement to Washburn’s government had always stated: the federal government did not care about colonial rights, but instead saw the colonies as an extension of its own policies.

The only colonial defence force that responded to the Freenesia claim was the Califario Defence Force, while the Tebec Militia was not deployed due to its government believing the claim to be bogus for two reasons: the Micronational Cartography Society reason mentioned above; and that rec-warring was not a policy that allowed legitimate claiming of sovereign lands. With the passage of the federal pacifistic law, known as Law 35, the colonies became the only governments in Amerada which could raise military forces, and that would trigger renewed development in the Tebec Militia2 and the creation of a military in Oh Scotia.

‘Shadow’ – Amerada’s Home-Grown Terrorist

Amerada was largely a peaceable micronation. Yet, its early setting as a micronation consisting of a population that was centralized in Hillcrest High presented stability problems. Such problems are the bane of teenaged-life and the founding fathers of Amerada, with their seemingly unique – to the population of Hillcrest High – idea to create a micronation were prime targets for the bullies to try to wreck havoc against. The population of Amerada was a diverse pool of Hillcrest High Schoolers, and by no stretch of the imagination did all participants in Amerada take the project as seriously as Washburn or Weatherhead. There was at least one person in the group who would rock the Amerada project by becoming its only home-grown terrorist.

This person would become known as ‘Shadow’ and would be the perpetrator of several attacks against Amerada’s sovereignty on the Internet. The first attack would prove to be the only definitive attack, resulting in ‘Shadow’ taking down the Amerada website and replacing it with a dedication to him. The website was soon back online, but the point had been made that Amerada’s government was subject to internal threat by a person who was able to gain access to the micronation’s most important asset. The attack sparked fierce accusations of who was behind the ‘Shadow’ identity and, as previously mentioned, the list of suspects named practically everyone in the Amerada government except Washburn.

Future attacks by the assailant would be fictitious in nature, with the final attack on 31 October 2001 involving the detonation of “two nuclear weapons” in the Illitoban Desert, near Amerada’s Immigration Centre. That attack occurred during a political unstable period and on the day of the first impeachment trial of Prime Minister William Steeves. Its fictitious nature suggests an attempt by the government to ‘liven up’ the Amerada simulation by throwing a curve in national security at a time when it was already weakened by a useless and inactive government, as well as a vicious opposition movement to the Democratic Liberal Party of Amerada rule. One opposition member, Liam Sinclair, would comment that the 31 October ‘Shadow’ attack “looked good on Washburn,” for which he would later be tried and convicted of supporting terrorism.

The identity of ‘Shadow’ has remained one of the mysteries of Amerada during and after its life. Following the 31 October attack, the list of suspects was reported by the Los Antréal Times-Journal to have been narrowed to Mark Hickman, the then Minister of Defence, and Jonathan Weatherhead, both of whom were upset with the impeachment proceedings against Steeves. According to the publication’s sources, Hickman had evidence that Weatherhead committed the attack, though it was widely believed at the time that both were in fact in collusion despite whichever pulled the trigger.

Was ‘Shadow’ a result of one (or more) member not taking the Amerada project seriously or was it more of a vengeful way to make Washburn, who put so much time and effort into Amerada, suffer? It was clear that there were members of the Amerada government who did not take the project seriously, but instead saw it as a fun way to cause trouble. It is plausible that the initial attack, in June 2001, was indeed an act of nonchalance more than an act of vengeance or cruelty. It was the concerned and upset reaction of Washburn to the initial attack that led the way for ‘Shadow’ to become a crueler opponent of the Amerada project. Those behind the mask of that home-grown terrorist now knew to what level they could cause Washburn anguish and when their friends were threatened, such as was Steeves in October 2001, they would use Shadow to send a clear message to Washburn: we can destroy the very project you hold dear.

Intermicronational Pains – Rec-warring Micronations Attempt to Drag Amerada Down

It was not uncommon for Washburn to threaten war with another micronation on Micro-Monde in order to get his way on the diplomacy stage; even if such threats were empty due to the lack of an Amerada military. It was the belief that Washburn had hacker-friends which worried other micronations, but following the ‘Shadow’ incidents, their worries were alleviated as they saw that any hacker-friends Washburn had were mainly concerned with making his life painful.

Amerada’s history of intermicronational tensions dates back to early 2001 when it was a new micronation on the very active Internet micronational scene. An established micronation, the Aercian Empire, would be the first, and not the last, to criticize the citizenship method employed by Amerada – counting website hits as simulated citizens. These tensions did not spark into a war, but rather went away with time, as both micronations were signatories to the Splendid Union of Micronations Charter, which forbid conflicts between members.

In January 2002, Amerada would find itself on war-footing with the United Republic of Tymaria. Tymaria was the micronational military power of the day, due in large part to the remnants of the Atteran military and Crimson Order incorporated into it, and many considered it foolish for Washburn to ignore a threat of military force from that micronation.

The escalating conflict was a result of the Tymarian state of Interland’s participation in the Micro-Monde3 world map project. Tymaria had recently made it known that it would use the Micronational Cartography Society’s world map project as its official map and requested that Washburn remove Interland from the Micro-Monde map. Opposition tensions in Amerada meant that a high-ranking officer of the Tymarian military was blinded by rage and failed to understand Washburn’s motives. That officer, Marshal Liam Sinclair, who commanded the Tymarian Army and was the Tymarian Defence Forces’ chief expert on Micro-Monde, believed that Washburn was refusing to give up Interland’s participation in Micro-Monde because he did not want to lose participants in his pet cartography project.

Washburn’s reason for not allowing Interland to leave Micro-Monde was sound – you just can’t erase a landmass from a map which is supposed to mimic a real planet. Yet the version of the Interland map used by Micro-Monde was the official map of that micronation and, to protect intellectual property rights, the Interlandic government didn’t want its official map on Micro-Monde when it was no longer intent on being a member of that organization. Washburn wanted to keep the outline of the Interlandic map and just erase the content and replace it with another Micro-Monde micronation on the basis of his “land can’t just disappear” argument.

Sinclair, having witnessed first hand Washburn’s less than colourful record on rights and freedoms in Amerada, saw the refusal as an example of him attempting to prevent Interland from exercising its right of national self-determination. Blinded by rage due to Washburn not allowing Interland4 to leave Micro-Monde, Sinclair advised the Tymarian government that action against Washburn may be the only way to resolve the issue. Washburn, fearing he was losing his effort to keep Interland on the Micro-Monde map, even with the technical arguments, invoked the support of Amerada for his cause.

Yet, Washburn would back down knowing that he could not go against the Tymarian military machine. Interland was removed from the Micro-Monde map and the fictional land, while not removed as per the initial wishes of the Tymarian government, was given to another Micro-Monde micronation. Interland would be the first micronation to leave Micro-Monde, but it would not be the last, and indeed it would not be the only one to have to oppose Washburn’s attempts to save his cartography project from oblivion.

In March 2002, the Union of South Mondesia announced that it would also leave the Micro-Monde world map project in favour of the Micronational Cartography Society’s project. Outraged at this decision to leave his project, Washburn announced that no micronation which was a participant in Micro-Monde could leave the project without his expressed permission. Once again, Washburn dragged Amerada into his personal Micro-Monde conflicts and had its government declare war on South Mondesia. Within a week, Amerada surrendered to South Mondesia as that micronation and its allies chose to ignore Washburn’s claims. The peace treaty between the two micronations stated that Amerada could not declare war against South Mondesia for at least four months – an article which Washburn attempted to delete from the treaty after it was signed (as he had moderator powers over the forum where the signing ceremony was held). He was called on the attempt and Amerada lost further respect intermicronationally due to the childish actions of its leader.

The conflict with South Mondesia also served to upset an ally of Amerada – the United Bobessian Republic. It was pulled into the conflict, which it deemed foolish, and surrendered to South Mondesia before Amerada so as to not have to deal with the issue any longer. In April 2002, the Bobessian Republic would declare war on Amerada as it became agitated with Washburn’s attempts to prevent micronations from leaving the Micro-Monde project, declaring Washburn to be a dictator as “he was never elected president of Amerada”5. Amerada was the victim of a Bobessian spam attack, but in the end both sides grew tired of the conflict and agreed to work together once again. Yet lasting damage to the relationship did occur, and for the duration of the existence of the Bobessian Republic, it was clear that Washburn no longer held respect in that micronation. Less than six months later, in October 2002, the Bobessian Republic would once again declare war on Amerada to assist the Republic of Toaka, a staunch ally of the Bobessians and macronationally-based micronation in Vancouver, Canada. Bobessian President Christopher Donle, launched his election platform at approximately the same time as the declaration of war, calling for the repeal of the Bobessian anti-war acts, passed following the first conflict with Amerada, noting that the current relationship (i.e. war) between the two micronations was “ideal”6.

Also in March 2002, the micronation of Pacary decided to leave the Micro-Monde project as its congress had voted to join the Micronational Cartography Society project instead. In the Amerada Embassy to Pacary, Washburn defiantly stated, “If Pacary leaves Micro-Monde, I’m afraid we will see this as a threat to the Republic of Amerada and therefore cut relations with Pacary….” Once again, Washburn, by virtue of his presidency over the Republic of Amerada drew the micronation and its population into a personal conflict outside the purview of his office.

This threat by Washburn was a critical turning point in Amerada as both his political opponents, and several of his prominent fellow Democratic Liberals, undertook secret discussions in the Union of South Mondesia to facilitate the overthrow of Earl Washburn and the formation of a new Amerada. Those involved in the discussions were Peter Little, Nicholas Bridgewater, Philip Locke, Liam Sinclair, Christopher Donle, Matt McIvor, and Glen Bohach. The discussions included whether or not Amerada should become a monarchy in the post-Washburn era, as well as the structure of a new government. In the end, no overthrow of Washburn occurred as Pacary decided to co-exist on both the Micro-Monde and Micronational Cartography Society maps to appease Washburn. Pacary proved sympathetic to the effects of having a personal project unravel with no possible way to stop the descent.

A micronation leaving Micro-Monde, an intermicronational organization which had two things in common with Amerada – Amerada’s current president was its founder and Amerada was participating in the project – was dragged into four conflicts as a result of Washburn using his position as president to force the Amerada government to commit to an antagonistic approach. If it were up to the actual population of Amerada at the time as to whether it would support Washburn’s side of these Micro-Monde conflicts, Amerada would have perhaps been able to gain respect intermicronationally.

  1. Rec-warring, as commonly defined, is a practice by which two or more micronations engage in fictional wars via narration. To many micronationalists, the practice is seen as a characteristic of the more immature micronations, as well as degrading to the seriousness of macronational war. []
  2. This renewed development would create two defence plans, including the Defence Plan 2002 as well as formalize the structure of the Militia. It was divided into three battalions, each with unique military units, including the common ones such as infantry, which were based at two military installations – one in San Datoon, and one in Los Antréal. The Tebec Military College was also created, which trained officers from Oh Scotia as well, and the Militia became closely intertwined with the Tebec Government’s economic simulation of the day, with each level of rank given individual pay scales, as well as special pay for deployments and education grants. []
  3. Not to be confused with the Francophone Micronational Sector’s world map project. []
  4. Sinclair’s first micronational participation was with Interland and at the time he was still a fiercely nationalistic Interlandic. []
  5. “Another View on UBR vs. Amerada, The NUT news service (New Macadam), issue #16, 8 April 2002. []
  6. Bobessian Broadcasting Company (BBC-BTN) News for Monday, 16 September 2002. []
The Amerada Series – Part 2: The Experiences of War and Terrorism

Renegotiation of the Attera – Politika Relationship

In October 2002 the Republic of Politika and Attera, then known as the Imperial Federation of Atteran States, formalized a mutual defence relationship as part of a larger plan to undermine the Republic of Baracão (with Politika being created by Robert Silby explicitly for the purpose of opposing Baracão due to the failure of a coup led by Edward Guimont). The creation of Politika and the alliance treaty were a part of an ongoing Crimson Order operation to destabilize Baracão.

Politika’s subsequent connections to the infamous micronational terrorist organization, Anarchy 21, which attacked several major micronations causing major data loss in some cases, caused tension between the Atteran and Politikan governments, eventually leading to a fizzling out of the alliance as the renegotiation deadline of 01 December 2003 approached.

Negotiations on a new treaty between the two allies started in mid-May 2003 with the Atteran government being represented by Prime Minister Ras Liam Sinclair and Politika’s efforts being led primarily by foreign minister Tom Blake. If all went smoothly, both micronations would renew their alliance by the end of June of that year; however, this was not to be the case.

The intention for the new treaty was to make it highly detailed, far moreso than the original, including a clause dealing with Attera and Politika being located on different world map projects (Attera had removed itself from the Micronational Cartography Society in favour of the Alternate Realities World Map Project and adopted an official policy of not allowing fictional maps to influence national policy). Furthermore, the treaty would be expanded to include extradition, a more detailed mutual defence agreement, and technical and public relations aid.

Despite the wide range of intentions discussed for the new treaty, the alliance renegotiation was doomed from the outset due to the Atteran government being less than impressed with Politikan connections to Anarchy 21 (though the Atteran government never complained about its protection from terrorist attacks by Anarchy 21 due to the mutual defence pact in force). Atteran Prime Minister Sinclair made it clear on 02 Jun 2003 that the renegotiation of the treaty would not proceed unless Politika unconditionally adopted the Scheheradze Convention on Micronational Warfare.

This request was triggered by growing tensions between the Kingdom of Babkha and Politika over security issues and as a result of the Atteran government placing greater importance upon the peace negotiations with Babkha at the time than on being faithful allies of Politika. As a result, the Atteran government was successful in having Politika ratify the Convention by 20 Jun and ensuring that efforts to end the three year state of conflict between Attera and Babkha would continue.

In an editorial letter to The Citizen, a monthly magazine published by Thomas Cutterham, Sinclair emphasized Attera’s commitment to maintaining its obligations as a treaty ally of Politika, while at the same time condemning the ‘terrorist’ actions of President Silby. The letter set the attitude of the Atteran government for the remaining six months of the original treaty – Attera now only supported Politika due to a treaty obligation and was becoming very irritated with the Republic.

Renegotiation of the Attera – Politika Relationship

The end of South Mondesia

South Mondesia’s most prominent citizen, Peter Little, is perhaps most infamous for his poor spelling skills exhibited during his short micronational participation. Joining the community in 2001 through the Republic of Camerica, a predecessor of South Mondesia that Mr. Little founded, he would take an interest in recreational warfare and intelligence gathering. That interest would blossom into a failed attempt at infiltrating a foreign government, an attempt that would quickly trigger the final deadly-blow to South Mondesia.

His infiltration undertaking was directed at the Republic of Baracão, a Cuban-themed micronation, and one that had a less-than-friendly past with Mr. Little. Specifically, Mr. Little attempted to gain entry to its military command centre in a mission authorised by the South Mondesian government, of which Mr. Little was a high-ranking member. This authorisation would provoke a strong response by the Baracãoans upon their detection of the infiltration attempt.

The Baracãoan response came just days following the failed attempt in June 2002, and consisted of a campaign aimed at Mr. Little on a personal level. Under the guise of “Crusher,” a username created at the Mondesian forums by Baracãon intelligence, a campaign was launched that crushed Mr. Little’s morale through the hacking of South Mondesia’s web assets and threats against Mr. Little’s family in the United Kingdom (where high-ranking Baracãoans resided as well).

The first hacking was aimed at the South Mondesian forums, which were vandalised and subsequently changed to give the appearance that South Mondesia was a part of the Republic of Amerada (a poor attempt by the Baracãoans to frame one of Mondesia’s historic rivals). After each attack, Mr. Little would be forced to fix any damage, in what was arguably a lost cause as the Baracãoans would then hack the forums again and repeat the process. The South Mondesia website was also deleted from the Internet, destroying a key part of the micronation’s infrastructure and history.

The hackings brought condemnation from throughout the community, but much of that condemnation was superficial as Baracão was a friend to most of the significant micronations of the day. In the end, Mr. Little had his will to participate in micronations destroyed (primarily because of the threats against the safety of his family members) and quickly left the community. He left South Mondesia’s Micronational Cartography Society world map territory to the Imperial Republic of Shireroth and its Micro-Monde territory to the Kingdom of Pups Country. Scott Alexander, who presented a lecture on the history of Communism in the Anglophone micronational community in October 2002, quipped, “nice victory for the big Baracãoans … using illegal and unethical methods to harass and break a fourteen year old kid.”1

Internet Protocol comparisons performed following the attack, as well as independent investigations, pointed towards two suspects: Dafydd Young and “Uncle Damn,” his brother, both of whom were high-ranking Baracãoans.

  1. http://p210.ezboard.com/fimperiumofmenelmacarfrm62.showMessage?topicID=17.topic []
The end of South Mondesia

Micronational Militaries & Conflict – Part II: Why do micronational gov’ts resort to military conflict?

Part II in Liam Sinclair’s series on micronational conflict.

Macronationally, governments use military force to implement foreign policy and to defend the nation against threats – both physical and ideological. Micronationally, there are three key reasons why governments use military force. These reasons are to defend the nation against an external threat, to produce activity during times of low-activity in the nation, and to protect the honour of the Head of State, or other prominent citizens.

Defending the nation against an external threat is usually one of the more common justifications used by micronational governments when they wage conflict against another nation. A prime example was when Marinidad began to attack the Atteran government by flooding its email system with spam. The Atteran government responded through the Crimson Order to flood Marinidad’s guest book and eventually force them to remove that part of their website. However, sometimes it isn’t another nation which must be defended against. This was the case in early 2003 when Anarchy 21, a self-professed terrorist organization, attacked various micronations, from Baracão to Babkha. Although Anarchy 21 wasn’t backed by any micronational government, the victims eventually decided to blame the Politikan government since President Robert Silby is generally seen as a terrorist himself.

During any period of low activity, a nation’s government may sometimes resort to conflict with another nation to produce the needed, and desired, level of activity in the nation. Taking this step in order to increase activity or simply get yourself known is sometimes a major risk for a micronational government, as was the case when Marinidad declared war against Attera in 2000 for the reasons of “we can’t pronounce your name and we don’t like your government.” Conflicts generally start because of low activity in the aggressor nation, and during the summertime it is not all that uncommon to see nations engage in recreational wars to boost activity at little to no risk to the infrastructure of the nation itself.

That brings us to the final major reason for micronational conflicts, which is protecting the honour of the Head of State or other prominent citizens in a micronation. A good example was in August 2002 when Attera attacked Cranda because Cranda’s leader made several shrewd remarks against Attera’s Imperial Ras, Diga Makonnen IV, at Micro-Nations.org. While most micronational governments would ignore personal attacks instead of waging conflict, there are some governments who will not, especially if it is their leader that is being insulted. While this reason being used to justify conflict may make some people hang their head in disgust, it’s not nearly as ridiculous as using conflict to keep your nation active.

Micronational Militaries & Conflict – Part II: Why do micronational gov’ts resort to military conflict?

Lose Some, Win More…

Micronations.Net has received four new personal warrants from heads of state for the provision of its news services.

The new warrants, which may be seen on the homepage of its website, were received following the withdrawal of the warrant from the Atteran Emperor, a politically-manipulated protest following the failure of Atteran Chronicle World to qualify for the recently-introduced MNN Accredited Sources scheme.

The warrants were granted by the Emperors of Minorca and Lemuria, the Kaiser of Shireroth and the Protector of Aerlig, with the Minorcan one replacing that provided by its predecessor Baracao.

Lose Some, Win More…