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.
- 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. [↩]
- 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. [↩]
- Not to be confused with the Francophone Micronational Sector’s world map project. [↩]
- Sinclair’s first micronational participation was with Interland and at the time he was still a fiercely nationalistic Interlandic. [↩]
- “Another View on UBR vs. Amerada, The NUT news service (New Macadam), issue #16, 8 April 2002. [↩]
- Bobessian Broadcasting Company (BBC-BTN) News for Monday, 16 September 2002. [↩]