Disclaimer: This article reflects the opinion of the author and is not necessarily indicative of the official stance of the Grand Republic of Delvera, the North American Confederation, or the Lavrada Bannerman.
In May of 2018, I will have been engaged in micronational politics for ten years. This is a monumental achievement, as most micronationalists retire after only two to three years. Such a long and storied career has granted me a degree of perspective and experience that few possess. It was my hope that this experience and knowledge might be used to inform and entertain the readers of the Lavrada Bannerman through a series of opinion articles. Unfortunately, recent events of which I have found myself at the center, due in no small part to my efforts to resolve them, have forced me to comment.
As most readers will be no doubt aware, there is a diplomatic crisis going on between the Empire of Austenasia and the Grand Republic of Delvera. The immediate source of this incident stems from the stubborn pride and diplomatic impropriety shown by all parties following the first session of the Intermicronational World Conference, otherwise known as the Congress of Colo. In the days following that first session, I was asked by the other delegates to speak to Emperor Jonathan of Austenasia with the hopes of resolving this situation peaceably.
My efforts were not successful and Emperor Jonathan withdrew his delegation from the Congress the next day, whilst I was sleeping.
Following Austenasia’s withdrawal, I had figured that the situation, while unfortunate and frustrating, had resolved itself and things would soon return to normal. Following my discussions with Consul Callahan on the upcoming merger of the Confederation and the Grand Republic, I was made privy to a large portion of Delveran intelligence in preparation for my role as their new Minister of State once unification goes through. It was here I was made aware of the diminishing diplomatic channels and eroding relations between Austenasia and Delvera.
For the past four days before writing this, I have been advising the Delveran government consistently in an effort to restore a sense of diplomatic normalcy with Austenasia. Whilst I wholeheartedly believe that this effort can be achieved and will be done in due time, a genuine sense of perspective and reality regarding the offending situation and where the blame should fall was necessary.
To that end, I agreed to an interview with Jordan Brizendine, the editor of the Bannerman, in an effort to give an earnest and unbiased account of the events which resulted in Austenasia’s withdrawal and the incurring diplomatic incident. A similar interview was performed with Mr. Christian Newton of Karnia-Ruthenia, which I was not aware of until after my interview was finished.
This interview was almost immediately derided by the Austenasian Times and government as false and slanderous, with Emperor Jonathan even requesting Consul Callahan, who holds no association with the Bannerman, to remove the offending article, in direct violations of the principles of a free press. As of writing this, Consul Callahan has refused to assault the principles of democracy in such a manner.
I write this article to affirm the statements made in the interview in question, to unequivocally support the accuracy of the information contained within, and to condemn the actions of the Austenasian Times in their efforts to assault the character and integrity of not only myself but of members of the Delveran and Karno-Ruthenian governments as well.
Firstly, Mr. Brizendine’s research and sources are accurate and supported with hard evidence which I have been made privy to, due to my recent diplomatic exchanges with the Delveran government. Such information could be made available to the public had there been any interest in accuracy or reality on the part of the Austenasian government and their state-operated media, rather than an effort to weave a false narrative to benefit a certain political end and assault the character of another micronational government or opposition. As micronations, our aims should be to act better than our macronational counterparts, not engage in the same unethical acts as they do, and this action by the Austenasian Times smells of the modern American presidential fictions in a most unsavory manner.
Secondly, my statements were copied verbatim (grammatical errors and all, to my shame) with no room for miscommunication. I was not misquoted or taken out of context, with the entirety of my statement recorded for posterity. A record I will stand-by as a factual account of the incident which occurred. The Austenasian Times accused the Bannerman of bias, seemingly oblivious to the lines in my interview where I called out the Delveran and Karno-Ruthenian delegations, as well as the Austenasian Emperor, for their impropriety and undiplomatic behavior. I even leveled blame on myself for failing to step in sooner to halt bad feelings before they escalated.
When diplomacy fails, it is the fault of all parties involved, and the efforts of the Austenasian Times to paint the Austenasian government as faultless in this situation are disingenuous and beneath the character of such an influential nation.
Thirdly, they accused the Delveran government of inflaming the situation with such an article and interview. I am confused as to how a government can be blamed for the actions of an independent business or media enterprise. That screams of an action committed not by a democratic nation, but by a totalitarian regime. Delvera and the Confederation are not such states. At no time was Consul Callahan involved in the writing of this article and was not even made aware of it until I informed him of my participation, by which point, the article had already been released to the public.
Finally, by stating that my interview was inflammatory and slanderous, they call into question the character of not only my person, who has ever been a friend to the Austenasian people, but also that of Karnia-Ruthenia, which has up to this point, remained relatively isolated from this entire shameful episode; the Bannerman, which has always reported relatively unbiased and truthful micronational news; Jordan Brizendine, the editor-in-chief of the Bannerman; and Consul Callahan, the elected leader of Delvera who has done many great things for his nation, the Confederation, and the community during his tenure. This behavior is shameful and insulting in the highest order and it would behoove the Austenasian Times to print a redaction to their previous article and issue an apology to all parties for which their efforts to save face and keep their pride have harmed the diplomatic process and invariably caused damage to the very institution which they espouse to support.
The spirit of micronationalism, however that may be achieved, can only be vindicated through diplomatic unity and the global collaboration, with such petty diplomatic squabbles for something as simple as pride shaming the entire collective enterprise. The Austenasian Emperor should know better, as he was one of the founding voices, alongside myself, for such policies in the first place.
It is my sincere hope that this article properly summarizes and explains my opinion on the crisis and defends the integrity of my statements which were so cruelly and flagrantly assaulted by the Austenasian Times and, by extension, their government, in an effort to inform the wider micronational community as to the realities of the situation.
It is only with the truth as our weapon and a firm sense of reality as our shield, that disingenuity and conflict be slain. Diplomacy demands reality and a news media which profits in fantasy is undeserving of its qualifications.
Author: Rev. Joseph Marx