Operation Electrolight (April Fool's 2011)

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Operation Electrolight (April Fool's 2011)
Date1 April 2011 (de jure)
20 March 2011 - 1 April 2011 (de facto)
Location
Status Joke
Belligerents
Flag stcharlie.png St.Charlie A1flag2.png FRA1 Andersonian Flag.png Sirocco
Commanders and leaders

Flag stcharlie.png Alexander Reinhardt
Flag stcharlie.png Sylvester Andrews

Flag stcharlie.png Torquato Longo

A1flag2.png Gordon Freeman
A1flag2.png Mars McTavish

A1flag2.png James Wilary

Andersonian Flag.png Daniel Anderson
Andersonian Flag.png Andrea Carrols

Andersonian Flag.png Jesse Coles
Strength
15 Unknown 10 (estimated)

Operation Electrolight is the name given to a fictional war as part of an April Fools' Joke on April 1, 2011. The initial belligerents were the Federal Republic of St.Charlie and the Federated Republics of A1, who officially started during the first hours of April Fools' Day, following what was reported to be a violent argument between St.Charlian Prime Minister Nicolò Alvisi, and Commander of the A1 Defence Forces James Erkenfield Wilary that took place on the evening of March 29.

The proper origin of the argument was unknown to both national press agencies at the time, yet St.Charlie and A1 were reported to have had numerous arguments in the days before the state of war regarding intermicronational security, the growing number of complaints to the MicroWiki Administration, the different opinions on the election of James von Puchow as MicroWiki Administrator, and the recent discovery on the MicroWiki Forum of several IP addresses that could have reportedly lead to a comeback of Erusian politician and known sockpuppeteer, Robert Lethler. Sources claimed that the two nations showed different opinions on all the issues raised, which resulted in a state of cold war which had been in place since March 20, 2011.

Prior to the conflict and the cold war, the government of A1 asserted that their possible departure to the Micras sector threatened the security of the MicroWiki Community, stating that "with St.Charlie as the only, real superpower around, the Community could lose its core values".[1] Following the unofficial state of cold war between the two nations, on March 23, the St.Charlian Parliament secretly discussed and passed "Resolution 41", officially establishing "Operation Panorama", an executive order intended to give absolute powers and responsibilities to a small group of politicians and military officers in case of a war with A1. Coincidentally, in the Federated Republics, on March 26, Gordon Freeman and James Wilary formed the First Directorate, an assembly of standing politicians led by Mars McTavish which automatically, and secretly, took power and started organising a possible attack to the St.Charlian state.

On March 27, Freeman contacted the Ambassadorial Council in order to organize a possible reconciliation between the two countries, "in order to save the Community and prevent a Black April".[2] Two days after, St.Charlian Minister of Foreign Affairs James Lunam and James Wilary carried out diplomatic talks, but were interrupted by the arrival of Prime Minister Alvisi who demanded an immediate apology by the A1 Government. The same was later asked by Prime Minister McTavish. Later discussions between Alvisi and Wilary in private froze the diplomatic relations between St.Charlie and A1. Declarations of war and video messages by Alexander Reinhardt and Gordon Freeman were followed, and a state of war was officially declared, active from midnight of April 1st.

The name comes from the A1 musical group of the same name of which McTavish is part of. She apparently received news of the war while rehearsing with the other members.


A1-St.Charlian relations

While A1 was founded in January 2008 as the Most Glorious People's Republic of A1, St.Charlie was established following a revolution in November of the same year. However, relations between the two countries were established when St.Charlie lately joined the Organisation of Active Micronations on May 11, 2010.[3] Despite the current state of war, this is the first time that a conflict is started without any previous evident signs of hostility. During many other conflicts and large micronational issues between 2009 and 2011, the two countries have often shown signs of agreement, despite the absence of a proper diplomatic treaty between the two nations. Officially, the two micronations started to collaborate after the collapse of the United Micronations (2008) in September 2009 and also indirectly through Reinhardt and Freeman as MicroWiki Administrators. The first signs of mistrust and hostility began to appear only a few days before the war, escalating into the current conflict.

Operation Panorama and the War Council

The Military Commission, from left to right: Sylvester Andrews, Alexander Reinhardt and Torquato Longo.

Operation Panorama, officially "GA Resolution 41" (Italian: "Assemblea Generale, Proposta 41"), is the name given to an executive order of the St.Charlian Parliament which established the St.Charlian War Council (Italian: "Consiglio di Guerra St.Charliano"), a committee composed by military officers and politicians whose aim is to "ensure the safeguard of the Federal Republic and the Commonwealth against any attack by the Federated Republics of A1 and its allies".[4] The document, which should have become effective only in case of an attack by A1, was countersigned by President Lisa Cassidy on the evening of March 31, who also nominated the members of the War Council. Those became responsible for all foreign, military and political activities hours before the war declaration.

The War Council is divided in "Internal" and "Military" affairs, the latter being the most important. The Internal Affairs Commission, led by Nicolò Alvisi is composed by James Lunam, responsible for diplomatic talks, Leonard Von Sternberg and Christian Guariberti, head of the Homeland Security Board. The Military Commission, is simultaneously led by Alexander Reinhardt, Admiral General, Sylvester Andrews, former NPSC personal advisor and now Director-General of the Army Cyber Command (SCACC), and Torquato Longo, SCAF General officer, now head of the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SCSDDC).

Karifa Sanfo, first Chief of Staff of the St.Charlie Armed Forces and later diplomat for the Ambassadorial Council opposed the idea and denounced the Alvisi Administration, labelling Operation Panorama as a "shameless method to establish a dictatorship". He was subsequently removed from office. The news was reported on the St.Charlian Observer, however, it was labelled as a simple "retirement".[5]

First Directorate

The First Directorate is the current central policymaking and governing body of the Federated Republics of A1. It is led by Prime Minister Mars McTavish and made up of the most important members of A1. The Directorate was established on March 26, 2011, in order to ensure a quick response to any action by the St.Charlian Government and replaced the former political leadership of the Federated Republics, becoming the only governing body inside A1.[6] It is formed by the most notable members of the A1 Government: Mars McTavish, Gordon Freeman, James Wilary, and Lord Clerregge. Octavius Spondalock was also included in the beginning, as Director of Propaganda and Media Affairs, but resigned as a protest. Reports claim his citizenship was later revoked by the A1 Defense Force.

The power of the Directorate resides largely in the fact that its members generally simultaneously held previous positions within the Federated Republics state positions. As a consequence, no real opposition was found when it took over. In addition, some Directorate members are well known within the Community. How the Directorate works internally is unclear, but it appears that the full Directorate has met almost everyday since its establishment. Decisions are made by consensus rather than by majority vote.

Conflict

It is known that current MicroWiki Administrators and the Federal Commonwealth of Sirocco were aware of such situation days before the conflict. Siroccan Premier Daniel Anderson denounced a possible "growth of tensions" between the two nations on March 29, but such claims were denied by both A1 and St.Charlian officials.

Despite these denials, acts of hostility started unofficially from March 29, when the last official conversation between St.Charlian and A1 officials took place on Skype. During this conversation, James Lunam, Foreign Minister of St.Charlie, and James Wilary attempted to prevent the conflict by discussing the possibility of a reconciliation. However, during the conversation, St.Charlian Prime Minister Nicolò Alvisi demanded to be invited to the conversation with the intention to ask for an official apology on behalf of the A1 Government. Mars McTavish was also invited, and an argument between the two Prime Ministers soon followed. Following this, Lunam left the conversation, together with McTavish, with the two politicians leaving the conversation as a result of the heated argument.

On March 31, Alexander Reinhardt on behalf of the St.Charlian government, published the official war declaration on the St.Charlie Broadcasting Network. Reinhardt denounced an attack by the opponent and confirmed an official state of war from midnight of April 1. Gordon Freeman replied through a video address and claimed that the St. Charlie Armed Forces attacked and invaded A1 territory first, calling Reinhardt's video "propaganda".

Casualties

During the response to the St. Charlie invastion by the A1 Defence Force, two St.Charlie Border Guards were injured after a skirmish took place. No A1 citizens were injured, but it is not known the exact nature of the injuries received, nor what happened to them afterwards.

Consequences in the MicroWiki Community

Due to the time difference between District and Astolbia and the events preceding the official "Operation Electrolight", it's almost impossible to determine when the conflict started. However, from the reactions encountered by few members that became aware of the conflict before the publication of the MicroWiki article could estimate the beginning of the war to a date between March 25 and April 1. Those who became somehow aware of the conflict before any other were Egtavia, Landashir, Sirocco and Yabloko, and were those who suffered the most from the hostile situation.

Landashir

Following discovery of the anger over his win in the 2011 March Admin Election, Premier James von Puchow declared that the tensions that broke out were "simply petty and frankly disgusting" in a press conference held in Sycamore Booker. The Community of Landashir decided to suspend all ties with the Government of A1 and the St. Charlian Government, furthering the already perceived tensions between A1 and Landashir and threatening the application of Landashir into the St. Charlian Commonwealth.

It was never confirmed if, when national journalists asked the Premier whether Landashir would enter any armed conflict, von Puchow immediately walked out of the press conference in anger, due to his pacifist stance.

Sirocco

After having lost the administrator election to von Puchow on March 15, 2011, Premier Anderson of Sirocco had become somewhat critical of von Puchow, and indeed was keeping a close eye on his actions. His storming out of a press conference and his refusal to mediate the situation on March 29, 2011 came at great expense to his image, and questions began being raised by Anderson as to the apparent weakness of administrator von Puchow.

Sirocco had been shocked at the Socialist victory in St.Charlie on December 31, 2010, and despite diplomatic relations being established on January 15, 2011, there was little contact with the Socialist regime. This was poorly received in Sirocco, who denounced the current regime as "rude and pig-headed"

In addition to this, the refusal of A1 First Secretary Gordon Freeman to return to MicroWiki after the Siro-Zealandian War and the subsequent fall of disgraced Sebastian Linden was seen as a weak point in Sirocco, and subsequent confusion and disorder on MicroWiki was attributed to Freeman's withdrawal from MicroWiki affairs, which led to the election of James von Puchow to adminship.

Questions were raised in Alston as to why A1 had so much influence despite not being a MicroWiki state, and after discussion with Elizabeth Pountney, Andrea Carrols and Jesse Coles, two of Anderson's most-trusted ministers, it was decided to formulate a plan to elevate Sirocco's standing within the community while lowering that of A1 and St.Charlie "to a more reasonable level".

Yabloko

You cannot forget it. Just think about what we're seeing every single day because of this. Lost, this is what we are now due to our simple lack of diplomacy. The issue must be solved as soon as possible, this is what we must do. Game is set, now we must go and win it. But first, read the first word of each sentence that I just said.

— Aldrich Lucas on Operation Electrolight, 30 March 2011

The legitimacy of Yabloko's involvement in Operation Electrolight has been the subject of much debate. One immediate cause of this criticism was the timing of their intervention, coming as it did on the heels of the recent criticism of the Schneider Awards which led many critics to suspect that the intervention was an opportunistic attempt to distract the Yablokon population and the critics of leader Aldrich Lucas from the same. Some support for this hypothesis may be found in the fact that discussions on diplomacy directly replaced coverage of the Schneiders in the Yablokon forum.

There was, however, criticism from other members of the Admin staff for the way that Yabloko conducted the campaign. Sources claim that Yabloko sought to portray it as an "invisible war", trying to hide the fact two MicroWiki Administrators were at war with each other.

Egtavia

Following the tensions between the two countries, the Republic of Egtavia suffered small protests. An incident known as the Burning Toilet Paper Incident brought the Republic into the war, following an attack on the nation by a pro-A1 faction of the Provisional Government. The incident was precipitated by widespread disagreement within the government as to the stance to take on the war between St.Charlie and the Federated Republics, and ended in rolls of toilet paper insribed with the name of the Chairman of the Provisional Government, Pierre d'Égtavie, being burned in protest against the pro-St.Charlie stance of the Chairman.

Zealandia

Upon learning of the war, between two of Zealandia's allies King Anthony called an emergacy meeting of the Council of State which is still meeting. It is believed that several members of the Council have resorted to cannibalism as the meeting enters its eighth month. His Majesty at a press conference held at Hagley Cafe public berated Captain Sir Daniel Anderson who is a member of the Zealandian External Legion and Premier of Sirocco calling him an "Egg" and a "twonk" for sending Sirocco to war, King Anthony also suspened Anderson's Military Commssion saying the Royal Zealandian Army is commited to peace and the neutrality that is entrenced in the Zealandian consititution. Asked if war was a posiblity King Anthony is said to have used some foul language and thrown his bottle of Lemon and Paeroa at the reporter.

Intermicronational response

  • FlagofSandus.png Sandus: Presiding Member of the State Caucus Will Sörgel condemned both A1 and St.Charlie for their recent aggressive actions. The Member declared that he shall submit a resolution to the Caucus later this afternoon, possibly rescinding recognition to both governments, and wishes for swift arbitration between both parties, stating, "What will this show of our community, if the bastions of peace here do not abide by it?"
  • Zealandian flag.png Zealandia: HM King Anthony formally extended an offer to mediate or facilitate a peace process and diplomacy with a view to end the conflict.
  • Montoshflag.jpg Montosh: Emperor Joshua of Montosh condemned the conflict and urged other micronations not to get involved, in order not to extend the war.
  • Zonian_Flag.png Zonian Confederacy: The Confederacy questioned in public, since the very beginning, the legitimacy of the conflict.
  • Flag of Austenasia.png Empire of Austenasia: Crown Prince Jonathan of Austenasia issued the following statement: "This is either a really bad April Fools joke, a shameful attempt to get attention after Yabloko's victory in the influence survey, or blatant and worryingly uncharacteristic hypocrisy. What ever it is, I ask that all parties show restraint. Mr. Reinhardt said only recently on the forums that "[micronational warfare] offends people who have been in a real war" - if this is an April Fools joke, then I wish to express my dismay at the bad taste in which it has been done - if not, then I would like to offer mediation to bring this state of war to an end"
  • Union Against Micronational War logo.png UAMW: The Union Against Micronational War condemned the conflict and "regret that two serious and experienced micronations declared war on each other".
  • Danesland flag.png  Danesland: President James Thomson, the People's Republic of Danesland and the League of Communists of Danesland condemned the war and all nations involved for their hostile actions. The President issued the following statement: "this war is a show of poor diplomacy and micronationalism and should be condemned by all micronations. I urge all nations involved in this conflict to begin peace talks immediatly. I condemn A1, St.Charlie and Sirroco (sic) for their hostility and childesh (sic) behavior, we are supposed to be politicians and diplomats, not children".
  • National Flag of Rukora.jpg Mercury, Rukora: Joe Foxon declared to be "ashamed at the behaviour of these two powerful members of this community" and added: "I am certain that this war will not have the support of any member of this community, especially as A1 and St.Charlie have been the first to condemn war in the past".
  • Better flag ultamiya.png Ultamiya: President David Salapa abstained from condemning either side in the conflict, but said that Ultamiya had interest in watching the war closely, as "it is a rather interesting debacle" though one that may threaten the stability of the community. Likewise, Salapa affirmed he didn't allow political support to either side, as defined by the 2011 Ultamian Neutrality Act, even despite Ultamiya's stronger relations with St.Charlie.

References