At the Frequesuan Neutrality Conference
"Subjugation, or Stabilization if you so prefer, includes removal of the hostile elements to peace. You have, for the last year or so, attacked and defeated armies belonging to the "errant warlord of the quarter". While we do not object to destroying the random warlord, you ultimately have to form some government anyhow, puppet or no. And obviously, I will have a hard time believing you would allow elements of the militants unfriendly the FTO, which you just fought a war with, into the government in question. Especially when these militants have no incentive to work with their rivals. Political parties will no doubt form around the militant factions, or whatever was left of the past government. I find the latter rather impossible since the past government was obviously a failure, and lost the mandate of the people."
“Insofar as we are concerned anyone who manages to gain the support of the people can run for parliament. Of course, we do not believe for a second that the people of the CFR will elect the very tyrants who have ruthlessly exploited and suppressed them for decades. We are confident they will make the right choice -- the choice for peace.
You see, Mr. Exarch, we are not interested in creating more potential trouble. We take the long view. Take the peace treaty between Sabika, Omago and Coilerburg – did we ask for excessive reparations? Did we push those nations into conceding too much? No. We offered a fair deal, we persuaded Coilerburg to formally apologize for former transgressions, and we did all that in the hope of fostering long term peace, rather than long-term grudges.
If we do that there, with those nations whose militaries could and did pose a problem to the FTO, is it so hard to believe that we would do the same in the CFR? We even raised the possibility of membership of the two former aggressor nations in the FTO. Would we do that when our goal was subjugation? I think not.”
We have never condoned the Astarian slavery, and no doubt Shroomania has done a bad job in ... divesting its holdings. With regard to Colonialism, you have yet to justify to me why it is bad, especially when it occasionally isn't a result of annexation but rather the establishment of a colony from the mother country. Many nations even right now were a product of either merger of various mini-states, or colonisation of surrounding lands. Many cities in Byzantium were colonies that have since grew in size.
“At all times a colonist should have the same duties and rights as the citizen of the mother country. At all times a colony should be free to choose its own path. And at no time should the establishment of a colony infringe upon the rights of people who were already there. Time and again we have seen throughout the course of history that these things are very rarely, and indeed perhaps never, the case.
What we see almost every time a colony is established, is that the natives are exploited, the colonists denied their inalienable rights, that the natural resources of the colony are plundered, that mercantilism takes hold, and that the whole sorry business either collapses, revolts, or a combination of all the above.
Considering that, and the history of our continent, we hardly think it irrational to oppose colonialism. It may at one point have been the way of things, but a great many things have changed since those days. Your argument that it has always been so therefore does not strike us as compelling. If mankind had used that yardstick to judge all things, we would still be worshipping the sun.”
As for the CSR, last I checked, the PRSF military government collapsed due in no small part to the war with Tian Xia and its colony. Their military mutinied. If you want to complain about that, take it up with Tian Xia. Quite frankly, we fail to see why you are pulling a fuss on the imposition of order in the PRSF. If you are concerned that CSR might try to bludgeon you with its superior military, then I would suggest you enter an agreement with the CSR to refrain from positioning strategic weapons and too many troops without your express permission. Though whether or not the CSR will agree is up for grabs. I won't be surprised the hardliners would view this as ridiculous, especially when this was CSR territory. Whatever it is, I'll leave it to you to work with CSR."
“Mr. Exarch insofar as I know CSR naval infantry disembarked in the PRSF capital city of Livorno and forcefully overthrew the local government, to replace it with their puppets, who then promptly sued for annexation by the CSR. I’m sorry, but we cannot recognize that as the legitimate will of the people. And still we come to this conference, we state our position -- which has been public knowledge ever since the CSR take-over -- expecting to be able to reach some sort of diplomatic compromise, but what happens? They walk out on us.
Perhaps your experiences on the Old Continent are different, but to us, it would appear these people clearly cannot be reasoned with. They seem to expect us to cave in to their demands, yet offer nothing in return. So at this stage, we can’t ‘work’ with them, because there is nothing to ‘work’ with.”
Not everyone on the Old Continent indulged in colonialism, most certainly not Byzantium. The closest we got was sending that tiny expedition to deal with corsairs that dominated San Dorado some centuries ago. That stingy Emperor back then didn't want to spend too much money after loosing enough money to the corsairs. Unlike the Shroomanians, we had enough land to the east to manage, much less an ocassional war with the Caliphates.
“Your point is cordially taken.”
As for you revolting, which we figured would have happened anyway, given the Shroomanian usual obsession with money, since the lot of you decided by fiat to do so, by all means. We obviously did not condone the deliberate exploitation of the natives by the Shroomanians.
Follow the lead of Shroomania? Surely you jest. Most of us were busy minding our own backyard for the last century, and aside from the wars with Khitan and the Shadow Empire, none of us, have so much as bothered with Frequesue.
“Not then, no. We’d rather it had stayed that way. Unfortunately, your close ally seems intent on making a scene ‘round our parts. I’m not blaming Byzantium specifically, I’m talking general interest.”
Yet you are certainly unhappy that Westchester did not only reject, but instead rejoined Tian Xia. The sheer amount of diplomatic protests over the deployment of Tian Xia military units were deafening.
“Of course we are unhappy. We are deeply unhappy indeed. If the war had remained a local affair, it would have been more or less cordially resolved in the way the Sabika-Omago-Coilerburg situation was resolved. Instead, we have two imperial navies squaring off in our southern seas, followed by the annexation of the PRSF by the CSR, and the re-establishment of colonial rule in Westchester.
In the light of that, we think we have more than enough reason to be unhappy. Yet the fact remains, we still do not insist
anyone do anything.”
Your ally, Indophal, however, has been quite vocal on the issue of USSR annexing the Border states, going as far as condemning the annexation. We understand that not everyone in the border states will want to rejoin the USSR, but quite frankly, the faster the problem is nipped at the bud, the better. No doubt one of the reasons why not everyone is happy, is because they were benefiting from the existing power structure, and the attempts to wipe out corruption left several unhappy. Of course some were happier not under the yoke of the Shadow Empire for whatever reason they can think. These failed states will be more problematic as the time goes by, and Zagor Empire is an example of how bad things can get. In any case, the USSR isn't draconian in its social policies as it was during the Shadow Empire, but it can certainly improve. Anyway, King Paul is making sure that USSR doesn't overstep its limits.
The President shrugged again. “If you have an issue with the Indhopali reaction, take it up with President Ahten. Hell, I’ll talk to him if that’s what you’re asking. He does not speak for the FTO in voicing his disapproval of the USSR’s actions, although obviously we are happy he blew off the CSR as a result. Secretary-General Shady seems moderate enough and willing to listen to his allies, and the issue of the failed states on your doorstep seems to be resolved. All things considered, the situation strikes my experts at DEPICOR as a net gain. We’re not objecting.”
Technically, as you also know, taxes have to be progressive, not everyone has to be taxed at the same rate.
The President smiled briefly. “We don’t do income taxes, Mr. Exarch. Instead, our citizen-shareholders are paid dividends.”
Instability is one thing, but a recession will be hard to bite. Indophal is falling into recession right now due to overexpenditure.
“And we’d be willing to assist them overcome it. Falling into recession is in no-ones interest, although we have good hopes military expenditure will go down this fiscal year, a trend that will hopefully continue into the following year. Still, you raise a fair point, which needs to be addressed in the future. And we will, in due time.”