Since I was elected as General Secretary of the 1st Central Committee of the Erusian National Communist Party at our historic 1st National Congress in November 2008, I have been no stranger to political controversy and to public criticism. Scarcely a week goes by when I do not face criticism from one prominent opponent or another, be they Erusian or not - indeed, I have come to find it exceptionally disappointing if I do not have any interest anectodes about such criticisms to share with my colleagues at each plenary session of the Central Committee. It should not come as a surprise to the readers of this open letter, then, that I was not surprised by the sudden flurry of criticism directed against me by the two leaders of the Socialist Union of Nemkhavia and Pristinia, Mark Dresner and his namesake Mister Meehan.
I have, then, a great deal of experience when it comes to preparing rebuttals for the frequent public criticism I face. Indeed, there are those who would say it has become part of my public image - it is not uncommon for me to produce lengthy, aggressive responses to those who choose to vocally voice their issues with me. It is a quirk of my character that those within Erusia herself are more than familiar with, a fact a number of opposition leaders can confirm having been the victims of many of my counter-attacks when I sat as a member of the National People's Assembly. There is no doubt in my mind that both Mister Dresner and Mister Meehan are hoping, perhaps praying if they are so inclined, that I will provide them with this kind of response - something they can use to reassert what an incredible danger I am to the international community, a piece they can use as ammunition to support their argument that I am a unilateral dictator who cares not for the interests of the People. I must, with some feeling of regret, disappoint them.
There is much in this new Socialist Union that I can criticise, and much more than concerning the political party that governs it. I could choose to attack Dresner and Meehan personally, focusing on the flaws I can perceive in their respective characters and striking where their political armour is at its weakest. Alternatively, I could delve into the history of this community and find an abundance of material to use against both Pristinia and Nemkhavia. If I were to seek to appeal to my largely nationalistic base of support within the Democratic People's Republic, I could go so far as to compare our two states and attempt to prove the superiority of this one over theirs. I could quote the letters sent to my office on a regular basis by active citizens protesting against the condemnation of me and our government, including a series of letters offering support to me and to the Central Committee from four delegates to our forthcoming National Congress, three of who are known moderate figures. I could do all of these to construct an aggressive and brutal response to the criticism levied against me. I sincerely hope that neither Mister Dresner nor Mister Meehan will be too disappointed when I say that I refuse to do so.
Both of these men are under the impression that I have for a long time been their enemy. It is certainly true that there is a history of mutual animosity between us, and that our nations have hardly enjoyed the strongest bilateral relations in micronational history. Given this history, and - with respect - the poor understanding these two individuals have of our political system, it is not surprising that they have come to believe this. I do not deny that it is in part my own fault, nor have I ever denied this, as those who attended the 4th National Congress of the Communist Party in August 2009 can testify to. I do not deny the offences that Mister Meehan accuses me of in his speech. There is in particular an example from his speech I would like to use to highlight the nature of our relationship.
As Meehan says, when Nemkhavia adopted Monarchism as its guiding ideological tendency and Meehan established himself - through an electoral process - as the King of the reformed nation, I immediately dispatched a letter of protest and publically condemned the move. The letter was prepared quickly and dispatched by my office at the first opportunity, a swift reaction to a situation that - quite naturally - provoked outrage in a staunchly Socialist nation like Erusia. I do not doubt for a second that to this day Mister Meehan believes that this is a letter I prepared to reflect my own personal viewpoint, that the action I took as the representative of the Democratic People's Republic was the only course of action I considered viable. The day after this incident, I was asked to attend - as I am from time to time in my capacity as General Secretary - the 8th Plenary Session of the Communist Party's Central Advisory Committee, a body from which an estimated forty percent of government policy originates. The members of this body collectively proposed harsh retribution against Nemkhavia, calling for fast and routine condemnation and a tremendous international campaign against them - this was a plan that enjoyed the support of a majority of the members of the 4th Central Committee. Being the most hated enemy of Mark Meehan and his nation, I did precisely what every good enemy should when this policy was formally submitted to me for approval the next day - I vetoed it. Or if I am to be precise, I refused to allocate time for debate in the Central Committee.
I can count at least twelve other instances in which I have taken action to prevent the Democratic People's Republic taking more serious measures against either Nemkhavia or Pristinia. Perhaps the most notable of these was the ultimately successful Foreign Relations Act 2010, a legislative bill that went to division earlier in this year and was narrowly rejected. Prior to its rejection, I personally ensured that the bill was amended to ommit a series of clauses that would have made any future possible reconciliation with Pristinia, Nemkhavia or A1 impossible. Whether or not Mister Dresner and Meehan choose to believe me at this time is irrelevant - there are others who can speak out to support me, and if both of these men are so curious, documentation that they can access if they are prepared to go through the proper application process, though I cannot garauntee that the competent authorities would not refuse them access. Should either Dresner or Meehan find themselves wondering why they never heard of these events, I would remind them both that unlike other nations, the internal workings of our government are kept a secret - and the principles of democratic centralism mean failed or rejecting policies are scarcely discussed in public.
On my orders, the National People's Executive Commission for Foreign Affairs has all ready released e-mail exchanges that highlight the Democratic People's Republic of Erusia has been perfectly prepared to pursue strong bilateral relations with Pristinia - and to even offer them unlimited assistance wherever it may have been needed. We have never withdrawn this policy, yet Mister Dresner has said accepting this offer of friendship would be a "step in the wrong direction" - he has provided no reasons explaining why it would be a mistake to end this state of mutual hostility and instead strive to find common ground upon which peace can be built. Indeed, his wording implies that by somehow seeking a peaceful solution to our differences, he would be bringing disaster upon his nation or the community. I cannot fathom what would make him believe such a thing. Despite what he may choose to think to justify his continued aggression, I remind him that the offer to end mutual hostilities and work together for a better future for both our nations shall remain open. I have no desire to continue this dispute for any longer.
I extend the same offer to Mister Meehan, recognising that irrespective of what the official postings of these gentlemen may be, they are effectively equals in this Union and must be treated as such. Mister Meehan asserts in his speech that he is a "an advocate of peace at all times", an opinion I had always shared, though one that recent events are quickly leading me to question. I am, then, offering to this advocate an opportunity to secure the peace that he preaches - a chance for negotiation without preconditions, for a blank slate from which we can begin anew and leave behind the dark shadows of our shared past. This is not an offer that will be revoked so long as I continue to serve as General Secretary, and if it is accepted in that time, all three candidates in the ongoing Communist Party leadership election have assured me that they will see the peace and reconciliation process through to the end.
This is an offer that I sincerely hope that the new Socialist Union of Pristinia and Nemkhavia will accept. This young united nation continues to insist that it is a positive force in this community, one that stands for freedom and for peace. If this is truly the case, then it should fine it no trouble to accept the hand of friendship from the Democratic People's Republic. On the other hand, if - for whatever reason - the Socialist Union should continue to insist upon rejecting this offer, it would they and not Erusia who will suffer the burden of guilt for the current crisis. We are prepared to move out of the darkness and into the light of a brighter future - now Nemkhavia and Pristinia must decide if they are also.
Reply from Mark Dresner Edit
Mr. Lethler, first of all I would thank you for this generous offer. This persistency and consistency in your attitude towards the Socialist Union shows that you are indeed interested in negotiations and peace, unlike the other current victim of our rantings and ravings, Xank. Now, to begin with, I must have made myself unclear with what I meant by the statement that commencing relations was a mistake in the first place. In fact, yes, I didn't even mention it. The mistake made was by me: I should have consulted the people, via plebiscite, whether to open diplomatic relations or not. Sterask and his men accused me of being a dictator, the hardline Dresnerists accused me of being an idiot, and the ones who frolicked were the people in between.
There we had a half half destribution of the latter two, and basically what happened is that the Dresnerists became hypocrites and asked me to arrest the people in between. A stalinoid measure, as I found, and so instead I reprimanded my party men. The thing is, we had a people torn apart (ignoring the Steraskists, who will always attempt to tear us apart), and so when no response came from you, we decided to leave it at that. Can you now understand my reasoning? What would you have chosen in my place: Ignoring the people and risking the safety of your nation, or just forgetting about the whole matter to decrease damage to the integrity of your nation? I thought so.
However, I believe the people have calmed down a little. In the past few weeks I think they have realised how valuable peace is. In a message to them (albeit regarding Xank), I reminded them of what happened in the Pristinian-Sandum war. Many of the older citizens (of citizenship, not of age) remembered these dark times for the micronational world. It is how I convinced them not to promote war with Xank, a savage child micronation as many have called it in the past few days. But Xank is off-topic. What I mean to say is that this probably opened their eyes toward relations with Erusia. Ignoring Sterask, that is. And to properly ignore him I will not engage a plebiscite this time either, so that he may not even raise his voice to create dichotomy. I am entitled to act on my own accord what Foreign Relations are concerned, anyway.
So yes, Mr. Lethler, I accept your offer. I would be glad if it were possible for your government to create a Google Mail account. Thereby, we could use Google Talk which allows group chats to be easily set up, so that I and Mr. Meehan may simultaneously carry out the negotiations with you on a chat basis, instead of relying on emails which, as the issue with your email not arriving showed, can be quite "harmful", if I may say so.
Mark Dresner President of the SUNP