That is about the only word I can use to sum up the collection of commentary, hubris, naiveté, spin, propaganda and flat out lies written about the "war" in New Eden. Such is the confusion that there is not even agreement on the name to call the latest bout of mass conflict.
Indeed the array of arguments and commentary about the unfolding events based on the same observable facts is a source of wonder in and of itself.
It reminds me of a scene out of the movie Annie Hall (around 6:20 in the tl;dr version here although watching the whole thing to me was worth it!):
"[Alvy and Annie are seeing their therapists at the same time on a split screen]
Alvy Singer's Therapist: How often do you sleep together?
Annie Hall's Therapist: Do you have sex often?
Alvy Singer: [lamenting] Hardly ever. Maybe three times a week.
Annie Hall: [annoyed] Constantly. I'd say three times a week."
This suggest that readers should take what an author says in the context of said authors personal erm... context - present author included - for even assuming one was not engaging in malice - blatant propaganda spin or lies, one is still bound to one's own prejudice and biases. Caveat Lector!
A side effect of all this excitement seems to have created an even more fertile environment for the normally ubiquitous Internet Tough Guy - numbers in comment sections are reaching epidemic proportions!!.
VFK by next week here, retaking all "our" sov in an hour there. Both sides victorious before Christmas! Fabulous entertainment!
Through all this one might ask, who really is winning, who is losing, and what in indeed is the war about. Alas, your author does not know (not that it stops him from having a guess and making a fool of himself anyway - see below).
The winning and losing on the face of it is easy to track. The kill boards seems to suggest that most large battle objectives as well as ISK metrics are won by the MBC.
Dotlan does a fair job of the number of systems/stations corporations/alliances the Emporium has lost.
All a one way street yes?
Except it may not be. Yes spin abounds but with the Sovless Aggression writ the mittani hit on a couple of very important points.
1)With the advent of the Aegis expansion, sov became more difficult to defend. Yes if you live there your corp/alliance can fend off a simple trollceptor, but your corp/alliance does not stand a chance if TWO corps or alliances show up... Numbers still matter more than one would think.
2)The Fabian defence, burnout and the numbers game. As time goes by, burnout sets in - as one attacker recently posted passive regen seems to be one of the attackers greatest enemies. Of course burnout works both ways, but this does seem to suggest it is affecting attackers more at this stage. Of course this will work AGAINST the CFC if they were to retake sov.
3)The most crucial of all though is that the benefits of holding sov is not clear. Groups like PL and NC have abandoned sov. In circumstances like the present position the CFC find sov is a burden. The empire is too big to defend. As the sov empire contracts the problem contracts. Indeed burden of defence will then move over to the takers of said sov. One can imagine that it would go to the MBC - a move that would eventually put them in the same situation that the CFC now finds itself in.
From the CFC perspective (tin foil and spin alert!) Losing all sov may unshackle it from a burden and thus putting it on equal footing with PL and NC!
Of course the MBC also have a number of valid points.
1)Sentiment: The evil goons narrative, and the utterings of Sion and the matani during what I call the kickstarter of hubris. Add the latest leaks (courtesy Lemba) where the mitani seems ok with the idea of throwing all the other CFC alliances to the wolves in the hope that their members will join GSF. Personally I find this plausible as situations like the difficulties with CO2 will not arise. In addition many CFC alliances are defunct anyway (sort of why the Bastion was created) - why not have them in GSF? What all this does is load the sentiment against the CFC. Friends come and go, but enemies accumulate!
2)House of cards - the idea that the CFC is hollowed out and contains a large portion of miners and ratters. With the advent of Aegis and ADM's these guys are needed by any coalition that wants to hold sov. As such mere member count in an alliance may be misleading! As such the CFC has much more space than its PVP'ers can actually defend.
Now I have no idea which way the war will go. Whether Kirith Kodachi is right and the MBC will march to Deklein, whether Jester is right (although he did hedge his bets with three possible outcomes - inclusive of Goons defending Deklein and winning the war).
Personally I don't know whether Deklein would be successfully defended, whether Deklein will be defended at all or whether Deklein is already conceded by the CFC (like almost all their other sov) and they are for the time being becoming a low sec entity.
What I do know is that the wheel turns. The CFC was dominant for a long time and perhaps this is the time for them to be trampled into dust. Perhaps they will merely ride the cycle to the bottom and back to the top. If the the CFC's time has indeed come, will the MBC merely take their place? Like ElleRisalo comments on reddit: "Burn the fields, Salt the earth, fuck the skulls....MBC literally new CFC already."
Plus les choses changent plus elles restent les mêmes.
The nature of EVE is such that it is very very difficult to really "kill" off an enemy in game. Hell war proponents may find that "forever" turns out to be a long long time. Promises to do "whatever it takes" may turn out to be promises too tough to keep.
Which brings me to victory conditions for the current engagement: What kind of force the CFC is after the war.
For the CFC. Survival as any sort of major power in the game of EVE would be counted as a win. If significant power blocks will regard them as worthwhile to be feared or hunted.
For the MBC the opposite.
I think it all hinges on the capital fleet. It is not by accident that CO2 was accused of a capital trap conspiracy. It is not an accident that PL/NC is continually baiting CFC capitals in the hope of an escalation. Nor is the march of 500 MBC suppers, dreads and titans to Villasen yesterday.
Forget everything else. Every station, every IHUB, all the sov. All that can be recovered if needed/wanted. Replacing heavy assets without friends or sov? Not so much.
Remember folks - you heard it here first!!*
* That last bit by way of humour and a dig at all the (other ;-) ) self aggrandising bloggers and commenter's that make off the perfectly obvious and mundane to be profundity - and are wrong - just like me.