We know that just before the Cataclysm, Garrosh launched attack on Ashenvale. And we are told, that Alliance, invaded Barrens in hopes to relieve the Northern front opened in Ashenvale. Yet, it is not the Alliance forces we see in Barrens. There are no troops wearing emblems of golden lion on a blue field. All the "Alliance" soldiers in Barrens are wearing Theramore tabards. They are wearing the golden anchor on a field of white. The invaders of Barrens are, until now neutral and always arguing for peace, military forces of Theramore. Military forces under direct command of Jaina.
Jaina knew Grom. She saw Grom after he drank the blood of Mannoroth in Ashenvale. She helped Thrall save Grom. It was that act that sealed the peace between Jaina and Thrall. Was she so afraid of Garrosh, that she saw only his father when she thought of him? Yet thinking like that is very uncharacteristic of Jaina. She never took anyone at the face value. She always believed in good in everyone. She was always willing to give second chance. To Horde, to Arthas, to Varian. Always.
Make no mistake. Theramore is a colony. An independent colony that does not answer to anyone. It is, as colonies used to be in times of Magna Graecia. With that in mind, no matter what could Varian possibly say or even urge Jaina to do, it is at the end her own decision that matters. It was not Garrosh's action to fight a total war against the Night Elves in Ashenvale, that made Jaina open the second front in Barrens. Orcs and Night Elves slaughtered each other for years to no end when Thrall was in charge. And Jaina never attacked back then. Because she wanted peace.
It was Jaina Proudmoore that drew first blood. Her forces invaded Barrens and forced Garrosh to rethink his strategy. It was this action that made Garrosh realise that Theramore as it was, was a constant threat to stability of the Horde in central Kalimdor. A threat he was more than willing to address and take care of. And no matter all the stupid things Garrosh ever did as politician, he always was great military leader. That winter campaign in Northrend under the mentorship of great Varok Saurfang really paid off. He developed into a tactical genious.
Garrosh understood very well that fighting a war on too many ends, means losing the war. So he decided to deal with Theramore in one fell swoop. While the Horde forces lay siege to Theramore he left the port open. Alliance was free to bring in more troops, even to evacuate the civilians. Even though the latter one, from Alliance standpoint would probably be seen as a ruse, trying to slaughter innocent.
Garrosh was too cunning to ever focus all his military might on civilians. On non-combatants. Consider this. If Garrosh bombs Theramore as he did, with numerous civilians witnessing the horror of destruction it will destroy the morale of Alliance troops. Those ships could only go home to Stormwind. Once in Stormwind, you have all these doomsayers who will ensure in their ignorance the drop of morale.
Unlike Horde, where military is life and law, where most of Horde nations live for war, humans in particular are weary of every move they make. Every soldier they send to the front will think twice if it is really worth it. What is the worst that can happen if he deserts? Are they going to throw him in jail. Fine, he is still alive. He can also escape and join the Defias Brotherhood. Robbing the poor farmers is far better alternative to fighting the full might of Horde War Machine. It is after all Every Man for Himself.
Garrosh's decision to drop an arcane bomb on Theramore proved to be correct. He destroyed the threat of Alliance. He obliterated any attempt of another attack from the east. He cut any remaining troops of the Alliance and Theramore in the Barrens and Stonetalon Mountains from support. He took out the upper echelon of Alliance military that was sent to help Theramore. Flawless victory.
Well, one flaw. Jaina survived. She witnessed the attack, survived to tell the tale and swore vengeance. If Jaina drew first blood before, destroying her city drove her over the edge completely. She was ready to drown Orgrimmar with a tsunami. It is to note, that Jaina in that moment was ready to destroy the whole Alliance naval fleet that sailed for Orgrimmar. She was prepared to sacrifice everything to sate her thirst for vengeance. She was barely persuaded not to do it, and after that she was appointed as the leader of Kirin Tor. Another neutral city.
Part I: Neutrality of Jaina Proudmoore
Part I: Neutrality of Jaina Proudmoore