[LMB] Komarr and Rho Ceta (map)

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Mon Jan 17 12:24:41 GMT 2011

> From: Tel teldreaming at gmail.com
Some snips for brevity.

> On Sun, Jan 16, 2011 at 12:54 PM, Judy R. Johnson <jrj at fidalgo.net> wrote:
> > NEW from JRJ> It does seem likely that Barrayar's diplomatic position in the
> > Nexus, coming back from absence during the TOI, is dominated by gratitude on
> > the part of everybody else in the Nexus that they did, can and will oppose
> > the Cetegandans, who resemble pre-WWII Imperial Japan in more than culture.
> > All the signs are that the Cets intended to dominate the Nexus if they
> > could, and only force would stop them. ?Barrayar was shaped by the
> > Occupation to become their equal and opposite reaction.
> Yes, but they shouldn't repeat their mistakes.
Which 'they' and which 'their' do you mean?

> > While working in the International Civil Service, I knew many people who had
> > vivid and bitter memories of the Japanese Asian conquest. ?Arrant genocide
> Mmm... but again, the Cetas aren't operating at -quite- that level of
> awful. The Cetas had more nukes. They had even nastier bioweapons.
> They had no technical limitations preventing them from, say,
> depopulating the Dendarii mountains or rendering them completely
> uninhabitable. Insofar as they didn't do that, they were actually
> holding back to an extent.
So Barrayar should be grateful for only one thermonuclear weapon and merely
five million dead after twenty grinding years of full-on warfare? Because the 
Cetas could have done worse but held back, so they weren't really that bad. 
> Komarr -itself- went to war to try to regain its independence, five
> years into Aral's reign. This wasn't an elite uprising. As Miles
> himself admits, the majority of Komarrans at that time not only wanted
> Barrayar gone, but would have been fine with putting it in a new ToI
> to achieve that. It takes some effort to earn that kind of hate.
> Aral's response to "hey, there are mass public demonstrations and a
> popular rebellion against us" is "send in the tanks". I think it is as
> reasonable to take issue with this as it is to take issue with similar
> tank-deploying in the real world.
Hang on, you've just finished saying that the Cetas weren't so bad
because they could have done worse. Aral could have blown the domes.
He didn't. He could have had sweeping executions. He didn't. He could 
have enslaved the population, removed all their rights and property, or
blasted the ports and put them into a ToI. He didn't. He put the revolt
down and then let them go back to doing what they were doing before, 
education went on, trade, self government, property was still owned by 
the original owners, their own legal system, it all went on.

Now, according to your judgement the Cetas weren't so bad because
for twenty years they attacked a totally innocent planet, killed five million
and went nuclear. Barrayar hasn't got anywhere near that, and has 
consistently used the least force, made the least disruption, preserved
a lot of their freedom and actively worked for good relations. If you're going
to make judgements on the civilisations and cultures in the Vorkosiverse, 
surely it's only valid if you use the same standards for all?
Otherwise it's too biased to be any use.

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