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The "Good" Peeps

Join us in talking discussing all things Honor, including (but not limited to) tactics, favorite characters, and book discussions.
Re: The "Good" Peeps
Post by n7axw   » Mon May 05, 2014 3:53 pm

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I know that this can only be carried so far. But I am heavily into the biblical exhortation: "Judge not and you shall not be judged." (Matt. 7:1)

I have no personal experience of war. I remember Viet Nam. We figured that we were fighing Communism. They thought they were fighting to expell foreigners and reunite their country. So who was right? Dunno. Kinda glad it's not my job to figure it out.

Don
When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
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Re: The "Good" Peeps
Post by jgnfld   » Mon May 05, 2014 4:40 pm

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Dr. Arroway wrote:...Killing, robbing and enslaving other free people, even for the purpose of "saving" your own, is still an horrific proposition...


The Chinese did it in unifying China.
The Romans did it in constructing the Roman Empire.
We did it on this very continent of North America.

It really is the way of the world. In some ways it's not even a bad thing civilization-wise. Or wasn't until multiple sides had world destroying weapons.

Of course this sort of thing can also be done through more economic means than military means and if we're going to continue as a civilization, that will have to be the larger part of the answer most times.
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Re: The "Good" Peeps
Post by runsforcelery   » Mon May 05, 2014 5:10 pm

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isaac_newton wrote:
Dr. Arroway wrote:Quite a few points raised, and even by RFC himself, which again makes me guilty of "robbing" him of precious time :oops:
Sorry folks and RFC (even though I'm sure you follow the boards out of passion!).

First of all: maybe I should have chosen my words differently. SNIP


I have to say that I have some sympathy with Dr A, even given what RFC has said.

I'd point toward Amos Parnell and Eloise P in particular.

Throughout the cannon, AP is seen as a good 'soldier' and a good man. However I'd recently re-read OBS and the prologue in particular and it rather struck me that he was clearly laying out how to conquer other systems large and small for the benefit of the Peeps, knowing full well what he was delivering those populations to and showing no particular remorse or regret.

This is the topmost soldier and right at the top of the Legislaterist tree... if not him then who else could have changed things.

I know that he paid a bitter price later on, but all sides seem to highly respect him even before that was known, and I can't quite see that's right.

On Eloise - well I'd just point out that she was a highly regarded [by St Just] & feared State Sec commissioner. Given the competition amongst that group, that seems to suggest that she must have willingly purged many navel people and their entire families, and probably many other innocents in the general population, committing them to pain, grief and death.

I do like her, but... somehow that seems to be glossed over. I try to think of similar cases, say among the SS or the NKVD, and wonder if we would think the same?


I don't think that you can put Parnell and Pritchart in the same basket, for several reasons.

Let's look at Parnell first. Parnell was the senior uniformed officer of the Peoples Navy, a member of a prominent Legislaturalist family, and the architect of at least two decades worth of "Conquistador" campaigns. He was very, very good at his job — he's the guy who got a huge chunk of his fleet out of a trap set by none other than Hamish Alexander at Yeltsin's Star — and he was still in a sufficient state of shock following the opening campaign that he didn't mount any credible resistance to Rob S Pierre and the Committee of Public Safety.

Before he was discovered alive on Cerberus, he was respected by his adversaries not because he was considered to be a great humanitarian, but because he was acknowledged as a skilled and capable strategist and tactician. During World War II, many Allied commanders respected Sepp Dietrich as a combat commander despite the fact that he was a member of the Nazi party and a personal confidant of Adolf Hitler. That doesn't mean they liked him, that they trusted him, or that they had any intention of inviting him to high tea anytime soon. It simply means that they recognized his capabilities and regarded them with the respect — and caution — they deserved.

After Parnell was discovered alive on Cerberus, as you say, he'd paid a terrible price, and he'd learned several terrible lessons. Note that even then, he couldn't "go over" to Manticore, but neither could he return to the People's Republic before Saint-Just's death. Whether he could return now, to the restored Republic, is an interesting question and one which has not been explored in the books. However, it would be a mistake to equate the Manties' current respect for his willingness to publicly denounce and oppose Saint-Just and StateSec — thereby making himself a target for assassination by StateSec — and to admit what amounted to war crimes committed by the People's Republic with their attitude towards him while he was still commanding the Peoples Navy.

Now, let's look at Pritchart. She wasn't named to her position for denouncing lots and lots of naval personnel. For that matter, she wasn't named to her position for denouncing anyone. She was considered a prize catch by Saint-Just because of her pre-Pierre affiliation with the Aprilists. The Aprilists were considered a "terrorist organization" by the Legislaturalists, but were well known for the selectivity of their targeting, which eschewed terrorist attacks on civilian or "soft" targets. They were, if you will, the "white knights" of the anti-Legislaturalist Resistance, and Pritchart was the most respected of their commanders during that time period. Think of her as the equivalent of one of the senior leaders of a successful national liberation movement who managed to conduct her war without atrocities or acts of overt terrorism and then think about how the citizens of her nation would have regarded her following the success of the liberation movement. (Perhaps a workable [although very imperfect] parallel would have been to compare her and Saint-Just to Trotsky and Lavrentiy Beria.) The point, however, is that because of how deeply she was respected by the majority of the People's Republic, Saint-Just wanted her onboard with StateSec in order to "legitimize" the SS.

Pritchart, unlike some of her more dewy-eyed fellows who believed the Promised Day had arrived, realized from the very beginning who and what Oscar Saint-Just actually was and also recognized that Pierre was probably going to resort to terror tactics. She certainly realized that the Navy had had nothing to do with the attacks on Hereditary President Harris and the rest of the Legislaturalist government but that because Pierre had fastened the guilt on the Navy, he was necessarily going to be forced to completely break the old officer corps and rebuild it with one firmly under his thumb. So when Saint-Just began "courting" her in the days immediately after the coup, she was wise enough to allow herself to be recruited. The reason she ended up as a people's commissioner in the Navy was because (1) Saint-Just genuinely believed that she was in his corner (i.e., he trusted her) and (2) the Navy quickly realized it could trust her to at least get things right, which was more than it ever trusted the vast majority of Saint-Just's people's commissioners. Because she was willing to work with the Navy, units to which she was attached had much higher success rates than other units, which meant that she didn't need to denounce naval officers or ratings to satisfy Saint-Just that she was Doing Something. The fact that she and Javier Giscard already knew one another before the coup had a lot to do with her request for service as a people's commissioner in the Navy in the first place.

This is not to say that Pritchart never denounced anyone. If, however, Saint-Just had ever carefully analyzed exactly who she was denouncing, he would have discovered that the vast majority of them — indeed, all of them — were the scum of the earth. Quite a few of them would have made good StateSec enforcers in their own rights. In fact, almost a quarter of everyone Pritchart denounced — with meticulous documentation — were StateSec personnel. In other words, she was using her position to protect and shield men and women she knew were honorable members of the military while simultaneously systematically attacking and eliminating the worst abusers of the new system.

One of the main reason she got away with it was that for all of his willingness to resort to terror and his amorality where "pragmatism" was concerned, Oscar Saint-Just was actually something of a Puritan. I believe that Victor Cachat has remarked on this at least once or twice in the books, but the fact that Pritchart was busting StateSec personnel didn't bother Saint-Just because he recognized that the people she was turning in were guilty of personally abusing their positions of power.

I trust you can see why I don't think that Parnell and Pritchart fit in the same pigeonhole either in their own lives or in the fashion in which they are regarded by their previous enemies.


"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
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Re: The "Good" Peeps
Post by pablopinzone   » Mon May 05, 2014 5:39 pm

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All I can say is 'WOW'.

More background exposition in 1 thread than some authors give in a year.

We are the luckiest readers alive.
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Re: The "Good" Peeps
Post by kzt   » Mon May 05, 2014 5:56 pm

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I don't tend to notice who wrote a post, but I was thinking as I read the part about Dietrich that this seemed to be someone who really had a great grasp on the Honorverse, then I realized who it had to be as the post continued into Pritchart. :)

Thanks.
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Re: The "Good" Peeps
Post by roseandheather   » Mon May 05, 2014 6:08 pm

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runsforcelery wrote:SNIP

The fact that she and Javier Giscard already knew one another before the coup had a lot to do with her request for service as a people's commissioner in the Navy in the first place.

SNIP


...okay, I have a lot of Thoughts about this post, most of which haven't coalesced yet (except, of course, for my ongoing desire to kiss Eloise Pritchart stupid), but I'm going to jump on this snippet like a treecat on a chipmunk.

Javier and Eloise knew each other before the Pierre coup??

Now, I've read every passage where Javier and Eloise appear together multiple times, most of them to the point of having them near-memorised, and I distinctly recall Javier not trusting Eloise one whit when she was first assigned to him. I've always assumed that they'd never met before she was assigned as his commissioner.

So.

Did he not know that Eloise Pritchart, Political Commissioner, and "Brigade Commander Delta of the Aprilists" were one and the same person?

Did he know her, but not know her, and therefore assume that she'd truly been co-opted by StateSec? (Which would, of course, have only made sense if this were the case.)

Did she deliberately maneuver herself to get specifically assigned to Giscard? (Because I wouldn't put it past her.) And if she did, was she already falling in love with him, or did that only come after they'd served together?

What was their relationship prior to their first deployment, if they had one beyond "yeah, I know that name"?

Was Giscard, who was obviously the love of her life, also the only man she'll ever love, or could she potentially fall in love again, the way Honor did after Paul?

And is RFC going to ho-hum me because the answers to this will be found in future books/short stories, assuming he answers me at all? (Hi, Your Celeryness! :mrgreen: )

THIS FANGIRL NEEDS ANSWERS. :?
~*~


I serve at the pleasure of President Pritchart.

Javier & Eloise
"You'll remember me when the west wind moves upon the fields of barley..."
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Re: The "Good" Peeps
Post by runsforcelery   » Mon May 05, 2014 6:34 pm

runsforcelery
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roseandheather wrote:
runsforcelery wrote:SNIP

The fact that she and Javier Giscard already knew one another before the coup had a lot to do with her request for service as a people's commissioner in the Navy in the first place.

SNIP


...okay, I have a lot of Thoughts about this post, most of which haven't coalesced yet (except, of course, for my ongoing desire to kiss Eloise Pritchart stupid), but I'm going to jump on this snippet like a treecat on a chipmunk.

Javier and Eloise knew each other before the Pierre coup??

Now, I've read every passage where Javier and Eloise appear together multiple times, most of them to the point of having them near-memorised, and I distinctly recall Javier not trusting Eloise one whit when she was first assigned to him. I've always assumed that they'd never met before she was assigned as his commissioner.

So.

Did he not know that Eloise Pritchart, Political Commissioner, and "Brigade Commander Delta of the Aprilists" were one and the same person?

Did he know her, but not know her, and therefore assume that she'd truly been co-opted by StateSec? (Which would, of course, have only made sense if this were the case.)

Did she deliberately maneuver herself to get specifically assigned to Giscard? (Because I wouldn't put it past her.) And if she did, was she already falling in love with him, or did that only come after they'd served together?

What was their relationship prior to their first deployment, if they had one beyond "yeah, I know that name"?

Was Giscard, who was obviously the love of her life, also the only man she'll ever love, or could she potentially fall in love again, the way Honor did after Paul?

And is RFC going to ho-hum me because the answers to this will be found in future books/short stories, assuming he answers me at all? (Hi, Your Celeryness! :mrgreen: )

THIS FANGIRL NEEDS ANSWERS. :?



Don't know if it'll be in a future book or not and I am now late for supper, so this will be VERY brief.

They knew each other through a third party who shall remain nameless at this time. Eloise was not in the habit of saying "Hey! I'm Brigade Commander Delta!" before the coup, for obvious reasons; she was "outed" when the rest of the Aprilist command --- against her advice --- came out into the open. She knew that Javier was a skilled, dedicated, and decent officer, just as she knew the officer corps was going to be purged and suspected that "collective responsibility" was on its way. She had to start her job as people's commissioner somewhere; she requested him so she could keep an eye on and protect someone she respected but did not know well. He distrusted her precisely because she had duped Saint-Just into regarding her as his fair-haired girl and most imposing trophy. Javier was smart, and if she really had signed on which Saint-Just (which was what all the evidence suspected; hence she was still alive), then he knew damned well that "Brigade Commander Delta" (whatever her rep with the resistance pre-coup) had either been an unscrupulous opportunist from the beginning (and simply hidden it better than Cordelia Ransome) or else had sold out when she was offered the chance by Saint-Just. She understood exactly why he felt that way, and she approached him very gradually and cautiously, not because she expected them to become lovers but because a major part of her purpose from the beginning had been to keep him (and others like him) alive.

That help?

Now I've gotta go cook! ;)


"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
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Re: The "Good" Peeps
Post by roseandheather   » Mon May 05, 2014 6:53 pm

roseandheather
Admiral

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runsforcelery wrote:
roseandheather wrote:...okay, I have a lot of Thoughts about this post, most of which haven't coalesced yet (except, of course, for my ongoing desire to kiss Eloise Pritchart stupid), but I'm going to jump on this snippet like a treecat on a chipmunk.

Javier and Eloise knew each other before the Pierre coup??

Now, I've read every passage where Javier and Eloise appear together multiple times, most of them to the point of having them near-memorised, and I distinctly recall Javier not trusting Eloise one whit when she was first assigned to him. I've always assumed that they'd never met before she was assigned as his commissioner.

So.

Did he not know that Eloise Pritchart, Political Commissioner, and "Brigade Commander Delta of the Aprilists" were one and the same person?

Did he know her, but not know her, and therefore assume that she'd truly been co-opted by StateSec? (Which would, of course, have only made sense if this were the case.)

Did she deliberately maneuver herself to get specifically assigned to Giscard? (Because I wouldn't put it past her.) And if she did, was she already falling in love with him, or did that only come after they'd served together?

What was their relationship prior to their first deployment, if they had one beyond "yeah, I know that name"?

Was Giscard, who was obviously the love of her life, also the only man she'll ever love, or could she potentially fall in love again, the way Honor did after Paul?

And is RFC going to ho-hum me because the answers to this will be found in future books/short stories, assuming he answers me at all? (Hi, Your Celeryness! :mrgreen: )

THIS FANGIRL NEEDS ANSWERS. :?



Don't know if it'll be in a future book or not and I am now late for supper, so this will be VERY brief.

They knew each other through a third party who shall remain nameless at this time. Eloise was not in the habit of saying "Hey! I'm Brigade Commander Delta!" before the coup, for obvious reasons; she was "outed" when the rest of the Aprilist command --- against her advice --- came out into the open. She knew that Javier was a skilled, dedicated, and decent officer, just as she knew the officer corps was going to be purged and suspected that "collective responsibility" was on its way. She had to start her job as people's commissioner somewhere; she requested him so she could keep an eye on and protect someone she respected but did not know well. He distrusted her precisely because she had duped Saint-Just into regarding her as his fair-haired girl and most imposing trophy. Javier was smart, and if she really had signed on which Saint-Just (which was what all the evidence suspected; hence she was still alive), then he knew damned well that "Brigade Commander Delta" (whatever her rep with the resistance pre-coup) had either been an unscrupulous opportunist from the beginning (and simply hidden it better than Cordelia Ransome) or else had sold out when she was offered the chance by Saint-Just. She understood exactly why he felt that way, and she approached him very gradually and cautiously, not because she expected them to become lovers but because a major part of her purpose from the beginning had been to keep him (and others like him) alive.

That help?

Now I've gotta go cook! ;)


*bookmarks post quicker than Honor with a rifle*

...you have no idea how much that helps.

I would also like to point out that I am well aware of which questions you didn't answer. :lol: But then, that's authorial privilege. :D

...and now I have to go drown myself in Javier/Eloise feelings, because Javier/Eloise!
~*~


I serve at the pleasure of President Pritchart.

Javier & Eloise
"You'll remember me when the west wind moves upon the fields of barley..."
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Re: The "Good" Peeps
Post by m4swanson   » Mon May 05, 2014 7:51 pm

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After WW 2, there were plans to try the German UBoat admirals for violating the laws of war. Those were canceled only when all the US Pacific admirals let it be known that they would appear as defense witnesses and testify that they had waged submarine warfare in the same unrestricted manner. And that was the only way one could use submarines effectively.

Commerce raiding in an environment where prizes cannot be taken has its own deadly logic. Which does not mean that you don't make a lot of enemies doing it.

pablopinzone wrote:I did not mean to hijack the thread, pun intended.
To some degree I have to agree with the OP. My problem with the current PEEP's is not just that the did bad things but that they are completely unapologetic about it. What really stick in my craw though is that no one in the SEM leadership seems willing to hold them accountable. Take the attack on the civilian convoy where Helen Zilwicki died. One of the current Haven leaders, I think Tom Theisman, was XO on the Peep side and did feel that it might not have been justified. He went along since that is what the boss ordered. My favorite 'scene we will never see' is Ensign Helen Zilwicki meeting Theisman knowing his role and having the gumption to say 'I am supposed to shake the hand of the man who killed my mother?'.
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Re: The "Good" Peeps
Post by Tenshinai   » Mon May 05, 2014 9:43 pm

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Dr. Arroway wrote:The example doesn't really counter my argument as it doesn't take the "Original Sin" into account.
Of course several difficult, ambiguous situations arise during the war, which force painful decisions to serving officers, including Honor.
But the point is, it was the Peeps who wanted the war in the first place, with everything that it was going to produce, so the final death toll ultimately rests on their heads.


Pritchart wanted peace. Theisman wanted peace. They felt they didn´t get a whole lot of choice in the matter.

"Original sin" is merely an excuse here.

And consider just how far Pritchart really did go to try towards a better future.

isaac_newton wrote:On Eloise - well I'd just point out that she was a highly regarded [by St Just] & feared State Sec commissioner. Given the competition amongst that group, that seems to suggest that she must have willingly purged many navel people and their entire families, and probably many other innocents in the general population, committing them to pain, grief and death.


"must have"? We don´t know either way.

But i suggest you read how she acts while Giscard´s watchdog. I very much doubt that she is the sort to kill just because she could have.

Even as a hardcore terrorist she was "accurate". IIRC that´s one reason she was respected.
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