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Info found on Mesa

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Re: Info found on Mesa
Post by drinksmuchcoffee   » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:24 pm

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What exactly are the terms of the Eridani Edict? I know that a planetary population which does not surrender can be subject to kinetic bombardment until it does surrender or the planet is a cueball and that apparently does not violate the Edict. It seems unclear if using a weapon of mass destruction in an civil war would also be a violation. I get some sense that the practical interpretation of the edict seems to be that anything the SLN does is okay.

Back on topic.

I find it hard to believe that the Alignment, when things began to go pear-shaped, managed to erase all of its tracks. Especially since the timetable for Houdini got moved up so drastically, and in the end they didn't manage to get all of their people out.

It seems hard for me to believe that of all the thousands of members of the alignment waiting to be evacuated, none of them had snuck out to ride a bike or go grav-skiing. Or that some of them were late getting to their "evacuation" site and thus missed getting incinerated. Given the accelerated timetable and the fact that the person (people) running the show seemed to be more about bare-fanged bloodlust than actually making sure all of the i's were dotted and t's were crossed. And some of the Houdini people themselves might have gotten second thoughts when they suspected that they (or their close friends and family members) might be considered weak links to be culled.

And I'd assume that 42 century IT technology includes backups. And that critical data gets backed up to multiple off-site locations. High-security data (like super weapons &c) would use physical backups carried to another secure location. While it is plausible that the backup sites would be taken out as well, people are lazy and people screw up. Chances are some of those backups are in somebody's apartment or under the seat cushions of somebody's aircar.

Another way to look at it. Consider how hard it would be to delete those drunken pictures of you from New Year's Eve 2010 that were posted on Facebook. How could you ever be sure you got all of the copies?
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Re: Info found on Mesa
Post by quite possibly a cat   » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:45 pm

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You make excellent points. Which is why Henke will probably find something. For example, she might find some breadcrums leading to some infiltrators in New Bombay and the plot to take over the New Bombay government! Hell, I if she's really lucky she'll find information about who is plotting take overs in the Second Chance Republic, Maxwell, Thrace, Denver and probably many more.

They'll be so happy to learn that their political opponents weren't just politically opposed, but traitors they can execute! That might even be enough to get those governments to cozy up to the Grand Alliance, especially if the they're willing to share weapons tech and form a mutual defense pact. I bet they'd build plenty of missiles for Manticore too!

Wait, something about those names just seems wrong... Oops. :twisted:
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Re: Info found on Mesa
Post by JohnRoth   » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:38 pm

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drinksmuchcoffee wrote:What exactly are the terms of the Eridani Edict? I know that a planetary population which does not surrender can be subject to kinetic bombardment until it does surrender or the planet is a cueball and that apparently does not violate the Edict. It seems unclear if using a weapon of mass destruction in an civil war would also be a violation.


Everything I've dug up on the Edict says that it's intended to prevent indiscriminate bombardment of non-military targets from space. There's a discussion of that exact point in CoG, where Jurgen Dusek suggests the Mesan government might use a kinetic strike to take out a residential tower and Victor Cachet says that would be a violation of the Eridani Edict. (Chapter 49, p408 of the hardcover.) Note that Victor is not a fleet officer; his interpretation may not be definitive.

While one of the nukes used in Green Pines can be construed as a terrorist attack, none of them were the result of a planetary bombardment from space.
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Re: Info found on Mesa
Post by kzt   » Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:10 am

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drinksmuchcoffee wrote:What exactly are the terms of the Eridani Edict? I know that a planetary population which does not surrender can be subject to kinetic bombardment until it does surrender or the planet is a cueball and that apparently does not violate the Edict. It seems unclear if using a weapon of mass destruction in an civil war would also be a violation. I get some sense that the practical interpretation of the edict seems to be that anything the SLN does is okay.


It's very extensively explained by David in a series of posts, several are linked below. Basically it's a trigger in SL constitution that the SL will go to war and destroy any star nation that uses weapons of mass destruction (any sort of WDM, not just from space) against a civilian population except under certain limited conditions. Those conditions are explained below in reasonable detail in Expanding upon the Eridani Edict, and Green Pines meets NONE of them:

First- The Edict and Interstellar Law
"Now, there's been some discussion of the Eridani Edict as an element of interstellar law. That is an incorrect interpretation of what the Eridani Edict is. The Edict represents a unilateral declaration by the Solarian League of what it will do to anyone who violates the Edict's provisions. It's never been cited as a "law." In fact, in some ways, it could be taken as the very antithesis of interstellar law as a consensual body of agreements, because the League has, in effect, said that it doesn't care what anyone else thinks about this specific point. The Solarian League Navy is the galaxy's 800-kilo gorilla, and it will rip the head off of anyone who violates the Edict. That's it, end of discussion, end of debate. And, if you will note, in effect the Edict depends not upon any appeal to the sanctity of interstellar law but rather upon the raw, brute power of reprisal. "If you carry out an attack prohibited by the Eridani Edict, we will destroy you."

Source of the Eridani Edict
Expanding upon the Eridani Edict
The Alignment and the Eridani Edict
Masada and the Eridani Edict
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Re: Info found on Mesa
Post by kzt   » Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:13 am

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And a note from David that implies just how ugly this might get:


"That, alas, may not be as easy in-universe as it is for me to convince the reader of it, and the longer this lingers — and, as someone else has pointed out, especially if the fact that Anton and Victor did, in fact, unlock the nuke used in the Green Pines bombing comes out — the more damningly credible it will seem and the more opportunity it will have to sink into the collective consciousness with the impossible-to-erase durability of Bloody Sunday.

"It’s true that outside Ireland, Bloody Sunday isn’t exactly burned into the memory of everyone you speak to. In fact, I’d venture to say that you’d have to explain what Bloody Sunday was to the majority of people in the US before you could discuss it with them. That isn’t to downplay the enormous historical significance of the event; it’s simply that on the other side of the Atlantic, after this many years, that significance simply doesn’t even cross the mental horizon of most Americans.

"The deaths of multiple millions of human beings in the violation of an edict the Solarian League Navy has a constitutional mandate to enforce is going to loom rather larger in the Core Worlds’ thinking and collective memory, I suspect."
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Re: Info found on Mesa
Post by Vince   » Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:34 am

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kzt wrote:And a note from David that implies just how ugly this might get:


"That, alas, may not be as easy in-universe as it is for me to convince the reader of it, and the longer this lingers — and, as someone else has pointed out, especially if the fact that Anton and Victor did, in fact, unlock the nuke used in the Green Pines bombing comes out — the more damningly credible it will seem and the more opportunity it will have to sink into the collective consciousness with the impossible-to-erase durability of Bloody Sunday.

"It’s true that outside Ireland, Bloody Sunday isn’t exactly burned into the memory of everyone you speak to. In fact, I’d venture to say that you’d have to explain what Bloody Sunday was to the majority of people in the US before you could discuss it with them. That isn’t to downplay the enormous historical significance of the event; it’s simply that on the other side of the Atlantic, after this many years, that significance simply doesn’t even cross the mental horizon of most Americans.

"The deaths of multiple millions of human beings in the violation of an edict the Solarian League Navy has a constitutional mandate to enforce is going to loom rather larger in the Core Worlds’ thinking and collective memory, I suspect."

Therefore, the SLN must destroy Mesa as well, since Mesa didn't call for the surrender of Hancock tower before they fired a KEW at it:
Cauldron of Ghosts, Chapter 63 wrote:Well, whether that was what he’d been thinking or not, he’d certainly succeeded in providing them. Along the way, he’d killed at least another twenty or thirty thousand people by Drescher’s most conservative estimate, and not all of that other twenty or thirty thousand people had been seccies or slaves.
The KEW he’d called down on Hancock hadn’t been any of the low-kiloton range strikes Drescher had had in mind. Oh, no. He’d wanted something more decisive than that. Something of Jovian dimensions. And he’d gotten it, too. No one was giving Drescher any hard yield numbers on the strike, probably because the people who had those numbers were pissing themselves trying to figure out how to convincingly understate them to the media and no one wanted the real ones leaking.
Italics are the authors'.

The fact that the Grand Alliance showed up in orbit around Mesa and demanded the planet's surrender does not absolve the SLN of its responsibility to destroy Mesa (the Grand Alliance has merely required Mesa surrender).

And don't forget Masada, the Faithful nuked multiple steadings on Grayson. Why hasn't the SLN destroyed Masada?
-------------------------------------------------------------
History does not repeat itself so much as it echoes.
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Re: Info found on Mesa
Post by quite possibly a cat   » Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:20 am

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EEE edict doesn't apply to internal conflict. Also it doesn't involve the destruction of a planet or anything. The military is dissolved, the government is replaced and the people responsible are executed.

Vince wrote:And don't forget Masada, the Faithful nuked multiple steadings on Grayson. Why hasn't the SLN destroyed Masada?

They probably should have. By now the people responsible are dead, and Masada is no longer an independent country.
JohnRoth wrote:There's a discussion of that exact point in CoG, where Jurgen Dusek suggests the Mesan government might use a kinetic strike to take out a residential tower and Victor Cachet says that would be a violation of the Eridani Edict. (Chapter 49, p408 of the hardcover.) Note that Victor is not a fleet officer; his interpretation may not be definitive.

His interpretation is just wrong. It doesn't apply to internal conflicts. However, that doesn't mean that when Manticore/Beowulf/SLN/anyone-else shows up they won't vengeance murder the Mesan leadership and yell "EEE violation" as an excuse.

JohnRoth wrote:While one of the nukes used in Green Pines can be construed as a terrorist attack, none of them were the result of a planetary bombardment from space.
The EEE applies to more than just space attacks. It also applies to (for example) bioweapon attacks. Regardless, Manticore really doesn't want to say that's a justification since they just stuck their nose into the known galaxy's nastiest nest of rogue bio-engineers. Arguing that its okay to fire WMDs from the planetary surface while you are putting troops down in a nest of rogue bio-engineers is suicidally stupid.

Honestly, the Mesans might launch a bioweapon anyway. IIRC, Mesans used genetic engineering to help adapt their population to Mesa. Its possible they have, (or someone makes) a bioweapon that looks like it might be natural, and doesn't kill Mesans. However, a bioweapon that tries to remain deniable, is less likely to be the Armageddon sort you'd worry about.

Although all this makes me think of another piece of info that might be found on Mesa: They might find a list of places where Mesa is doing "anti"-bioweapon research. Of course, they have to make bio-weapons to test their defenses. And the location list? It matches up suspiciously well with the nuclear weapon targets.

This information would allow for multiple deductions to be made. Any weird traffic going to the site? Something to do with top secret research to protect against bioweapons. Why did Manticore nuke the sites? Because they aren't morons. If they left the labs intact there is about a 100% chance some of the bioweapons built to test counter-measures would get used on the Manty troops. And suddenly the target list makes perfect sense and the Manties have motive.
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Re: Info found on Mesa
Post by Brigade XO   » Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:32 am

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Peregrinator wrote:Whether or not Manticore is actually in violation of the Eridani Edict surely the SL will be able to use its apparent violation as a pretext for war with the SEM/Grand Alliance. And that was probably part of the MA's plan all along - or at least an incidental goal with which they won't be displeased.


The SL is already at war with Manticore and Republic of Haven. Even if you leave earlier incedents out of it. Admiral Crandal certainly certainly came (well, tried to) slamming into Spindle to destroy Manticor forces there and take over the new Manticorian part of the Talbott Quadrant as punishment for the Manty involvement including the destruction of Adm. Byng's fore. Fillerta showing up at the Manticore Home System with 300 odd SD was clearly something planned (lets not forget the back-up force being assembled to try the same thing) along with the SL Task Force to force transit the Sigma Draconis terminus to the Manticore Juction.
The SL is fully at war with Manticore and at least Haven along with other members of the new Grand Alliance - even if the SL does't know exactly who the GA is yet.

Pretext, the SL doesn't need a pretext, they have never needed a pretext except the ambition and egos of the people incharge at so many levels. The Mandarins, various SLN officers (senior and otherwise) and such diverse groups as the people controling some of the TransStellars and politicians in general who see the very existence of Manticore (and lesser extent Haven before the GA) as an affront to their power and impediment to more wealth, power and political if not actual existence.

The SL has been doing this for litteraly centuries, using naked force as they see fit and mostly intimidation or all sorts of legal agreements (forced or compelled) on systems to continue the power structure of the SL's administration, politicians and others.
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Re: Info found on Mesa
Post by quite possibly a cat   » Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:11 pm

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However, this might help convince SDFs who might otherwise align with Manticore to stay on the sidelines and SDFs who might stay on the sidelines to fight Manticore. The worst case scenario for the Grand Alliance is Beowulf has its own "Oops" moment, probably after the GA stamps on the Mandarins for them.

Now the Mandarins are doing their level best to make sure that the Solarian League member states won't want to stick around, but it could still cause the member states to form into a new Star Nation and lead to some sort of Renaissance.
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Re: Info found on Mesa
Post by kzt   » Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:30 pm

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Brigade XO wrote:
The SL is already at war with Manticore and Republic of Haven.

No, it’s not. For the SL to be at war requires the assembly declare war, without any vetoes. So far that hasn’t worked. Or someone commits an edict violation, which bypasses all the hot air and enables all the war powers. Which starts with conscripting every SL SDF. I have no idea where it ends, but an obvious element would be allowing deficit spending for the duration of the war. And the SL has a huge amount of top of the line manufacturing capabilities that currently are not producing military gear. Like say 99% are not producing military gear.
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