Holt on April 19, 2011, 05:53:20 pm
Continuing the "real opponent" thread. Keep it on topic this time.

What qualities would a genuine threat to Ceres have? I would say it would need to be some form of trade embargo. No doubt Ceres is reliant on machinery and equipment manufactured elsewhere. Cut the flow of replacement parts for their air filtration system and Ceres will inevitably die. The UW being the sole Earth government and dominant power of the Sol system would make it quite easy for them to pull something like this off. Hell they could even decide to just ditch the concept of markets and adopt some different social model finally giving capitalism the boot. A better organised UW would be Cere's doom if it decided to take the planetoid.

Or how about an actual military invasion instead of retards herping and derping. The whole "big warship being defeated by a mining shuttle" thing was total bullshit and shows amazing ignorance on the authors part. A ship like that would never be on its own. It would have a metric shit ton of escort ships tagging along to protect it from exactly that sort of threat. Read a bit about naval history.

Or perhaps...a David Xanatos.
Ok yes I know those among you who aren't up the authors arse are now snorting and chuckling to yourselves. But give it a chance. The basics of the Xanatos gambit are simple enough that even a child can grasp them. For someone with half a brain in a position of power or of resource could easily implement such a thing. All it takes is power or resources and you can pull such a feat off provided you are not a total retard. Hell could be revealed that the Gamma Conquerer thing was part of some wider plan to take control of the Ceres communication infrastructure. Because yes there is infrastructure. The author can't worm his way out of that one thanks to his own admission.
Would be interesting to see if the author was capable of questioning his own ideology enough to actually give a character ideologically opposed to him a win.

J Thomas on April 19, 2011, 07:09:25 pm

What qualities would a genuine threat to Ceres have? I would say it would need to be some form of trade embargo.

That has possibilities. Surely UW can tell whenever a shuttle leaves Terra. Surely they can inspect all the scheduled shuttles and blow up any unscheduled ones.

But what does Ceres need that they can't make for themselves? Surely not machine parts. They would have automatic milling machines etc that make whatever shape you want, just provide the program and it cranks them out. Whatever they import is just easier to buy than to make themselves, but do an embargo and they will make what they need. Probably starting with making extra automatic milling machines to handle the extra production. Maybe the programs for lots of parts are not available? Trade secrets on Terra? So you get skilled people trying to back-engineer the most important ones. Maybe people on Terra who send programs by tanglenet, who sympathise with the Belt and maybe want to emigrate after the embargo is over....

Maybe some elements are in short supply? Perhaps light elements have tended to get blown off or something, back when things were more fluid and fractionating. Potassium, nitrogen, carbon, lithium, beryllium, things that are needed in small amounts for alloys and such, and needed as trace elements for human diets. Presumably there would be enough for current needs but hard to expand until you get more. Not a great embargo but something.

I can imagine that Terra might be more dependent on the Belt than the other way round. But there could be some sort of hook there the UW could use.

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Or how about an actual military invasion instead of retards herping and derping.

Presumably the current plot involves creating a provocation to justify an actual military invasion.

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The whole "big warship being defeated by a mining shuttle" thing was total bullshit and shows amazing ignorance on the authors part. A ship like that would never be on its own. It would have a metric shit ton of escort ships tagging along to protect it from exactly that sort of threat. Read a bit about naval history.

This was unprecedented, right? I haven't noticed any previous interplanetary war in the EFT universe. And they thought the Belters were unarmed.

First they sent a bureaucrat to tell the Belters to pay their taxes. They presumably expected Belters would just tighten their belts and pay up.

Then they sent an intimidating force, led by a giant warship. (Why did they even have a giant warship when they had no one to fight space battles with?) The giant warship was supposed to be intimidating. But the Belters were not intimidated enough to surrender, and the giant warship could do no more than bombard some stuff hoping to intimidate better. (Compare Admiral Perry shelling Japanese ports to make them trade with us.) They hadn't really expected Belters to fight still, they expected them to be impressed and knuckle under.

Now they are getting ready for a bigger war. It didn't cost much to send a few ships on a routine mission to tour the Belt. There would have been no need to even mention it to the public if they had succeeded and made it back safely. But for a bigger war that they expect ahead of time will involve actual shooting and Marines and such, it would be traditional to have a provocation first.

I don't see much reason to complain about this. It could be following a pattern, not just random bozos who fail.

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The basics of the Xanatos gambit are simple enough that even a child can grasp them. For someone with half a brain in a position of power or of resource could easily implement such a thing. All it takes is power or resources and you can pull such a feat off provided you are not a total retard.

If it's so easy, why doesn't everybody who has power or resources do it all the time?

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Would be interesting to see if the author was capable of questioning his own ideology enough to actually give a character ideologically opposed to him a win.

I guess that would be interesting. Maybe we could get Tom Clancy to write a novel where Russia or arab terrorists or somebody utterly defeat the US military and take over the USA.

Maybe we could get Tim LaHaye to write one where the Devil kills God and takes over Heaven, and rebuilds the earth as an atheist communist paradise.

Maybe we could get a collection of mystery writers to each write one where the smarter murderer not only gets away with it but manages to pin it on their series detective who is sentenced to a long prison term, perhaps on Death Row.

Maybe a series like Harry Potter where at the end Harry dies and Voldemort takes over the world.

The possibilities are endless! You're really onto something here.

sam on April 19, 2011, 07:22:44 pm
What qualities would a genuine threat to Ceres have? I would say it would need to be some form of trade embargo. No doubt Ceres is reliant on machinery and equipment manufactured elsewhere. Cut the flow of replacement parts for their air filtration system and Ceres will inevitably die.

This works if the United Worlds pervades everything except Ceres - but obviously it does not.  Cutting off trade failed to bring South Africa to heel.  It is surely not going to bring Ceres to heel.

To defeat Ceres, the United Worlds will have to use violence, which is dangerous (Cereans have nukes) and apt to disturb their self image as benevolent do gooders.

Therefore, United Worlds needs to take the Soviet approach - a mixture of politics and low level violence.

Or how about an actual military invasion instead of retards herping and derping.

Actual UW military invasion is dangerous for the UW the same reasons as actual Soviet invasion was dangerous for the Soviet Union.   Bad for public relations, contrary to self image, and apt to result in the battle of  Armageddon.

The whole "big warship being defeated by a mining shuttle" thing was total bullshit

In recent war games, ship to ship missiles made small motorboats equal to big destroyers. http://www.cuttingedge.or/News/n2026.cfm
It is the latest version of “God made all men different, Sam Colt made them equal”

Government does not have magic superpowers in warfare.  States frequently lose to nonstate enemies.  Discipline and unity of command is a big advantage, but that government presents nice identifiable targets is a big disadvantage.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2011, 07:44:06 pm by sam »

Holt on April 19, 2011, 07:36:34 pm
But what does Ceres need that they can't make for themselves? Surely not machine parts. They would have automatic milling machines etc that make whatever shape you want, just provide the program and it cranks them out. Whatever they import is just easier to buy than to make themselves, but do an embargo and they will make what they need. Probably starting with making extra automatic milling machines to handle the extra production. Maybe the programs for lots of parts are not available? Trade secrets on Terra? So you get skilled people trying to back-engineer the most important ones. Maybe people on Terra who send programs by tanglenet, who sympathise with the Belt and maybe want to emigrate after the embargo is over....

There's going to be things they simply can not make. Either due to a lack of materials, skills, equipment or just a lack of knowledge. All those industries on Mars are obviously selling to someone and the Cereans are selling resources not manufactured goods so it's safe to assume that the Cerean industrial capacity is negligible if any exists at all.

Maybe some elements are in short supply? Perhaps light elements have tended to get blown off or something, back when things were more fluid and fractionating. Potassium, nitrogen, carbon, lithium, beryllium, things that are needed in small amounts for alloys and such, and needed as trace elements for human diets. Presumably there would be enough for current needs but hard to expand until you get more. Not a great embargo but something.

Food. Organic compounds. These are going to be the things that Ceres has to import. Barring handwavium magic there is no way Ceres can be self sufficient in terms of feeding itself.
Medical supplies are also extremely unlikely to be made in the region since pharmaceuticals require organic compounds. Mind you the author seems to be like a lot of the American fringe right wing and thinks that medicine is the government trying to replace your brain with a computer or something equally ludicrous.
Fuel? Also something I doubt they'll have a lot of out there. Mind you we don't really know much about what they fuel their ships with.


I can imagine that Terra might be more dependent on the Belt than the other way round. But there could be some sort of hook there the UW could use.

I'd say they're more co-dependent. But you're not trying to break the belt initially. You're just breaking Ceres as it's the big place in the belt.


I guess that would be interesting. Maybe we could get Tom Clancy to write a novel where Russia or arab terrorists or somebody utterly defeat the US military and take over the USA.

I don't really like his books but by the Omnissiah I would read the shit out of those. Hell they don't even have to take over the USA. I'd settle for a good book about middle eastern militiamen fighting under the banner of Al Qaeda to force the USA out of their homeland. Or the USSR tries to stop US intervention in some country that doesn't want the USA killing their government and replacing it with a pro-USA puppet. A story of a General trying to not only stop the damned capitalists from ruining everything but also stop the corrupt elements of the soviet union from ruining everything too.

Maybe we could get Tim LaHaye to write one where the Devil kills God and takes over Heaven, and rebuilds the earth as an atheist communist paradise.

Fuck yes. To be honest though the Devil has always bugged me. Why would he torture the wicked? He doesn't stand to gain anything from that. Be better off training them to be his army and simply finding a way to get them to Heaven or Earth.

Maybe we could get a collection of mystery writers to each write one where the smarter murderer not only gets away with it but manages to pin it on their series detective who is sentenced to a long prison term, perhaps on Death Row.

I read a book like that once. It was actually rather good. As I recall it ended with the criminal sending the detective (now in prison) a video of him relaxing on a sunny beach while some hired girl performed a sexual act upon him.

Maybe a series like Harry Potter where at the end Harry dies and Voldemort takes over the world.

Harry Potter dying? I see no problems with this.



But yeah Sam it is heavily implied that despite being as competent as a room full of retarded turkeys, the UW is the major power of the Sol system. Plus they are the only world with a natural biosphere that can support human life. Using nuclear weapons against that would pretty much make you the enemy of the entire human race.

Aardvark on April 19, 2011, 08:36:34 pm
Quote
First they sent a bureaucrat to tell the Belters to pay their taxes. They presumably expected Belters would just tighten their belts and pay up.

Then they sent an intimidating force, led by a giant warship. (Why did they even have a giant warship when they had no one to fight space battles with?) The giant warship was supposed to be intimidating. But the Belters were not intimidated enough to surrender, and the giant warship could do no more than bombard some stuff hoping to intimidate better. (Compare Admiral Perry shelling Japanese ports to make them trade with us.) They hadn't really expected Belters to fight still, they expected them to be impressed and knuckle under.

Now they are getting ready for a bigger war. It didn't cost much to send a few ships on a routine mission to tour the Belt. There would have been no need to even mention it to the public if they had succeeded and made it back safely. But for a bigger war that they expect ahead of time will involve actual shooting and Marines and such, it would be traditional to have a provocation first.

I don't see much reason to complain about this. It could be following a pattern, not just random bozos who fail.

I didn't think I would be agreeing with J Thomas on much, but the above sounds half-way reasonable. It presupposes, I think, a rather bumbling ideological bureaucracy that habitually underestimates other cultures because of their contempt for them, but I can see it. On the flip side, I don't think that Sandy thinks much of the UW's bureaucracy. I'm in the middle. Ideologues like those who apparently run the UW can be idiots, but in certain areas, like aggression, dictatorships are all business. The UW needs Ceres so badly, if anything, I would think they would make absolutely sure of the Cerereans' strengths and weaknesses, then launch with overwhelming force.

I'll wait this latest attempt out before I make a judgement on how realistic it is. My main objection is that after an attack on Ceres that was thwarted by a near miracle, the Cerereans and Belters still don't seem to be taking the UW threat seriously, IMO. ZAP or not, I don't think it's reasonable to allow an armed enemy to bring guns into your house with obvious bad intent. What if the UW fleet had showed up above Ceres with their guns trained downward? If the UW fleet hadn't killed anyone on the way to Ceres, would there have been a fleet of small ships with industrial lasers to save the day before the UW fleet was fully in position?

To apply another saying to AnCap, ZAP should not be a suicide pact. There must be practical limits to it. I hope that we're about to find out what they are.

***

I have no doubt that the Cereans/Belters could raise as much food as necessary. They have the raw materials, the room, the technology, and the motivation.

sam on April 19, 2011, 09:37:11 pm
I'm in the middle. Ideologues like those who apparently run the UW can be idiots, but in certain areas, like aggression, dictatorships are all business.

Not what I observe. 

The long telegram was an astute and prophetic account of the future behavior of the Soviet Union, which argued that they were going to do bad things because they were dangerously out of contact with reality - that they were madmen in charge of a collapsing economic system.

Hitler was brilliant at tactics, having learned from his experience on the front, but he was a disaster at strategy - attacking Russia ten months too soon, and declaring war on the USA.

Holt on April 20, 2011, 05:59:35 am
Hitler wasn't a good military man. But he was a godlike administrator. If he hadn't been stupid enough to try another war he would have been able to easily turn Germany into a global superpower that would most likely continue to exist and be strong today.

J Thomas on April 20, 2011, 07:43:16 am
Hitler wasn't a good military man. But he was a godlike administrator. If he hadn't been stupid enough to try another war he would have been able to easily turn Germany into a global superpower that would most likely continue to exist and be strong today.

It's hard to be sure how things would inevitably have had to be if they were different.

One thing that I think you should consider was that Germany and the USSR were in an arms race. The rest of the world was not keeping up at all. It was an arms race between just Germany and the USSR, and Germany was falling behind. To keep up, Germany needed more of everything -- more oil, more steel, more factories, more soldiers, etc -- and could not get them. They tried hard to squeeze more stuff out of the industrial nations they occupied. But the occupations took soldiers too, and those were not replaceable.

The longer Germany waited to attack, the bigger the advantage the USSR would have. The USSR was keeping a lot of forces in the east in case Japan attacked Siberia. If Japan could take Vladivostok etc then they would essentially have the eastern USSR -- an overland counterattack would be supplied by a single railroad line until they could build more. So the USSR kept forces in the east and depended on the nonagression treaty in the west. If anything happened so that Japan was not a threat to eastern USSR, those forces could be shifted west.

Depending on russian intentions, if Germany had waited until the Russians attacked, they might have just gotten rolled up. Fighting defensively against the USSR's full industrial might, they could have been driven all the way to the Atlantic.

By making a surprise attack that destroyed most of the factories in the western USSR, they crippled Russia. It was probably a mistake for them to concentrate on taking a million Russian POWs instead of continuing farther east. Russia replaced soldiers much easier than they could replace factories. And taking Moscow might have had significance beyond the lost industry etc -- though that didn't work well for Napoleon.

But those are all details. Germany was falling farther behind every month, and the longer they put off the attack the harder it would be. They preferred not to have Britain at their backs but once they decided they couldn't take Britain then it made sense to attack the USSR as quickly as they could.

Unless they thought Stalin would share.


<edit> Oops! I just noticed that this is a thread about the UW attacking Ceres. How did we turn it into WWII? It doesn't fit that at all. Maybe we could discuss WWII in a different thread?
« Last Edit: April 20, 2011, 07:45:02 am by J Thomas »

sam on April 20, 2011, 07:19:04 pm
One thing that I think you should consider was that Germany and the USSR were in an arms race.

Stalin was not preparing for war with Hitler at all, and when Hitler attacked, was totally unprepared, for a while refused to believe what was happening, and punished those who tried to bring him into contact with reality.

Hitler had plenty of time, and should have waited.

The rest of the world was not keeping up at all. It was an arms race between just Germany and the USSR, and Germany was falling behind.

If the USSR had been in an arms race with Germany, which it was not, it would have had little hope of keeping up.  It was able to match Germany once it received massive American support, which implies it could not possibly have matched Germany without such support.

ShireSilver on April 21, 2011, 01:05:43 pm
Stalin was not preparing for war with Hitler at all, and when Hitler attacked, was totally unprepared, for a while refused to believe what was happening, and punished those who tried to bring him into contact with reality.

...

If the USSR had been in an arms race with Germany, which it was not, it would have had little hope of keeping up.  It was able to match Germany once it received massive American support, which implies it could not possibly have matched Germany without such support.

Admittedly its been a while, but I remember from my reading of the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, which I read when I was 13, the Soviet Union was indeed planning to invade Germany. IIRC, Hitler only beat Stalin to the punch by about a month, and one of the reasons that the German army was able to do so well initially was that the Soviet troops were in offensive positions/modes and not defensive ones.

Eventually the Soviet war machine was producing an enormous amount as well as accepting a lot produced by us, and if we hadn't invaded France in '44, we might have ended up sacrificing much more of Europe to communism. In all likelihood the Soviet army would have taken out the Germans without our opening a second front. (Although our threatening to open a second front could have made a difference.)

As a side note, it has long been my opinion that the Nazi regime made itself look so much better economically by cannibalizing parts of its own economy (Jews, Gypsies, etc) and then by cannibalizing the conquered territories. It needed to expand in order to find new victims to steal from to keep up appearances. This is much like the U.S. has been doing, only through currency manipulation: we've been getting other countries to sacrifice in order to make our economy look better. But that's ending now as just like in the Nazi case, it can only last so long before the victims and potential victims figure it out and stop going along with it.

NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on April 21, 2011, 02:38:38 pm
<edit> Oops! I just noticed that this is a thread about the UW attacking Ceres. How did we turn it into WWII? It doesn't fit that at all. Maybe we could discuss WWII in a different thread?

But Ceres is in the midst of WWII!  WWI was the "Harris incident", and WWII is the "Christmas War".  They are small wars, but, Ceres is a small, small, world after all.  ;D

J Thomas on April 21, 2011, 03:14:17 pm
I copied most of the WWII-only posts to a topic in Talk Among Yourselves. So if we talk about WWII there we can have stuff that relates to Ceres here without it getting drowned out.

SandySandfort on April 21, 2011, 04:24:34 pm
But Ceres is in the midst of WWII!  WWI was the "Harris incident", and WWII is the "Christmas War".  They are small wars, but, Ceres is a small, small, world after all.  ;D

Damn! I think you have nailed the (un)official anthem for Ceres!

The lyrics are a little off, but I bet someone on this Forum can fix that. (Gun fondling is optional):

It's a world of laughter
A world of tears
It's a world of hopes
And a world of fears
There's so much that we share
That it's time we're aware
It's a small world after all

There is just one moon
And one golden sun
And a smile means
Friendship to ev'ryone
Though the mountains divide
And the oceans are wide
It's a small world after all

It's a small world after all
It's a small world after all
It's a small world after all
It's a small, small world

NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on April 21, 2011, 04:43:14 pm
But Ceres is in the midst of WWII!  WWI was the "Harris incident", and WWII is the "Christmas War".  They are small wars, but, Ceres is a small, small, world after all.  ;D

Damn! I think you have nailed the (un)official anthem for Ceres!

The lyrics are a little off, but I bet someone on this Forum can fix that. (Gun fondling is optional):

It's a world of freedom,
A world of fun;
It's a  world where ev'ryone
has a gun.
It's a  world ruled by ZAP
not that government crap --
Its a small world, after all.

 ;D ;D ;D

orthzar on April 21, 2011, 05:17:55 pm
I am sort of the opinion that Ceres is in a similar position to the Lunar colony in the novel The Moon is A Harsh Mistress.   Ceres is far too productive for the UW to seriously consider obliterating the planetoid; it would be far more productive to allow more goods and services to flow from Ceres to the UW territorial holdings (Earth and non-Terran colonies).   Then again, I never thought government to be productive nor to have more intelligence or motives than a sexual predator.

Starting war (or aggression) is a sign of a bruised ego IMO (or the sign of a psychological disorder).   I wonder if there is a news-blitz/news-campaign coming out of the MSM on Terra.   The UW, like every government that wants to start a war, must first get the people on their side.   Vietnam may have proven that you can't fight a war without majority (>50%) vocal approval.

I have a feeling that Ceres being so wealthy is just far too tempting for the UW government to not demand/desire control.   The problem is that Ceres is productive because the people there are totally free(able to do good).   America got plenty of willing and productive scientists after WW2, but Cererean culture is not Third Reich Germany culture so Ceres producers might refuse to help the UW government.   I wonder if the UW is presumptuous enough to believe that their government can run the Ceres companies better than Cerereans can.

I am of the opinion that the Cerereans ought to garner the help of other non-UW colonies throughout the solar system.   Firstly, they could send videos of how good life is on Ceres, Mars, etc. and also send recordings of speeches on the benefits of living in freedom, like sending Reagan's taped speeches into Soviet-held Berlin.   This media campaign directed at the people ruled by the UW terrorcrats would serve to destabilize the capacity of the UW to wage war(i.e. not enough popular support).   Second, establishing a total embargo to keep any goods, services, or currency being sent to Terra would potentially cripple Terra.   The USSR had constant and severe economic problems throughout its reign, and the UW should be having similar problems; just give it a verbal push and it might topple.

The UW has created an Iron Curtain of sorts, and all out war is the dumbest possible move, though I have been surprised by how dumb people can be.

Rhonda is a female dog.  I am tempted to suggest that Ed just shoot her on the spot, but that would only help the UW.

 

anything