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Date: Sat, 08 Jun 2002 19:58:48 -0500
From: Andrew Reeves 
Subject: Re: (urth) War With The Ascians as a Proxy War?

Responding to two different replies:

Crush wrote:

> Hey, I'm also new. The Acian War *could* be thought of as a proxy war, but
> it could just as easily be viewed as a resistance war against an occupying
> force.

That makes sense, as could the interpretation that the Ascians are
equivalent to, say Communist revolutionaries who are trying to supplant
rightful rulers of Urth with their (well, actually, the giants') own
totalitarianism.  So maybe the Autarchs' wars could be seen as a counter
insurgency, as it were.

> If there is any correlation between the Acian War and the War of
> Heaven, THAT is certainly closer to the way I've always viewed my Christian
> participation. Actually the word "pagan" (according to Henry Chadwick) was a
> Roman military term for "civilian"-so a pagan was one who had yet to become
> involved in the war.

I'm going to throw in a bit of pedantry here.  The origin of "pagan"
came from
"paganus" meaning "rube" or "rustic."  Since Christianity started in the
eventually, the term for country dweller came to be associated with that
those who still clung to the old rites.

> In this light, the Acians could be viewed as a fifth column brigade. The
> hieros seem to view themselves as our "descendents". Who knows the true
> pedigree of Erebus and Abaia? The Hieros seem likely to have a better claim
> to having a legitimate stake in Urth than they do. I've always seen the
> Hieros as protecting mankind's legitimate destiny from invaders trying to
> supplant it with their own vision.

Well, as far as I understand it, that's the case.  Indeed, the more I
about it, that seems to be seen as the case on Urth as well.  Even Agia
see that submitting to the Ascian way of life would be a very Bad Thing.
Indeed, given that the whole nature of the Ascians seems so deeply
wrong, it is
actually rather doubtful as to how the giants sold their ancestors on
the whole
deal anyway.  I think Vodalus provides us an answer, though.  The giants
all kinds of shiny techno-toys and a stable system that is free of
strife.  By
the time it's been implemented, though, it's too late to go back and
your the
brainwashed slave of an aquatic giant.

> Welcom, Andrew Reeves. Hiss, click click.

Is the above sound effect to indicate the airlock closing behind me?  :)

> Well, now, here we have an additional aspect: I would suggest
> strongly that Wolfe is drawing upon his own experiences in one
> of the proxy wars that (in my opinion) constituted WWIII: he
> was a soldier in the Korean "police action," which was, of course,
> just such a proxy war between the US and the CCCP. Much of what
> you say applies, or has been claimed to apply, to the proxy wars
> in which Ivan met G.I. Joe (two points for the reference). For
> example, critics claimed that the rulers of the proxy nations
> were puppets of the principals -- of course, each of the principals
> claimed that their ally was the "legitimate government" and the
> other's ally was a puppet and a stalking horse for the other
> principal's aggression. And, of course, each principal provided
> its ally/puppet with munitions and "military advisors."

That brings up another thought.  The Ascians are definitely baddies. 
But if
Erebus is, say Kim Il Song, it leaves the question as to whether or not
have been Autarchs with less than a stellar character, say Pak Choong
Hi's to
Erebus.  I mean, granted, they've got something of a de facto conscience
in that
there's a ton of voices inside their heads giving them all kinds of
advice, but
what about the occasional bad apple?  If one wanted to take the
analogy further, one can note that there have been bad clergy and some
popes, even though the cause was still just.

> > While on the subject of the Commonwealth's alien allies, I found
> > something else peculiar.  Wolfe is a Catholic, and from _Long_ and
> > _Short Sun_ we can  glean that the Increate/Outsider/Pancreator is the
> > Holy Trinity (see especially Silk's enlightenment and its inclusion of
> > Jesus being taken off the cross).  So why on earth do we have an angel
> > riding around as the captain of spaceships?  It seems like a
> > pretty cool ship and all, but why bother with the spaceship at all?
> ...because:
> (1) this is a science fiction story, after all, and Wolfe goes out
>     of his way to provide stfnal explanations for the miraculous.
> (2) the ship isn't for Tzadkiel's benefit (in fact, if I recall
>     correctly, the ship is a manifestaton of Tzadkiel), but for the
>     benefit of the passengers and crew.

The second especially makes a great deal of sense.  After all, OT angels
in fiery chariots even though they don't exactly need chariots to get
them from
place to place.

Thanks for the input.



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