8FOLD: Nonfiction # 3, "The New War"

Andrew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Sun Jun 22 10:25:47 PDT 2014

On 6/18/2014 8:43 PM, Tom Russell wrote:

>     But the delegate was not there to patch things up. Instead, it--
> the sexless Pulse have no concept of gender-- was there to deliver an
> eviction notice. To compensate for the insult Lang (and by extension,
> Earth) had given them, the Pulse Collective would be taking possession
> of the Earth within three months. Any humans still remaining on the
> planet would be exterminated.

...JEEZ. How the heck do they cooperate long enough to be a giant star empire 
if they're so *touchy*?

(Note to self: Expand on this in the Roundup.)

>     "Universal locusts are short-sighted," Burton wrote in THE BATTLE
> OF EARTH. "They drain a planet of all its resources, and then throw
> everything they have at the next world in a desperate bid for
> survival. By their very nature, they cannot have the resources
> necessary to sustain the sort of lengthy campaigns one would imagine
> would be necessary to subjugate our world."
>     The Pulse have those resources.

Fascinating. o.ov That makes sense.

>     "The public doesn't really get an opinion on this," says Burton
> with an air of academic bemusement. "This isn't a neighboring country
> that we can make peace with."

Ah, yes, the ol' "we have to suspend all forms of government, because clearly, 
my way is the right way, and nobody should be allowed to argue with it".

>     Lanktree feels that we can find the answer by looking back on our
> own history. "In 1870, the French Ambassador to Prussia had an
> informal meeting with the King about the throne of Spain. They didn't
> quite see eye-to-eye. An account of this meeting finds its way to Otto
> von Bismarck, and he did a sort of press release in which he... edited
> the language of the telegram. It made it seem like the King had
> insulted the French Ambassador, and thus the French people. This was
> published in France on Bastille Day, and so, 'naturally', France
> declared war five days later.
>     "The point of this is, the Ems Dispatch was not really the cause of
> the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. Otto von Bismarck wanting to go to
> war and needing an excuse, that was the cause. I don't think the Pulse
> are so thin-skinned that they were really and truly insulted by some
> kind of toilet joke. I do think that they were waiting for some kind
> of an excuse so that they could justify their conquest-- their
> attempted conquest-- of the Earth."

...well then! Very good. I will also expand upon *this*, in a review that was 
live-written while reading. XD

>     But a war is different. The UN resolved in 1948 that super-powered
> humans could not be soldiers, and cannot fight in wars. There have
> certainly been incidents in which this was flagrantly ignored by
> individual nations (most shamefully, our own in Viet Nam). A
> hypothetical war effort coordinated by the United Nations (or, more
> likely, NATO, given the UN's peacekeeping mission) would make it
> impossible to ignore. Which means either the super-humans stay home,
> or a new resolution is called for-- a resolution that might set a
> dangerous precedent in future nation-versus-nation conflicts.

Well, nation-versus-nation is different than planet-versus-planet, after all.

> Last month, every person on Earth "heard" someone claiming to be
> Gregory Dingham in their head.

Ahhhh, is that what happened.

>     And the cosmic godflood is still cascading towards us, ever-nearer,
> a threat not only to all life on Earth, but to all life in the
> universe itself.

...did I miss this?

>     There is a theory in multi-dimensional four-colour studies called
> "the last story". Simply put, it observes that "existential threats"--
> such as alien invasions and reality-altering cataclysms-- have become
> steadily more dangerous and frequent. It postulates that this will
> continue, building to a kind of climax: a perfect storm of
> simultaneous existential threats so vast, dangerous, and unfathomable
> that we cannot help but be overwhelmed.

Hmmmmmmm. o.o I'm reminded of the early metafiction stories... hm hm...

>     It says something that, taken singly, any of those threats are
> something that most people feel that the Earth and its defenders can
> handle with some effort and some luck. We have handled those kinds of
> threats in the past. By all accounts, our planet has seen more of them
> than any other planet with which we have had any contact. After all,
> before they set their sights on Earth, the seven universal locusts had
> never failed to take over a planet. We are the only beings in the
> fourteen billion year history of the universe to defy them and win.
>     The new war will be unlike anything we have ever faced. It will be
> long, and it will be hard. The losses are likely to be catastrophic,
> and the strain on the slowly-recovering world economy perhaps
> unbearable. It will test our alliances, our ingenuity, and our will to
> live and to fight. The challenges are numerous and seemingly
> insurmountable. Victory seems impossible, and so it's easy to see why
> so many world leaders are so quick to pretend, at least in public,
> that this is just invasion number eight, right on schedule.
>     And yet, without the benefit of hindsight, victory seemed
> impossible all those times, too. Impossible, it seems, is simply what
> humans do. The new war may very well be the worst crisis we have ever
> faced. But it might also be the best we've ever been.


Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, good ending.

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