Monday, 19 September 2016

Blockade

Falkayn and Adzel blockade Merseia:

"Adzel shifted in unease. 'We must not cause anyone to starve.'
"'We won't. Food isn't sent across space, except gourmet items; too costly.'" (David Falkayn: Star Trader, p. 265)

It works. The Gethfennu release Chee Lan.

Currently, Sheila and I have an Indian lodger, Amish, who reminded us of famines in India caused by the British, including Winston Churchill during World War II. On his hand-held computer, Amish showed us a speech by an Indian politician at the Oxford Union on the subject of Indian impoverishment under British rule.

Of course, van Rijn's employees will not cause anyone to starve although other League merchants are not scrupulous. Falkayn loses merit in Buddhist terms but makes profits in capitalist terms. (p. 266)

11 comments:

  1. Kaor, Paul!

    And I don't agree Falkayn lost merit at all! After all, he was not the one who either kidnapped Chee Lan or was then LESS than zealous in tracking her down and rescuing the Cynthian from Haguan.

    About famines in India during WW II, I simply don't know WHAT could have been done by the British. COULD they have shipped millions of tons of grain thousands of miles infested by German and Japanese submarines just waiting to sink the ships? I think it would have needed the destruction of just a small percentage of such relief ships before the whole effort simply crashed. I think Churchill had to make hard decisions in hard times.

    And the Hands and leaders of rival Merseian nations were quite willing, btw, to let the Gethfennu bases on Ronruad starve!

    Sean

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Hard Decisions in Hard Times" Really??? Deliberately knowing the fact that this will affect and kill approximately 3 million people can NEVER EVER BE JUSTIFIED!

      Amish

      Delete
    2. Sir,

      Many thanks for your comments. I also had in mind the sheer LOGISTICAL difficulty of trying, for example, to ship millions of tons of grain from Australia and Canada. Even putting aside the inevitable losses caused by attacks from German and Japanese submarines, DID the British have ENOUGH ships capable of transporting enough grain to make a real difference in famine relief? And of course the war with Japan and Germany still absorbed most of Britain's efforts and resources.

      I'm sorry, but I still think Churchill had to make hard decisions in very hard times.

      Respectfully, Sean

      Delete
    3. Sean:
      Wikipedia states that as of 2010, "India is the world's largest producer of many fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, major spices ... the second largest producer of wheat and rice, the world's major food staples...."

      It seems to me that HM Government in the 1930s and during WWII must have been doing a really crummy job if a country so large and evidently fertile couldn't feed itself. Was most of the cropland devoted to inedible things (cotton, perhaps -- oh, yeah, we in the U.S. KNOW about cotton plantations), or foods Indians weren't permitted to eat? That's not a "hard" decision; it's a callous and cruel decision.

      Delete
    4. Dear David,

      This was before the Green Revolution increased agricultural productivity. I'm not saying that the British Raj was flawless, but the British should not be blamed too much for failing to invent I proved crops, etc., decades before Norman Borlaug did so. Also, I believe that Burma had exported rice to Bengal, and when the Japanese conquered Burma -- and the British conducted a scorched-earth retreat -- that supply was cut off. No doubt the Bengal Famine of 1943 was horrible, but it's not clear to me how it could have been avoided, given the circumstances. I do speak under correction here.

      Best Regards,
      Nicholas D. Rosen

      Delete
    5. Nicholas,
      India had a large share of world trade before British rule and a much smaller share afterwards. The British destroyed any Indian industry that could compete with theirs.
      Paul.

      Delete
    6. Kaor, David and Paul!

      David: Nicholas beat me to pointing out that the WW II famine in India occurred DECADES before the "Green Revolution" introduced improved crops to India. I would also point out that famines occurred in India AFTER independence, during the rule of Nehru. And there was another famine in 1972 as well. And the Bengal famine of 1943 seems to have been, as Nicolas said, a direct result of the war with Japan, after Burma was occupied by Japanese forces. So, I don't think the British were uniquely callous or deliberately brutal.

      Paul: I have to disagree, what you called "Indian industry" in, I assume circa 1660 would be on so small a scale compared to what we started seeing after steam power began to be used that I don't believe it is relevant.

      Sean

      Delete
    7. Dear David, Paul,

      Thank you for your support and understanding.

      Dear Sean, Nicholas,

      First of all let me clear that I am an INDIAN. I am not denying the fact that during WW II, the circumstances were very difficult, but there is always a solution if you're optimistic and not pessimistic (referring to Winston Churchill in this case). No body in this world has right to kill any humans (especially forcing and starving them to DEATH for your own sake).

      Below is the link of the video that I shared with Paul last week:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7CW7S0zxv4

      I hope that the video will clear most of your doubts regarding the atrocities occurred in India during and after the British Raj (for instance, economically and psychologically).

      Regards,
      Amish

      Delete
    8. Dear Mr. Trivedi,

      Again, many thanks for commenting. I'm sorry, but you still have not convinced me WHAT could have been done about the Bengal Famine during WW II. It's all very well to say a solution is always possible if you are optimistic. But, you have not addressed the points made by Nicholas and myself. That is, the Japanese occupation of Burma cut off a major source of food and how and where the grain AND the shipping needed for transporting it would be found.

      Let's assume there was an attempt to send massive amounts of grain to Indian from Canada and Australia. WHERE, in the middle of a war with Germany and Japan could the UK and the Dominions find enough ships? And these ships would have to be organized into convoys guarded by the Royal Navy and the smaller Navies of the Dominion. And you can be dead sure the German and Japanese navies would be attacking the convoys. To say nothing of how the freighters and warships taken away from the struggle against Germany and Japan would have given them a much freer hand against the UK/Dominions (and, by extension, the US).

      Here's a small example of the difficulties the British had to face in the Bay of Bengal after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, quoted from page 156 of volume 4 of Winston Churchill's history of WW II, THE HINGE OF FATE (Bantam, 13th printing, July 1979): "Meanwhile in the Bay of Bengal a second Japanese striking force comprising a light carrier and six heavy cruisers were attacking our defenseless shipping. On March 31 [1942], the same day as emergency measures were taken in Colombo, it was decided to clear the port of Calcutta. Our naval forces in the area were negligible, and i was decided to sail the ships in small groups. This questionable policy was reversed five days later when a ship was sunk south of Calcutta by air attack, and thereafter sailings were stopped. In the next few days the Japanese, ranging freely by sea and air, sank 93,000 tons of shipping. Adding the damage inflicted by Nagumo's force at the same time, our losses in this period amounted to nearly 110,000 tons."

      Respectfully, Sean

      Delete
  2. Sean,
    Falkayn wishes he didn't have to honor the promised amnesty. Even this cynical wish loses him merit in Adzel's view!
    Paul.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kaor, Paul!

      Truth to say, I agreed with Falkayn! I too would have preferred punishing Haguan and the Gethfennu for what they had done. They remained, after all, criminals and gangsters.

      Sean

      Delete