Mark Simmons (
Tue, 25 May 1999 13:56:14 -0700

Justin Palmer writes,

> I always assumed that it was because they wanted living space -
>poison gas doesn't destroy industrial facilities and living quarters
>(though it does also kill the workers needed to run those facilities...
>) It also makes it very easy to capture territory without having to
>worry about keeping a potentially hostile population under guard. Am I
>mistaken in thinking that references to over-population are made in some
>parts of the Gundam saga, or am I imagining things? (I know the books
>make reference to a population shortage, which doesn't seem to fit with
>that impression... )

  The population shortage comes _after_ the war has killed 50% of the human
race. You're completely correct that Zeon's leaders, particularly Giren,
had an explicit goal of reducing the human population. After all, Side 3's
own colony cylinders have been converted to claustrophobic tin-can designs
to increase the available living space; even so, a bit of math will
demonstrate that these space colonies are packed with several times the
population they were originally intended to hold.

  In fact, half a century later the population - dangerously thin by the
end of the war - has rebounded, and space colonies are again turning into
overcrowded slums. This is the major theme of Tomino's F91 novelization, in
which the Ronah family seek to carry out another population reduction
through means both political and military. The end result is the Bug, an
artificially-intelligent killing machine whose purpose is identical to that
of the poison gas used by Giren's legions.

Rodrick Su writes,

>There is military reason for going after civilian in war, and in this case,
>the civilian population probably maintains and supplied the Federation. By
>going after spacenoids civilian population, Zeon lost whatever their moral
>righteousness they have over the Federation.

  Congratulations; you've realized something that eluded the Zeon-loving
hacks who wrote Gundam 0083.

  (This is about where Jim Huang will pop up and argue that, dammit, the
Zeons may have killed their fellow spacenoids' bodies, but the Federation
was killing their souls; and hey, it's always fun to go round and round on
the Federation vs. Zeon stuff again.)

-- Mark

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