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Welcome to the Zarthani.net H. Beam Piper mailing list and discussion forum. Initiated in October 2008 (after the demise of the original PIPER-L mailing list), this tool for shared communication among Piper fans provides an e-mail list and a discussion forum with on-line archives.
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David Johnson
20:53 UT
Hi Tom.

>The Caliphate has formally proclaimed itself.

Maybe the "Kaliphate" but probably not the "Islamic Caliphate" of Piper's yarn "Edge of the Knife."
When Piper first mentioned the "Islamic Kaliphate," in his excellent 1950 yarn "The Mercenaries" (a "Hartley" yarn not part of Beam's Terro-human Future History), it was one of several geopolitical power blocs that was, if not explicitly hostile to, then certainly in an adversarial relationship with the Western Union bloc (which included the United States).
Of course, "The Mercenaries" is a story that is about scientists who have managed to escape the entire Westphalian state system so it's not entirely clear who the "good guys" in that world are (and it's certainly the case that the protagonists of the MacLeod Team are most immediately in conflict with some of the security forces of the United States).
When Beam described the "Islamic Caliphate" again, seven years later in the Terro-human Future History yarn "Edge of the Knife," is was a different entity (perhaps also signaled by the different spelling). The assassinated leader of this Islamic Caliphate is "pro-Western" and his son, who succeeds him, eventually brings the Caliphate into the U.S.-led Terran Federation before the Thirty Days' War breaks out.
When Beam wrote "Edge of the Knife," the actual-world Iraq was a monarchy. The young monarch, King Faisal II, was the great grandson of Hussein ib'n Ali, Sharif of Mecca and King of the Hejaz, who fought with the British against the Ottomans in WWI, and who declared himself Caliph after the Ottoman Caliphate was abolished by post-Ottoman Turkey. Hussein was quickly deposed by the Saudis who conquered the Hejaz and captured Mecca and Medina. Hussein fled to the court of his son, Abdullah, Emir of Transjordan (the great grandfather of the current King of Jordan, Abdullah II). Hussein's son, Faisal, was briefly declared King of "Greater Syria" after the defeat of the Ottomans, before being expelled by the French. He was subsequently installed as King of Iraq by the British. His grandson, Faisal II, was killed and the Iraqi monarchy abolished a bit over a year after "Edge of the Knife" was published.
The differences in Beam's views of the "Islamic Kaliphate" and the "Islamic Caliphate" may have been sparked by the tour the young King Faisal I made of the U.S. in 1952, between the time Beam wrote "The Mercenaries" and when he wrote "Edge of the Knife." There are photos of Faisal's visit to the U.S. here:
So it's likely that the "Islamic Caliphate" of Beam's "Edge of the Knife" was based upon the pro-Western Iraqi monarchy which had direct ties to the actual-world Caliphate that was proclaimed at Mecca in the aftermath of World War I. But this would have been something very, very different from the "Islamic Caliphate" we see today rampaging across Iraq and what was once "Greater Syria."
Be well,

Tom Rogers
01:13 UT
The Caliphate has formally proclaimed itself. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/30/world/middleeast/iraq.html?_r=0
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