If they could, wouldn't the Federation make thousands of industrial replicators and use them endlessly? They'd make squadrons of spacedocks with dozens of nacelles and send them after the Dominion without need of the treacherous Romulans.
Sure, but you're not accounting for the role that resentment of the Federation and its superpower status would likely play in clouding many worlds' judgment. How we feel about something can have a strong influence on how we judge it and its behavior. For a real-life example:
Love of the U.S. can operate invisibly to make someone blind to (or to make them justify or excuse) the U.S.'s various human rights abuses in the past -- supporting the brutal dictatorships of Chile and Argentina in the 1970s and 1980s, for instance, who went around torturing damn near anyone they could with CIA operatives telling them how to do it, for instance. At the same time, resentment of the U.S. can operate invisibly to make someone blind to -- or hostile to -- the U.S.'s various pro-human rights actions undertaken in the past: Refusing to see the horrific abuses of the Soviet Union and its communist allies, refusing to acknowledge the benefits of American foreign aid, refusing to acknowledge that pushing Iraq out of Kuwait was a good thing, refusing to acknowledge that Israel has a right to exist, etc.
Back in the Trekverse, an anti-Federation bias, for instance, might well predispose someone to think that the Federation wouldn't
send out industrial replicators and other resources to worlds in need and that its rhetoric about not having resources is nonsense. Meanwhile, a pro-Federation bias might predispose someone to think that the Federation would always
help wherever it can. Neither side is accurate, of course, but that won't stop people from arguing both extremes.
And a good salesman for the Pact will take advantage of the kinds of resentments that will inevitably have built up towards the Federation and use it against them.
So they can go all Tezwa and end up causing a war between those who helped them in the first place and the Klingons?
"Maybe even give you some of those fancy-shmancy quantum torpedoes so that the next time someone comes a-callin', you'll be able to tell them what's what?"
To which someone from a pro-Pact POV could argue from several different angles of attack:
1. "Not all worlds are Tezwa. Why would you put any world that isn't in the Federation in the same boat with the government of that Tezwan madman? Sounds an awful like lot like you're stereotyping all independent worlds to me. See? Once again, the lofty, morally superior Federation proves its hypocrisy."
2. "How can you argue against allowing independent worlds to defend themselves in an age when the Borg Collective goes and exterminates them in reaction to your
hostilities against them? We have a right to self-defense, especially now that the quadrant is devastated."
And that's just operating from the POV of a Pact agent who does not know that the Federation President provided the canons to Tezwa voluntarily. If the secrets of Min Zife's actions were to come out, a Pact agent would then argue:
3. "I agree completely. Barzan absolutely should not take weapons from the Federation. The last time an independent world accepted military technology from the Federation, the Federation overthrew their government and occupied their world -- all to cover up the crimes of the Federation President! The last thing that Barzan needs is to risk becoming a victim of Federation imperialism and Federation corruption. Here, Mister Barzanian President, please accept this shipment of 43 ship-mounted Breen energy-dampening weapons, free of charge."
That 'Prime Directive' of theirs. They still using that excuse? Really, it didn't go out the airlock when the Borg invaded and suddenly it looked like millions of your people were going to go hungry? That's disgusting.
"And where were YOU when we were being exterminated Tholia?[/quote]
"Tholia was denied the ability to hire a fleet of ships they needed to protect their homeworld--by the Federation. Funny how that works out, isn't it? Besides, do bear in mind that thousands of Gorn, Tzenkethi, Romulan, and Breen soldiers gave their lives trying to protect the entire Alpha Quadrant from the Borg in the Azure Nebula -- a massacre that allowed the Borg to invade the entire quadrant. Perhaps if the Federation hadn't tried to put all of our eggs on one basket, the war would have gone better."
"Your entire foreign policy is that the Federation isn't perfect so we should join you in war against it."
Actually, that's a complete misreading of what the Pact is arguing. It's not saying they should go to war with the Federation -- it's a competition for influence, not war.
A Pact agent would respond, "Nonsense. I'm just saying, we'll help you, and in return we ask you to help us. And we'll help you without
trying to tell you what kind of society you 'ought' to be, and without
trying to pressure you to join our government. The Federation is always running around, telling the independent worlds they provide aid to -- never too much
aid, of course, just enough
for the UFP to maintain leverage over them -- that they ought to change themselves to be more like the Federation so that they can become Federation Members. Isn't it nice to be able to get help from someone who isn't
trying to change you or convince you to join their government?"
Beloved Romulus is no more after the Hobus supernova.
"Anyway, here's the thing. Now, see, the Borg never made it to Tzenketh, Breen, Gorn, or Romulus.
The destruction of Romulus isn't going to happen until 2387. The current novels are set in 2381, and the Typhon Pact
miniseries will be set in 2382. My argument was from an '81/'82 POV.
"The rest of you guys are just lucky - the Borg would not have stopped at Earth or Qo'noS and all your worlds and mine would be gone."
Which is immaterial, as the point of noting that the Borg never got there was simply by way of explaining why the Pact can afford to help non-Pact worlds.
"Furthermore, when the Dominion swept through here, the Romulans and the Tholians signed non-agression treaties with them and the Gorn were to busy in-fighting to care either way. It was the Federation and the Klingons who stood to defend this half of the galaxy from Dominion "order"."
To which a Pact agent would reply by noting that every
independent world that could signed non-aggression pacts with the Dominion. This theoretical independent world the Pact is trying to influence to ally with the T.P. would have no more legs to stand on than the Pact worlds -- less, in fact, since the Romulans eventually did
join the war and lost thousands of soldiers fighting the Dominion.
BTW: I think it's safe to say that the only acronym worse than the Imperial Romulan State's "IRS" is the Typhon Pact's: "T.P."
That's what the Orion mob, er, I mean, "business men" said when they sold us warp and now we're sending them a third our GDP.
"What do we want out of it? Why, nothing. Nothing at all. Except, maybe, do us a favor -- could you send, say, Romulus and Tzenketh more shipments of dilithium once you're back on your feet?
That's just rhetorical nonsense. Trade agreements such as what I had the T.P. salesman describe above happen all the time in the real world: Country A has x
amount of resources it can export, Countries B and C both want more of A's x
, so A has to divide x
between B and C in some way. If A and C get along better than A and B, then C is naturally going to get a larger percentage of x
To equate that with a protection racket is just absurd. That's not a protection racket. It's not extortion -- it's just how trade works.
The Typhon Pact's entire modus operandi -- the modus operandi implied in A Singular Destiny
, the modus operandi I cribbed from the Soviet Union -- is, again, of being bastards by being good, of lying with the truth. That's the point of what I'm saying: That the T.P. will likely do what the USSR did: The Typhon Pact, like the Soviet Union, will win allies away from the Federation by not
treating those worlds like crap, by not
screwing them over. Screwing the Federation over by being good to everyone else
I expect more from the Typhon Pact if they're supposed to supplant the Federation as the galaxy's city on a hill.
See, that's the thing, though. You're operating from a pro-Federation bias, and, more to the point, from the notion that anyone even is or is supposed to be a "city on a hill." The Typhon Pact, like the USSR in real life, will probably seek to win allies by simply noting that the Federation (like the U.S.) has screwed other nations over plenty of times in the past (and therefore cannot lay claim to being a city on a hill) and then simply try to provide aid without strings.
The Typhon Pact isn't trying to replace the Federation as a "city on a hill" morally. They're trying to replace the Federation as the dominant power in the Alpha Quadrant. To do that, they're going to hurt the Federation by helping everyone else.
Once they have
become more powerful than the Federation? Hell, who knows? Maybe they'll end up "infected" with Federation values as a result of having been good to everyone else and end up turning into a unified state that shares all those same basic values with the UFP -- thereby ending the unofficial conflict between them. Or maybe they'll turn out to be pure hypocrites and disregard all their lofty rhetoric and beneficent policies. We'll see.
If the minor powers are thinking long-term however, they might think it not worth it to align themselves with the Pact immediately. After all, before the Borg invasion, given a choice between aligning with the Federation or aligning with some members of the Pact, they would have chosen the Federation simply because the Federation does not occupy, subjugate or conquer
No offense, but nonsense. The entire galaxy saw the Federation conquer and occupy Tezwa. I promise you, I promise you, that war cost the Federation a lot
of respect and moral credibility from other governments (just like Iraq, the war it was based on, has cost the U.S. a lot of respect from other governments). The Federation lost the credibility to claim the moral high ground when it planted its flag over Keelee-Kee.
And as I've noted several times, it would be very easy for someone without a pro-Federation bias -- especially
if their bias is actively anti-Federation -- to interpret UFP foreign policy as being very manipulative, controlling, self-serving or, expansionist, or even oppressive.