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 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 inherent right 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.
No offense, but very narrow-minded. You seem to only
look at the few instances of "manipulative, controlling, expansionist or even oppressive" events involving the Federation. What about all those 150 planets that are independent and prosperous? What about all the benefits they've gained over the years? So, there was one incident in Tezwa....a statistical outlier. Granted, a major blow. But still ONE incident. And the Federation did
resolve the issue and quickly ... and forced their rogue President and his cabinet to resign ... if THAT isn't an example of self-regulation, I don't know what is.
Any intelligent species capable of thinking and willing to think long-term would likely consider all
its options and in evaluating a potential alliance or joining another political entity, they would
consider all of their potential partner's history not just the few instances that seem to stand out because of some negative consequences. Any intelligent species can understand that no race or civilization is capable of being perfect (and perfect here I define as following their own stated laws and maintaining their ideals all
the time without a single contradictory instance). If the laws and ideals of the potential are compatible with theirs (and there are
already very diverse cultures that enjoy autonomy and prosperity under the Federation - that's precedent), and they want
to, out of their own free will and choice, join another entity or alliance, is that really so hard?
It would be not be easy for someone without a pro-federation bias to resist weighing the definitely larger rewards against the potentially smaller risks in joining the Federation compared to joining any of the other imperialist-oriented powers of the Alpha quadrant before the Borg invasion or before the Dominion war.
As I've said earlier, the Borg invasion and the emergence of the Typhon Pact changed everything and so powers that want to think long-term would consider waiting and trying to extract maximum concessions from both the Pact and the Federation before deciding on one or the other.