Thread: The Typhon Pact
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Old July 20 2009, 06:06 AM   #108
Sci
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Re: The Typhon Pact

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
I see. And that is how you explain Tezrene's comment to Bacco about "it is YOU who are surrounded by a heavily armed hostile power" (emphasis mine)?
That conversation was half exposition and half pissing contest. Tezrene described it as a "heavily-armed hostile power," but she implied that it would have been hostile to Tholia had they not joined. Well, that just doesn't make sense -- the Typhon Pact is based on the idea of unity, not the idea of conquest. It's ultimately not going to be able to gain any real power in the quadrant if it keeps doing the same-old, same-old; it knows full well that wars and conquest have been tried, and produced only moderately large results, whereas cooperation and partnership have turned the Federation into an unrivaled superpower.

Tezrene was saying that because she was playing mind games with Bacco. If the Pact was actually actively hostile like that, they wouldn't have gone and stopped the Kinshaya fleet that was attacking the Klingons and they wouldn't have apologized. And Tezrene herself wouldn't have allowed the Tholians to take sole blame the way she did.

The Tholians were the only ones acting hostile, and that was in retaliation for what can at best be described as an act of passive pre-emptive hostility from the Federation -- one that could have endangered Tholia's existence.
And is everything the Typhon Pact does that could conceivably be regarded as hostile, somehow the Federation's fault?
I never said it was the Federation's fault, nor did I say that the Tholians' actions were justified, nor did I imply such. What I did say was that, from the Tholians' point of view, they were retaliating for what could quite reasonably be seen as an act of Federation hostility against them. I mean, think about it -- the Federation went and bullied the Ferengi into denying the Tholians access to a fleet of warships the day before the biggest invasion of the Alpha Quadrant in galactic history began.

That doesn't make what the Tholians did okay -- it makes it understandable. It means that we have to acknowledge that our enemies are not necessarily irrationally hostile or "evil" and acknowledge that "we done wrong" in order to reach a point where peaceful reconciliation is possible. Now, it takes two to tango. If the UFP admits it's done wrong but not the Tholian Assembly, well, the ball's in the Tholians' court. No one's arguing the Tholians aren't jerks.

But they're not jerks who are impossible to understand. Nor are they jerks who were entirely wrong. Not entirely right, either. It's all a matter of perspective.

If the Federation can be wrong, and can do things that can cause the Pact to act, then why can the reverse not be true?
Oh, certainly. I'm not saying the Tholians were right or justified, just understandable (if boneheaded). And it would be completely understandable -- though, in my view, just as boneheaded -- for the UFP to retaliate somehow for the Tholians trying to screw with them.

But that wouldn't be very conducive to peace on either end, now would it? I do expect better of the Federation than of the Tholians.

That still seems rather convenient - the use of Sekki to commit crimes that the Pact, as a whole, can quite easily disavow any knowledge of. Quite a readily-made scapegoat, that.
It's entirely possible, but I doubt the Tholians would be willing to take the blame by themselves the way they did if it weren't true. Do the Tholians strike you as being burdened with an over-abundance of loyalty to anyone who isn't Tholian? I doubt they'd be willing to fall on their swords for the Typhon Pact.

I would call China a threat, yes. Remember Tiananmen Square? Don't tell me they don't have a hostile intent.
And a Chinese person could easy reply, "I would call the United States a threat, yes. Remember Kent State? Don't tell me they don't have hostile intent." (I should know, since I am about to graduate from Kent State University in a month: Even democratic governments have been known to murder their own citizens for daring to protest.)

Obviously China is an authoritarian government that's more than willing to crush domestic dissent. It does not logically follow, however, that they must therefore constitute a hostile enemy in the realm of foreign policy.

Do you think that a nation is only safe from its neighbors if it is a lone superpower to whom no other nation is an equal?
If that means that no other nation would dare attack it, then it just might be.
There is no such thing as being so powerful that no other nation will dare attack you. A casual glance at history will reveal that all of the great empires in history faced enemies more than willing to attack them at every stage of their history. In fact, it often creates more enemies than you might otherwise have through the process of blowback.

Dominance is not conducive to national security.

"Professor, isn't this Pact a threat to the Federation?"
[snip]

I am well aware of that scene. And I have never advocated that the Federation should openly *attack* the Pact, or that open warfare should break out between the two. (Although if the Pact attacks first, the Federation would of course have every right to defend itself.)
Of course.

But, then, that's sorta the issue: You've been approaching the Pact from the presumption, unbacked by evidence, of uniform hostility and aggression on their part. You've approached the issue with the unquestioned premise that if the Typhon Pact does well, the Federation must do poorly. You have begun from the premise that the Typhon Pact represents an existential threat to the Federation and moved from there -- even though that is by no means a certainty.

You can't forge a good relationship with someone if you refuse to accept that others are operating in good faith. That kind of attitude towards a foreign society can lead to a great deal of unnecessary conflict -- and can influence an otherwise peaceful society to behave in a hostile manner without real justification.
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