--I definitely considered the Hiroshima parallel when I first sat down to write this, but I think you're looking here at a very different tactical scenario than the choice the Allies were facing at the end of World War II (do a D-Day on the Japanese homeland or drop the bomb). The closer Dominion War analogy would have been the choices that might've faced the Allies had the Founder not been convinced to surrender, and they were left facing the grim prospect of fighting street to street on the entire planet of Cardassia Prime and throughout the Union, to stop the genocide and kill every single Jem'Hadar.
I think in a lot of ways, too, the biogenic weapon situation was the A-bomb parallel and I see similar debates on it in the DS9 forum sometimes.
But in the case of Septimus III, you had a finite number of people and weapons, on a planet that I think was pretty much a military base and nothing else.
I think there was another tactic that could've knocked the Eleventh Order out of the war that would NOT have included the hideous things the Klingons did. I would've been fine with bombing the planet back into the Stone Age, given that there wouldn't have been a lot of noncombatants here. The infrastructure, unquestionably, had to go: all the missile interceptors, SAMs/SSMs, etc. Anything with warp, impulse engines, or weapons would have to be destroyed, too. I would've followed that up by detonating an EMP device in the upper atmosphere, shorting any electronic device in the area. Any survivors would be in primitive conditions, but seeing as you have a largely unspoiled planet aside from the base, they would've at least had a chance
to live off of the planet hunter-gatherer style for the duration of the war. The effect of knocking an entire Order out of the war would still be there, on the Cardassian people, and make no mistake, there would still be a lot of casualties. The fact that the Dominion sent no reinforcements would've still made a major impression with Damar, Berat, Rebek, and everyone else.
But here's where I think the Klingons went too far. When they decided they were going to kill by the sword just for the hell of it, and desecrate the bodies
, that was overkill. When they decided they were going to destroy the entire planet's life-bearing capacity for a thousand years, that was MAJOR overkill and an atrocity.
--Thanks for reading. One thing that the Cardassian government has often abused severely in its people is their sense of duty, that instinctive need they have for belonging to their "pack" and for obedience. And yet I think in this case, the decision to take a stand was because in the end, they decided that duty was not to the corrupt leadership, but to Cardassia in the abstract, and to the particular men and women who fought at their side--their band of brothers, so to speak. I don't know if you've ever read All Quiet on the Western Front
, but that's kind of what I was going for as far as the feeling of it.
--What a surprise to see you here in the fanfic section!
Your words about Rebek are most kind, and I'm very glad to know that you like her! Cardassian culture, as I see it, is VERY much two-sided: there is the way it's become twisted, and what it could've been. Yet as much like 1984
as Cardassia sometimes seems, the thing is--Cardassia is NOT a hermetically-sealed system as the 1984
society is implied to be. And that means it can't be a "perfect" dystopia. Things break. People escape. And ideas and nobility still live, however oppressed.