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Old March 24 2011, 04:56 AM   #461
Rush Limborg
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
If it's an "anti-Communist" group running around setting off nuclear weapons--weapons which the Soviet Union already had--that means it does not necessarily follow that they had any help from the US. All the Soviets would know is that it's a terrorist group taking advantage of embarrasing loopholes in security.
The Soviets would be able to determine a fair number of things. Leaving circumstantial evidence aside, it's fairly trivial to determine, by the precise mixtures of isotopes left behind, which facility manufactured a weapon--The Sum of All Fears made use of that, if you're a Clancy fan.

There's also capability. Only a few states are capable of making nuclear weapons. (The terrorists in that Clancy novel "cheated" by salvaging a lost Israeli warhead.) Taking this over to the Star Trek context, only a few polities had the knowledge of Founder genetic coding necessary to make a lethal bioweapon.
Ah...are we talking about the same thing? Because it had sounded like you were discussing these rogues blowing up Soviet nuclear arsenals.

Finally, condoning this sort of terrorist warfare, or even appearing to condone this sort of terorrist warfare, leaves you with no ground to oppose your enemies' escalation in kind.
Which is precisely the advantage of an agency being (in appearances, at least) autonomous and "rogue". It assists in the concept of plausible deniablility. The US publicly expressing that they do not condone these actions, thus provides the loophole.

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Except, again, Section 31 doesn't really have a real-life paralell. It may be a combinations of many different real and fictional groups...but there's no honest-to-goodness comparison with anything in real life that I can think of.
No relevant parallels at all?
Again, that I am aware of.

The conquest, yes, not their annihilation.
Sure. But the F.C. made it clear that she was all too willing to go that far, if she deemed it necessary--and as the attempt to destroy the Bajoran sun indicates.

As you're doubtless aware, it's trivially easy in the Star Trek universe to come up with tailored, almost universally lethal, bioweapons aimed at any number of species.
And in the Trek universe, it seemes comparatively easy for Starfleet to derive cures for such weapons, as opposed to the Dominion.

Furthermore, as you yourself point out:

Her warmaking machine was fragile. Leaving aside the need to keep the Cardassians from spinning completely out of control--as they did, anyway--there was the need to keep the Breen as allies. Presumably a Breen alliance would have been difficult if the Breen were convicned that the Dominion was about to start killing off civilizations.

When the Breen fled, the Cardassians defected to the Federation Alliance, and the prospects of a cure from Dominion laboratories for her disease disappeared
Interestingly enough, recall that Bashir noted that the Jack Pack theorized on exactly that--and anti-Dominon coup on Cardassia.

she odered the summary execution of every Cardassian on their homeworld and ordered every Dominion soldier to fight to the death, with the express aim of bleeding Federation Alliance forces white and vulnerable for a second Dominion offensive from the Gamma Quadrant.

When the Founder was convinced that defeat was imminent, she transformed the war from a conflict involving the conquest and continued control of populations and territories to their annihilation. Section 31's preemptive escalation to a war of annihilation against the Founder species could have triggered this shift earlier, at a time when the Founder commanded more military forces capable of attacks in kind.

Section 31 screwed up royally. It's a minor miracle that the Borg came to the Alpha Quadrant to find the Federation and its populations remaining.
Not necessarily. As you said, the Breen and the Cardassians abandoning the Dominion left them vulnerable--and frankly, the F.C. was all but out of resources. The allies were certainly prepared for a full-scale battle (that was what they were expecting)--and with the Cardassians now on their side, and the Breen retreating, the odds skyrocketed even futher in their favor.

Frankly, the F.C.'s gloating about her "making victory come at a cost" were merely empty words--and she knew it. She was simply trying to repair her damaged pride.

As for 31, it's worth noting that the Founders had obviously had the virus since before the wormhole was mined--they were probably infected in "Broken Link". (Oh, the irony....)

The fact that the virus wasn't activated until Season 7 implies that 31 waited until what they felt was the opportune moment--probably, when the Dominion felt the full effects of the Romulans joining the Allies.

Rush Limorg wrote: View Post
In war, innocents invariably get caught in the crossfire--and there's a price paid. Believe me, I find it every bit as distasteful and disgusting as you do--but that's the way things are in war. As I said, war itself is an atrocity. Sometimes, innocents are put in mortal danger from it. Sometimes, they perish en masse.
Trying to minimize atrocities is one thing. Committing atrocities is another.
As I said, war itself is an atrocity. Trying to make it more or less of one is frankly meaningless--it's an atrocity, no matter how you want to paint it. Innocents will die in war--and more often than not, going out of your way to keep that from happening just prolonges the war--and therefore is self-defeating.

If you want to stop and prevent "war atrocities"--you have to win the war, ending it as quickly as possible.
"The saying implies but does not name the effective agency of its supposed utopia.... 'Needs and abilities' are, of course, subjective. So the operative statement may be reduced to 'the State shall take, the State shall give'."
--David Mamet
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