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Old March 24 2011, 07:29 PM   #464
Rush Limborg
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
rfmcdpei wrote: View Post

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.
The idiom I was using--"a Cold War-era anti-Communist terrorist group running through the Soviet sphere of influence setting off tactical nukes"--was fairly clear and seems to have been understood by other people.

For the purposes of the discussion, the distinction that you introduced between "setting off non-Soviet-made nuclear weapons in the Soviet sphere of influence" and "setting off Soviet-made nuclear weapons in the Soviet sphere of influence" is a non-starter: nuclear weapons are being set off, regardless.
But you noted that the Soviets would suspect the US because of the technology needed for nukes. If the rogues were simply blowing up the Soviet's own nukes, it would look like what it probably was: anti-Communist rebels.

And past a certain point the United States just wouldn't be believed.
Again, the "free world"--and the UN--has a tendency to give opposing nations against the free world the benefit of the doubt in such matters--accepting that it was a rougue group.

In "Zero Sum Game", for purposes of peace, the diplomatic channels accepted that 1) the thieves of the slipstram drive were working without the sanction of the Breen government; and that 2) there were no legit Federation spys working to stop the Breen research project, and the Aventine really was trying to save the station--it just got there too late.

Bringing this back to the discussion about Section 31, its use of genocidal tactics against civilizations inclined to respond in kind is problematic enough. Its use of genocidal tactics without Federation policymakers' involvement is another thing entirely. Section 31 is quite capable of triggering an apocalyptic conflict without any legitimate decision-makers wanting to fight such a war.
Capable, yes. Whether they would do it or not is another matter. Again, by the final battle, the Dominion did not have the resources to fight such a conflict.

The allies flew to Cardassia fully expecting a full-scale battle--with the Cardassian and Breen fleets on the Dominion's side--and they were also expecting to win.

Um, cite? The genocide of the Cardassians on their homeworld certainly happened--upwards of a billion dead--and the people involved saw a Dominion refusal to surrender as potentially catastrophic for everyone.
My line of reasoning before that line:

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
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.
Moving along--

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
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.
Was there evidence that the morphogenic virus needed a trigger?
The fact that it wasn't activated for years.

This doesn't make Section 31 any better. If anything, it makes Section 31 worse: what was it doing infecting the Founders with a genocidal bioweapon when the Dominion and the Federation weren't even fighting a war?
Yes, they were--just not a full-scale one. Recall "Homefront" and "Paradise Lost", the Klingon saga with the Martok-changeling (who was around since "Way of the Warrior"), etc.

In all those episodes, the Dominoon took actions intending to completely de-stablilize the Alpha and Beta Quadrants. In "Homefront/Paradise", in particular, they intended to bring Earth to destruction through implosion.

To paraphrase the 9/11 Commission Report, "They were at war with us. We weren't at war with them."

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.
That runs directly against the Just War principles that define the Federation's military policies.
Principles which frankly need a lot of looking over. The Just War theory is good--in theory. However, many times, for the reasons I have stated, it's impractical and self-defeating.

Starfleet was willing to punish Worf for his destruction of a Klingon passenger ship at a time when the Federation and the Klingons were close to war; Worf was saved only when it turned out that there were no passengers on board.
And under normal circumstances, I would say Starfleet was wrong to be so willing. Of course, their reasons in that instance was that they were doing whatever was necessary to keep a war from breaking out.

Section 31's actions fall squarely outside the realm of the acceptable, in doing immoral and illegal things which place the Federation at risk of involvement in apocalyptic wars triggered by Federation operatives operating without anyone's consent. How is this going to work in its favour?
Obviously, the Section 31 agents in custody would be convicted--for the same reasons Starfleet was willing to convict Worf. It would be doing what would be necessary to maintain plausible deniability--and with it, the peace.
"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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