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Old March 25 2011, 06:07 PM   #473
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 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.
I noted the difference later, after other people agreed that a terrorist campaign involving WMD use by one state against another is a very bad idea. It's a difference that makes no difference.
Sci wrote: View Post
Pardon me, but why would that still not be seen as a bad thing? You're talking about the mass murders of millions of people.
Kestrel wrote: View Post
Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
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 that's still a very bad thing.
Oh, it still could very well be considered a bad thing, I don't contest that it unnecessarily causes civilian deaths.

I am simply contesting the idea that the US would be held at fault for it.

rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
What does this mean?
Simply that plausible deniability is an all-too-useful tool. We couldn't hold the Soviets to account for somthing if they had an air-tight alibi--regardless of everyone "knowing" it were false. Surely that would go for the US, as well.

Sci wrote: View Post
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.
No. For the purposes of international relations, the diplomatic channels accepted the common set of lies that: 1. No theft of the Federation slipstream drive had occurred; 2. no Federation operatives were present within Breen space; 3. the Aventine arrived in an attempt to save the Breen space station and was too late.
That was basically what I said. Of course it was a bunch of lies--and they all accepted it due to the diplomatic tool of plausible deniabilty, which regularly preserves international relations.

rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
Zero Sum Game's scenario has few points in common with Section 31's infection of the Founders with the morphogenic virus.

* The Breen (with Romulan help) stole slipstream technology from the Federation and were subjected to a black-ops attack that destroyed the prototype Breen slipstream drive and the shipyard that made it, along with the files and the engineers involved. This is tit-for-tat, something not likely to lead to escalation unless both parties wanted it. Neither wanted it, or was especially inclined to wanting it: the Typhon Pact is still building its forces and a common position, and the Federation just wanted to rebuild.

* Section 31, apparently without authorization, infected a species ruling a hostile polity--not a polity that the Federation was at war with, even--with a lethal virus with the express intent of killing off the entire species. Genocide isn't a policy authorized by Starfleet, or the Federation Council, or the Federation President, and it has every likelihood of escalating very badly indeed. The Founders have been capable of ordering acts of genocide in spite--the Quickening on Teplan and the massacres on Cardassia Prime are proof. Why wouldn't they retaliate in kind against an explicit attack on their species?

How is it in the interest of anyone in the Federation to retain an agency capable of ordering acts of genocide likely to lead to terrible conflicts? In the case of the Founders and the Dominion, it was only the Founders' lack of knowledge of the disease's origins and their own interest in conquering--not destroying--the Federation that prevented an escalation.
Again, the Federation preserving plausible deniability--and pointing to their "no-genocide" policy--diplomatically absolves them of responsibility in this. Again, to paraphrase Mission: Impossible: "As always, if any of your team is caught or killed, the Federation will disavow any knowledge of your activities."

rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
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.
They intended to destabilize the Federation, yes. They didn't intend to kill everyone in the Federation.

There are huge differences between the two actions that you seem to be glossing over.
Not necessarily. Bear with me--

Sci wrote: View Post
Uh, no. They intended to prompt the Federation into acts of paranoia, which Leyton damn near did. They weren't out to "bring Earth to destruction through implosion."
Let me explain in further detail: the Dominon indended to prompt the Federation into acts of paranoia leading inevitably to internal implosion.

Just as paranoia (albeit in a different sense) brought destruction to the Klingon/Federation alliance--so paranoia within the Federation leads to stife, conflict--perhaps civil war.

So, rfmcdpei, while the actions were not full-fledged genocide, they still were conducted with the intent to bring the Alpha-Beta Quadrant powers to destruction.

The point I was making is simply this: the Dominion didn't really give a darn about "rules", or "principles". All they cared about was results. They wanted victory over the solids, and were willing to do whatever was necessary to get it.

Kestrel wrote: View Post
Nobody knew of a Changeling replacing Martok until after 31 had already delivered the virus into the Great Link. That can't be used as evidence that "the Dominion was already at war with the Federation" because nobody knew about it.
Nobody knew about it during those events, no--as far as the general public was concerned. However, anyone looking back would agree that they were are war with the Federation, and the other powers.

rfmcdpei wrote: View Post
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.
"Mistakes" which can be brushed under the rug are one thing. Attempts at genocide, which can't be, are another.
Again--plausible deniability. Section 31 is an autonomous and allegedly rogue organization which acts without the Federation's knowledge or approval. Diplomatically, the opposing powers could not tie them to the Federation, should the later make a public condemnation distancing itself from 31.

Sci wrote: View Post
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.
It would be wrong to punish a military officer for murdering innocent civilians?
Wrong if it was simply innocents caught in the crossfire--suddenly appearing in a battlefield. If you wander into a battlefield, a price paid is naturally expected--which is why wandering into a battlefield is abolutely stupid.

Kestrel wrote: View Post
Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
The fact that it wasn't activated for years.
There's no reason to assume that. More likely it just had a long incubation period.
One could argue for either scenario, yes. However, your scenario strongly begs for the question of why 31 programmed the virus to take so long to break out. What would be the reason?

Kestrel wrote: View Post
Are you really advocating for a Crusader mentality here? You and Bombs Away LeMay woulda been real good buddies.
Frankly, I'd say I'd more likely be in good company with, say, General William T. Sherman.
"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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