Nerys Ghemor wrote:
When you look at what the Federation as whole does, they are party to a LOT of abusive behavior, by failing to call their member and allied states on it. One of the most egregious examples is with the Klingons. By maintaining a tight alliance and trade relation with the Klingons (and not a mere non-aggression pact, which simply means they won't shoot each other), they are in effect endorsing Klingon conquests and brutality, which has continued even while the Klingons are allied with the Federation. Yet they dare to rail on about the same things when talking to other powers. If they mean it, then they shouldn't endorse it when the Klingons do it either. They really ought not be associating with the Klingons any more than it takes to prevent a war from breaking out.
I'm not so sure about that. It seems in the late 24th century the Klingons had quietened down their aggressive/conquering shenanigans quite a bit. I base this on Worf saying in The Way of the Warrior
about 'his people returning to the old ways' (i.e. the sort of aggressiveness we saw in TOS and in the Star Trek films). Plus Kang in Blood Oath
talks about how Klingons have mainly given up the true values and meaning of honour and how some of them have taken up other occupations instead of being a loyal soldier of the Klingon Empire (or some other job which assists the Empire). In fact the only real 'conquering' or battles that the Empire engaged in were with the Romulans (all those skirmishes between the two sides borders).
Besides the Federation is using diplomacy to protect itself. Why double the size of Starfleet when with diplomacy you have allies to protect you, and to keep other quaralous factions in check? Now I don't think it is wrong for the Federation to make peace with the Klingons (or any other aggressive species), if the Klingons are conquering other non-Federation worlds. Why kick up a fuss for the supposed moral high ground against the Klingon's conquering someone?
I personally think that the Federation only started trading with the Klingons when the Klingons toned down their battle-like ways and conquests. One thing I have noticed on this site is the occasional Federation bashing, and all this hoo-har about how hypocritical the Federation is. Well firstly the Federation is trying to deal with races and civilizations who don't share the Federation's values. Now the Federation does with its diplomatic dealings try to do things prim and proper to the best of its ability.
Remember that the Federation only kicks up a fuss about say the Romulans or Cardassians (or any other race/civilization) when Federation interests are threatened. For instance if the Federation is contact with say race X who live near the Cardassian border, and the Cardassians are giving this race trouble, then the Federation asks the Cardassians to stop doing this. Of course the Federation will never militarily help race X if they are not part of the Federation, and so ultimately when all other diplomatic and soft options have been worn out, it would take an awful lot for the Federation to directly defend this race from the Cardassians.
Whatever people say about the Federation I prefer their way of doing things because it is fairer. The Klingons would just conquer you, with no questions asked. The Romulans would pretend to be your friend, and then back stab you if it suited their interests. As for the Cardassians, if you oppose them then they get nasty quick, and get pretty brutal on you if they feel they can get away with it. The Federation ain't no angel but sure is a damn sight better than other civilizations/races we know of.