Hugh Mann wrote:
Little, if anything, in the episode proves that the Dominion is vastly more powerful than the Federation. There is more evidence, in my view, that shows the Dominion is not, though it is not conclusive either way.
The Federation was losing the war badly for most of the duration of the story arc. Even with the Klingons and Romulans as allies, they were at a disadvantage. The Jack Pack calculated that total defeat was inevitable. We were shown over and over again that even the fraction of the Dominion forces in the Alpha Quadrant were an overwhelming threat, far more powerful than the good guys. Of course
they were, because this is fiction, and the bad guys are always
presented as a superior and unstoppable force so that the stakes are as high and dramatic as possible and so that the heroes' eventual triumph is more impressive.
And again, why are we even debating this? The wormhole couldn't
have been destroyed. It simply wasn't an option. I recommend you watch the show again, because you don't seem to be remembering it very well.
You have got to be kidding me
. The war was going badly for the Federation during the arc that culminated in Sacrifice of Angels, but this has nothing to do with the size of the Dominion. The "Jack Pack" calculated total defeat as inevitable--and were proven wrong, so I don't see why you would bring that up. We are also not
shown that the Dominion is vastly superior in all respects to the Federation and its allies. Once the Romulans intervened, the war began to go quite well for the Federation (culminating in the successful invasion of Chin'Toka, which the Dominion couldn't even afford to properly defend with an actual fleet, relying instead on the orbital weapons platforms that proved unreliable and mostly useless compared with a proper fleet) until the Breen intervened in turn and rendered 2/3rds of the Allied fleet strength useless.
I also never said the wormhole could've been destroyed (at that time; in Tears of the Prophets it was at least rendered unusable for a short period). Nor did I suggest the Dominion is substantially weaker than the Alpha quadrant powers. It seems much more reasonable to assume that they were roughly an even match, with an edge to the Dominion because they, at the start of the war, were much more mobilized, as could be expected of such an entity.
I don't see anything that shows it is unreasonable to suppose that the Dominion is not vastly more powerful than the Federation. It seems more likely to me that the Dominion (attempted to) deploy the bulk of their strength to the Alpha quadrant in order to eliminate the threat they perceived from the powers there. Besides, history has shown us that any empire that requires such a massive occupation army at all times is not feasible, as it will fall apart under the economic weight of it all. In "The Search" it was stated that the threat of Jem'Hadar was the only thing keeping the species in line, but that can be interpreted in ways other than the way in which you are interpreting it; it does not have to mean that there are fleets of Jem'Hadar ships flying around everywhere, but rather an emphatic way of identifying the Jem'Hadar as the violent arm of the state (which is the role of the military and police in every society). Certainly, we see no on-screen (e.g. visual as opposed to spoken) evidence that the Jem'Hadar are everywhere; in "The Die is Cast" they have only a fleet of 150 ships defending the Founders' homeworld, all attack ships and none of the stronger battlecruisers. Wouldn't they have a stronger force protecting the most valued planet in their empire if the Dominion really had such a large military force?
And I agree, by the way, that Dukat is not always well-grounded in reality, but I absolutely stand by my point that he would never have even thought of trying to defy the Dominion if it really were an order of magnitude or more stronger than the Federation. If the Dominion had tens or hundreds of thousands of ships, even he wouldn't have thought it possible for the Cardassian Union, with its few thousands of ships, to defy the Dominion and rise above it. This is one key piece of evidence that you are ignoring.