R. Star wrote:
I think issues like these are where the Prime Directive is useful. People/societies have to learn some things for themselves. Whooshing in and telling them that it's wrong and pounding the offending party with phaser fire will only work for as long as your sitting in orbit playing babysitter. And will likely only escalate the hate that one party has for another.
I have always stated there are only two reasons to violate the Prime Directive, extinction level events and to fix prior violations.
I would add two more: Genocide and slavery.
If millions of people are murdered for no reason, they're not exactly going to gain the benefits of learning a lesson.
It's a bit too cynical for Star Trek to say that it only exists to protect us from moral choices. More, it's meant as a moral guideline to benefit from the moral philosophy of the past, like 'Do no harm' and 'Life, liberty and pursuit of happiness'. In the TV show it leads the characters to rather silly moral choices on occasion, but we have every reason to believe that 99 out of 100 times the principle leads them to good decisions.
Picard cited the Prime Directive as to why the Federation didn't intervene in the Cardassian occupation of Bajor. So.... I'd say it does cover genocide and slavery.
Are you sure? Seems like a political matter that doesn't need justifying.
At one point I had just assumed that Bajor being abandoned was a condidtion of the Cardsassians being caught with their pants down in that TNG two-parter.
Picard does specifically mention slavery I believe in 'Pen Pals'.
Slightly related, I just watched "Think Tank" today and Janeway asks Jason Alexander how far they're willing to go, if they have any limits? She asks the question perfectly "Just curious" so there's no moral judgement. He says they won't create weapons of MASS destruction or commit genocide. Janeway doesn't moralize or pass judgement. And waits til she gets back to her ship to comment on it. Perfect.