Thread: Section 31...
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Old February 26 2013, 05:49 PM   #179
Re: Section 31...

Sci wrote: View Post
But not every member participates! It's very common for Members of Congress to miss votes, or to refrain from voting. What of Founders who do the equivalent of voting "Present?"
So what if not every member participates? They're part of the membership, and have a responsibility and a duty to do so. Shirking it doesn't get them off the hook. If they're against an action, they have a duty to vote against it, not abstain from voting at all. The Founders, if any, who voted against conquering the Alpha Quadrant should've done more. If there were any who objected, they made their voice heard only in the Great Link, but no one outside of it knew. Did their morals prevent them from betraying the Great Link rather than save the Solids that were going to die as a result of their invasion?

And do you honestly hold all Members equally responsible for U.S. policy? Do you hold responsible Members who, for instance, voted against authorizing the invasion of Iraq?
For one thing, this isn't about real life Congress or my political views. That's for Misc. and Neutral Zone. Real life is complex and nuanced, something even the finest fiction can never recreate. Fiction, for one thing, is hobbled by the need to be plausible, something reality has never had to be concerned with.

We're discussing a fictional alien society and its decision to go to war with what amounts to the entire galaxy. Their goal was to control all the intelligent species in the galaxy, either by having them under their thumb or by wiping them out. Their only reason to do this was to protect themselves from persecution. So their fear of being bullied basically drove them to take over or wipe out every other intelligent species in the galaxy. But, when it comes down to it, the Federation is worse, because some rogue agents planted a virus among them. A virus, by the way, that apparently killed no one and provided leverage for Odo to convince the female Founder to surrender. It may have been a dirty tactic, but it was effective.

You've argued time and again that I'm unreasonably applying humanoid social paradigms to the Founders, but I would argue you are doing the same. The need to preserve a species overrides the assumption that a military leader is a legitimate target when that "military leader" consists of an entire species.
Well, I'm sorry, but they are all leaders of the Dominion. The entire species is treated as gods by their subjects, something they forced their subjects to do at a genetic level. So, hell yes, they're not just military leaders, they're more than military leaders - they're gods!

I am tired of the implication on your part that they're innocent victims of the Federation's warmongering and genocidal tendencies. Remember, they tried to blow up the Bajoran sun and wipe out the entire Bajoran system. If that's not a genocidal act, what is? If anything, Section 31 merely pulled the Federation down to the level of the Founders and made it fight in the mud with them. Wars are dirty and horrible affairs, but fighting them with one hand tied behind your back and prancing around trying to stay out of the mud isn't going to help you win it.

(And no, let's not quibble about the timing of the genocides here. Granted, Section 31 infected Odo, who passed it on to the Great Link before the Bashir-changeling tried to sacrifice itself to blow up the Bajoran sun. But at the time, neither the Federation nor the Great Link were aware of any infection; the Founders were acting first as far as they knew, and definitely were acting on a larger scale, since their method for genocide had no "out", the way Section 31's did.)

Very simple: I presume that some Founders are different than others, and that these differences occur across a spectrum of involvement -- from "actively involved" to "apathetic." It's completely plausible that some Founders are completely apathetic and do not voice any opinions whatsoever in the decision-making process. And we know, canonically, that there have been Founders who are mentally undeveloped as a result of youth.
The only undeveloped changeling youths discussed in Trek were Odo when he was with Dr. Mora Pol (and therefore not in the Great Link) and the "infant" changeling in "The Begotten", who was also clearly not in the Great Link. Presumably Laas, Odo, and the infant were part of the Hundred. Do you have any other evidence that there were "children" present in the Great Link? The only children discussed were the ones specifically sent away from the Great Link. So even if there are children among the Link, the decision to send a hundred of them away callously doesn't make them out to be a society deeply concerned about their offspring, does it, Sci. They send their own children out into the galaxy alone, with no knowledge of what they are or why they're alone. That's cruel and heartless, isn't it, Sci? If they're willing to send them out to die amongst aliens, it's hard to believe they would care about whether or not their kids are protected from the effects of a war they started.

Recreational shapeshifting? Writing novels? Reading? Painting? They're Founders -- they can do anything they want.
Recreational shapeshifting, I can buy. But novels? They don't have books. They don't read, or paint. They'd have to be in humanoid form to do those things, and they don't like being in humanoid form. They had a "zen garden" for Odo to practice in when visited, but beyond that, they seem to spend their time as goo. What do they do as goo, Sci?

What do Federation citizens do all day?
Watch TV, play video games, and pick their underwear out of their very real butt cheeks.

I agree. Which is why any conclusions I've drawn about Founder society are taken from implications in the canon. And why I've rejected the idea of applying the "military leaders=legitimate targets" concept to them.
So, it was wrong of the Breen to attack Starfleet Headquarters in San Francisco? Are the leaders of the Federation not legitimate targets? Who is a legitimate target in a war then? The lowly ensigns sent out to fight - it's OK to kill them, but not their commanders? Kill the army, but leave the leadership intact, because it's not sporting to kill the generals?

It speaks to the plausibility of the idea of Section 31 infecting the Founders merely in order to extract concession and with no actual genocidal intention. You can't defend Section 31 by saying, "Well, they didn't really mean to commit genocide" and then say that a hole in that hypothesis is less important than the question of legitimate targets.
I'm not defending Section 31. Hell, I'm not even certain they existed. As far as I'm concerned, they were just a delusion or invention of Sloan's, who managed to do most of his work with help he coerced. For instance, he had Bashir under his control, didn't he? Did Bashir want to be a Section 31 asset? Do you count Bashir as a Section 31 agent, Sci? Clearly Julian didn't, since he resisted Sloan at every step, and yet Bashir ended up helping Sloan pull off the very caper the good doctor was trying to foil, by trying to foil it. Frankly, Sloan was more than capable of running all of Section 31 on his own. So please don't count me as a Section 31 "defender", because I don't defend them at all, because I don't think they're real.

The attack in general, obviously. The Obsidian Order/Tal Shiar's plan in "The Die is Cast" and Garak's genocidal plot in "Broken link" are just as objectionable.
And if the scale were smaller - would it have been ok if the virus was somehow made to target only Founders who voted "yes" on conquering the entire Alpha Quadrant? Would it be OK to kill them?
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