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Old April 1 2013, 03:37 PM   #33
Vice Admiral
Location: in a figment of a mediocre mind's imagination
Re: Star Fleet and Genocide

Timo wrote: View Post
I am pretty sure killing a single being is not considered genocide in the same way as killing millions of people is.
In theory, killing millions of people is never genocide - you'd need to kill billions (that is, all people everywhere) to actually commit genocide against the genus H. sapiens. What people are hot and bothered about today is the murdering of a culture or a population, a subgroup of this planetwide genus of sentients.

However, the word is thrown around pretty casually both today and in Trek. And it is in the Trek context that the actual size of a genus can vary considerably. Here on Earth, there's only one genus anybody cares about; in Trek, there are hundreds, perhaps thousands. Some species, cultures or populations are really small and powerful, a rare case on Earth where small groups are frequently snuffed out of existence and nobody cares because there's no power associated with them. Some are vast and powerless, much as with the bisons on Earth.

Whichever way you look at it, genocide as a crime is not a potent charge in the Trek context. Anybody can come and claim "I'm the only Bolian-Kressari-Suliban-Gerbil hybrid currently in existence, so by killing me you commit genocide, nyah nyah!".

As regards the bioweapon against the Founders,

working on some sort of WMD as a contingency plan
is fine, but indeed

The question is whether the Founders were worth preserving

with the Federation withholding the cure until they had a promise of peace in place
the only thing they achieved was a brief respite. That is, they made the initial attack against the Alpha Quadrant stop, but at a cost that may have been too high to pay: now the Founders know for a fact that the Federation must be exterminated without mercy. Previously, they might merely have believed that an orderly assimilation into the Dominion at a pace of their choosing would take care of the potential threat.

The blackmail plan was tactically sound. Strategically it failed to achieve final or even particularly lasting victory, and made matters much worse in the long term. Now it's a fight to the death, and the UFP has already played its trump card.

Timo Saloniemi
eh? Is this bizarro world logic? The Soviets and the US both openly talked about MAD during the Cold War, and that conflict ended peacefully. The Germans engaged in attempted genocide against the Jews during WWII. Does that mean that the Jews should have realized that it was necessary to carry on a war against Germany after WWII was over because the Germans had shown how dangerous they could be?(I suppose this could go for the Slavs or any group hit particularly hard by the Nazi regime)
"why oh why didn't I take the blue pill?"
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