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Old April 4 2013, 02:05 AM   #145
Re: Defending Admiral Cain from Battlestar Galactica(mentions Dick Che

Locutus of Bored wrote: View Post
You know who else aided and abetted a genocide? Admiral Cain, by murdering civilians, crippling their ships and abandoning them to die, separating families who could be having more children, and pursuing a hopeless war of vengeance that already got a third of her crew killed and would have killed the rest had it kept going.
False equivalency. What Cain did was part of a strategy overall to eventually defeat the Cylons. The Cylons were the one's who decided to commit genocide including the Cylon she was torturing.

Locutus of Bored wrote: View Post
It was as much about getting revenge on the Cylon woman who hurt and deceived her as it was about getting information. Probably an element of embarrassment at being tricked since she's a raging egomaniac as well.

And torture is wrong regardless of who uses it. It doesn't become okay just because you consider yourselves the good guys. Everyone considers themselves the good guys.
No, her really ruthless actions started before she was betrayed so its more likely that it played a minimal role in her motives. She was ruthless in every aspect of waging war. I never said it made it "okay". I do not condone or condemn anything she has done. I have purposely tried to avoid any moral judgements in this thread. I am merely putting Cain in the context of war. Everyone in war has used torture, Cain limited it to one person, while the US tortured over 50 individuals.

Locutus of Bored wrote: View Post
Raiding the ships for parts and personnel has nothing to do with scorched Earth warfare, it was about prolonging her pointless vengeance war and being a sociopath who doesn't care about how her actions affect others.

As you say, scorched Earth is about denying the enemy resources, either by destroying their resources if you're on the offensive (Sherman's March to the Sea) or destroying your resources if you're on the defensive (the USSR during the German invasion). But the Cylon's weren't interested in taking human resources and tech, they were interested in killing all humans at that point. So your comparison to scorched Earth warfare makes no sense. Nor does your defense of Cain's strategy and tactics, since she was so blinded by hate that she actually aided the Cylons in their goal of destroying humanity.

So, yeah, I'll judge her harshly.
The comparison make sense in that a lot of people consider both "immoral actions". Scorched Earth purposely destroys civilian infrastructure and food. It kills civilians.. Cain stripped the civilian ships for parts she needed. One is destruction for the purpose of making the enemy is scavanging for both instances I doubt the civilian gives a damn when he is dying. In fact, on balance if you pressed the civilian on which was worse, it might be an enemy army purposely destroying their life lines vs. a supporting army stripping them for resources..

If you're going to judge her harshly that I assume you'll debate a black person today when they tell you Lincoln was right in doing what she did.

Locutus of Bored wrote: View Post
The fact that Adama and Starbuck complimented Cain keeps getting mentioned as if that should close out the argument or something.

First of all, since when are Adama and Starbuck unimpeachable paragons of virtue? They've both done some pretty morally questionable things themselves. Nothing even close to being on par with what Cain did, but their hands certainly aren't clean, nor are they infallible.

Secondly, it's a lot easier to judge someone less harshly when she's dead and no longer a constant threat hanging over you and your crew.
That's a good thing, it gives you a dispassionate view of things. In terms of how literature works, they provided the last scenes about Cain in the show and movie respectively. The main characters (including the whole Pegasus crew) ultimately vindicating her upon reflection should add a lot of weight to how we should think of them. I think that's what the writers were trying to convey.

Locutus of Bored wrote: View Post
Thirdly, they were trying to integrate a hostile crew who had nearly been in a firefight with them days earlier into their command structure. Badmouthing their former commander at her funeral doesn't seem like a great way of building a bridge between the crews, especially since that hostility still existed two years later and boiled over into mutiny for many of them.

Lee is self-righteous for rightly pointing out that Kendra Shaw was a murderer? Jesus Christ.
I think Starbuck and Adama's reflections were genuine. Especially Adama as he was speaking to Lee in a very candid moment without pretense. He was trying to give Lee sage advice as he moved forward as a commander. And yes, Adama smacked down Lee in that scene for being naive and self righteous. He knew a leader couldn't afford to be either during war and that Kendra Shaw was ultimately an asset. That whole scene was a vindication of Cain and her protege Shaw.

Locutus of Bored wrote: View Post
Fighting for what home? Their home was destroyed. The two ragtag fleets were all they had left to call home, and Cain crippled hers and left them to die. How did she fight for them?

In case you forgot, at first Earth was just something Adama said to give the people hope and keep them pacified until he could figure something out. It was only later that the search for it became serious when they started finding clues. The goal initially was just to get clear of the Cylons and possibly find a habitable planet to settle on where they might start over again. Adama and Roslin were fighting for a home, in the form of saving the surviving humans of the fleet and rebuilding their society. Cain was fighting for pointless vengeance.

So, yeah, I will judge her for that. Her tactics and strategy were stupid, pointless, and immoral.
No, Cain was fighting a smart guerrilla war to retake Caprica. The house might've been destroyed but the home was still there.

In the context of the universe, the odds might not have been as bleak as you portray. If Cain were still alive, commanding both the Pegasus and Galactica engaging in a guerrilla war, I don't think the odds are as bleak as you portray as displayed by their one successful collaboration with her in command of both. Adama acknowledged her tactics engaging in this type of warfare were pretty flawless. They might have run into other Battlestars that survived. Too much to hope for? Perhaps but many guerrilla warriors in the past didn't give up in the face of long odds and ultimately suceeded against superpowers.

Locutus of Bored wrote: View Post
You know, Godwin's Law doesn't really apply when you're discussing things that Hitler and the Nazis actually did, like committing war crimes and genocide. It's not meant to be a ban on mentioning Hitler or the Nazis even when they're relevant to the discussion.

Also, repeating the same thing over and over again doesn't make it so. You've done that a lot.
Making Hitler comparisons is pointless and degrades the conversation. You can go ahead and defend it, but I make it a practice to ignore such intellectual laziness.

You guys are the ones repeating the arguments. I have a similar response to those arguments each time.

Locutus of Bored wrote: View Post
It's not a strawman if that's an actual argument you've been making throughout the thread, which it is. You've been an apologist for her war crimes throughout the thread based on the flimsiest of reasons, such as (paraphrasing) "other countries have done it, so it's okay" "Adama complimented her tactics, so it's okay," "if your people approve of you, rape and torture are defensible," and "she was fighting a guerrilla war, so the ends justify the means."
Sigh once again straw-manning me to death. As I've said, in this thread I am merely putting Cain in context. I don't think I've made any personal moral judgements on any actions i.e. "this is morally okay." I am merely saying in the context of war many leaders that are lionized (FDR, Park, Lincoln) have done actions that have caused more harm than Cain did.

Locutus of Bored wrote: View Post
She left thousands of her own people to die when the entirety of the human species was only measured in the thousands itself (and even less from her perspective than from others since she didn't know about the Adama/Roslin ragtag fleet). That is unforgivable, and certainly not "pretty mild" in any context.

That's a pretty repugnant viewpoint. Just because something's legal at the time doesn't always make it right. Justifying FDR's racist internment of innocent Japanese-Americans simply because it was found to be constitutional is disgusting.
I never said anything about some action being "right" or "wrong" just because someone else did it. These are damn straw-men. I am once again just bringing up those examples to put Cain in the context of war. And yes, what she did was pretty mild in comparison to scorched earth, internment, and Park's torture/oppression in Korea. I also bring up the US Constitution to show that during war, the constitution gives the executive a lot of power.

[quote]Why do you keep calling her tactically competent? She walked into an obvious trap on the Cylon relay and was so blinded by rage that she continued the attack anyway and wound up losing a third of her crew.

I call her tactically flawless because Adama admitted as much. In the context of the universe that might've been the right move to go forward. The viewer can only rely on Adama's analysis of it.

She murdered the only officer willing to stand up to her, thus scaring everyone else into submission and making sure she would never get an honest assessment of a battle plan or her orders again.

She was willing to go to war with her own people over her favorite rapist accidentally being killed.
Summary execution for public insubordination during battle and potential inciting of mutiny was the right call in my opinion. Dude, they killed one of her officers. Cain is even-handed, she was willing to kill her best friend and XO for insubordination so she wasn't treating them any differently. She is heavy-handed with everyone with regard to discipline. Given her circumstances, I don't think harsh discipline is out of line. I suspect Colonel Tigh would've been disciplined harshly if he came to work drunk on the Pegasus. That's just how Cain is.

She left a third of what was left of the human species at that point to die at the hands of the Cylons so she could pursue a vengeance war that could never possibly be won.

Not only was she morally bankrupt, she was an idiot.

Mind you, this is no reflection on Michelle Forbes or her performance, which was superb.
Agree on Forbes...probably the only thing we agree on .

Like I've mentioned previously the odds might be long, but they were deemed long for many guerrilla forces throughout history, but a good chunk of them succeeded. Fighting for your home isn't a stupid cause.

One would think those things should disqualify you from being a "good leader," but hey, what do I know?
FDR, Park, and Lincoln are all considered good leaders by their people who are clearly willing to overlook their so called morally dubious actions.

Last edited by randomfan86; April 4 2013 at 04:30 AM.
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