Re: Why is the Federation so dumb?
"Appeasement" is a term often abused, thrown about by commentators who seem to have no idea what it actually means. Appeasement and diplomacy are certainly not the same thing -- and given that the Federation kept sending its most powerful ship, the Enterprise
-D, to confront the Romulan incursions beyond the Neutral Zone in early TNG, I think it's safe to say that the simple fact that the Federation made a concession
to refrain from using their own cloaking devices, does not constitute appeasement.
"Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic Socialism, as I understand it." - George Orwell, 1946