T'Pol's Love Slave wrote:
Let us not forget Riker quoting Cochrane to Cochrane. "You don't have to be a great man. Just be a man". Sounds like a predestination paradox to me.
Not really a predestination paradox. More like Riker has future knowledge of Cochrane's speeches and quotes and is reciting them to him. Cochrane's history is taught at Starfleet and to other Federations citizens. It's no different than one of us going back to 1959 and reciting "ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country" to JFK before he gave that speech in 1961.
Compare FC to Troubles With Tribbles/Trials and Tribble-ations.
We can watch both separately and we know that Sisko and company were not present the first time. Arne Darvin used the Orb of Time to go back and change history in his favor. Motivated after Capt Kirk ruined his life over a hundred years before. What you have is a series of events that played through unaltered by time travel once, and then played through again with alterations caused by the time travelers.
Trouble With Tribbles
Trials and Tribble-ations
Trials and Tribble-ations
The time the DS9 crew returned to would naturally be different from the one they left because of their interactions on board the Enterprise and Space Station K-7. It's an altered timeline.
With First Contact you have an unaltered timeline erased by the Borg starting in 2063. Zefram Cochrane had to succeed solo the first time because it was something the Borg wanted to change. 2063 wasn't some arbitrary date. The Borg likely downloaded Federation history and chose it because of it's significance. Had the Borg never traveled back in time, the ENT-E crew would've had no reason to assist Cochrane carry out the flight of the Phoenix.
2373 Earth before Borg time travel
2373 Earth after Borg time travel. Complete with an atmosphere containing high concentrations of methane, carbon monoxide, fluorine and a population of nine billion Borg.
2373 Earth after the ENT-E crew repairs the damage and removes the Borg timeline we the audience and the crew of the ENT-E saw at the beginning of the movie from existing.
I keep saying it, a predestination paradox cannot be that a person or group succeeds at something and also fails at it in the same time. Predestination is a circular loop of events. Like the VOY episode "Time and Again". What happens in FC and Trouble with Tribbles and Trials and Tribble-lations is one timeline is constantly being rewritten by a particular party. The later effect of FC we see in ENT Regeneration where Archer has logs from Cochrane about cybernetic creatures from the future and a time travelling ship and crew that came back to stop them. The Borg in Regeneration succeeded in sending a message to the Delta quadrant. Likely telling them what happened in FC. If FC was a casualty loop, then why would the Borg repeat an attempt to assmilate Earth via time travel in 2373 if that had future knowledge that the plan would fail? They wouldn't and as we saw had the cosmic fluke of the ENT-E being trapped in the same temporal vortex not occurred, the Borg's revision of history would've remained with them as conquerors.
See the ENT's temporal cold war and Xindi arc. The Suliban and the Sphere builders were trying to supplant the exisiting timeline and rewrite it in their favor. Notable episodes would be "Shockwave", "Coutdown", "Zero Hour". The Sphere Builders in particular constantly referenced other timelines and how the actions of the Xindi and NX crew were changing them. Despite being sensitive and capable of seeing parallel universes. The Sphere Builders could only effect 1 timeline/reality. They couldn't just go off and live in one of the parallels they knew existed. No, they had to supplant history and destroy any potential union between the Xindi and Federation, because by the 26th century the Sphere Builders would be on the losing side of a war with both.