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Old December 5 2012, 10:11 PM   #16
C.E. Evans
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Re: Best and worst examples of diplomacy in Star Trek

The Overlord wrote: View Post
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The Dominion War really was the result of a first-contact gone horribly wrong, IMO.
To be fair, the Dominion's idea of first contact seems to be conquer a new species, ask questions later.
And the Federation's response was to sneak a warship into their territory on a mission of cowboy diplomacy. That didn't make the Founders' view of the Federation any better.

That's not to say that the Dominion War was the Federation's fault, but sometimes first contacts don't go well no matter what you do. I'm sure the Dominion wasn't the first new civilization that perceived the Federation as an immediate threat to them and responded with hostility.
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Old December 5 2012, 10:18 PM   #17
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Re: Best and worst examples of diplomacy in Star Trek

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True. The Federation Cardassian peace treaty also felt like a huge diplomatic failure, comparable to the Munich Pact. The Cardassians treated that treaty like toilet paper, violated it whenever they wanted to and then used it against the Federation whenever they could. The Cardassians and Federation were at war with each other a few years after the peace treaty was signed.
Even as a big Cardassian fan, I will say that treaty was horrible. I can't imagine it exactly inspired the Cardassians to respect such weaklings as the Federation showed itself to be. And then the Feddies went and basically sold their own people in the DMZ to curry favor with the Cardassians.

The Cardassians' response to that was basically to take advantage of it.
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Old December 6 2012, 12:46 AM   #18
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Re: Best and worst examples of diplomacy in Star Trek

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
The Overlord wrote: View Post
C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
The Dominion War really was the result of a first-contact gone horribly wrong, IMO.
To be fair, the Dominion's idea of first contact seems to be conquer a new species, ask questions later.
And the Federation's response was to sneak a warship into their territory on a mission of cowboy diplomacy. That didn't make the Founders' view of the Federation any better.
I don't think that anything would've made them view the Federation positively, considering the fact that they've had a few thousand years of circle-linking that reinforced their anti-solid biases. Hell, it took Section 31's bioweapon to bring them to the negotiating table.

Besides, the Dominion killed all those settlers on New Bajor before they kidnapped Sisko and Quark and blew up the Odyssey. All the blame for the war falls squarely on them.
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Old December 6 2012, 01:15 AM   #19
C.E. Evans
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Re: Best and worst examples of diplomacy in Star Trek

bullethead wrote: View Post
C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
The Overlord wrote: View Post

To be fair, the Dominion's idea of first contact seems to be conquer a new species, ask questions later.
And the Federation's response was to sneak a warship into their territory on a mission of cowboy diplomacy. That didn't make the Founders' view of the Federation any better.
I don't think that anything would've made them view the Federation positively, considering the fact that they've had a few thousand years of circle-linking that reinforced their anti-solid biases. Hell, it took Section 31's bioweapon to bring them to the negotiating table.
I think it was actually Odo that finally convinced the Founders that the Federation wasn't a threat--despite the bioweapon--and that was what really ended the war. The cure for the bioweapon was an incentive, but the Dominion did seem prepared to fight to the death without it.

In hindsight, it really seemed more like an issue of time before the Founders were convinced that not all solids were evil and out to get them.
Besides, the Dominion killed all those settlers on New Bajor before they kidnapped Sisko and Quark and blew up the Odyssey. All the blame for the war falls squarely on them.
Not entirely, because it does take two (or more) to have a war. The Federation had the option from the very beginning of hostilities of destroying the wormhole and sealing off the Gamma Quadrant and further contact with the Dominion. They chose not to.

In a way, the initial contact between the Federation and the Dominion mirrored that a century earlier between the Federation and the Gorn in which the latter perceived the former as invaders and struck a deadly preemptive strike. The main difference is the scale, death toll, and length of time before both sides reached an accord.
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Old December 6 2012, 02:15 AM   #20
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Re: Best and worst examples of diplomacy in Star Trek

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
bullethead wrote: View Post
C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
And the Federation's response was to sneak a warship into their territory on a mission of cowboy diplomacy. That didn't make the Founders' view of the Federation any better.
I don't think that anything would've made them view the Federation positively, considering the fact that they've had a few thousand years of circle-linking that reinforced their anti-solid biases. Hell, it took Section 31's bioweapon to bring them to the negotiating table.
I think it was actually Odo that finally convinced the Founders that the Federation wasn't a threat--despite the bioweapon--and that was what really ended the war. The cure for the bioweapon was an incentive, but the Dominion did seem prepared to fight to the death without it.

In hindsight, it really seemed more like an issue of time before the Founders were convinced that not all solids were evil and out to get them.
I'm not entirely convinced of that, mostly because the female Changeling linked with Odo in The Search, then with the rest of the Founders and that should've told them that the Federation was no threat. But then they went, "Nah, we're going to impose order on the Alpha Quadrant" to Odo's face. Fast forward a few months and they not only take out a big chunk of the Tal Shiar and practically all of the Obsidian Order, but then follow that up with trying to start a war between the Federation and Tzenkethi. Later, they do succeed at starting wars between the Klingons and Cardassians, then between the Klingons and Federation. So unless we're talking centuries here, I'm not entirely sure the Founders would've changed their minds unless they pushed against the ropes and shown some mercy. The group-think of the Great Link is too strong.

Besides, the Dominion killed all those settlers on New Bajor before they kidnapped Sisko and Quark and blew up the Odyssey. All the blame for the war falls squarely on them.
Not entirely, because it does take two (or more) to have a war. The Federation had the option from the very beginning of hostilities of destroying the wormhole and sealing off the Gamma Quadrant and further contact with the Dominion. They chose not to.
Closing off the wormhole would've been a bad move strategically. First off all, doing so would prevent them from gathering intel on the Dominion at a time when they barely knew anything about them. Second, keeping the wormhole open allows the Federation to funnel the Dominion through a known chokepoint instead of worrying 75 years down the line about when and where the Dominion might show up. Third, closing up the wormhole would probably piss off the Bajorans, since their gods live there and their tolerance of Starfleet's presence depends a lot on the fact that DS9's CO is the Emissary. Fourth, it's better to keep the threat immediate and continue the military build up encouraged by the Borg incursions than kick the problem down the road 75 years, when most of Starfleet barely remembers hearing the Dominion in a history class and may not have closed the tech gap with the guys who had guns that went straight through Federation shields.

In a way, the initial contact between the Federation and the Dominion mirrored that a century earlier between the Federation and the Gorn in which the latter perceived the former as invaders and struck a deadly preemptive strike. The main difference is the scale, death toll, and length of time before both sides reached an accord.
Well yeah, that was because the Gorn were willing to actually negotiate a peace instead of committing multiple acts of galactic scale terrorism and pretending to make peace with people. The Gorn just wanted some land; the Founders wanted to force the entire galaxy into slavery due to their anti-Solid paranoia.
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Old December 6 2012, 03:36 AM   #21
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Re: Best and worst examples of diplomacy in Star Trek

bullethead wrote: View Post
C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
bullethead wrote: View Post
I don't think that anything would've made them view the Federation positively, considering the fact that they've had a few thousand years of circle-linking that reinforced their anti-solid biases. Hell, it took Section 31's bioweapon to bring them to the negotiating table.
I think it was actually Odo that finally convinced the Founders that the Federation wasn't a threat--despite the bioweapon--and that was what really ended the war. The cure for the bioweapon was an incentive, but the Dominion did seem prepared to fight to the death without it.

In hindsight, it really seemed more like an issue of time before the Founders were convinced that not all solids were evil and out to get them.
I'm not entirely convinced of that, mostly because the female Changeling linked with Odo in The Search, then with the rest of the Founders and that should've told them that the Federation was no threat. But then they went, "Nah, we're going to impose order on the Alpha Quadrant" to Odo's face. Fast forward a few months and they not only take out a big chunk of the Tal Shiar and practically all of the Obsidian Order, but then follow that up with trying to start a war between the Federation and Tzenkethi. Later, they do succeed at starting wars between the Klingons and Cardassians, then between the Klingons and Federation. So unless we're talking centuries here, I'm not entirely sure the Founders would've changed their minds unless they pushed against the ropes and shown some mercy. The group-think of the Great Link is too strong.
I think if that was the case, the Dominion War wouldn't have ended with the Battle of Cardassia.
Not entirely, because it does take two (or more) to have a war. The Federation had the option from the very beginning of hostilities of destroying the wormhole and sealing off the Gamma Quadrant and further contact with the Dominion. They chose not to.
Closing off the wormhole would've been a bad move strategically. First off all, doing so would prevent them from gathering intel on the Dominion at a time when they barely knew anything about them. Second, keeping the wormhole open allows the Federation to funnel the Dominion through a known chokepoint instead of worrying 75 years down the line about when and where the Dominion might show up. Third, closing up the wormhole would probably piss off the Bajorans, since their gods live there and their tolerance of Starfleet's presence depends a lot on the fact that DS9's CO is the Emissary. Fourth, it's better to keep the threat immediate and continue the military build up encouraged by the Borg incursions than kick the problem down the road 75 years, when most of Starfleet barely remembers hearing the Dominion in a history class and may not have closed the tech gap with the guys who had guns that went straight through Federation shields.
I have to disagree with all that. Closing the wormwhole would have been an excellent strategy. If the wormhole had been closed at the first sign of trouble, it really would have saved a lot of lives from being lost and it also would have given the Federation an incentive to stay out of the Dominion's way should they have ultimately reached the Gamma Quadrant on their own many decades later. In such a situation, first contact with the Dominion would have been a case of perhaps only one Federation ship exploring the Gamma Quadrant rather than a massive colonization movement (which they perceived as an invasion force) suddenly on their doorstep.

It seemed as if the Dominion's primary motive for launching an offensive upon the Federation was based on a fear that the Federation had come to the Gamma Quadrant to invade their territory and conquer them. Indeed, the first Jem'Hadar commander we saw gave our heroes a warning to stay out of the Gamma Quadrant, an idea that was dismissed by our heroes out of hand and one that the Dominion knew would be.
In a way, the initial contact between the Federation and the Dominion mirrored that a century earlier between the Federation and the Gorn in which the latter perceived the former as invaders and struck a deadly preemptive strike. The main difference is the scale, death toll, and length of time before both sides reached an accord.
Well yeah, that was because the Gorn were willing to actually negotiate a peace instead of committing multiple acts of galactic scale terrorism and pretending to make peace with people. The Gorn just wanted some land; the Founders wanted to force the entire galaxy into slavery due to their anti-Solid paranoia.
It was really a case of the Founders lashing out after being persecuted by solids for untold ages. They established the Dominion to create a nation where they would no longer have anything to fear from solids. The Karemma, actually flourished under Dominion rule while more resistant races didn't. The Dosi weren't actually members of the Dominion, but had some sort of trade relationship with it, suggesting that not every race the Dominion encountered was conquered.
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Old December 6 2012, 04:27 PM   #22
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Re: Best and worst examples of diplomacy in Star Trek

The Gorn didn't want some land, they were repelling what they considered invaders from their land.

I've never understood this idea that since the Federation likes to explore they should be able to roll into others space without repercussions.
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Old December 6 2012, 04:55 PM   #23
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Re: Best and worst examples of diplomacy in Star Trek

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The Gorn didn't want some land, they were repelling what they considered invaders from their land.

I've never understood this idea that since the Federation likes to explore they should be able to roll into others space without repercussions.
The problem isn't that the Federation likes to explore or the Gorn want the Federation off their land. The problem is that no one in Trek seems to think putting out some sort of probes declaring XYZ is part of their territory is a good idea or if they're not going to do that, have some ships stop by before the Federation makes colonies there and is justifiably pissed that their people were murdered by aliens who put no claim on a planet.
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Old December 6 2012, 05:44 PM   #24
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Re: Best and worst examples of diplomacy in Star Trek

Perhaps they should put some effort into exploring the territory around said planet before dropping off people on the edge of known space?
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Old December 6 2012, 05:57 PM   #25
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Re: Best and worst examples of diplomacy in Star Trek

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Perhaps they should put some effort into exploring the territory around said planet before dropping off people on the edge of known space?
They probably did and found no signs saying "This is Gorn/Dominion territory - GTFO". After all, space is big and unless you leave some sign of ownership on a planet, it's not hard to see why people would think an uninhabited planet is free for the taking.
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Old December 7 2012, 02:31 AM   #26
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Re: Best and worst examples of diplomacy in Star Trek

I think both sides screwed up with The Dominion first contact debacle. As stated earlier, Starfleet should have investigated the territory around that colony before they allowed anyone to settle there.

And Dax, a science officer, replying, 'you're crazy if you think if think this going to stop us from exploring the Gama Quadrant'.

I think she was right anyway, but don't say it right then and there. (Technically, the planet wasn't in Dominion territory)

All it did was provoke them.

Still, the Dominion just went and annihilated the entire colony without so much as a warning. Then they go to the station and inform them of what happened.

No wonder the Founders keep getting targeted every few years.
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Old December 7 2012, 04:41 AM   #27
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Re: Best and worst examples of diplomacy in Star Trek

Yeah, it takes two to go to war. If Poland didn't want to go to war with Germany they could have just said no.

They didn't find the founders in the first two years because the founders didn't want to be found. Their MO in the gamma quadrant is to be hands off most of the time then to send in the Jem Hadar to blow people up when they get mad. They didn't put any territory markers on that planet because it doesn't concern them to kill solids. They tried to find evidence of the Dominion that all the aliens kept referring to but couldn't find them anywhere. They also didn't destroy the wormhole because they thought it would always be an option. Remember they were attempting to do so when the Dominion made it impossible.

Being a prior victim of atrocities is not an excuse to commit atrocities of your own.

Odo didn't convince the female changeling that humans were ok afterall. He convinced her that they would not try to murder them all in revenge. The war was already won, Odo just convinced her to give the order to surrender rather than fight to the last man. It wasn't Odo or the bioweapon that won the war, it was just Odo that made the victory less bloody.
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Old December 7 2012, 05:20 AM   #28
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Re: Best and worst examples of diplomacy in Star Trek

Best? Kirk and Balok. Both are playing chicken. Kirk opens the door for cultural exchange.

Honorable mention for Picard's damage control with the Malcorians. The Federation's policy of secretly spying on other cultures before diplomatic overtures gives concerns regarding their ethics.

Worst: Has to be the bureaucratic bungle that agreed on a border containing habitable worlds within the De-Militarized Zone between the Federation and Cardassians.
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Old December 7 2012, 07:33 AM   #29
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Re: Best and worst examples of diplomacy in Star Trek

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Yeah, it takes two to go to war. If Poland didn't want to go to war with Germany they could have just said no.
I hope that's just a bad attempt at sarcasm.
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Old December 7 2012, 11:39 PM   #30
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Re: Best and worst examples of diplomacy in Star Trek

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
Odo didn't convince the female changeling that humans were ok afterall. He convinced her that they would not try to murder them all in revenge. The war was already won, Odo just convinced her to give the order to surrender rather than fight to the last man. It wasn't Odo or the bioweapon that won the war, it was just Odo that made the victory less bloody.
Which still basically says that the Dominion War would have continued after the Battle of Cardassia if Odo hadn't persuaded her to have faith in the solids. Had it not been for that, hostilities would have continued, even if the final outcome was certain. Possibly milliions of more lives would have been lost as the Jem'Hadar and the Breen would have continued fighting on other fronts, perhaps striking at entire Federation worlds in retribution.

FEMALE FOUNDER: You may win this war, Commander, but I promise you, when it is over, you will have lost so many ships, so many lives, that your victory will taste as bitter as defeat.

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JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
Yeah, it takes two to go to war. If Poland didn't want to go to war with Germany they could have just said no.
I hope that's just a bad attempt at sarcasm.
Agreed.
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