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Old March 31 2013, 06:21 AM   #16
The Overlord
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Re: Star Fleet and Genocide

Timo wrote: View Post
Kirk never had trouble annihilating single-member species such as the Salt Vampire, Vaal, Landru or the Doomsday Machine. And the only thing that stopped him from destroying the entire species of Space Amoebae was that he could only access one individual. Nothing about this appeared to be contrary to his 23rd century Starfleet general orders.

In TNG era, Starfleet specifically wanted Picard to erase the Borg species and chided him for the failure; it also sponsored the plan to erase the Founders (issues of deniability aside) by providing the necessary resources. So that seems to cover the 24th century as well. Sure, Picard prevaricated about killing the Crystalline Entity, but he could have had sound tactical reasons for not killing his captive without interrogating it first; Kirk and Spock really dropped the ball there with the Space Amoeba.

However, the bigger the threat, the less likely that it could simply be destroyed. The Daleks seem to be exceptionally capable of bouncing back (at least in the most recent Who series), so Starfleet would no doubt have to invest massively in researching them and their weaknesses; this might well reveal means to defeat the Daleks without completely removing them from existence, and such means might well be more economical and achievable than outright slaughter.

Timo Saloniemi
Okay, but then at what point does the Federation consider genocide an acceptable response to deal with an enemy?

The Federation never seemed to consider genocide as a response to conflicts with the Klingons, Romulans or Cardassians.
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Old March 31 2013, 12:12 PM   #17
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Re: Star Fleet and Genocide

It's relevant to the definition of genocide. The near-extinction of the North American bison wasn't genocide. Buffalo are not sapient beings.
That sort of dodging doesn't work in the Trek universe, where it's not really always possible to tell whether the victim is sapient even after fairly careful study. From the point of view of many of the Federation's enemies, eradication of Homo sapiens would not count as genocide by such impracticably narrow terms.

And the only reason the bison slaughter wasn't genocide was that it failed - otherwise, a genus would have been killed. So the charge against Man would be attempted genocide there.

Okay, but then at what point does the Federation consider genocide an acceptable response to deal with an enemy?
That must vary from enemy to enemy. Some enemies can only be defeated through genocide: e.g. the Borg are a single individual and defeating that individual means utter and complete destruction of the genus. Many other dire threats to the Federation have also come from a species consisting of a single individual, one that cannot be negotiated with, delayed, redirected or evaded - say, V'Ger.

This nicely serves to highlight what a meaningless term "genocide" really is. Sometimes it describes the killing of a single being or a small group in the accusatory sense, sometimes it describes the killing of trillions in the dropping of charges sense, because it puts irrational weight on the degree of completion of the act.

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Old March 31 2013, 12:51 PM   #18
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Re: Star Fleet and Genocide

Timo wrote: View Post
Okay, but then at what point does the Federation consider genocide an acceptable response to deal with an enemy?
That must vary from enemy to enemy.
Probably Timo, it also varies from time period to time period. Depends on what kind of mood the Federations is in.

If the influential Vulcan representative to the Federation council in in the beginning stages of Pon Farr (and also in denial), you might want to screw with the Federation some other time.

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Old March 31 2013, 12:58 PM   #19
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Re: Star Fleet and Genocide

I couldn't stand the Section 31 genocide plot on DS9. The worst thing about it was that parts of the Federation wanted it to succeed. Is this Federation even worth saving?

The Founders had every right to annihilate humanity after that point.
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Old March 31 2013, 01:05 PM   #20
BillJ
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Re: Star Fleet and Genocide

Dream wrote: View Post
I couldn't stand the Section 31 genocide plot on DS9. The worst part of it was that parts of the Federation wanted it to succeed.

Is this Federation worth saving?
Yep.

Would you be happy as a citizen to see the Federation government fall and be replaced by either the Dominion, Klingons, Romulans or the Cardassians?

While I think the Federation takes the whole "we are explorers" things a little too far and encroaches on other species territory (see Cestus III), the Dominion kicked in the door and deserved whatever ass-whuppin' the Federation could dish out. Including the destruction of the Founders.

Same thing goes for the Borg.
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Old March 31 2013, 01:20 PM   #21
Dream
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Re: Star Fleet and Genocide

At that point the Federation and its allies were already winning the war. The virus was no longer about preserving the Federation, but just murdering the leaders of the Dominion. The Federation was just as bad as Section 31 for refusing to give the cure.
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Old March 31 2013, 01:27 PM   #22
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Star Fleet and Genocide

Wasn't Picard ordered to exterminate the Borg should any future oppertunities come up? In "Descent", I believe.
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Old March 31 2013, 01:28 PM   #23
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Re: Star Fleet and Genocide

You don't give up your trump card unless you're getting something of value in return, especially when their are lives at stake.

I agree with Section 31 infecting the Founders, I also agree with the Federation withholding the cure until they had a promise of peace in place. Honestly, how many more people would've died in senseless battles on both sides if the Federation didn't have the Founders over a barrel?
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Old March 31 2013, 02:15 PM   #24
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Re: Star Fleet and Genocide

The Founders weren't of quite the same stripe as other races the Federation had warred with. When they fought the Klingons, it was Klingons who died in battles. Same with the Romulans and everyone else. But it wasn't Founders who died in battles with Federation, it was Jem'Hadar and the odd Vorta - beings the Founders designed for just that purpose. It's a different dynamic, one where the ultimate opponent has far fewer incentives to seek peace.

The question isn't really about whether or not the Federation was worth saving. The question is whether the Founders were worth preserving. It's not as though there were dissident Founders who never wanted war with the Federation (Odo doesn't count). There were no civilians or innocent bystanders. Section 31 succeeded in changing that asymmetric dynamic.

The Founders' entire reason for their outlook was the belief that 'the solids' were a threat to their existence. By reasoning from that axiom, they managed to make it true.

Boo hoo.
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Old March 31 2013, 03:30 PM   #25
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Re: Star Fleet and Genocide

Dream wrote: View Post
At that point the Federation and its allies were already winning the war. The virus was no longer about preserving the Federation, but just murdering the leaders of the Dominion. The Federation was just as bad as Section 31 for refusing to give the cure.
They didn't refuse to give up the cure, they just wanted to use it for leverage. They ended up exchanging the cure for an end to hostilities. Everyone gains something then.

And, honestly, why is the Federation expected to be so altruistic that they'll hand over a valuable cure to a dangerous enemy without expecting anything in return? The Federation exists to protect its own citizens, not to protect everyone else.
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Old March 31 2013, 03:38 PM   #26
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Re: Star Fleet and Genocide

Dream wrote: View Post
At that point the Federation and its allies were already winning the war. The virus was no longer about preserving the Federation, but just murdering the leaders of the Dominion. The Federation was just as bad as Section 31 for refusing to give the cure.
You can't even say that really. The Link was inflected by Odo before the war even began. It was in Season 4's Broken Link that Odo delivered the virus to them. By that point the worst thing the Dominion had done was destroy ships that entered their space.
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Old March 31 2013, 04:51 PM   #27
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Re: Star Fleet and Genocide

Dream wrote: View Post
At that point the Federation and its allies were already winning the war. The virus was no longer about preserving the Federation, but just murdering the leaders of the Dominion. The Federation was just as bad as Section 31 for refusing to give the cure.

it was the cure that convinced the head changeling to surrender. Before that, she had vowed to kill billions more before the war ended. So the virus ended up saving a lot of lives and ending the war early.
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Old March 31 2013, 05:52 PM   #28
The Overlord
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Re: Star Fleet and Genocide

Timo wrote: View Post
It's relevant to the definition of genocide. The near-extinction of the North American bison wasn't genocide. Buffalo are not sapient beings.
That sort of dodging doesn't work in the Trek universe, where it's not really always possible to tell whether the victim is sapient even after fairly careful study. From the point of view of many of the Federation's enemies, eradication of Homo sapiens would not count as genocide by such impracticably narrow terms.

And the only reason the bison slaughter wasn't genocide was that it failed - otherwise, a genus would have been killed. So the charge against Man would be attempted genocide there.

Okay, but then at what point does the Federation consider genocide an acceptable response to deal with an enemy?
That must vary from enemy to enemy. Some enemies can only be defeated through genocide: e.g. the Borg are a single individual and defeating that individual means utter and complete destruction of the genus. Many other dire threats to the Federation have also come from a species consisting of a single individual, one that cannot be negotiated with, delayed, redirected or evaded - say, V'Ger.

This nicely serves to highlight what a meaningless term "genocide" really is. Sometimes it describes the killing of a single being or a small group in the accusatory sense, sometimes it describes the killing of trillions in the dropping of charges sense, because it puts irrational weight on the degree of completion of the act.

Timo Saloniemi
I am pretty sure killing a single being is not considered genocide in the same way as killing millions of people is.

I don't think Hitler would be as reviled, if he only killed one person.

For example, if someone was being mugged and that person killed that mugger in self defense and it turns out that mugger was actually the last member of a race, I don't think that is comparable to a government deciding to kill millions people, because they thought their country would be better without members of a certain race living there.
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Old March 31 2013, 06:14 PM   #29
bullethead
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Re: Star Fleet and Genocide

R. Star wrote: View Post
Dream wrote: View Post
At that point the Federation and its allies were already winning the war. The virus was no longer about preserving the Federation, but just murdering the leaders of the Dominion. The Federation was just as bad as Section 31 for refusing to give the cure.
You can't even say that really. The Link was inflected by Odo before the war even began. It was in Season 4's Broken Link that Odo delivered the virus to them. By that point the worst thing the Dominion had done was destroy ships that entered their space.
Well, at that point, here's what Starfleet knew about the Dominion:
-That the Founders were planning to impose their totalitarian rule on everyone they could
-The Founders were paranoid xenophobes that couldn't be reasoned with
-Founders could replace anyone at anytime without alerting anyone
-Attempted to start a war between the Federation and the Tzenkethi
-Made slave races that thought of them as gods
-Founders infiltrated Earth

The first two points alone would make me start working on some sort of WMD as a contingency plan and the events of The Adversary would just confirm that a bioweapon and genocide was the way to go.
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Old March 31 2013, 08:13 PM   #30
T'Girl
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Re: Star Fleet and Genocide

King Daniel wrote: View Post
Wasn't Picard ordered to exterminate the Borg should any future opportunities come up? In "Descent", I believe.
The program designed by Data and LaForge would have destroyed the Borg computers, it would have been like at the end of the episode Scorpion, if the Voyager's EMH had simply turned off all of Seven of Nine's implants at the same time.

Many of the Borg would have died, either through the implants no longer functioning, or being trapped aboard dead cubes. But some others would have survived, freed from the collective.

Dream wrote: View Post
I couldn't stand the Section 31 genocide plot on DS9. The worst thing about it was that parts of the Federation wanted it to succeed. Is this Federation even worth saving?
Yes, it was a matter of survival. Not just preventing death, but preventing future enslavement and rule through intimidation. The Federation and Starfleet had no direct access to the leaders of the Dominion through conventional warfare, the sickness gave them access.

The Founders had every right to annihilate humanity after that point.
The "right" no, but likely Humanity would have faced annihilation if the Dominion had won.

The Federation was just as bad as Section 31 for refusing to give the cure.
Withholding the cure saved lives, the lives of the personnel in Starfleet. Could Starfleet have fought the Dominion forces to eventual victory? Possibly, but how many addition people in Starfleet would have been killed in the process? Certainly more than died (and were injured) with the cure shortening the war.

How many of your own people are you willing to lose Dream, in order that a biological weapon not be used?

R. Star wrote: View Post
The Link was inflected by Odo before the war even began.
For all we know, Section 31 routinely infects newly contacted species that show the possible ability to destroy the Federation. When they prove to be just "normally" hostile, section 31 spreads the cure, the same way they spread the original sickness. Section 31 then not being in the business of keeping the Federation out of all conflicts, just preventing the Federation's destruction.

By that point the worst thing the Dominion had done was destroy ships that entered their space.
Thereby showing that they are a threat.

And they did wipe out a Bajorian colony that was in the gamma quad, but outside Dominion space. The Dominion only being a portion of the quadrant.

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