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Battlestar Galactica & Caprica This forum was created by man. It rebelled. It evolved. And it has a plan.

 
 
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Old April 2 2013, 11:49 AM   #1
randomfan86
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Defending Admiral Cain from Battlestar Galactica(mentions Dick Cheney)

***Spoiler Alert***

Admiral Cain is a character that I really feel gets too much crap from fans.

Something that Dick Cheney recently said in a new documentary called "The World According to Dick Cheney" caught my eye basically: "In the face of duty, honor is meaningless". It reminded me of Cain. She really was the unchecked, unflinching personification of this ethos. End the end, I think she was a good leader as everyone on the Pegasus crew as well as Starbuck and Adama acknowledge.

Things that bolster her case:

1. FTLing blind: In the context of the universe, it was a genuinely gutsy, outside the box maneuver. Seemed like something that they don't cover in training and wasn't conventional thinking. People say they owe their lives to this decision.

2. Being the fleet commander in the battle that defeated the Cylon's in the Pegasus arc

3. Mentoring Kendra Shaw from scratch into an excellent officer: she ascends to XO and ultimately sacrifices herself in battle to save lives.

4. Running a disciplined, no-drama ship. Colonel Tigh would've been shot by Cain if he had been on Pegasus.

5. According to Adama at the end of Razor, "From a tactical perspective, its hard to find fault with anything she did." That's the highest compliment you can pay any commander. Starbuck also acknowledges the fleet is less safe without her.

6. In the end, when she saw just how successful a collaborative effort between Pegasus and Galactica could be in taking out the Cylons, she chose not to take out Adama. This kind of indicates it was more about taking out the Cylons with her vs. acquisition of power. The human rights abuses started before her Cylon lover betrayed her so I don't think this played an overriding role in her motives either.

Now with regard to the human rights abuses, let me just give a real world example where if the bolded statement made by Adama is true (that a leader is practically good), those types of abuses by a leader are outweighed by the good that is done. South Korea in 1961-1979 was ruled by a strongman/military dictator who engaged in murder, oppression and torture (pretty much everything Cain did...It became a democracy shortly after his rule). But he also modernized SK from an impoverished country to what's become the 13th largest economy in the world and a thriving, developed country. So what do the South Koreans think of his legacy? His rule is regarded so positively that they just elected his daughter the President.

When you're safe, powerful and sated, its easy to have morals. When you don't have these luxuries, someone like Cain is the best option.

What do you think of her?
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Old April 2 2013, 11:56 AM   #2
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Re: Defending Admiral Cain from Battlestar Galactica(mentions Dick Che

I think she was a psycho.
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Old April 2 2013, 12:21 PM   #3
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Re: Defending Admiral Cain from Battlestar Galactica(mentions Dick Che

A compelling and disturbing psycho who cut to the heart of the matter, usually with a blade.

"A philosopher once said "When faced with untenable alternatives you should consider your imperative.""

This phrase often comes to my mind, I've found it personally useful to apply to life. Her conclusion that "War is our imperative" was the sad reality of what was left of humanity.

Yes doing great things may outweigh the bad when the great things in some way save your people. However the great things shouldn't be allowed to wash away the bad or there's no learning process, only fairy tales and hero worship.
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Old April 2 2013, 01:02 PM   #4
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Re: Defending Admiral Cain from Battlestar Galactica(mentions Dick Che

teacake wrote: View Post
A compelling and disturbing psycho who cut to the heart of the matter, usually with a blade.

"A philosopher once said "When faced with untenable alternatives you should consider your imperative.""

This phrase often comes to my mind, I've found it personally useful to apply to life. Her conclusion that "War is our imperative" was the sad reality of what was left of humanity.

Yes doing great things may outweigh the bad when the great things in some way save your people. However the great things shouldn't be allowed to wash away the bad or there's no learning process, only fairy tales and hero worship.
I don't think she was psychotic (nor was the SK leader I mentioned). I don't think committing human rights abuses in and of itself makes you a psycho. I just think that for her, honor meant absolutely nothing in the face duty.
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Old April 2 2013, 01:16 PM   #5
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Re: Defending Admiral Cain from Battlestar Galactica(mentions Dick Che

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
I think she was a psycho.
Winner.
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Old April 2 2013, 01:24 PM   #6
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Re: Defending Admiral Cain from Battlestar Galactica(mentions Dick Che

randomfan86 wrote: View Post
Something that Dick Cheney recently said in a new documentary called "The World According to Dick Cheney" caught my eye basically: "In the face of duty, honor is meaningless". It reminded me of Cain.
There's something else about her that reminds me of Cheney. She also shot one of her best friends in the face and unnecessarily wasted lives and resources in an emotional quest for revenge. The parallels are uncanny.

Too bad she didn't turn out to be a Cylon, so we could make the whole "more machine now than man" parallel, but I guess we'll have to stick with Cheney = Vader for that reality to fiction comparison.
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Old April 2 2013, 01:30 PM   #7
randomfan86
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Re: Defending Admiral Cain from Battlestar Galactica(mentions Dick Che

Locutus of Bored wrote: View Post
There's something else about her that reminds me of Cheney. She also shot one of her best friends in the face and unnecessarily wasted lives and resources in an emotional quest for revenge. The parallels are uncanny.
She was fighting a guerrilla war against the enemy. The whole "revenge" speech was just a rah rah speech to get everyone going after they'd learned of the genocide. In the next scene she pretty much acknowledges this and says calmly that her plan is to wage a guerrilla campaign. There are many examples in history where a small committed guerrilla force has beaten back a superpower.

In the end, when she saw just how successful a collaborative effort between Pegasus and Galactica could be in taking out the Cylons, she chose not to take out Adama. This kind of indicates it was more about her duty (defeating the cylons) than the acquisition of power. I don't know that I can say the same thing about Cheney after watching the documentary. The human rights abuses started before her Cylon lover betrayed her so I don't think this played an overriding role in her motives either.

Last edited by randomfan86; April 2 2013 at 01:43 PM.
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Old April 2 2013, 01:46 PM   #8
Bosch571
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Re: Defending Admiral Cain from Battlestar Galactica(mentions Dick Che

I’m in the she’s a psycho camp.

The arguments in her favor are basically “All she did she did for the greater good”. You can argue whether or not it’s ok to sacrifice the a few thousand civilians to the cylons if it helps Pegasus win the next military encounter. Unfortunately there was no longer a war to fight, it was already lost. What was gained by the attack on the communications relay? Except of course the death of around 32% of the known human population and the destruction of much of her viper fleet. This would be the worse guerrilla tactic ever if that was even her plan. After all this she strips and then abandons a small civilian fleet she came across. By this point this hard ass mentality made her lose 70+ percent of the known survivors, and gained nothing.

These weren’t sacrifice that had to be made to save the 12 colonies from destruction as they were already destroyed. The reason to have a military is to protect the people and there way of life, she failed badly at it. If she was the one who was shot in the head at the relay the human race would have been in a better position.
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Old April 2 2013, 01:47 PM   #9
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Re: Defending Admiral Cain from Battlestar Galactica(mentions Dick Che

I think Cain was cut off from anything that usually keeps the military in check. She had no superiors whatsover, let alone civilian ones. And there was no civilian society she and her crew were embedded in or connected to.

So, for all intents and purposes she was the commander-in-chief for a community of people which (as far as she knew) solely consisted of military personnel at this point. Which effectively resulted in Cain assuming a rather totalitarian point of view.

She expected that everybody followed her orders without question and when anyone disagreed with that he or she got quickly eliminated from the community she led.

In essence, Cain stopped acting like a military commander from a democratic society (something Bill Adama admittedly struggled himself with at times, just not that radical extent) and started behaving more like a military official from, let's say, North Korea.

Last edited by Ensign_Redshirt; April 2 2013 at 02:02 PM.
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Old April 2 2013, 01:50 PM   #10
randomfan86
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Re: Defending Admiral Cain from Battlestar Galactica(mentions Dick Che

Bosch571 wrote: View Post
I’m in the she’s a psycho camp.

The arguments in her favor are basically “All she did she did for the greater good”. You can argue whether or not it’s ok to sacrifice the a few thousand civilians to the cylons if it helps Pegasus win the next military encounter. Unfortunately there was no longer a war to fight, it was already lost. What was gained by the attack on the communications relay? Except of course the death of around 32% of the known human population and the destruction of much of her viper fleet. This would be the worse guerrilla tactic ever if that was even her plan. After all this she strips and then abandons a small civilian fleet she came across. By this point this hard ass mentality made her lose 70+ percent of the known survivors, and gained nothing.

These weren’t sacrifice that had to be made to save the 12 colonies from destruction as they were already destroyed. The reason to have a military is to protect the people and there way of life, she failed badly at it. If she was the one who was shot in the head at the relay the human race would have been in a better position.
You question a lot of her tactics, but Adama himself said "From a tactical perspective, it is hard to find fault with anything Cain did" at the end of Razor. Maybe her decision to attack was the correct tactical decision in the context of that universe. Lots of people on Pegasus say they owe their lives to her, she probably made some good decisions off screen. Kara says the fleet is less safe without her and Adama thinks highly of her tactics.
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Old April 2 2013, 01:58 PM   #11
Locutus of Bored
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Re: Defending Admiral Cain from Battlestar Galactica(mentions Dick Che

randomfan86 wrote: View Post
She was fighting a guerrilla war against the enemy. The whole "revenge" speech was just a rah rah speech to get everyone going after they'd learned of the genocide. In the next scene she pretty much acknowledges this and says calmly that her plan is to wage a guerrilla campaign. There are many examples in history where a small committed guerrilla force has beaten back a superpower.
Getting a third of your already depleted crew killed in a full-scale head-to-head raid on a now heavily defended Cylon relay even after it's shown to be a trap as your XO suggested is not the most auspicious beginning to a guerrilla campaign.

randomfan86 wrote: View Post
You question a lot of her tactics, but Adama himself said "From a tactical perspective, it is hard to find fault with anything Cain did" at the end of Razor.
I thought that line was bullshit apologism on the part of the writers. Hopefully it was more them trying to depict how Adama might feel after she's safely out of the way rather than injecting their own feelings on her character, because Cain was a menace.
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Old April 2 2013, 01:58 PM   #12
randomfan86
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Re: Defending Admiral Cain from Battlestar Galactica(mentions Dick Che

Ensign_Redshirt wrote: View Post
I think Cain was cut off from anything that usually keeps the military in check. She had no superiors whatsover, let alone civilian ones. And there was no civilian society she and her crew were embedded in or connected to.

So, for all intents and purposes she was the commander-in-chief for a community of people which (as far as she knew) solely consisted of military personnel at this point. Which effectively resulted in Cain assuming a rather totalitarian point of view.

She expected that everybody followed her orders without question and when anyone disagreed with that he or she got quickly eliminated from the community she led.
Summary execution for insubordination during battle can be a proper punishment. Especially considering she could've had a mutiny on her hands if she didn't send a strong message.
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Old April 2 2013, 01:59 PM   #13
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Re: Defending Admiral Cain from Battlestar Galactica(mentions Dick Che

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
I think she was a psycho.
True enough, but then, who on that show WASN'T?
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Old April 2 2013, 02:03 PM   #14
Rowan Sjet
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Re: Defending Admiral Cain from Battlestar Galactica(mentions Dick Che

You question a lot of her tactics, but Adama himself said "From a tactical perspective, it is hard to find fault with anything Cain did" at the end of Razor.
So? We can't question Adama as well?
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Old April 2 2013, 02:04 PM   #15
randomfan86
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Re: Defending Admiral Cain from Battlestar Galactica(mentions Dick Che

Locutus of Bored wrote: View Post
randomfan86 wrote: View Post
She was fighting a guerrilla war against the enemy. The whole "revenge" speech was just a rah rah speech to get everyone going after they'd learned of the genocide. In the next scene she pretty much acknowledges this and says calmly that her plan is to wage a guerrilla campaign. There are many examples in history where a small committed guerrilla force has beaten back a superpower.
Getting a third of your already depleted crew killed in a full-scale head-to-head raid on a now heavily defended Cylon relay even after it's shown to be a trap as your XO suggested is not the most auspicious beginning to a guerrilla campaign.

randomfan86 wrote: View Post
You question a lot of her tactics, but Adama himself said "From a tactical perspective, it is hard to find fault with anything Cain did" at the end of Razor.
I thought that line was bullshit apologism on the part of the writers. Hopefully it was more them trying to depict how Adama might feel after she's safely out of the way rather than injecting their own feelings on her character, because Cain was a menace.
I guess we'll have to disagree on that. I think it was a little bit of both. Adama being able to reflect more dispassionately on the actions of Cain cannot find fault with any of her tactics. I think the writers were injecting some of their feelings with that line.

Last edited by randomfan86; April 2 2013 at 02:14 PM.
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