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Old April 26 2013, 06:49 AM   #76
Anwar
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Re: Why is the Federation so dumb?

Danger Ace wrote: View Post
No warmongering. Just the opposite in fact as history has shown us that the biggest invite to war is one side feeling the risk is disproportionately small in relation to the percieved reward. Which is partly what the Romulan Commander and Spock were both speaking to in the episode "Balance of Terror."
And the Federation has consistently shown the Romulans that open war with them would not be a good idea. They had a Treaty with them for over 50 years wherein the Romulans had the Cloak and the Romulans still did nothing.

No, that's an unfortunately shallow interpretation that I'm sure a great many writers would find dispiriting
Hey, if something works and keeps billions from dying for over 50 years and there's little hint of any further war and the Feds have not lost respect from any of their peers, why mess with it?

I would politely suggest that perhaps you should review both episodes and then review your statement for correctness.
The Romulan Elder Centurion in BOT even says that this is what they do, test to see if the enemy will be willing to defend themselves. If not, then it's war. The Enterprise hunted them down and destroyed them, which discouraged the Romulans from further invasion.

Respectfully, your "clarification" is based on what?
That without FTL, the Romulan ship wouldn't have been able to go anywhere fast enough for the plot to work. Impulse back then just meant "Less powerful FTL".

Not true. Many examples of the TNG era being just as militant as the TOS era (plus an extra dash of smug haughtiness and hypocrisy added to taste).
Though not enough to discourage the warmongers.

Again, we know from history the tragic irony of war coming about precisly because oneside attempted to avert conflict through appeasement, and when that policy fails it usually comes with a price tag many times more than it would have been if situations had been delt with more succinctly.
Except being willing to negotiate and compromise does NOT always fail, and billions alive are better than billions dead.
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Old April 26 2013, 08:07 AM   #77
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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.
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Old April 26 2013, 11:23 AM   #78
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Re: Why is the Federation so dumb?

Sci wrote: View Post
"Appeasement" is a term often abused, thrown about by commentators who seem to have no idea what it actually means.
Not nearly as overused as the term warmonger.
As for the meanings of the words appeasement or warmonger - apparently, they elude you.

Apropos that - you keep calling the keetle black, pot.

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.
It is not "a" concession; it is a concession one would only give after a devastating defeat. Your euphemisms cannot change this.
Not helping Poland against dictatorships is a relatively small concession by comparison.
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Old April 26 2013, 01:57 PM   #79
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Re: Why is the Federation so dumb?

Hartzilla2007 wrote: View Post
-snip nitpicking-
I think the problem here is that you're looking at each individual action in a vacuum, instead of building a cohesive pattern of behavior. Each action taken by the Dominion demonstrated their hostile intent and unwillingness to negotiate with solids, things that cannot be ignored. While the Klingons and Romulans also engaged in some of these behaviors at various times, the main difference between them was the fact that they were ultimately individuals, with numerous conflicting opinions that gave the Federation opportunities to find people willing to engage in diplomacy and resolve issues peacefully. Not only that, the fact that those nations were comprised of individuals fighting for individuals meant that their leadership had to be concerned about the ramifications of their actions, because it could lead to others trying to take their positions.

With the Founders, 99% (or more, all we know is ~300 infants were sent off into space) of the population is in constant contact with each other. There are no factions of Changelings, pre-Odo's return at the end of DS9; they all buy into the idea that the Dominion is the best solution to the problem of solids attacking them (which appears to be totally justified, given how the Founders insist on infiltrating and undermining every nation they don't control). They are accountable to no one but themselves, because they are at the top of the Dominion, which allows them to callously create life to be expended crushing those that don't bow down before the Dominion. They have committed acts of slow motion genocide with the Teplan Blight (which I didn't mention before because Section 31 didn't know about that when they made the virus). The Founders view everything a zero-sum game: either you obey them or you die.

In that light, the choice to genocide the Founders is a logical, if tragic, decision. If the Founders were willing to not be dicks, I bet there could've been an actual peace process between them, instead of years of cold war that eventually went hot.
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Old April 26 2013, 03:11 PM   #80
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Re: Why is the Federation so dumb?

Sci wrote: View Post
"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.
Indeed. But as you pointed out in another thread, jingoists will call mass slaughter virtuous and paying even a small price for peace appeasement.
Last time this "the enemy is Hitler and everybody who is against us is a Chamberlain" rhetoric has been used in the real world it served as propaganda that justified the rape of a Middle Eastern country.

Let's keep in mind how Trek actually approached the Romulans since the very beginning, with empathy. Empathy doesn't mind you are a weak, tree-huging pacifist, it just means that you try to understand your enemy. First because the opposite, de-humanizing him, just makes it easier for you to commit atrocities against him, second because any good general has to try to think like his enemy does.
Same with the Klingons. They are fucking blood(wine) drinking predators and the last guys you would want over for dinner ... but peaceful coexistence without giving up your ideals (think about the ending of DS9 when Ross and Sisko refuse to celebrate among so many corpses and pour out the bloodwine) is nonetheless possible.
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Old April 26 2013, 03:16 PM   #81
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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.
..Or even if they sorta do, more or less correctly associating it with what Chamberlain was practicing, they tend to forget that it was in fact a highly successful policy. Hitler nearly conquered the world with it!

Basically everything Hitler did until 1939 was appeasement. He bent over backward to let Stalin better fuck him in the ass so that he could keep oil from the USSR flowing - he gave Stalin free aviation technologies and training, free if half-built battleships, even free territory, all without direct reciprocation merely in order not to piss off the Soviet leader. He caved in on Mussolini's silliest demands, and granted special rights and privileges to all sorts of "neutral" leaders in Europe and the Middle East... All because he could trivially afford to. All his real enemies thought him a ridiculously weak leader, and allowed him to proceed with his plan (or with what would have been his plan, had he had the patience to think of one).

Caving in was a good policy back then, and remains a good one today, because it makes petty players feel empowered and unlikely to actually act against one's interests. Many an old empire appeased its way to long-lasting dominance, and the Federation's "neutral zone", "never-total-victory" policy seems to serve this newer empire pretty well...

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Old April 26 2013, 09:46 PM   #82
Danger Ace
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Re: Why is the Federation so dumb?

Sci wrote: View Post
"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 ...
Are you aware of the word's meaning?

Just in case, "appeasement" is the policy or act of granting concessions to demonstrated or potential enemies in order to maintain peace. To paraphrase Ben Franklin, "Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither."

-- 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.
Incorrect. When Chamberlin appeased Germany on specific points the royal navy still patroled the ocean to protect shipping lanes and he still ramped up military production, therefore, I respectfully submit your trying to somehow paint "diplomacy" and "appeasement" as somehow being mutually exclusive terms is wrong.

IOW, just because the Enterprise-D continued to patrol and confront when warranted does not mean there were no acts of appeasement by the Federation in their dealings with the Romulans, Klingons, whoever.

Also, when folks repetatively try to slap others with labels such as "warmonger" (or similiar) they only serve to highlight even more the flaws in their own arguments.
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Old April 27 2013, 12:46 AM   #83
Sci
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Re: Why is the Federation so dumb?

Danger Ace wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
"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 ...
Are you aware of the word's meaning?

Just in case, "appeasement" is the policy or act of granting concessions to demonstrated or potential enemies in order to maintain peace.
No, it is not. It is the act of granting non-reciprocal concessions to demonstrated or potential enemies in order to maintain peace. In other words, it is the international equivalent of saying: "I am weak; take my wallet, just don't hurt me."

No one has yet demonstrated that the Federation's decision to concede the development of its own cloaking technology was a non-reciprocal concession. Nor has anyone yet demonstrated that this concession has particularly cost the Federation, since the Federation constantly seems able to counter every new Romulan cloaking technological development, and seems to maintain a constant strategic and territorial advantage over the Star Empire and the Imperial Fleet.
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Old April 28 2013, 12:24 AM   #84
Danger Ace
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Re: Why is the Federation so dumb?

Sci wrote: View Post
No, it is not. It is the act of granting non-reciprocal concessions to demonstrated or potential enemies in order to maintain peace.
You make me giggle.

With appeasement the reciprocation to the concession(s) is supposed to be peace.

I have even checked a few different sources and "non-reciprocal" hasn't appeared in any of the definitions for appeasment (so please cite a credible source for your expanded definition).
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Old April 28 2013, 12:33 AM   #85
Count Zero
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Re: Why is the Federation so dumb?

Just a small reminder: please keep the discussion on stuff in the Trekverse. Thanks.
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Old April 28 2013, 03:36 PM   #86
horatio83
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Re: Why is the Federation so dumb?

Danger Ace wrote: View Post
Also, when folks repetatively try to slap others with labels such as "warmonger" (or similiar) they only serve to highlight even more the flaws in their own arguments.
When people claim that the Feds are a bunch of Chamberlains who do give in to the uber-evil Hitlerian Romulan Empire which wants to burn the entire quadrant instead of standing steadfast and not paying even the smallest price for peace they gotta live with the label warmonger.
Distorting the truth in order to rationalize total war (if the Rommies are intergalactic nazis the only option is to pre-emptively crush them before they devour you) simply is warmongering.

And as Sci constantly points out, once you ignore these lies and take a look at what actually happened on the screen it becomes obvious that a) the Federation takes the Romulan threat very seriously, its flagship is often to be found near the neutral Zone and b) the Romulans have not conquered the Federation yet.

In the real world the nazis took the "neutral zone", the Rhineland, without any repercussions whereas in the fictional world of Trek the Federation would certainly not tolerate a fleet of warbirds. The appeasement stuff is simply nonsense.
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Old April 28 2013, 03:38 PM   #87
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Re: Why is the Federation so dumb?

^

So basically you're saying that if anyone disagrees with your opinion, they deserve whatever labels you hurl at them. Real classy.
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Old April 28 2013, 03:46 PM   #88
horatio83
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Re: Why is the Federation so dumb?

No. I am saying that when you call somebody appeasement proponent you gotta live with being called warmonger.
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Old April 28 2013, 03:48 PM   #89
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Re: Why is the Federation so dumb?

Amazing. A lesser man would be incapable of simultaneously denying and confirming my statement in a single post.
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Old April 28 2013, 03:53 PM   #90
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Re: Why is the Federation so dumb?

Putting a label on somebody yet crying foul when the same thing is done to you is hypocritical.
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