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Old May 31 2013, 07:18 PM   #286
bullethead
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Re: IDW Star Trek Ongoing...

Christopher wrote: View Post
That's a bizarre argument. Kirk had no advance knowledge that Khan intended to do anything of the sort -- because Khan didn't. The kamikaze run was not part of Khan's plan; it was just the only move left to him once the ship was crippled and his plan to recover his people had failed. The Vengeance was already falling toward Earth, and all he could do was try to aim it at his enemies. There's no possible way Kirk could've anticipated something that even Khan had no idea was going to happen.

Indeed, Kirk did know that Khan was potentially a threat and he did make a reasonable effort to restrain Khan by stunning him, but he underestimated Khan's resilience. Spock then beamed him and the others back and used the torpedoes to disable the Vengeance. As far as Kirk knew at that point, the threat was ended, and he had other priorities like keeping his ship from crashing (something that happened partly because of Marcus's sabotage, I believe), something he gave his life to prevent. Even if he had known that Khan still had enough control of the Vengeance to put it on a collision course for San Francisco, he would've had no ability or opportunity to prevent it.

So it's completely nonsensical and factually wrong to blame Kirk for what happened. It was Khan who bears the primary culpability since it was his decision to commit the act; and Marcus bears secondary responsibility for driving Khan to that extreme, giving him the means to do so with the Vengeance, and crippling the Enterprise's ability to counter it.
Look at it from this perspective. You're Kirk, on the Vengeance with Scotty and Khan, working your way to the bridge. Here's what you know:
1. Khan is a genetically enhance human who effortlessly beat about a platoon's worth of Klingons.
2. Admiral Marcus considers this man and his crew to be a big enough threat that he orchestrates two schemes to get rid of them.
3. Khan is helping you get to the control center of an extremely powerful warship on purpose and is probably going to betray you there (Kirk tells Scotty that they're helping Khan, not the other way around in the novel, can't remember if that happens in the film).
4. After storming the bridge, the only people who should be conscious are you (Kirk), Scotty, Khan, Carol Marcus, and maybe Admiral Marcus.
5. Since Carol Marcus and Scotty aren't trained to fight and you have repeatedly lost fights to Vulcans and Romulans when quickly stripped of a gun, Khan will likely kick all of your asses and take over when given the chance.
6. There is no hope for getting backup from the Enterprise; Khan must taken out in an ambush as quickly as possible before he can enact his plan (whatever it is).
7. If you fail, people are probably going to die.

Now, what are your options?*
1. Stun Khan. Should work, but Bones hasn't had the time to run a really thorough analysis on the guy, so you don't know for sure.
2. Set phaser to kill and shoot Khan. Probably will work, although you don't know since Bones hasn't done that analysis.
3. Shoot Khan multiple times with kill setting phaser. Almost certainly will work, unless Khan is so radically different from humans that he should be considered a whole separate species or he is Jesus/random alien religious figure that died and resurrected himself/Tom Paris in Threshold.
4. Any of the above, plus shooting the consoles. The safest option, but the one least likely to be taken since the Vengeance could be used to tow the Enterprise (which is pretty much dead in space) and be a useful part of Starfleet.

Okay, option 4 is pretty much off the table. Let's run through our check-down list: Option 3 is the most logical/common sense "better safe than sorry" choice, and probably the choice most people would take in that situation. Options 1 and 2 are pretty equal in their chance of success and give Khan the highest probability of achieving his goal.

STiD Kirk takes option 1 and we all know where that ended (it probably would've been worse if Spock hadn't rigged that torpedo to detonate). Option 3, even considered in a vacuum with no knowledge of how things eventually turn out, only requires the death of one person who probably can be only taken down with lethal force anyway (unless you're an enraged Vulcan) and is a known murderer, gets a starship's worth of evidence of Section 31's crimes, and gets the admiral indirectly responsible for Khan's crimes. Kirk's bad decision making is the only thing that allows Khan to take over the Vengeance, which makes him responsible in part for everything that happened after that.

If I was Starfleet Command, I'd toss him out with a dishonorable discharge and give the Enterprise to Spock, since he's at least competent.

*I was going to put "Give a Kirk speech" here, but then I remembered that Kirk was getting verbally pistol-whipped every few minutes by everyone, so it wouldn't have worked anyway.
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Old May 31 2013, 07:30 PM   #287
ATimson
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Re: IDW Star Trek Ongoing...

bullethead wrote: View Post
Now, what are your options?*
1. Stun Khan. Should work, but Bones hasn't had the time to run a really thorough analysis on the guy, so you don't know for sure.
2. Set phaser to kill and shoot Khan. Probably will work, although you don't know since Bones hasn't done that analysis.
3. Shoot Khan multiple times with kill setting phaser. Almost certainly will work, unless Khan is so radically different from humans that he should be considered a whole separate species or he is Jesus/random alien religious figure that died and resurrected himself/Tom Paris in Threshold.
4. Any of the above, plus shooting the consoles. The safest option, but the one least likely to be taken since the Vengeance could be used to tow the Enterprise (which is pretty much dead in space) and be a useful part of Starfleet.

Okay, option 4 is pretty much off the table. Let's run through our check-down list: Option 3 is the most logical/common sense "better safe than sorry" choice, and probably the choice most people would take in that situation.
But not a choice Starfleet would condone. Scotty would be in the right to refuse that order, and Kirk would probably end up court-martialed if he did that.
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Old May 31 2013, 07:36 PM   #288
Christopher
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Re: IDW Star Trek Ongoing...

bullethead wrote: View Post
Look at it from this perspective. You're Kirk, on the Vengeance with Scotty and Khan, working your way to the bridge. Here's what you know:
1. Khan is a genetically enhance human who effortlessly beat about a platoon's worth of Klingons.
And saved Kirk's life in doing so.

2. Admiral Marcus considers this man and his crew to be a big enough threat that he orchestrates two schemes to get rid of them.
And sabotaged the Enterprise and almost destroyed Kirk's crew in order to start an unnecessary war that would kill millions if not billions. Why in the hell would Kirk be sympathetic with anything Marcus believed? Sure, he didn't trust Khan, but at that point he had no reason to perceive Khan as a worse threat than Marcus. The only person he had any reason to suspect of planning mass murder was Marcus.

STiD Kirk takes option 1 and we all know where that ended (it probably would've been worse if Spock hadn't rigged that torpedo to detonate).
See, that's the root of your mistake. You're basing your argument on what you know after the fact, rather than putting yourself in Kirk's head and considering what he knew, and more importantly what he did not know, at that point in the film. You're saying that Kirk should've perceived Khan as a threat so heinous that killing him was the only recourse, but he could not possibly have known that yet. He certainly had reason to mistrust Khan's intentions and to keep a close eye on him, but also to consider him a tenuous ally against the greater threat of Marcus. He had absolutely no reason to default to killing Khan at that point. It would have been immoral and probably illegal for him to kill Khan before Khan had posed a clear and present danger that justified escalating to that kind of response. You can't fairly condemn a man for failing to act on information that could not have been available to him yet.
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Old June 1 2013, 12:26 AM   #289
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Re: IDW Star Trek Ongoing...

Christopher wrote: View Post
See, that's the root of your mistake. You're basing your argument on what you know after the fact, rather than putting yourself in Kirk's head and considering what he knew, and more importantly what he did not know, at that point in the film. You're saying that Kirk should've perceived Khan as a threat so heinous that killing him was the only recourse, but he could not possibly have known that yet. He certainly had reason to mistrust Khan's intentions and to keep a close eye on him, but also to consider him a tenuous ally against the greater threat of Marcus. He had absolutely no reason to default to killing Khan at that point. It would have been immoral and probably illegal for him to kill Khan before Khan had posed a clear and present danger that justified escalating to that kind of response. You can't fairly condemn a man for failing to act on information that could not have been available to him yet.
Yeah this is all true. It's also worth noting that in the previous movie, at the time that Kirk tried to mutiny against Spock, Kirk was not in possession of the additional information from Spock Prime nor the formula for transwarp beaming. Ergo, Kirk's intention to pursue Nero to take him on was highly likely to fail. Spock's decision was also wrong of course - the correct course would have been to contact Starfleet Command on Earth, Andor, and Tellar, notify them of Pike's capture and ask a ship closer to the fleet to get a message to them. Starfleet could have changed the codes on Earth's defences and at warp 8, the fleet could easily have beaten Nero to Earth.

Obviously, there is no guarantee that the fleet would have beaten Nero without the extra intel from Spock Prime but I only use it as an example that while hindsight can condemn or condone, the reverse is also true!
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Old June 2 2013, 06:31 PM   #290
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Re: IDW Star Trek Ongoing...

Ok I've read the latest issue and I really enjoyed it. It was a good framing issue, setting up several plot points for the rest of the arc. It made appropriate use of relevant recurring characters and didn't shoe-horn anybody in for the sake of it - Carol's involvement was a bit forced but it made sense in the context it was presented and I'll be pleased if she gets some appropriate character development.

Taking a bit of extra time to set up a slightly more complex and involving story is a good thing so I hope that all the plot points aren't resolved too conveniently like some of the other 2-parters. This is the first story that has really built on previous stories so it gets a big thumbs up from me.

There are signs that the writers are beginning to increase the number of women involved in the stories but there is still a bit of careless sexism with all-male security guards, an all-male Klingon council (which comes as no surprise since women aren't allowed), an all-male Vulcan delegation except for one, and an all-male Romulan senate.

It is almost as if all the women that appear are romantically linked to a male character or at the very least, they all do seem to be deliberately female as opposed to coincidentally female. There are background women on the Enterprise however, so the artists just need a nudge to remind them that Vulcans and Romulans are not sexist. I really, really, really, really hope that T'Pau features in the next issue - there have been too many Vulcan plot points that have not involved her to date! She could easily be dead but if she is, that would make three strong, well-written female characters from the sixties that have been deliberately written out on top of Chapel. No Janice in this one but she wasn't needed. She could have piloted the shuttle but we got an alien crewman instead - not an Andorian but it's only a matter of time...

Carol may suffer from the same problem as Chapel. As a physicist, she steps on Spock's toes, and it may be hard to see when it would be necessary to use her instead of him, which might mean that a chunk of her usage has to come from a romantic sub-plot, and that never did Christine a lot of favours! Her specialism in weapons tech may mean that she has enough of a niche though - certainly in TOS Spock stole airtime from other characters e.g. by working on communications tech and deciphering codes instead of Uhura. It does look as though that style is going out of fashion fortunately so that the support cast get a fair shout.

They went out of their way to introduce Chekov to the franchise and it appears that they don't know what to do with him. He's the navigator who is better with transporters than the transporter operator and the ensign who gets promoted to chief engineer above more experienced engineers. That's terrible character development. Steering him towards a more weapons-tech related role per TMP might have been scuppered by Carol's niche. I don't think he'll get much to do in this story but I hope they have a story that features him more prominently coming up soon.

The gap in my comic chronolgy has left me wanting the movie adaptation - I hope it's coming soon!
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Old June 2 2013, 11:45 PM   #291
Cadet49
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Re: IDW Star Trek Ongoing...

Christopher wrote: View Post
bullethead wrote: View Post
And there's also the fact that all of the deaths in San Francisco are Kirk's fault, since he didn't kill Khan when he had the chance, thereby allowing a mass murderer to slam the Vengeance into the city (there's an Unintended Aesop here).
That's a bizarre argument. Kirk had no advance knowledge that Khan intended to do anything of the sort -- because Khan didn't. The kamikaze run was not part of Khan's plan; it was just the only move left to him once the ship was crippled and his plan to recover his people had failed. The Vengeance was already falling toward Earth, and all he could do was try to aim it at his enemies. There's no possible way Kirk could've anticipated something that even Khan had no idea was going to happen.

Indeed, Kirk did know that Khan was potentially a threat and he did make a reasonable effort to restrain Khan by stunning him, but he underestimated Khan's resilience. Spock then beamed him and the others back and used the torpedoes to disable the Vengeance. As far as Kirk knew at that point, the threat was ended, and he had other priorities like keeping his ship from crashing (something that happened partly because of Marcus's sabotage, I believe), something he gave his life to prevent. Even if he had known that Khan still had enough control of the Vengeance to put it on a collision course for San Francisco, he would've had no ability or opportunity to prevent it.

So it's completely nonsensical and factually wrong to blame Kirk for what happened. It was Khan who bears the primary culpability since it was his decision to commit the act; and Marcus bears secondary responsibility for driving Khan to that extreme, giving him the means to do so with the Vengeance, and crippling the Enterprise's ability to counter it.
I disagree, Christopher - Kirk is partially responsible
I don't know if he had achoice in what he did, but I certainly think this would taint enthusiasm for Kirk and his five-year mission, considering how many lives must have been lost.

Last edited by Cadet49; June 3 2013 at 12:15 AM.
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Old June 3 2013, 12:19 AM   #292
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Re: IDW Star Trek Ongoing...

It is ridiculous to blame one person for another person's decision to commit a crime, just because they allowed that person to end up in the position to commit that crime. That's like saying that the co-worker who let Lee Harvey Oswald use the elevator in the Book Depository on November 22, 1963 was to blame for JFK's death. Or that it was the fault of the other co-worker who gave Oswald a lift into Dallas that morning, or the boss who hired him for the job at the Depository the previous month. If you use that kind of indirect logic, you might as well blame everyone who ever fed him or clothed him or did anything that sustained his life or activities in any way. It's nonsensical. The person who is responsible for a crime is the person who decides to commit it.

The only way you can hold anyone else responsible is if they knew the crime was going to be committed and did nothing to stop it. As I've already explained, Kirk could not possibly have known that Khan would commit an act of violence on such a scale, because even Khan did not know he was going to do that. It was not his plan from the start; it was simply the only option left to him after his real plans were defeated.

Sure, people would probably blame Kirk based on the kind of reasoning I'm hearing, but it's emotional and irrational reasoning, not something that would remotely hold up in a court of law or a disciplinary hearing. Kirk acted entirely appropriately, in proportion to the level of the threat as he was aware of it at the time. As I said, Starfleet rules of engagement would make it illegal to use lethal force against someone before you had any reason to believe such force was necessary.
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Old June 3 2013, 02:14 AM   #293
Cadet49
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Re: IDW Star Trek Ongoing...

Christopher wrote: View Post
It is ridiculous to blame one person for another person's decision to commit a crime, just because they allowed that person to end up in the position to commit that crime. That's like saying that the co-worker who let Lee Harvey Oswald use the elevator in the Book Depository on November 22, 1963 was to blame for JFK's death. Or that it was the fault of the other co-worker who gave Oswald a lift into Dallas that morning, or the boss who hired him for the job at the Depository the previous month. If you use that kind of indirect logic, you might as well blame everyone who ever fed him or clothed him or did anything that sustained his life or activities in any way. It's nonsensical. The person who is responsible for a crime is the person who decides to commit it.

The only way you can hold anyone else responsible is if they knew the crime was going to be committed and did nothing to stop it. As I've already explained, Kirk could not possibly have known that Khan would commit an act of violence on such a scale, because even Khan did not know he was going to do that. It was not his plan from the start; it was simply the only option left to him after his real plans were defeated.

Sure, people would probably blame Kirk based on the kind of reasoning I'm hearing, but it's emotional and irrational reasoning, not something that would remotely hold up in a court of law or a disciplinary hearing. Kirk acted entirely appropriately, in proportion to the level of the threat as he was aware of it at the time. As I said, Starfleet rules of engagement would make it illegal to use lethal force against someone before you had any reason to believe such force was necessary.
But Kirk was aware that
There would still be questions about other options Kirk could have tried, like
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Old June 3 2013, 02:29 AM   #294
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Re: IDW Star Trek Ongoing...

Cadet49 wrote: View Post
But Kirk was aware that
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Old June 3 2013, 02:53 AM   #295
Cadet49
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Re: IDW Star Trek Ongoing...

ATimson wrote: View Post
Cadet49 wrote: View Post
But Kirk was aware that
No, no...

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Old June 3 2013, 03:03 AM   #296
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Re: IDW Star Trek Ongoing...

Cadet49 wrote: View Post
But Kirk was aware that
I think that's oversimplifying things. Kirk knew at that point that


There would still be questions about other options Kirk could have tried, like
Okay, maybe you have a point there. But I don't understand this desire to mount a witch hunt against Kirk when it was Alexander Marcus who was "the quintessential devil in these matters."

Besides,
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Old June 3 2013, 03:10 AM   #297
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Re: IDW Star Trek Ongoing...

ATimson wrote: View Post
Cadet49 wrote: View Post
But Kirk was aware that
No, no...
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Old June 3 2013, 03:19 AM   #298
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Re: IDW Star Trek Ongoing...

^Kira Nerys was a terrorist. Was the Bajoran government negligent because it didn't toss her in a cell? Just saying "He's a terrorist" isn't much of an argument. Terrorism is a tool, not an identity.
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Old June 3 2013, 03:53 AM   #299
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Re: IDW Star Trek Ongoing...

^
The Bajoran government did not throw Kira Nerys into a cell because the Bajoran government did not consider acts of fighting the Cardassian occupiers as "terrorism".

Bombing Starfleet archives and killing people are considered acts of terrorism by the Federation and Starfleet.

So yes, Kirk did have other options, which he did not use because the movie makers thought it wouldn't have as much action.
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Old June 3 2013, 02:22 PM   #300
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Re: IDW Star Trek Ongoing...

^Of course what Kira did was terrorism, and she freely admitted it on many occasions. Terrorism doesn't just mean "something the evil enemy does." It's a term that has a specific, objective definition, regardless of how pundits and politicians abuse it as a term of emotional rhetoric. Terrorism is is the use of random or excessive violence to induce fear and despair in a population in order to pressure them into abandoning an occupation, war, or other policy. It's generally a tactic used by a weaker group against a more powerful group that can't be defeated by force alone and thus must be demoralized to the point that its own leaders or populace decide to cut their losses and retreat. Which is exactly what happened in the Cardassian Occupation of Bajor.

In Khan's case, he used the tactics of terrorism for goals that were not actually terroristic. He bombed the archive in London, not to terrorize the populace, but to destroy the secret Section 31 facility it contained, and to lure the Starfleet leadership to a specific place so he could strike at them. Terrorism was just the cover he used, the feint that disguised his true intentions. This is something we've seen done in many movies, such as Die Hard.
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