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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

View Poll Results: How would you rate Zero Sum Game?
Outstanding 38 22.22%
Above Average 78 45.61%
Average 45 26.32%
Below Average 8 4.68%
Poor 2 1.17%
Voters: 171. You may not vote on this poll

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Old November 18 2010, 03:43 AM   #316
Rush Limborg
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

^Well, that begs the question: if Ali Khamenei is the one in charge, and he doesn't sanction Ahmadinejad's words...than why is that nut still going around, speaking on behalf of his country? Why doesn't Khamenei, at the very least, tell him to Shut The Heck Up--You're Making Us Look Bad?

Still, as you said, that isn't here nor there--but the arms race does demand struggles to maintain the balance of power. And remember...the UFP's economy isn't doing so well, thanks to the Borg. Thus...espionage and sabotage is an absolute necessity, on a large scale. In the meantime, Bacco needs to get extremely busy on her economic and trade policy.
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Old November 18 2010, 04:06 AM   #317
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

Sci wrote: View Post
Just like the Breen's.

The Breen clearly intend to try to start out-competing the Federation. Does that mean they intend to actually start a war? Or to actually act in an aggressive manner against Federation citizens, territory, or otherwise threaten Federation security?
Let's do keep in mind the Breen already killed many Federation workers and heavily damaged a major Federation shipyard, which should factor into your scenario I think.

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
It's one thing if someone is trying to kill you, and especially if they're trying to kill people who can't defend themselves. If someone chooses to lay down their own life rather than be violent in return--as long as by doing so they are not running away from the defense of others--then I can respect that position. But I cannot respect failure to defend others. That's moral cowardice. In the latter case, failure to act puts the blood on the hands of the person who should have acted and did not. Cowardice makes one an accessory to the crime; to just stand there and let something happen when you have the power to stop it, just because you want YOUR hands to be clean, is pathetic.
What bollocks.
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Old November 18 2010, 04:59 AM   #318
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

I'm over half way through this book and think it has been outstanding so far. I love the fact that finally we get to see who the Breen are and that revelation has been extremely interesting. I made the mistake of skipping to the end of the book (I do that from time to time) and interesting to see Sarina's career choice...and manipulation of Julian. It seems Section 31's desperation to recruit Dr. Bashir has become a personal task of their new director now. When I started reading the book and Sarina revealed her SI connection I couldn't help think like Bashir did that Section 31 was somehow involved. Interesting dynamic in their relationship. Also loving Captain Dax and the crew of the Aventine.
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Old November 18 2010, 05:15 AM   #319
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
^Well, that begs the question: if Ali Khamenei is the one in charge, and he doesn't sanction Ahmadinejad's words...than why is that nut still going around, speaking on behalf of his country? Why doesn't Khamenei, at the very least, tell him to Shut The Heck Up--You're Making Us Look Bad?
A country may well want its enemies to think it more dangerous than it actually is. Former President Reagan rather famously wanted the Soviets to be afraid that he really be willing would be willing to start a nuclear war if the Soviets pushed him hard enough. And that's to say nothing of a basic fact of political life -- that empty threats made against a well-hated enemy can buy a politician political capital from his base, even if he has no intention of acting on such threats.

Which is not to say that Iran would not act on such threats, either. The point is not that it would or would not. The point is: We don't know.

Kestrel wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
Just like the Breen's.

The Breen clearly intend to try to start out-competing the Federation. Does that mean they intend to actually start a war? Or to actually act in an aggressive manner against Federation citizens, territory, or otherwise threaten Federation security?
Let's do keep in mind the Breen already killed many Federation workers and heavily damaged a major Federation shipyard, which should factor into your scenario I think.
True. But that's not the same thing as being set on a policy of hostile expansion into Federation territory. Which is not to preclude it, either. Again: We don't know.
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Old November 18 2010, 06:07 AM   #320
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

^We don't know yet.
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Old November 18 2010, 06:08 AM   #321
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

Just finished...excellent book. So is Sarina lying to Bashir about her feelings towards him and just following Section 31's orders? A Vulcan Director of Section 31 makes me shudder. I really love the Aventine and her crew as well.
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Old November 18 2010, 06:22 AM   #322
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

^Well...technically, as "Extreme Measures" implies a cell-like structure (and indeed, common sense demands decentralization to this effect), L'Hann is probably a Director, as opposed to the Director.

But I agree--it is most fascinating that Vulcans are in high-ranking positions in 31. But it isn't the first time we've seen that. In A Time To Kill/Heal (written by David Mack!), there's a senior agent who's a Vulcan.



Sci, as to your latest point--yes, The Gipper's strategy of arms race was as you say. But remember his conclusion: He asserted that the Soviet Union was sufficiently weak economically that they would end up massively spending money they didn't have to counter us, and therefore either collapse or come running to the table, desperate for a deal--which is basically what happened. Also, remember Reagan's guarantee, "America is not in the business of starting wars." This is a far cry from what Mahmoud has said.

Now--you are right, in that we do not know. But here, Mahmoud's belligerence--and indeed, the belligerent words of the Pact ambassadors to the effect of We Will Bury You--are a case of "better safe than sorry".

Thus, the CIA--and SI--are wholly justified in sabotage--and whatever comes with it.
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Old November 18 2010, 06:27 AM   #323
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

Sci wrote: View Post
Kestrel wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
Just like the Breen's.

The Breen clearly intend to try to start out-competing the Federation. Does that mean they intend to actually start a war? Or to actually act in an aggressive manner against Federation citizens, territory, or otherwise threaten Federation security?
Let's do keep in mind the Breen already killed many Federation workers and heavily damaged a major Federation shipyard, which should factor into your scenario I think.
True. But that's not the same thing as being set on a policy of hostile expansion into Federation territory. Which is not to preclude it, either. Again: We don't know.
Of course. But it is an aggressive and hostile action and would nuance the response that's being made. You'd have to modify your Iran scenario to account for Iranian saboteurs who stole classified American/British/French/Russian/etc technology and heavily damaged a production facility to aid in escape, killing American/etc civilians in the process
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Old November 18 2010, 07:36 AM   #324
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
^Well...technically, as "Extreme Measures" implies a cell-like structure (and indeed, common sense demands decentralization to this effect), L'Hann is probably a Director, as opposed to the Director.

But I agree--it is most fascinating that Vulcans are in high-ranking positions in 31. But it isn't the first time we've seen that. In A Time To Kill/Heal (written by David Mack!), there's a senior agent who's a Vulcan.
That was in fact the very same L'Haan who appeared in the finale of Zero Sum Game.

Sci, as to your latest point--yes, The Gipper's strategy of arms race was as you say. But remember his conclusion: He asserted that the Soviet Union was sufficiently weak economically that they would end up massively spending money they didn't have to counter us, and therefore either collapse or come running to the table, desperate for a deal--which is basically what happened. Also, remember Reagan's guarantee, "America is not in the business of starting wars." This is a far cry from what Mahmoud has said.
I'm not making an exact parallel or trying to claim that Ahmadinejad is the equivalent of Reagan. I'm using Reagan as one example of a larger point: That a country's leaders can sometimes want others to view them as being more dangerous than they actually are.

Now--you are right, in that we do not know. But here, Mahmoud's belligerence--and indeed, the belligerent words of the Pact ambassadors to the effect of We Will Bury You--are a case of "better safe than sorry".
That's certainly one opinion. But it does not change the fact that we don't know their intentions. Nor is it intellectually honest to phrase one's opinions in absolutist terms.

Thus, the CIA--and SI--are wholly justified in sabotage--and whatever comes with it.
"Wholly?" Really? There's no ambiguity there at all? The justification is complete and absolute?

I'm actually amused that you've taken up this argument, since I brought up that thought experiment largely as a counter to the people who were against the mission as depicted in Zero Sum Game. My initial point in bringing up the Iran thought experiment was to say, "Don't be too quick to assume that such a mission was unjustified and immoral. Relate it to circumstances in real life that capture a better sense of the potential dangers posed by not engaging in such a mission, and re-think your stance. It may not seem quite so unjustified as you're thinking."

But, amusingly enough, you seem to have interpreted my thought experiment as an argument in support of the idea that such missions as depicted in Zero Sum Game are unjustified!

My actual point is this:

It's ambiguous and it's not an easy thing to judge, on either side.

Kestrel wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
Kestrel wrote: View Post

Let's do keep in mind the Breen already killed many Federation workers and heavily damaged a major Federation shipyard, which should factor into your scenario I think.
True. But that's not the same thing as being set on a policy of hostile expansion into Federation territory. Which is not to preclude it, either. Again: We don't know.
Of course. But it is an aggressive and hostile action and would nuance the response that's being made. You'd have to modify your Iran scenario to account for Iranian saboteurs who stole classified American/British/French/Russian/etc technology and heavily damaged a production facility to aid in escape, killing American/etc civilians in the process
Given the well-known role of the Iranian government in, for instance, supporting insurgent attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq (within the blanket of plausible deniability), I did not consider the parallel to require such exacting precision. Iran has already demonstrated a willingness to engage in some hostilities with the U.S. on a limited scale (just like the Typhon Pact demonstrated a willingness to engage in limited-scale hostilities by stealing the slipstream drive).

Is the parallel exact? No. It does not have to be; the relevant parallels are there: A rising power with unknown long-term intentions, willing to engage in small-scale hostilities, attempting to assert itself on the larger political stage by developing a dangerous technology, and the choice faced by the larger, more established, but lately somewhat weaker liberal democracy to use or not use espionage and black operations to destroy the technology potentially at the cost of a great many civilian lives.
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Old November 18 2010, 09:47 AM   #325
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

Sci wrote: View Post
A question to ponder.

Let's say Iran is developing a nuclear weapons plant. Let's say that the vast majority of workers there are unarmed civilians who merely want a good job and want to make sure their country has the kinds of weaponry it needs to deter the threat of aggression from other countries. Such as, for instance, the United States, whose Army happens to have occupied both countries on either side of Iran's border this decade.

And let's say that the CIA decides to send someone in to Iran to blow it up before it becomes operational.

And in the course of that endeavor, said CIA agents kill several unarmed civilians, either not knowing that they were unarmed (as Bashir did not know the engineers in the Operations Center were unarmed before he shot them as a pre-emptive safety measure), or killed hundreds of such workers upon blowing the plant up.

(For the purposes of this thought experiment, let us presume that the operation took place at a sufficiently early time in the plant's construction process that blowing the plant up did not release huge amounts of radioactivity into the atmosphere or otherwise hurt the general Iranian populace.)

Now.

Tell me.

Is that a truly immoral thing?
If these CIA agents have the clear and easy option to keep these unarmed civilians alive, a fact that would not affect in the least the chances of success of their mission, then yes, Sci, IT IS A TRULY IMMORAL THING.

People often use the term "ambiguous" to refer to acts that are really not ambiguous at all; they often use the term to refer to acts that are clearly immoral. But one of the reasons something is consider "ambiguous," after all, is that it's not clearly immoral.
And now, Sci, you are using the term 'ambiguous' to refer to an act that is clearly immoral - killing justified by no reason, gratuitously.
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Old November 18 2010, 09:54 AM   #326
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
It's one thing if someone is trying to kill you, and especially if they're trying to kill people who can't defend themselves. If someone chooses to lay down their own life rather than be violent in return--as long as by doing so they are not running away from the defense of others--then I can respect that position. But I cannot respect failure to defend others. That's moral cowardice. In the latter case, failure to act puts the blood on the hands of the person who should have acted and did not. Cowardice makes one an accessory to the crime; to just stand there and let something happen when you have the power to stop it, just because you want YOUR hands to be clean, is pathetic. But to just kill with no reason...that IS wrong and unnecessary.
I agree, Nerys Ghemor.
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Old November 18 2010, 06:02 PM   #327
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

^Whew! The underworld has officially frozen over!

I'm actually amused that you've taken up this argument, since I brought up that thought experiment largely as a counter to the people who were against the mission as depicted in Zero Sum Game. My initial point in bringing up the Iran thought experiment was to say, "Don't be too quick to assume that such a mission was unjustified and immoral. Relate it to circumstances in real life that capture a better sense of the potential dangers posed by not engaging in such a mission, and re-think your stance. It may not seem quite so unjustified as you're thinking."

But, amusingly enough, you seem to have interpreted my thought experiment as an argument in support of the idea that such missions as depicted in Zero Sum Game are unjustified!
Why should you be amused, Sci? I am simply proposing my ideas by taking up the opportunity you so generously provided--nothing more, nothing less. I had no idea you only wanted certain points of view to be given in response....

"Wholly?" Really? There's no ambiguity there at all? The justification is complete and absolute?
If the nation is behaving and/or speaking belligerently and hostilly towards the society--of course!
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Old November 19 2010, 04:45 AM   #328
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

As to Bashir's justification for the Kill setting. We know the Stun setting works for at least some, of the Breen species. We have no idea how well it works on all of them. Bashir (figuratively) kicked down the door on a room with an unknown number of possibly armed Breen who might have a varying resistance to the Stun setting. If one of these Breen had even wounded him the chances of success for his mission would have dropped drastically. That could be catastrophic for the Federation and could lead to consequences up to and including an open war that could kill millions. Killing them quickly without taking extra time to determine whether they were armed or could resist a Stun setting maximized his chances of success and, lets not forget, survival.
By that standard his actions were justified. Perhaps not nice, or even moral. But necessary.
As to the Iran debate. Very interesting and thought provoking. But when analyzing their intentions I tend to agree with an Israeli General whose name I can't remember right off hand. He said "We have learned from hard experience that when someone says they want to exterminate us, we believe them."
OH, and now that the Breen are officially here, we need a Breen smiley
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Old November 19 2010, 06:21 AM   #329
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

^
OH, and now that the Breen are officially here, we need a Breen smiley
8874578927987479874502987398754289750!!!
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Old November 19 2010, 07:08 AM   #330
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Re: Typhon Pact: Zero Sum Game Review thread

ProtoAvatar wrote: View Post
<SNIP>

Now.

Tell me.

Is that a truly immoral thing?
If these CIA agents have the clear and easy option to keep these unarmed civilians alive,
Dude, you're blowing the damn thing up. It's pretty obvious that there are going to be at least a few, if not many, civilian deaths.

And did Bashir have the clear and easy option to keep those unarmed civilians alive? He was entering a room he could not see before he entered, did not know how many people would be in the room, and who would be armed, nor could he risk being captured or subdued or allowing them to call security even if they were unarmed.

And had stun worked, they would have then been doomed to die in the subsequent shipyard explosion.

I'm honestly not sure under what scenario Bashir could have saved those engineers without sacrificing the mission.

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
I'm actually amused that you've taken up this argument, since I brought up that thought experiment largely as a counter to the people who were against the mission as depicted in Zero Sum Game. My initial point in bringing up the Iran thought experiment was to say, "Don't be too quick to assume that such a mission was unjustified and immoral. Relate it to circumstances in real life that capture a better sense of the potential dangers posed by not engaging in such a mission, and re-think your stance. It may not seem quite so unjustified as you're thinking."

But, amusingly enough, you seem to have interpreted my thought experiment as an argument in support of the idea that such missions as depicted in Zero Sum Game are unjustified!
Why should you be amused, Sci? I am simply proposing my ideas by taking up the opportunity you so generously provided--nothing more, nothing less. I had no idea you only wanted certain points of view to be given in response....
I never said that. I'm just amused that you seem to have been assuming that my CIA thought experiment was motivated by a completely different set of a priori assumptions on my part than it actually was.

"Wholly?" Really? There's no ambiguity there at all? The justification is complete and absolute?
If the nation is behaving and/or speaking belligerently and hostilly towards the society--of course!
Really? Belligerent speech is enough to provoke that sort of thing? No ambiguity there whatsoever?

You and ProtoAvatar are hysterical. Like there can ever be moral absolutes in the world of espionage.
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