Defending Admiral Cain from Battlestar Galactica(mentions Dick Cheney)

Discussion in 'Battlestar Galactica & Caprica' started by randomfan86, Apr 2, 2013.

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  1. randomfan86

    randomfan86 Lieutenant

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    ***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?
     
  2. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Defending Admiral Cain from Battlestar Galactica(mentions Dick Che

    I think she was a psycho.
     
  3. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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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.
     
  4. randomfan86

    randomfan86 Lieutenant

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    Re: Defending Admiral Cain from Battlestar Galactica(mentions Dick Che

    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.
     
  5. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Defending Admiral Cain from Battlestar Galactica(mentions Dick Che

    Winner.
     
  6. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored The Norf Remembers Moderator

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    Re: Defending Admiral Cain from Battlestar Galactica(mentions Dick Che

    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.
     
  7. randomfan86

    randomfan86 Lieutenant

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    Re: Defending Admiral Cain from Battlestar Galactica(mentions Dick Che

    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: Apr 2, 2013
  8. Bosch571

    Bosch571 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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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.
     
  9. Ensign_Redshirt

    Ensign_Redshirt Commodore Commodore

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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: Apr 2, 2013
  10. randomfan86

    randomfan86 Lieutenant

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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. 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.
     
  11. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored The Norf Remembers Moderator

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    Re: Defending Admiral Cain from Battlestar Galactica(mentions Dick Che

    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.

    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.
     
  12. randomfan86

    randomfan86 Lieutenant

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    Re: Defending Admiral Cain from Battlestar Galactica(mentions Dick Che

    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.
     
  13. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Defending Admiral Cain from Battlestar Galactica(mentions Dick Che

    True enough, but then, who on that show WASN'T?
     
  14. Rowan Sjet

    Rowan Sjet Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Defending Admiral Cain from Battlestar Galactica(mentions Dick Che

    So? We can't question Adama as well?
     
  15. randomfan86

    randomfan86 Lieutenant

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    Re: Defending Admiral Cain from Battlestar Galactica(mentions Dick Che

    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: Apr 2, 2013
  16. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Defending Admiral Cain from Battlestar Galactica(mentions Dick Che

    Cain was the type of commander I'd respect. Adama was a touchy-feely pussy and hypocrite in comparison. He'd casually forgive his friends for commiting acts of high treason (Helo, Starbuck, Lee!), while allowing men that commit lesser crimes to be severely punished. I was with Tom Zarek all the way, the Adama/Roslin regime was utterly loopy. If the head of the military is fraking the religious fanatic leader, I'd want out of that fleet too.

    Also, Michelle Forbez is very bed-able.

    Romo Lampkin.
     
  17. randomfan86

    randomfan86 Lieutenant

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    Re: Defending Admiral Cain from Battlestar Galactica(mentions Dick Che

    Guerrilla war vs. some religious pilgrimage to find a mythical planet. I'd go with Guerrilla war.
     
  18. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Defending Admiral Cain from Battlestar Galactica(mentions Dick Che

    Cain was a vicious putz. I was glad to see her dead. :cool:
     
  19. Ensign_Redshirt

    Ensign_Redshirt Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Defending Admiral Cain from Battlestar Galactica(mentions Dick Che

    The point is, who decides which is "proper punishment"? Cain did. With nothing or nobody around who could check, countermand or correct her decisions. She made the rules, she interpreted the rules, she was the highest authority on all matters with no authority whatsoever above her.

    In a normally functioning military, there are institutions who Cain has to report to, institutions who constantly evaluate her actions and could theoretically discipline her at any time. The problem is that there was nobody left who could decide whether Cain's actions were criminal or not... except maybe her XO, but she quickly killed him when he attempted to do just that. She alone decided whether her own actions were rightful. And in the end she decided that any action she took was automatically justified, no matter what this action entailed.

    So, the basic problem was that nobody left in the universe could initiate a court-martial against Cain... not even in theory.
     
  20. randomfan86

    randomfan86 Lieutenant

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    Re: Defending Admiral Cain from Battlestar Galactica(mentions Dick Che

    I guess its up to the audience to make the judgement. I thought it was the right call given that it was public insubordination in the middle of a battle, and had the potential to instigate mutinous action.
     
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