Did The Federation President Do The Right Thing?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by T'Girl, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. Shik

    Shik Commander Red Shirt

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    It's the 3 most important things in business.
    The greater good.

    Kirk & McCoy are Starfleet officers. They know what that means; the man said it himself: "Risk is our business." The President was given a simple choice: peace--but we try your men under our laws, our way; or you can try to get them back--& have war. Even if the Prime Directive hadn't stipulated that the duo were subject to Klingon law ("our territory, our rules") would you really weigh the lives of 2 figureheads against the lives of billions?

    No, he did the only thing he could have in the situation. He preserved the peace, & I not only think Kirk would have understood that & forgiven him later on, but if he'd been given the choice of "deliver yourself to the Klingons or it's war", he'd've not hesitated in saying, "Beam me over." That's not only the nature of command, that's the nature of leadership, & of understanding that sometimes you have to be sacrificed for the larger whole.
     
  2. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Indeed.
    Plus, klingon law and jurisdiction was recognized by the federation and its president (who wasn't 'above the law')*.


    T'Girl
    *As I've already told you, T'Girl.

    BTW, in the klingon court of law, Worf's dad was the defendants' "JAG" - as per klingon procedural rules.
    And, as Brett said, expecting the movie to present an entire months-long process is more than a little unrealistic.
     
  3. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    When Chang arrested Kirk and McCoy, he cited "interstellar law." When asked about the possibility of contesting their arrested, President Ra-ghoratreii responded, "This president is not above the law."

    The implication seems to be that their arrest occurred under the provisions of a treaty signed and ratified by both the Federation and the Klingon Empire (perhaps the treaty regulates what constitutes probable cause for an arrest of the other state's citizens when they are aboard a given state's vessels?), and that therefore the arrest aboard a Klingon vessel and removal to Klingon space was legal under Federation law. (Remember, "international law" -- which I think is what they mean by "interstellar law" -- is as much the law in the nations which ratify those treaties as domestic law.)

    If both President Ra-ghoratreii and the Klingon Empire agree that the arrest and removal was legal under treaty, then President Ra-ghoratreii did the right thing by not interceding. To do anything less would be to violate the sovereignty of the Klingon Empire.
     
  4. PhoenixClass

    PhoenixClass Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    People are not political pawns, but they are subject to the law. As Sci and other have pointed out, it is clear from the movie that the treaty empowered the Klingons to arrest and try Kirk and McCoy. Chang even cites a specific article of the treaty when he arrests them. Although we never learn the actual text of that article, his citation of it and the president's statement that he is bound by the law clearly indicate that Chang, and the Empire, were within their rights.

    It would be illegal and immoral for the president to withhold aid from a species that needed help and was willing to make peace to get it AND start a war just because the law had an unfortunate outcome in the circumstance.

    Nations in our time disregard treaties when it serves them; we should expect more of the leaders of the Federation.
     
  5. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    That's the Theory at least, it doesn't always work out that way., And of a course a recent court case in Italy could be a test for one country respecting another countries legal system. Once the case in question has gone through all the legalities, appeals, requests etc...
     
  6. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Amanda Knoxs?



    :)
     
  7. Kirby

    Kirby Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think President Foreman should have threatened to personally go into Klingon space and put is foot in the Klingon's collective asses.
     
  8. grendelsbayne

    grendelsbayne Captain Captain

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    Even more than that, it always seemed to me that that's exactly what Kirk was doing when he voluntarily boarded Kronos 1. Giving himself up to prevent war. Obviously, he may have hoped Mccoy could save Gorkon, and Gorkon likely would have been willing to listen to reason, but he had to already be calculating the worst case scenario, which very obviously would've been his and Mccoy's execution for the murder of the Klingon high chancellor.

    What's more, Spock knew that was what he was doing, as well. Why else would he have thought to put the tracking patch on Kirk's uniform?
     
  9. Runetouch

    Runetouch Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    This. And it would be against the utopian ideals of the Federation to regard other cultures laws as inferior or unjust.
     
  10. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    No, it would not.

    But it would be a violation of Federation law and Federation values to think that just because you recognize corruption in a foreign society's legal system, that that gives you the right to trample on their sovereignty or to ignore your treaty obligations to them.
     
  11. Runetouch

    Runetouch Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    But who are the Federation to decide whether the Klingon system is corrupt or not? They may be different, but for all Starfleet knew, Kirk and McCoy may have been guilty, and they may have been tried fairly. Anyway, it's not as if the trial was that unfair.
     
  12. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ So the scenes where Kirk and McCoy were allowed to cross-examine their accusers were...edited out of the film?
     
  13. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Who says they are allowed to do that in a Klingon court?
     
  14. Shik

    Shik Commander Red Shirt

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    It's the 3 most important things in business.
    Chinese-- er, Klingon law: guilty until proven guilty.
     
  15. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Who is the Federation to decide what it thinks of the Klingon system? It's a sovereign state that practices constitutional liberal democracy based upon the principles of universal rights, equality, justice, and liberty, that's who.

    I'm sorry, but the idea that respecting another culture in general and respecting another culture's sovereignty extends to not being allowed to negatively evaluate an aspect of that culture is just absurd. By your logic, Bolivians would never be allowed to criticize the capitalist system in America, Norwegians would never be allowed to criticize the role of sexism in Saudi Arabia, and New Zealanders would never be allowed to criticize the lack of meaningful democracy in Russia.

    Respecting another culture does not mean respecting everything about that culture.

    Nonsense. The Klingons broadcast the trial for all to see, and it was obvious that it was deeply unfair. Their legal counsel was silenced on numerous occasions when he tried to raise reasonable objections, and circumstantial evidence was accepted by the court as the ironclad proof of guilt. It was patently rigged from the start.

    If they're not allowed to do that in a Klingon court, then that's a perfect example of why the Federation can reasonably say that the Klingon court system is corrupt and unfair.

    Again, the Federation has every right to object to the Klingon system. What it does not have the right to do is to impose its system on the Klingons, or to refuse to honor its treaty obligations to the Klingons (e.g., to refuse to allow Kirk and McCoy to be arrested by the Klingons under the auspices of interstellar law, or to invade Klingon space to remove Kirk and McCoy back to the Federation by force).
     
  16. USS KG5

    USS KG5 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The problem is that you would have to assume that Azetbur was willing to back down, we the viewer know that she couldn't, as she was trying to prevent a war herself.

    The plot required the president to appear a bit weak, but its hard to argue that a Federation president should start a war over two men, it could cost millions of lives, factor in Klingon desperation and you have a very nasty fight.

    Look at the Cuban missile crisis. Although it appeared to the western press that Kennedy didn't blick, the reality is a deal was struck. If there had been no concessions from either side, it is likely our world as we know it would have ended in 1962!

    Being a hard-ass is all well and good, but in diplomacy often the best solution still leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
     
  17. Push The Button

    Push The Button Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Whenever I watch those scenes in TUC with the Federation President now, all I can think of is Red Forman: "This President is not above the law...dumbass!"
     
  18. Shik

    Shik Commander Red Shirt

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    It's the 3 most important things in business.
    Or better yet, Clarence Boddicker.

    "I don't know. I don't know. Maybe I'm just not making myself clear. I don't want to fuck with you, Azetbur. But I got the connections. I got the starship organization. I got the muscle to shove enough of this Federation so far up your stupid turtlehead ass that you'll shit photon exhaust for a year."
     
  19. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6cyDsuNx_U[/yt]
     

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