Is Picard a hypocrite?

Discussion in 'The Next Generation' started by The Overlord, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    You obviously either haven't read or haven't comprehended what I've said...

    If you have the belief that they are a prewarp culture, the Prime Directive would prevent you from even offering them help.

    Any decisions you make comes down to how you value those six hundred lives and what resources in people and technology you're willing to use to that end. The Prime Directive simply doesn't fit the situation and I hope it's adjusted after the fact to reflect the new reality the situation represented.
     
  2. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    I have understood what you said perfectly well, you said that you would move the Ba'ku. I wanted to avoid tedious PD discussions, that's why I asked whether you wouldn't rather want to ask them whether they actually want your help.
    So I ask again, would you just move them or explain the situation to them, offer your help and not force them to do anything they don't want?
     
  3. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I would move them even if it's against their will. They're sitting on the fountain of youth, sitting on it in my territory. I'm not willing to risk Federation lives to protect six hundred people when someone eventually comes gunning for them. Because I still have to defend my territory from invaders whether the Ba'ku are citizens or not.
     
  4. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    Then you'd serve a few extra years for kidnapping. Don't you understand something as basic as not forcing people to do something against their will? Their planet might lie in Federation space but they are not Federation citizens and you have no authority over them. The Federation is not a galactic rapist.
    If they don't want your help you are not obliged to protect them in any way. The Federation is not a galactic nanny. You basically say it is justified to walk around and pull the cigarettes out of the mouths of smoking people and trample on them because you care about their health, because you can better protect them than they can protect themselves.

    If foreign powers are really willing to start a war with the Federation in order to conquer Ba'ku, merely a hypothetical scenario and not the inevitable course of history, you have other things to worry about anyway and the Ba'ku might not be safe at the new planet to which you transported them either. Not to mention that they would sooner or later start to rot like the So'na and die without the radiation from the planet.

    At the end of the day abducting the Ba'ku still serves only one purpose, to move them away from the precious resources we want to get our hands on. Trying to cover this crime with claims to actually care about their well-being is even more wicked than Dougherty's position, he did at least acknowledge that the Ba'ku are violated.
     
  5. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    So you'd be willing to lay down your life or the life of a son or daughter to fight a war to protect the lifestyle of six hundred people?

    What's wicked is that Picard couldn't see past his own libido and think through the situation. Never is a situation as black or white as it seems to be. Situations like we see in Insurrection rarely exist in a vacuum devoid of multiple pressures that make it an easy read. He doesn't even seek opinions on what happens to the Ba'ku if the Federation walks away.

    Talk about a superiority complex.
     
  6. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    What "false assumption? Anyone on the surface of the planet would be killed when the Federation and the Sona harvested the particles in the rings. Whether the Baku and Sona have (or don't have) "internal affairs" doesn't change that fact. The Baku had to leave. Yes, the Federation should have initially asked them to go under their own power, but they did have to go.

    Hard to see how the Prime Directive would "kick in." Once it is realized that the Baku are both refuges and a warp capable culture, the Prime Directive is irrelavant. And once the Baku and the Sona are seen as one people, that just means that the Baku have somewhere to relocate to (a Sona planet), off of the Federation planet that they reside upon.

    If the Baku remained on the surface, the harvesting of the particles would have killed them. If a police officer encounters a person in a building about to be demolished, if a firefighter encounters a person in a building that is burning, they don't ask that persons permission before removing them.

    Relocating the Baku was for their safety.

    And if the Federation Council, after their review, didn't continue the process of harvesting the rings particle (after finally removing the Baku), how many of them would end up in prison?

    Certainly after the general public found out that the Council deigned the Federation of the health advantages of the particles, just so that a small number of pretty people could live undisturbed in a single small valley, the majority of the Council would be remove from positions of power.

    What do you mean "take?" It was a Federation planet and they were Federation particles. Who were they supposed to have asked?

    The thing is, they didn't. The Sona went out of their way through the majority of the story to prevent harming the Baku.


    :)
     
  7. The Overlord

    The Overlord Captain Captain

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    Peace between the Klingons and Federation only happened after one of their moons exploded, I doubt the Klingons would have been impressed with the type of weak posturing the Federation did in "Journey's End". This type of hand ringing just makes aggressive regimes think you are weak and then they come back with more demands.

    Its not war mongering to call a spade a spade. Yes, after the Dominion war, it is likely that there is peace between Federation and the Cardassian Union, but that only occurred after a war that killed billions and after the Federation occupied Cardassia and likely replaced.

    Sometimes there cannot peace between nations, if a particularly bad regime exists is power in one of these nations. As long as the Nazis controlled Germany, there was never going to be peace between Germany and its neighbours. The same deal with Cardassia, as long as Cardassia was controlled by a military, there would never be peace between cardassia and the Federation, there was only peace after that government was gone.

    A short while later, the Central Command did everything short of open warfare to try and force the colonists out of the DMZ, how is that a compromise? Its not a compromise if one side has no intention of abiding by the deal.

    And yet another war between the Cardassian Union and the Federation did happen and since the Cardassian Union had the Dominion as allies, this war was far worse

    As far back as their first appearance, it was heavily suggested that the Cardassians still had territorial ambitions on the Federation.

    And if the Cardassian Union didn't really respect this treaty and did everything in their power to undermine it, how is it not worthless? If you sign a contract with someone and that person doesn't fulfill it, its a void agreement. Keeping your word when the other side has no intention to isn't wise, its just foolish.

    So the Federation cares far about the rights of another civilization, then the rights of its own citizens? That makes the federation seem like far less of a utopia, if the Federation council has no problem treating its own citizens as pawns.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  8. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    I am the Prime Directive advocate so I am naturally the last one who wants to fight a war for the Ba'ku. But neither would I violate them as you would. Talking about sons and daughters, I am sure you'd be willing to lay down your life to protect your son or daughter from being violated in any fashion.

    You can defend Dougherty and the So'na all you like and imagine a grand-scale invasion of the Federation to rationalize it, Picard did the right thing.
    INS is not a complicated movie where it is unclear who is right and who is wrong (the Heart of Darkness version would have been more interesting precisely because it wouldn't have been a straightforward moral tale), it is a simply movie like ST09. Not as bad but still as simple.

    I'd like to see the reactions if somebody defended Nero and claimed that Kirk had a superiority complex because he had the balls to do the right thing. :lol:
     
  9. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Followed later by ...

    So which is it? The particles have health properties, or not?

    :)
     
  10. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The only way you can see Insurrection as a straight forward moral tale is if you turn your brain completely off.
     
  11. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    The planet lies in Federation territory. Doesn't imply that they have supreme power over it and its inhabitants. Actually the UFP has no power over Ba'ku, the planet as well as the people, at all. It is their duty to leave them alone, not mess with them, not violate them, not steal from them, not kidnap them. I grow really tried of having to point out that all these things are serious crimes.

    Why do you defend the So'na? They stabbed the Federation in the back and have been eager to kill the Ba'ku once the Feds have not been looking ... and they would certainly not have shared the medical benefits of the particles with anybody.
    If you wanna defend such wickedness, go ahead, but don't expect it to be the basis for a serious discussion. I doubt you'd want to talk with me if I claimed that Nero had been such a lovely fellow.



    It was designed to be nothing else. Your large scale intergalactic war about the planet is a lovely idea but it is not part of the movie. I like loose readings of a text but not when they claim to be more and disavow that they are just loose readings.
     
  12. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    You cannot compare intraspecies and interspecies issues. I am all for waging war against imperialist forces like the nazis. In the fictional world of Trek on the other hand there are a lot of folks who want the whole galaxy for themselves. Romulans, Klingons, Cardassians, the Dominion, even the Ferengi aspire to control everything and everyone. Yet peace, often a fragile one, with the Federation is possible and preferable from the view of the UFP. The reason should be obvious, there are so many of them! You cannot wage war against a dozens of species who have an agenda of total domination. It would be extremely bloody, extremely costly and sooner or later make you resemble your enemy more and more and the lines written in your constitution less and less. We saw what Federation officers have been willing to do during the Dominion War.

    None of this doesn't imply that the peace treaty between the Federation and the Caradassians is perfect. The logic is probably a pretty cruel one, accept a few issues in the DMZ in order to prevent another war with millions of casualties. That's a natural problem of managing large political entity like the Federation and the Maquis had a point, they had to suffer such that other people did not have to.
     
  13. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    :guffaw:

    You're a unique one, horatio83. :techman:
     
  14. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    If you refer to my acceptance of such trade-offs in one case and not another, the difference is that here the Federation decided about Federation citizens whereas in the Ba'ku issue the Federation decided the fate of non-Federation citizens.
    If there had been a war your government might have the right to redraw the border lines and force you to move. If oil is found under your house your government might also have the right to force you to move and compensate you for it but only your government and not any other government.
     
  15. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Problem is this...

    The settlers of Dorvan V left Earth two centuries prior, which would have put it around the beginnings of the Federation. If they left Earth for good it could be seen as them renouncing their citizenship. If they renounced their Earth citizenship prior to the formation of the Federation, their citizenship could be in doubt.

    So the Federation may have given away a world that wasn't theirs to give away...
     
  16. The Overlord

    The Overlord Captain Captain

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    And the Romulans didn't honor that treaty either, the Federation did not develop cloaking tech and the Romulans did everything besides open war fare to undermine the peace between them and the Federation. I don't see how planning to invade to Vulcan is abiding by a peace agreement. Sometimes I think the Federation has the worst diplomats ever, where their whole strategy is to give the other side everything it wants and hope they won't come back with more insane demands later.

    Like I said before a contract where one side doesn't honor it isn't worth the paper its printed on, if you sign a peace treaty and the other side has no intention of honoring it, its worthless.

    Also considering civilizations in Star Trek were often supposed to allegories for nation states in the real world, I think we should be comparing these civilizations to real world nation states.
     
  17. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    That's the conflict I mentioned earlier, even if they are Federation citizens according to some Federation laws they definitely do not perceive them as subjects of the UFP.
    Same with many settlers on the Cardassian border, they live a harsh life in the "outer rim" beyond the comforts of the "core worlds", they are proud of whatever they have created there and they don't take order from anyone but themselves ... until one day the bureaucrats far away decide that their world is no longer theirs. Their world is probably too small to send a representative to the council so they feel disempowered.

    It is not clear what the best way is, whether the Feds or the Maquis is right or whether there should be third options. That's why we love the Maquis stories, isn't it, shades of grey and so on.



    There have been some border incidents, some plots and the Vulcan "Trojan Horse" mission but war between the Romulan Empire and the Federation did not ever break out again. For me this sounds like a success. Yet if this is a bad deal for the Federation in your eyes, what do you suggest they should do differently?
    About your nation state allegory, would you mind to elaborate a bit on it? This sounds interesting.
     
  18. The Overlord

    The Overlord Captain Captain

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    And if Spock hadn't revealed the Romulans were about to invade Vulcan and the treaty would have been the worst kind of failure. A treaty that almost fails and only succeeds by chance, is not a good treaty.

    What I do, after the attempted invasion of Vulcan, I would have said the treaty is now on thin ice and if there are any more "plots", any more ploys to start a conflict or any other bad faith measures by the Romulan Empire, the treaty would be void and the Federation would start developing its own cloaking tech. If the Romulan government isn't acting in good faith, then I see the treaty as worthless, either the Romulans will have to act in good faith or they will show their true colors, that they had no real intention of honoring the treaty and that has always been a sham, but they won't be able to hide behind it anymore, expecting other people to play by the rules, while they just ignore them.
     
  19. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    This would have implied more tense relations with the Empire and most likely far less cooperation before and during the Dominion War, i.e. the Defiant would not have been equipped with a Romulan cloaking device.
    I don't see any benefits as I doubt that the Romulans stop to be Romulans just because of a bit of Federation sabre-rattling. Sure, they might not do something like the Trojan Horse mission again but they will surely reallocate their forces and attention upon the Federation border. Spock's underground movement will have a much harder time to flourish in such a tense 'drums of war' climate.
    After all you don't talk about a minor treaty, the Treaty of Algeron is THE peace treaty between the UFP and the Empire.

    Another problem is the lack of evidence of the Trojan Horse mission, the Rommies blew the ships up. Sure, both sides know very well what really happened but appearances matter, the Romulans can pretend to not know what the Feds are talking about and portray the recent developments as unilateral peace-endangering behaviour in front of other major powers like the Klingons who don't know about the Trojan Horse mission unless they have very fine intelligence services.

    It's a tricky game and one has to play it as cunningly as the Romulans. Brute force, aggressive posturing or blunt threats seem like the wrong way to deal with this silent enemy. In my opinion endangering the peace treaty just to prove a point, better a truthful war than a fake peace, is foolish in my opinion. Of course it is a fake peace, of course you always have to be vigilante with the Romulans. But it is a form of peace nonetheless and it is preferable to war. You can't expect more than a fake peace if you deal with people whose main dogma is unlimited expansion.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  20. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    AFAIK, Dorvan V was indeed said to be a Federation world in Federation territory. So however questionable that decision may have been (and we really have no idea, since the exact terms of the treaty were never revealed onscreen), the Federation was within its rights to cede it to the Cardassians.

    And it should be noted that the Federation was willing to help the colonists move. That is part of eminent domain even today - if the government takes your house, they have to pay you for it and assist you in finding a new home. Same story here. While I can certainly understand why the natives of Dorvan V didn't want to abandon their homes, it's not as if the Federation was leaving them to rot. It was their own idea to stay and subject themselves to Cardassian oversight. Not saying they deserved the subsequent treatment (from the Cardassians) that they got, but neither is the Federation responsible for that treatment.

    As for the Ba'ku:

    Non-canon though it may be, I fully accept the explanation that Section 31 was responsible for what we see in Insurrection. It fits their M.O. perfectly. The things in that film are EXACTLY the sort of plots which Section 31 frequently engages in. The Federation at large would not stoop to that level, but Section 31 definitely would.