Is Picard a hypocrite?

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

  1. The Overlord

    The Overlord Captain Captain

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    If there was no treaty, the Federation could just make their own cloaking device and the romulans were not helpful in the lead up to the Dominion war, until the Federation used some rather dirty tactics to trick the Romulans into the war. The Romulans were not helpful, period.

    And in the several years between Unification and when Romulus blew up, how successful was this underground group at changing anything, it seems like they failed at their objective. By Star trek: Nemesis, the Romulan military seemed more willing to start a war, not less.

    Its a peace the Empire undermined all the time, not a true peace. Why should the Federation believe that the Romulans wouldn't pull stunt like the one they tried to pull in "Unification". Wouldn't people in the federation have become far more distrustful of the Romulans and see the peace treaty as the sham that it truly.

    There was enough circumstantial evidence that led the Enterprise to discover this plot in the first place, Spock sending that message and the romulans blowing up those ships are pretty clear signs of guilt. Appearances are strong to have the diplomatic advantage after that, but the Federation did not exercise.

    And I think its foolish to give up an important strategic advantage for a peace treaty the other side has no real respect for. That's not diplomacy, that's just knuckling under.

    Plus if the Federation simply pulled out the treaty, that wouldn't be an act of war, that would just mean that particular treaty is at an end. Its not like the Federation would just start blasting Romulan ships after that, the treaty ended because the Romulans have been acting in bad faith. They can always sign a new treaty and actually honor it and if the Romulans start shooting, the war would be their fault, not the Federation's. All the Federation did was pull out of the treaty because the other side was not acting in good faith. The Romulans seemed to want avoid a direct conflict, preferring to try to draw the Federation into a conflict, it seems unlikely they would go for a direct conflict.

    Sometimes you have to stand up to a bully, otherwise the bully thinks he just push you around whenever he wants.
     
  2. The Overlord

    The Overlord Captain Captain

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    The Ba'ku planet was in Federation territory, does that mean the Federation

    And I have heard a lot of people say the concept of eminent domain is problematic and could be abused.

    Plus doesn't seem unfair to ask a group of people who have subjected forced relocation in the past to relocate again for the benefit of a society they have never been a part of?

    Again it seems really bad when Picard is willing to go to war over aliens who look exactly like white people and just sighs, but ultimately decides to relocate the aboriginals.
     
  3. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    Foolish? The Tomed Incident lead to the Treaty of Algeron. What precisely happened is unknown but it has been pretty horrible, otherwise the Federation would not have agreed to not use cloaking devices.
    Lives have been lost just like during the Earth-Romulan War and other minor incidents like the one we saw in TOS. Preventing war and the associated loss of lives is what the Federation cares about, not some heroic "standing up to the bully". In case you didn't notice, there are not merely Romulans but also Klingons, Cardassians, the Dominion, Borg, Gorn and Breen. Lots of bullies on the schoolyard and if you endanger whatever fragile peace arrangement you have with them merely for the sake of principle, such that you can self-righteously clap yourself on the shoulder and tell yourself that you stood up to the bullies, that they are responsible for the war and not you while the entire galaxy is burning you do not really care about the well-being of your citizens.

    People who have not experienced the horrors of war have a hard time to understand that peace is always worth a high price.

    The Romulans don't stop to be insidious, plotting manipulators just because the Feds cancel the peace treaty. You suggest that the Federation should force them to change, no matter the cost. I say, and the Feds say this as well, our duty is not to engage in bloody, idealistic crusading that might easily lead to the second Romulan War but to keep our citizens safe. So far we have dealt with their trickery fairly well, without a loss of lives. Sounds like a decent kind of peace. Not a totally sincere peace but peace nonetheless.
     
  4. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    You still haven't understood that the Ba'ku are not Federation citizens whereas the Indians on Dorvan V are. The Federation has authority over the latter but not over the former. Picard merely plays by the book.
    You also totally ignored that Picard does not force the Indians to do anything after they basically said that they wanna be on their own, that they don't wanna be relocated and that they give up their Federation citizenship and are willing to become subjects of the Cardassian Union.

    They are by the way not "aboriginals", they moved to the planet some centuries ago, and whether they are red, white, black or yellow is totally irrelevant. You cannot say that people who are part of an ethnic group that has been nearly eradicated have special rights. If anything the descendants of the survivors of an attempted genocide should remind us that everybody has the same rights.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  5. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I cannot stress how much I disagree with this interpretation. The Federation is a democratic collection of 150 plus worlds. To try and assign blame elsewhere simply ignores the fact that they wouldn't all share human values.

    These novels are really old so I'm not sure spoilers are warranted...

    You're telling me that a species like the Andorians, who are a dying race in the novels, wouldn't be interested in doubling the lifespans of their people while they struggle with the rampant fertility issues?

    Insurrection tries to paint a black and white picture on a situation that is anything but black and white. Especially in a democratic order of worlds with wildly varying morality.
     
  6. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    The Federation is not merely a democracy but also a place of law and order where kidnapping, theft and murder are considered to be crimes. And no, they are not human values but universal values in the Federation. If the Andorians would consider it as appropriate to sacrifice a bunch of aliens to live longer they would be the Andorian Empire and not members of the Federation.

    About the Section 31 interpretation, they might have been involved but in this case they did a lousy job of gathering intelligence about the So'na and in the end the Federation council permitted Dougherty's mission. So all Section 31 could have done was misinformation, manipulating representatives and so on.
    T think it is more sincere to admit that the Federation was perfectly willing to commit an atrocity until Picard interfered. That's an old pattern from TNG, nasty Admiral violates Federation principles, Picard idealistically fights for them. Doesn't become more black and white than such a simply morality tale.
     
  7. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Well Andor ended up leaving the Federation because they felt the Federation government wasn't responsive to their needs as a people.
     
  8. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    What Insurrection lacked was any real danger to our crew. The story pits pretty white people against a severe looking, elderly Admiral and a group of unfortunate looking people. Make Picard choose between Geordi or Beverly laying in sick bay dying and only extracted meta-phasics can save them, then you'd have a far more interesting movie and a real moral conundrum for Picard.

    As stands the only thing driving Picard's actions is the desire to get in Anij's bloomers.

    EDIT:

    Honestly, I don't blame Michael Piller for the train wreck that was Star Trek: Insurrection. The blame lays squarely at the feet of Rick Berman, Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner who watered down the concept to the inoffensive mush we saw on screen.

    The original concept revolved around the mineral Serium Krellide, much like dilithium with warp speed, krellide was the mineral that made Federation medical technology possible. Casualties during the Dominion War had dwindled the supply of the valuable asset. Meaning that many were no longer receiving treatments... until the world that was harboring the Ba'ku was found. Mining the krellide released poisonous gas into the atmosphere making said world inhospitable to humanoid life for many decades.

    In Piller's original treatment, a member of the Enterprise crew is seriously injured and badly in need of treatments only the krellide can provide...

    I could see a scene playing out something like this:

    INT: SICKBAY


    Geordi lies unconscious on a bio-bed, burned badly from the
    plasma explosion in Engineering. In comes Picard and Admiral
    Dougherty.

    Picard
    (clearly worried)
    How is he Beverly?

    Crusher
    Not well. He's suffered burns over
    ninety-five percent of his body. Several
    of his major organs are damaged.

    Picard
    Will he survive?

    Crusher
    If I get him into surgery now, I place his
    chances at fifty-fifty.

    Daugherty
    Belay that, Doctor...

    Daugherty motions for Picard to join him in a secluded
    area of sickbay.



    Daugherty
    I cannot sanction the treatment of an officer
    with such serious injuries.

    Picard
    I do not understand...

    Daugherty
    Jean-Luc, the war with the Dominion goes badly.
    Our krellide reserves are at an all time low, we
    have thousands of injured men across the quadrant
    who we simply cannot afford to treat. Their injuries
    so severe that we won't waste valuable resources
    that can be used to treat men and women
    with better chances of survival.

    Picard
    He's a damn fine officer.

    Daugherty
    So are the men and women all across the quadrant
    who have sacrificed themselves. I'll allow Doctor
    Crusher to do all that she can to make your
    engineer comfortable but I will not authorize use
    of krellide to save him with such poor odds of
    survival.

    Daugherty begins to exit.

    Daugherty
    I'm sorry, Jean-Luc.

    The center tags don't work very well so I deleted them... but you get the picture.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  9. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    So he says. I see no reason to believe him.
     
  10. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    But there's nothing in the film that contradicts his statement as well...

    This dialogue would seem to suggest that the Federation government knew what was going on.
     
  11. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Ru'afo may have assumed all that, but what proof did *he* have? He probably believed it when Dougherty said that the Federation Council authorized the operation. But there is no proof that they actually did.
     
  12. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    There's Riker's line about the Federation Council doing a top level review. Like it or not, there's nothing in the film that points to Dougherty being dishonest about where the orders come from. Whether he was actually competent enough to carry out those orders is another question entirely.
     
  13. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    There has never been a Trek movie with a real moral conundrum, it has always been good guys against bad guys.

    Nonsense, not even Kirk on his most horny day would quit Starfleet because he wants to get laid. Picard fights against the bad guys like any movie hero.
     
  14. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Problem is that Picard is being affected by the radiation. So all bets are off as to his behavior in this situation. :techman:
     
  15. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    Not really. Sure, he feels younger and he falls in love with Anij and nobody would deny that playing the hero for her was also a motivation for him. But it wasn't his main motivation.
    This is not Homer where people do all kind of crazy things because of a woman, this is Trek.
     
  16. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    We will have to leave it at 'agree to disagree' on Picard's motivations. :techman:
     
  17. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not going to be sucked into another thread about INS, madness lies down that path. It's not a particularly good movie even apart from the horrible "dilemma."


    But to answer the thread, yes, Picard is a hypocrite. Apart from a few technicalities, the situations are very similar, and in fact, there's a greater justification for removing the Baku than the Federation colonists.

    I think they were just hoping Trek fans had forgotten or hadn't seen "journey's end."
     
  18. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    Citizenship is not a "technicality" and violating people is not a technicality either, it is a crime. I hope none of you ever makes the experience of a being abducted by a foreign government. Happened pretty often during the last decade.
     
  19. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The situations you're likely referring to are in no way comparable.
     
  20. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    If your great granny lives in the U.S. and leaves you a home, your still gonna be bound by the laws of the U.S. when dealing with that property even though you're not a citizen. And a local government can still take that property via eminent domain, even though you're not a citizen.

    The Ba'ku are not Federation citizens but are sitting on a planet in Federation territory. Not even Picard cared to argue the semantics of that point.

    You can argue the morality of the move til you're blue in the face, but I'm pretty sure that property law is going to come down on the side of Dougherty and Company.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012