Kirk and the Prime Directive.

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Greystone_06, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. Greystone_06

    Greystone_06 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Good advice to us all. Or perhaps watch it objectively. And as a matter of interest I was there from the beginning.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2011
  2. Greystone_06

    Greystone_06 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Not sure I agree with you there. Kirk is a good man though I think we can agree on that.
     
  3. Greystone_06

    Greystone_06 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    All good points, but as in the case of 'A private little war' surely it would have been more more appropriate to tackle the Klingons head on, drive them off and erradicate the contamination rather than add to it? Now, I know it is easy with hindsight to offer alternatives but to me it speaks volumes about Kirk's approach to solutions.
     
  4. Greystone_06

    Greystone_06 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    As it happens I agree, I too think TNG position was too liberal, as are our own laws. The ideal is probably somewhere in between. :techman:
     
  5. T'Bonz

    T'Bonz Romulan Curmudgeon Administrator

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    Please don't post more than 2x in a row. Use the quote function instead and answer multiple posts in one or two posts. Thanks.
     
  6. Greystone_06

    Greystone_06 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Thanks to all who took the trouble to reply to what was a very provocative subject. I should just state that my own position is somewhere between TOS and TNG in relation to this subject.

    The other side of the coin is Picard refusing to review his fellow Captain's (I don't recall his name) evidence that the Cardassian's were rearming in violation of treaty. Now Kirk wouldn't have done that.
     
  7. Greystone_06

    Greystone_06 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I'm not familiar with that function, would you mind just going through it with me?

    Thanks Greystone.
     
  8. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    But there are a pair of points to consider here:

    A) What would be the costs of driving the Klingons off Neural? Is an unaligned world that falls under the Prime Directive potentially worth the lives of Federation citizens who would die in a wider conflict?

    B) Kirk did not add to the contamination. He merely ensured that the Hill people had a means of defending themselves. The genie is already out of the bottle, Kirk is just making sure its powers are applied evenly. A hope that if both sides are on equal footing, cooler heads will prevail.
     
  9. A beaker full of death

    A beaker full of death Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Really? Should a US ship captain have attacked a Soviet ship during the Vietnam war? It owuld have plunged us into WWIII.
     
  10. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Okay. I'll give you this one. :techman:

    This is a great point. The Federation caused this problem, it's their job to clean it up and more than just saying sorry.
     
  11. Mr Silver

    Mr Silver Commodore Newbie

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    Next to the quote button is a button that says "multi quote". Click that button on each post (save from the last one) you wish to quote (if you click them in order, it's much easier!). Once you've clicked on all of them, except that last post you wish to quote, click the normal quote button on the final post and it will take you to the reply screen.

    At the reply screen you can split up quotes and answer them how you wish. It's as simple as using the return (enter) key and inputting text as you would anyway.

    If you wish to read up on this further (or my explanation may be a bit too confusing!), check out the FAQ at this link.
     
  12. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

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    I just love the deliciously polarized rhetoric in this thread. Folks are taking all sorts or pot-shots at TOS and at each other. All the merry while, there are a couple of things conspicuously absent:

    Consider the TNG ep "The Drumhead"...

    During the inquisition of Captain Picard, retired admiral Norah Satie poses a question, really a polemic, to the captain; accusing Picard of violating the Prime Directive nine times. Picard defends himself, insisting that in each instance his command decisions were justified.

    This, coupled with Picard's statement at the end of "Justice", the "no laws are absolute... even life itself is an exercise in exceptions" should indicate that there are indeed loopholes or allowances built-into Federation law and Prime Directive that make overriding such regulations possible.

    And in "Angel One", there is the suggestion that the survivors of the ill-fated civilian vessel Odin are not bound by Starfleet regulations, and thus Ramsey and others openly lived among the natives for some time.


    Of course, one need not look to TNG to find these instances. Consider "A Taste of Armageddon" and "Friday's Child":

    In "Taste", Ambassador Fox orders Kirk to pilot the Starship Enterprise to Eminiar VII, saying "thousands of lives have been lost", and Fox intends to intervene to stop this ongoing problem. Also: Spock suggests the possibility of the U.S.S. Valiant falling victim to the Eminian war.

    In "Friday's", Kirk obviously has orders to secure a mining treaty with the inhabitants of Capella IV in order to acquire the valuable mineral Topaline. Again, Kirk is obviously under orders to establish a Federation presence on Capella IV, and in direct competition with the Klingons, no less. There is no discussion of non-interference regulations applying to Capella IV, as if the Prime Directive has been rendered moot.

    These instances make it clear that there are exceptions to a strict adherence either written into the Prime Directive, or somehow allowances are made by Starfleet Command that relieve starship personnel of this regulatory responsibility.

    Keep in mind that in "Bread and Circuses" we hear Kirk and McCoy quoting what is obviously a passage from Starfleet General Order One, but we by no means have the entire text of that regulation.
     
  13. T'Bonz

    T'Bonz Romulan Curmudgeon Administrator

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    Thanks.

     
  14. Mr Silver

    Mr Silver Commodore Newbie

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    No worries. :)
     
  15. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    This is the point I try to make in every one of these threads. Well said.
     
  16. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ I also find it interesting that Picard was willing to totally and completely violate the Prime Directive when doing so was necessary to save someone important to him, namely Wesley Crusher. But, OTOH, when it was an entire culture of people who were doomed to certain death, and the Enterprise could have saved them without their even knowing by "bending" the Prime Directive a bit, he was content to make speeches on the bridge and watch them all die. Not sure what that says about Picard...
     
  17. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    While non-interference is the Prime Directive, active interference would seem to be TOS Starfleet's actual general policy. The Starfleet Admiralty, and the Federation council might not alway see eye to eye, on every matter.

    Discussions between the Enterprise D's officers during the episodes Symbiosis and Pen Pals shows that exactly what the Prime Directive means isn't completely clear even among senior Starfleet officers in the 24th century.

    The prime directive would seem to be more of a political directive than a carved in stone constitutional thing, it is shown to change over the course of the multiple series, sometimes obviously between adjacent episodes.

    Possibly the prime directive is considered part of the Federation membership's collective foreign policy, as various council Presidents and foreign secretaries come and go the Prime Directive get reinterpreted, rewritten and it various sections assigned new and different levels of priorities. When necessary Starfleet Captains receive the latest updates and revisions.

    In Bread And Circuses, Spock asked Kirk "Then the Prime Directive is in full force, Captain?" Which suggest that it just might not be "in full force." And determining authority would be Captain Kirk himself. Or maybe Kirk would be the one to have been advised of the most resent update in the never ending revisions to the PD.

    :)
     
  18. Wingsley

    Wingsley Commodore Commodore

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    As I see it, the notion of the Prime Directive boils down to a question of commitment. Either you're going to interfere in a given planet's local affairs, or you're going to avoid doing so. There may be a grey area in-between, but I suspect that STAR TREK's makers (manifest in the actions of the characters) makes one thing clear: grey areas are sticky, and it eventually comes down to that question of commitment... "in for a penny, in for a pound".

    I don't see Captain Kirk as an outlaw. The difference between Kirk and Tracey is that while both routinely "play God", Tracey stopped using command judgement and started resorting to his own personal agenda.

    Maybe that's what the Prime Directive is about: keeping starship personnel from playing God.
     
  19. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    in a figment of a mediocre mind's imagination

    not all "interference" is playing God. Dictating to another culture what sort of governmental system they should have leans toward playing God. However, helping a culture to avert a natural disaster or helping to cure a disease is not.
     
  20. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Would depend on the circumstances. I think the Prime Directive would apply when the damage is self-inflicted.