Star Fleet and Genocide

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by The Overlord, Mar 30, 2013.

  1. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    At that point the Federation and its allies were already winning the war. The virus was no longer about preserving the Federation, but just murdering the leaders of the Dominion. The Federation was just as bad as Section 31 for refusing to give the cure.
     
  2. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Wasn't Picard ordered to exterminate the Borg should any future oppertunities come up? In "Descent", I believe.
     
  3. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    You don't give up your trump card unless you're getting something of value in return, especially when their are lives at stake.

    I agree with Section 31 infecting the Founders, I also agree with the Federation withholding the cure until they had a promise of peace in place. Honestly, how many more people would've died in senseless battles on both sides if the Federation didn't have the Founders over a barrel?
     
  4. yousirname

    yousirname Commander Red Shirt

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    The Founders weren't of quite the same stripe as other races the Federation had warred with. When they fought the Klingons, it was Klingons who died in battles. Same with the Romulans and everyone else. But it wasn't Founders who died in battles with Federation, it was Jem'Hadar and the odd Vorta - beings the Founders designed for just that purpose. It's a different dynamic, one where the ultimate opponent has far fewer incentives to seek peace.

    The question isn't really about whether or not the Federation was worth saving. The question is whether the Founders were worth preserving. It's not as though there were dissident Founders who never wanted war with the Federation (Odo doesn't count). There were no civilians or innocent bystanders. Section 31 succeeded in changing that asymmetric dynamic.

    The Founders' entire reason for their outlook was the belief that 'the solids' were a threat to their existence. By reasoning from that axiom, they managed to make it true.

    Boo hoo.
     
  5. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    They didn't refuse to give up the cure, they just wanted to use it for leverage. They ended up exchanging the cure for an end to hostilities. Everyone gains something then.

    And, honestly, why is the Federation expected to be so altruistic that they'll hand over a valuable cure to a dangerous enemy without expecting anything in return? The Federation exists to protect its own citizens, not to protect everyone else.
     
  6. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You can't even say that really. The Link was inflected by Odo before the war even began. It was in Season 4's Broken Link that Odo delivered the virus to them. By that point the worst thing the Dominion had done was destroy ships that entered their space.
     
  7. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    it was the cure that convinced the head changeling to surrender. Before that, she had vowed to kill billions more before the war ended. So the virus ended up saving a lot of lives and ending the war early.
     
  8. The Overlord

    The Overlord Captain Captain

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    I am pretty sure killing a single being is not considered genocide in the same way as killing millions of people is.

    I don't think Hitler would be as reviled, if he only killed one person.

    For example, if someone was being mugged and that person killed that mugger in self defense and it turns out that mugger was actually the last member of a race, I don't think that is comparable to a government deciding to kill millions people, because they thought their country would be better without members of a certain race living there.
     
  9. bullethead

    bullethead Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well, at that point, here's what Starfleet knew about the Dominion:
    -That the Founders were planning to impose their totalitarian rule on everyone they could
    -The Founders were paranoid xenophobes that couldn't be reasoned with
    -Founders could replace anyone at anytime without alerting anyone
    -Attempted to start a war between the Federation and the Tzenkethi
    -Made slave races that thought of them as gods
    -Founders infiltrated Earth

    The first two points alone would make me start working on some sort of WMD as a contingency plan and the events of The Adversary would just confirm that a bioweapon and genocide was the way to go.
     
  10. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The program designed by Data and LaForge would have destroyed the Borg computers, it would have been like at the end of the episode Scorpion, if the Voyager's EMH had simply turned off all of Seven of Nine's implants at the same time.

    Many of the Borg would have died, either through the implants no longer functioning, or being trapped aboard dead cubes. But some others would have survived, freed from the collective.

    Yes, it was a matter of survival. Not just preventing death, but preventing future enslavement and rule through intimidation. The Federation and Starfleet had no direct access to the leaders of the Dominion through conventional warfare, the sickness gave them access.

    The "right" no, but likely Humanity would have faced annihilation if the Dominion had won.

    Withholding the cure saved lives, the lives of the personnel in Starfleet. Could Starfleet have fought the Dominion forces to eventual victory? Possibly, but how many addition people in Starfleet would have been killed in the process? Certainly more than died (and were injured) with the cure shortening the war.

    How many of your own people are you willing to lose Dream, in order that a biological weapon not be used?

    For all we know, Section 31 routinely infects newly contacted species that show the possible ability to destroy the Federation. When they prove to be just "normally" hostile, section 31 spreads the cure, the same way they spread the original sickness. Section 31 then not being in the business of keeping the Federation out of all conflicts, just preventing the Federation's destruction.

    Thereby showing that they are a threat.

    And they did wipe out a Bajorian colony that was in the gamma quad, but outside Dominion space. The Dominion only being a portion of the quadrant.

    :)
     
  11. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In theory, killing millions of people is never genocide - you'd need to kill billions (that is, all people everywhere) to actually commit genocide against the genus H. sapiens. What people are hot and bothered about today is the murdering of a culture or a population, a subgroup of this planetwide genus of sentients.

    However, the word is thrown around pretty casually both today and in Trek. And it is in the Trek context that the actual size of a genus can vary considerably. Here on Earth, there's only one genus anybody cares about; in Trek, there are hundreds, perhaps thousands. Some species, cultures or populations are really small and powerful, a rare case on Earth where small groups are frequently snuffed out of existence and nobody cares because there's no power associated with them. Some are vast and powerless, much as with the bisons on Earth.

    Whichever way you look at it, genocide as a crime is not a potent charge in the Trek context. Anybody can come and claim "I'm the only Bolian-Kressari-Suliban-Gerbil hybrid currently in existence, so by killing me you commit genocide, nyah nyah!".

    As regards the bioweapon against the Founders,

    is fine, but indeed

    because

    the only thing they achieved was a brief respite. That is, they made the initial attack against the Alpha Quadrant stop, but at a cost that may have been too high to pay: now the Founders know for a fact that the Federation must be exterminated without mercy. Previously, they might merely have believed that an orderly assimilation into the Dominion at a pace of their choosing would take care of the potential threat.

    The blackmail plan was tactically sound. Strategically it failed to achieve final or even particularly lasting victory, and made matters much worse in the long term. Now it's a fight to the death, and the UFP has already played its trump card.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  12. Shawnster

    Shawnster Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Starfleet has been about MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction, for you kids) and scorched-earth for over 100 years.


    General Order 24: An order to destroy all life on an entire planet. This order has been given by Captain Garth (Antos IV) and Captain Kirk (Eminiar VII). On neither occasion was the order actually fulfilled. (TOS: "Whom Gods Destroy", "A Taste of Armageddon")
     
  13. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    eh? Is this bizarro world logic? The Soviets and the US both openly talked about MAD during the Cold War, and that conflict ended peacefully. The Germans engaged in attempted genocide against the Jews during WWII. Does that mean that the Jews should have realized that it was necessary to carry on a war against Germany after WWII was over because the Germans had shown how dangerous they could be?(I suppose this could go for the Slavs or any group hit particularly hard by the Nazi regime)
     
  14. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Or like with the Klingons. The Federation and Dominion find common ground on which to build a relationship?

    And just because they UFP played a trump card, doesn't mean they don't have any more in their deck or have quit working on developing more.
     
  15. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The only bizarro world would be the one where all conflicts are one and the same and end the same way...

    So, nothing at all in common with the case at hand, in which one side gave away its one and only trump card and can never use it again. Not to mention the two sides engaged in actual war here, using the weapon mentioned above, while the US and the USSR never did.

    Well, Germany was totally defeated, unable to militarily resist even a sufficiently big mob of Jews with torches and pitchforks. The Dominion lost no men or materiel in its conflict with the Alpha Quadrant - save for whatever it built and bred locally after the wormhole was closed, which in itself proves the Dominion can trivially outproduce the entire Alpha Quadrant.

    And they did understand that with Germany disarmed and no longer a threat of any sort, the inheritors of German technological might across the Atlantic would be the next big threat. Which is why a conflict against those inheritors continues this very day, with thousands of nuclear warheads in readiness.

    What ground? The only advantage the Federation could ever have utilized to appease this paranoid superpower, their record of good manners and benevolence, was completely lost with the use of the genocidal assassination scheme. Not only is the UFP as bad as all other Solids, with whom the Dominion has never found any common ground in the past ten thousand years - it is worse.

    One should hope so. But the only vulnerable part of the Dominion appears to be the Founders themselves, and the trump cards don't fit that slot any more.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  16. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    the cure wasn't their one and only trump card, if one disease could be developed, what's to stop them from developing another one? Or a weapon of a different type? Maybe a virus that attacks the Jem'Hadar?

    And I still don't see why the Dominion would want to return to a war they knew they were going to lose? The virus didn't change who WON the war, it just changed the length of time and the casualties. The balance of power wasn't going to suddenly change quickly.
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    No - using Odo as a vector was. And with Odo gone as an option, they're left with nothing, as far as directly attacking the Founders is concerned.

    Fighting a conventional war with the Dominion, even with superweapons, is not going to work, as we already saw from the minor scuffle depicted in DS9 under the title "Dominion War".

    The only reason the Dominion lost was because it fought with a tiny beachhead force (one that was backstabbed at the final hour, too). And that one nearly did in the combined forces of the Alpha Quadrant. Imagine the Dieppe raid resulting in the collapse of Nazi Germany and Stalin's Soviet Union...

    By sidestepping the annoying wormhole and simply spending seven decades sailing towards the Federation, the Dominion can deploy another such beachhead force as the first wave - followed a month later by yet another, and so on for as many months as need be. Indeed, even with Alpha in total ruins, a couple of hundred such waves will still be arriving, having left the Dominion homeland before news of the victory reached home base.

    It is just as well that we never learned the terms of the treaty signed at the end of "What You Leave Behind". By all rights, it should have been a Federation unconditional surrender!

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  18. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    er, that's an interesting perspective.:vulcan:
     
  19. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

    They usually are when they come from Timo! :lol:
     
  20. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    :) Heh...you beat me to it. Yes, in extreme situations, not only is genocide sanctioned by Starfleet, it's downright policy.