The Maquis or the Federation?

Discussion in 'Deep Space Nine' started by los2188, Aug 4, 2012.

  1. DonIago

    DonIago Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In the end I think this comes down to us simply not having enough information.You ask why we should assume the colony is small, I ask why we should assume it's large. Neither of us has compelling evidence.

    I'd be a lot more disturbed by what Sisko did if it didn't essentially "balance the scales", and I'll admit I grow increasingly less disturbed by it the more I see forum posters in general accusing Sisko of "poisoning a planet" while glossing over the particulars.

    That said, we're of course talking about an episode of a television show rather than something that actually happened. That limits my threshold of investment.
     
  2. DonIago

    DonIago Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yes, Sisko claims to Dax that he didn't receive approval for his specific plan. That by no means precludes the notion that he didn't receive some sort of approval.

    It's ITPM all over again, where Starfleet may apparently approve of a plan in general terms without necessarily approving of the specifics.
     
  3. Saito S

    Saito S Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah, there's pretty much no chance that Sisko knew much of anything about the planet. The scene is clearly meant to convey the idea that he just picked the closest colony, at random.
    No, you're not the only one. :lol: I've always considered this one of DS9's weaker moments.

    If you are going to go down this road, and have your lead character DO something like this, then follow it through. Have some consequences. If you're just going to reset-button things back to normal after the ep, then don't even have this happen in the first place. Isn't this what a bunch of people here (myself included) talk about when we blast VOY? That too often, something really big/serious/holy &%$#/etc would happen, something that WOULD have consequences, and it's all just brushed aside by the end of the ep, with plenty of time to hit that big reset button for the next ep? Why should DS9 not be held accountable when it does the exact same thing?

    Yes, it's true that no one on the bridge "protested" (beyond clearly being shocked/uncomfortable with the order), which could also make them "just as guilty", as some have suggested. My answer to that is: quite possibly, that's correct, and the fact that - again - there were no consequences, is just bad writing. Someone SHOULD have spoken out, Worf SHOULD have refused to fire... SOMETHING like that absolutely needed to happen, else there should have been serious consequences not just for Sisko, but for other characters as well. The fact that none of this happened at all is what makes it a bad ending to an otherwise interesting episode.

    "They did it first"? Seriously? Why does that matter at ALL? Poisoning the atmosphere of a planet in the DMZ with people living on it in order to catch one terrorist either IS OK or IS NOT OK. That the Maquis did the same thing to the Cardassians first is irrelevant. Of course they did. They're fucking TERRORISTS! That's why we're trying to catch them! That doesn't make it ok for Starfleet to do it.

    Plus, another aspect of the resolution of the ep that plain stinks: it undercuts the entire reason for the Maquis and all related storylines to even exist. It completely shoots all of it in the face.

    The WHOLE POINT of the Maquis coming to exist was the idea that these people had had their homes, their lands, ripped out from under them by a Federation that signed these planets away in a treaty. Rather than accept this and leave, they stayed, knowing what the consequences could be, and when these consequences came (disgruntled Cardassian extremists, who may or may not have any support from their government, attacking them because they just plain don't want them around), they fought back, defending their homes, and eventually forming the Maquis.

    Yet at the end of this ep, the Maquis poison at least one Cardassian colony. Then Sisko poisons the Maquis colony. Then they just... switch. "Welp, good thing the poison used by the Maquis isn't dangerous to Humans, and vice versa for the poison Sisko used (HOT DAMN that's convenient, by the way!), because now we can just swap planets!"

    I thought that no one wanting to give up their home was the WHOLE REASON FOR THIS ENTIRE STORY ARC TO EXIST?!

    The entire thing is just a mess.
    Of course we are. Everyone knows it's all fiction. No one here is a complete idiot. Why even point this out?
    :lol: That's a copout. "Well, it's not that important, I mean geez, don't get so worked up." You're here, in this thread, you're arguing, and your "threshold" is apparently high enough to allow six posts by you to show up in the "Topic Review" column while I write this post. Your level of investment in this thread is rather high.
    Your own example defeats your argument. In ITPM, the writers went out of their way to tell us that Sisko DOES have approval for the deception plan. In FTY, they similarly went out of their way to tell us that he didn't get approval for this plan. In addition, we already knew that he wasn't even supposed to be on the case. Starfleet had booted him because they were worried that the personal aspect of what happened between him and Eddington would affect his judgement. And they were right.

    The intent of the writers/producers of the ep is clrear: Starfleet didn't sanction ANYTHING Sisko did after taking him off the case.
     
  4. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, it's very relevant. By attacking those Maquis colonies, Sisko ensured that they would have to move somewhere else - to the Cardassian colonies that were first attacked. Like I said: No one was left homeless, there were no casualties, as a result of Sisko's actions.

    There are exactly two possibilities here:

    - Eddington attacks, and Sisko does nothing. Many Cardassians are killed.

    - Eddington attacks, and Sisko responds in kind (what actually happened). Maquis and Federation colonists exchange. No deaths.

    So tell me, why isn't a scenario in which no one dies, infinitely preferable to a scenario in which there ARE deaths?
     
  5. -Brett-

    -Brett- Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    A Vulcan character might say so. A human character would espouse more of a "leave no one behind" philosophy.
     
  6. commanderkai

    commanderkai Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Wait...how do we know nobody died? More importantly, why is it that when Eddington attacks, and Sisko does nothing, people die, but when Sisko responds in kind, nobody dies?

    The Maquis scrambled to try to evacuate said colony, but there's no guarantee they were successful or that everybody was extracted. Considering the CGI suggested that the chemical or biological agent seemed to be rapidly spreading through the atmosphere, the assumption can be made that yes, people did die, considering how difficult it might be to get shuttles to remote homes and communities.

    More importantly, Sisko is a Starfleet officer, and as he stated in "Rules of Engagement", Starfleet officers aren't even allowed to put civilians in potential danger to save themselves...ad yet it's suddenly okay to put enemy non-combatants in danger to capture one man? Starfleet is supposed to be the ones who go out of their way to take the high road. They're not supposed to play dirty.
     
  7. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Because we would have heard about it if anyone had.

    Because Eddington would have wiped out the Cardassian colonies, complete with their inhabitants. After Sisko did the same thing to the Maquis, the two sides simply exchanged colony sites. If Eddington had gone unchecked, the Cardassian colonists would have had nowhere to move to, and would have died.

    Assuming Cardassian lives count, of course. :sigh:

    EDDINGTON WAS A STARFLEET OFFICER AS WELL, GADDAMMIT! What gives HIM the right to turn traitor?!? If anyone here played dirty, it was him!
     
  8. Saito S

    Saito S Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Because uprooting and moving to a new world is SO EASY AND PAINLESS. I mean, it's not like a bunch of colonists not being willing to do exactly that was the basis for a big story arc, or anything.

    Besides, Sisko didn't attack those colonies TO balance the scales. That was basically luck. He only did it to flush Eddington, and he only wanted to do THAT because he wanted revenge. Not only is the action of using this weapon against a civilian population deplorable, but his motivations were questionable, as well.
    Possibility 3:

    Sisko DOESN'T use WMDs against a civilian population, and he & Starfleet find some other way to stop Eddington.
    Of course that statement is true in a vacuum. But you're intentionally stripping away the context in order to vindicate Sisko. If you strip away the context in a different manner, you get:

    "So tell me, why is a scenario in which a Starfleet officer uses a biological weapon against a civilian population acceptable?"
    We would? How do you know this?
    Uh... yeah?

    That isn't even relevant. Yes, Eddington was a Starfleet officer. Yes, he turned traitor. Yes, he played dirty. Those are all true.

    None of that in any way justifies Sisko using this weapon against a civilian target. Yes, Eddington played dirty, but he'd already turned terrorist by that time. His actions are not justifiable, but they are at least logical, given his character; Sisko's are neither.

    commanderkai is right to cite "Rules of Engagement." Sisko flat-out tells Worf that he skidded by, and was just lucky that the ship turned out to be empty (and the whole thing turned out to be an extremely circuitous plan by the Klingons to discredit Worf and Starfleet). He reminds Worf that Starfleet officers simply do not put civilian lives in danger. "We really gotta catch Eddington" doesn't strike me adequate justification to throw that out the window.

    The episode even has Sisko SAY "Maybe it's time I became the villain" before taking this action! So if they really wanted to go down this road, then DO IT. Have the ep proceed exactly as it did, and then have serious consequences befall Sisko & crew for their actions.

    If you're not willing to face the music, don't pull the trigger (that being directed at the show's creators, in this instance).

    And this is all in addition to what I alluded to earlier: that the incredibly convenient, planet-swapping, "this biological agent affects Cardassians but not Federation races, and this other one does the exact opposite! Incredible!" scenario is pretty stupid anyway, and undercuts the entire Maquis story arc.
     
  9. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The concept that no one died in either Eddington or Sisko's attack is incredibly naive.

    They had a window of a few hours at best to evacuate entire planets. Even assuming both the Cardassians(who can't even muster up a defense against the Klingons) and the Maquis(who despite given a free hand are still having a hard time against the Cardassians) can muster up enough ships(which is highly unlikely) to evacuate the thousands, if not millions of colonists, are you going to somehow notify every single person and be able to move them to a space ship?

    Look at Hurricane Katrina... in a day in age where there's enough individual and public transportation, everyone couldn't get out of town even with a full day's notice. So even if both the Cardassians and Maquis can magically pull enough ships for an evacuation out of their asses, are they seriously going to be able to notify and move every single person off the planet in a couple hours? Unlikely. Tons of dead Maquis and Cardassians in that episode. Sisko and Eddington should have been sharing a jail cell.
     
  10. commanderkai

    commanderkai Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Maybe. If nobody on said Maquis colony died, they must have been filled to the brim with space-worthy craft and enough transporters to get isolated individuals out of danger. Considering that Sisko didn't exactly check to see if said colony had any sort of decent evacuation infrastructure in place, it was blind luck.


    Except when Eddington attacked, you see him ignoring said evac ships up until the moment he disables one to make Sisko choose between him and the evacuees. If this was an attempt at genocide, no doubt they could have found a weapon to instantly kill everyone. Where is this line that the Cardassian colonists would have nowhere to go if Eddington remained unchecked? Last I checked, Eddington was targeting colonies in the DMZ. Cardassian space itself was not targeted. There was no attempt to target Cardassia Prime or its other primary worlds.

    Also, of course Cardassian lives count. Eddington is not innocent in this episode. What he did was beyond the pale, and he was lucky he didn't have the entire Cardassian Union out for his ass. However, Sisko is not in the right because Eddington is in the wrong.

    And he turned traitor, betrayed the oath to the Federation and Starfleet. He's terrorist, plain and simple, and he should be arrested and locked away forever for his atrocity, or even handed to the Cardassians for execution.

    However, him playing dirty doesn't give Sisko any right to play dirty as well. The Cardassians play dirty (see "Tribunal", "The Circle", Dukat's attempted blackmail in "Civil Defence" as examples). The Romulans play dirty (see "Visionary"), the Klingons play dirty (see "The Way of the Warrior"). Sisko, in probably one of the best episodes of the franchise, feels guilt for being involved in the murder of a pro-Dominion Romulan senator, when he gets approval for playing dirty. However, when he uses WMDs against the Maquis? He makes a snarky comment to Dax about "not getting approval" for his WMD plan. His desire for revenge against Eddington is so great, he's willing to put thousands, if not millions of lives at risk, while in the season before, he rails Worf for firing on a civilian ship decloaking in a battlefield (aka something WAY more understandable) and in the next season, is trying to justify his involvement with killing maximum 5-6 (the forger, the senator, and the bodyguards) people to bring the Romulans into the war.

    I mean, can you imagine a modern military commander using WMDs, or even high yield explosives (MOABs, fuel air bombs, etc) against enemy non-combatants just to capture one ruthless terrorist? Do you really think there would not be consequences?
     
  11. Parrots_United

    Parrots_United Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Frankly, as much as I think the Maquis are immoral and stubborn, I was sort of disapointed to see that Sisko faced no repercussions for using biological weapons on a civilian population. I think that with biological weapons on civilian populations, it's pretty black and white: It's immoral.

    Though, I see often in this thread people claiming "starfleet" used the weapon. Just because we didn't see Sisko getting grilled on screen doesn't mean that Starfleet endorsed his idea of using WMDs. All we could really tell by starfleet command's reaction was that they were satisfied to see Eddington in a UFP penal facility. Even with Sisko being a Starfleet captain, I don't see how this demoralizes (in the sense of weakening one's morals) Starfleet as a whole.

    Regardless, I did enjoy to see the WMD's launched at the colony, just because It was interesting to see what incredible measures Sisko takes when under a vendetta.
     
  12. Distorted Humor

    Distorted Humor Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The logic of releasing WMD is about as logical as feeling that all the members of those worlds should just give up and move away from their homes without a fight.
     

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