TP: Rough Beasts of Empire by DRGIII Review Thread (Spoilers!)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Thrawn, Dec 22, 2010.

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  1. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    As I said...it was just a theory I was throwing out.

    Time breeds indifference, dulling of passions, and so on.

    Oh, I'm not that nuts. I'm just saying Putin misses the days when Russia was a force to be reckoned with--that he wishes to make The Motherland "glorious" again, a major power once again.

    Both.

    Basically, I'm satirizing the mantras invoked when such questions are brought up.

    Actions are not considered just or unjust intrinically, so much as it is a matter of considering the scenario concerned. Killing in self-defense is not murder. Killing the last of a race (a la "The Man Trap") to protect lives is not genocide.

    Yes and no. Sloan notes that the actions he and 31 conducted were responsable for saving countless lives--numbers which, as far as he was concerned, did "justify the means".
    Granted, he did have a vested interest in making that claim, but he was also very confident that in time, Bashir would come to agree with him.

    Apparently, if "Zero Sum Game" is any indication, that could well happen sooner than we think....

    Well I can assure you, Sci, that is not my intent.

    Well, let's see. On Bartlett--

    By murdering to remove corruption from world affairs.

    On the Vakerie conspiracy--

    By murdering, to remove the immense corruption Hitler instigated through the securing of his own power.

    By that argument, Sci, neither can you compare the existence of prisions to the existence of the Mafia or Section 31. And yet you yourself claimed that all of those were equally accaptable as examples involving a society's dark side.

    In a simmilar manner, Hitler and Zife are both examples of corruption. One is simply a more "extreme" example than another.

    Well, I suppose it depends on the motivations, doesn't it?

    In this case, I will remain cynical in regards to Madoff's motives until proven wrong.

    Of course not. The War was already going on.

    As I recall, one of their major pieces of propoganda was a blatantly false story involving the "flushing" of Qu'rans down toilets in Guantanamo.

    If the other side doesn't have anything, it can just take false information and play it up, or otherwise just make something up.

    Except the "high-level abusers got away scott-free" despite the exposure of the incidents.

    It's not a matter of killing or not killing. There would clearly be more efficient penalties than simply, "kill, kill, kill" for insubordination.

    The system may be uncodified (but frankly, I'd wager 31 has its own code, just not one "revealed" to non-members), but as far as I am concerned, an uncodified system of internal accountability is a system of internal accountability nonetheless.

    Except prisons are not examples of the "dark side". They are examples of the "light side" combating the "dark side".

    Again, Rousseau would disagree with you. Machiavelli's other great work, The Discourses, shows a great love of freedom. He proposes a checks-and-balances system to preserve freedom.

    The Price, at first glance, APPEARS to be simply advice for rulers on how to retain power. But as Rousseau pointed out, a careful reading strongly implies that Machiavelli's two works are not as conflicted as would meet the eye.

    Again--the American Founders held that the right to one's own private property, and the right to keep and bear arms, are central to liberty. Again, they held that an armed populace is the great detriment to tyranny.

    Therefore, if Machiavelli demands an armed populace--who are free to own private property as they see fit--that hardly sounds like advice allowing for a tyrant, let alone a sadistic one.

    Batman finds an interesting loophole, though. As he said to Ras-al-Ghul in the final battle of Batman Begins, "I'm not going to kill you...but I don't have to save you."

    Furthermore, at the end of The Dark Knight, he tells Gordon that he has to go futher underground, and that Gordon has to chase him as a criminal, because the things Batman will have to do for a time can not be connected to Gordon.

    Of course. However, going to Dirty Harry for a moment, his beef isn't so much with corruption of the police as it is with their hands being tied by bureaucratic red tape and rules-and-regulations.

    Using that analogy, Donatra's actions seem more like moving your king right into you're opponent's territory--surrounded by rooks, bishops, and queens--and expecting said opponent not to notice. I wonder how on earth she felt she had any chance.

    Consult my previous answer to that question.

    Agreed. As you say--

    Again, I actually see forthcoming a real-life kind of "Typhon Pact", among Russia, the other Former-Sovet-Union countries, and Iran, among other possible powers. This should prove especially interesting if Iran fixes up its nuclear program...and then tries to make good on its threat to wipe Israel off the map....
     
  2. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Indeed, Rush Limborg has shown consistent disrespect for the principle of the rule of law in almost every Section 31-related debate in which he has been involved.

    Odd hearing such a claim from a professed Christian. One most typically hears contrary claims from the faithful.

    Or so he claims. Interestingly, we never actually see Section 31 engaging in any operations have have the effect of actually saving lives throughout any of their canonical or non-canonical appearances set during the post-ENT era.

    Con men are very confident that in time, you'll come to agree with them. That doesn't mean they're telling the truth.

    You say that here, and yet at the very end of your post, you start whittering on about Russia and Iran forming a "Typhon Pact"-like alliance and Iran attempting to destroy the State of Israel.

    I'm sorry, but your behavior indicates a consistent tendency to exaggerate potential threats and to jump to war as a primary, rather than secondary or tertiary, tool of statecraft.

    He wasn't "murdering to remove corruption." The U.S. government in The West Wing regarded the Qumari government has being corrupt years before the events of "We Killed Yamamoto." Bartlet ordered Sharieff's assassination because he represented a threat to the United States which he did not believe the U.S. would be able to counter through other means.

    Of course you can. Both Section 31 and the Mafia exist in a society that has a functional judicial system and which is a liberal democracy. You can perfectly compare the existence of Section 31 to the existence of the Mafia. You can't compare the assassination of a Federation President to the assassination of a Nazi Dictator.

    Now you're just confusing my argument.

    I did not cite "all of these" as "examples involving a society's dark side."

    I said that both the existence of prisons and, separately, the existence of a society's dark side (impulses towards imperialism, as an example) are consequences of humanity's flawed moral character.

    That is it. That is all. I did not compare prisons to anything. Nor did I say that prisons are not an attempt to cope with humanity's flawed moral character. All I said was that societies have dark sides for the same reason they have prisons: Because people aren't perfect. That's it. That's all. Full stop.

    Kindly stop trying to extend that statement further.

    Once again, you cannot reasonably compare the two situations or the assassination scenarios, because the political cultures are fundamentally different. One is a dictator in a totalitarian system that lacks a social contract; one is a president who has engaged in criminal behavior in a liberal democracy with a functional justice system and social contract. Comparing the assassinations of the two is like comparing an act of murder committed in the middle of a police station to an act of self-defense committed in the Wild West.

    Fair enough, but you would do well to disabuse yourself of the fallacious notion that people's motivations are in general rationally consistent. People are complex and self-contradictory creatures.

    Which is why I said that exposure of the initial crime is not enough.

    And that was a horrible perversion of the real Batman, who can only be found in the comics upon which Batman Begins is based. And in those comics, Batman would never let Ra's al Ghul die by refusing to save him.

    She didn't, really. But sometimes in chess, you simply have no other options. You take the move that gives you the highest probability of survival, but sometimes even that probability is ridiculously low. Sometimes, in chess, you have no other choice but to move into checkmate.

    :rolleyes:

    In the words of Ronald Reagan:

    "There you go again."
     
  3. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    :lol:

    In the words of Ronald Reagan:

    "There you go again." ;)

    To be honest--as far as the rule of law is concerned--I'd consider Section 31 to be the exception, not the rule.

    Still, you may recall I once suggested that the ideal solution would be to, instead of having 31 entirely autonomous, have the Bureau report either directly to the President, or to the director of SI--the difference being that the normal restrictions would not apply.

    It would be far superior to merely not having such an organization at all.

    Well, consider the instance of Rahab lying to cover for the Hebrew spies in the Biblical book of Josua--or the Hebrew midwives covering for the babies near the beginning of the book of Exodus.

    In a world corrupted by sin, one often has to choose the lesser of two evils.

    I would imagine either because 1) the majority of writers of those eps tend to be of the same opinon as yourself, or 2) as I have previously said, succesful actions of clandestine organizations tend to be unnoticed, which is as it should be.

    In order to see a good amount of examples of "successful missions", and saving of lives thereof, we'd probably have to have an honest-to-goodness Section 31 series, a la "Mission: Impossible" meets "24".

    (shrugs)

    Did Iran's president say that his intentions were such, or not?

    Did Putin form a diplomatic relationship with Iran, or didn't he?


    Fair enough.

    Corruption is corruption--those are simply different degrees of it.

    All right...I'll take your word for it. Thank you for clearing up my confusion.

    Gladly--provided you too take care to refrain from assumptions like so:

    I did no such thing. I am simply bringing up scenarios in which war arguable would be the best option. Nothing more, nothing less.

    A system that he created.

    By attempting to assasinate Hitler, the Valkerie conspirators had indended to cure the corruption he had instigated--true or false?

    What is worse: exposure without justice, or no exposure? Please answer in regards to foreign relations, not matters of morality. Which would be worse for that?

    Regardless, Sci, it did occur. Batman understood Ra's al Ghul had to perish--he was too dangerous to be left alive.

    I would imagine that, for whatever reason, 31 made the same assumption about Zife and Azernoll.


    Not necessarily. You mentioned the alternative of "putting off" a defeat--which you proposed would make it more inevitable.

    I propose that the buying of time in that regard in fact opens the door for more opportunites. The longer the games wears on, the greater the likelyhood that the opponent will get worn out, and make a mistake.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2011
  4. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    ... and a lack of interest in making sure that the Federation didn't have powerful death squads running about the galaxy?

    That's a rather different thing from the KGB restoration of the Soviet Union you were talking about above. Or seemed to be talking about. And why the Federation is supposed to behave like post-Communist Russia in accepting totalitarian secret police forces, all evidence to the contrary, is still beyond me.

    For what reason?

    We've good reason to be skeptical of the veracity of Section 31 in its identification, evaluation, and treatment of threats against the Federation. Trying to commit genocide against the Founders transgresses basic Federation values. Preparing to destroy Tezwa and the Tezwans with it--killing a civilian population of billions of non-Federation citizens--in order to cover up a Federation president's misdeeds is unspeakable.

    Federation citizens aren't going to be upset?
     
  5. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Yes. Given enough time, people would shrug off the stories of Section 31 as "old news", long past, irrelevent to "our present time".

    Well, just as most of Russia, I'd imagine, isn't of the same mindset as Putin, so most of the Federation would not be of the same mindset of Section 31.

    I'd say Sloan saw in him the potential to take the path we see him taking in the novels right now--albeit through different means, of course.

    As I've said, the majority of Federations citizens probably would be upset--again, that's why 31 is so secret.

    But I'd imagine it would spark a debate much like we're having here--just much more widespread.
     
  6. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    How much time?

    You're arguing that people in the Federation care as little for democracy and civil rights as people in 2011 Russia?

    You seem to think little of the Federation's citizenry. Why would there ever be a debate over the acceptability of Section 31 when the organization is clearly shown to inveterately violate norms of Federation behaviour?
     
  7. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    It depends on circumstances--particularly unrelated events, major or minor, affecting the quadrant, diverting the attention of the people. It's amazing what ten or twenty years can do.

    Not at all--quite the opposite. I would imagine the people of Russia care very much for freedom, civil rights, etc. It's the government which cares less for freedom than, say, the Federation.

    Because the question would inevitably arise as to whether the "norms" had, indeed, kept the Federation safe...or whether it was Section 31 which did the protecting.

    What is "normal" is not necessarily "right". That is why "progress" is such a popular concept.
     
  8. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Unfortunately, this idea is questionable. At the height of Russian democratization during the late 80s and 1990s, there really was no large-scale Russian democracy movement, no real Russian civil society. People didn't form major advocacy groups, civil rights protection groups, interest groups, etc. It was, unfortunately, a much more top-down phenomenon than bottom-up. And, indeed, Vladimir Putin is very much admired and has high approval ratings today, even though he's transformed Russian democracy into a joke, because he is credited with reviving the Russian economy.

    Unfortunately, I would argue that Russian political culture is, at present, still fundamentally autocratic, and will remain so for some time. The Russian people as a whole have simply yet to internalize the ideas of the Enlightenment, of liberal democracy, and until they do, the Russian government will reflect the autocratic impulses of the majority.

    I'm curious how Section 31 could be proven to have protected anyone when it's so opposed to transparency.
     
  9. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    This is the point when I ask you for real-world examples of how normal countries react to rogue state agencies responsible for terror within and without their borders.

    As Sci notes, the Russian electorate doesn't really care. A lot of this has to do with the coincidence of democracy's appearance--or non-totalitarianism's, anyway--at the same time that Russia fell apart. The likely undeservedly negative association of political pluralism with economic privation and social chaos did a lot to discredit democracy's adherents, who as Sci notes weren't numerous to begin with.

    Because the question would inevitably arise as to whether the "norms" had, indeed, kept the Federation safe...or whether it was Section 31 which did the protecting.[/QUOTE]

    What evidence is there for this?

    Let's take the single example of the genocide attempted against the Founders. The deployment of the viral weapons was very high-risk: if the Dominion determined the cause of the sickness besetting the Great Link and the virus' origins in the Federation, what would keep the Founders from escalating the conflict further? Metagenic weapons are easy enough to make and deploy, likewise planetcracker and sunkiller weapons, and the Dominion didn't show any compunction against genocide against non-existential threats. What mercy against the foreigners who murdered their gods?

    And even without the Dominion finding out, it's not obvious that the disease's progression did anything to weaken the Founders, who recruited the Breen as allies and were ready to bleed the Alpha Quadrant white notwithstanding the species' impending demise. Section 31's disease may have worsened the war.
     
  10. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    And I would answer that that's something of a loaded question--31's actions could hardly be considered "terror". Remember, their actions are supposed to be in secret, in the netherworld of espionage.

    Tragic, if true. But I would contend that, regardless, Putin could only go so far before he overreaches in such matters.

    But as Sci has also pointed out (and I know--my using him as a reference might as well be a sign of a certain place freezing over, but still--), Putin isn't for bringing back communism (I seem to recall he brought a flat tax to Russia, as opposed the the heavy progressive income tax Karl Marx was fond of), so much as the influence of Russia in world affairs. Again, this helps to explain his increasing relations with Iran.

    There are those of us on the BBS--myself included--who contest that, and defend the decision. (See for a recent example the "Alternative History" thread in the DS9 forum.)

    In the same way, I would contend that there would be people like us in the Federation, and they would engage the rest in a similar debate, just as Trek frequently brings current debates on issues into a 24th-century context.
     
  11. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    OK. "This is the point when I ask you for real-world examples of how normal countries react to rogue state agencies responsible for murder within and without their borders."

    When it came out in the mid-1990s that Spain's SOcialist government under Gonzalez created the illegal Grupos Antiterroristas de Liberación death squads to fight against ETA, for instance, that revelation cost the Socialists the election.

    There are those of us on the BBS--myself included--who contest that, and defend the decision. (See for a recent example the "Alternative History" thread in the DS9 forum.)[/QUOTE]

    Genocide is a defensible military tactic?

    Keep in mind that the Dominion was willing to use a sunkiller weapon to blow up the Bajoran sun as a preemptive tactic, not a reprisal for anything that had been done. If the Dominion found out that the Federation was responsible, shifting to the use of metaweapons as a revenge tactic wouldn't be a stretch at all.

    Isn't triggering an apocalyptic war something that should be done--if at all--with the full knowledge of the legitimate authorities? Section 31 is the equivalent, of a Cold War-era anti-Communist terrorist group running through the Soviet sphere of influence setting off tactical nukes.

    This is not an argument in favour of the organization's survival.
     
  12. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Well, I doubt 31 was created by a political party.

    But anyhow--the Federation is not a real-world power. It has some parallels with, say, the US, but it has politics of its own.

    I doubt there are real-world organizations that could legitimately be called "21st-century Section 31s".

    BTW...some people have compared (I would say unfairly) to the CIA or MI6. I'd say it's more akin to the fictional IMF of Mission: Impossible ("If any of your team are caught or killed, the CIA will disavow any knowledge of your activities", etc.) or Area 51.

    As I said, extreme scenarios call for extreme measures.

    Frankly, the idea of keeping war free of "war atrocities" is fallacious. War itself is an atrocity. Making it clean and neat takes away the incentive to end it as quickly as possible.

    The best thing the Federation and its allies could do would be to win the war as quickly as possible. That preserves life in the long run.

    As "The Man Trap" indicates, it's not immoral genocide if it's in self-defense.

    So the Dominion was, in theory, perfectly fine with genocide.

    I think the Dominion War could reasonably be considered apocalyptic.

    And that's...bad?

    On the contrary--I'd say it defends them quite well.
     
  13. David cgc

    David cgc Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Are you serious?

    Let's put aside the obvious moral issue of nuclear terrorism and mass murder, which bad (yes, even when it happens to people leaving in a country governed by a party that is nominally hostile to our own). Didn't you read The Sum of All Fears? If some asshole is setting off nuclear bombs in Russia, who do you think the Russians are going to assume is responsible?

    Probably not Sudan.

    How do you think they'd respond?

    Probably not with kindness.

    The best-case scenario would probably be that the responsible parties didn't actually have anything to do with the United States. That way, after we were all killed in the ensuing nuclear war, we wouldn't have to deal with being in Hell on top of our other problems.

    I get it, you're just tired of the discussion are trying to look so intensely doctrinaire that anyone who's contradicting you will just give up in frustration so you can have the last word, right?
     
  14. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Oy, this conversation has gotten thick and deep. Just a couple points of order about Batman since I don't know where to dive in:

    In his early days he did kill (and carry a gun), but those comics are now not part of the "current" Bruce Wayne's history. However, he does carry a gun and shoot to kill the villain Darkseid in the recent comic "Final Crisis." His bullet isn't what ultimately kills the dark god, but that was his intention.

    Also, saying the Gotham City PD is hopelessly corrupt isn't entirely correct. There's a significant amount of corruption, but whenever James Gordon is commissioner (as he is now in the comics) it's being rooted out.
     
  15. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Yes. Section 31 doesn't have any political patrons invested in covering for it.

    The Federation has parallels with real-world polities, and this is why it's important to provide specific reasons why real-world examples aren't relevant. "It's different" doesn't count.

    "As quickly as possible" being read to include "as quickly as possible with as few risks as possible", sure.

    The Dominion was fine with committing genocide against other peoples, although that wasn't the Dominion's main strategy. The Dominion was fundamentally a protection agency: you can't protect a dead space.

    The vast majority of the populations of the Federation, Klingon Empire, and Cardassian Union--to name the major combatants which fought the Dominion on their territories--survived. Even on planets like Betazed, treated rather unkindly by their occupiers, the very large majority of the population survived.

    The Dominion War was a classical war, fought over the control of populations and resources and territories. The Dominion War was not a war of annihilation.

    Well, yes.

    If you're nudge-nudge, wink-wink authorizing the indiscriminate use of proscribed weapons of mass destruction against the interests of your opponents, then you've not only established precedents for the regular use of proscribed weapons of mass destruction, but you've established precedents for their use in kind against your interests. There's also the risk of a creeping escalation towards targets of greater and greater importance and suffering an apocalypse that way, or simply have someone on one side or another make a misjudgement and do something that the other side will see as unforgiveable and start a catastrophe that way.

    The female Founder ordered the slaughter of the entire population of Cardassia Prime when she was dying, learned that Cardassian forces turned on the Dominion and that the Breen had abandoned the cause, and concluded that the only way to hold off the Alpha Quadrant would be to bleed it white. That was genocide as a planned preemptive tactic. There's also the attempted nova of Bajor's sun.

    Let's say that a little bird told her that her, and her entire species, were going to die because of a Federation bioweapon. Why wouldn't she order attacks in kind against the Federation Alliance? Even without species-specific agents, she could still deploy metagenic weapons against inhabited worlds. Maybe she would order a tit-for-tat approach; maybe she'd go for overkill; even in the less unfavourable scenario casualties would still rise exponentially.

    Section 31 nearly made the Dominion War into one where the obliteration of planetary populations would have been an intentional strategy, against the wishes of the Federation government and everyone involved. How could this play to its benefit?
     
  16. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    :wtf: :rolleyes:

    You cannot be serious.
     
  17. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    I'd say that if Area 51 were real, it would constitute a pretty horrific violation of U.S. law and democracy.

    Yeah, bullshit. Refusing to commit war crimes doesn't take away the incentive to end it, it's an attempt to protect the innocent during a war.

    And, yes, there are many innocent Founders, as established both in the series (Changeling infants) and in The Dominion: Olympus Descending.

    Oh, bullshit. It wasn't genocide to kill the Salt Vampire because the Salt Vampire species was already functionally extinct. Yeah, there was one member of that species still alive, but it was never going to be able to reproduce anyway, because there was no one else left to reproduce with. So it wasn't genocide in any realistic sense, because realistically, the species didn't exist anymore. You can't commit genocide when you're too late!

    And, no, genocide against a real, viable species (or socially defined grouping) is not justified by self-defense.
     
  18. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Interestingly enough, this should bring up the question as to whether the US would jump to such conclusions, were the scenario reversed--or even be allowed to, in the international community.

    If it's an "anti-Communist" group running around setting off nuclear weapons--weapons which the Soviet Union already had--that means it does not necessarily follow that they had any help from the US. All the Soviets would know is that it's a terrorist group taking advantage of embarrasing loopholes in security.

    While I am getting a little bored with this long, drawn-out discussion, do not assume that I'm forcing things. That just makes things even more boring....

    So therefore, no political patrons will take the fall, correct?

    Except, again, Section 31 doesn't really have a real-life paralell. It may be a combinations of many different real and fictional groups...but there's no honest-to-goodness comparison with anything in real life that I can think of. I could be wrong, though, but 31 strikes me as simply the DS9 writers thinking outside the box, as it were.

    Naturally.

    Of course--but the point still remains: the UFP's enemies didn't care about "rules of war", or "values and principles". All they cared about were results. That, frankly, gave them an upper hand.

    Again, their desire for results was the key. The Dominion wasn't bound by "values and principles". All they cared about was conquest of the solids, and suppression of possible threats.

    Except the morphogenic virus couldn't be used against solids. It was targeted--and as the series strongly implied, once it kicked in (circa "Treachery, Faith, and the Great River") it worked relatively quickly, to the point that Odo and the Female Founder were in really bad shape by "Extreme Measures" and WYLB, respectively.

    Of course--as I've just said.

    Ah...because it was a little bird? Frankly, if her paranoia would allow her to accept that without question, that basically means she was already thinking it.

    Again, if she were suspicious enough to accept the "hunch" that the UFP and allies were behind the virus (and to be honest, I'd wager her paranoia against solids did lead her to that conclusion), one wonders, then, why she didn't act as you describe.

    Even if she didn't, she knew she was dying. She had nothing left to lose. If she was capable of having her revenge on The Solids as you describe, why didn't she?


    And what of IMF?

    Sci, that mindset--and the enemy knowing you posses that mindset--has the immense risk of leading to human shields used by the enemy.

    In war, innocents invariably get caught in the crossfire--and there's a price paid. Believe me, I find it every bit as distasteful and disgusting as you do--but that's the way things are in war. As I said, war itself is an atrocity. Sometimes, innocents are put in mortal danger from it. Sometimes, they perish en masse.

    Kirk understood this in "A Taste Of Armageddon". Remember the reasoning behind Eminiar and Vendikar's system of "war"--so that it would be clean, neat, and pointed. As Kirk pointed out, the disgusting things in war which the worlds sought to avoid are precisely what make it a thing to be avoided.

    Sisko also understood this when taking down Eddington. When he poisoned the atmosphere of the Maquis world, it was a distasteful, disgusting thing--which, to be frank, demanded an aftermath of soul-searching by Sisko which the audience was denied--

    But as far as he was concerned, it was what he had to do.

    Spock would seem to disagree with you. See his remarks in "Devil In The Dark", when he pointed out to Kirk that, as far as they knew at the time, the "creature" (the Horta) was the last of its kind.

    I assume you are accepting even the theoretical scenario in which it is either-or--us or them?
     
  19. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    The Soviets would be able to determine a fair number of things. Leaving circumstantial evidence aside, it's fairly trivial to determine, by the precise mixtures of isotopes left behind, which facility manufactured a weapon--The Sum of All Fears made use of that, if you're a Clancy fan.

    There's also capability. Only a few states are capable of making nuclear weapons. (The terrorists in that Clancy novel "cheated" by salvaging a lost Israeli warhead.) Taking this over to the Star Trek context, only a few polities had the knowledge of Founder genetic coding necessary to make a lethal bioweapon.

    Finally, condoning this sort of terrorist warfare, or even appearing to condone this sort of terorrist warfare, leaves you with no ground to oppose your enemies' escalation in kind.

    No relevant parallels at all?

    The conquest, yes, not their annihilation.

    As you're doubtless aware, it's trivially easy in the Star Trek universe to come up with tailored, almost universally lethal, bioweapons aimed at any number of species.

    Her warmaking machine was fragile. Leaving aside the need to keep the Cardassians from spinning completely out of control--as they did, anyway--there was the need to keep the Breen as allies. Presumably a Breen alliance would have been difficult if the Breen were convicned that the Dominion was about to start killing off civilizations.

    When the Breen fled, the Cardassians defected to the Federation Alliance, and the prospects of a cure from Dominion laboratories for her disease disappeared, she odered the summary execution of every Cardassian on their homeworld and ordered every Dominion soldier to fight to the death, with the express aim of bleeding Federation Alliance forces white and vulnerable for a second Dominion offensive from the Gamma Quadrant.

    When the Founder was convinced that defeat was imminent, she transformed the war from a conflict involving the conquest and continued control of populations and territories to their annihilation. Section 31's preemptive escalation to a war of annihilation against the Founder species could have triggered this shift earlier, at a time when the Founder commanded more military forces capable of attacks in kind.

    Section 31 screwed up royally. It's a minor miracle that the Borg came to the Alpha Quadrant to find the Federation and its populations remaining.

    Trying to minimize atrocities is one thing. Committing atrocities is another.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2011
  20. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2004
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Actually, Area 51 is a real top secret testing facility in Southern Nevada. I've watched a show all about the real place on History Channel.