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. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    That could have been the actual intent behind the whole thing.
     
  2. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Kai Opaka betrayed her son and 42 other resistance fighters to the Cardassians to save the lives of the 1200 inhabitants of the Kendra Valley.

    As a rule, the Bajoran Resistance does not seem to have been cheap with the lives of Bajoran civilians.

    No, of course not.

    This illustrates exactly the problem with Section 31's tendency to escalate situations. Was the Dominion's bombing of the Antwerp conference different from the way that Section 31 behaved towards other polities? If not, then doesn't Section 31's behaviour leave the Federation's population open to the same kind of attempt at genocide that the Dominion's behaviour exposed the Founders to?

    It's not in the interest of the Federation to have Section 31 active.

    And yes, the Soviet Union under Stalin and the Middle East in the 1950s and 1960s did see several wars triggered by Section 31-style paranoia (among other factors). Might you have heard of them?

    That's what they did in the Gamma Quadrant with conquered planets. The Dominion has subordinate civilizations and conquered planets aplenty. Why wouldn't they do that in the Alpha Quadrant?

    That's absurd. The Soviet Union was perfectly capable of conquering free societies--in the Baltic States, western Ukraine and Belarus, the central and southeastern European satellites, East Germany--without killing the ~100M people living there. Indeed, that's what it did.

    It would be akin to an attempt at mass murder of citizens, something like some of the Cold War nuclear plans of the United States which basically advocated targeted genocide, i.e. attacks being made preferentially on ethnic Russian populations as opposed to non-Russian populations. Genocide, in brief.

    Telling a species that believes in the utter treacherousness of solids that unless they surrender they'll be annihilated, depending as it does on the belief that these treacherous people who've shown a willingness to try to exterminate your species will keep their word, has obvious failure modes.

    31 tried to kill all the Founders; your analogies aren't.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2011
  3. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Bajoran civilians, no. Cardassian civilians...yes.

    Recall Kira's line in "Duet" that as far as the Resistance was concerned, "They were all guilty."

    Except the escalation didn't happen. The F.C. bloviated about it happening...while her numbers dwindled, the Breen retreated, and the Cardassians changed sides.

    Furthermore...the morphogenic virus does not compare with the acts of genocide the Founders would (theoretically) impose--namely, fighting until the worlds were destroyed.

    The virus was a subtle, behind-the scenes tactic which spread to all the Founders through the process of linking.

    Oh, I have heard of them. Were Vietnam and Korea triggered by the KGB? If so, it didn't seem to harm the effectiveness of that organization.

    Also...the Soviet Union was not under the Middle East.

    The question is whether those societies were "free societies" in the first place. Also, the subordinate civilizations were not conquered, per se, so much as subordinate members of a mob-like alliance. See: the Karemma. Also note how the DS9 writers concieved of the Dominion as a dark mirror image of the Federation.

    Those subordinate powers were allied with the Dominion much as Cardassia was.


    Now, as to the worlds conquered...note the episode with the old man and his holographic community. The Dominion had laid waste his world.

    Again, were they truly "free societies", or were their rulers already in place, which the Union replaced? Machiavelli also wrote that in the latter case, conquest is much easier--since the people are used to being ruled.

    However, he warned that free societies would not forget their freedom--and will eventually rise up and rebel, and generally cause headaches for you.

    Indeed, remember Bashir and the Jack Pack predicted that the former Federation would rise up and overthrow the Dominion--as Machiavelli would agree.

    Not really. Stalin was Georgian, was he not? And yet he became a ruler of the Union.

    The Founders--by their very race--were the ruling class. Even those which allegedly didn't take part in the ruling were still part of the class.

    It wasn't as if the Federation could prove the paranoia wrong by giving up the cure with no questions asked.

    In this case, the Founders would have little choice. What good would it be to make the universe safe for chagelings by wiping out solids--if the changelings all die off?

    My analogies aren't...?

    Again, the Founders were the ruling class, as opposed to the administrative subordinates, the soldiers, and the civilians.

    Furthermore--again, the death of Founders leads to the mass suicide of Jem'Hadar--and the death of all the Founders therefore leads to the mass suicide of all the Jem'Hadar.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2011
  4. JD

    JD Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    But it would certainly help. By handing over the cure out of the goodness of their hearts, then some of the Founders might start to question if solids are really as bad as they think. Especially if they used Odo as their spokesman.
     
  5. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    ^ As I said, Section 31 could have planned that all along. Who's to say that they didn't *want* the Federation to hand over the cure? That would have been a perfect way to end the war. Which is, in a sense, what did happen.
     
  6. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    The ones present on Bajor. I somehow doubt that she would have advocated detonating nuclear weapons in the middle of downtown Lakarian City, though.
     
  7. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Perhaps not. The problem still arises: that still included Cardassian civilians on Bajor.

    On that note...it's quite possible that 31 didn't necessarily plan for the Link itself to be infected.

    By that I mean: they infected Odo, on the grounds that he would infect the changelings he'd encounter.

    Which changelings would he most likely enounter? The ones on this side of the wormhole.

    Basically...what I'm getting at is that 31 may well have developed the virus as a weapon against the changeling infiltrators--which Odo would almost certainly help take down.

    Those changelings might link with one another--but for obvious reasons, they wouldn't "sneak" out to the Gamma Quadrant to "link up", and then sneak back.

    The possibility of it spreading to the Link--perhaps through contacts...or Odo...may therefore have simply been, as far as 31 was concerned, a fortunate happenstance.
     
  8. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    There's a very big difference between committing mass murder against millions of people on their native land and committing small-scale attacks against "civilians" who were part of an invading and occupying foreign culture.

    Bullshit. That was their intent from the beginning. They were genocidal maniacs of the sort who would make Hitler proud and that's all there is to it.
     
  9. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Why put "civilians" in quotes? Were they somehow not civilians in reality?

    Is it the case, then, that their very existance on Bajor made them compliant--thereby justifying Bajoran attacks directly targeting civilian lives? Isn't that generalizing on the basis of race?
     
  10. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    What would an actual Cardassian civilian - meaning, somebody who is not involved with the government or the military, and thus not working as part of the occupation force - even be doing on Bajor in the first place? Not counting family members, of course.


    Kira might not have, I agree. However, there may have been some of her compadres in the resistance who were not so accommodating. And years later, there's the Maquis, who definitely had some people like that as well (i.e. Eddington).
     
  11. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Yeah - and she was wrong. That was kinda the point of the episode.

    I'm not seeing how two genocides are better than one...

    Only in location and scale. The tactics of the Resistance were wrong when they targeted innocents. They may have been necessary, but they're nothing to be proud of.

    Why aren't we counting family members?
     
  12. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Given that the Cardassian Union was essentially a military dictatorship, I question how many Cardassians present on Occupied Bajor, save family members, were legitimately civilians and how many were essentially just an unofficial part of the occupying army.

    Maybe. Maybe not. A very real argument can be made that absolutely no Cardassians had any right to be on Bajor, because Bajor had no legitimate government (only a puppet government obeying the Cardassians) to grant such a privilege, and that, therefore, any Cardassian present on Bajor was violating Bajor's sovereignty.

    That's the essence, at the end of the day, of Kira's speech in "The Darkness and the Light." That's what she means when she says:

    Certainly she seems to think that any Cardassians present on Bajor are legitimate targets. But even that is not the same thing as advocating the sort of genocide a nuclear attack would entail, especially since it's unclear just how many Cardassians were actually on Bajor.

    There's no evidence of that, however.

    The Maquis were Federates. (Well, ex-Federates.) They had nothing to do with the Bajor/Cardassia conflict.

    Was it the point of the episode?

    Of course, the thing to bear in mind about Kira is that even though she viewed all Cardassians present on Bajor during the Occupation as being violators of Bajoran sovereignty, she didn't necessarily think all Cardassians deserved to be killed. Witness her reaction at the end of "Duet," when a Cardassian not guilty of any war crimes is murdered by a Bajoran.

    Her notion seems to be that any Cardassian on Bajor was violating Bajoran sovereignty, and that as such they were legitimate targets if there was an attack underway, but that notion does not seem to extend to the idea that just any Cardassian deserved death. Rather, her notion seems to be, "They shouldn't be here, tough shit if they die in the course of us achieving our objectives in our attack."

    Location and scale matter.
     
  13. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    First, I ask the same question Kestrel did: why don't family members count?

    Second, wasn't the stalker in "The Darkness And The Light" and Marritza in "Duet" civilians?

    First, the Jem'Hadar kill themselves, therefore it's not a second "genocide", per se.

    Second, I believe you yourself provide the means to the answer to your question:

    Now taking that, and noting this claim--

    --all of this begs for the question, as Picard asked, "How many people does it take, Admiral...before it becomes wrong, hmm? 1,000? 50,000? A million? How many people does it take, Admiral?"

    Where do you draw the line, and say, "I don't care if means the war goes on even longer, and claims more lives on our side, and I don't care if not doing this runs the risk of their defeating us--I am opposed to genocide, and will not do it under any circumstance!"

    If the Resistance targeting innocents was morally wrong, but tactically necessary, where do you draw the line between that and what should not be done?

    If there were that many, Sci, would the Resistance be justified in a nuke attack?

    The Khon Ma?

    That was not the point he was making. What he meant was that the Maquis were willing to do what they deemed necessary to achieve their goals.

    Also, it's worth noting that Kira was somewhat sympathetic to them.

    Ah...that was at the very end of the episode--just after Kira learns not to look at all Cardassians under the same lens. The entire point of the episode was Kira's growth beyond anti-Cardassian prejudice.

    Except her line, "He's guilty. They were all guilty."

    Frankly, I have yet to be convinced that the Resistance would have refused to smuggle nukes to Cardassia and lay the planet waste if they could have--destroying the Central Command, the Council, and the HQ of the Obsidian Order--on the grounds of Values and Principles.
     
  14. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Where do you draw the line between scruff and a beard?
     
  15. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Because they would be expected to be there.

    A true Cardassian civilian - one who is not in the government or the military, and is not actually *working* for the occupation - would have no reason to be on Bajor unless he or she was the family member (spouse or child) of someone who was. And even then, it's doubtful. Dukat, for example; as far as we know, his family was back on Cardassia the whole time. If the prefect himself didn't have his family with him, most of the rest of them probably didn't either (although a few did, i.e. "The Darkness and the Light").

    So if Kira says they were all guilty, she must have been targeting actual occupation members or their families, nothing more. She wasn't just indulging in racial hatred of all Cardassians.
     
  16. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    I'm not sure there is such a line. I've heard "scruff" being referred to as "beards", and vice versa.
     
  17. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Really? There's no line between ZZ Top and a guy who forgot to shave for a day?
     
  18. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    ^The terminology is subjective. I've heard "scruffy beards" as a description of really think ones--at times synonymous with "shaggy".

    But no one would call full-fledged "beards" morally wrong, and "scruff" acceptable, if necessary. If that were the case, I'm sure there would be laws clarifying exactly where the line is to be drawn.

    As it stands, the stakes aren't exactly that high as far as beards are concerned.
     
  19. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    That's not really the point. This point is this:

    There is a line between scruff (or, if you prefer, fuzz) and a beard. But nobody really knows when scruff ceases to be scruff and becomes a beard.

    There is a line between collateral damage and mass murder. But no one really knows where that line is.

    We can say when something has gone too far -- and detonating a nuke is going too far. We don't know where the exact border between what is acceptable and unacceptable is. All we can do is try to feel things out on a case-by-case basis.

    Or, I suppose, we could compare it to pornography:

    "I don't know how to define it, but I know it when I see it!"
     
  20. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

    Uh...huh....

    Well, with all due respect, that may work for personal judgement--but laws can't be written on grounds of personal judgement. Else, they are left vague--and vaugeness in the law is invariably exploited.