Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by Trek or Treat, Jul 16, 2009.
In the episode they chose option #1. Did they make the right call?
They used false pretenses to engage in mere military expansionism against another sovereign state, one that had undergone a revolution that would have made them more open to diplomacy with the Feds instead of wanton death and violence. No, they weren't wrong.
That the Klingons continued after the Feds proved their accusations wrong, and went so far as to abandon the peace treaty just showed how easily manipulated Gowron was by Martok, not that the Feds were bad.
The Federation did just a good a job at proving the Klingon's accusations wrong as they did proving the Martok was a Changeling in that episode. I wouldn't be surprised if the Klingons were right about Changeling infiltration into the Detapa Council. Though the truth didn't matter, all that mattered was that the Founders wanted to sow as much chaos in the Alpha Quadrant as possible before they launched their invasion proper.
I'm sure you know what I say as a loyal citizen of Cardassia: what the Federation did was absolutely wrong. Yes, they backed Cardassia...TO A POINT. They fought for a time, until they quit caring, when what they should have done was punished the Klingons to ensure that they could never strike at us again. No--instead they were awfully quick to patch it up and act like nothing ever happened. They fight until it no longer serves them--whereas if they had true principle they would fight until the CAUSE was served.
The behavior of their so-called "allies" was unconscionable, and proved the Federation to be utter hypocrites--they claim to value such things as "principle" and "freedom", but in the end they are just as political as Romulans, preferring the relationships they think are politically and militarily expedient over the commitments that would have come with their principles should they have actually adhered to them.
I don't remember the UFP intervening militarily. I just remember Sisko helping to evacuate the Detapa Council.
From Memory Alpha: http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Klingon-Cardassian_War
The Founders had them in a tight spot. Let the Klingons invade - Cardassians become bitter towards their Federation allies. Put the foot down and defend Cardassia... the Klingons could very well have attacked the Federation -which would have been a far more chaotic and bloody conflict than the Klingon-Cardassian curbstomp. It was morally questionable - I don't think the Federation made the right choice. There was no right choice. The board was set and the only way out was to fight.
My problem comes with the Klingons NOT being a reforming power by any means (if anything they were decaying with corruption, being so entrenched in their system) and yet somehow still being Federation allies despite the fact that this WHOLE time they've been conquering, pillaging, and generally gone a'viking like those dudes in a Capital One ad.
(My opinion of Klingons:
Yet the Cardassians were actually taking real steps to FIX and CHANGE things in a better direction. If the Federation is so big on democracy and freedom--the choice should've been obvious. But instead they went with the unconscionable "ally."
^ Love those ads. (why are the vikings Brits with northern English accents? I think there is some historical Irony at work here).
I could never have told you the region of their accents...but that IS quite funny now that you point it out, considering where the invasions occurred...
Indeed, it certainly gave me cause for a chuckle or two.
The last one about banking in the dark ages was almost pythonesq, in it's own way.
Also, as we're talking about comedy and accents, I though that I should share this great piece of Monty Python with you all:
Indeed. I'd rather trust the Cardassians over the Klingons. The Klingons are unpredictable, unstable and difficult to work with. The Cardassians on the other hand, are cooler minds overall - and despite their ideological differences to the Federation - would make more ideal partners.
The Klingons and Federation seem to me to be accidental allies - borne more out of happenstance than intent on the Federation's part. Indeed, were it not for the Praxis detonation and the Battle of Narendra, the Klingons would most likely not be allies with the Federation. The Federation saw an oppurtunity to end their interstellar Cold War and in their giddy, idealistic enthusiasm, did not stop to think about just how wild and unstable the Klingon Empire is.
First of all, we don’t know that there was any pretense involved. I think the Klingons probably did believe when the operation started that Changelings were positioning themselves to take control of the Cardassian Union. For that matter, just because the council members themselves didn’t turn out to be changelings doesn’t mean the Klingons were wrong about the coup being supported by the Founders as part of a strategy to take control of Cardassia. (Disclaimer: WOTW is as far as I have gotten. I don’t know what future episodes will tell us about changelings on Cardassia.)
As for military expansionism against a sovereign state that was poorly defended and ripe for the taking, that’s what empires do. They are the Klingon Empire, right? Doesn’t the Federation treaty with the Klingon Empire give them a right under the treaty to be an empire? Hard to imagine the empire agreeing to a treaty that didn’t. (It’s even harder to imagine the Klingons being okay with such a treaty, which would make the Klingon’s eventual withdrawal from the treaty a practical certainty.) Presumably, the treaty would prohibit the Klingons from moving against space controlled by the Federation, Federation member worlds, or Federation protected worlds, but would allow some room for expansion, as long as the expansion is consistent with Federation interests. Granted, I’m just making reasonable assumptions because I haven’t had an opportunity to read the treaty.
As for Federation interests, does the Federation want Cardassian space controlled by Cardassians, who are hostile to the Federation, or do they want the space controlled by a Federation ally? I think the latter is better for the Federation, especially if the Klingons are correct about the Dominion’s involvement in the coup. When Gowron says, “All that matters is the Alpha Quadrant will be safer with the Klingon Empire in control of Cardassia,” he seems to be making a lot of sense.
By challenging the Klingon invasion of Cardassia, they not only kept that space in the hands of a hostile power, but provoked the Klingons to withdraw from the treaty with the Federation and the High Chancellor to declare, “The Klingon Empire will remember what has happened here. You sided against us in battle, and this we do not forgive, or forget.”
So, by doing nothing, Klingon space and Cardassian space would both have been controlled by a Federation ally. Because the Federation intervened, Klingon space and Cardassian space are both controlled by enemies of the Federation, and the prospect of a united Alpha Quadrant standing against the Dominion has become much less likely.
The evacuation of the Council was a military operation. They came in with a warship and attacked and destroyed Klingon warships in order to facilitate the evacuation. When the Klingons pursued, it led to the confrontation at DS9, with Sisko turning the station’s military power against the Klingons, destroying at least eight Klingon ships, and had several Starfleet ships on the way for reinforcement.
With this show of military force, the Federation demanded the Klingons relinquish control of the Cardassian colonies they seized during the invasion. (Dax reported that the Klingons were “refusing” to do that, which suggests that the Federation made such a demand.) No two ways about it, that’s military intervention.
The Federation Council ordered Starfleet not to interfere until they could begin talks with Gowron. Sisko took it upon himself to rescue the Detapa Council. The mission was not endorsed by the U.F.P.
I stand corrected.
Here’s a review of key quotes and events, along with my commentary.
BTW, why are color tags disabled on this forum? For legibility, I wanted to represent quotes, events, and commentary in three different colors, but I can’t. Instead I’ll put quotes in bold, commentary in italics, and [events surrounded by brackets].
[Worf learns of the Klingon plan and tells Sisko.]
Sisko: By attacking Cardassia, they think they’re protecting the Alpha Quadrant from the Dominion.
Sisko accepts that the Klingons are honest in their concerns about the Dominion taking over Cardassia.
[Sisko confronts Martok.]
Sisko: General, I want you to call off this attack.
Martok: And what do you propose we do instead? Stand by and allow the Dominion to take over the Alpha Quadrant?
There is no reason to doubt the sincerity of the Klingon Empire’s concern about the coup on Cardassia. Looking at it from the Klingon point of view, they have no choice. Like Martok says, they can’t just stand by and do nothing while the Dominion gets a huge beachhead in the Alpha Quadrant. Sisko is making a demand that the Klingons can’t possibly agree to, and doesn’t seem to realize it.
[Sisko addresses his senior staff after talking to Starfleet.]
Sisko: We’ve been ordered not to get involved.
It is the job of the top brass in Starfleet and the Federation government to make these decisions, and they made their decision. There is room for argument on whether it was the correct decision, but it’s certainly not a completely unreasonable decision, and it was made by the people who are authorized by the people of the Federation to make those decisions.
Dax: The Klingons are still our allies. If we warn the Cardassians, we’d be betraying them.
O’Brien: Besides, what if the Klingons are right? What if the Dominion has taken over the Cardassian government?
O’Brien: If we disobey Starfleet orders and warn the Cardassians, we may end up starting a war with the Klingons.
All these were certainly factors that influenced the decision not to get involved.
[Sisko defies orders and warns the Cardassians.]
I’m not sure what the point was of the silly “Tailor, take my measurements for a suit” game. When Sisko is intentionally talking about the coming invasion in front of somebody who he knows will convey the information to the Cardassians, does he think he’s not disobeying orders because he’s not addressing Garak directly?
[The Cardassian government becomes aware of the threat, thanks to Sisko.]
Sisko: They’ve [the Federation Council] decided to condemn the Klingon invasion. In response, Gowron has expelled all Federation citizens from the Klingon Empire, and recalled his ambassadors from the Federation.... The Klingons have withdrawn from the Khitomer Accords. The peace treaty between the Federation and the Klingon Empire has ended.
By disobeying orders and warning the Cardassians, Sisko may have forced the Federation to act sooner than they wanted to. Gowron’s response was certainly an overreaction, but not completely surprising, considering who we’re talking about. If Dax’s reading of the treaty is correct, it was Sisko who first breached the treaty when he warned the Cardassians about the invasion.
[Gowron asks Worf to join the invasion force. Worf says he cannot because of his oath to Starfleet.]
Gowron: What good is your word when you give it to people who care nothing for honor? Who refuse to lift a finger while Klingon warriors shed blood for their protection? I tell you they are without honor!
Given Klingon belief that the Dominion is behind the coup on Cardassia, and given Klingon values, and given Sisko’s violation of both the Klingo-Fed treaty and his oath as a Starfleet officer to obey the lawful orders of his superiors, Gowron’s position is completely understandable and completely predictable.
[Sisko disobeys orders again and arranges with Dukat to rescue the members of the Datapa Council.]
Worf: Sir, if the Klingons are right, if the Cardassian government has been taken over by the Founders...
Sisko: [interrupting] Then we’ll be helping them to escape. That’s the chance we’ll have to take.
A chance that his superiors judged was not worth taking, but who listens to them?
[Sisko and crew set out on the Defiant on the mission to rescue the Datapa council. They cloak on the way to the rendezvous.]
Bashir: Our agreement with the Romulans expressly prohibits use of the cloaking device in the Alpha Quadrant.
Sisko: You’re right, it does. But there are hundreds of Klingon ships between us and Dukat, and I intend to make that rendezvous in one piece.
Great. So in addition to disobeying orders, destroying relations between the Federation and the Klingon Empire, and possibly supporting a Dominion plot to establish a large beachhead in the Alpha Quadrant, Sisko has also taken it upon himself to breach a treaty between the Federation and Romulus and effectively send the message that the agreement will be ignored whenever it’s inconvenient. That can’t be good for Romulo-Federation relations.
Bashir: Well, I won’t tell the Romulans if you don’t.
I wouldn’t expect the Klingons to be so tight-lipped. And how else are you going to explain how the Detapa council members ended up on DS9 with a Klingon fleet hot on their heels? There’s no way Romulus doesn’t find out about this.
[The Defiant arrives at the rendezvous and finds Dukat’s ship under attack by multiple Klingon ships.]
Sisko: Arm quantum torpedoes, drop the cloak, and raise shields. We’re going in. Red Alert. Commander Worf, transmit a priority one signal to the Klingon ship. Tell them to break off their attack and stand down immediately.
Ironically, this would probably be another breach by Sisko of the Klingo-Fed treaty, if the Klingon Empire hadn’t just withdrawn from it. Still, it is still arguably an act of war against the Klingon Empire, even if the Klingons did end up firing the first shot.
[The Defiant rescues the council and hightails it back to DS9 with the Klingons in hot pursuit.]
Martok: Captain [Sisko], I demand you surrender the Cardassian council members to us immediately.
Sisko has put the Federation in a very awkward position. It is one thing to stand by and not interfere while the Klingon Empire invades Cardassia. It is quite another thing to actively participate in the conquest by handing the Cardassian government over to the Klingons. Of course, Sisko spares the Federation from having to make that difficult decision by taking it upon himself to make the decision instead of consulting with those who have the authority to make it.
Sisko: They’re not Founders, Martok. We tested them. You were wrong.
Just because the council members themselves aren’t changelings doesn’t mean the Dominion hasn’t infiltrated this government or that the coup is not part of a Dominion strategy to control Cardassia.
Gowron: It is of no consequence. All that matters is the Alpha Quadrant will be safer with the Klingon Empire in control of Cardassia.
Sounds reasonable. It would sound even more reasonable if the Khitomer Accords were still in effect. Better to have Federation, Klingon, and Cardassian space ruled by two allied powers than by three powers who all hate each other.
Gowron: Now surrender the council members or we will have no choice but to take them by force.
Sisko: And risk an all-out war with the Federation?
What outrageous hypocrisy! Sisko figures that when he and his crew commit an act of aggression against the Klingons, the Klingons are supposed to take it, but if the Klingons respond with their own act of aggression (which, as pointed out above, the Klingons are pretty much compelled to), it is the Klingons who are responsible for starting a war. Ridiculous. Sisko invited the Klingons to war; ironically it was the war-loving Klingons who declined the invitation.
Gowron: If a war starts here, the blame will be yours.
Gowron: [says something in Klingon]
Worf: He said, “It is a good day to die.”
Completely unrelated, but I have wondered about this. How come the Klingons usually speak in English, and when they speak in Klingon the universal translator doesn’t translate it?
[A battle ensues between DS9 and the Klingon fleet. At least eight Klingon ships are destroyed.]
Sisko: This is exactly what the Founders want. Klingon against Cardassian. Federation against Klingon. The more we fight each other, the weaker we’ll get, and the less chance we have against the Dominion.
No kidding, Benjamin. Those sound like some pretty damn good reasons to leave the Klingons alone instead of turning against them.
[Gowron, realizing his fleet is up against impossible odds, withdraws, but makes a parting comment.]
Gowron: The Klingon Empire will remember what has happened here. You have sided against us in battle, and this we do not forgive, or forget!
What a day. Sisko has repeatedly disobeyed direct orders, possibly supported a Dominion operation to establish a strategic beachhead in the Alpha Quadrant near the wormhole, turned a powerful ally into a powerful enemy, and breached a Romulo-Federation agreement. He should be court martialed.
I had to step in here (I am on vacation you know)
At no point is it ever suggested that the Founders were the cause of unrest on Cardassia. It is 'believed' to be so,by the Klingons. But Garak contacts Dukat, who is there on Cardassia, and he denies it...
So...Sisko believed the Klingons to be wrong. (Just like BUSH ended up being wrong by the way about WMDs. The show happens BEFORE Bush's invaison..but oh the similarities are there)
So I disagree..Sisko rightfully saw the Klingon invaison as wrong and broke orders to try and save the legitimate government of Cardassia. And Gowron proved he was about as unstable as a klingon could be. And if you have been watching STAR TREK, this so called "klingon honor" is a joke. The whole ordeal with Worf's dad, and the very way Gowron came to power (for all we know HE was behind the murder of KMPEC) proves that this klingon honor stuff is just a bunch of TARG crap.
Sisko did the right thing, and Starfleet recognized this by not charging him with anything...
Also, there was a perfectly reasonable non-Dominion explanation for the coup on Cardassia: The Obsidian Order was gone, and without them the Central Command couldn't easily silence the opposition anymore and were overthrown.
Let's remember that nothing was proven about whether the Detapa Council was replaced by Founders or not. Bashir administered the blood droplet test - but the same test earlier in the episode had failed to reveal that Martok was a Founder! Clearly, the test wasn't worth anything much. Indeed, it was originally suggested by a child (Odo) and supported by a Founder (Bashir) in "The Adversary", and later independently introduced by another Founder (Martok) in "Way of the Warrior"...
At best, Sisko supported one faction over another in an internal Cardassian power struggle, coinciding with an external struggle. At worst, he aided and abetted insidious Founder infiltrators. One wonders if it wouldn't have been better to let Cardassia fall. Certainly it would have been more difficult for the Dominion to stage the later invasion.
Given the known facts at the time of making the decision, though, I'd say the UFP did the right thing in not intervening: Klingons were the more important ally. And not despite because they were unreliably violent, but because of it.
I'd wager that Garak, being Garak, would not have accepted Sisko's evidence unless it was presented to him in this silly manner... He'd have taken it for a ruse. Now that Sisko went to all the trouble to present it as a ruse, Garak of course immediately bought it. He knew Sisko had to be serious about it if Sisko was being silly about it. That's Garak for you.
RobertScorpio is right. Also, if I recall correctly,
Spoiler: season five DS9 *Do NOT read if only up to season 4*
it was Martok who was influencing Gowron into attacking Cardassia, feeding him ideas about Founder influence on the Detapa Council, and Martok was himself a Founder (I'm 95% sure he had already been replaced as of this point). The Klingons invading Cardassia, the Klingons and Federation being divided, it was all part of the plan to divide and weaken the Alpha/beta Quadrants.
Exactly, it was following up on what Lovok said in "The Die is Cast": With the Tal Shiar and Obsidian Order out of the way the only ones left to deal with would be the Klingons and the Feds.
And what happens at the start of the next season? War between the Feds and Klingons.
Martok was replaced two years before "Purgatory's Shadow" meaning it happened a little before "Die is Cast". That's probably when most of the major infiltrations happened (except Bashir).
Great story though..worthy of a Klingon Opera...
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