A Singular Destiny review thread (possible spoilers)

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Brendan Moody, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    "Should be?" What a strange choice of words. Surely you aren't proposing that war is the only kind of interaction that competing nations "should be" permitted to have?

    America and Japan have been economic rivals for decades, despite being political allies. Many Europeans see America as a rival, finding our geopolitical and cultural dominance to be troubling, but they're still our allies rather than our enemies. Contrary to the Cold War fantasies of American red-baiters, the Soviet and Chinese Communist Parties couldn't stand each other, disagreed with each other's interpretations of Marxism, and competed with one another for leadership of the communist movement, and yet they never went to war with one another. There are many forms of rivalry other than warfare. Conflict or competition can be waged through economics, diplomacy, political maneuvering, cultural influence, scientific and technological innovation, etc.
  2. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Mar 2, 2002
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    Exactly. America and Europe may be rivals, but we're also friends and allies who have and will continue to fight and die for one-another. Rivalry is not the same thing as hostility, and it's a mistake to approach foreign affairs with a "with-us-or-against-us" mentality.
  3. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

    May 10, 2005
    Mr. Laser Beam is in the visitor's bullpen
    I'm not saying the Federation should mount a pre-emptive strike (like Pran's student did). I'm saying they should be *ready* if the Pact launches one. A purely defensive strategy. There's nothing wrong with being prepared, is there?

    And yet isn't that why the Pact was formed? They feel threatened by the Federation, so they joined together to resist the threat they perceive. Not in response to an attack that has already occurred, as is the case for the Federation which had its genesis in the wake of the Romulan War.

    Now don't get me wrong, if it is possible for the Federation and the Pact to peacefully coexist, I'll be the first one in line to cheer for it. Perhaps there is. If there are things that even the Pact will not do, if there are (to borrow a concept from ST VI) "articles of interstellar law" to which both the Federation and the Pact must adhere, then I'm prepared to accept that. But I also do not think it unreasonable to be just a *tad* uneasy at all of this.

    Oh, I admit, my own viewpoint is colored by the fact that my worldview is extremely linear. I don't believe in ambiguities. I fully admit this. I like to put it this way: my views are so black and white that they should be a zebra. :lol:

    The ambassador not only conveniently dodged Bacco's mentioning of Sekki's crimes (Tezrene's response was your standard "you cannot PROVE anything" ;) ), but also said that "by joining this Pact, we assure that it is *you* who are surrounded by a heavily armed hostile power." (emphasis mine) What other conclusion would you have me draw?
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2009
  4. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Mar 2, 2002
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    I've got no problem with that, but your language is extremely belligerent. You use terms that speak of the inevitability of conflict rather than mere possibility or even probability. You literally cannot seem to even process the idea of the Pact being anything other than an enemy.

    Actually, Tezrene's words were much simpler. She said that the Pact states recognized that they would be better off peacefully cooperating and united, but didn't wish to be subsumed to the Federation.

    To put it another way:

    The states of Europe have all realized that they are better off united than divided, but not a one of them wants to be subsumed into the United States as part of our Union. Does that mean that the members of the European Union are threatened by us and think of us as a threat? Or does it mean that they're trying to assert their independence from us?

    See, right there. "Things that even the Pact will not do." You're ascribing some fundamental malevolence to them that's not in evidence. "Things even the Pact will not do" implies that they've demonstrated a history of immorality and belligerence, that the Pact has already done horrible things and that you're looking for something so bad that even the Pact won't do it. That's the sort of belligerent language I'm talking about -- the assumption of animosity not in evidence.

    The Pact's first official action upon coming into existence was to apologize for the actions of the Kinshaya. That doesn't imply an institutional pattern of hostility.

    Which is absurd and the sort of viewpoint that should never, ever be allowed to color foreign policy. Foreign policy is built on nuance and shades of grey. A black-and-white worldview is actually deeply immoral in the world of international relations.

    And in doing so, she also made it clear that that action was undertaken by the Tholian Assembly, acting unilaterally, without the other Pact members.

    I would have you draw the conclusion that the Tholian Assembly has hostile intent towards the Federation (tempered by their own inability to act on that intent) and that the other Pact members--particularly the Gorn Hegemony, with which the Federation has fairly good relations, especially given the treaty that Bacco signed with them on behalf of the Federation whilst Governor of Cestus--are probably going to end up reining them in. And I would have you draw the conclusion that Tezrene is not necessarily a reliable indicator of overall Pact policy, even if she is a reliable indicator of Tholian policy.

    To put it another way: Would you hold the entire North Atlantic Treaty Organization responsible for the invasion of Iraq just because some of its members were responsible for it? Or would a rational foreign state recognize that NATO has its own internal divisions and that the less belligerent states in NATO have been working to bring the more belligerent ones in?


    If I'm President Bacco, one of the first things that I'm going to be doing right now is making sure that I find a way to reach out and continue to build a good relationship with the more pro-Federation wings of the Pact, especially the Romulan Star Empire and the Gorn. If I'm doing that, then that means that I give ammunition to the parts of the Pact that are more predisposed to lack hostile intent towards the Federation, giving them greater influence within the Pact and helping to undermines the Tholians' and Kinshaya's more belligerent platforms.
  5. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

    May 10, 2005
    Mr. Laser Beam is in the visitor's bullpen
    Good thing I'm not a politician, then. ;)
  6. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

    Feb 24, 2008
    The Typhon Pact consists of the Romulan Star Empire, the Tzenkethi Coalition, the Breen Confederacy, the Gorn Hegemony, the Tholian Assembly, and the Holy Order of the Kinshaya.

    The RSE has a long history of war - both cold and hot - with the Federation. And Tal'Aura - the current ruler - suported Shinzon's Coup, mostly because the human/reman had a plan to kill everything on Earth and conquer the Feds.

    The Tzenkethi started a war with Starfleet; nowadays, their main activity seems to be creating anti-federation propaganda.

    The Breen - not much known about them. Mercenary culture. Sided with the Dominion during the DS9 war.

    Gorn - big reptiles with a nasty attitude. During the Dominion War, they conquered Cestus III - Bracco's former colony, a Federation world. Enterprise's crew pulled a rabit out of their hat and managed to secure their alliance.
    Good job, Picard & Co!
    Apparently, this was a short-lived alliance - during the borg invasion, Bracco had a lot of trouble getting them to send troops to the Azure Nebula - the kliongons had to give them a few systems in exchange.

    The Tholians - these guys are anti-federation fanatics. During the borg attack, it was clear to everyone with a few neurons that the collective wanted to kill everyone in the alfa and beta quadrants - this includes, of course, the tholians. And yet, they refused to ally themselves with the feds against the borg (which was their - and everyone else's - best chance of survival) - they didn't care that they were commiting suicide as long as they got to see the Federation burning.

    Kinshaya - almost no contact with the Federation. But they know the Klingons - they hate the space cavemen with a passion. And they have a good reason - for a change. Apparently, the klingons destroyed their homeworld.
    The kinshaya are for the klingons what the tholinas are for the federates.
    And, of course, the klingons are allied with the federates.

    When the borg attacked, RSE, the breen and the gorn sent troops at the Azure nebula, to fight the borg. But they didn't do it out of the kindness of their hearts. They knew that the borg were coming for them, too, and they knew that together with the other alfa/beta quadrant powers, they had the best chance of survival. And they still needed a lot of persuasion from Bracco.

    To think that the Typhon Pact will not be hostile toward the Federation is wishful thinking. Cold war is guaranteed. Best case scenario - this cold war doesn't become hot too soon.
  7. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Mar 2, 2002
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    Actually, Tal'Aura's reasons for supporting Shinzon's coup remained somewhat ambiguous. Donatra's reaction to discovering that Shinzon intended to kill off the entire Earth strongly suggests that none of the Romulans who supported him in the coup were aware that that was his intent, though.

    Keep in mind, also that the Romulan Star Empire was allied with the Federation during the Dominion War, and that Tal'Aura has never taken hostile action against the UFP. The RSE is also deeply indebted to the Federation for providing significant aid to them in the wake of Shinzon's coup.

    Actually, we don't know who started that war or under what circumstances. Nor do we really have enough information about what the Tznekethi are like and what their goals are to make any inferences. The most we can say is that they make a lot of anti-Federation propaganda, but that doesn't guarantee hostile intent. It's equally possible that the Tzenkethi Autarch has that propaganda made so that the Federation can serve as a scapegoat for the government's mistakes, without there actually being any intent to go to war or act aggressively towards the UFP.

    1. You're forgetting that the faction that launched that invasion had just taken power in a coup -- and that the Gorn had had a century of peace with the UFP before hand.

    2. You're also not including the fact that they signed a treaty with Bacco and have good relations with her personally.

    3. The fact that the Gorn were reluctant to send a fleet during the Borg invasion doesn't mean that they have hostile intent; it's more likely to mean that they would rather not stick their necks out.

    All in all, I don't see how the Gorn Hegemony can be any more said to be hostile to the UFP than the Klingons can. If anything, the UFP has had significantly less conflict with the Gorn than the Klingons -- there was no year-long war with them the way there was with the Klingon Empire.

    Not exactly. It's fair to say that Tezrene is an anti-Federation fanatic, and there's a high probability that the Ruling Conclave is irrational in its hostility towards the Federation. But it's also important to keep in mind that there are probably Tholians who remember the aid rendered to Tholians by Starfleet against the Shedai in Reap the Whirlwind, since the VAN books have made it clear that Tholian society is as full of factions as any other.

    It's also not clear at all that the Tholians really believed that the Borg were going to be coming for them, too, or that the Tholians understood that their ships wouldn't be sufficient to defend against them. So it's not fair to say that they were willing to commit suicide just to watch the Federation burn. It's more accurate to say that they're so incredibly chauvinistic that they didn't believe they could be conquered and therefore saw no reason to help the Federation.

    Also, keep in mind that while it's clear that the Tholians have always been antagonistic towards the Federation and that the Federates were convinced the Tholians would annex nearby UFP territory if they could, it's also important to remember that the Federation has apparently never actually been at war with the Tholians.

    No, it's wishful thinking to think that the Typon Pact won't be rivalrous. The Gorn and RSE are likely to be opposed to any actions that are overtly hostile, the Tzenkethi strike me as being probably disinclined to provoke a conflict when they can just use the Federation as a scapegoat instead. The Tholians and Kinshaya are more likely to want to provoke a conflict, but we've already seen the Pact nix the Kinshaya's attempt to start a war, and the fact that the Tholians worked under the table themselves to get back at the Feds before the Pact began to formally function implies that they knew the Pact would stop them, too. The wild card is the Breen Confederacy, because, really, who knows what those guys want?
  8. Baerbel Haddrell

    Baerbel Haddrell Commodore Commodore

    Sep 5, 2003

    You are right, we don`t know yet how things will develop. The Typhon Pact is very new and there are too many unknown factors.

    Nevertheless, I don`t share your optimism. The Typhon Pact was founded because of a power vaccuum and using the opportunity of a weakened Federation to gain power and influence. I don`t see this so much as a means to gain protection and promoting certain values as it was the case with the founding of the Federation but as an opportunity for power, wealth and protecting their individuality. Joining the Typhon Pact is not connected with agreeing, for example, with the Prime Directive. It also doesn`t mean giving up their own military and join a Typhon Pact version of Starfleet.

    The methods and actions shown so far are not those of a pact that has peaceful intentions in mind. I have the feeling that the Typhon Pact will leave the Federation alone if they don`t get in their way. But there will always be tensions, crime spilling into the Federation from their territory as well as acts of terrorism and attacks in space. I can see the potential for cooperation here and there with the Federation if it benefits the Typhon Pact or certain elements of them.

    I doubt it that the Typhon Pact will start a shooting war with the Federation but a cold war is definitely possible.
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    Maybe. It's not exactly the same situation, but there are points of commonality. The Pact isn't as values-driven as the Federation, but its very existence is evidence that its members are willing to give diversity a try; whereas the Federation was founded as much as a pragmatic alliance for mutual security as an idealistic organization.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not assuming that relations between the UFP and the TP will be rosy and smooth; there'd be no stories in that. I'm simply pointing out that this is something different from the familiar "bad guy aliens" approach. It has both negative and positive potential, and some potential that's hard to put in either category. If these nations learn to value diversity and inclusion, if the more peaceful members bring the more bellicose ones in line, if the Pact becomes a force for stability and tolerance in the quadrant, those are objectively positive things -- but if they marginalize the Federation in the process, that isn't a positive thing for the characters we know. That's the intriguing ambiguity of the situation.

    True. But there are arguments to be made against the Prime Directive, certainly as it's applied in the 24th century. And there are arguments to be made against a strong centralized military.

    As stated, the acts of aggression we've seen were those of individual members of the nascent Pact, not agreed upon by the Pact signatories as a whole. As stated, the Pact's first formal act on the galactic stage was to apologize for those aggressions by its members. True, some members of the Pact hope to use it for less than peaceful purposes, but it would be a mistake to assume all its members are united in their goals for the Pact.

    True, but that can go both ways. The Federation inadvertently invaded Gorn space when they settled Cestus III. Starfleet stole the Romulans' cloaking device. Sybok of Vulcan abducted and brainwashed Klingon and Romulan ambassadors. And the Tholians sure seem ticked off at the Federation about whatever ultimately happened in the Taurus Reach. One could argue that at least some the Pact signatories have legitimate reason to mistrust the Federation's motives -- or at least to mistrust its power in the absence of a balancing force.
  10. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

    Feb 24, 2008
    RSE - they only went to war with the Dominion because an Dominion offensive against Romulus was imminent - or so they thougt:evil:.

    The Romulans had only one possible reason to ally themselves with the reman slaves: Shinzon had a thalaron deathstar - a weapon which will be used to deal with the "Federation problem" (as the treacherous romulan admirals said at the begining of "Nemesis"). And according to Picard, there was only one action that weapon could perform efficiently: the sterilization of a planet. The romulans -and Tal'Aura - knew this; they were familiar with star trek strategy and tactics and they weren't idiots.
    Apropos Nemesis - The romulan senate chamber from the movie had, at its center, a very interesting mosaic. It didn't show the RSE. It showed the border between the Feds and the Romulans. Can you imagine how humiliated, how frustrated the romulans are? That mosaic is saying: these humans unjustly denied our ancestral right to conquer the galaxy, they insulted us, they commited an unforgivable offense. We will have our revenge even if it takes thousands of years. This mosaic is here to remind us that, every single day, for the rest of eternity!
    And abbout Federation aid after Shinzon - the RSE does't do "grateful". Not with humans, anyway.

    Apparently, the peace-minded romulans, the ones who were, more or less, interested in peace with the feds, are by now part of the Romulan Imperial State.

    The Tzenkethi started the war with Starfleet. This is certain because Starfleet never starts wars - it never started a war in its entire known history.
    Sometimes, this policy is downright naive - for example, in DS9, when the Federation didn't blocade the wormhole after the first Dominion convoy went to Cardassia.
    I guess the feds thought, too, that the Dominion could prove to be a rival, but not necessarily hostile nation:evil:.
    The wormhole was blocaded only after the jem'hadar were destroying federation and klingon ships along the cardassian border - too late. The Federates should read more pre WWII history.

    And about Tzenkethi propaganda - there is nothing fase about it or about the hatred of the tzenkethi toward the Federation. You don't start a war with a scapegoat - especially when this scapegoat is so much stronger than you, that he will certainly win the war and overthrow your government - and you - if he puts his mind to it.

    About the Gorn - if they couldn't see that the borg were coming for everyone in the Alfa/Beta Quadrants they were morons - and I choose to give them the benefit of the doubt and consider them reasonably intelligent.
    And Cestus III - it was conquered by the gorn military. And if the faction that temporarily gained power had the support of the military (or a large part of the military), then it had widespread support in the gorn society. We may hear from gorn with similar views in the future.

    As I said above, anyone who could beleive, durind "Destiny", that the borg were not coming for them or that they, by themselves, could defend against the collective were complete idiots - too stupid to develop interstelar travel, in any case. Or they were blinded by fanatical hatred.

    Tezrene is just an ambassador. An ambassador doesn't have the authority to deny military help to the Federation, to blow up topaline mines (killing federation citizens) by using breen tech or to try to make Zelda leave the Federation.
    The Ruling Conclave gave him these orders and he happily accepted them. And the Ruling Conclave has the support of the tholian military and of most tholians - otherwise it wouldn't be in power. Obviously, something happened after "Reap the Whirlwind" - something that made the tholians hate the Federation. During DS9, we know they made a nonagression pact with the Dominion - and, unlike the romulans, they didn't break it.
    A minority of tholians may be more sympathetic towards the Federates. Or maybe not - they didn't make their presence felt in any way in recent years. I wouldn't hold my breath, waiting for a pro-feds tholian coup.

    Your conclusion - that the Typhon Pact will only be rivalrous - is not supported by the established facts. It is wishful thinkinng.
    The tholians, the kinshaya, the tzenkethi and the RSE will be openly opposed to the Federation alliance.
    What do the breen wannt? What they wanted during the Dominion War - conquests. And they're not afraid of war.
    And the gorn are agressive by nature. Just like the klingons - and the klingons started that year-long war with the Federates even though they were allies with the Federation for decades.

    As I said - cold war is the best-case REALISTIC scenario.
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    As we saw in the early part of the film, Shinzon's coup was backed by a faction of the Romulan military that favored an expansionist policy. And yes, such a policy would call for renewed conflict with the UFP, because Romulan space is largely surrounded by the UFP. But there are plenty of planets in the Federation -- and just because a weapon exists doesn't mean it's intended to be used. Often the most potent weapon is the one that doesn't have to be used because the mere threat of its use is enough to get your way.

    As we also clearly saw in the film, Shinzon's military backers were unaware of his designs on Earth and were increasingly frustrated by his fixation on Earth and Picard when he was supposed to be pursuing the military buildup closer to home that they'd been expecting. And of course they turned on him and tried to stop him when his true objective became clear. The Romulans aren't berserkers -- they knew that destroying Earth would destabilize the entire quadrant and wouldn't do anyone any good. Shinzon's supporters wanted to expand their territory and strengthen the standing of the military in Romulan society. They didn't want to trigger a quadrant-wide apocalypse.

    Not on purpose. The Federation technically committed an act of war when it occupied Cestus III, a world in Gorn territory. If the Metrons hadn't intervened, then it certainly would've become a shooting war, and it would've been the UFP that started it.

    And even if the Tzenkethi did start the war, what does that prove about their current policies? The Japanese and Germans started WWII, but we're allies with them both today. Past enmity is not a guarantee of future enmity.

    Indeed, keep in mind that the Typhon Pact isn't the only new alliance to come out of ASD. Apparently, the Khitomer Accords are being expanded to include not only the Klingons, but the Imperial Romulan State, the Cardassian Union, and the Ferengi Alliance -- all powers that have been hostile to the Federation at one time or another, but are now its allies.

    You want to be realistic? Let me point out the one key factor you seem to be ignoring: Right now, nobody in the Alpha & Beta Quadrants can afford to start a war. Their worlds and their fleets have been devastated by the Borg invasion, and by the Dominion War before that. They've lost countless lives, countless resources. The RSE can't even feed its people. Sure, there are a couple of powers like the Kinshaya that are idiotic enough to try to wage war under those circumstances, but they got pulled back by their allies. Even if the majority of the Pact's members did have aggressive designs on the UFP, they're not in a position to act on them. They have more urgent priorities right now.

    Besides, in the wake of the Dominion War and Destiny, do you really think the novelists are so unimaginative that all they can do is yet another war story?
  12. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Mar 2, 2002
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    So? The United States refused to actively side with the United Kingdom during the Falkland Islands War. Does that mean that the US had aggressive motives towards the UK?

    1. I think you're engaging in a great deal of hyperbolic stereotyping. The Romulans are nothing if not full of factions with lots of different ideas about how they should relate to others.

    2. There is no evidence that the Romulans "don't do grateful."

    3. Christopher outlined why you are wrong about the destruction of Earth having been the Imperial Fleet's intent all along. NEM makes it perfectly clear that Sinzon's backers in the Imperial Fleet did not know he intended to do that, which is why they turned on him. Shinzon's Romulan backers wanted a military build-up and a more assertive foreign policy, but that's not the same thing as wanting a war.

    Not really. Donatra was one of Shinzon's backers. It's more like, upon coming to power, and upon fighting alongside Federates, Donatra has realized that it's better to have the Federation on her side in peace.

    Yeah, right, the Fatherland can do no wrong. :rolleyes: As Christopher pointed out, the Federation did start at least one conflict inadvertently when it put a Federation colony on a world claimed by a foreign power without knowing it. And I know of more than a few people who would argue that the Federation was the one who started the Dominion War, not the Dominion.

    You're also overlooking a third possibility, that another party -- the Cardassians, for instance -- may have manipulated the Federation and Tzenkethi into going to war, the same way the Dominion manipulated the Federation and Klingons into going to war.

    1. You're forgetting that the Wormhole was actually Bajoran territory, not Federation. Blockading the Bajoran Wormhole would have been an act of war against the Republic of Bajor. Kira's "I'm filing a formal complaint, there now that that's out of the way I'll get back to work" line establishes that the UFP had to go to some lengths to make it appear that Bajor objected to the blockade (but secretly agreed to it) in order to keep Bajor out of the fighting.

    2. There's a difference between appeasement and refusing to fire the first shot. No one in the Federation thought the Dominion was a potentially non-hostile rival.

    Thank you for monumentally misreading what I said. And I'm impressed you know so much about the Tzenkethi -- especially since virtually nothing has actually been established about them. :rolleyes:

    What I was saying was that the fact that the Tzenkethi presently like to issue anti-Federation propaganda is not evidence of violent intent against the UFP. The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela often likes to issue anti-American propaganda today -- but no reasonable person suspects Hugo Chavez of having any serious intention of starting a war with the United States. Smaller states often like to use larger states as scapegoats in their propaganda as a way of manipulating their domestic audiences. A war would actually not be in such states' best interests -- it removes their ability to play the "It's THEIR fault, not ours!" card, and it risks, as you note, a coup or occupation.

    While it is certainly possible that the Tzenkethi are itching for a war, it's just as possible that they are not, and that they are perfectly happy keeping things peacefully rivalrous so that they have a boogeyman to point to to blame their problems on, but who won't actually act against them.

    You'd be surprised how stupid people can be sometimes.

    BTW, it's spelled "Alpha," not "Alfa."

    Maybe. Except that that same faction reversed course and signed a treaty with the Federation, and has what the characters in A Singular Destiny consider to be an essentially good relationship with the UFP.

    Considering that more than a few Federates in the Destiny trilogy didn't seem to understand that until after the Borg armada emerged from the Azure Nebula, I think you're not accurately presuming the Tholian thought process. Ethnocentrism can go a long way. Just look at all the people in the US today who are convinced that America is militarilly invincible.

    1. Tezrene is a female.

    2. Yes, the Ruling Conclave undertook those actions as a way of getting back at the Federation for getting the Ferengi to hire the Breen mercenaries before the Tholians could. And while Bacco did that because she was convinced that the Tholians would hire the Breen mercenaries to attack the Federation when it was distracted by the Borg, keep in mind that Tezrene made it clear that, in the Tholians' view, the Federation did it to deliberately deprive the Tholian Assembly of more ships to defend against the Borg with. In other words, from the Tholian POV, the Federation acted belligerently against them and threatened their national security. This is an other example of the UFP potentially doing the wrong thing without realizing it.

    Maybe. Or maybe the faction of the Conclave that has power now hates the Federation but smaller factions within it do not. I think you're making some fairly broad assumptions about how uniform these species' thought processes are. I mean, George W. Bush was President for 8 years, but that doesn't mean that he had the support of a majority of Americans that whole time.

    A fairly meaningless fact. Any rational state would likely have done the same thing, just out of self-defense. Bajor had a nonaggression pact with the Dominion, but they're part of the Federation now.

    Nor would I. I did specifically say that the Tholian Assembly is likely to be the Pact member most hostile to the UFP. But it's a mistake to discount the influence of factions within a society, and it's a mistake to paint these cultures with broad strokes.

    That is not my conclusion. I haven't come to any conclusion about whether or not it will or won't be rivalrous. What I have said is that there's no reason to automatically assume it will be hostile.

    In other words, what I'm saying is, wait and see, and accumulate more data.

    We don't know that. We don't know that at all. In both of their canonical appearances, they were acting in what they believed to be self-defense, and in their major non-canonical appearance in that Gorn comic from WildStorm, they reverse course on their decision to attack Cestus very quickly. The Gorn, quite frankly, seem a hell of a lot LESS aggressive than most of the states the Federation has encountered.
  13. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

    Feb 24, 2008
    About "Nemesis": the romulan faction that "favored an expansionist policy" comprised Tal'Aura. And it was ready to destabilize the quadrants to attain it purposes. That thalaron weapon would almost certainly start an arms race, even if it wasn't used.
    And they betrayed Shinzon because he was treating them like trash and because he was too extreme and too independent/incontrolable.

    Tzenkethi vs Germans/Japanese. Today's Germany and Japan don't blocade their borders and don't mass-produce anti US/UK propagenda.

    Khitomer Accords. That was a pleasant surprise. Especially the IRS's willingness to put the past behind and ally itself with the other members of the Accords. As for the Ferengi, I guesss Rom drank a lot of root beer during his time on DS9:devil:. But such radical changes in star trek races must be used sparingly - a Mary Sue universe is boring, after all.

    And about the future novels - personally I hope there won't be war stories among them. I had enough of war. But I also hope that the writers won't sugarcoat the Star Trek universe further by painting the the Typhon Pact as some peace-loving and friendly organization. This would shatter my suspension of disbelief - the members of the Pact have a history of antagonism with the Federation and pretty much everyone else. Of course, it is true that noone can afford a war (exept the tholians - fanatics, but lucky:devil:).
    The most likely (and logical) outcome seems to be the beginning of a cold war or at least a very tense situation between the members of the Khitomer Accords and the Typhon Pact. If the writers pursue a different scenario and they manage to do it realistically, without deux ex machinas, I will be the first to compliment them. But it's a big IF.
  14. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Mar 2, 2002
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    Food for thought, BTW....

    In ENT, we saw the Vulcans engage in a decades-long policy of military dominance and manipulation of smaller governments to provide them with resources, including using other worlds' civil wars as proxy wars with the Andorians. We saw them spy on their neighbors, we saw them overthrow their own civilian government and replace it with a military dictatorship, we saw their military dictators engage in a conspiracy to murder their own citizens and United Earth citizens, and we saw Vulcan engage in an act of aggressive war against the Andorian Empire on the basis of false information.

    Meanwhile, we saw the Andorian Empire do much of the same thing -- decades of aggressive expansion, manipulating local factions, fighting proxy wars, stealing from United Earth in an attempt to gain a weapon of mass destruction. And, according to the Aenar trilogy, the Tellarites have a similar history.

    Meanwhile, the novels Section 31: Rogue and Last Full Measure have made it clear that the United Martian Colonies fought a war for independence against United Earth some time before ENT began.

    In other words -- four of the five founding members of the United Federation of Planets had histories of violent expansionism, duplicity, oppression, foreign domination, conquest, and war. And, hey, guess what? They got over it, and the Federation became a basically benevolent organization.

    Meanwhile, in the real world, Britain, France, Germany, and Spain spent the better part of a thousand years from the fall of Rome to World War II finding various excuses to go to war with one-another. All four have histories of violent expansionism, aggressive warfare, conquest, brutal and racist oppression, genocide, foreign domination, and all that other nasty stuff. Guess what? They're all constitutional liberal democracies now, they've all renounced colonialism and imperialism, and they're all so integrated into the European Union that the thought of any of them going to war with the others is literally absurd.

    Does that mean the Typhon Pact will go that way? No. But it does remind us that the past is not an automatically accurate predictor of the future.
  15. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

    May 10, 2005
    Mr. Laser Beam is in the visitor's bullpen
    Did they say why, though? Mars may not be as benevolent as you think. Despite what they might *claim*, they may be something other than the Unfairly Oppressed Colony(tm) and United Earth may not quite have been the Evil Dominating Imperialistic Homeworld(tm).
  16. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

    Feb 24, 2008
    There is a difference between the Falklands Wars and the Dominion War. If the Argentinians had won the war, they wouldn't have attacked the Americans with overwhelming force. The Dominion would have done this exact thing to the Romulans.

    As for the Nemesis problem: Donatra was part of the coup at first, but she helped Picard when he found out about Shinzon's genocidal plans. The rest of the romulan faction helped primarily because Shinzon hated them and was incontrolable.
    I haven't seen Nemesis in a long time - can you tell where is established that Sinzon's backers in the Imperial Fleet did not know, at first, that he intended to destroy Earth?

    Tzenkethi - it's possible the feds inadvertently started the war, but it's improbable; it's possible that another power instigated the war, but it's almost impossible. The most probable scenario is that the tzenkethi started the war. The Star Trek universe, although detailed for a fictional universe, is still sketchy. "Very probable" is the best we can do in many cases. I rarely consider improbable options because my posts would become gigantic - they're already pretty big;).
    About tzenkethi propaganda - the overwhelmingly probable scenario - their hatred toward the feds is real.

    It's called logic:vulcan:.

    DS9 - Who started the Dominion war? You could assign blame to the Romulans/Cardassians, to the Klingons or to the Feds if you looked hard enough, but the Dominion is by far the main culprit, followed closely by Ducat.
    And what happened after the jem'hadar started coming through the wormhole was appeasement pure and simple.
    Bajor signed the nonagression treaty because, at that time, the Dominnion had become too strong - the feds couldn't protect Bajor anymore. Bajor would have gladly agreed with a Federation request of mining the wormhole at the beginning, when dominion presence in the Alpha Quadrant was scarce.
    Apropos appeasement - I'll mention the Maquis - Federation citizens, and the Dominion massacred them.
    The Federates hunted them down like criminals - the only possible rationale being that Federation citizens must obey Federation law. But Citizens also have rights - to be protected by one's state, for one. The Federates failed them completly - suddenly, they're not federation citizens anymore when it's not in the fed's advantage:klingon:.
    The Federation's response to their massacre? None whatsoever.

    Tholians and Gorn.
    The Federates who believed that the borg won't come or that they can be defeated with conventional means should be demitted for extreme stupidity - and that since TNG: Best of Both Worlds.

    Same goes for Gorn/Tholians - their stupidity came from hatred, though. They were having too much fun watching the federation burn to think rationally.

    The Tholians denied military aid to the feds during the Destiny trilogy - this highlights their irrational hatred. That they interpreted The Federates hiring breen as this and that is to be expected, considering their view of the Federation.
    And the tholians/bajorans signed the nonaggression treaty with the Dominion for completely differennt reasons.

    As for the Gorn - their behaviour in "Destiny" is suspect to say the least. And they seem very eager to start wars in "self-defence"
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2009
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    Indeed. It would be speciesist stereotyping to assume they must be savage monsters just because they look like reptiles. Yes, they're forceful in defending themselves, but so was the United States after Sept. 11, 2001. Al-Qaeda blew up two skyscrapers and damaged one government building, and we retaliated by invading two sovereign nations (one of which had absolutely nothing to do with the attacks) and overthrowing their governments. That's hardly a proportional response.

    One thing Wildstorm's The Gorn Crisis established was that the Gorn have a warrior caste, as well as a political caste and others. That means they aren't all warriors. There's one particular segment of their society that's devoted to the role of warrior, but we don't know how large or influential that segment is. Indeed, as I believe you pointed out, Sci, TGC showed the warrior caste overthrowing the rightful government and starting an invasion -- after a whole century in which the rightful rulers had stayed neutral and left the Federation alone. The warrior caste setting policy was clearly an exception to the normal state of Gorn affairs -- and thanks to Picard and Data, a very brief exception. And I doubt the warrior caste was in very high standing after that coup.

    No, it also comprised Commanders Suran and Donatra and various allies of theirs. It wasn't just one person. And Tal'Aura is clearly an opportunist, so one can't make assumptions about her ideology. She strikes me as someone who'll back whatever side she thinks is stronger.

    You're deliberately distorting things. Creating pressure on the fringes of the Federation in a way that benefits the Romulan state and military is not the same thing as pursuing a mad personal vendetta against Earth.

    Uhh, yes, that's exactly the point. He was pursuing an extremist, self-serving agenda to attack Earth and get back at Picard, and thereby failing to promote the program of military growth that he promised them he'd advance in exchange for their support.

    Who says there's been a radical change in the races? Political alignments aren't racial traits, they're situational. The Cardassians and Ferengi haven't developed different psychology, they've just recognized in the wake of the Borg invasion that it's in their best interests to be part of a strong alliance. And the members of the Typhon Pact have realized the exact same thing, but prefer to be separate from the Federation.

    I don't think anyone's saying they expect the Pact to be "peace-loving and friendly" right off the bat. The point is that there's considerable potential in this new situation -- both positive and negative potential. It's a hazard, but it's also an opportunity. This is a cusp of history. Which is so much more interesting than just introducing another Evil Empire.
  18. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

    Aug 19, 2008
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Visibly comprised.

    An arms race that would be part of a larger military buildup, sure. Given the damage that the Federation and the Klingons suffered in the Dominion War, the coup's backers must have thought that Romulus could end up triumphant.

    ... demonstrating their essentially rational behaviour, i.e., let's not make planetary genocide an acceptable tactic in wartime, if only on self-interested grounds.

    Venezuela, as one poster upthread has side, is likely the closest equivalent. Well, that or Iran.

    As did the founding members of the Federation.

    People seem to be missing the significance of the Pact adopting a single currency. That's a huge step: It took nearly fifty years from the founding of the proto-European Union for most of that bloc to adopt a single currency. The adoption of a single currency likewise implies a fairly broad spectrum of measures intended to ensure the proper functioning of this new economic unity. From the start, the Pact's founders are intent on achieving UFP levels of integration in at least economic areas. That says a lot about the extent to which the leaderships of the different states trust each other.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2009
  19. ProtoAvatar

    ProtoAvatar Fleet Captain

    Feb 24, 2008
    Sci, when you want to make an ethical or karmic point about the real universe, don't use examples from the Star Trek universe. I've told you before: the trekverse has a moral substrate that doesn't exist in the real world. This is why your examples are meaningless.
    About UK France Germany Spain etc - they warred among themselves in medieval times. They needed CENTURIES of ethical and philosophycal maturing to even begin to consider an alliance. They needed two devastating world wars, which primarily affected them, and decades of nuclear standoff (a war no one could win) to loose their taste in war. They needed foreign superpowes as incentive to ally themselves in an attempt to compete with these powers.

    The Typhon Pact - and extended Khitomer Accords - did all that in 3-5 years.
    Agression and xenophobia were defining characteristics for some of the now allied species - these attributes were among the few constants that existed throughout the entire known history of these people. But hey, that was 5 years ago, right:guffaw:? At least, the Federation took a lot longer to coalesce.

    In Nemesis - the romulan traitors wanted power, greater standing, etc. And they were willing to start an arms race with potentially disastruous consequences to achieve that. They were willing to start wars for that. They eventually betrayed Shinzon because he hated them, because they realized that, under him, they will be second class citizens, with no power.

    I notice that my question from above wasn't answered. I'll ask again: where exactly in the movie is it established that the romulan conspirators didn't know from the beginning about Shinzon's plans about Earth?

    Tzenkethi vs Venezuela & Iran - Neither country started a war with the west in the last decades. And there's nothing fake about Iran's hate for the occidentals. It's just that Iran is too weak to survive even the semblance of a war with the Americans. And it knows that.

    Gorn - of all the members of the typhon pact, they, indeed, seem to be the most amiable toward the federation. But I'll point out that all their canonical contacts with the federates involved violence, despite the federation's best efforts to prevent that. The military cast, at least, is highly agressive.
    And, as said above, their actions in "Destiny" are highly suspicious.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2009
  20. Man of Steel

    Man of Steel Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 25, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    Could you really consider this book as a sequel of sorts to Articles of the Federation?