Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by Photon, Mar 26, 2021.
Let's try this instead...
Leave the cleanup to the Cerritos's 23rd century counterpart.
You were arguing semantics, when people say he made the planet uninhabitable they obviously mean "uninhabitable for the current maquis population", saying people distort the facts feels disingenuous. The problem with Sisko's actions is that he endangered the lifes of many people and the episode overlooks that and throws in a "people are starting to evacuate" line as if that makes it better.
Imagine someone sets fire to a house and then someone else looking from a distance says "people are beginning to run out of the back door" ... does that make it okay? Even if no one is trapped by the fire or falls and is trampled to death during the panic that's still a crime and no one would excuse it by saying "They traded homes with the smokosians, they like their houses charred, no one's homeless"
The problem I have with his episode is that Sisko went way too far and there were zero consequences, in the end everyone acts like it was no big deal and then it's never brought up again.
The things aren't really comparable, Janeway collaborated with the borg to stop species 8472 from sterilizing the galaxy, Sisko wanted to catch a guy he felt personally betrayed by. And unlike Sisko Janeway had to face the consequences of her actions in Hope & Fear.
Given the number of people who say "Sisko poisoned a planet!" without providing the significant clarifier, I'm not comfortable making assumptions as to what people mean, and in legal/moral matters, semantics can make a hell of a difference. I've freely allowed for the possibility that people may be speaking carelessly, or may genuinely misremember the episode, but do you really think nobody's ever been intentionally hyperbolic about this?
If you can't say what you mean, how can you be expected to mean what you say?
As I've said since I started talking about this, evaluating the legality/morality of Sisko's actions here is outside the scope of the point I'm trying to make. But, on that front...
Personally I think Sisko's actions were rather extreme, and possibly illegal, but Eddington and by extension the Maquis did attack a Starfleet vessel (the Malinche), and then we have this line...
SISKO: When you attacked the Malinche you proved one thing, that the Maquis have become an intolerable threat to the security of the Federation...
It's unclear whether Sisko himself is making that determination, or whether it came from someone higher-up on the ladder, but it seems entirely possible that Sisko is describing a change in legal status with regards to how the Federation views the Maquis, one that may free him to do things that Federation law/Starfleet regulations would have proscribed under normal circumstances.
Your analogy about setting fire to a house would be more comparable if the house was filled with people who'd been formally declared as terrorists, or at least people harboring terrorists.
It's amusing to notice that in the timeline where Sisko was AWOL, there was no war with the dominion... So maybe the Quadrant was better off without Sisko...
Maybe the Klingons took control of the station, charged through the wormhole, and stomped the crap out of enough Jem'Hadar that the Founders decided to give them a wide berth.
Well, if that's the case then kudos to the Klingons.
The episode said the Maquis evacuated. Sure, it seems unlikely that they could really get them all out in 10 minutes... but given that's what the episode said, I have to conclude that the settlers were all packed into a small space on one part of the planet, next to an evacuation ship. They were prepared for the possibility that they might have to evacuate, and possibly Sisko even knew that. I don't see that we can jump to the conclusion that he's a murderer. Murder requires a death, and the episode says there was none.
Attempted murder doesn't and that's bad enough.
It's only attempted murder if killing the Maquis was Sisko's objective. If killing them was just a possible unfortunate side effect which didn't actually happen, the most you could get him for would probably be negligence of some sort.
Reckless disregard is equivalent to murder two in some countries. For example, if you shoot through a door when you don't know if there's someone behind if it results to someone being killed, it's murder two, if not then it's attempted murder. You can't let people endanger the lives of others like that, can you?
How would you like it if you had a neighbor who shot randomly his gun in the general direction of your property for example? In a civilized society, there ought to be consequences to endangering the lives of children. I guess the federation is not what I would consider a civilized society. It's more like a society ruled by self-congratulating assholes.
On the other hand, if you share a house with someone who damages or destroys the local police headquarters, you can't be too surprised when the police come knocking, and if you had any idea that the person intended to attack the headquarters, you're likely to face charges yourself.
As I mentioned before, the status of the Maquis is murky at best and only grows more murky when Sisko declares (on his own authority?) them a threat to Federation security.
I've very much wondered just what the Maquis thought was going to happen as a result of their actions.
Is it fair to make the entire maquis answerable for the actions of one or several of its members?
Edington does something and in retaliation, Sisko goes after a planet of the Maquis. For all, we know that planet was against what Edington was doing. What Sisko did is not far from a kind of racism. Like if you say someone from your community did something I don't like so I hold the whole community responsible. Sisko was VERY lucky that his scheme didn't blow up in his face!!!
The Maquis are terrorists by definition.
They include families with children.
My understanding has been that the Maquis were people who knowingly broke the treaty regarding the DMZ, so while it sucks to be the child of Maquis parents, those parents made a conscious decision.
However, I also speculate that the Maquis range from radicals like Eddington to more moderate types...perhaps Cal Hudson, for instance. If we assume the Maquis had no central authority, then it begs the question of how the moderates might have reacted when Eddington became an active provacateur.
Unfortunately, the dangers of aligning yourself with a radical even if you yourself are more moderate are made apparent here. Starfleet might have ultimately settled for more of a 'live and let live' policy if Eddington hadn't forced the issue. In effect, he ruined things for everyone else by making the Maquis a threat Starfleet (or just Sisko?) felt they could no longer ignore, and were apparently legally justified in now actively pursuing.
I do think it's a slight shortcoming of DS9 that once Eddington defects the Maquis are never really given any depth. I would have loved to see an argument between Hudson and Eddington over the Maquis methods.
Clearly a threat to Starfleet. Admiral Nechayev ordered Sisko to take care of them, and then her or someone else in Starfleet Command sent the Malinche when Sisko didn't accomplish that promptly.
As Churchill said, "You do your worst, and we will do our best!" Escallating conflict, especially by commiting atrocities, like the Maquis did,not only means surrendering the right to be regarded as victims, it gives the enemy the right to respond in kind. Norms of war quickly get displaced when one side escallates.
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