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Old March 16th 05, 15:44   #7
sleepy_shadow
Psi Cop
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 1,925
Re: The Minbari suck

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They start a war over a mistake.
They *do* consider their leaders too precious, and invest them with needless authority (like power to start wars). But now, GKarsEye... please mention a B5 civilization which behaves differently from this.

-- Should its emperor be assassinated, would the Centauri Republic refrain from war?
-- Should its president be assassinated, would Earth Alliance refrain from war?

I don't think so... not reliably. Only a civilization which has *no* centralized leadership... could *reliably* refrain from considering their killing a hostile act.

"Babylon 5" does contain one such civilization -- the Shadows. We are not introduced to any system of leadership within their society... so presumably, they have no central leader to kill.

Ironically, they manage to start wars regardless.

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They knew it was a mistake.
The crew of the Earth convoy which followed orders to shoot first... also knew it was a mistake.

It was not a "single bad apple". It was a whole cartload of bad apples, all obediently following the orders of a really rotten fruit.

It does *not* pardon the Minbari for utterly failing to perform a proportional response (destroy some sufficiently high-profile ships, then negotiate peace)...

...but it does indict the Humans for cultivating irrational, hazardous and possibly self-destructive methods of first contact.

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Delenn and others were complaining about the war and oh gosh what a shame, but everyone just ran around saying how it was too late to stop it and they had to see it to the end.
Entirely correct. Stopping hostilities took them *far* too long. But now consider how many human societies... would have stopped instead of the Minbari? Very few.

In identical situation... most human societies would have been overtaken by desire for retribution... and two diseases of the mind: patriotism and obedience.

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Bullshit- stop it, that's called leadership.
I commend the attitude. Now... may I remind you... that some Minbari surely *did* exactly that. Your blanket condemnation of them... is hence quite baseless.

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The war was a "holy war." Also known, in some circles, as a Crusade, or a jihad. That is some scary shit. Religious fanaticism used for violence.
A cult of personality towards Dukhat, and resulting attribution of unacceptable tones of meaning to war... is scary shit.

However, a cult of personality is *not* religion... and in fact... the Earth-Minbari war was completely devoid of religious incitement to violence.

Nobody urged nobody to kill anyone because of their belief. The war was entirely retribution. Mindless and un-proportional retribution, but *not* on religious grounds.

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This makes Delenn and the Grey Council a bunch of evil war criminals no better than Osama Bin Laden.
You are mistaken. Opposite way around.

Even the closest match... the Human captain commanding the exploration convoy...does *not* properly resemble Osama. I remind you that Osama knew what he planned (had a long-term plan of igniting conflict).

The Human captain lacked such intent. Delenn too lacked long-term desire for violence. She did desire retribution... but that disappeared quickly. Others too realized that Minbari had nothing to gain from eradicating Humans.

Osama, to my last information, has not retracted his declarations... and to his best ability, still wants destruction for most of Western civilization.

Finally, to my knowledge, Delenn did not authorize attacking civilian targets... and due to fighting occurring mostly in space, war crimes committed by both sides were relatively few.

Surely, both Minbari and Humans authorized torture of prisoners... which does create a disturbing resemblance between Delenn and Bush... but likewise between the Earth government and Bush.

But neither side behaved quite like Ossama. The Minbari intended to... but eventually decided against. Unfulfilled intent does not count.

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Some people think Sheridan and Londo are "arrogant." What about Delenn
Delenn can sometimes be... fairly decisive and uncompromizing. Without such ability, she could not possibly be a politician. But we need examples to compare them. Will you present some?

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Look at how they manipulated Sinclair and Sheridan.
Correct. Now observe how Earth politicians manipulated fellow Humans.

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They hate Sheridan because he blew up their flagship.
Your statement, lacking a qualifier... implies that every Minbari does. That is simply untrue.

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which is why I don't like Franklin's decision not to help create a biological weapon
I like it. He was refraining from escalating a pointless conflict.

In their warfare, Minbari were respecting basic decency... and not attacking civilian population, despite having every capability of doing it.

Should Humans have attacked Minbari civilians, Minbari could have started responding in kind. Franklin knew it would have *notably* complicated defusing the conflict.

He decided that he would err on the safe side... and the central command could find a swamp where to ski. Such a decision was his undeniable personal right, and he should not have been incarcerated for that.
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