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Old March 16th 05, 16:42   #9
Psi Cop
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 1,925
Re: The Minbari suck

Not at the time. They saw an alien war ship with open gun ports.
So, what did that see? An alien ship being careful, making a gesture of distrust and hostility. Definitely *not* a ship to provoke. Instead, perhaps a ship to take distance from.

Dukhat understood the jaw-dropping stupidity of approaching with open gun ports.
In case of a party of unknown intent, having weapons ready to fire... is not stupid. Approaching too close, where such fire can actually hit... now that is stupid.

As witnessed by the effects of a Human ship point-blanking a Minbari ship... they had good reason to keep gun ports open. They were at range where even a Human ship might hope to mug them.

Of course, both parties had even better reason to keep safe distance.

But they proceeded anyway. I think that makes it even worse.
They proceeded until they ran out of clearly distinguishable military targets bearing weapons against them -- until the opponent civilization was essentially disarmed.

Despite being gross over-reaction... it doesn't make the Minbari particularly criminal. Merely inflexible and somewhat stupid.

If the next step Minbari planned... was indeed destroying Earth... now that would have been criminal. But planning a crime, only to refrain from committing it... is not the same as committing a crime.

A mission to destroy all of humanity is not basic decency.
Conveniently for the Minbari, they never got started with any *action* indicating desire to destroy indiscriminately.

This suggests they were either doubting... or oppositely fairly very devious (leaving genocide for a point when they would be capable of doing it quick, before anyone could interfere).

What they really thought... could only be determined by polling fictional Minbari on what they really intended. (Minbari being fictional makes this task somewhat difficult.)

You're treating this is a typical little political war. It wasn't- it was the preservation of a planet's people.
There is NO "typical" war -- every war, even an peacekeeping effort gone awry... can bring mass destruction of innocent lives.

Sidenote: an interstellar civilization losing a life-or-death struggle... should *never* behave like Humans in "Babylon 5" did. Trying to preserve a planet... can cost dearly.

Space is infinite, and gives excellent protection against pursuit. If war in space looks like a definite loss... the losing side should be smart enough to gather their stuff... and scatter. At full speed. In every imaginable direction.

Only a fool would start chasing ships *designed* to operate on the run. From the point of realizing that loss is certain... the civilization losing should start hedging bets... splitting up and disappearing from sight.
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