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Old March 16th 05, 13:55   #1
GKarsEye
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The Minbari suck

The Minbari are a bunch of punks.

- They start a war over a mistake. They knew it was a mistake. 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. Bullshit- stop it, that's called leadership. If they were able to stop the fighting after kidnapping Sinclair, they could have done it before (the Grey Council never said why they surrendered anyway).

- 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. This makes Delenn and the Grey Council a bunch of evil war criminals no better than Osama Bin Laden.

- Some people think Sheridan and Londo are "arrogant." What about Delenn and Shaal Mayan complaining about how contemptable humans are because some of them plotted to kill ambassadors. The events of the Gathering should have taught them to shut the hell up about blaming a race for the actions of one bad apple.
(I also don't remember if Deathwalker happened before that, which really speaks badly for them)

- Look at how they manipulated Sinclair and Sheridan. Man, I don't know how they put up with that shit.

- They hate Sheridan because he blew up their flagship. Um.. hello.. they were trying to annihilate their entire civilisation?!
If someone tried to kill me, you bet your ass I won't be following some BS code of "honor."
(which is why I don't like Franklin's decision not to help create a biological weapon, but that's another issue)

- When a couple of them find out that Valen is Sinclair, they're afraid of telling everyone because it would violate their sense of "purity." Uh.. purity of the race... yes, that sounds eerily familiar.

Fuck the Minbari.
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Old March 16th 05, 14:02   #2
LondosHair
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Re: The Minbari suck

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Old March 16th 05, 14:08   #3
Fas
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Re: The Minbari suck

That's all true, but they could kick your ass. And even if they are a bunch of hypocrites in the end of the series they get to run the galaxy (as the capital of the IA, and ensuring the leader of the Rangers will always be a Minbari like Delenn, or a human puppet).

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Old March 16th 05, 14:24   #4
KoshFan
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Re: The Minbari suck

I think the vast majority of Minbari are either homicidal honor-bound lunatics, self-righteous zealots, or regular shmucks who just happen to be in the third and least-dominant caste.

When the workers take over after the civil war, I bet a few changes were made.
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Old March 16th 05, 14:25   #5
Shaal Mayan
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Re: The Minbari suck

I'll take a cue from Londoshair with no further comment from me .
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Old March 16th 05, 14:44   #6
RW7427
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Re: The Minbari suck

I should have known this was GKE starting this thread.
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Old March 16th 05, 15:44   #7
sleepy_shadow
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Re: The Minbari suck

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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?

Quote:
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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Old March 16th 05, 16:18   #8
GKarsEye
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Re: The Minbari suck

Quote:
-- Should its emperor be assassinated, would the Centauri Republic refrain from war?
Yes, if it were politically beneficial.
The Centauri are extremely practical, politically savvy and selfish.
Cartagia was assassinated, and so many probably knew who did it. If it was a popular emperor who was similarly assassinated, heads would roll. But everyone kind of forgot about it because they were really happy that mad man was gone.

Quote:
-- Should its president be assassinated, would Earth Alliance refrain from war?
Its president was assassinated, and when there was action to investigate who did it, it was cut, and the System and people accepted it. The ensuing civil war cited the assassination as only one reason, but that's not why Sheridan went to war- the reason was the slaughter of innocent civilians.

Quote:
The crew of the Earth convoy which followed orders to shoot first... also knew it was a mistake.
Not at the time. They saw an alien war ship with open gun ports.

Quote:
..but it does indict the Humans for cultivating irrational, hazardous and possibly self-destructive methods of first contact.
True. But in this case, the weight of responsibility of proper behavior falls on the part with more advancement and experience. Humans were very new to this game and the Minbari were old hats. They should be better at first contact. Dukhat understood the jaw-dropping stupidity of approaching with open gun ports. it's amazing that this isn't in the Minbari First Contact Handbook.

Quote:
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.
So? Others being bad doesn't excuse them for being bad.
And yes, wars are started, but there's a difference between a war and one party obliterating the existence of another much weaker than them, slaughtering defenseless warships and refusing surrender.

Quote:
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.
Yeah, when, at the verge of complete annihilation, and only when it met some abstract religious thing (Sinclair had a Minbari "soul")

Quote:
However, a cult of personality is *not* religion... and in fact... the Earth-Minbari war was completely devoid of religious incitement to violence.
This is simply not true. Dukhat was a religious figure. The religious caste declared it a "holy war," Delenn admitted as much. If that's not a "religious incitement to violence," I don't know what is.

Any society that can summon religion as a justification for unspeakable acts of horror is inherently immoral.

Quote:
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.
But they proceeded anyway. I think that makes it even worse.

Quote:
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?
I did- condeming humanity for the actions of Ivanova's Home Guard ex-boyfriend. Hautingly criticising other groups for the faults yours possesses in equal degree is the height of arrogance.

Quote:
Your statement, lacking a qualifier... implies that every Minbari does. That is simply untrue.
Most of them do. Same difference. This goes back to the "you can't generalise" argument. Yes, often you can, that's what the disciplines of the social sciences are based on.

Quote:
In their warfare, Minbari were respecting basic decency... and not attacking civilian population, despite having every capability of doing it.
A mission to destroy all of humanity is not basic decency.

Quote:
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.
You're treating this is a typical little political war. It wasn't- it was the preservation of a planet's people.


PS- I think it's so cute that this is like a real argument
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Old March 16th 05, 16:42   #9
sleepy_shadow
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Re: The Minbari suck

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.)

Quote:
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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Old March 16th 05, 17:17   #10
sleepy_shadow
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Re: The Minbari suck

Pardon for slipping off topic.
In concise form, I wanted to say:

"Minbari may suck... but most species of air-breathing humanoid can be predicted to suck. It's not a surprise that Minbari match this prediction. After all, nearly everyone does."
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