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Battlestar Galactica's Last Days 799

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the starbuck-freaks-me-out dept.
bowman9991 writes "If your country was invaded and occupied by a foreign power, would you blow yourself up to fight back? If someone pointed a gun at your head and threatened to pull the trigger if you refused to sign a document you knew would lead to a hundred deaths (and you signed!), would that make you ultimately responsible? Does superior technology give you the moral right to impose your will on a technologically inferior culture? You wouldn't expect a mainstream television show to tackle such philosophically loaded questions, certainly not a show based on cheesy science fiction from the '70s, but if you've watched Battlestar Galactica since it was re-imagined in 2003, there has been no escape. The final fourth season is nearly over, and when the final episode airs, television will never be the same again. SFFMedia illustrates how Battlestar Galactica exposes the moral dilemmas, outrages, and questionable believes of the present as effectively (but more entertainingly) than any documentary or news program. It's not hard to see parallels in the CIA and US military's use of interrogation techniques in Bush's War on Terror, the effects of labeling one race as 'the enemy,' the crackdown on free speech, or the use of suicide bombers in Iraq."
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Battlestar Galactica's Last Days

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  • by Cthefuture (665326) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @01:21PM (#26548107)

    In the beginning I really liked the show. It had a good mix of action, technology and drama. However, the last few seasons have been fairly "meh" for me because it has turned almost completely into a soap opera. Don't get me wrong, the soap opera stuff is OK but now there very little of the original mix that attracted me in the first place. It's just not the same show that it started out as.

  • by VinylRecords (1292374) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @01:27PM (#26548221)

    Battlestar Galactica is one of those series that I'm sure I would enjoy if I watched it as rapidly as possible. Commercial free and at my own leisure.

    Watching LOST is painful due to the seemingly infinite periods of time between seasons. Guess what I'll be doing tonight...

    But hopefully BSG can have a cheap DVD or BD bundle for the entire series for people who enjoy sci-fi but didn't follow the series across its run.

  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @01:28PM (#26548233)

    I was a kid when the original BSG was on in the late 70's, and so remember it fondly (I can still remember how sad I and other kids were when they cancelled it). And when I heard they were bringing it back as a miniseries, I was skeptical to say the least. My first thought was "Jesus, can't Hollywood come up with ANYTHING original anymore?" and my second thought (after hearing that Starbuck and Boomer would be female) was "Oh great, and they've made it politically correct too, even better." At that point, I vowed I would never waste my time on it.

    Then a funny thing happened. I was flipping around and caught a bit of the miniseries, a way into the first night (just after the nukes hit). It was the scene where Helo and Boomer put down on Caprica for repairs and are faced with a mob fleeing for their lives. It was one of the most powerful and dramatic scenes I had ever seen on television. The contrast with the original, where the colonials seemed to forget that their entire civilization had been wiped out almost immediately after it happened, was just stunning. And the obvious connection to 9-11 was immediate and visceral (I don't think this series could have been made before 9-11, certainly not with this kind of gritty realism).

    From that point on, I wasn't a skeptic.

    And just when I thought I had seen the best it could offer, along comes the first season and it somehow managed to get even BETTER. The premiere episode of that season ("33") was absolutely brilliant, "Hand of God" was touching and dramatic, and "Kobol's Last Gleaming" bordered on an almost mystical experience (the opening to that two-parter has to be the harshest montage to ever grace a television screen).

    Now, the series has had its ups and downs since then. They've never again equalled the quality of the miniseries and first season, IMHO (though individual episodes like "Flight of the Phoenix" have come close). But even at its worst, this is still the best thing on television.

    This skeptic will miss you greatly. Nothing else even comes close.

  • by Pvt_Ryan (1102363) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @01:28PM (#26548243)

    Blow myself up - No that's just stupid as that limits the number of enemy i can kill. My objective is not to die for my country/planet but to make the other bastard die for his.

    gun at my head to sign - I'd sign, after all it's self presevation, and no I wouldn't be responsible (in my mind) as they forced me to sign, so they were going to do it anyway.

  • Re:Tackle? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @01:40PM (#26548463)

    Yeah, that's called "realism." People in real life often rarely grow sufficiently large backbones to "do the right thing" either, particularly when they're threatened and running for their lives.

    And, as for secrets, is there any one of us who doesn't carry a TON of those around with them? Do you wake up every day and tell your wife that she's become a fat, bitter shrew and that you don't want to be married to her anymore because you want to go find a cute younger woman who isn't a fat, bitter shrew? Do you tell your kids that you're disappointed that they're not as smart or handsome as you'd hoped they'd be? Do you tell your boss he's a fucking idiot and that you think you could do a better job than him? Do you tell you mother that you don't want to visit her or call her because you're too different from her now to have anything to talk about? Do you tell yourself that you're not the hero of the story, just another loser in a world full of losers?

    ...I'm sorry, what were we talking about again?

  • Re:Al Jazeera (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PyroMosh (287149) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @01:42PM (#26548481) Homepage

    I *do* read it. It's a great source for getting a different prespective, and it's much, much better written than Pravda is.

    I just find it funny that whatever software Slashdot uses to choose ad serves decided to pick Al-Jazeera in a story that mentions suicide bombers. I just have to think that that's not coincidental.

    It's like whatever software runs the ads decided $suicidebombers --> $middleeast --> $al-jazeera which is funny, if a bit disturbing.

  • by Jherico (39763) * <bdavis@ s a i n t a n d r e as.org> on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @01:44PM (#26548523) Homepage

    My objective is not to die for my country/planet but to make the other bastard die for his.

    Sure, if you're a soldier fighting in a standard 'symmetric' war. On the other hand, the kill ratio in Iraq for coalition forces is 100:1 (1 coalition soldier dead for every 100 enemy combatants). Numbers like that make suicide bombing start to look pretty appealing.

  • by goombah99 (560566) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @01:47PM (#26548557)

    In the end it will come down to the Adam-a family being the biblical adam--the origin of man. Somehow the human race will struggle to some new planet and start over shore of their technology but in paradise. Till they are once again expelled as a consequence of their seeking knowledge -- that is biblical "know" and carnal knowledge's purpose is the creation of new life--that is cylons with independent will.

    The ultimate irony is that endure the rigors of space and the time it takes will require sturdier carriers of the seed. Namley the hybrids are the next generation of humans.

    A few pure cylons will stay behind on the radiated planet since they are immune to radiation.

    It will turn out the mechanical cylons sis not create the wetware human like cylons as is generally assumed. after all where are the missing links? No instead it will turn out that when the mechanized ones that are created by the tranpslanted human hybrids encouter the left behind cylons they will be enslaved by them and then return to conquer the hybrid humans.

    starting the whole story over.

  • by bFusion (1433853) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @01:53PM (#26548661) Homepage
    Another good example is Firefly. Lots of people loved it, it was a fantastic (if not short-lived) series. But it didn't really change the quality of the tripe generally shown on TV.
  • Re:Tackle? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@gUUU ... inus threevowels> on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @01:59PM (#26548763) Homepage Journal

    Yeah, that's called "realism." People in real life often rarely grow sufficiently large backbones to "do the right thing" either, particularly when they're threatened and running for their lives.

    Sorry, I don't buy it. I watch the show and think of analogous situations in my own life. Humans are social creatures, many of whom have trouble with secrets. Somebody tends to speak up in nearly any situation. Whether anyone listens to them or not is another matter, but very few secrets are maintained. Yet everyone in BSG has the necessary personality traits to keep even the smallest of secrets. That's realistic?

    Like frak'n hell! :-P

    And, as for secrets, is there any one of us who doesn't carry a TON of those around with them?

    I think you're confusing secrets kept for privacy reasons with the types of secrets kept in BSG. My work is not secret. If I screw up on the job, trying to keep that a secret is eventually going to bite me in the ass. Instead, if I screw up, it's important to admit that I screwed up so that I can control the potential recrimination. If the environment is so poor that mistakes are overreacted to, then it's time to get out of that environment because it isn't going to be lasting much longer.

    Same with the example of Baltar's situation. He screwed up, but he didn't screw up badly. By withholding the information, he managed to ensure his recrimination at a later date. Someone like the character portrayed on the series is smarter than that. He would have talked it up from the get-go, releasing bits and pieces in a favorable light. Then when Roselin "remembered" him being with the six, no one (including Roselin) would have been able to find personal fault there. Particularly not without finding fault with themselves for working alongside the likes of Sharon.

    Do you wake up every day and tell your wife that she's become a fat, bitter shrew and that you don't want to be married to her anymore because you want to go find a cute younger woman who isn't a fat, bitter shrew? Do you tell your kids that you're disappointed that they're not as smart or handsome as you'd hoped they'd be? Do you tell your boss he's a fucking idiot and that you think you could do a better job than him? Do you tell you mother that you don't want to visit her or call her because you're too different from her now to have anything to talk about? Do you tell yourself that you're not the hero of the story, just another loser in a world full of losers?

    This honestly comes across more like you've got personal problems than secrets. And in the real world, the types of people who hold these opinions very often voice them very loudly. After all, a divorce is the ideal outcome in the first situation, obviously you feel your kids should be doing something different in the second situation (so why NOT tell them?), the fourth suggests you're trying to cut off communications with your family anyway (even if you don't say it, you'll say it without saying it), and the last is just a plain bizarre example. (Depression maybe?)

    As for the third example, this one is the closest to the truth. Except that we generally don't say anything out of politeness and fear for our jobs. That doesn't mean that we don't still make it clear as a bell. Human communication isn't always done with words.

  • by _xeno_ (155264) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @02:04PM (#26548843) Homepage Journal

    Man, I wish that were a joke, but it just isn't. The series producers have admitted that the whole "and they have a plan" thing was added "because it seemed cool."

    In fact, if you listen to the episode commentary, quite a bit of things were done "because it seemed cool." Boomer being a Cylon? "Because it seemed cool." The whole thing with the second Sharon and Helo on Caprica? "Because it seemed cool."

    The writers have never had a real plan and have been playing the entire thing mostly by ear. And it shows: the "and they have a plan" thing has just vanished. What is that plan? Did they give up on it? Why didn't they finish wiping out the human race? (Problems with Cylons procreating, apparently?) What's the deal with the human/Cylon hybrids (versus the Basestar/humanoid Cylon hybrid)?

    I will give them credit, though. They've managed to take the identities of the Final Five Cylons in the most recent episode and make them make sense. Sure, not everything is explained yet, and there are remaining questions, but at least the idea that they're Cylons doesn't seem completely implausible any more.

    Hopefully they'll find a way to tackle some of the dangling threads and finally figure out what the Cylon's plan was. Because they sure don't appear to have had a plan in the series so far.

  • by hopkimi (1145889) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @02:15PM (#26549029)
    We should also look at "Ender's Game" as a classic example of a moral issue presented in a sci-fi wrapper. I think that novel looked at what it takes to wage war on someone: a willful ignorance of who you are warring against. Or saying it another way: if you truly know someone, how they think and why they did everything, you can't hate them.
  • Re:Another dilemma (Score:3, Interesting)

    by chrysrobyn (106763) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @02:21PM (#26549131)

    In 2001, I NEEDED to see Enterprise. I was out of antenna range of UPN for my metro area without an antenna the HOA would sue me over, and my satellite provider at the time didn't have a deal with my city. What could I do? Wait for it to go to syndication where I can see it out of order? After I had sat idly by for years while people discussed what happened and what would happen? No, I turned to the internet. I found out I could download them from a specific website, and later from Limewire. Thanks to companies enforcing overly restrictive copyrights, in this case attempting to bolster a brand new network by forcing people to tune in for a show they "couldn't live without", I found an entire world of content without those restrictions and which could be viewed on my own schedule.

    Would you wait months or years for it to acess it legaly or just download it immediately from the asinus electronicus?

    In my mind, it's not even a valid question. In the United States, copyright is actually spelled out in the Constitution -- specifically for the purpose of furthering the progress of science and art. I can't see how downloading or sharing a television show hurts the progress of either science or art, but I can see how participating in the electronic distribution and improving such methods improves both. My personal progression from simple FTP and HTTP through Limewire to Bit Torrent seems to outline such a furthering, and the popularity of Bit Torrent speaks to its value to society.

    And if you want to say that, by not viewing ads, I'm harming science and art, I have a few followup questions for you to clarify. 1) If I choose not to purchase a Coke after seeing the ad, have I done something wrong? 2) If I choose to make a sandwich in the kitchen and not even view an ad, have I done something wrong? 3) If I record a show on VHS and fast forward through the ad, have I done something wrong? 4) If I record a show on VHS for a friend, and HE fast forwards through the ads, has either of us done something wrong? 5) Why doesn't NBC provide episodes of their shows on Bit Torrent with ads already inserted?

  • by SensitiveMale (155605) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @02:28PM (#26549223)

    My objective is not to die for my country/planet but to make the other bastard die for his.

    Sure, if you're a soldier fighting in a standard 'symmetric' war.

    Nope. Any any war, asymmetrical or not, the objective is to kill them and inflict social pain until they decide to stop.

  • Re:Tackle? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rthille (8526) <web-slashdot.rangat@org> on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @02:45PM (#26549495) Homepage Journal

    I wonder, given that we had two bombs that we were pretty sure would work, if we had dropped the first just off Tokyo (ok, not "just", but within sight, but far enough away to spare most of the population) on a lightly populated island or something, if Japan would have surrendered, or was destroying a city or two necessary?

    Regardless, your points all still stand.

  • by Eli Gottlieb (917758) <eligottlieb@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @02:47PM (#26549523) Homepage Journal

    Great question! Let me know if that ever happens.

    I'm fairly sure that dilemma refers to the large-scale perception that Israel is occupying "Palestine". Which has a kernel of truth, as Israel indeed militarily occupies the West Bank, and this is quite immoral.

    Of course, as my sig says, the Islamists deserve to lose because they place killing Jews over preserving the lives of their own people and building a civilization of their own. To use a sci-fi analogy, their behavior is that of Daleks.

  • Re:Tackle? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @02:55PM (#26549681)
    #1: Source please.

    #2: Kamakazi pilots were the original suicide bombers.

    #3: It's war- you play to win. With that threat, it strongly encouraged the Japanese to quickly sign the treaty and stick to it.

    #4: So did Germany. If one side ups the ante, you don't have much of a choice but to ante up yourself or fold (surrender).

    For #5, I do believe we entered the war after the Japanese kicked the shit out of us at Pearl Harbor in a surprise attack. You forgot #6:

    The US Government financed the rebuilding of Europe (after kicking the shit out of the Nazis), and forgave all that debt.
  • by iluvcapra (782887) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @02:58PM (#26549743)

    I don't necessarily dispute you here, but what can be done when you are faced with such a lesson, other than learn it?

    I would probably argue that in the case of WW2, the "lesson" the Germans learned wasn't that "Americas guns are better than yours, therefore suck it for eternity," which is the "lesson" the Germans were trying to teach France, the Austrians, Serbia, the Israelis, Palestine etc. (I guess there's a lot of room to argue about the last one, but I find the intents of both parties completely out of joint with their actions so its hard to debate it reasonably.) The lesson the Germans learned in both world wars was "We the world won't tolerate your hegemony and will fight to stop it," which is something most Germans already knew in their moral hearts but the principle required demonstration.

    Either way, turning "killing for political purposes" into "teach a lesson" is pretty Orwellian and I'd like to avoid the whole construction, since it's a literary trope masquerading as an ethical principle.

  • by fm6 (162816) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @03:00PM (#26549785) Homepage Journal

    Now you've verged into one of my pet beliefs: that movie and TV SF (let's call it "science video") can never be "real" SF in the sense that (for example) Heinlein is SF. The problem with SV, as with all movies and TV, is that it aims at a mass audience in a compressed format. That means thoughtful exposition and intellectual complication, which is how the genre engages most of its readers, are off limits. Indeed, many people who work in the media don't even have the background to do it properly.

    One reason I became a rabid trekkie early on was that TOS went further than any previous SV in trying to be real SF. One of their best inventions was Spock, who's a genuine alien, not just because he doesn't look human, but because he doesn't think human.

    And yet even this key character is not carefully thought through. In an early episode, we're told that this guy's physiology is so alien that McCoy's instruments go wild on him. Later in that same episode, we get a melodramatic scene relating to his relationship with his human mother! Apparently nobody had the background to appreciate the inconsistency between these two facts. Or probably somebody did (TOS had some good scientific advisers) and the producers said, "Whatever, we need that bit of drama near the end, we're not looking for an audience that will know the difference."

    Another example: Star Trek has always followed the convention that space fleet officers have naval ranks. But they've always carefully avoided the dual use of the word "captain" that's standard in real world navies. (In English-speaking countries, "captain" refers both to a rank equivalent to an army Colonel and a commander of a vessel, regardless of rank. In one of my favorite naval historical novels, The Sand Pebbles, the Captain of the U.S.S. San Pablo is a Lieutenant J.G.) A small complexity, but apparently deemed beyond the capacity of TV audiences.

    Though I've always thought that this complexity was stomped on after the fact. Notice that in TOS, Kirk wears wrist insignia that anybody who knows naval ranks would recognize as a futuristic version of the "one and a half rings" of a Lt. Commander. That's about the right rank to command a ship with 400 people. But officially that's insignia of a Captain and all the other officers (regardless of rank) wear a single ring. Right.

    And of course, we don't even want to talk about sound in a vacuum....

  • Re:Tackle? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Walkingshark (711886) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @03:09PM (#26549955) Homepage

    I've thought a lot about this situation, and on reflection I think the way it went down was probably (as horrible as this sounds) a best-case. Nuclear weapon technology was coming. The soviets were going to have it eventually, we got to it first and we dropped the only two we had.

    If we hadn't done that, imagine how many might have been mass produced by the WW2 industrial war machine. Now imagine a world where no example existed of how incredibly mind blowingly horrible these weapons are. Imagine an exchange of dozens or even hundreds of these weapons launched by clueless political idiots who had no idea what they were playing with.

    Those victims in Japan are heroes on the stage of history. Their deaths, and the suffering of the survivors, is all that stood between the humanity and the long winter.

    Or at least, thats how I look at it.

  • Re:Tackle? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Alex Belits (437) * on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @03:13PM (#26550029) Homepage

    #1: Source please.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debate_over_the_atomic_bombings_of_Hiroshima_and_Nagasaki#Militarily_unnecessary [wikipedia.org]

    and everything quoted in it.

    #2: Kamakazi pilots were the original suicide bombers.

    Suicide bombers are ineffective in battle.

    #3: It's war- you play to win. With that threat, it strongly encouraged the Japanese to quickly sign the treaty and stick to it.

    Japanese already prepared to sign the treaty. What the fuck else could Americans want?

    #4: So did Germany. If one side ups the ante, you don't have much of a choice but to ante up yourself or fold (surrender).

    I don't see an argument here. When Germany did that, it was very effective at both killing people and conquering territory. So was US in Japan. How did two nukes change this situation?

    For #5, I do believe we entered the war after the Japanese kicked the shit out of us at Pearl Harbor in a surprise attack.

    How is it relevant?

    You forgot #6:
    The US Government financed the rebuilding of Europe (after kicking the shit out of the Nazis), and forgave all that debt.

    Was printing green paper supposed to be a justification of nuclear bombing of Japan or given as a proof of great bravery?

  • by GameMaster (148118) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @03:18PM (#26550101)

    It's called drama. In this case, the writers seem to be trying to write a futuristic Greek tragedy (which would be fitting, considering the blatant Greek mythology references). The entertainment is watching the way the characters react to the situation they are in and whether we think it is realistic.

    Of course, that said, I agree that it can be depressing sometimes. That's why, as much as I might like it, I can't stand to watch more than a single episode of Law & Order in a row (not sure if it's true anymore, but TNT used to play 2-3 episodes in a row every day).

  • by radtea (464814) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @03:38PM (#26550451)

    Banding together to visit consequences on those agressors seems to work but that just reverses the teacher/student roles.

    Right, that's why the British still rule India but the Palestinians have successfully created a homeland for themselves and the Israelis are no longer threatened by Palestinian violence, because the "lesson" of violence works so incredibly well. Unless you mean "seems like a good idea to monkey hind-brains but actually fails miserably in practise", which is one way of reading "seems to work."

    The problem with non-violence is not that it doesn't work, it's that it requires more courage than most people have to execute it. Non-violent resistance is enormously effective, and anyone who chooses violence over it as an avenue for political conflict resolution is either a coward or has no interest in actually resolving the conflict. In most real cases it is probably a bit of both.

    There may be a few instances where violent attack is more effective than non-violent resistance. WWII is arguably one of them. In most other cases, and in virtually all the cases facing the modern world, non-violent resistance is clearly the superior approach.

    It's a pity that hardly anyone has the guts to employ it.

  • blood -vs- tits (Score:4, Interesting)

    by zbrewski (1458389) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @03:39PM (#26550465)
    Never following the BSG before, couple of days ago I taped the whole day of last season's episodes, and was relatively amused by it until the expected, but always disappointing happened:
    1. Scene A: Guy got shot in the knee, blood all over, open wound and fractured bones close up, as realistic as it can get, well done, you did the good job, I feel little sick.
    2. Scene B: Cute Indian actress, love scene with ex-president-turned-saint, about to undress, I feel better already, okay, she is undressing, removing last garment possible... and silly me, seasoned to realism, open fractures, blood and guts... expecting to see a tiny little bit of otherwise shapely acress' body... ah silly me... no realism here.. all we will see is standard issue bra and nothing more, because:
    2.1. Blood, open fractures and guts, is good for you
    2.2. Women breasts, is bad for you

    And this happens over and over and everybody just whistles and pretends all is good and does not care and instead of having a realistic realistic tv, we have half realistic tv, and for other half we must all hide and sneak into wast expanses of silly and often extreme fields of what is referred to as porn...
  • by Hijacked Public (999535) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @04:18PM (#26551161)

    Timelines vary no doubt, and there are failures, but it seems to have worked for the Allied countries in WWII, for instance. It worked for a time for the Boers and the Afghans (despite inferior material technology in both cases). As an example of the failing to come together, Native American tribes would have eventually been subdued but playing one tribe against another hastened that. I'd throw nearly all of Africa in there too.

    My problem with non-violence is that I just don't see how it can work over the long term in all cases or even in most. There is a small camp near an oil extraction operation in Congo. The enemies of the people who live there have guns but the villagers don't. When their enemies come the villagers flee, but their enemies shoot at them anyway. Sometimes they even make hits. For the people hit, non violence did not work in that instance. I've watched this happen 3 or 4 times over the course of a few years and it doesn't strike me as a long term strategy either. The enemies don't want anything from there people other than to kill them, so mutually beneficial negotiations can't really proceed.

    I don't understand their mentality but I'd say those villagers have guts in spades to not arm themselves.

  • Re:Tackle? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Alex Belits (437) * on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @05:30PM (#26552239) Homepage

    Oh yes, Georgia.

    The microscopic mountainous country that, with some guidance of US, managed to alienate not one but three of its provinces (all three unrelated and not particularly friendly to each other) to the extent that they had to actively seek secession. Then, after years of a stalemate, Georgia government decides that the only way to fix the problem is to fire rockets at residential areas of one of those provinces' capital. All the while the same ethnicity in a similar province in Russia does not have a slightest problem with being a part of the larger country.

    US propaganda tried to show you a different picture of what happened before the war there, didn't it?

    NATO expands to countries that want to ensure that have nothing to fear from other NATO countries, and support if they get involved into a conflict with non-NATO countries.

    None of those countries had a chance to enter into any armed conflict since the end of WWII, and certainly aren't going to have such a chance now (being mostly surrounded by EU members or having a border with something obviously peaceful like Russia or Ukraine). Georgia had conflicts, and that was the reason why it was not allowed into NATO. Speak about only getting something you don't need.

    There is a reason that much of the expanding NATO is doing, invovled adding former members of the Warsaw Pact.

    Yes, and the reason is, US wants to feed its military contractors and control foreign governments.

    However, I do not argue that the US military-industrial complex has used NATO to expand. But That does not mean that NATO was not important, or does not still play an important role.

    It doesn't.

    However the fact that NATO never accomplished anything other than feeding said complex and involving foreign countries in various failures of US foreign policy, very much does mean it.

  • by radtea (464814) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @05:45PM (#26552449)

    When their enemies come the villagers flee...

    This is is non-violence, but it is not non-violent resistance, because the villagers are doing nothing to resist. They are offering no resistance, just running away.

    People often confuse non-violence with non-violent resistance, but the two are not the same at all. Non-violent resistance is pro-active, not reactive, and can be quite confrontational. Look at what Gandhi's movement did in India, and how they did it. It was not at all about running away, and Gandhi himself disliked the word "pacifism" as he felt it failed to capture the fundamentals of his approach, which were active.

    I can't offer advice to the villagers because I don't know enough about their situation, which is one of the other problems with non-violent resistance: violence is the VisualBasic of human interaction. Any idiot can use it to produce some kind of effect with negligible training or intelligence. Non-violent resistance is the the C++ of human interaction: it requires care and planning if it is going to compile, much less run and be maintainable.

  • Re:Tackle? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mlush (620447) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @06:04PM (#26552721)

    The fact that the Cylons didn't manage to wipe them out in the first season is purely an artifact of it being fiction.

    The reason they were not wiped out in the first season is because, the Cylons as a race are, Mad as a Herring. Which is a pity because any motivations they do display are convincing as 'A wizard did it'

  • by Hal_Porter (817932) on Thursday January 22, 2009 @11:18AM (#26559835)

    It worked for Gandhi because the British were insufficiently ruthless to just kill everyone who turned up for a non violent protest and keep doing that until people stopped protesting.

    It doesn't work for the Tibetans becuase the Chinese are that ruthless. So were the Germans and Japanese in WWII, or the Russians in the Cold War.

Reality must take precedence over public relations, for Mother Nature cannot be fooled. -- R.P. Feynman

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