Kilrathi War.

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
There's plenty of evidence in WC that mankind in 600 years is exactly the same as it is today. Heck, right until the Kilrathi war, Confed is busy pushing anti-Pilgrim rhetoric, while the Pilgrims do vice-versa - and both are human. Indeed, by the time the Kilrathi wiped out the Shata, Confed had already fought its first interstellar war. What happened to the never-again-heard-of Yan? Did they just... disappear? Or is it that they were - dare I say it? - exterminated, exactly like the Shata?

There have been plenty of cultures in human history which seem to us today to be pure evil. Yet, to judge the entire race based on the actions of just these cultures would be wrong, if not downright stupid. Similarly, it is wrong to judge the Kilrathi based on what little we know of their culture and history. You may disagree, and point to how many different races they've wiped out in the four hundred years leading up to WC. But the only reason the humans didn't subjugate (sure - 'subjugate' may be considered better than 'wipe out' by some, but the truth is both are equally despicable) so many races during this time is because they were too busy fighting each other.

They're the "bad guys", just admit it Quarto!
No. The Kilrathi have done a lot of bad things, but so have humans. I suppose it may be that both are evil, but that's not a particularly appealing idea.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
What the hell are you talking about? Your argument is that, because the Yan don't ever get mentioned save that we had a "scrap" with them, that we exterminated them? That's mindless sensationalism -- stick to facts when you're arguing or get the heck out of the fire.

Mankind of the 2600s is at peace with several alien species -- and we recognize their equality. We just fought a very bloody war with the Pilgrim Alliance -- but we didn't enslave them or slaughter them all. And government policy is *not* to discriminate against them.

If you want to argue past cultures rather than present, there have been both good and evil cultures in our history. We have *no* evidence that there has ever been a *good* Kilrathi culture -- just constant bloodshed... this isn't the thoughtless rhetoric of the anti-Kilrathi faction, but rather the facts noted by one of your abherrant 'good' Kilrathi.
 

Iceberg

Spaceman
Originally posted by Quarto
There's plenty of evidence in WC that mankind in 600 years is exactly the same as it is today. Heck, right until the Kilrathi war, Confed is busy pushing anti-Pilgrim rhetoric, while the Pilgrims do vice-versa - and both are human. Indeed, by the time the Kilrathi wiped out the Shata, Confed had already fought its first interstellar war. What happened to the never-again-heard-of Yan? Did they just... disappear? Or is it that they were - dare I say it? - exterminated, exactly like the Shata?
Since we haven't heard of them again, we can't assume anything except the fact that humanity fought and won a war against them. Maybe they left. Maybe the defeated remnants of the Yan encountered and were obliterated by the Kilrathi. Maybe the Yan were actually a renegade human state that was defeated and reabsorbed, much like the Pilgrims were. The fact is we don't KNOW what happened to them, and ANY fate we suppose for the Yan is nothing more than guesswork at best.

We know that the Varni remnant that was captured by the Kilrathi are kept on preserve worlds and hunted like animals by the Kilrathi (Action Stations). We also know that they do a similar thing to human POWs (WC1). We ALSO know that they consider the brutal extinction of an alien race that had not committed a single aggressive act against them to be a funny joke (Fleet Action). Does this sound like a very admirable culture to you? Especially in light of the way the Confederation treats POWs? Yes, they're kept in camps (Fleet Action), but they are kept alive and treated reasonably well (Freedom Flight). We also know that human warships have VIP quarters specifically designed around alien biological needs (Freedom Flight).

We also know that in the middle of the most desperate war in human history, the Confederation is willing to protect alien primitives from enemy aggression (WC1), and allow new alien species to enter the Confederation (SM2).


There have been plenty of cultures in human history which seem to us today to be pure evil. Yet, to judge the entire race based on the actions of just these cultures would be wrong, if not downright stupid. Similarly, it is wrong to judge the Kilrathi based on what little we know of their culture and history. You may disagree, and point to how many different races they've wiped out in the four hundred years leading up to WC. But the only reason the humans didn't subjugate (sure - 'subjugate' may be considered better than 'wipe out' by some, but the truth is both are equally despicable) so many races during this time is because they were too busy fighting each other.

During the 400 years leading up to the beginning of WC1, the Confederation made PEACEFUL first contact with several alien races, including the Varni remnant and the Wu. The ONLY war that we know of that the Confederation fought during that time period against an alien power was the war with the Yan.

One major war in 400 years is an incredibly good record - look at how many wars the United States fought during the last 200: the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the American Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Gulf War.

By the early 2600s, the Confederation consists of no fewer than four races. The reason why First Contact with the Kilrathi was such a shock is BECAUSE it degenerated into fighting.

They're the "bad guys", just admit it Quarto!
No. The Kilrathi have done a lot of bad things, but so have humans. I suppose it may be that both are evil, but that's not a particularly appealing idea. [/B]
We don't have evidence of any admirable Kilrathi cultures, and in fact, the evidence that we do have suggests that Kilrathi history is a series of wars so bloody they make the worst of humanity look nice (Victory Streak). In the WC3 Victory Streak manual, a report on Kilrathi psychology penned in 2658 (and written to brief commanders on how Kilrathi think and fight, not to fan the flames of anti-Kilrathi hysteria among the population) notes that the Kilrathi have never had a period of prolonged peace and artistic and scientific development like ancient Egypt or the Renaissance. Kilrathi architecture and art are entirely centered around warlike motifs, up until their defeat in late 2669/early 2670. The first evidence of artistic and cultural evolution in the Kilrathi doesn't come until Wing Commander IV - AFTER their defeat by humanity leaches out their hubristic view of the universe.

Perhaps one day, the Kilrathi will develop an admirable culture. That time has not yet come. Perhaps, in the grand picture, the destruction of Kilrah was a good thing, not just for the survival of humanity... but for the survival of the Kilrathi as well.

[Edited by Iceberg on 02-26-2001 at 09:06]
 

Iceberg

Spaceman
Originally posted by Mekt-Hakkikt
Originally posted by Jochen
- not only the Kilrathi destroyed the first confed ship they sighted WITHOUT beeing provoked! That was about 2629, see

I really have a problem with this "without being provoked".
To the Kilrathi it seemed as if the Iason had attacked the ship.
And, like Quarto said, humans will have slaughtered innocent Kilrathi too. I do not only mean by destroying Kilrah what surely killed billions of civilians but also remember the Gettysburg incident: The Captain of the Gettyburg ordered to open fire on an unarmed Kilrathi transport. OK, this started a mutiny, but it shows that also a human would fire on inncocents. I think that you can expect that the Captain of the Gettysburg was the only "evil" shipcaptain.
But there can be no doubt that in WC3 the Kilrathi are described as the true evil, if this is correct remains IMHO to be seen.
If a seasoned starship captain can mistake low-level scans for an attack on his shields, he deserves to be busted back to ensign for sheer incompetence.
 

Iceberg

Spaceman
Originally posted by Quarto
Originally posted by mpanty
But ultimately, as Fenris wisely pointed out, the Kilrathi had become a death-machine that HAD TO BE STOPPED!("Sometimes, there is an objective fact that certain sides are evil, and have to be stopped. That was the case with the Cats: crush them or die")
I think Fenris definitely made a point here...
Why is it that you guys insist on repeatedly ignoring the point I'm trying to make?

Because in context of the fictional universe of Wing Commander, it makes no sense.

You don't know CRAP about the Kilrathi.

Anybody who's read all of the novels knows a great deal about the Kilrathi. Some aspects of their culture are indeed admirable. However, the culture overall extols violence and vile acts as virtue, and unceasing aggression against other species of life as the proper way of existence.

All your information about them comes from Confed sources, which were NOT interested in giving you a fair picture, but rather showing you how evil the Kilrathi are. Wartime propaganda. Now, you can, if you wish, assume on the basis of that propaganda that the Kilrathi must be destroyed.
And based on MANY scenes in the novels which took place within the confines of the Imperial palace and other Kilrathi locations, as well as scenes in the games which do as well. Or are you going to say that THOSE were also written by "Confed propagandists" (read here: GAME FICTION WRITERS).
But do you really think that Confed acted any differently? There must be hundreds of cases where Confed soldiers massacred thousands of Kilrathi, fired on unarmed transports, everything. Wasn't the raid on Vukar Tag, essentially a war crime? They attacked a civilian target - a religious site - and desecrated it. How do you think the Kilrathi viewed all this? Undoubtedly, they too consider the Confeds to be a race of genocidal maniacs who need to be destroyed to the last man.
The raid on Vukar Tag was raiding a POLITICAL target, not a religious site (they attacked a palace owned by the Kiranka clan, on a planet owned by the Kiranka clan). They stole some art. The marines took a leak on the wall. They blew the palace up. Big deal. The entire raid was designed to piss off the Kiranka clan into making a rash counterstrike. And it worked. Notice that the raid was SPECIFICALLY designed to avoid unnecessary loss of life (both human and Kilrathi) while posing maximum insult to the Kiranka clan. It's called PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE.

So, let me repeat one more time. You only know the things that Confed wanted you to know. You don't know a thing about how the Kilrathi behave when they're not out to kill you - and contrary to popular belief, the Kilrathi are not always out to kill everything. I would have thought that you'd have learnt that from WC2. Thus, if you make a judgement, it's not based on what the Kilrathi are like, but on what Confed wants you to think they're like.

In conclusion, you're all making stupid judgements because you've been duped by Confed propaganda.
Dude, chill. It's ONLY A GAME. There is no such thing as Confed propaganda, only game fiction. Besides, truly effective propaganda does not tell lies, only the part of the truth which best suits the writer.

In the fiction, we have COUNTLESS examples of scenes shown within the Imperial Palace and in Kilrathi settings. There is no evidence that the Kilrathi are significantly better than Confed propaganda paints them. Maybe they aren't AS savage, but they're still savage. Maybe they aren't AS duplicitous, but they are still duplicitous.

The fact remains that the only treaty we've ever seen the Kilrathi offer was a sham, and that after they broke the sham-treaty, they annihilated several Terran worlds and attempted to destroy Earth itself.

[Edited by Iceberg on 02-26-2001 at 10:20]
 

Iceberg

Spaceman
Originally posted by pendell
Originally posted by Quarto

But do you really think that Confed acted any differently? There must be hundreds of cases where Confed soldiers massacred thousands of Kilrathi, fired on unarmed transports, everything. Wasn't the raid on Vukar Tag, essentially a war crime? They attacked a civilian target - a religious site - and desecrated it. How do you think the Kilrathi viewed all this? Undoubtedly, they too consider the Confeds to be a race of genocidal maniacs who need to be destroyed to the last man.
Just some thoughts:


1. I disagree that we have only Confed sources to draw upon
for our information. In WCII and WCIII cutscenes, and
in many novelizations (Fleet Actions, WC3) we are taken
behind the scenes to see the Kilrathi high command
in action, making its decisions and talking about the
human war. Thus, we have first-hand knowledge (as
viewers) of the Kilrathi Empire's thinking process.
Thrakhath and the emperor in particular do not sound
to me like people defending themselves from ruthless
enemies.
They sound like predators hunting prey. Thus, by
their own words, and not by Confed's propaganda, are
they condemned.
I completely agree. The pro-Cats seem to forget the vast number of times that we get a behind-the-scenes look at the Kilrathi decision making process. Confed propaganda regarding the Kilrathi is slightly exaggerated, but NOT a fabrication from whole cloth.

The pro-Cats also seem to forget that part of Victory Streak is a psychology report intended for the eyes of staff and line officers on the history and motivations of the Kilrathi, in order to help them better understand the enemy. This is not a pop-culture report designed to make civilians fear the cats, but rather a military report designed to tell senior officers EXACTLY what they're fighting.

2. Wing Commander is mythology not history -- the timeless
myth of brave men (and women) defending their homes
and families against evildoers who would slay them.
That is why
the Kilrathi are deliberately demonized in all the
Wing Commander games, NOT by Confed, but by
Chris Roberts! Remember the etymology of their
name -- "Those who kill with wrath". And since he is
their creator, who are we to gainsay him?
Somebody who agrees with me that Wing Commander qualifies as mythology!

IMHO, Wing Commander is every bit as mythological as Star Wars. It's just that Wing Commander takes its mythology from a different part of world history than Star Wars - Wing Commander's story strikes me as a mythologized version of the history of the United States of America.

3. I'm curious -- Although I do not know for sure, I suspect
that you have played WC3 and made the bombing run on
Kilrah yourself. If you truly believe that Confed are
the villains in the game, how do you justify your
actions?
[Edited by pendell on 02-23-2001 at 11:38]
I think the evidence is clear that the Kilrathi are the villains. I made the bombing run with a clear conscience, because (a) I remembered quite well that it's only a video game, and (b) It was a "Us or them" situation, and in an "us or them" situation, I'll gladly choose "us" every time.
 

Iceberg

Spaceman
Originally posted by Mekt-Hakkikt
I do not know about an Athena incident but if you mean with Lusitania, the ship that was sunk in WW1 by a German submarine, then I think the comparison does not work.
The Lusitania carried ammunition and US government had been warned that those ships would be attacked.
Sorry if I have the wrong incident in mind and talk cr*p.
When Bob Ballard took the Alvin down to look at the Lusitania's hulk, the hull plates at the point of impact were indeed smashed outward, but the debris and placement were consistent with an explosion caused by the torpedo's warhead igniting volatile, coal-dust-laden air in the ship's empty coal holds, NOT with the explosion of ammunition. The Lusitania really WAS an innocent victim of German aggression.
 

Iceberg

Spaceman
Originally posted by Dragon
Originally posted by Fenris
Fact: The Cats would have utterly annhiliated the Human race. If not, they would have enslaved us.
And your point is...
Death and enslavement are NOT a good option. Kill or die appears to be the rule of the day when fighting the Kilrathi, no matter how much individual warriors wish it were otherwise.

Originally posted by Fenris

Fact: The Cats were allowed to live free, rather than being exterminated or enslaved. Severe restrictions were placed on their spaceflight capabilities, but that stands to reason. You don't want to have an enemy that implacable at your back with the capability to stick a knife in it..
For Crying out loud, what sould we do?
Kill then all or enslaved then.
If ConFed had a diferent political system, similar to the Kilrathi, we would the same to then as they did to us, kill all Kilrathi or use then as slaves.
So? If things were different, they wouldn't be the same. Your point is? Confed is explicitly described as a federal republic in the novels. The Confed Assembly meets in an enlarged and expanded version of the United States Capitol, in Washington, DC (I note with dismay that between the 20th century and the 27th, the law forbidding buildings taller than the Washington Monument to be built in Washington, DC has been repealed).

Originally posted by Fenris

Fact: The Emperor decreed the enslavement, then extermination of Humanity.
So, what sould the Kilrathi do? the emperor had the ultimate power, Kilrathi political system is not the same as ConFed.
The Kilrathi followed the Emperor's orders EAGERLY. They attacked the human race with bloodlust at the forefront of their minds. The only way to defeat an enemy like that is to break them utterly, to remove their ability to make war.

Originally posted by Fenris


Fact: The only really known atrocity on the part of Confed forces during the war was the order by the Captain of the Gettysburg to kill Kilrathi civilians. This action was condemned by Confed High Command. Had it been a matter of government policy, as Quarto seems to maintain, the incident would have been either pardoned or praised. I submit that Vukar does not qualify as an atrocity.
Of course that were things similar to Gettyburg incident, ConFed is not going to put "Last night 10000 Kilrathi civilians were killed by a rogue pilot that fired on a evactuation shuttle.....", its bad to moral to know that there is little diference bettew the Kilrahi and Humans.
Just because we did not hear about it does not mean that it did not happen.
Just because we didn't hear about it doesn't mean it DID happen. The fact that we saw one or two instances of a Confederation atrocity for dozens, if not hundreds of Kilrathi atrocities is intended to suggest that the instance of Confed war crimes against the Kilrathi was very low. We KNOW that there is a moral difference between the Confederation and the Kilrathi by the differing endgames of Wing Commander III:

In the winning endgame, the Confederation signs a treaty of peace with the defeated remnants of the Kilrathi Empire. By Wing Commander Prophecy, the Kilrathi are beginning to rebuild a new economy, and their culture is beginning to grow again after a two thousand year stagnation.

In the losing endgame, the Kilrathi overrun and crush Terra, and presumably carry out their plan of genocide from Fleet Action.

These are NOT morally equivalent actions, and the fact that the Confederation is not pure good nor is the Kilrathi Empire pure evil does not make the two goverments morally equivalent.

[Edited by Iceberg on 02-26-2001 at 11:43]
 

Iceberg

Spaceman
And what have we learned from this exercise, class?

Well, we've learned three things:

1: That some people around here really need to check in with reality sometimes,

2: That no matter how clearly evil a side is portrayed in a fictional work, there are some people who will redact said work until the evil side becomes the good and vice-versa,

and

3: Iceberg becomes extraordinarily long-winded when nobody else is talking.
 

redwolf

Spaceman
I don't see what the problem is.

The destruction of Kilrah was necessary. The point is, the Human race is no where near as bad as they tried to solve the conflict using other means. They gave the Kilrathi 5 years before declaring war. They accepted the false truce.

The Humans only resorted to the destruction of Kilrah as a means of last resort. Every other option had been exhausted, at considerable cost in lives and to industry.
 

Dekkar

Spaceman
The human race is no where near as bad? Purhaps the human government is no where near as bad. The human race is composed of many individuals, who are just that individual, some good, some bad, but generally there not so easily labeled. The same would apply to the Kilrahi race. On both sides there is evil on both sides there is good. We just tend to pass off there actions as evil with out questioning our own.

As for the whole scanning incident that apperantly started the conflict, think of it this way, if you saw a bear and the bear made a swipe at you, wouldn't you blow it's head off? It's quite possible the bear had no bad intentions and was just trying to get a better understanding of what you were by touching you. It could have had it's claws retracted [if bears can do that] yet you saw it as a violent action, your self-preservation instincts kicked in and you killed it.

Not to mention sport hunting. Were you go and kill animals for fun. What seperates this from what the kilrathi were doing? We humans tend to think of ourselves as better then anything else, it might somehow be related to that created in gods image concept or it might just be pure arrogence, either way we do. We all do, I certianly don't condon sport hunting, yet would I consider a sport hunter to be as evil as a mass-murder who did it for fun? Somehow I don't think I would.

In any case my earlier statement that if it were real I wouldn't want to be a confed pilot stills stands. Not because I would think it wrong to fight the cats in our little "us vs them" ,but because I wouldn't be able to fly along side "us". So many confed pilots couldn't see the kilrathi as anything but monsters. "No one will fly with a kilrathi on there wing". I wouldn't have been able to take being couped up in a carrier filled with that kind of prejudice.

[Edited by Dekkar on 02-26-2001 at 14:17]
 

Iceberg

Spaceman
Originally posted by Dekkar
The human race is no where near as bad? Purhaps the human government is no where near as bad. The human race is composed of many individuals, who are just that individual, some good, some bad, but generally there not so easily labeled. The same would apply to the Kilrahi race. On both sides there is evil on both sides there is good. We just tend to pass off there actions as evil with out questioning our own.
The "racial alignment" of the Kilrathi tends toward evil - their society is geared around an alien set of values which is absolutely abhorrent by human standards.

As for the whole scanning incident that apperantly started the conflict, think of it this way, if you saw a bear and the bear made a swipe at you, wouldn't you blow it's head off? It's quite possible the bear had no bad intentions and was just trying to get a better understanding of what you were by touching you. It could have had it's claws retracted [if bears can do that] yet you saw it as a violent action, your self-preservation instincts kicked in and you killed it.
A sensor sweep, or even a focused scan, is a VERY different action from an assault. Weapons in the WC universe are very clearly weapons, unlike in TNG-era Star Trek, where weapons are a raised dark strip on the hull. A better analogy would be blowing off a bear's head for looking at you. If a bear looks at you, it's cause for concern but not for pre-emptively killing it.

Not to mention sport hunting. Were you go and kill animals for fun. What seperates this from what the kilrathi were doing? We humans tend to think of ourselves as better then anything else, it might somehow be related to that created in gods image concept or it might just be pure arrogence, either way we do. We all do, I certianly don't condon sport hunting, yet would I consider a sport hunter to be as evil as a mass-murder who did it for fun? Somehow I don't think I would.
Humans do not knowingly hunt sentient beings for sport. The Kilrathi do - they hunt the Varni (a sentient, spacefaring alien race) for sport, and they do the same to human POWs. Yet by comparison, Kilrathi POWs are treated humanely, despite the fact that humanity has full knowledge of how poorly the Kilrathi treat human POWs. Why? I submit that this is a LARGE piece of evidence pointing to the moral superiority of contemporary Confederation society over contemporary Kilrathi society.

In any case my earlier statement that if it were real I wouldn't want to be a confed pilot stills stands. Not because I would think it wrong to fight the cats in our little "us vs them" ,but because I wouldn't be able to fly along side "us". So many confed pilots couldn't see the kilrathi as anything but monsters. "No one will fly with a kilrathi on there wing". I wouldn't have been able to take being couped up in a carrier filled with that kind of prejudice.
And during World War II, American fighter pilots thought of all Germans as "greasy, beer-swilling Jerrys," and all Japanese as "sneaky, slanty-eyed Japs." You demonize the other side when you're at war, because otherwise it's too hard to kill them. And you have to kill them, for the survival of your own way of life.

The best fighter pilots don't even think of the enemy fighter pilots as living at all, but as enemy airplanes. There's no "killing" involved from the pilot's point of view (in the real WC universe, I strongly doubt that any pilot would actually hear the death screams of his enemy), merely the silent disintegration of an enemy fighter.
 

Fenris

Spaceman
Has anyone considered that it was in the Kilrathi's best interest that we kicked their butts in the war? If they had won, and no other threat came up, they would simply destroy themselves. Their way of life was ultimately self-destructive. We gave them the boot to the head that gave them a chance to find a better way, less geared toward warfare and racial predjudice.
 

Zor Prime

That guy.
maybe, but whos to say. Maybe their arch nemisis on the other side of their space would show up again, (i forget their name) and kick the crap out of them.
 

Fenris

Spaceman
All accounts of the Mantu actually point to the fact that they were generally non-agressive explorers who were attacked by the Cats, and responded with massive force. (Read: they were smarter than we were, they were ready for a large scale war.) The odds are that the Mantu have no real interest in conquering the Cats.
 

Fenris

Spaceman
As for the Bugs, they would have probably annihilated the Cats anyway, if they came at all. Presuming that the Prophecy of Sivar was correct, the Bugs came because the Cats got their butts whupped.
 

Dragon

Spaceman
True, and the Kilrathi never found any Mantu ships ever.
The Kilrahi must have fund a exploration fleet not the Mantu colonies.
 

Dekkar

Spaceman
wooah hold up, most of what your saying makes sence Iceberg,
but "Humans do not knowingly hunt sentient beings for sport"
are you saying people don't hunt Polar-bears,cougars,deer & antelope for sport? or are you saying Polarbears,cougars,deer & antelope aren't knowingly sentient?
 

Iceberg

Spaceman
If the Kilrathi had met the Mantu, they would have just been beaten down and embittered. Strangely, I think the most important thing about the Kilrathi War was its incredible length - they met an alien race that they expected to be just another prey species, and it turned out that humanity outlasted their initial doomsday onslaught, weathered the worst that the Kilrathi could dish out to us, and finally overcame them in the only way that any race could - by destroying the center of their culture, and thus shattering it like glass under the hammer of war.
 

Iceberg

Spaceman
Originally posted by Dekkar
wooah hold up, most of what your saying makes sence Iceberg,
but "Humans do not knowingly hunt sentient beings for sport"
are you saying people don't hunt Polar-bears,cougars,deer & antelope for sport? or are you saying Polarbears,cougars,deer & antelope aren't knowingly sentient?
Of course I'm saying polar bears, cougars, deer and antelope aren't sentient. Who has forwarded in a reputable scientific journal that they are?
 
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