U.F.P., Bajor slam Cardassia’s ‘destabilizing’ move on Bajoran space
Stardate 50974.9, 2 hours ago.
BAJOR/DEEP SPACE NINE (Dahkur Press) — Bajor and its ally the United Federation of Planets sharply criticized Cardassian Union’s move to impose new rules on space near the heart of a territorial dispute with Bajor, warning of an escalation into the “unexpected” if Cardassia, now a member of the Dominion, enforces the rules.
Obsidian News, the Dominion’s government-run news agency on Cardassia Prime, published coordinates for a newly established “Bajoran Sector Defense Identification Zone” which covers much of that sector, including the wormhole and Deep Space Nine.
Cardassia and its Dominion ally warned that it would take “defensive emergency measures” against any ship that failed to identify themselves properly in that space.
Bajoran Minister Fukoo Kardiis said the move was unacceptable. “It could well lead to an unforeseen situation,” he told reporters on Sunday.
Ties between the Alpha-Quadrant powers have been strained for months by the dispute over the wormhole and its controlling space station, called Terok Nor by Cardassia and Deep Space Nine by Bajor and the Federation. The station is currently Bajoran and under Federation administrative control.
Saturday’s announcement suggests that all ships merely passing through that zone would have to follow the Dominion’s procedures – or potentially get searched and robbed by arrogant Cardassians or blown to bits by the Jem’Hadar; probably both and in that order.
Federation President Jaresh-Inyo urged the Dominion to exercise caution and restraint, saying freedom of passage was essential to stability and security in the sector.
“We urge Cardassia and the Dominion not to implement its threat to take action against ships that do not identify themselves or obey orders from Cardassia Prime,” he said in a statement. “We remain steadfastly committed to our allies and partners, and hope to see a more collaborative and less confrontational future in the Bajoran sector.”
A current U.F.P.-Bajor agreement commits the Federation to intervene in defense of Bajor if there is an attack on Bajoran territory. The Federation has a military presence in the Bajoran sector as well as the Almatha and Dorvan sectors near the Demilitarized Zone but, being a bunch of timid do-gooders, probably nowhere near enough ships.
Obsidian News said in a commentary the “zone could contribute to regional peace and security by curbing the increasing rampancy of Bajor’s and Federation’s right-wing forces, as well as the continuous and dangerous provocations of its radical elements which even the Federation should be vigilant against”.
Tensions flared in recent years when Cardassian and Federation colonists, the latter under the banner of the Maquis, waged war in the DMZ. Although the conflicts were relatively small in scale, no few photon torpedoes were exchanged.
Bajor and the Federation lodged a strong protest through the Cardassian embassy, calling the action “totally unacceptable” and warning that the overlap of defense zones could lead to an “unexpected occurrence of accidents in that space”.
The commander of Cardassia’s military, Gul Dukat, dismissed Bajor’s and Federation’s protests, saying in a statement that “the Federation and Bajor has no right to make irresponsible remarks… and should go back to playing with self-sealing stem bolts”.
Dukat said the Dominion government’s aim was to defend its sovereignty and was not aimed at any specific planet or target. He added it did not affect the freedom to pass through that space, except that it did.
Obsidian News said the latest rules came into force on Saturday and the Dominion conducted its first patrol in the zone. The patrol included a Cardassian Hideki-class patrol vessel and Jem’Hadar attack ships, it said.
The Federation, for its part, scrambled one tinny little U.S.S. Defiant on Saturday afternoon against the Dominon ships near the wormhole, Starfleet Command said.
In a strongly worded statement, Starfleet Admiral Alynna Nechayev called the Dominion’s and Cardassia’s move a “destabilizing attempt to alter the status quo in the region”.
“This unilateral action increases the risk of misunderstanding and miscalculations,” she said.
One U.F.P. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Cardassia’s move was being interpreted as “a direct challenge” to Federation’s operations in the area, particularly the control of the wormhole which leads to the Gamma Quadrant and therefore the Dominion’s very big backyard.
Security experts jumped on the bandwagon and echoed concerns about an escalation, saying that if the Dominion were to enforce the defense identification zone, any ship passing into it could lead to a military face-off between the two sides.
“If two ships – one from Cardassia and one from the Federation – meet in that space, that would create a precarious situation, which is very very dangerous,” stated the obvious by Nukaar Meera, director at Bajoran Institute for Policy Studies.
When reminded that had just happened but no war has erupted, Nukaar added, “I may sound like an alarmist now but those damn Cardies would like nothing more than to occupy Bajor again.”
Tensions in the region are expected to be a topic of discussion when Federation officials travel to Cardassia Prime, Bajor and Qo’noS in the coming weeks for more pointless talking.
The Federation has not taken a strong position on sovereignty issues in the region but stressed peace and stability and has allowed free flow of commerce through that space and the wormhole by just about everyone. This included rogue Cardassian and Romulan fleets which passed through the wormhole to the Gamma Quadrant two years ago in an attempt to wipe out the Dominion. It didn’t work.
The Dominion’s and Cardassia’s latest move comes on the heels of a large Dominion convoy to Cardassia from the Gamma Quadrant this week in the hopes of improving Cardassia’s economy. This latest convoy is the fifth in as many weeks. This is obviously alarming to Bajor as Cardassia resurgence can lead to another war and occupation. For most Bajorans, their blood on Cardassian hands are still fresh.
However, Dukat quipped, “No, this is definitely tomato paste. It’s part of the aid package from the Dominion. We could use some Yamok sauce though.”
Weyoun, the Dominion’s Vorta Ambassador in the Alpha Quadrant, has denied that the convoys to Cardassia are part of a military buildup but Weyoun and Federation President Jaresh-Inyo have yet to hold an official meeting.
bobmaark: Worse. Reporting. Ever. Where’s Picard?
bill_xx_632: The Enterprise E is probably patrolling the Romulan Neutral Zone all by itself.
quarks_ds9: Come to Quark’s for Happy Hour and you automatically enter the draw to win free holosuite visits. New releases include Vulcan Love Slave #14 and Vivacious Vedeks #2!
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