Mikey wrote:There's a bit of Starfleet hypocrisy going on there - one the one hand, they're the peaceful, war-as-a-last-resort-only, let's-all-talk-it-out yippies; on the other hand, they don't want to "waste" a little of a starship's time and deuterium to save an entire sapient species (even when it can be done without interference?)
Sounds like a rehash of the "arbitrary and haphazard" thing I mentioned, as well as just plain wrong.
Still that's exactly the sort of culture that "needs" a prime directive. Federation captains would be prone to all sorts of risks and massive expenditures of resources if left to their own devices. This is a way to draw a clear line in the sand. I don't think it would work to say "you can save the population if it requires no more than 200 liters of deuterium."
It also allows one to hide cold pragmatism in very high ground seeming rhetoric. A terribly useful thing to do.
And again. From starfleets point of view they're probably happier with those societies being wiped out. It's a planet they can now colonize and one less potentially pain in the butt culture they'll have to deal with.