Originally Posted by Pauln6
I'd like to think that Geneva Convention type arrangements are as much about how we want our society to behave as they are about tit for tat treatment of prisoners. How do we feel when our enemies torture and kill prisoners? That should be at the forefront of our minds when treating our own enemy prisoners. Once you give up the moral high ground you end up in intractable tit for tat situations like Northern Ireland and Israel.
For example, Kirk pays lip service to offering help to Nero. Would any Romulan viewing those recordings feel that the offer was genuine based on what comes only moments later? Mind you, TOS Romulans would prefer death to dishonour so they'd probably still be rooting for Nero either way.
For the scene to have any moral authority, Nero should have destroyed himself when his own weapons fire was sucked back to his ship or detonated by the gravity well. That would have sent the right Star Trek message IMO. 'Hate is self-destructive', not 'execute those who have wronged you.'
I'd like to believe that it's about how we want society in general (and not just our own) to behave, however I'm also too cynical to accept that that's good enough motivation for a majority of people. And besides to my knowledge there has never been a war or an occupation in which embarrassing and unforgivable things did not happen to either prisoners or innocent bystanders. Even when our own chiefs of staff and intelligence agencies are fully on board with the Geneva Conventions, there is always, always that unit of military grunts that just has to go frack it up for everybody (and why not? These are people physically and psychologically trained to be prepared to shoot the enemies of the state). And then the whole world media cries foul because it just happens to be the US that's the guilty party this time.
I think Kirk's offer was sincere enough, but it also was what it was, an ultimatum for surrender. However he does seem to overdo it with sticking around to fire 'everything' they've got. I hardly think that was necessary.