Originally Posted by kevin
Relative to what he 'should' have done Marcus' actions are clearly wrong. That isn't in dispute. The point is why he believes his way is the best way for the Federation. He has his reasons for making his choice and his point of view. And which lines he's willing to cross in the pursuit of those views.
No one ever considers themselves 'evil' Every notorious figure in history considered his own actions justified. The point is NOT that Admiral Marcus feels justified, but to explain to the next generation of Admirals, Captains, and officers WHY it does not matter what he thought. That at the end of the day it is RIGHT to be prepared but WRONG to be the one to go looking for a fight. That there WAS a legitimate need to improve defenses but not a need to lie to the Government. "By their deeds ye shall know them." I don't think any more needs to be said about Admiral Marcus than that.
As for leaving the 'hippies' in charge... We actually got that in the early years of TNG: Witness the Galaxy Class. Huge starships carrying families into areas where untrained civilians and children do not belong. Great statement of culture but a lousy statement to potential enemies. Colony ships are one thing. (I consider Kelvin acting in support of a colony effort. One reason for the huge number of shuttles...) Patrolling the Romulan border or dealing with the Borg are another matter entirely. This unrealistic approach would cost heavily in incidents such as the loss of the Yamato. (Imagine if the Enterprise-D had been in service during First Contact *shudder*)