Klingon use of the Cloaking device.

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Klythe originaly posted this elsewhere.  I found it interesting enough that I would like to see discusion on it alone.  How about it? Quote

Sorry about that, TFC moved to a new server and the Wiki didn't follow. I found my old article and am in the process of updating it. When it's done, I'll post a new thread in the Klingon language discussion area and link it here.

In the meantime, here is excerpts from a thread where I explain how the Klingons use of the cloaking device, created my those masters of treachery the Romulans, can in fact be honorable if done the Klingon way.

The accusation:

I think cloaking is dishonorable. You lie in wait in a place where your enemy can not see you or defend himself, and then when it's most safe for you, you pounce, weapons blazing.

What happened to mettle against mettle? Glorious battle where inner strength and skill win the day? Didnt the Klingons get such a despicable technology from the Romulans?

Arent they spineless and honorless? Why use it, Klingons?

... Despicable... From the terrorists who created the Genesis planet bomb?

You would take the stalk out of the hunting fox and force him to starve because occasionally one will use it when it is not needed? The hunters starve even though they are responsible enough to punish or at least shun those who misuse the tool? How badly you misunderstand us, Captain

Warriors should if at all possible see the face of thier oppenents and fight face to face once fighting begins. This is why the Klingons in the TOS book "Flag Full of Stars" crippled their own computer-controlled supership, but then allowed Kirk the Glory of finishing it off. There is no glory in having machines fight for you.

Larger Klingon ships are not generally used for hunting raids. They are more often assigned defensive and occupation duties. They have cloaks mostly to get them into a new theatre of operations undetected. Once there, unless needed to assist and support the raiding fleets against defenders capital ships, they are used to secure strategic areas for occupation.

An analogy that is even better is the fox and the henhouse. The hens are protected by the farm's fence, dogs, roosters, the henhouse walls and door... and the farmer with his shotgun. By stalking in you stand a chance at getting past the fence and the door without immediately attracting the dogs, roosters and farmers. Even then, there is no guarentee it will work, you still could be detected before you strike, and even if you aren't, then you still have to get past the rooster and dogs on your way out before the farmer shows up and it's all over.

Klythe Zantai-Vra'al
Moderator, Klingon Imperial Forums
ngem Sargh lIghwI' pagh cha'

While I agree with Klythe, I would like to add to his remarks.

1. A cloaked Klingon ship is prepared to do battle.  It does battle, usually, with other war ships.  Normally, a cloaked ship will decloak before attacking, the timing is up for debate.  This is not just because of the energy requirements needed to run both weapons and a cloak, but also the cultural need to face your enemy.  General Chang was obviously crazy and without honor to attack the Enterprise at the Khitomer Accords while cloaked.  His actions brought dishonor to all Klingons.

2. It is true that there is little honor in defeating a defenseless opponent, but the enemies of the empire are armed combatants.  Any ship that enters space with weapons, or is a part of a military organization, is an armed combatant.  In war, anyone in uniform is a combatant, and is expected to act as such with the same duties and protections.  Anyone who is a combatant, and not in uniform, is a spy or terrorist, and can be shot as such.  Weak civilians are not honorable opponents.  (Though they can be killed if it is militarily expedient.) See TOS “Errand of Mercy” As such, armed combatants make themselves legitimate targets.  

3. Once it has been determined that an opponent is a legitimate target, it is honorable to engage these legitimate targets in any way you can.  You increase your chances of success by the surprise attack.  The fact that Klingon ships have been destroyed while cloaked, or shortly after decloaking, shows that the technology is not foolproof. There is always a chance, and a fight with no risk is not an honorable fight.

4. Use of a cloaked ship does not ensure victory.  It is like wearing armor, it adds to your chances of success, but does not guarantee it.  

A warrior by definiton does what ever he needs to survive and to win. If sometimes that means to retreat, deception, pure strength, then that is what is used to win the day. as gowron himself says, and Work(ds9 episode), klingons valus victory above all else. Do not forget this.

It is a HERO, but not a warrior that stands his ground, plays by rules, considers the welfare of his oponent. This is not the klingon way.  

I find it hard to equate honorable combat with a being capable of language with hunting for FOOD. That being said, the claok in and of itself is not capable of being honorable or dishonorable any more than is my armor and my blade. The cloaking device is a tool fo the warrior and may be used honorably or dishonorably. I think it is intersting that the humans who know very little of honor, are quick to brand us dishonorable every time we gain an advantage through superior tactics or technology. Me thinks they doth protesxt too much.

Why is this so hard for you to equate?   Is the hunt not an honorable ritual?   Is FOOD any less valuable than Victory?   I would see how long you survive with only Victory in your belly.  Just because we are capable of using language does not mean we cannot understand ourselves better by studying those that do not.  

    After all, we have only been using language for perhaps as much as ten thousand years.  And we have been acting without language for a few million years.

   The voice of your blood does not use language.  Do you ignore your instincts because you cannot equate them with a rational argument, or do you trust them to guide you when there is no time to think, only to act?


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