Category talk:Atrocities

Is this really necessary and a good idea? This sounds like something that's bound to degenerate into subjective opinions sooner or later, not to mention the shades of gray involved in determining why something like Kentares caused widespread outrage and the multiple nuclear attacks going on at the same time didn't. The page was created with subjective labels (vile act, terrorism, the word atrocity itself). That terrible things go on in the game isn't a question but the way this is being done seems guaranteed to cause trouble. --Moonsword 14:41, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

What to use instead then? They are not military operations, they are in many cases not covert operations. I will not keep them in the Events master category. If you have a better suggestion then speak up. --Neufeld 14:45, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Leave them where they are unless you've got a good explanation of why things like the Kentares Massacre, the bio-attack on Galax, or the scouring of Galedon aren't "important events in the BattleTech storyline". At least two of them certainly were military actions, for that matter. It's a lot less likely to provoke a pointless debate over whether this action or another merited the label "atrocity" or whether this group or that group is engaged in terrorism. This has come up over on the forums before and it was very contentious. If you are going to mess with it, find a label and description that's less likely to cause trouble. --Moonsword 14:52, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
I intend to leave nothing a just 'events'. If you have a problem with 'atrocity', then you have to find a label you like. --Neufeld 15:03, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Here's the problem: By the nature of what you're choosing to do, you're violating NPOV. Categorizing something as an act of extreme wickedness, a tremendous injustice, an atrocity by the definition of the word is inherently a subjective decision based on opinions, not facts. Find an objective definition to categorize on. It may work better if the category is defined (EDIT: but not named) as something like this: "Events commonly but not necessarily universally held to be acts of extreme cruelty or excessive wickedness." That lets people look at the category and know what's going on without asserting that BTW chooses to regard them as de facto atrocities. There certainly are events that are nearly universally regarded as atrocities but there's a difference between saying it's regarded as such and simply saying it is an atrocity: the former is a statement of fact, the latter of opinion. On the other hand, it's certainly only my opinion that this is potentially problematic. --Moonsword 15:19, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
To clarify something, what's in there right now isn't really an issue. But then you get into the question of why nuking Arcadia in the Crucis March isn't generally seen as an atrocity but just about everyone thinks what happened on Kentares was. The term itself is inflammatory in my experience and the definition is subjective from person to person. --Moonsword 14:58, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm stepping in as a fellow editor, and I agree that 'Atrocities' is indeed non-neutral. And, as Neufeld requested, we can definitely come up with a better term for it. As Sarna 'historians', we have to remove ourselves from (as well as any appearances towards) judging the events as good or bad, but instead just report them. I think all three of us are in agreement on that. I'm gonna devote a handful of braincells to this, and will be bold by making some changes to both the description of the category and I'll try to suggest a different name. That name will probably influence (and allow for) the inclusion of non-traditional means of warfare to include orbital strikes and NBC warfare. (I do think it's an interesting category.) --Revanche (talk|contribs) 15:33, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Fine with me. --Neufeld 15:45, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Okay, gentlemen: take a look at the new category description and see if it meets with your expectations for the category and that it meets most definitions of non-neutral.
I developed this by reading up on terrorism as a subject, and came up with the concept that there exist nonconventional methods of waging war. So, how about that as a name? Category: Nonconventional Acts of War? It's a bit wieldy, but I think a bit more descriptive of specific events than would Category: Nonconventional Warfare.
Let me know. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 19:27, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
When you say outside the bounds of civilised warfare, do you mean specifically in breach of the Ares Conventions? It feels like a loaded phrase given that the BTech verse has those conventions, and theoretically, every war fought without those conventions (such as the Capellan/Concordat war) would by default fit into this category. BrokenMnemonic 20:12, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
That's something I'm seeking guidance on, from the two above. I'm presuming to speak for Neufeld when I suggest he means acts (real world) Westerners would consider evil and wrong, while I think its fair to say it should be about the concept of the Inner Sphere's idea of non-standard methods of warfare. We have to strive to keep the definition neutral, for clearly the Draconis Combine felt justified in their actions, as did the Blakists in their's. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 20:35, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
I was working through House Davion and House Liao earlier today, working up the posts on the Almach Accords and Acala Pact, and I found the detail on how the entire population of Bell allegedly vanished while the world was occupied by the Federated Suns... and by coincidence, I saw the entry on here where it cites the Taurian Concordat finding the inhabitants of Bell in a work camp on Tintavia, and in freeing them, began the Taurian Defence Force. So, one of the questions this category makes me ask is, does the disappearance of the residents of Bell and their alleged discovery in a work camp on Tintavia qualify it as an event or action worthy of being in this category? BrokenMnemonic 20:47, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Maybe? I imagine there is no article on the presumably forced relocation yet, but I'd have to be familiar with the incident before I'd weigh in on it. By default, the article would be in the Events category, but if it were a political move (and non-violent), I'd say it wasn't meant for this (as yet un-renamed) category we're discussing here. Neufeld, Moonsword? --Revanche (talk|contribs) 21:06, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Well, I like the new description and thinks it is fine. I am a bit uncertain about the issue of orbital bombardment of military targets, and border cases like Capella Prime. As for the type of acts I indended to be in this category is mostly those type of actions that targets non-military targets. As for new category name, I would prefer something that was a bit briefer, but it will do unless someone has a better idea. --Neufeld 12:00, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
Neufeld, that's a great category: "non-military targets". In light of that, my description would be off. I'm going to re-word the description, to better state the intent. Let me know (all) what you think. That was helpful; thanks.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 14:42, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm still not sure terrorism isn't a subjective label, but this is much better and it certainly gets the point across. --Moonsword 19:54, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
The word 'terrorism' is notoriously hard to define. The 'other' side constantly employs it, 'we' never do. WP has an entire article devoted to the definitions of terrorism. I agree with you that it could be conceived as a pejorative; I'm just hoping that -due to its inherent difficulties in definition- more readers than naught will accept the intent.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 20:20, 26 August 2011 (UTC)