@david-arthur, on Oct 8 2008, 08:19 PM, said in Confed's or Rebels:
Using a definition of 'transports' that includes passenger liners.
Thats a simple enough precedent to justify. If you refuse to target luxury liners, then they'll just be loading them up with guns alongside the passengers. Historically, its happened before. Remember the Lusitania? Never-mind that the Germans torpedoed her because they mistook her for a troop transport; it sunk because said torpedo detonated the munitions that were being smuggled aboard her. Given the was history has a tendency to repeat itself, the Rebels probably fear the same thing, ethical implications notwithstanding.
Look at the story-lines. On both sides, they involve far more rebel attacks against the Confederation than the reverse. Large parts of the Confederation story-line consist of fending off rebel attacks, and undoing their results.
This is more due to the player being called in for "special circumstances" for the Confederates more than anything. You know, when the Navy at large isn't particularly suited to handling an issue? They don't really trust mercenaries, and who can blame them? The Rebels, on the other hand, are almost wholly reliant on mercenaries for many of their operations, and so the player is called on for more offensive actions.
The rebels don't just want 'freedom': they want to destroy the Confederation, which they've declared (based on extremely nebulous charges) to be evil.
I won't deny it. However, the very fact that such a popular uprising has lasted for so long would seem to infer that their claims have at least some basis in fact (although the propaganda from each side of the fence undoubtedly exaggerates matters a great deal).
As for the Confederacy being "evil", while the Rebels may believe that, it seems more a matter in my opinion that the Confeds are incompetent, corrupt, bureaucratic, and aloof more than actively malicious. And the Rebel's cries of 'oppression' are more likely the result of inadequate representation more than anything (after all, what self-respecting core-worlder would give two cents about what a fringe yokel thinks?). Laws that would be perfectly reasonable on the more prosperous and well-developed core-worlds would probably be interpreted as tyranny on the fringe worlds where they hardly apply. Ignorance, on the behalf of the Confederates for failing to understand the needs of the fringe worlds, and on the behalf of the fringe worlds for failing to understand the actions of the Confederates, is likely the root cause of the war in general.
By this point, the Rebels could very well see the utter destruction of the Confederacy as their only recourse. The Confederates have long since identified the Rebels as a threat, and they don't take dissent lying down. And the Rebels have too much at risk, having vested so much effort and blood into the conflict, to simply lay down arms. The situation is very much "destroy or be destroyed", and, regardless of the views of radicals and moderates alike on both sides, that is the way it is likely to remain.