The Bajorans were first introduced into Star Trek as a species of refugees, their homeworld having been taken over by the reptilian-like Cardassians. What was the Federation, that all-inclusive beneficent civilization in part founded by enlightened human beings seeking to do no harm, doing while the Cardassians were strip-mining the Bajoran homeworld for decades and enslaving its people? Nothing. You see, the Federation has this policy of non-interference (called the Prime Directive) that forbids them from interfering in the affairs of other species, particularly if that species is less-technologically advanced. That seems reasonable, as otherwise we might have situations where we’d be equipping the Mongol warriors of 1000 A.D. with Abrams tanks, grenade launchers, and machine guns.
But in some ways, the Prime Directive seems like the ultimate coward’s way out. As Burke and some others said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” How often have we been guilty of just that? Standing by and letting something we know to be wrong go on? Why? Perhaps because we fear we are ourselves wrong.
Below is just one type of ship used by the beleaguered Bajorans.