Sunday, June 19, 2011


Fathers Day is special every year but this one is especially so in my family. Earlier this year I shared a photo taken minutes after my son became a first time Dad. You can view his joy with a click here for "Family Togetherness." Actually, you get a bonus with first time Mother (my 'other daughter') delighting in her son. Of course the star of the photo is my new, first and only grandson.

Dads everywhere can likely recall the overwhelming feelings of love they felt with their firstborns and subsequent births. I wish my husband had still been living to experience the wonder of this new life in our midst. I wish my son and his Dad could have had what I imagine would have been a unique, now shared experience of both being fathers.

A special salute to all those Dads who've given their support, their counsel not only when all is well but during challenging times and most of all for their unconditional love.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


("Tone down Pakistan rhetoric" is an L.A. Times editorial 6/18/11 suggesting "...the fight against Islamic extremists" could be jeopardized. They raise important concerns in a complex situation.)

Unexpected news has been forthcoming about most recent Pakistani government actions. I hadn't intended to write more on this topic but Pakistan has arrested five men who assisted the U. S. CIA in locating Bin Laden, residing in a secret compound where he was eliminated. Pakistan officials are reportedly angry they had not been forewarned of the U.S. special operations.

One of the issues this blog's previous article, "Duplicity." questioned was Pakistan's duplicitous actions. Their jailing these men serves to increase my apprehension about that nation's true relationship with the United States, their attitude toward the Taliban and terrorism.

This CBS News World Watch account provides additional specific information including:

"U.S. officials have begun to question whether America should continue to send aid to Pakistan, which so far has amounted to $20 billion since 2001."

What could we do with those $$$ in the U.S.?

The news source quotes a statement by Sen. Dick Luger (R-Ind.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The Senator describes Pakistan's complex government as consisting of various civilian, military and security groups each of which may erratically control the country. Who is in control at any given time varies and the nation's position on issues can rapidly reverse just as does who's in charge.

Are our taxpayer billions helping bring stability to Pakistan's government, keeping their nuclear capability from becoming dangerously active, or do officials keep the monies?

Certainly Pakistan's behavior toward our nation often seems to be based on conflicting allegiances involving the countries surrounding their borders with actions contrary to U.S. efforts against terrorism.

This is just one of several nations accepting billions of our tax dollars. We need to pay attention to the amount each nation is receiving, how and where that money is used.

Friday, June 03, 2011


": contradictory doubleness of thought, speech, or action; especially: the belying of one's true intentions by deceptive words or action" Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition

Duplicity is rampant hiding behind all kinds of guises. History is replete with many instances of such shenanigans both ‘fair and foul’ depending upon the perspective and rationale of those individuals, groups and countries who employ these techniques. (Refer to this link documenting select duplicitous actions from the 1500s to the present.)
Some examples occurring during our nation’s founding from summaries of Old West Native Americans:

“Mar 22, 1622 - He plotted the destruction of the colony so secretly that only one Indian, the Christian Chanco, revealed the conspiracy, but too late to save the people of Jamestown, who at a sudden signal were massacred, on March 22, 1622, by the natives who had earlier deemed to be friendly. In the period of intermittent hostilities that followed, duplicity and treachery marked the actions of both whites and Indians. In the last year of his life, Opechancanough, taking advantage of the ...” ...

Negotiations to free sick and injured U.S. seamen prisoners in which U.S. Navy Captain John Paul Jones engaged with representatives of Britain, France, Holland is described:

“Jan 28, 1780 - …anger over this duplicitous action was probably compounded by his [Franklin] frustration and concern about the prisoners after he received a letter … In it, Hodgson reported tha't the American captives were “suffering exceedingly”…”
From Yankee sailors in British gaols - Related web pages ...

In 1998 former Senator Gary Hart’s book, The Minuteman: Restoring an Army of the People, explores the “scope of America's military policy and accountability to its citizens.”
Hart writes U.S. foreign policy has substituted "interest" for principle and morality.

"Interest, especially national interest, is a shifting, amoral notion."

"A concept that justifies virtually any action "however immoral, duplicitous, cynical, unjust, or undemocratic."

He continues:

“It is a concept without roots in reason or morality that justifies virtually any action, whether exploiting the sinking of the Maine in 1898, misconstruing events in the Gulf of Tonkin, or selling arms to Iran to finance illegal operations in Central America.”

At the time he wrote this Saddam Hussein still ruled in Iraq and 9/11 had not occurred. Hart’s premise about acting on the basis of “interest” as it applies to the world's war against terrorism continues to raise serious thoughts. Consider the factors prompting the U.S. Iraq invasion, our involvement in Afgahanistan and most recently Libya.

"What seems in our interest today, may not be tomorrow."

U. S. foreign relations with the nuclear equipped country Pakistan comes to mind. Yet their governing officials and military hierarchy appear to be at odds internally over the true nature of our two countries relationship. Billions of U.S. tax dollars are given annually to aid this nation. Where do our monies go, especially during this time when our own nation faces financial difficulties? Are our dollars wending their way into funding weapons and support for Taliban troops fighting U.S. soldiers? Are our dollars lining the pockets of Pakistan officials? Are our dollars actually aiding an appreciative Pakistan citizenry?

Pakistan seems to have no clearly defined allegiance to the U.S. as dramatically evidenced when Bin Laden was found living there in a large compound constructed in 2005. The walled structures location is in a major city close to the country's primary military training academy. Following discovery and disposition of Bin Laden in a daring U.S. military special forces action, Pakistani government officials persist in disclaiming they had any knowledge of his presence.

Duplicitous actions, accusations of some that others are behaving in a deceitful manner persist through the twentieth century through World Wars I and II, especially during the “Cold War” with USSR. Now in the twenty-first century relations with North Korea, China and Pakistan, to name a few countries, have elicited similar concerns about nations behaviors.

Does anyone ever say what they mean and mean what they say? That seems to be what our U.S. foreign policy is all about, determining truth from falsehoods, and formulating how we represent ourselves to others. I wonder if the day will ever come when peoples and nations interact with each other honestly and openly. Would life be much less complex, or would a different set of complications arise?