This is Patricia Lee Sharpe's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Patricia Lee Sharpe's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Patricia Lee Sharpe
Recent Activity
Well, Mr. Barkell, this puts you in company with the Islamic State, a murderous bunch who delight in waterboarding and otherwise torturing hostages before beheading them. For the ghastly details read the front page story in the 12/26/14 New York Times, which quotes the lucky ones, who were ransomed. (Note: if no country ransomed its nationals, maybe the profitable hostage-taking would stop.)
1 reply
My words may have been inexact, as I indicated by not putting them in quotes, but I and others guffawed first when we heard Palin herself referring to Russia's visibility from Alaska as grounds for her being considered a Russia expert. Tina Fey's satire worked because it cut very close to the bone.
Toggle Commented 7 days ago on Does Vladimir Putin Dream of Attu? at WhirledView
1 reply
In 1995 the U.S. ratified the global Convention against Torture which the U.N. had adopted in 1984. Next month the U.S. has an opportunity to appear in Geneva and reaffirm before the entire world the executive order that Obama himself signed shortly after assuming office: the U.S. does not and will not engage in torture or cruel treatment of prisoners at home or anywhere else in the world. Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2014 at WhirledView
Image
Outside provocateurs more vicious than Pakistan’s India-hating military intelligence unit have announced that they are ready to disrupt the relative communal harmony that's characterized India's secular state in recent years. A branch of Al Qaeda has declared its intention to provoke the Muslims of India into terrorism and rebellion. For Prime Minister Narendra Modi to give encouragement to divisive Hindu bigots under such circumstances is playing with political fire in the most reprehensible way. Continue reading
Posted Oct 8, 2014 at WhirledView
Maybe the U.S. should worry less about the border with a friendly Mexico and pay more attention to Tsar Vladimir’s game in the Arctic. Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2014 at WhirledView
Should she or should she not accept Barack Obama’s invitation to join his Cabinet as Secretary of State? This was the first hard choice that Clinton confronted after she had lost the primary race. Her opponent, having gone on to win the presidency after a hotly contested primary fight, wanted her to join his team. There were alternatives. She could have retreated into stereotypical family life, she could have hung around nursing her wounds, she could have accepted any number of positions that would have kept her political viability intact—or she could accept the call of duty and help her rival succeed in the position she’d wanted for herself. Which did she choose? The latter. When the President asks for you help, she writes, you can’t turn him down. Win or lose, you have a duty to your country.Barack Obama will complete his second term, step down and spend the rest of his life as a respected former president. Hillary Clinton, her reputation enhanced by her four years in his cabinet as Secretary of State, will probably make another run for the presidency. Win or lose, she'll accept the results gracefully. Many aspects of the election process in the U.S. could use a little improvement, but the Obama/Chinton interaction is a good example of America at its best. Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2014 at WhirledView
The consequence of appeasement in Munich was a bigger war, which ultimately had to be fought. Lots of Russians were also marooned in the Baltic states. And elsewhere. Think about it. And think about this. If Ukraine gets neutered à la Finland (see the just previous WhirledView post) , who will ever trust the U.S. promises of protection (as after Ukraine gave up its stock of nuclear weapons) again? Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2014 at WhirledView
After consistently making it difficult or impossible to funnel international aid to the besieged people of Syria, Vladimir Putin proposes to send an aid cavalcade to succor civilians in Donetsk and other areas held by his hostage-minded separatist allies. You’ve got to hand it to Vladimir Putin. He’s ingenious and very hard to predict. In this case, the best way to call his bluff is to thank him effusively, then insist on inspecting every item at the border and transferring it to international aid workers for distribution to the needy. If Putin objects, we’ll know his real intent. He wants to sneak in well-trained agents disguised as humanitarians. He wants to bolster the rebels’ firepower. Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2014 at WhirledView
We’ve already dispensed with the 9/11 defense. Constitutionally it doesn’t wash. This leaves the clueless defense. So-and-so didn’t know, poor guy. But that argument didn’t protect General Edward Shinseki, rtd., who was an amiable Secretary in charge of Veterans Affairs while veterans were dying of bureaucratic neglect. Similarly, the clueless defense isn’t good enough to protect John Brennan. Instigated by him or not, what has happened on his watch is criminal, Mr. President. Whether you like him or not, John Brennan has to go. Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2014 at WhirledView
Maybe a good clean sweep of the under-performing upper echelons at the DDC and the NIH is in order. And who better qualified to keep everyone healthy while bringing order out of chaos than the underappreciated housewife who does it every day without an MBA or PhD or MD or even a right to Social Security in her own name? Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2014 at WhirledView
Ignoring American advice, the al Maliki government did everything it could to disenfranchise and marginalize the Sunni north, creating in Iraq what is, to all intents and purposes, a Shi’ite state. I repeat: they ignored us and now they us to bail them out! Surely we aren’t that dumb. Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2014 at WhirledView
Yes, Foreign Service officers who fall in the line of duty should also be publicly acknowledged and honored, and this, too: as in the case of soldiers who have been captured by the enemy, it should be clearly understood policy that every effort will be made to rescue kidnapped FSOs. So far as I know, the policy today is the same as it was when I was in the foreign service: if you are kidnapped and held hostage, don't expect the U.S. to offer any quid-pro-quos to get you back. Rescuing one FSO, we were told, would set a dangerous precedent. It would encourage further kidnappings. Oddly enough, most foreign service officers did their best to forget how little their lives were worth to their Commander- in-Chief and often took risks to do their jobs properly. But it rankled. Beneath the sense of loyalty there was bitterness. And why not? One foolish enlisted man, it appears, is worth five major terrorists who are probably not going to make a world tour shouting, "We love America." And an FSO would be worth...nothing.
Toggle Commented Jun 11, 2014 on After thoughts on Memorial Day 2014 at WhirledView
1 reply
Image
By Patricia Lee Sharpe Who’d have thought it? Come spring, Beijing’s inner circle is a horticulturalist’s delight. Highways and boulevards turn into bowers of expertly pruned, flowering fruit trees, apple blossom white, pink plum, the shocking deep orange of peach... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2014 at WhirledView
Image
Of course, there’s life in China, the intellectual and creative sort as well as the human sort, but it seems to have retreated underground, where it’s safe from the authorities but inaccessible to short-term visitors unversed in Chinese. As a result, all the new construction in China seemed rather ghoulish to me, like fingernails growing from the digits of a corpse which belongs, not to the Chinese people, but to the all-suffocating party that rules. Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2014 at WhirledView
It’s fairly easy to ignore an honor killing in the tribal areas, but this one took place in front of innumerable witnesses right in front of a courthouse in the elegant city of Lahore. This, then, is a very important test case. Will this father be held responsible for killing his daughter in cold blood? Even if the father is charged with a crime, it will probably take years for the case to work its way through the system. Will anyone see that justice is done? Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2014 at WhirledView
Because Indians are eager for change, they held their noses and voted for Modi’s ideologically controversial party. But results are expected, and the clock is ticking. If Indian voters can throw out the Congress and the Gandhis, they can also cast Narendra Modi onto the dung heap of history. Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2014 at WhirledView
The Fulbright program works. It is one of the best investments the U.S. ever made and this is not time to underfund it. Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2014 at WhirledView
Not really. Cities that have instituted inflation-adjusted living wage laws do not report soaring prices or de-employment. Santa Fe, New Mexico, among others, took the plunge some years ago. A belief in economic justice defeated the inevitable fear tactics, and we citizens voted to pass the referendum. As a result, in Santa Fe, the minimum wage already exceeds that which President Obama futilely proposed last year for the nation. Guess what? The sky didn’t fall in. Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2014 at WhirledView
Image
Although the locals have no effective control over the transformation of their ancient city and the Han immigrants get the best jobs, run the big shops and can afford the nicest new apartments, a certain veneer of local autonomy is maintained. This includes, in Xinjiang, a two language policy. Commercial signs—on shops, for instance—must use the Uighur language as well as Chinese characters. And they do, after a fashion. With few exceptions, the Chinese characters are huge enough to be read at a distance; the Arabic script of Uighur is so tiny it comes across as a long squiggle. Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2014 at WhirledView
By Patricia Lee Sharpe Putin looks like a Pink Pearl, doesn’t he? Pink torso, pink cheeks, pale pink pate gleaming through thinning hair, he acts like one, too, doing his best to rub out nearly thirty years of post Cold... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2014 at WhirledView
Angry or simply unhappy, Indian voters are restive. Although the polls strongly favor the B.J.P., I’m not making any predictions. I’m only hoping that a heated election doesn’t get any hotter— and that a B.J.P.-headed coalition, if the votes and the subsequent horse-trading go Modi's way, will govern from the culturally and religiously tolerant political center. And do something about graft. Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2014 at WhirledView
I’m happy to announce that the webpage for my non-WhirledView writing is (at long last) up and running. Its name is very easy to remember: www.patricialeesharpe.com. Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2014 at WhirledView
Ukraine has a problem. Its two halves don’t get along very well, but the nation-building toolkit holds many ways of decentralizing and federalizing to make everyone happy without splitting up a country. The problem for Ukraine—aside from that pesky Russian naval base at Sevastapol—is that Vladimir Putin really wants an old-style Soviet satellite, not a cooperative neighbor on equally good terms with Europe. Even if Ukrainians themselves were able to find a federalist solution to their mutual lack of trust, Russia might still apply a bear hug powerful enough to stifle any reformulated polity. And yet, the bottom line is this: for all it's ethnic, religious and linguistic tensions, India has maintained its territorial integrity because, at base, that’s what nearly all Indians want. Can one say the same of Ukraine? I don't see it, at the moment. Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2014 at WhirledView
Guy, One doesn't preclude the other---and sloppy contracting gives him an easy out.
1 reply
John, I'm as deeply concerned as you are about the extent of NSA data collection in the US. It does not make me feel secure. On the contrary, it's a threat to the open debate on which democracy depends. Hence, I'm among those who are grateful to Snowden.
1 reply