I must disagree with you there. Dukat did try with his other children. We simply didn't see them, but he did mention them, for example, the ep where Riker stole the defiant, he said he was meant to be with his son for his birthday taking him the zoo (or something like that, been a while since I saw the ep). So although he was a military person and away, he did try to be a good father to them and there when he could.
Until Ziyal came along and he lost everyone. But you're right about everything else. That's part of why I love Dukat so much.
It was implied in that episode that he was lying, his facts didn't always match up and his story slowly grew a bit on each retelling until by the end his poor son was growing up to hate the Federation and wanted to grow up and kill people because Sisko was forcing his dad to run around the galaxy instead of being there for him. It was classic Dukat at some of his best.
And that's the thing: Classic Dukat at his best lies and manipulates so much he doesn't even seem to have a firm grasp on what's true anymore.
It's the dilemma with Dukat's background. Aside from Ziyal, we actually have nothing to go on except Dukat's own words. And he's proven that he can and will lie so casually and fluently that it's hard to be sure that son even exists, let alone is having a birthday, and if he is, actually will grow to blame Starfleet and not, "Oh, Daddy missed another birthday, just like every one before and all those years on Bajor or in the war or politics."
I mean, he was hiding a secret Bajoran family (not his own children, but still a lover) from his secret Bajoran family. He's the Inception of infidelity. How many little illegitimate children running around Cardassia probalby had an uncanny resemblance to him?
I love Dukat too, just for obviously different reasons. He's one of the best villains in Star Trek, because of what a pure and simple monster he was and how impossible it was for anyone to see him as such. Even Kira came around to his way of thinking no matter how many times she regretted it. Every positive step he took ended up being a way to play his enemies against each other and leave them all cleaning up the mess while he takes home the prize.
He even kept fooling the viewers - and that's hard to do as a recurring villain, other series eventually had to put a worse villain behind theirs and make the old villain an ally just to keep things going. Dukat did that himself. It's not until Waltz that we see he never had that shred of decency to begin with. That all along, those around him - Sisko, Bajor, the Dominion, even Ziyal - were just playthings, and only he's ever mattered in the least.
He used his kids as tools with Sisko a few times, but they were just that - tools. A lever he knew would always work on a caring father. One that caring fathers don't use on each other lightly. And he's use it very lightly, once he even managed to make Sisko apologize for the time lost on a situation that Dukat himself had created.
Sisko took his wife and child into Battle against the BORG
You have to remember, at the time, the Federation was at peace. There was no war. There was no Borg. There was barely any Frontier. And Wolf 359 is only 40 LY away from Earth, the center of the Federation. So it is not much of a stretch that the USS Saratoga was stationed relatively close to home, and that having senior staff's families aboard was not that big of a deal.
And also, He was in starfleet. He was a first officer on the ship. Not the Captain. And even then, if the Admiralty tells you to jump, you jump. They didn't have time to offload civilians before they attacked the Borg. They didn't have a warning.
Tried to get his son to be best friends with a ferengi
and served aubergines to a teenage boy
Actually, for a while there, Sisko and Quark was against the human/Ferengi friendship. But after a while, they saw how good they were for each other. Anyways, multiculturalism is a central tenet of the Federation.
And no clue what the aubergines thing is about.
Bashirs parents had him genetically altered
And how terribly that turned out for him He turned out fine, in fact, he turned out brilliantly. And there motives were akin to parents who sends their kids to private schools and lessons. They just wanted the best for their child.
And Bashir's dad turned himself in so that his son can live a normal life. I think that is an honorable action.
O'brien set a vicious fictional dwarf on his daughter
In a series of events utterly outside the norms of reality and his control This is like saying that a father is responsible for the death of his son via a freak tornado in Idaho (which does happen, but tornadoes are rare out there.)
Worf was a lousy father
Dax was a REALLY bad father more than once over
She lived through 7-8 lifetimes... you can't expect to have awesome parents all those times
Rom allowed his son to join starfleet instead of a profitable career
Rom Supported his son in his dream, regardless of what his culture and society wanted from him. As such, Nog went on to become a fine officer and valued member of the Defiant crew.