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Everything posted by MiddleOfTheRoad

  1. Zen, you were right. Time to step away for a while.
  2. Please don't try to state my positions. You're not qualified.
  3. I'm saying your comments are foolish. Wouldn't know you from the next person that walks my office.
  4. So it’s ok to be unethical if everyone else is? Really? That’s your position?
  5. Of course you don’t object.
  6. Why don’t you go back, read the pertinent post again and stop making foolish comments?
  7. Yes. People who anonymously violate confidentiality are cowards and sneaks. If you object to something, discuss it with your boss, resign and take it public, don’t care personally. But verbal sniping from the shadows is contemptible.
  8. So many things wrong in this scenario. Sadler should be disciplined, and potentially, fired. The person who leaked this report should definitely be fired. As far as I can tell, none of this was classified in any way, so there is no security violation. OTOH, these leaks are undermining the administration. Anyone who has ever sat in on a meeting where personal and/or professional opinions are voiced for the purpose of establishing a policy knows that the public airing of those opinions inevitably causes them to not be voiced at subsequent meetings. The deciding official, even someone held in such high contempt as is Trump, deserves the confidentiality necessary to get information. This constant leaking is just not good. As to Senator McCain, he deserves respect for his service, his sacrifice and for his role as a Senator. He should not be mocked nor written off in this manner. OTOH, as long as he chooses to voice his opinion as a Senator, there is no need for deference beyond that inherent level of respect.
  9. I’m not sure there is “nationality”, at least in the sense people in the west tend to consider it. There is religion; Shiite, Sunni, Jew or Christian and whatever else happens to be around. I think what I see to be Iran’s move toward regional hegemony is not so much to expand the corporate entity known as Iran but rather to expand Shi’a Islam, with “Iran” serving as the device for doing so. I agree that we have no business choosing sides, but to the degree we have security and national interests in the Middle East...or Africa...or any place else, we need to present. Stepping away from the world because it’s a dangerous place is not wise; inevitably, this pushes us to one side or the other.
  10. You could be right; perhaps I don’t understand thier culture. I do however understand the use of power to advance strategic goals. I do understand that ultimately, the best defense, the best method of protecting and preserving, is to mitigate the threat. You also see a difference between protecting Shi’a Islam and recreating the Persian Empire. I an not as confident as you that they see a distinction.
  11. On this, we absolutely agree. We don’t have the smallest hint of a clue as to how that area operates politically and/or socially.
  12. You can call it anything you want; Iran wants to run the Middle East. And it is specifically because they do not have influence in Jordan or throughout Lebanon that they want to go that way.
  13. The only one in our conversation who even hinted at anything resembling a “camel jockey” mindset is you. The US also has a very successful professional class, and yet you regularly charge that nation with interfering all over the world. You don’t Iran’s successful professional class is interested in becoming even more successful? Please. If the Iran Saudi conflict is about Sunni dominance, than it is about Sunni dominance over Shiite dominance, so both parties are engaged in it. And to what do you think Iran wants to move forward? Lead solo in a rousing round of Arabic Kumbaya?
  14. I am trying to find where I wrote that Saudi was any better or worse than Iran. You really don’t think Iran is working toward regional hegemony? When has the Middle East NOT had a “strong man” leader in one or the other of the Arab states? Hussein is gone, so Iraq is out. Assad is barely hanging on to what he has, never mind being a strongman, so Syria is out. Egypt hasn’t had a regional leader since Nasser. Lebanon and Jordan are too tied to Israel and the rest of the Gulf states are too weak. That leaves Iran and Saudi Arabia, two states in competition. Neither of these states has US interests at heart, not should they, as states are formed to look for a set of common interests.
  15. You don’t understand regional hegemony? Really? Yes, Syria is in Iran’s sphere of influence. But Iran’s actions are not aimed at Syria. Iran’s actions are aimed at Lebanon and Jordan, which are, most definitely not in Iran’s sphere of influence and, in fact, are most closely linked to Israel. And there is no need to change Syria’s relationship with Russia. Iran has a relationship with Russia. Iran wants to be the point of entry for Russian influence in the ME, in the hope of eventually replacing that influence with their own. And at no point did I call for us to try to change the relationship. I’ve been calling for us to get out of Iraq and argued that we should never have gone into Syria.
  16. I’d be most interested in getting a link to the deals you claim cost us South Korea. And Taiwan was turned over to China decades ago.
  17. Which is why I said Saudi Arabia is a countering force. Zen, you used to actually read posts. What happened?
  18. Iran’s interest in security is envisioned by them being the biggest kid on the block and nothing else. From Yemen to Syria, Iran is looking to extend its influence and there are only two forces capable of countering Iran; Saudi Arabia and Israel.
  19. Good for Europe. They can stay in the deal. What is happening in Syria reflects Iran’s strategic goal of regional hegemony.
  20. Sure, we can carry it out on the backs of the unicorns.
  21. You realize that all but one military site in Iran is off the access list for inspections, right? If it was moved to the non-access site prior to the agreement, then it could stay there forever. And how a return to the non-binding, pre-executive agreement status quo could trigger a world war is beyond me. What is happening in Syria is not a result of refusing to continue the non-binding executive agreement with Iran. It’s a result of a foolish entry into a combat environment without specific objective, without specific mission and without an exit plan. An entry that even more foolishly continues today. The rest of your entry is just tinfoil hat stuff, without merit.
  22. With respect to soulflower, it is no point at all. soulflower is comparing the less than adequate verification process for a document of extra-legal standing to one that hasn’t been written yet and declaring the safeguards in the unwritten document inadequate. NK is not to be trusted and I’ve seen no one suggest they should be. The safeguards will have to be intrusive and that alone may chase them from the table.
  23. Sounds like you have been there before, and I agree. This particular individual has a problem showing up for work. Now he doesn’t have to worry about it.
  24. I had to fire an employee this morning, so I appreciate the humor in this thread so far. Keep it up!
  25. Exactly right.