Nobody regrets this advice:
“If you’re doing a dumb, dangerous thing for a bad reason, or aren’t really clear on the reason… stop it.”
Reasonable people can (and should) reasonably disagree. The proper foreign policy of America, a nation of 300+ million people, is certain to create an array of options and folks will flock to various points on a spectrum. Fine, I get it. It’s all a complex mosaic, blah blah blah.
That said, whatever interests seem to be converging right now on the “antagonize Russia” gambit… please stop. Whatever game you think you’re playing; it’s not worth it.
It’s unwise. Russia is the big leagues. No matter how much you’re cheesed off that the future president lacks a vagina, has bad hair, or doesn’t like Obamacare… it’s not worth going large. Tanks in Poland, twitchy carrier groups in the Baltic, hyped up jets doing whatever the hell they do wherever the hell Allepo is? It’s not funny. People can get hurt.
Let me repeat… I don’t care if Putin was caught on tape pissing directly onto the DNC podium while crushing fluffy kittens… it’s not worth it. If he “hacked” the e-mail of people who use “password” for their password, that’s extremely not worth it. Unlike universities and media, he’s not a squeak toy for anyone’s amusement. Whatever game you’re playing… he’s playing a different one.
I get it. I’m a child of the cold war so I grok the appeal of stomping commies and so forth… but that’s for Saturday morning cartoons and bad movies from a different era. In the real world, Russia is not to be fucked with. A little diplomatic friction? Fine. Poking the bear until it takes your friggin’ head off? Not good. Stop it.
In this matter, the last six month or so have been mildly alarming. There’s an almost frantic zeitgeist to piss off Russia as completely and deeply as possible and do so immediately lest Cheeto Jesus preside over… over what? An outbreak of peace? Isolationism? More trade? Less trade? Ugly land development? None of this is a big deal. President elect Hairball is not insane. Nor is Putin. Both want nothing to do with “drama” of this sort.
This is the greatest of all possible news, whatever faults are inherent in real life James Bond Villain Putin and the human word tornado of Captain Yuge; neither seems inclined to screw with the other. Breathe deep and be happy about that. We’re both nations of genuine bad asses and we shouldn’t be getting in barroom spats. Doubt me? Ask Napoleon about messing with Russia. Ask Japan about messing with America. We’re both big and slow and goofy but we can both land a punch like no other. Nothing that happened in 2016 merits antagonism. Don’t paint either side in a corner until “it” becomes “on”.
The point is that stampeding to mess with Iraq led to… lets just say “consequences”. But it was on a scale that the nation as a whole can readily handle. A sour grapes movement to give Russia a wedgie over perceived slights is an order of magnitude riskier.
When it comes to Russia it’s best to STFU and stay chill. If you’re thinking otherwise, stop it!