In Defense of Appeasement

Perhaps Douchashov can enlighten me on this one: Obama/Biden also support the entry of Georgia and Ukraine into NATO, so where's their leverage on hitting Palin/McCain on this absolutely batshit insane policy of proto-military confrontation with Russia?

Let's get Realpolitik for a moment and ask ourselves what the US gains by steadily encroaching on the Russian sphere of influence. The NeoCons, idealistic college freshmen that they are, will tell us that the enlightening spirit of free market democracy urges us towards a stand against Putin--they smell historical absolution for the crimes of Yalta here. But is the authoritarian threat of Russia serious enought to justify embroiling us in a war them?

The buffer zone against the west that the Russians have always sought has decreased in size since the Cold War: I don't think anyone seriously believes that the Western Slavs are in any danger of being pulled back into their orbit (except for the older generation of Western Slavs themselves--and Republicans, who will believe anything, including that Osama bin Laden will revive the Caliphate in Washington DC unless we stick it out in Iraq). As for the FSRs, it would be great if we could envelop them all in our warm, loving embrace of commercial democracy, but we just don't have the resources or will, period. Georgia acted rashly and stupidly, and if that's what the other FSRs are going to be doing as members of NATO (taunting the lion in the cage because the big strong bars stand between them) they would be putting us in a precarious security situation--and I thought that was a situation NATO was designed to avoid.

The Russians are pissed off at perceived and real slights (Kosovo and missile defense), hyper-nationalistic, and keen on winning propaganda victories by getting us to puff up and then back down. And now we've got Russian fighters on training missions in Venezuela--I think we can all see where this is going.

The only way to play this one is to not puff up in the first place. This sounds senseless and cowardly to Republicans, for whom the notion of actual consequences disappeared in a puff of smoke eight years ago (or was it a mushroom cloud?), but it's the smart play of a leader with some degree of self-confidence, as opposed to one who feels that his codpiece is constantly under threat.

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