On Rattling Sabres With Russia

The problem of how best to deal with Russia is becoming an issue in campaign '08 and is much on the mind of our contributor Ben Stein.

Here's a cool idea:

While we're in a difficult war in Iraq, while the war in Afghanistan is turning distinctly ugly, while we have major economic and energy problems, let's get into a war with Russia, too.

What? You don't think that's a good idea?

Neither do I, but that seems to be exactly where we're heading.

We already made the bonehead move of getting the nation of Georgia to think we would back them when they confronted Russia over issues that have zero to do with us.

Russia warned us over and over to back off. We didn't back off.

Then when Russia called our bluff and invaded Georgia and thumbed their noses at us, we did nothing.

This was a nearly fatal blow to Georgia as a sovereign state and made us look like liars and punks.

Now we've made an agreement to place interceptor missiles in Poland, even as Russia has told us over and over again not to do it.

We've promised the Poles we'll defend them if Russia attacks.

This is dangerous foolishness. We're not going to fight the Russians over Poland, which is right next to Russia and about 5,000 miles from us.

One, we don't have the means to do it. And two, the nation doesn't want to do it.

So if Russia invades, which they've strongly hinted they may do, we'll do nothing - and look weak again.

Why are we getting into all these messes so far from home? Why are we provoking the Russians needlessly? They are obviously ready to fight on their borders and we're not ready to fight on their borders.

Neither is anyone in western Europe, all of whom are totally dependent on Russia for natural gas at this point. Plus the western Europeans have almost no armies at this point.

Look, we have enough on our plate. Let's not get other people killed and ourselves humiliated in Russia's backyard.

If we're not going to fight - and we're not - let's just butt out and stay out.