Keep Calm and Bury On?

What should we do about a longtime global criminal who is again thumbing his nose at the free world and who launched a war that has already resulted in the killing of thousands (including his own soldiers), the shaking of the post-Cold War order, and the movement of more than a million Ukrainian refugees — a war that just about every official is now warning is about to get a lot worse? For the answer, I’ll turn things over to two experts with the same general view of the conflict and the same end goal, but with different takes on how America and NATO should respond. I encourage you to read both views.

Tom Nichols: Stay Calm. “Every measure of our outrage is natural, as are the calls for action. But emotions should never dictate policy … I realize that this is easy for me to say. I am not in Kyiv, trying to spirit my child to safety. I am not watching the Russians approach my town. When I finish writing this, I will reassure my wife and sit down to share dinner with her in a quiet home on a peaceful street. But public figures and ordinary voters who are advocating for intervention also do so from the comfort of offices and homes where they can sound resolute by employing clinical euphemisms such as no-fly zone when what they mean is ‘war.’ … If Putin reckoned on a quick victory and a dash to the West, that dream is over. He’ll win on the ground in the short run, but in the end he’ll be lucky to get out of Ukraine with his military intact—if he’s even still in power.”

Garry Kasparov with a Twitter thread: “We are witnessing, literally watching live, Putin commit genocide on an industrial scale in Ukraine while the most powerful military alliance in history stands aside … There is no waiting this out. This isn’t chess; there’s no draw, no stalemate. Either Putin destroys Ukraine and eventually hits NATO with an even greater catastrophe, or Putin falls in Russia. He cannot be stopped with weakness.”

+ Editor’s note: Yesterday, as a kicker to my point about the parallels between disinformation in Russia and America, I linked to a video that was described as Russian Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya peddling Trump’s Big Lie. The translation was wrong. Recount Media took the video down and issued a correction. I immediately corrected the error on the web version of NextDraft and I’m calling it out here as well.

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