September 11, 2008
False Pride, Real Stupidity
By Perry Willis

The Russians are planning naval exercises with the Venezuelans in the Caribbean. Both countries have a need to posture. The need is especially acute with the Russians, who feel hurt that they're no longer "important." But naval exercises off our coast won't make them any more "important." Russia has a GDP the size of New Jersey and a worthless navy. It would be nice if the Russian's had something real to feel proud about, but they don't, so they feel an emotional need to engage in cheap theatrics. This is false pride, and the planned naval exercise is real stupidity.

Should the U.S. respond? Republican pundits like Larry Kudlow think we should conduct our own exercise in the same area at the same time. Sigh. I love guys like Kudlow when they're talking about economics and financial issues. They tend to get it right. But they tend to go all silly whenever it comes to the military and foreign policy. The adult thing to do would be to ignore the Russian navy, especially since you would need a microscope to find it.

We Americans should be proud that we have the economic power to be militarily invulnerable to pathetic little countries like Russia and Venezuela. We shouldn't tarnish ourselves by engaging in the real stupidity of waving our weenie in front of the Russian navy.

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