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Doc Sportello

(7,485 posts)
Sun Mar 6, 2022, 03:37 PM Mar 2022

Stay Calm America; Don't Make Decisions Based on Emotion

From Tom Nichols at the Atlantic:
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/03/stay-calm-and-dont-advocate-war-against-putin/624169/

snip

In my rage, I want someone somewhere to do something. I have taught military and national-security affairs for more than a quarter century, and I know what will happen when a 40-mile column of men and weapons encircles a city of outgunned defenders. I want all the might of the civilized world—a world of which Putin is no longer a part—to obliterate the invading forces and save the people of Ukraine.

snip

And yet, I still counsel caution and restraint, a position I know many Americans find impossible to understand. Every measure of our outrage is natural, as are the calls for action. But emotions should never dictate policy. As President Joe Biden emphasized in his State of the Union address, we must do all we can to aid the Ukrainian resistance and to fortify NATO, but we cannot become involved in military operations in Ukraine. ...
...Also, let’s remember that America is, in fact, taking action to help Ukraine and oppose Russia. Western sanctions will not save Kyiv or other Ukrainian cities tomorrow, but they are crippling the Russian economy and undermining Putin’s ability both politically and materially to seek a larger war. We are working with the rest of the world to get military assistance to the Ukrainians, who will be fighting a resistance for as long as the Russians are in their country.

snip

one more reason not to let our emotions get the better of us is that the only way Putin can save himself from his own fiasco is to bait the West into an attack. Nothing would help him more, at home or abroad, than if the United States or any other NATO country were to enter direct hostilities with Russian forces. Putin would then use the conflict to rally his people and threaten conventional and nuclear attacks against NATO. He would become a hero at home, and Ukraine would be forgotten.

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Stay Calm America; Don't Make Decisions Based on Emotion (Original Post) Doc Sportello Mar 2022 OP
+1000 BeyondGeography Mar 2022 #1
K & R nt okaawhatever Mar 2022 #2
This is an excellent analysis NT MN2theMax Mar 2022 #3
Something about getting into a spitting contest with a snake Walleye Mar 2022 #4
K & fucking R. nt MarineCombatEngineer Mar 2022 #5
Well, the desire to help others is from the soul. Caution, not helping is from the brain. In this Karadeniz Mar 2022 #6
And if it weren't for those nukes I think the West would get involved Doc Sportello Mar 2022 #7
We're between a rock and a hard place. Karadeniz Mar 2022 #8
I've read this and agree with him--but he knows we're not going to listen, LOL. Wingus Dingus Mar 2022 #9
But WE aren't making decisions. WE are simply having conversations. People can be as Scrivener7 Mar 2022 #10
The author isn't addressing Biden and officials Doc Sportello Mar 2022 #14
What I am saying, if YOU were paying attention, is that they can be as Scrivener7 Mar 2022 #15
Stop with the strawmen stuff Doc Sportello Mar 2022 #18
Just a reminder: the title of the article is " Stay Calm America; Don't Make Decisions Based on Scrivener7 Mar 2022 #19
Yeah, it's Stay Calm AMERICA Doc Sportello Mar 2022 #20
I haven't a clue what you are talking about. No one on DU attacked me. And I never Scrivener7 Mar 2022 #21
Nuclear powers can't fight each other directly. Basic LA Mar 2022 #11
And Russia knows that too. So... Happy Hoosier Mar 2022 #17
He voices quite well what i think many of us know. I certainly do and I can't disagree, but... hlthe2b Mar 2022 #12
Anyone with empathy is feeling at least some of the pain of the Ukrainian people Doc Sportello Mar 2022 #13
For 75 years... WarGamer Mar 2022 #16
I trust Biden and Harris mcar Mar 2022 #22

Karadeniz

(22,468 posts)
6. Well, the desire to help others is from the soul. Caution, not helping is from the brain. In this
Sun Mar 6, 2022, 03:56 PM
Mar 2022

case, if we express soul, no telling how Putin might react with nukes, so soul could cause great harm to many. It gets complicated, but the foreign volunteers are the solution, it seems.

Doc Sportello

(7,485 posts)
7. And if it weren't for those nukes I think the West would get involved
Sun Mar 6, 2022, 04:04 PM
Mar 2022

I know about the protocols and counter arguments, but when there is a will. ... But as you said, the brain tells our leaders that an evil, soulless maniac DOES have have nuclear weapons that along with retaliation could destroy most life on earth. The people of Ukraine are suffering to help save the rest of us. Eventually, I believe, they will be free once again.

Scrivener7

(50,911 posts)
10. But WE aren't making decisions. WE are simply having conversations. People can be as
Sun Mar 6, 2022, 04:25 PM
Mar 2022

emotional as we want in our conversations. And they should be. Because they are conversations.

Unless this article has some direct line to Joe and the top military policymakers, this is silly!

Doc Sportello

(7,485 posts)
14. The author isn't addressing Biden and officials
Sun Mar 6, 2022, 06:30 PM
Mar 2022

It's directed at the public that cares and is wanting this madness to stop. If you think that a public that is rightly inflamed by the images coming out of Ukraine is just having conversations then you aren't paying attention. It doesn't take much research to show that public outrage has often led to bad policy decisions, including and most consequentially when it comes to war.

Scrivener7

(50,911 posts)
15. What I am saying, if YOU were paying attention, is that they can be as
Sun Mar 6, 2022, 06:45 PM
Mar 2022

emotional as they want. The situation warrants it. I am quite certain Joe and the military want it to stop too. The public, that is rightly inflamed, should express that they are rightly inflamed as much as they want.

WE don't need to stay calm in order to make rational decisions. Because we are not making any decisions.

Doc Sportello

(7,485 posts)
18. Stop with the strawmen stuff
Sun Mar 6, 2022, 08:20 PM
Mar 2022

Neither I nor the article said people can't be emotional. In fact both he and I in this thread said it is understandable. But, to repeat, an emotional public can and has often caused bad policy decisions. So yes history has shown again and again public pressure does affect policy decisions. If you didn't understand or even read the article, Nichols was talking to the public generally, not just DU. Your're trying to connect that point to the division on DU that you are involved in. It's not connected with that. You can be angry at the people who are saying on here there shouldn't be a discussion. That's not me or the author.

Scrivener7

(50,911 posts)
19. Just a reminder: the title of the article is " Stay Calm America; Don't Make Decisions Based on
Sun Mar 6, 2022, 08:37 PM
Mar 2022

Emotion." So it really isn't a strawman.

Also, when has an emotional public caused bad policy decisions when we have had a competent President running things?

Doc Sportello

(7,485 posts)
20. Yeah, it's Stay Calm AMERICA
Sun Mar 6, 2022, 08:52 PM
Mar 2022

Not Stay Calm DU. But you seem to take it personally so maybe that's why some advice from a longtime expert is a mental block. If you can't listen to that because people on DU attacked you, then you're just proving the point. I didn't like the earlier thread that took people who have expressed frustration or advancing different takes than theirs. But saying that and the many other things I've posted about understanding the desire of people to discuss things doesn't matter to you. So I'll stop even trying.

I could give you a long list of bad policies done at the behest of a public outcry. The list is long and includes many different topics as anyone who understands history knows. But you've shown you're not open to anything but airing grievances against others in a thread where it doesn't belong.

Scrivener7

(50,911 posts)
21. I haven't a clue what you are talking about. No one on DU attacked me. And I never
Sun Mar 6, 2022, 09:02 PM
Mar 2022

said they said "stay calm DU." And I don't have any grievances.

I did write another post, but that has nothing to do with this one.

I find this article's subject to be illogical. It tells people who are not making policy decisions to keep calm so they don't make policy decisions based on emotions.

The gist of your argument is that public emotion will make Joe and the military make bad policy decisions. I see no reason to believe that is true. And you tell me you could give me a long list that is long of when good Presidents have made bad policy decisions due to public emotion, but you don't give any examples.

So I am guessing your rant at me is a projection of some kind that I don't really care to try to unravel.

Have a lovely evening.

Basic LA

(2,035 posts)
11. Nuclear powers can't fight each other directly.
Sun Mar 6, 2022, 05:08 PM
Mar 2022

That would be the literal end of planet Earth. Do we have to re-learn the lessons of the Cold War & M.A.D.? Is this a generational memory loss, do you think?

Happy Hoosier

(7,215 posts)
17. And Russia knows that too. So...
Sun Mar 6, 2022, 07:07 PM
Mar 2022

It‘s odd to me that people automatically assume that there automatically be direct fighting between the U.S. and Russia.

hlthe2b

(102,119 posts)
12. He voices quite well what i think many of us know. I certainly do and I can't disagree, but...
Sun Mar 6, 2022, 05:26 PM
Mar 2022

It doesn't help. The guilt and shame I am going to feel if the worst happens in Ukraine are not going to go away, no matter what the truth and justifications are for our calling the line where we do. At this point the truth feels like empty platitudes.

Doc Sportello

(7,485 posts)
13. Anyone with empathy is feeling at least some of the pain of the Ukrainian people
Sun Mar 6, 2022, 06:24 PM
Mar 2022

I start seeing the latest atrocity or even what is happening to the elderly and the children and I just want to take a meat cleaver to Putin. I hope for something like Milley and his talk with a Russian general; could he develop a back channel that would lead to a coup? I don't know but I understand why people on here make suggestions of the like that aren't likely to happen. So I understand the urge to post about doing more.

The author feels the same way and says so; we shouldn't be mocking those looking for some way to stop this madness. But I also know you don't have to look far back in history to see that public outcry has often led to bad decisions on the part of leaders.

WarGamer

(12,344 posts)
16. For 75 years...
Sun Mar 6, 2022, 06:54 PM
Mar 2022

There's been a silent "rule" between the Superpowers.

Don't meddle in OUR wars and we won't meddle in yours... at least not with boots on the ground.

Korean War
Vietnam War
Afghanistan
Gulf War
Afghanistan II
Iraq
Georgia
Chechnya
Syria
Ukraine...

It's kept the world in one piece for 75 years.

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