Max Boot Wants to Kick Russia

by | Jan 29, 2015


Neocon scribbler Max Boot makes his living expressing indignation. How dare the Obama administration not adopt a more confrontational stance toward Iran! How dare the US president not commit more US resources toward fighting Boko Haram! How dare the weak-willed administration oppose additional sanctions on Iran! No US action in Somalia and Yemen? Wimpy! And Asia! Iraq! Syria! Libya! KONY!!!

Feckless! Gutless! Short-sighted! Cowardly!

That’s his schtick. Even when the current problems have been caused by the neocons themselves — Libya, Iraq, Syria, and so on — the solution is to continue to follow the disastrous dictates of Boot and his armchair brigade or there will be hell to pay from his poison pen.

Recently, writing in the pages of Commentary, Boot is furious that President Obama has not put the US further on war footing with Russia. As the EU wavers on more sanctions against Russia, Boot demands that the US government step up and impose some “sanctions that scare Putin.”

What the Russian-born Boot has in mind is to construct a tripwire between the US and Russia that could more easily trigger an open, armed conflict between the two nuclear powers.

The Russians have not folded up and accepted the US demand that Ukraine become a NATO forward operating base so Boot demands confrontation.

“What would a more effective response consist of?” he asks…

…ship the Ukrainians all the weapons they need to defend their own territory and also provide training and intelligence for them.

Although the Obama Administration has already announced that it would be sending US military trainers to Ukraine, what Max Boot prescribes would significantly increase the possibility that US troops would come face to face with Russian troops on the other side of Ukraine’s eastern border (or perhaps even inside eastern Ukraine with the Russian volunteers that both sides have admitted are present). And that is a good thing, to Boot.

Also, the US must move to cut Russia out of the SWIFT system entirely — a kind of financial nuclear bomb dropped on the Russian — and world — economy. Cutting Russia out of SWIFT “means that the countries are on the verge of war, or they are definitely in a cold war,” according to Andrei Kostin, the CEO of Russia’s second-largest bank VTB.

But Max Boot doesn’t believe him. “It’s hard to imagine Putin declaring war on the United States because Russia was cut out of the SWIFT system,” writes Boot.

Boot cannot imagine such an escalation would increase irritation to that level on the part of the targeted party. Considering the track record of Boot and the neocons when it comes to their foreign policy advice (Iraq cakewalk, anyone?) is it really such a good idea to allow the prospect of a military confrontation between the US and Russia to hinge on his hunches?

Boot ends by suggesting that, “the US and its European partners need to give Russia a SWIFT kick in the derriere.” But alas, it will not be Boot’s boots that do the kicking. He has a desk to man and a pen to wield…


  • Daniel McAdams

    Executive Director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity and co-Producer/co-Host, Ron Paul Liberty Report. Daniel served as the foreign affairs, civil liberties, and defense/intel policy advisor to U.S. Congressman Ron Paul, MD (R-Texas) from 2001 until Dr. Paul’s retirement at the end of 2012. From 1993-1999 he worked as a journalist based in Budapest, Hungary, and traveled through the former communist bloc as a human rights monitor and election observer.

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