Mea culpa. I was wrong. That's not good for my first prediction. I thought, after the inevitable news cycle strum und drang, tempest in a teapot, OMG it's Ridley Scott's Alien incarnate running down the streets -- oh wait, that's a Chihuahua, it would all blow over, leaving Gen Flynn where he was. But in all of this, we are no more the wiser. I don't often agree with Charles Krauthammer, but I have to wonder if he's not on to something with his cover-up without a crime thing. Again, and not to get into the echo chamber, but Eli Lake over at Bloomberg brings up questions from a similar angle. The goal is not to be right in hindsight, but to understand what's going on and what's best (yes, I am an American) for the country. Read the articles -- they ask more questions than make assertions. Rare in reportage these days. Where are the answers? Those are what I am after, not scoring points.
Now what I *don't* like about this outcome is that we must, I fear, due to the optics of being in bed with Russia (really?) abandon a state-ish orientation. That is, abandon having the option to deal with people we may or may not like, but can represent their state (Puty-put, strongman, probably doesn't care for the rule of law, but seems to have a handle on things), in the quest to deal with non-state actors like ISIL/ISIS/Daesh, Hizbullah, and the PLO. Throw in the mix the "seven 'countries' you can't say on the Internet (or in public discourse)" and some other sketchy players for the heck of it (I'm looking at you, Venezuela!). If you're going to be illiberal, then you at least need to hold it together like goddamn illiberal Saudi Arabia (grrrrrr....). Thomas Frank and I will agree that Saudi Arabia is illiberal, and probably disagree that I am liberal (although yes in the classic sense, which I'm sure he would grant). I have not met him, but I appreciate his writing and bought his books. And appreciated them very much. We were "allies" with *Stalin*, and not wrong to be so. Didn't mean we had to like it. Stalin. Stalin's mustache would turn Putin into a more manly parody of himself who would cause the guy on Saturday Night Live to spontaneously combust if he was ever gazed upon by Putin 2.0.
Loud primal scream.
Partisanism like terrorism is a means to an end. A tactic. Strategy, never.