1226943043_8a48c6526c_m.jpgNewsweek’s Fareed Zakaria calls it "the most radical idea put forward by a major candidate for the presidency in 25 years."

McCain proposed that the United States expel Russia from the G8, the group of advanced industrial countries. Moscow was included in this body in the 1990s to recognize and reward it for peacefully ending the cold war on Western terms, dismantling the Soviet empire and withdrawing from large chunks of the old Russian Empire as well. McCain also proposed that the United States should expand the G8 by taking in India and Brazil—but pointedly excluded China from the councils of power.

You know, St. McCain might have a point. The war on Islamoliberalfascismterror has just become this huge drag. The Taliban are stronger than ever. Afghanistan’s a mess. Bin Laden’s still farting in our general direction. And after 5 years, we’re still winning losing in Iraq. Bo-ring.

So why not just wash our hands of that mess and go all retro with a little Red Dawn action?

What McCain has announced is momentous—that the United States should adopt a policy of active exclusion and hostility toward two major global powers. It would reverse a decades-old bipartisan American policy of integrating these two countries into the global order, a policy that began under Richard Nixon (with Beijing) and continued under Ronald Reagan (with Moscow). It is a policy that would alienate many countries in Europe and Asia who would see it as an attempt by Washington to begin a new cold war.

So?

The single most important security problem that the United States faces is securing loose nuclear materials. A terrorist group can pose an existential threat to the global order only by getting hold of such material. We also have an interest in stopping proliferation, particularly by rogue regimes like Iran and North Korea. To achieve both of these core objectives—which would make American safe and the world more secure—we need Russian cooperation. How fulsome is that likely to be if we gratuitously initiate hostilities with Moscow?

Oh who cares, Fareed?

Just repeat after me: Wol-ver-ines! Wol-ver-ines! Wol-ver-ines!