Playing with Nuclear Fire

The only antidote to escalation is negotiation

Mookie Spitz
2 min readJun 28, 2022


Russia seems to be rolling nukes into Belarus, and NATO is officially going apeshit.

Another name for this is “escalation.” The antidote is “negotiation.”

For two months I’ve been ranting about our Ukraine strategy: high risk with low return.

Does any sane person think an unbridled proxy war between nuke powers is a good idea?

Apparently the US State Department and DoD think so. Dead Russians diasgree.

I’ll say it again: Pumping Ukraine with arms in lieu of parallel negotiations is insane.

The only and inevitable result is escalatory. Why are we risking species extinction?

I’m obviously pro-Ukraine. All I’m asking is, at what cost? Especially if the outcome is foregone.

Russia will hang on to what they’ve taken. Best case scenario is at least an end to major hostilities.

Worst case is protracted, grinding attrition to the point the war goes beyond Ukraine’s borders.

Then we all could be fucked. Instead, let’s urge talks while the fighting rages.

Before long, it might be too late. The Russians will not withdraw, and can’t be forced out.

Like Taiwan, Ukraine will lose, and we can do nothing about the final result short of WWIII.

I’m not defeatist, I’m rational. Nuke powers can and will do what they want with smaller countries.

We need to stop deluding ourselves before the atomic genie leaps back out of the bottle.

Old thinking can lead to devastating results when new realities reign. WMD changed everything.

Nuclear War started the summer of 1945. We’ve taken the calm ever since for granted.



Mookie Spitz

Chicago native now in New York City by way of LA. Hungarian parents, Korean kids, racks of electric guitars, shelves of Rubik's Cubes, and mountains of LEGO.