...the story reverts back to the standard "shoot people, save world, maybe have a sandwich afterward" story typical of the first person shooter genre...
...well, except maybe the sandwich bit.
So, yeah, the mission doesn't make sense. And since it was Lance Henriksen's character, General Shepard, that gave you the orders, and since I had already deduced that Shepard was not, in fact, an android created and owned by Weyland-Yutani Corporation, which meant he could not be trusted, I knew going in that this was a setup, in order to set off a global incident (a war with Russia).
Why would Makarov, a public figure, risk being caught as the leader of this incident? Also, would a country go to war over this? And why choose Russia for this story? Did a Middle Eastern country or China hit a little too close to home? Did Infinity Ward just really want a bunch of Red Dawn references in one of their games? Am I thinking about this too much?
The answer to the final question is probably "yes." For the others, I'm not sure.
Lastly, let's dwell again on the fact that the mission does not require you to shoot innocent civilians. If you were like me, you merely walked through this section, and didn't fire a single bullet until shot at. I'm glad it was designed that way, but to remove all personal feelings from the argument, it does strip much of the emotional power from the story, since you don't actually have to do it. It's like Infinity Ward wanted to have their controversy cake and eat it in public in the least controversial manner possible too.
In short, with all the references to sandwiches and cake, I deduce that I am hungry. To sum up a few days of ranting on the "No Russian" mission, I will say this: I don't know if it should be in the game or not, but I'll tell you this...
...I wouldn't have done it.
One or two more rants to come on Modern Warfare 2.