14 September 2013

You've got mail. From Vladimir Putin.

Most people have heard about the "open letter" to the American people from Vladimir Putin; probably few have read it.  Herewith some excerpts:
Recent events surrounding Syria have prompted me to speak directly to the American people and their political leaders. It is important to do so at a time of insufficient communication between our societies...

No one wants the United Nations to suffer the fate of the League of Nations, which collapsed because it lacked real leverage. This is possible if influential countries bypass the United Nations and take military action without Security Council authorization...

Syria is not witnessing a battle for democracy, but an armed conflict between government and opposition in a multireligious country. There are few champions of democracy in Syria...

From the outset, Russia has advocated peaceful dialogue enabling Syrians to develop a compromise plan for their own future. We are not protecting the Syrian government, but international law. We need to use the United Nations Security Council and believe that preserving law and order in today’s complex and turbulent world is one of the few ways to keep international relations from sliding into chaos. The law is still the law, and we must follow it whether we like it or not. Under current international law, force is permitted only in self-defense or by the decision of the Security Council. Anything else is unacceptable under the United Nations Charter and would constitute an act of aggression.

No one doubts that poison gas was used in Syria. But there is every reason to believe it was used not by the Syrian Army, but by opposition forces, to provoke intervention by their powerful foreign patrons, who would be siding with the fundamentalists...

It is alarming that military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries has become commonplace for the United States. Is it in America’s long-term interest? I doubt it. Millions around the world increasingly see America not as a model of democracy but as relying solely on brute force, cobbling coalitions together under the slogan “you’re either with us or against us.”..

My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust. I appreciate this. I carefully studied his address to the nation on Tuesday. And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.  
Full-text at the New York Times.


  1. "...we must not forget that God created us equal."

    Except the homosexuals, obviously.

    1. Same hypocrisy would be apt for most Americans. And, "homosexuals"..... try again..

  2. Allegedly, Putin actually did write this himself. I was frankly floored by some of the hypocrisy of the piece, but the words themselves make total sense to me. I do really hope that the Bush Doctrine dies out, and cooler heads prevail, but I have very, very little faith that our "elected" officials will have the sense to control themselves in this affair.

    I worry less about the way the world perceives us, and more about the way we regular citizens are perceived by our own government. After all, it's a short step from bombing American citizens in other countries without a trial, to doing the same to American citizens right here. These poor Syrian bastards won't have a chance if the Military-Industrial-Congressional (should we start adding "-Presidential"?) Complex gets its way.

  3. Having been alive during the *Cold War*, it is strange to me that the Russian perspective:
    ("Syria is not witnessing a battle for democracy, but an armed conflict between government and opposition in a multireligious country. There are few champions of democracy in Syria...")
    reads as a more intelligent, responsible and adult point of view.

  4. Putin is a ghoul, but separating the words from the man, they're pretty much right on.


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