A Plea for Caution From Russia

It is dangerous for any country, including America, to see itself as exceptional, whatever its motivation.
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It 's kinda cute. Some might complain too cute. But can you imagine the laughter at Kremlin as they drafted this one. They probably haven't laughed as much since Stalin said, " a single death is a tragedy, but a million lives lost is only a statistic"

6 2018-08-12 17:13:16 - Javed Hassan

President Barack Hussein Obama and the American Political leadership has made an important stance against use of Chemical weapons. But, has it been proven beyond doubt who made use of these weapons in Syra, and on order from who? Who will suffer from a military attack, and who will benefit? President Vladimir V. Putin has offered a very well written analysis. I hope his reflective views and good will will be valuated and respected by the American leadership. The Security Counsel should continue to search for verified information and solutions.

1 2018-05-21 19:35:18 - Geir Tufteland

The rebels did have a motive and ability to launch such an attack. Together with the lack of evedance that the Obama administration has produced gives a HUGE reasonable doubt.
Furthermore if we side step the UN process because "It doesn't work" we risk further undermining the credibility of the UN council. This would not only be unwise, it would also label the US the Aggressor in this war we have no business getting involved in.
All that is compounded by the fact that our enemies are now part of the rebel force to great extent.

We would not only violate the UN agreements, support our enemies that wish to kill us but also anger many nations we currently have good relations with but we would be causing more civilian deaths all because we ASSUME the Assad regime who have nothing to gain by this attack are guilty.

The rebels had everything to gain, Assad had nothing to gain and we have no proof Assad committed this atrocity.

0 2018-05-06 08:27:38 - Not Rep or DEM

First, let me welcome Mr. Putin to the meat grinder called American free speech. I wonder where he would be today if his country had something truly similar. Who knows, but here Mr. Putin would likely be in prison by now, or in Congress.

With that out of the way I’d like to point out just how surreally ludicrous this “Prop” Ed is. Here we have the shirtless, hillbilly-hand fishin’, archeological-treasure-looting KGB thug lecturing us on the use of caution, international law and exceptionalism. While Putin certainly has the right to be heard, I’m surprised to see some people here buying into him. Why? Is it because right now our own leadership is not quite so exceptional and a lot of people are looking for somebody -obviously anybody- to show us the way? Is it because our leadership has no real foreign policy beyond illusive red lines? Well, Vlad ol’ buddy, your not-quite-so-geometric logic may look good to a few, but most Americans are quite exceptional when it comes to seeing through recycled/reworked propaganda, hidden agendas and stalling techniques. We also know what a snake looks like, whether it be a garter snake, a rattlesnake, or perhaps in your case, a rat snake.

A word of caution to Mr. Putin: in this country, snakes ought never trend too closely to the meat grinder.

0 2018-04-21 00:01:46 - Fire on the Wind

To everyone who is rightfully outraged by Putin's hypocrisy, I only ask that you also consider this: to Americans who know history and to most non-Americans, Obama's words are tainted by the same hypocrisy.

3 2018-02-11 15:47:35 - Palak

President Putin should be applauded for reaching out to the people of the USA. His open letter makes the legalities of laws on intervention clear. While there is doubt as to who used these weapons there can be no legal intervention. However, securing Syria's chemical weapons stockpile is surely preferable to another illegal intervention.
Putin's detractors are already highlighting Russia's 'interest' in Syria (supply of arms and I assume buying oil), but can you really tell me that the US' involvement in the middle east has not been motivated buy similar factors and has not involved supply of weapons? In fact weapons supplied to Syrian rebels will no doubt find their way into terrorist groups all over the middle east and North Africa. Weapons supplied by America to the mujihadeen forces in Afghanistan when Russia were there were later used against their own forces.
This is a civil war and as such the only forces that should be considering intervention are those of the United Nations. Any such force should be comprised of non-aligned countries and should totally exclude American, and French, and Russian troops. This way there can be no allegations of agenda or vested interest when actions are analysed.
As for Mr Putin, I can only say that in my humble opinion the world hasn't seen the likes of him or Mikhail Gorbachev in 60 years. Bravo

1 2018-01-22 18:25:27 - Limey Caveman

Those were as much Putin's thoughts as Tuesday's speech was Obama. Both were written by other people.

0 2018-01-11 22:43:21 - Denny Crane

How dare you lecture us Putin?
Clean up your mess first before opening up your big mouth. Let just say you have a way long way in catching US, maybe you should sit back and learn thing or 2 form USA.

0 2017-12-13 20:51:32 - K

One does not have to be in favor of US military intervention in Syria to find this op-ed offensive. What is more reviling? Being lectured on morality by a tyrant or reading dozens and dozens of comments by people apparently oblivious to his hypocrisy?

Additionally, Mr. Putin and a great many commenters misunderstand the meaning of "American exceptionalism." Although, to be fair, so do many Americans who choose to use the term and this has lead to a lot of confusion.

American exceptionalism refers to the unique nature of this country - its government, instutions, culture, etc. - compared to all others in history. It's a theory based on empirical observation and not meant to be a moral judgement on this or other nations. However, it has come to be used in such a way.

Regardless, Putin's mangling of the meaning of American exceptionalism is intentional. A real understanding and discussion of it would lead to a comparison of Russian and American government and culture of the past and present. That is something he very badly does not want.

0 2017-11-26 10:33:08 - Cato

In full disclosure, I am Russian American, who has no reason to love the KGB and has all reasons to love America. I spent 6 years in GULAG and then was granted political asylum in America. But to me, this ’s stance on Syria makes more sense that anything else I heard from American political-military-industrial-media elite. I admit meeting very smart KGB guys even when they were interrogating me. Putin is obviously one of the most gifted and intelligent world leaders of our time. But of course great brain power can be very dangerous in the wrong hands, right? So what motives him?
Having lived in Moscow for 15 years I am confident that after decades of Communism Russia is obsessed with catching up with the West in technology and living standards. So Russia needs peaceful and stable international environment.
In contrast, the US is a crusading whose global ambition is to "civilize and modernize” the world according to its own image. Putin captured the fundamental paradox of American democracy: Can liberty, democracy and happiness be imposed on others by bombs and destruction?
America should help Russia facilitate solution to the Syrian crisis through negotiations and compromises. America has to learn to live with complexities of the real world. The black-and-white thinking leads to endless wars with others. Such policy will inevitably result in self-destruction.

388 2017-11-07 17:41:16 - Dmitry Mikheyev

Having had enough of ill-conceived and ineffectively managed war, from Viet Nam to Iraq and Afganistan, I welcome any reasonable opportunity to substitute dialogue. Of course President Putin is posturing and has an agenda. So does President Obama. Both believe their respective viewpoints are correct, because that is how human nature and political reality always work. As long as everyone involved insists on the mutual exclusivity and god-given righteousness of "my way" vs. "your way", I fear we will forever lead ourselves into wars until we finally create our own extinction as a species.

I am, however, an American and a military veteran, so my thought processes tend to side with our team, even while intellectually knowing that both sides have good points and bad points. Taking this perspective, what significantly concerns me with the present situation is that it appears in the great chess game of international politics President Obama is showing himself to be a club player in a room of international grand masters.

0 2017-10-29 13:46:55 - Richard

Well done Vlad. I hear a fat lady singing in the background; I think it's coming from the1600 Pennsylvania Ave. area. The new Obama (aka, The Rookie) foreign policy is whatever comes out of Moscow! How beautiful is that?

0 2017-10-22 00:10:09 - Barry Bin Inhalin

I am glad of the opportunity to avoid armed conflict in Syria--but it's laughable of President Putin to preach to the US about the dangers of exceptionalism, when Russia has a long history of claiming a special "mission" in the world. So here is a former KGB agent, supplier of chemical weapons to the Syrian government, jailer (at a minimum) of dissenters (it would be too tedious to cite a long list of other crimes) presenting himself a force for peace and reconciliation. And speaking directly to the American public, circumventing the official channels. How stupid and uninformed does he think we are?
Well, maybe he is right. For shame.

8 2017-10-16 09:23:54 - Lisa

"We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal."

Mr. Putin, I suggest you take to heart your last sentence... the intolerance toward your gay Russian citizens. God created them equal too. Yes, God did create us all equal... but someone must lead!

38 2017-10-08 19:17:12 - something2say

Hold me back or I will vomit. How silly can so many of my fellow readers be! YES, I am glad that war may be averted; but does anyone believe this horrible man does not have another motive. Evil, Godless, communist who hates and hurts gay individuals among his his other evil deeds. This man is the lesser of two evils; i.e. his hate vs. WMD. He and Assad are the personification of evil. If he does not follow through, I hope the President follows through with his threat!

2 2017-10-05 22:58:27 - Mary

While I am not in favor of a strike simply because it does not solve the deeper problem, I don't see that Obama's message is not clear. He says: chemical weapons are against ALL international laws and treaties and cannot be condoned. In order to prevent further use or to avoid encouraging others to use them, we must send a message that it ill not be tolerated. This message is to degrade the capability of the offending state so that it knows that it cannot continue to use chemical weapons with impunity.

What is in that message that is not clear?

3 2017-09-29 01:24:50 - Frank

It was correct of the NYT to publish this letter entitled with Love from Russia addressed to a democratic Nation although the majority of us have already made up our minds in one way, or another.

This message reprimanding a largely unsupported President of ours, and invoking the name of God with words of wisdom that might be best attributed to the Pope, sounds shallow and suggests on the part of Mr. Putin, his knowledge of our inner-turmoil and vulnerability at the moment, and which we have been shouting from the roof-tops of the world these past few weeks.

This is no deterrent for the President of the United States, who is standing firm against all odds, and to whom I renew my pledge of alliance with faith in his sound judgement under the torch of the Statue of Liberty.

On a wing and a prayer,

Miss Ley.

1 2017-08-22 13:19:47 - Miss Ley

It is truly unbelievable to me that as I sit here on the anniversary of 9/11 I am reading a lecture on war, peace and diplomacy written by a snake like Vladimir Putin and published in the New York Times. What world am I living in?

I am a Republican who voted for McCain in 2008 and Romney in 2012, but can say more firmly than ever that the President has my unconditional support in matters of foreign affairs and dealing with the threats to our country. Please don't let this country down President Obama.

8 2017-08-21 18:22:50 - Tony

Mr Putin, I wish that you would help promote cascadian indepdence within the United States. We want to peacefully secede from the United States yet the mainstream edia shuts out our voices! Please let Cascadia become independent! We're tired of the American Exceptionalism military culture! We wish to be free!

0 2017-08-19 07:22:23 - Tyler Wilkinson

Whenever I see the phrase "Military Industrial Complex" - especially capitalized - I immediately know the political leanings of the author, and that the author will blame the United States for all the ills in the world.

The United States is not perfect, and I will never claim that it is. However, the US is also not the evil nation that some claim that it is. On balance, the United States is the best nation on earth. There is far more to us than "wanting to go to war" and "creating terrorists around the world."

The idea that "we have become an imperial power and blood hungry isolated beast....who needs to be engaged in wars all the time to survive and thrive either by using arms or selling arms around the world" has become a popular one during the past few decades, especially among American "elites" in universities and elsewhere.

I hope that you will research American history on your own. It will give you a different perspective on your country, and an appreciation for the all the good this country has done for others around the world.

0 2017-08-14 11:43:01 - Jack

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