If you get a chance, read this op-ed piece in the New York Times A Plea For Caution From Russia, written by Russian President Vladimir Putin. At a time when the conflict in the Middle-East, and particularly in Syria, continues, Putin’s words are wise even if they upset some patriotic sensibilities among Americans.
Putin pleads for peaceful resolutions that respect international law, suggesting that any military action by the United States would only create further problems. He continues raising the question of why the United States increasingly only sees military might as the solution forward saying:
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.”
Putin also seems to believe that the sentiment of American exceptionalism so often expressed in American rhetoric lurks underneath American international policy in the Middle-East. That is certainly debatable (it may be true but I also think it is fueled by a desire to prevent terrorist attacks). However, Putin does have this to say in response to American exceptionalism:
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.
On that last point, I think Putin is right on and Americans, especially as they ask for God’s blessing in the form of singing God Bless America, need to realize that all people of every nation are created by God. And God loves each person or every nation as much as the other, no more and no less.
If you had a chance to read what Putin has said, what do you think?