Is Vladimir Putin Right?

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?

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14 responses to “Is Vladimir Putin Right?

  1. I think this counterpoint does much better. http://bit.ly/16mTneX

    • Thanks for that link. I think there is some merit to that counterpoint. I don’t want to sound as if I trust Putin. After all, he is a politician too and like many political leaders, has his own agenda. I just agree with him that an American military strike will not resolve matters and I agree with his word about American exceptionalism.

      Grace and Peace,

      Rex

  2. I think it is remarkable that Putin feels he can reach out to the American people. The world has changed. I belive the implications that Putin speaks about are real possibilities. However, I think there are negative implications no matter what we do at this point.

    My heart breaks for the people in Syria there is no right anwser for them presently. There is a lot of rebalancing that is takening place in this part of the world. When minority leaders are elivated by world powers for the sake special intrests its only a matter of time before the majority respond. In countries where democracy doesn’t give legs to such movements people pick up weapons. This will continue to happen.

    A middle east where the majority rules is what will stablize the region. However a stablized middle east means they become a threat to the rest of world. What do you do when you have a wolf by the ears? You don’t let go!. World powers are not about to let go.

    Systemically, as long as the image of God is not seen in humanity, people will continue to objectified as a means to establishing ourselves(our tribe) as god. The only REAL answer is the gospel. As I write that statment there is a part of me that says- get a grip that is way to idealistic,that would take a miracle. Thankfuly there is another part of me that says that is exatly what the gosple is…the power of God.

    Blessings
    Matt

    • You are right about the complexity of the problem(s) here.

      Anyways, you wrote: “Systemically, as long as the image of God is not seen in humanity, people will continue to objectified as a means to establishing ourselves(our tribe) as god. The only REAL answer is the gospel. As I write that statment there is a part of me that says- get a grip that is way to idealistic,that would take a miracle. Thankfuly there is another part of me that says that is exatly what the gosple is…the power of God.”

      AMEN!!! Keep reminding us of the gospel because it is all too easy to forget and trust in our own human ways of fixing what only God can fix.

  3. Putin has supplied the vicious dictator Assad with his weapons arsenal from the beginning (just as the Soviets were Saddam’s main suppliers for decades). The US has been completely inactive in Syria for years now even as Putin has beefed up their war-making arsenal and enabled (while often denying it) multiple uses of chemical weapons and the slaughter of 100,00 in this civil war so far. The USA (unlike Russia) has stayed out of it and yet the mindless anti-Americans blame and criticize America as the war-mongers while swooning over Putin. Assad and Putin have long denied that Syria ever had any WMD until now, suddenly, they admit they have them and will willingly give them up. Also, the brutal atheist Putin refers to “the Lord’s blessings” and the America haters gush with admiration. Russia has a military base and vital airstrip in Syria that motivates Putin to keep his murderous puppet in power. Meanwhile, the slaughter currently continues unmitigated in Syria today.

    • I don’t believe Putin’s motives are pure, as he has his own Russian political interests in preventing further conflict. But to sound as though America is innocent in all of the continued conflict throughout the Middle-Easr, as your comment seems to suggest (especially with the pejorative phrase “mindless anti-Americans”), is as dubious as pretending that Putin’s motives are pure.

      Grace and Peace,

      Rex

  4. Joel, “swoon” and “gush” are hardly accurate ways of describing how most Americans unsupportive of military action in Syria are responding to Putin. If he makes a particular point that intersects with our own beliefs (and I do agree with him that “It is alarming that military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries has become commonplace for the United States”) are we then to forfeit our beliefs just because he said it? Or does agreeing with him automatically translate into swooning and gushing? Are we so arrogant that we couldn’t be corrected by Vladimir Putin if he was right on some level, perhaps just one point–even if you don’t agree with everything he said?

  5. I would imagine many of my friends in Europe are nodding their heads regarding Putin’s letter. “It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation.” pretty much sums up the problem on all fronts.

    • Yes, I have enough friends from other nations and they all perceive Americans as believing they are exceptional, holding a special place above other people and nations. While perception and reality is never the same, there is always some element of truth to the perception. And I do believe that this exceptionalism fosters a belief among most of the political leadership in Washington D.C. that America is not subject to the same rules as other nations when it comes to international involvement.

  6. Putin as well as all the other politicians involved from all the countries who have an interest in this do nothing but lie, mislead and misdirect. I don’t trust Putin, because he is a liar and has been proven to be as well as being given to violent responses and is guilty for the lives of those who have gotten in his way as he governs Russia. Obama and this administration have been proven to be liars and are guilty of creating situations to use people for their ends and they are totally untrustworthy and manipulative. It is what it is and this kind of stuff has and will always continue and we are seeing some of the worst examples today. Nothing new under the sun, so why are we surprised?

    • While I happen to mostly agree with Putin, I don’t trust him either. Nor do I trust President Obama just as I came to distrust President Bush. At the end of the day, it still seems like we have a Bear and an Eagle both wishing to be at the top of the food chain.

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