Russian President Vladimir Putin took the news world by storm with an op-ed in The New York Times on Wednesday.
In his opinion piece, Putin bluntly argued that a military intervention – more like interference in his eyes – in the ‘internal conflicts’ of foreign countries was becoming commonplace for the United States and his nemesis President Barack Obama should take military action off the table permanently.
The hypocrisy in some of his statements could not be overlooked, but before getting to that here are the highlights of his piece.
- Advised US not to go against UN by using military force in Syria
- Rebel fighters, armed by foreign countries, included known terrorists
- Putin didn’t think America was ‘exceptional’ like his nemesis Obama pointed out in address.
Putin’s point about the UN is well taken, as going against United Nations’ Security Council undermines the global organization’s role as peacekeeper.
He cautioned that any military strike in Syria would cause disruptions in finding solutions to resolve other Middle Eastern issues such as the Iranian nuclear problem and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
According to Putin, there were not enough champions of democracy in Syria an interesting statement coming from a leader who has a questionable record with opposition and criticism in his own country.
The civil war was not about Putin’s idea of ‘democracy’, he wrote, pointing out that it was actually an armed conflict between a government and opposition forces, including al-Qaeda fighters. He accused foreign countries of fueling the violence by providing weapons to rebels. Considering that Russia has been supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government - in more ways than one – throughout the conflict, this statement makes Putin appear like a giant hypocrite.
Putin also maintained that the chemical weapons were used by terrorist rebel groups who wanted to provoke international intervention to depose. Assad.
He reminded Obama’s administration that their use of force had never reaped fruitful results, citing examples from Iraq and Afghanistan.
While appreciating Obama’s decision to explore a diplomatic solution in Syria, Putin did not hesitate to criticize Obama’s arrogance during 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,” he wrote.
What did you think of Vladimir Putin’s opinion on Syria? Do you agree with his views? You can share your opinion in the comments section below.