Putin Challenges ‘American Exceptionalism’ In New York Times Op-Ed

AP

In an op-ed published Thursday in The New York Times, Russian President Vladimir Putin continued to express opposition to military intervention in Syria while taking issue with the idea of “American exceptionalism.”

Putin highlighted the “strong opposition from many countries and major political and religious leaders, including the pope” to a U.S.-led airstrike and asserted that such action will only result in “more innocent victims and escalation.” The Russian leader said that the United States has earned a reputation as a aggressive actor.

“It is alarming that military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries has become commonplace for the United States,” Putin wrote. “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 made reference to President Barack Obama’s nationally televised address on Tuesday night regarding the situation in Syria, rebutting Obama’s assertion that America is a more “exceptional” nation than others.

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.

Read the entire piece here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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