Vladimir Putin seized, or received, or something, power from Boris Yeltsin on the last day of the 20th century. The 1990’s had been a dreadful time for Russia, and Putin has seemed hell-bent on restoring power and strength to the Motherland. While it may be overstating matters to claim that his New York Times Op-Ed (published on 9/11, no less) represented a capstone in that grand strategic goal, it’s hard not to take note of a President of Russia disputing the President of the United States directly in America’s most prominent newspaper. Who, on New Year’s Eve, 1999, would have predicted that?
Reading the article, it’s hard not to admire the cheek of the thing. Putin casting Russia as the defender of international law, as though the 2008 South Ossetia War had not happened, brings a grin. But best of all may be that the last paragraph, which Ace speculates was added in response to President Obama’s speech.
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.
Attacking American exceptionalism while referencing our own Declaration of Independence.
HEH: Roger Simon declares that the New York Times finally has a columnist worth reading.
But it shouldn’t end here. The Times should open up more space to President Putin. Perhaps he should be featured in the sports and travel sections. He is known to be a great hunter and fisherman. As recently as this year he apparently caught the biggest pike on record. Who knows? He may out swim Mao yet, or even Diana Nyad.
The New York Times has a sports section?