The New York Times did the world a favor yesterday. It published a letter "authored" by Vladimir Putin, the past and current president of U̶S̶S̶R̶ Mother Russia, to the American people.
Of course, old cold warriors from the both sides of the colonies' aisles objected and found his letter "deeply disturbing." Some DINOs expressed outrage, and almost every conservative pol was angered. Sen. Menendez became seasick, while Boehner (the man with no shame, even when he is sober) was insulted.
Regardless of their party affiliation, pols, talking heads, even newspaper editors expressed their poutrage. The one consistency, though, was the absence of actual analysis of what Putin wrote.
If you read his letter, please point out where he erred, lied or misstated some fact. The more you study it, the more sense it makes.
1. The UN is critically important to global peace and security. Going the way of the League of Nations would be horrific and dangerous. Perhaps the UN's location contributes to the problem, but unfortunately, too many Americans (especially conservatives and Teabuggerers) feel that the UN must do our bidding, or else it becomes our presumed enemy. Yes, the Security Council never moves as quickly as some would like, and often certain members seem to be obstructionists when many Americans think that an issue is cut and dried. A big reason is the fault of our corporate media. We rarely get unvarnished news from abroad, and when we do it typically involves a TV friendly disaster, the death of a princess, or some major crime.
Every word Putin wrote about the UN is factual, perhaps painfully so.
2. A unilateral strike by the USA would cause strife and problems around the world, and could be the match that ignites that precarious tinderbox that is the Muddle East.
Anyone who fails to recognize the potential danger is either an idiot (ie, TeaBuggerers, conservative christians, AIPAC clones), willfully ignorant (conservative GOPers conservative christians), or unconcerned about the downside (too many democrats, newspaper editors) of any such attack would cause. You would think people would have learned from our little Iraqnam misadventure. Too bad this lesson was not learned deeply enough in some parts of Congress. On the other hand, the polls seem to show that many here in the colonies do feel snake-bit about another war, especially when a country has caused us no harm.
Again, Putin is merely stating the truth, uncomfortable as it may be.
3. Syria is a complex place, with many competing interests.
No shit, sherlock. Once again, Americans have been badly served by our media. Their job is to inform, to educate, and to make us aware of issues, facts, and problems. To say that their performance to date on Syria is woefully inadequate is like calling the Atlantic pond somewhat damp.
If nothing else, we should thank Putin for pointing out the truth about the complexity. If only our leaders and our media would follow up on this.
4. Dialogue, negotiations, and non-violent solutions must be tried, and must be tried in good faith.
What the HELL has happened to this country? Since when did we think that a. we were the globe's police force? b. the only tool that works is using our overpriced, over-gunned, and over-used military? c. Where did we lose our souls and with it a more civilized approach to conflict resolution?
Putin is exactly right. We now rely on military force as the first response, not a rare option as a last resort. And that is a sick, worrisome trend that must stop.
5. America is NOT exceptional. Unless you view how corporations have taken over much of the country, and have too much control over our politics and policy. That is exception, or rather, exceptionally bad.
This point has angered many pols the most. But when did we decide that we were somehow the chosen people? Why did we ever think that our collective shyte don't stink? A century ago, France believed that it was the most blessed, most important nation on this flat earth. A century before that saw an England upon which the sun never set. And just some 70-80 years ago, we witnessed what happens when a battered country was told that they were almost gods, and that they desperately needed lebensraum? For any of us to think (and promote the idea that we are exceptional) is the height of hubris and unwarranted conceit. Looking at history, such pride is always followed by a horrible fall.
Having less ego, more diplomacy, and dropping the idea that we are exceptional would go a long way towards having more power and support around the world.
6. Who used the chemical weapons? Even our CIA and State folks admit that the evidence is not ironclad. My god, it's full of flaws! or uncertainties, at the very least. We are told, like dutiful children, that the White House cannot tell us exactly what evidence we do have, because it would risk our intel sources, procedures, and abilities.
WHAT THE HELL DO WE HAVE THE NSA and CIA FOR? Keeping us in the dark is precisely what President Cheney and his idiot cousin George the W did to us when we invaded IraqNam. Obama cannot follow their lead, or he risks destroying his presidency. Either we function as an INFORMED democracy, or we risk losing what is best about this country. Keeping us in the dark because of the need for secrecy is just plain wrong. Every president must earn the trust of the people. On too many occasions, this president has promised one thing, and done another. Yes, Obama has faced a hostile congress that is even worse than the Newt-led jerks that opposed Clinton at every step. But too many times, Obama made his own situation worse, mainly by not standing up to Congress and forcing their hand. As Bernie Sanders said, it is not too late for Obama to save his presidency, but damn. Obama himself admitted that he had to stand up against the Teabuggered GOP more often. I hope he keeps his word.
I do have one question. Which is more objectionable to so many pols and pundits? The source or the content? Or both?