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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.

http://globalclarity.wordpress.com/...

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?

Poll

What offends the warmongering pols more, the source or the content of this letter?

26%20 votes
14%11 votes
47%36 votes
1%1 votes
5%4 votes
5%4 votes

| 76 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (31+ / 0-)

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 03:34:16 PM PDT

  •  I think the outrage (22+ / 0-)

    is over the impudence of someone daring to talk back to the world's sole reigning superpower.  

  •  Damn right~! (16+ / 0-)

    The reason the Very Serious Chatterers are so pissed is because that's surely the position they're "encouraged" to espouse from the person who signs their paychecks ;)

    The other part of this is the "we're not exceptional" point made. Mr. Putin is spot-on, but them's fightin' woids to all the morans in this country. And since that op-ed ran, we of course have had soo many Very Serious Chatterers talking about this for endless stretches at a time, like the guy was wrong or something...

    One also is tempted to wonder if the whole point of the NYT running with this--besides their stated reasons--was that they saw an opportunity to help sway some NAY votes in Congress over to the YAY column for "another war"? Yes, I am that cynical, what can I say? ;)

    This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

    by lunachickie on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 03:46:11 PM PDT

    •  Apparently some folks here at DK swoon... (15+ / 0-)

      at the shirtless Putin on a white horse, and do their best to look past the fact that he is a brutal, murderous dictator who approves of beating up gays, assassinating journalists, and imprisoning musical groups.

      We've definitely entered the twilight zone.

      Nothing worth noting at the moment.

      by Bonsai66 on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 04:11:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Haven't seen to much swooning here (8+ / 0-)

        over Putin, but there also isn't a kneejerk hatred for him as you find in a lot of MSM and RWNJ sites.
        Almost every kudos to him here has been bracketed by "despite his treatment of LGBTs" or some variation on that theme. I don't think anyone here is in worship mode.

        If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

        by CwV on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 05:57:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's not (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dpinzow, richardak, Bonsai66

          kneejerk hatred, it is well-earned hatred . . . for decades of ugly thuggery.  He deserves no kudos.  Even if this man says the right thing, we can feel very confident it is for the wrong reason.  

          •  What wrong reasons would those be? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Duckmg, blueoasis

            And regardless of what you think of the man and his supposedly bad faith motivations, if the result of his intervening at this point is good, do motivations really matter?

            Or do you prefer people with the best intentions making a worse mess of things?

            History teaches us both happen.

            Devil or Angel, Putin may have played an important role in stopping what might otherwise have turned out quite badly, and the reason he could do that might have to do with the position he occupies and relationship of Russia and Syria, which is longer and more complex than lots of people may realize.

            For example, quite a few Russians living is Syria are woman who married Syrian men who lived in Russia as students and then immigrated hen their husbands returned home, something Obama doesn't have to worry about much.

            The simple fact Putin is a key leader with access to and influence on Assad put him in a position to say whatever he chose to and apparently he used this for what may be a good end.

            Devil (sic) in the details.

      •  Putin's great interview: we give gays prizes (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bonsai66

        Thanks for setting us straight, Vlad...

           

        NOVO-OGARYOVO, Russia -- President Vladimir Putin denied suggestions that homosexuals face discrimination in Russia, insisting that a new law banning "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" would not be used to punish athletes who display rainbow flags during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

            "I assure you that I work with these people, I sometimes award them with state prizes or decorations for their achievements in various fields," Putin said in an interview with The Associated Press and Russia's state Channel 1 television late Tuesday. "We have absolutely normal relations, and I don't see anything out of the ordinary here."

        The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

        by richardak on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 09:44:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  For what it's worth, (4+ / 0-)

      the correct, and full wording is:

      The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
      An evil soul producing holy witness
      Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
      A goodly apple rotten at the heart.
      O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!

      It is Shakespeare, from The Merchant of Venice

      For one thing, while American Exceptionalism is a self-congratulatory fiction, Vlad the Poisoner is not exactly the right person to lecture the US about that.

      The more people I encounter, the more I appreciate our cats.

      by Old Sailor on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 04:54:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Uppityness. (5+ / 0-)

    In that vein, if he'd confined his remarks to Mr. Obama, he'd have found a lot more support.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 03:52:04 PM PDT

  •  Progressives don't elevate dictators above country (10+ / 0-)

    Those of you cheering on this evil man are shameful.

    Why you so resent those who find this country exceptional says more about your own vanity than it does anything else. There is no country, no society that has ever existed that doesn't have blood on it's hands or has not made a series of mistakes.

    If you truly cared about making this a better country and a better world, then you would understand that you have to motivate, not demotivate, people. Talking down to people-people you live amongst-only makes you an a-hole.

    The politicians may be bought, and the system corrupt, but it is our duty to fix these things.

    by sebastianguy99 on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 03:55:36 PM PDT

    •  This doesn't address the real criticism though (16+ / 0-)

      which is that "American exceptionalism" leads us to believe we have the right to ignore international law and intervene in countries on the other side of the world, which is counterproductive and destabilizing to the international order.

      If we are talking about exceptionalism as a warm, fuzzy, feel-good abstraction, then I'm fine with it, but that's not what Putin's column was about.

      •  It also leads more people to good things that you (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib, Deep Texan, dpinzow, Bonsai66

        ...and others like you fail to mention. If you think that this country didn't become great (yes, I believe it imperfect but great) then you are just being willfully ignorant at best.

        No great struggle has been fought and won in this country in the name of mediocrity. The call of exceptionalism has gotten this country through very tough times and will be necessary to invoke in order to successfully take on and beat our toughest challenges.

        Yes, "warm and fuzzy" beats hate every time. Always has, always will. I'm sorry you do not feel that connection and that mocking others really makes you feel superior.

        As far international law. I find it funny that you and others apparently think that it isn't also against international law to kill your own citizens which both Putin and Assad have done and continue to do. There are many violations of international law across the planet but somehow they are worthy of a pass. Count me as one that believes all laws matter and apply to more than just the United States.

        The politicians may be bought, and the system corrupt, but it is our duty to fix these things.

        by sebastianguy99 on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 04:40:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You could really do (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          limpidglass, ukit, Lepanto, Duckmg

          with a good speech writer. Maybe Putin's has some free time.

          •  You really should ask yourself why it is you have (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sviscusi, Deep Texan, dpinzow, Bonsai66

            ...to such an overriding need to belittle others. It is people like you and other mockers that make it very difficult to shift this country leftwards.

            I do feel sorry for people like you who can't seem to feel anything unless it is at the expense of someone else.

            You can continue to demonstrate your superiority complex without me. I've got better things to do than flameout with negative people.

            The politicians may be bought, and the system corrupt, but it is our duty to fix these things.

            by sebastianguy99 on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 05:38:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  sounds like someone put a little too much bombast (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Richard Lyon, ukit

          on their Cocoa Puffs this morning.

          "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

          by limpidglass on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 05:02:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Texas and FLorida murder innocents (10+ / 0-)

          even when there is evidence that the criminal they kill was actually innocent of the crime for which they were convicted.

          Many nations are aghast at the ease with which we kill our own.

          What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

          by agnostic on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 05:53:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  And yet (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Duckmg

          This great nation has stocks of chemical weapons promised to destroy decades ago but has failed to complete and has been uncooperative with international inspectors working to verify destruction.

          It is also one of the few remaining nations maintaining stocks of biological agents (by, ironically, CDC) that should be destroyed.

          And the US has quite a history of using chemical weapons (after signing treaties prohibiting them) and nuclear weapons (the only nation to do so), all justified by it's greatness I suppose.

          Because it's ignoble to kill your own but noble to kill others, right?

          •  Dunno about that (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dpinzow, Bonsai66

            http://gimby.org/...

            That date has come and gone, and while considerable progress has been made — seven of nine U.S. chemical stockpiles have been destroyed — two chemical weapons storage facilities managed by the U.S. Army remain filled with mustard gas warheads: one in Richmond, Kentucky, and another in Pueblo, Colorado. The Pueblo facility will begin its neutralization and incineration process in 2015, with all weapons expected to be gone by 2017. The Kentucky facility, named Blue Grass, will be the nation's last chemical weapons stockpile, its weapons not slated to be destroyed until 2018. Both sites will be demilitarized by 2021.
            Sounds horrible to me.  Get the smelling salts!

            And no credit given for the nuclear disarmament?  You're a petty grader, konko.  America has been as magnanimous a victor as ever seen in world history.

      •  exactly. (6+ / 0-)

        There is a difference between nationalism and patriotism. One creates trouble, the other is far more benign and often helpful.

        Today, those who push exceptionalism the hardest are actually dangerous.

        What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

        by agnostic on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 05:49:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  If all countries have blood on their hands (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mint julep, Kimbeaux, cotterperson

      does that indicate that there are no exceptional countries? Does this mean that having blood on our hands is OK, because  other countries also have blood on their hands?

      I agree with Albert Einstein who was familiar with what nationalism (exeptionalism) did in Germany. He thought that all nationalism was a sickness.

      War is costly. Peace is priceless!

      by frostbite on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 06:19:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, you're absolutely correct. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      agnostic

      Let's ignore the content of his words, and instead take up the pom-poms once more. Let's hear it:

      "AMERICA, AMERICA RAH RAH RAH!"

      Talk about attacking the messenger and ignoring the message - it seems to be what you specialise in.

      "Violence never requires translation, but it often causes deafness." - Bareesh the Hutt.

      by Australian2 on Sat Sep 14, 2013 at 01:58:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Many still see (13+ / 0-)

    the Russians as an enemy and inferior in many ways. How dare he question our superiority.
    I'm no fan of Mr Putin, but he is spot on with this letter.

    El pueblo unido jamás será vencido. The people united will never be defeated

    by mint julep on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 04:00:33 PM PDT

    •  What most American see is the media (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lepanto, Kimbeaux, cotterperson

      spin by a pro-war corporate media that profits from wars.

      To sell war, the leadership of all possible enemies are completely demonized into inhuman caricatures. These foreign leaders are not the Hitlers we make them out to be. I assume that all countries who go to wars do the same.

      The gassing of 1,400 Syrians is not like the gassing of millions of Jews in WW II--a product of Western culture.

      War is costly. Peace is priceless!

      by frostbite on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 06:37:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It is called free speech Mr. Putin, do you got it (6+ / 0-)

    in Russia.  I request of The Czar Of All The Russias to pusblish this letter where the people can read it and then I ask you to invite Barrack Hussain Obama to write a letter in the press where again the people will read it they way we read your letter with the great help of an American prublic relations firm.  Let's both enjoy free speech in each other's country.  It is the least that we could do for each other who were allies in  World War II.  We have ner faught each other and we have never fought our Chines brothers and sisters either.  Let us eat with each other and enjoy the joys of freedom.

    •  Free speech is mostly fiction (6+ / 0-)

      in America. Those of us on DKos can address a couple hundred people in our comments here, or we can address a small group of a couple dozen people in an organized public meeting.

      On the other hand the 1% who own our extremist-mainstream media can address 40 million people at a time on their TV networks. A comparison of the two will show that free speech is largely owned by the 1%.

      War is costly. Peace is priceless!

      by frostbite on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 06:46:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So we have no free speech in the USA (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bonsai66

        because we don't have access to 40 million of our fellow Americans the way the 1% does and on a consistent basis.  And you denigrate the few strangers of KOS we speak to as if this has always been routine in human culture.  You worship massive displays of the use of power.  I think you are right and I have made my point, too:  I speak to a variety of people, I call my fellow citizens of the Republic.  What is the value of that? Priceless.   Because it can't be bought and sold like stocks and bonds.  So then, what is this feeble interaction we have according to you, here on KOS?  If your criteria for significance is the expression of power by the masses you are being stunted in your head and your heart.  We are more than this world dreams of and this world can ever know>PEACE.      

    •  While it wasn't a declared war (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      agnostic, Deep Texan

      we certainly fought the Chinese in the Korean War when the Chinese attacked, in overwhelming force, over the boarder of North Korea and drove the UN (primarily US) forces back down the Korean peninsula.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 07:14:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Is it better to fight directly in hand to hand (0+ / 0-)

        declared war combat or to use surrogates?  Surrogates soften the rancor and helpt to contain the fury of each combatant.  It still amazes me that we have not ever fought our Russian brothers and sisters.  China is another matter.  Will Elder Brother and Bright Younger Son be compatible for friendly interaction, this means visits to our places of note and we to theirs.  Nothing promotes mutual trust like successful commercial joint ventures.  What can China, Russia and the USA do together:  Bring a season of PEACE to this world for a start.

    •  Actually, Russians do enjoy freedom of speech (0+ / 0-)

      And a very lively internet.

      Certainly there are other forces of oppression in Russia and elsewhere (including the USA) but Russian are pretty much free to speak their minds and do so.

      •  This would not include GLBT people since they (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bonsai66

        can't talk about themselves because it promotes false life style.  So you are utterly wrong to say there is free speech and the other stuff you said like there is some kind of equivalency beween Russia and the  Enlightenment.  There is not and the Russian Orthodox Church is so alined with the state that sunlight does not pass between them.

  •  Putin is a homophobic dictator who has... (9+ / 0-)

    helped bankrupt Russia while massively enriching himself and his brutal cronies.  He is estimated to be worth $70 billion and is probably the second richest person in the world now.  Truly, the 1% of the 1% of the 1%.

    He also abuses human rights at a whim.

    He is a evil man.

    And anybody who sides with him is seriously suffering from ODS...which is a pretty common ailment here at DK unfortunately.

    Nothing worth noting at the moment.

    by Bonsai66 on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 04:06:55 PM PDT

  •  because people in this country can be incredibly (17+ / 0-)

    thin-skinned. Express, in the mildest possible fashion, a contrary opinion that runs even slightly counter to their received wisdom and they act like you shot Bambi's mom. Dare to tell them that they should try to consider the consequences of their actions and they storm out of the room like an emo teenager. Hint that they are not the center of the universe, nor the world's moral arbiter, and they throw a pissfit and scream "I can't hear you" while sticking their fingers in their ears.

    Putin said nothing that was not obvious to any reasonably informed person in any country. Not one single thing. But from the incredible torrent of vitriol his op-ed received, you'd think he'd wiped his ass with the American flag and set it on fire.

    If this is how Americans react to a moderate dose of truth-telling, then we really are a bunch of delicate wilting flowers who've lived in our hothouse for way too long.

    And since we're still in control of the world's most powerful army, including nuclear weapons, the rest of the world has every right to be a wee bit worried about our emotional immaturity.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 04:19:30 PM PDT

  •  Too many Americans have an (13+ / 0-)

    infantile, Cold War stereotype of Russians. Ask yourself how many times you have seen words like "cunning" or "wily" used to describe Putin. It's almost like he stepped out of a Boris and Natasha cartoon.

    More broadly, there is way too much close mindedness in the world. Everyone who doesn't think and act exactly the way we do (or within the parameters our media deems acceptable) is automatically shunned and their opinions disregarded. This is silly and doesn't provide any useful path forward for humanity.

    Any people that aspires to be truly exceptional should be willing to understand and accept difference. Even when another culture does things we find wrong or hard to understand, that shouldn't lead us to dehumanize them or shut down the lines of communication.

  •  One can just imagine how this article (8+ / 0-)

    played in countries that have recently learned that they have been targets of NSA spying.

  •  Would you be cool if Fred Phelps wrote the letter? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bonsai66

    Who the person is who says something matters.  Nothing anyone says exists in a vacuum.  Who they are and what they have said and done give context.  

    I think that the fact that you use the term DINO proves that you know that this context gives people a reason to reject what someone like Putin says.  

    I trust Putin's opinions less than I trust the GOPs 'concern' for the middle class and fear of Obamacare.  

  •  Putin is right (7+ / 0-)

    This letter is very important, as it reminds everyone the rules of international law.
     

  •  Vlad? I stopped there. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sviscusi, Deep Texan
    •  why? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      frostbite, Kimbeaux, mint julep, blueoasis

      Ever been to Russia? Vladimir is often changed to several diminutives including Vlad. It is not an insult, nor is it incorrect.

      So, what are you trying to say?

      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

      by agnostic on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 06:01:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is ridiculous for an anonymous blogger (0+ / 0-)

        with zero social status to refer to a chief of state with a diminutive of his first name.

        FWIW, I majored in Russian and almost got, but refused, a job at NSA many years ago doing Russian translation.  

        Putin has many sins to bear.  But he should be addressed with respect, at this time when so much depends on him working out a Syria agreement with Obama.

        •  zero social status. Gee, you really know me. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mint julep

          thanks!

          by the way, have you EVER been to Russia? I studied there back in the 1970s. I've traveled there extensively. I've seen the changes since 1991 to the present. I even taught in a former SSR country.  I suspect that I have a bit of insight into why Putin is still a popular leader there, in great part because with an iron fist, covered by an asbestos glove, he stopped the Wild West show that local mafia had created. That relative degree of safety, compared to pre-Putin times, has been greeted with relief by the majority of Russians.

          In fact, if you polled most Russians in an honest fashion, I suspect that many of them would prefer the loves they had under the USSR. The ideas of safe streets, guaranteed employment, not unreasonable retirement systems, and free health care are viewed with envy these days.

          But since you were almost hired by the NSA, you obviously know so much more than the rest of us.  Especially with your brilliantly huge social status.

          What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

          by agnostic on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 08:12:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  DBAD. (0+ / 0-)

            What a ridiculously hostile response.

            I majored in Russian.  I've never been to Russia so far, but I know a lot about the country and its people.  

            But that doesn't matter.

            The whole point of my comment was that it's ridiculous to refer to a chief of state by a diminutive like"Vlad."

            I'm right.  You're just totally full of it.  And really ridiculously thin-skinned.  Chill out.

            And by the way, by definition all anonymous bloggers have zero social status.

            •  there's an occasional creepiness about you (0+ / 0-)

              at times. I cannot quite putin my finger on it, but it is there. Judgmental, know-it-all, and conveniently insulting when you so choose, and then when someone calls you on it, you increase the temps in your commentary. Do us both a favor and don't post on my diaries. You clearly don't wish to add anything of merit to the topics I raise. I will do my best to ignore yours. In fact, that will be quite easy.

              Heh, hostile response? simply because I asked, then re-asked whether you - the self-reported expert on all things Russian, were ever there?  Your utter lack of experience in that country reminds me of Condi Rice. She, too, claimed to be fluent in russian. My best friend was State's trilingual translator who accompanied Condi and her staff during her first visit as SexState to Moscow. The diplomats, believing her PR about her russian fluency, spoke kindly and inquired about her trip to Moscow. She could not understand one word that was spoken to her. In fact, the Russians were forced to make huge changes to her itinerary because they had planned for this bilingual Russian speaking SexState to appear on Russian TV and Radio. When her skills turned out to be non-existant, rather than embarrass her, they made huge adjustments on the fly.

              What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

              by agnostic on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 08:30:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  What a bunch of self-regarding crap. (0+ / 0-)

                And you call ME creepy.  Good grief.  

                It was a bad diary compounded by terribly bad comments like that.  Grow up.

                •  Please, go away. (0+ / 0-)

                  you irritate many people here, often by design. Should you decide to add something of value, that would be different. But, perhaps, that is beyond your reach.

                  What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

                  by agnostic on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 08:54:30 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  the outrage is due to our being so used to (10+ / 0-)

    playing the role of schoolmarm wagging fingers at the rest of the world

    that we can't bear the thought of someone raising his hand and saying "excuse me miss, but there are some glaring holes in your nylons".

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 05:12:17 PM PDT

    •  the outrage is that an authoritarian... (0+ / 0-)

      is being given kudos while his transgressions are conveniently ignored.

      You want to trade Putin for Obama? Be my guest.

      The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

      by richardak on Sat Sep 14, 2013 at 12:53:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  America is NOT exceptional. (9+ / 0-)

    I might have believed that America was somehow exceptional until President Johnson bombed the hell out of Vietnam.

    As far as economic issues were concerned, I was doing really good. I had the usual problems finding a good job at the beginning, but after I went to work for the local school district as a programmer things were great.

    One job led to another and my salary kept going up and up during the 70s, but then things changed.

    Beginning around 1980 things started going down hill. I couldn't find a regular job and I switched to contracting and spent the rest of my working life alternating between contracting and regular employment. And, the best I could hope for was to more or less maintain the lifestyle that I experienced in the 1970s.

    So as far as I'm concerned there is nothing particularly special about this county other than it's military power and dominance over the rest of the world and frankly I don't give a shit about that.

    I lived in England back in the 70s and frankly I'm sorry I ever came back to this exceptionally backward and isolated country.

    The only trouble with retirement is...I never get a day off!

    by Mr Robert on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 05:24:54 PM PDT

  •  Entitled to his opinion ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    frostbite, Kimbeaux

    and we do have a First Amendment.
    I could agree with Putin on particulars on Syria, but that is not my primary concern.
    Primarily, my concern is about freedom of speech for the glbt movement. It is no accident that this week I bought a set of Tchaikovsky's symphonies. I am concerned about Russia's influence on neighboring countries.

    Censorship is rogue government.

    by scott5js on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 05:44:47 PM PDT

  •  That homophobe uses the U.N. to shield his war (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eglantine

    criminal clients.

  •  6. Who used the chemical weapons? (0+ / 0-)

    As for proof, who owns the chemical weapons? Who has been in possession of them since the 80's?  Did the rebels Hollywood-magically get hold of them? I'd buy a ticket to see that.
    If they did, why not use them on the Syrian army? For some incredible, Machiavellian plot to draw the US into the fray? What a mentality? They've got a genius over there. He pulls this Houdini, but can't figure out a way to get into Damascus. I'm sure he's got a map.
    Why haven't they bombed again to up the ante? I don't believe I've ever heard of a shy terrorist.
    It's just all too farfetched.

    Betchu REALLY wanna vote, now.

    by franklyn on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 06:20:03 PM PDT

  •  You are falling for the Big Lie (6+ / 0-)

    In this piece Putin poses as friend of peace, whereas in fact he has enabled Bashar al-Assad's butchery with money, arms, diplomatic support, and UN Security Council vetoes.

    His fraudulence is nicely captured by Amnesty International:

    [S]ome of President Putin’s arguments obscure Russia’s own role in blocking a resolution to the human rights crisis in Syria. Russian diplomats have repeatedly blocked international law from being enforced by blocking the U.N. Security Council from adopting measures to holding human rights violators accountable in Syria.... President Putin also claims that Syria’s internal conflict is “fueled by foreign weapons supplied to the opposition,” but fails to mention that his own government has been a major arms supplier to the Syrian government. The vast majority of the human rights abuses documented by Amnesty International have been committed by the state’s armed forces and pro-government shabiha militias.... Finally, President Putin ignored the Syrian government’s crackdown on human rights advocates inside Syria. Human rights defenders inside Syria are subject to harassment, arbitrary arrest, and detention. The Syrian government has even blocked the U.N.-mandated Commission of Inquiry from entering the country.
    And by Human Rights Watch:
    There is not a single mention in Putin’s article, addressed to the American people, of  the egregious crimes committed by the Syrian government and extensively documented by the UN Commission of Inquiry, local and international human rights groups, and numerous journalists: deliberate and indiscriminate killings of tens of thousands of civilians, executions, torture, enforced disappearances and arbitrary arrests. His op-ed also makes no mention of Russia’s ongoing transfer of arms to Assad throughout the past two and a half years.

    The Russian president strategically emphasizes the role of Islamic extremists in the Syrian conflict. Yes, many rebel groups have committed abuses and atrocities. Yet Putin fails to mention that it is the Syrian government that is responsible for shooting peaceful protesters (before the conflict even started) and detaining and torturing their leaders – many of whom remain detained – and that the continued failure of the international community to respond to atrocities in Syria allows crimes on all sides to continue unaddressed.

    Putin’s plea to use the United Nations Security Council to resolve the conflict sounds great, until you remember that, from the very start of this conflict, Russia has vetoed or blocked any Security Council action that may bring relief to Syria’s civilians or bring perpetrators of abuses in Syria to account....

     And when Putin squarely blames the opposition for the August 21 chemical attack – against all available evidence and without presenting a shred of his own evidence – one can only wonder why Russia remains so vehemently opposed to referring Syria to the International Criminal Court, an action that would be fully in line with international law, which Putin seems so keen to uphold in his op-ed, and would enable an investigation into abuses by both sides of the conflict.

    Putin's op-ed is stunning in its cynicism and hypocrisy.
    •  I am no putin fan. But, given the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cotterperson

      horrible times that preceded his first term, I fully understand why so many Russians voted for him and accepted his strong arm tactics. Because their quality of life increased in many ways.

      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

      by agnostic on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 08:33:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  ya know (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kimbeaux

    Obama gave Putin the opportunity to say "proceed" on Snowden and then Syria..Syria..Syria..

    That said..
    VP will probably not announce during the opening ceremony..
    "Ladies and Gentlemen...PUSSY RIOT!"

    http://www.youtube.com/...

    ashes..ashes..we all fall down..

  •  and now, the McCain response coming up (0+ / 0-)

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 08:23:22 PM PDT

  •  How to get Kossacks to turn against Putin? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eglantine, dpinzow

    The wave of pro-Putin diaries on DKOS since his America-chiding letter to the editor is puzzling.  How can someone who has done so many things in opposition to the values held by advocates here become so popular?

    He presides over a kleptocracy and has squirreled away billions himself.  He throws his critics into prison on flimsy charges.  He bashes gays and religious minorities.  He launches his own wars outside UN authority when it pleases him.

    He does all those things, but none of them provoke the sort of outrage here that would disqualify him as someone to be listened to with respect.

    What, I thought, would REALLY provoke disgust and loathing among DKOS readers and diarists?  What horrible, beyond-the-pale, violation of human rights, human dignity, and basic human freedoms would get the average Kossack off the couch and reaching for the cruise missile launch button?

    Then I hit upon it, so obvious yet beautiful in its power and simplicity:

    *

    "Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday he was strongly opposed to legalizing marijuana.
    "Cannabis can be used only as raw material for agriculture, but as a recreational drug – I’m totally against," he said during a call-in show."

    http://themoscownews.com/...

    "Hidden in the idea of radical openness is an allegiance to machines instead of people." - Jaron Lanier

    by FDRDemocrat on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 09:07:08 PM PDT

    •  you wrongly assume that I support him. (0+ / 0-)

      i do not. To the contrary, I find his policies to be heavy-handed and oppressive. But, his letter is accurate.

      In context, tho, his presidency is no surprise. Nor is the popular support he wields. You really have to understand how bad things were (in great part, due to russians following the advice of the U of Chicago economists) before Putin's election.  Former KGB guys were probably the worst. They had access to data, they had arms, and they had troops that would be glad to act as enforcers, especially for hard currency wages. ( so many people went without any wage or salary after the USSR collapsed, that starvation was a real possibility.)  Crime did pay, and for those without morals, crime paid very, very well. I personally know several families who lost sons due to mafia violence and theft. Bribery was normal, stealing from former soviet companies was expected.

      A couple simple examples - dead light bulbs being sold in street markets. This allowed a worker to take the good bulb from his/her job, and replace it with the dead one. This earned him/her a working light bulb for their home. If you owned a car, not only did you lock your car, lock and chain the garage you stored it in, you would remove the wiper blades, car battery, even the steering wheel, while you turned on your secret fuel line kill switch, just to keep your car from being stolen.

      I saw private machine gun-armed guards in corner restaurants, simply to keep away competing mafia from demanding yet another bribe from shop-keepers.

      inflation was horrible, and pensions left the aged starving without any means of feeding themselves.

      In retrospect, the strides taken by Russia have been incredible, especially because of the entrenched corruption and crime that was a part of every day life. Putin, being the bastard that he admittedly is, changed that. He cracked down on crime tremendously. He also kicked out the U of C economic theorists and helped the economy get back on track. Of course, their pipe line to Europe helped even more.

      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

      by agnostic on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 09:26:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Doesn't this totally contradict... (0+ / 0-)

        the subject of your comment?

        In retrospect, the strides taken by Russia have been incredible, especially because of the entrenched corruption and crime that was a part of every day life. Putin, being the bastard that he admittedly is, changed that. He cracked down on crime tremendously. He also kicked out the U of C economic theorists and helped the economy get back on track. Of course, their pipe line to Europe helped even more.
        Sounds like we should be giving Vlad high fives.

        The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

        by richardak on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 10:54:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not at all. It is a complex issue, (0+ / 0-)

          Far more complex than how our B&W media paints things.

          What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

          by agnostic on Sat Sep 14, 2013 at 04:10:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Putin is a assfuck (0+ / 0-)

    I hate everything about him.

    "We need a revolution away from the plutocracy that runs Government."

    by hangingchad on Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 10:08:58 PM PDT

  •  No, most of the letter is (0+ / 0-)

    dubious suppositions and proposals for the gullible.

    The U.N.'s significant de facto founding purpose was to prevent WW3.  

    Whether Russia belongs on the Security Council is increasingly dubious.

    No one knows whether American involvement and/or escalation will increase or decrease the body count in the end.  It's very unlikely to unleish WW3, a wave of terrorism, or whatever it is Putin likes to pretend is within the realm of plausibility.

    Actually, Syria is in a war in which democracy is at stake.  Al Nusra and such may or may not win the war, but they're certainly too small to govern the country.

    Mali was a problem waiting to happen.  Libya is in no way the hellhole Russian propaganda pretends it to be.

    It is in America's long term enlightened selfinterests to have a world of liberal democracies.  History says that American liberal interventionism has in fact largely created the world of liberal democracies we now live in.

    No, no one confuses Clinton/Obama varieties of liberal interventionism with Team Bush illiberal interventionism.  

    And so on.  It's all pretentious, amusing, but foolish bullshit.

  •  Vlad this... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    richardak, eglantine

    "The Russian President damages his credibility by continuing to retail the crackpot conspiracy theory that the rebels gassed their own supporters and relatives in Ghuta east of Damascus in a false flag attack designed to embarrass the regime."

    Juan Cole, Sep. 13, 2013

    "It ain't over till it's over."-Yogi Berra

    by mock38 on Sat Sep 14, 2013 at 03:45:30 AM PDT

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