Vladimir Putin tries to save America from itself
September 12th, 2013
07:14 AM ET

Vladimir Putin tries to save America from itself

By Jill Dougherty

In an extraordinary direct appeal to Americans Vladimir Putin, in a New York Times op-ed, warned that military action in Syria would only “unleash a new wave of terrorism,” denied his country is trying to protect Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, and depicted himself as an ally who wants to save the United States – from its own worst instincts.

“The potential strike by the United States against Syria, despite strong opposition from many countries and major political and religious leaders, including the Pope, will result in more innocent victims and escalation, potentially spreading the conflict far beyond Syria’s borders,” Putin said. “ A strike would increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism. It could undermine multilateral efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear problem and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and further destabilize the Middle East and North Africa. It could throw the entire system of international law and order out of balance.”

RELATED: Reaction to Putin

The Russian president also denied the view that the uprising in Syria is part of a wave of popular movements in the Middle East demanding democracy from despotic rulers. “Syria is not witnessing a battle for democracy, but an armed conflict between government and opposition in a multi-religious country,” he wrote. “There are few champions of democracy in Syria. But there are more than enough Qaeda fighters and extremists of all stripes battling the government.”

There is no doubt, he said, that poison gas was used in Syria but, he said, “there is every reason to believe it was used not by the Syrian Army, but by opposition forces, to provoke intervention by their powerful foreign patrons, who would be siding with the fundamentalists.”

"We have had preliminary conversations and the discussion has always been of Assad's weapons, weapons acknowledged by Assad regime itself," a senior U.S. official traveling aboard Secretary of State Kerry's plane to Geneva told CNN's Jim Sciutto.

Putin also took on critics who charge that Russia is defending the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. “We are not protecting the Syrian government, but international law.”

The Russian president took on U.S. foreign policy, saying it was “alarming” that military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries “has become commonplace for the United States.”

“Is it in America’s long-term interest,” he asked? “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.’

In spite of media reports that his relationship with President Barack Obama is worse than ever Putin said “My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust.”

But he took issue with Obama’s comments that America is “exceptional.”

“It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation, Putin said. “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.”

soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. vlad

    Putin, save America

    December 6, 2014 at 12:42 pm | Reply
  2. モンブランの作り方

    Vladimir Putin tries to save America from itself – CNN Security Clearance – CNN.com Blogs モンブランの作り方 http://www.pslcbi.com/montblanc.html

    November 30, 2013 at 6:43 am | Reply
  3. pinks4grls

    I do believe that the government should stay out of Syria, as they have shown, yet again the inability to care for their own. Government shutdown? No pay for military or their families? interruptions in death benefits for those who have lost love ones serving in Afghanistan? Our government has shown that they can not manage what obligations they have.

    September 29, 2013 at 6:57 pm | Reply
  4. joe d

    please save us from the feces called Israel...

    September 26, 2013 at 9:36 am | Reply
  5. Jamie

    I can't believe I'm actually going to agree with a dictator but maybe he's right about us butting into internal conflicts. Maybe we should stay out of other worldly conflicts for a change and try to actually fix what's wrong with our own country first

    September 25, 2013 at 11:14 pm | Reply
  6. KennyEee

    Putin actually said this? WOW! HE may be right in some of what he say but for Americas safety?

    September 19, 2013 at 5:44 pm | Reply
  7. *Bangash

    Putin is right when say he saved America from her self. Putin had reminded Bush of Russian experience of Afghanistan invasion but Bush had ignored and now America is trapped in Afghanistan, finding no way to get out of this quagmire. Since fall of USSR for the first time Russia is emerging from the debris with a totally changed vision but opposite to what USA is in the world today. The only exception I see in USA is that it is fastly losing ground and moving to isolation in the world on way to globalisation wherein peace, free trade and open borders are top priority not wars deaths and destruction.

    September 18, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Reply
  8. need a job?

    I hear 12 new jobs just opened up in Navy Yard...

    September 18, 2013 at 5:57 am | Reply
    • KennyEee

      your sick!!

      September 19, 2013 at 5:46 pm | Reply
  9. merica, fkyeah

    Methinks he is right on all counts, except maybe who released the nerve agent...

    September 18, 2013 at 3:56 am | Reply
  10. Chun S. Kim

    How I can contact to Jill Dougherty?

    September 17, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  11. Lela

    Aaahh, yes, a lot of cooks in this kitchen, hihi.

    No doubt there is a lot of truth to Putin's speech. But there is also no doubt that he would never propose something that does not benefit him either.

    September 15, 2013 at 12:20 am | Reply
  12. joke?

    America needs to be saved from itself, I agree. But not by a communist KGB thug, Stalin worshipping socialist Kremlin rat.

    Want to see what our Russian friend think if americans??? Google Pravda

    September 13, 2013 at 8:06 pm | Reply
  13. Uyrdg Ijhttr

    You seem to be asking who is a bully...

    September 13, 2013 at 1:59 pm | Reply
  14. Uyrdg Ijhttr

    What War?

    September 13, 2013 at 1:47 pm | Reply
  15. Riuhy

    I believe totally it is true that Putin saves the Americans.
    Comparing Obama, Kerry and Hagel with Putin, who is the tougher fighter? Never count that a reluctant fighter will win
    the war.

    September 13, 2013 at 1:43 pm | Reply
  16. Uyrdg Ijhttr

    ...& that My Friend makes perfect sense...

    September 13, 2013 at 12:59 pm | Reply
  17. Uyrdg Ijhttr

    P-u-t-i-n is a wind-bag who does not actualy say anything...

    September 13, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Reply
  18. John Smith

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

    September 13, 2013 at 12:24 pm | Reply
    • Craig J

      "In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people." – Not true, the Russians shot down Korean Airlines flight 007 in 1983, killing all 269 on board.

      September 13, 2013 at 3:36 pm | Reply
      • U.S.M.C. 1371

        You can't stay facts to this retard it makes his poor little head hurt.

        September 15, 2013 at 2:13 am |
    • KennyEee

      just think, we didn't do what you say. what kind of world is it? Worse than it is now!! Can only think of one we shouldn't have been in. The Nam think was wrong but I can't really think of any other.

      September 19, 2013 at 5:49 pm | Reply
  19. Palle sol Fuoco

    If anyone believes this garbage, I hear the Brooklyn Bridge is for sale.

    September 13, 2013 at 12:51 am | Reply
  20. giggig

    Putin is evil. Narrowminded,religious and mean. In Nk he helps these Brutalizers to stay in full power.He manages the gas.He plans to kill of most muslims in the ME,just so he can be the one in power at the end of the day. We should go into Syria and make it a safe place to live.If we let Putin to go in, he will make it a safe place for slaves and gulags (like NK)

    September 13, 2013 at 12:22 am | Reply
  21. Red

    The primary reason Putin is involved is because he (and the Russian Government) sold all the materials and base for the gas weapons in the first place. He would prefer to make sure no one discovers that part of the story.

    September 12, 2013 at 8:44 pm | Reply
    • U.S.M.C. 1371

      And you can source that? If I was s betting man my money would be thst those weapons originated in the U.S.

      September 12, 2013 at 11:37 pm | Reply
      • Palle sol Fuoco

        Probably a combination of both countries. Likely those from Iraq ended up in Syria.

        September 13, 2013 at 12:57 am |
    • fred

      Wrong- The British did

      September 13, 2013 at 4:02 pm | Reply
  22. Phelix Unger

    Putin is a criminal and a man who has no problem killing people for his ends. He has also supported Assad for over two years now, as well as supplying weapons to him, to continue his war. He is a man who is trying to make Russia larger than it is on the world stage. He op-ed piece was carefully put together to make himself seem sensible and at the same time insult the both the American people and their President. America does hold a special place in the world that is unique to every other nation on the planet. It is the only global super power, that was created by the American people over the last 500 years. Is there faults and have there been mistakes in its past? Of course, but even with all of that they have come through it though to where they stand today. Putin will go back to Russia and suppress dissent and promote discrimination against those that don't fit his view, and he will continue to sell arms to the Syrian regime. This man has no right to babble the way he has been doing, the fact that the American people give him any sort of credit or respect for his actions is just crazy. This little Napoleon should work ob his own insecurities and be thankful that in the United States of America he has the legal right to spew the garbage that comes out of his mouth. I would take America with all her faults then Russia any day of the week ot year.

    September 12, 2013 at 8:11 pm | Reply
    • giggig

      me too, i came to USA for good 1.5 decades ago. Putin ,NK,Iran axis of evil. China is floating in between.

      September 13, 2013 at 12:17 am | Reply
    • KennyEee

      well said!!!

      September 19, 2013 at 5:51 pm | Reply
  23. Bill in STL

    its funny ... Putin reminds us that God created us equal.... but he does not realize that a growing number of Americans do not believe in God...

    What matters most is that Vladimir Putin inserted himself into the Vacuum left by our President... and now he lectures us and Al Assad threatens us on Russian Media...

    There is no response .... indignation?? for what ... giving up the leadership roll??? it was more important for our President to not be blamed .... so he gave it up... Willingly!

    September 12, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Reply
    • merica, fkyeah

      Bill, your flight to Damascus boards at 7am. You can be the first moron to die for nothing

      September 18, 2013 at 3:59 am | Reply
    • merica, fkyeah

      God is dead. And no one cares. If there is a hell, i 'll see you there. *Trent reznor, NIN

      You and your god are a joke

      September 18, 2013 at 4:01 am | Reply
    • merica, fkyeah

      Role, not roll. A roll is a dough baked until it is edible

      September 18, 2013 at 4:03 am | Reply
  24. CM46

    I'm not impressed by Putin's op-ed because his own actions in Russia defy his words. However, I'm for any diplomatic solution to moving control of Syria's chemical weapons to an international agency. Diplomacy is always better than armed conflict when it works.

    September 12, 2013 at 5:54 pm | Reply
  25. Gary P R

    .......I'm quite impressed with this NY Times Op Ed by Russia's leader, Vladimir Putin. If it reveals his true heart in these matters, at first glance, it appears as though he has some real sense.
    .......On the other hand, if you carefully consider his stated views in this Op Ed, there seems to be some real loose ends to his thinking concerning the current Syrian situation.
    .......What we really need, in my view, in these and every other matter, are a real productive connection with the Creator God, His People, His Word and His Work! .......Then we shall truly be free (John 8:31-32), make good choices in matters such as these and in every other matter and produce life, peace, justice and a beautiful loving, intimate, enjoyable and productive family! John 15:1-8; Luke 10:38-42;
    ......."... Then we shall hear a voice within, behind and about us saying, 'This is the way, walk accordingly ... And we shall turn from our wicked ways ... Experience God's power to live, to provide and to be healthy, through every challenge and every situation!
    .......And His provision shall be wonderful, as a life-giving River, a Living Stream that supplies all our needs in the time of the Great and Greatest Slaughter WHEN THE TOWERS FALL, in a thunderously huge collapse into the ground!......(onmgprplusv, Isaiah 30:1-25)

    September 12, 2013 at 5:08 pm | Reply
  26. BCP

    There should be at least SOME focus or mention of Russia's national interest in supporting Assad....(current naval "base" and air base in Syria). How about some mention of Russia's forgiveness of Assad's debt in exchange of letting the Russians expand the Russian naval base on the Syrian coast......thereby enabling the Russians to possess a fully capable naval port on the Mediterranean?
    Sure, the Russians have interest in not allowing the jihadist from gaining a "safe haven" so close to their borders. Those interest line up well with US interests. However, they need Assad to keep the deal with the naval base.
    I understand the this piece concerns Putin's Op-Ed. But I seldom see any critical coverage from American media concerning Russia's actions based on motives other than "we just want peace and stability" point of view.

    September 12, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Reply
    • StanCalif

      I agree that our American media doesn't do their civil duties anymore. Today their primary job (in their view) is simply to create headlines, get "eyeballs" on their websites. Details? Investigations? Real journalism? No interest! That's why we have people like Snowden. He may be considered a traitor by many, but our "journalists" just don't do their jobs anymore. What would Ben Franklin think of our current "journalists"? His first question would be "Can you name just one?"

      September 13, 2013 at 7:51 am | Reply
  27. Tfhjl Gertu

    Putin should resign.

    September 12, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Reply
  28. Tfhjl Gertu

    I think Putin was carrying the water of the late Osama Bin Ladden on 911, 2013.

    September 12, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Reply
  29. Tfhjl Gertu

    Right now is the day after Putin a state sponsor of the largest state sponsor of terrioism in the world is just throwing words out there now. HERE IS THE FACT THE US HAS THREATENED ASSAD USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS ON THE SYRIAN PEOPLE. at this point the first test has been failed. Assad has not even fingered any of his chemical weapons. Assad can sign pieces of toilet paper all he wants it does not past the test.

    September 12, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Reply
  30. George patton

    Putin has zero credibility. What took him so long, two years, to become an interested party in Syrian affair? [A: skin of Assad]

    September 12, 2013 at 8:46 am | Reply
  31. Tired of my taxes paying for Middle Eastern wars and welfare

    I personally like this side of Putin. peshwar is right in that this was a huge favor for the US. Our attacking Syria without world acceptance would be a new unifying mantra to spawn the next generation of Terrorists. Random is spot on when stating "Who cares what he says if with his help we destroy the biggest chem wep stockpiles in the world?" This type of world event shouldn't be used as a Presidential Resume Bullet to earn your "War Bones"

    The story on the Putin Op Ed piece in the NYT had a serious administration slant to it. I like the part where twitter's (probably a CIA staffer) tried to dredge up a 1999 OP Ed piece about the Chechnya conflict Russia dealt with and tried to make parallels to his current piece. It's pure apples and oranges. Chechnya was a former Soviet State. A comparative would be like if Texas seceded from the US and was divided into separate regions or republics, then the US wanted to reclaim one of those regions or republics. It would be an internal conflict. Chechnya was the same way. The Russians went to war with the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, one of several Chechen republics. It was an internal conflict, and although the UN sent Peace Keepers, they did not have full diplomatic recognition as a country because the world still recognized them as a former state.

    My point is I thought the piece was well written and was spot on as far as American Exceptionalism goes. We are all citizens of the same planet, and whatever diety you worship (God, Allah, Buddah, Ganesh, or Little Green Men), no one is any more exceptional than anyone else. Thinking like that helped in large part to create the Holocaust as Germany thought their people were exceptional to all other peoples. It didn't work out so well for many peoples, especially the Jews.

    September 12, 2013 at 8:30 am | Reply
    • George patton

      no one pays tax in your country.

      September 12, 2013 at 8:43 am | Reply
      • Navyvet8192

        I'm pretty sure his country is America too. He's just saying (very well I may add) what many other Americans are thinking.

        September 12, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • peshwar

      Thank you! very well said!

      September 12, 2013 at 10:41 am | Reply
    • Palle sol Fuoco

      It is plainly obvious that no Russian wrote that op-ed.

      The only time in recent memory when Russia was actually on a democratic path was under Boris Yeltsin and even that didn't last. For Putin to question the exceptionalism of America even with its past faults in an outrage. All this little KGB twerp has done is to galvanize the American people.

      September 13, 2013 at 1:08 am | Reply
  32. peshwar

    Putin actualy did us a favor. Who are we to think that because we are Americans, we are exceptional? What arrogance! Get used to it- we are just ordinary folk created equal to others on this planet. If you don't believe this, just ask God.

    September 12, 2013 at 8:16 am | Reply
    • Palle sol Fuoco

      When has God spoken to you?

      September 13, 2013 at 1:09 am | Reply
  33. Random

    Who cares what he says if with his help we destroy the biggest chem wep stockpiles in the world? But our leaders are worried. If we solve a problem eventually we will run out of irans and nk's to keep our state of emergency going.

    Open your eyes people. We are arming groups WE labeled terrorists. We are arming / training aq.

    September 12, 2013 at 7:39 am | Reply
    • Palle sol Fuoco

      Do you really believe Assad is going to tell us where all of his chemical weapons are stored? That is a huge assumption.

      September 13, 2013 at 1:11 am | Reply

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