Putin: Obama's conviction that U.S. nation is exceptional is dangerous
Russian President Vladimir Putin considers dangerous U.S. President Barack Obama's conviction that the U.S. nation is exceptional in some way.
"I carefully studied [Obama's] 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," Putin said in an article published in the Wednesday issue of The New York Times.
"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," Putin said.
At the same time, Putin acknowledged that his "working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust," which the Russian leader says he appreciates.
Russian President also calls for refraining from threatening Damascus with force insists on using "civilized" ways to settle the conflict in that country.
"We must stop using the language of force and return to the path of civilized diplomatic and political settlement," Putin said.
"Force has proved ineffective and pointless," Putin said.
"Afghanistan is reeling, and no one can say what will happen after international forces withdraw. Libya is divided into tribes and clans. In Iraq the civil war continues, with dozens killed each day. In the United States, many draw an analogy between Iraq and Syria, and ask why their government would want to repeat recent mistakes," Putin said.
"No matter how targeted the strikes or how sophisticated the weapons, civilian casualties are inevitable, including the elderly and children, whom the strikes are meant to protect," he said.
"The world reacts by asking: if you cannot count on international law, then you must find other ways to ensure your security. Thus a growing number of countries seek to acquire weapons of mass destruction. This is logical: if you have the bomb, no one will touch you. We are left with talk of the need to strengthen nonproliferation, when in reality this is being eroded," he said.
"It is 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? 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 said.