This is a surprise. Russian President Vladimir Putin is the author of anew op-ed in The New York Times titled: A Plea For Caution From Russia.
The piece urges against a strike in Syria, saying that an attack would only escalate the situation, and that the world is against it.
He also says he believes the gas attack was not done by Assad, but by rebels hoping to provoke an intervention.
No one doubts that poison gas was used in Syria. But 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. Reports that militants are preparing another attack — this time against Israel — cannot be ignored.
The claim may persuade some, but it certainly won’t sway the Obama administration. Secretary of State John Kerry and President Obama have repeatedly claimed the U.S. has evidence linking sarin gas to the Assad regime. That includes panicked phone calls intercepted from the Syrian Defence Ministry to a chemical weapons unit demanding answers after the strike on Aug. 21 in addition to video and physical evidence.
The final paragraph of the op-ed is actually the most intense, as it directly responds to Obama’s Tuesday night speech, and really one of America’s core beliefs:
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.
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