Putin voices a very logical and straight forward message. But of similar importance is also the question: Why did he choose to approach the US public directly through the NY Times? May be because the main US media and the US government is not informing the public correctly and objectively?
And even more – The US politicians often don’t know what they are talking about – judge your self …
A Plea for Caution From Russia
By VLADIMIR V. PUTIN
MOSCOW — RECENT events surrounding Syria have prompted me to speak directly to the American people and their political leaders. It is important to do so at a time of insufficient communication between our societies.
Relations between us have passed through different stages. We stood against each other during the cold war. But we were also allies once, and defeated the Nazis together. The universal international organization — the United Nations — was then established to prevent such devastation from ever happening again.
The United Nations’ founders understood that decisions affecting war and peace should happen only by consensus, and with America’s consent the veto by Security Council permanent members was enshrined in the United Nations Charter. The profound wisdom of this has underpinned the stability of international relations for decades.
No one wants the United Nations to suffer the fate of the League of Nations, which collapsed because it lacked real leverage. This is possible if influential countries bypass the United Nations and take military action without Security Council authorization.
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. 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.
Syria is not witnessing a battle for democracy, but an armed conflict between government and opposition in a multireligious country. There are few champions of democracy in Syria. But there are more than enough Qaeda fighters and extremists of all stripes battling the government. The United States State Department has designated Al Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, fighting with the opposition, as terrorist organizations. This internal conflict, fueled by foreign weapons supplied to the opposition, is one of the bloodiest in the world.
Mercenaries from Arab countries fighting there, and hundreds of militants from Western countries and even Russia, are an issue of our deep concern. Might they not return to our countries with experience acquired in Syria? After all, after fighting in Libya, extremists moved on to Mali. This threatens us all.
From the outset, Russia has advocated peaceful dialogue enabling Syrians to develop a compromise plan for their own future. We are not protecting the Syrian government, but international law. We need to use the United Nations Security Council and believe that preserving law and order in today’s complex and turbulent world is one of the few ways to keep international relations from sliding into chaos. The law is still the law, and we must follow it whether we like it or not. Under current international law, force is permitted only in self-defense or by the decision of the Security Council. Anything else is unacceptable under the United Nations Charter and would constitute an act of aggression.
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.
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.”
But force has proved ineffective and pointless. 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.
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.
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.
We must stop using the language of force and return to the path of civilized diplomatic and political settlement.
A new opportunity to avoid military action has emerged in the past few days. The United States, Russia and all members of the international community must take advantage of the Syrian government’s willingness to place its chemical arsenal under international control for subsequent destruction. Judging by the statements of President Obama, the United States sees this as an alternative to military action.
I welcome the president’s interest in continuing the dialogue with Russia on Syria. We must work together to keep this hope alive, as we agreed to at the Group of 8 meeting in Lough Erne in Northern Ireland in June, and steer the discussion back toward negotiations.
If we can avoid force against Syria, this will improve the atmosphere in international affairs and strengthen mutual trust. It will be our shared success and open the door to cooperation on other critical issues.
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.
Vladimir V. Putin is the president of Russia.
See McCain Answer to this letter, in Pravda.ru
Senator John McCain: Russians deserve better than Putin
When Pravda.ru editor, Dmitry Sudakov, offered to publish my commentary, he referred to me as “an active anti-Russian politician for many years.” I’m sure that isn’t the first time Russians have heard me characterized as their antagonist. Since my purpose here is to dispel falsehoods used by Russia’s rulers to perpetuate their power and excuse their corruption, let me begin with that untruth. I am not anti-Russian. I am pro-Russian, more pro-Russian than the regime that misrules you today.
I make that claim because I respect your dignity and your right to self-determination. I believe you should live according to the dictates of your conscience, not your government. I believe you deserve the opportunity to improve your lives in an economy that is built to last and benefits the many, not just the powerful few. You should be governed by a rule of law that is clear, consistently and impartially enforced and just. I make that claim because I believe the Russian people, no less than Americans, are endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
A Russian citizen could not publish a testament like the one I just offered. President Putin and his associates do not believe in these values. They don’t respect your dignity or accept your authority over them. They punish dissent and imprison opponents. They rig your elections. They control your media. They harass, threaten, and banish organizations that defend your right to self-governance. To perpetuate their power they foster rampant corruption in your courts and your economy and terrorize and even assassinate journalists who try to expose their corruption.
They write laws to codify bigotry against people whose sexual orientation they condemn. They throw the members of a punk rock band in jail for the crime of being provocative and vulgar and for having the audacity to protest President Putin’s rule.
Sergei Magnistky wasn’t a human rights activist. He was an accountant at a Moscow law firm. He was an ordinary Russian who did an extraordinary thing. He exposed one of the largest state thefts of private assets in Russian history. He cared about the rule of law and believed no one should be above it. For his beliefs and his courage, he was held in Butyrka prison without trial, where he was beaten, became ill and died. After his death, he was given a show trial reminiscent of the Stalin-era and was, of course, found guilty. That wasn’t only a crime against Sergei Magnitsky. It was a crime against the Russian people and your right to an honest government – a government worthy of Sergei Magnistky and of you.
President Putin claims his purpose is to restore Russia to greatness at home and among the nations of the world. But by what measure has he restored your greatness? He has given you an economy that is based almost entirely on a few natural resources that will rise and fall with those commodities. Its riches will not last. And, while they do, they will be mostly in the possession of the corrupt and powerful few. Capital is fleeing Russia, which – lacking rule of law and a broad-based economy – is considered too risky for investment and entrepreneurism. He has given you a political system that is sustained by corruption and repression and isn’t strong enough to tolerate dissent.
How has he strengthened Russia’s international stature? By allying Russia with some of the world’s most offensive and threatening tyrannies. By supporting a Syrian regime that is murdering tens of thousands of its own people to remain in power and by blocking the United Nations from even condemning its atrocities. By refusing to consider the massacre of innocents, the plight of millions of refugees, the growing prospect of a conflagration that engulfs other countries in its flames an appropriate subject for the world’s attention. He is not enhancing Russia’s global reputation. He is destroying it. He has made her a friend to tyrants and an enemy to the oppressed, and untrusted by nations that seek to build a safer, more peaceful and prosperous world.
President Putin doesn’t believe in these values because he doesn’t believe in you. He doesn’t believe that human nature at liberty can rise above its weaknesses and build just, peaceful, prosperous societies. Or, at least, he doesn’t believe Russians can. So he rules by using those weaknesses, by corruption, repression and violence. He rules for himself, not you.
I do believe in you. I believe in your capacity for self-government and your desire for justice and opportunity. I believe in the greatness of the Russian people, who suffered enormously and fought bravely against terrible adversity to save your nation. I believe in your right to make a civilization worthy of your dreams and sacrifices. When I criticize your government, it is not because I am anti-Russian. It is because I believe you deserve a government that believes in you and answers to you. And, I long for the day when you have it.
Here a response from a prominent Russian:
“McCain has a very inadequate idea of Russia. Apparently, in his old age, he was influenced by his advisers, and that phrase just disgraced “, – told the newspaper VIEW political analyst Sergei Markov, commenting on the publication of the” response “to the U.S. senator’s earlier article, Vladimir Putin.
Despite the fact that most of the articles devoted to the Russian leader of the situation in Syria and Moscow’s position on the issue, former U.S. presidential candidate, speaking in the Russian edition of “Pravda.Ru” prefer to touch other topics .
In particular, McCain called himself even more pro-Russian than the members of the Government, and also accused the Russian authorities that they “punish dissent and arrest opponents, manipulated elections; kill journalists, write laws that establish intolerance against sexual minorities’ .
VIEW asked to comment on the newspaper article abstracts of U.S. Senator Rector RG Plekhanov, a member of the Public Chamber Sergei Markov.
VIEW: What impression on you “answer” McCain Vladimir Putin?
Sergei Markov: This is an improper. First, McCain has a very inadequate idea of Russia. This is most clearly manifested in the phrase: “A Russian citizen could not issue a statement similar to the one I posted now.” This is an absolute lie! Because Russian citizens oppositional publish a thousand of such statements in the day!
McCain’s statement simply is not true in fact, but it reflects the fact that McCain did not know what freedom in Russia if not more, than in America, it is certainly no less. Say what you want, write what you want. All is comparable to other countries, there is no tyranny. Apparently, under the old age McCain was under the influence of his advisers, and that phrase just disgraced.
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- 116 McCain responded to a column Putin
Based on the fact that he thinks that in Russia there is no freedom of speech, and Putin has ruled the country, tyrannically this freedom amendment, McCain chose his strategy. While Putin spoke on Syria is very logical and reasoned, McCain thought, “I do not care for Syria, I will take this opportunity to tell the Russians importantly – that Putin tyrant, they have no freedom of speech, corruption, resource economics, etc . “.
The plan failed because it was based on a false postulate, and McCain’s argument falls apart. After all, what about all the corruption and so everyone knows about the resource economy – it is repeated dozens, hundreds of times a day. But as for the reasons, few believe that Putin is to blame, the majority believes that at a time when Putin was not there, politics and economy of Russia’s razrulivat senators such as McCain, and eventually all destroyed.
VIEW: Put McCain accused the Russian authorities and allegedly encouraging intolerance of sexual minorities. However, surveys have repeatedly shown that Russians support the government steps aimed, for example, to protect children from homosexual propaganda. It turns out he did not know the position of the majority of Russians?
SM: Yes, when McCain speaks on topical issues, such as gay, he is in a situation of an insignificant minority. But the important thing is that you can even see by the comments of the readers of this paper that it is not anger and laughter.
He did not control the situation, and because of that his future arguments will be perceived not only as enemies, but as coming from a man who does not know anything. That is, it will be perceived as a fool.
VIEW: From the very first lines of his article, McCain is trying to refute his anti-Russian image, arguing that he even cares about the future of the Russians. Does he sincerely hopes that readers will believe it?
SM: McCain actually uses both the article and for self-justification, because he knows that he is seen here as a Russophobe. But these justifications appear in the style gebbelskih agitok. All this we have seen, when Hitler was in fact a policy of genocide against the Russian – and thus threw leaflets claimed that he was not against the Russian people, but against “Jewish-Masonic your government.”
So McCain we perceived as a weak copy of Goebbels, and suspicion as a result of this article to him will only increase.
VIEW: What is the goal he pursued even publish such an article?
SM: McCain probably figured that it would deal a fatal blow to Putin, accusing him of tyranny, that is, that, in his opinion, are not able to make Russian citizens. But the article got past and is only laughter.
VIEW: Can you find this article to cause resonance, for example, in the West?
SM: None. In the West, it will not be of great importance, because it is now the most urgent debate over Syria.
And Putin’s article on Syria was exceptionally strong, powerful, and well-reasoned.
VIEW: But McCain just said that Putin and including its position on Syria, to no restoration of Russia’s greatness in the world have failed.
SM: This statement – again factual error. Although, I think McCain knows that Putin has made the world a more serious attitude to Russia, he just tries to ignore this fact. It’s just silence the truth.
In the West, the article McCain likely to cause confusion and a shrug as he, having been engaged in self-justification, and attacks on Putin spoke off-topic.
Automatic translation from Russian.