Pwned! Putined! [Darleen Click]
If it were regrettable that Vladimir Putin’s formidable diplomatic skills were wasted squashing rather than ensuring freedom inside Russia, it seems even more lamentable that his impressive prose likewise is not put to better use. Putin’s letter to us, the American people, is brilliant sophistry. The best rhetoric is always that which blends truth with half-truth and occasional fiction. In Putin’s case, he did all that—while offering the dessert of channeling Obama back to Obama. [...]
After calling the U.S. secretary of state a “liar” and “pathetic,” only someone as brazenly confident in his mellifluousness as Vladimir Putin could write, “My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust.”
Putin ends with another flourish in lecturing the U.S. in response to Obama’s pleas that America is always exceptional in its concern for stopping atrocities abroad:
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.
Where have we heard something like this before?
Putin, I think, is reminding us that it was largely from Barack Obama himself. “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism,” said our president. Like Obama here, Putin too believes that everyone is about the same, both democracies and perhaps those like Syria (and Russia?), which Putin might be thinking of when he says that they too “are still finding their way to democracy.”
Putin saves the best for last. As the man who ended the Chechnyan war on rather tough terms, he now assumes the role of a campus-diversity czar: “We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.”
Ask a Russian critic of Putin if there is such concern for respecting differences inside Russia.
So what to make of Putin?
He is J. R. R. Tolkien’s melodic and fatherly Saruman come alive.
Tags: American exceptionalism, obama, putin, pwned