Alabama Voices: Work with Russia for a peaceful Middle East
The past few weeks have been full of surprises. President Obama surprised us by asking for congressional authorization of military force in Syria even as the war drums were beating louder each day in wake of the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack.
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“In the cockles of weirdness”
Since: Oct 12
#1 Sep 30, 2013
In one of my classes at Troy University, I asked my students what they thought of Mr. Putins assertion on American exceptionalism. After all, this was one of the main criticisms of Mr. Putins op-ed piece in The New York Times. I was frankly surprised when many of my students agreed.
They said that the United States has enough problems domestically, and should not be the worlds police force. In fact, most of them were of the opinion that even if chemical weapons had been used, it was not the responsibility of the United States to intervene. Many of my students claimed that Mr. Putins op-ed was able to clearly state exactly how they felt.
However, some people in our government took offense at Mr. Putins op-ed and responded by hitting back. For example, Sen. McCain wrote an op-ed piece in a Russian online paper in which he assailed President Putin and told the Russians that they deserved a better representative government. He criticized the lack of freedom in the Russian press, but said very little about the situation in Syria.
While some of Sen. McCains criticisms of Russia were justified, many Russians took offense at his tone and argued that he was trying to tell them how their country should have been run. Mr. McCain should have stuck to addressing the situation in Syria, and not insulted Russians or their government.
In actuality, the effect was that Mr. McCain legitimized Mr. Putin as a peacekeeper in the eyes of many in the world.
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