News / Europe

Social Media Erupts Over Putin Article

Russian President Vladimir Putin, followed by Armenian President Serge Sarkisian, enters a hall during a meeting outside Moscow on Sept. 3, 2013.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, followed by Armenian President Serge Sarkisian, enters a hall during a meeting outside Moscow on Sept. 3, 2013.
VOA News
Social media erupted with criticism after Russian President Vladimir Putin appealed in a New York Times article to the American people for support of his Syria policy.

In an opinion piece, Putin urged caution against any unilateral action against Syria, arguing it could undermine the authority of the United Nations.

The Russian leader said it is "alarming" that military intervention in foreign countries' "internal conflicts" has become "commonplace" for the United States. Putin cited the conflicts in Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq as examples.

U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Robert Menendez said Putin's article made him almost want to "vomit." In an interview with CNN, Menendez said it made him question the seriousness of Russia's Syria proposal.

On Twitter, Republican Senator John McCain called Putin's article "an insult to the intelligence of every American."



The article prompted a flurry of other responses on the social media site.

A Pennsylvania man posted a "Tweet," saying whoever gave Putin space in the New York Times should be fired because the article contains "a lot of lies."

A London man said the Russian president "lecturing" the United States about international law and democracy was a reflection of the "absolutely surreal times we live in."

But a New York woman said she appreciated that Putin spoke directly to the American people. She said the Russian president gave a perspective that she did not have before.

"Isolated and alone"

Andrew Weiss, an expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said in an interview with VOA that Putin's message did not resonate with the American people.  Weiss also served as a National Security Council Russia expert under former U.S. President Bill Clinton.

"There is too much kind of carping at President Obama; too much sense that it is the U.S. that is acting like an aggressor and is violating all of these principles of international law that Russia cherishes," Weiss said.

But Brookings Institution Russia analyst Clifford Gaddy disagreed. The co-author of "Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin" said the Russian leader made a compelling case for his country's priorities and took advantage of U.S. indecisiveness on Syria.

"He is just really taking advantage of the opening that U.S. policy on the wavering now, and public sentiment worldwide against U.S. military strikes has offered him. I think he did it pretty well," Gaddy said.

Russia has been trying to convince the Obama administration to back its diplomatic initiative as a response to the Syrian government's alleged use of chemical weapons. However, the United States has not ruled out military strikes.

Pentagon spokesman George Little said Putin was "isolated and alone" for asserting in the article that the Syrian opposition was most likely responsible for last month's alleged chemical weapons attack.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: maria from: philippines
September 13, 2013 6:20 PM
pres,putin is the first russian pres to use the blog.now its about time for him to accept our reply,from the people of the earth.sir, its funny that after many years as un top member,its impossible to believe that your country does not know about syrias chemical weapon.haha.just like saying i dont know anything about my spouse!we can admit that pres, obama is rather slow and indecisive but you have your faults also for not letting the united nation to check assads chemical weapon!now your govt together with pres, obama will have to find a way to destroy assads weapon.both of yoiur country need to act together .assad is not woth the lives of the planet.no need to remove him from office.he will just fade away slowly.


by: Godwin from: Nigeria
September 13, 2013 10:58 AM
“I was insulted”, “I felt like I wanted to vomit”. John McCain added that “we have respected him much more than he deserves.” Yeah, these were exact words of some US lawmakers referring to Vladimir Putin’s direct address to the US populace. Putin sees this as payback time. The words of Ronald Regan must still have been nagging him since his days at the KGB – think he feels nostalgic, maybe he misses the services. But one thing he may not be missing is the Ronald Regan’s direct address to Mr. Putin’s then president, Mr. Gorbachev, whom he asked to “collapse the walls” of the iron curtain. Putin must have waited for this payback opportunity. Now he can retire in peace, a fulfilled man.

Maybe it’s time for the Americans to admit that their president may have so much going for him, maybe in the past, but current issues, especially in the Middle East, are showing him in retreat – in reverse gear. I listened to one of the debaters say, “if we are going to be deterred by… Syria, if we are going to be deterred by Hezbollah, then America is done for”. Assad became so emboldened by the fact that the US has no purposeful, powerful or forceful leadership at the moment, by the fact that Russia is now in the driving seat, to set his own red line: Obama must stop the use of threat before Syria will continue with the issue of chemical weapons disarmament.

O yeah, and why not? North Korea just fell in line and took a cue. Pyongyang has restarted its nuclear program. The Iranian foreign minister is cheeky with what he says is Iran’s right to nuclear program. All thanks…, no thanks to the one and only president Obama whom Americans love to make what he is not, a successful president. Failing to be a tail blazer, would he not have fallen in line with previous presidents to see that America is respected? I appreciate some Americans admitting their ordinariness, but the drift seems to go below level. Don’t know how lower it will sink before the end of this spineless regime!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid