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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs