Here’s the opinion piece Russian president Vladimir Putin wrote, and which the New York Times published under the title “A Plea for Caution from Russia”. Notably it has been greeted with derision by some US politicians. In my view, this reaction is governed in part by a lingering Cold War mentality and as such is subject to a generation gap. Those who were not raised to fear and loathe the Soviet Union will likely have a different response. It goes without saying that Putin’s verbal intervention reflects his beliefs about what is in the best interests in Russia. The same, of course, is true of every nation-state. The fairy tale that nations possess the same moral capacities as individuals bears no scrutiny. Setting aside the often ill-informed invective aimed at Putin, the larger points made in this op-ed are worth considering.
A Plea for Caution From Russia
By VLADIMIR V. PUTIN
Published: September 11, 2013
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.