The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

America not exceptional at all, says Putin (among other things)

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I had no idea Vladimir Putin was so attached to the League of Nations.

Yes, when he’s not Mysteriously Discovering Priceless Artifacts Under the Sea and Impressing(?) People With His Cover of Fats Domino’s “Blueberry Hill,” oh and also brutally repressing dissent in what the Human Rights Watch calls the ‘Worst Human Rights Climate’ in the Post-Soviet Era, Vladimir Putin also writes op-eds. One appeared in the New York Times Thursday morning.

Among highlights of the piece:

• Its claim that “No one doubts that poison gas was used in Syria. But there is every reason to believe it was used not by the Syrian Army, but by opposition forces, to provoke intervention by their powerful foreign patrons, who would be siding with the fundamentalists.”

That is why “The United States, Russia and all members of the international community must take advantage of the Syrian government’s willingness to place its chemical arsenal under international control for subsequent destruction.”

These two things follow naturally from one another.

• Its sanctimonious complaint about President Obama’s mention of American exceptionalism:

My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust. I appreciate this. I carefully studied his address to the nation on Tuesday. 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. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.

I had no idea that Vladimir Putin was such a big believer in equality! Neither did the LGBT people whose rights his regime is trampling on horribly, or the dissidents who are silenced, harassed, and arrested. This is a big surprise.

I have never felt more convinced of American exceptionalism than the moment when I glanced at the byline of this piece.

If this whole Being President of Russia No Matter Who’s Elected President of Russia thing doesn’t work out, he’s got a promising career in front of him, at least as a poster boy for the Consider the Source line of thinking.

Get this guy a column! (Hey, anything that takes time away from his other hobby of repressing dissent and limiting speech can’t hurt.)

I wasn’t joking about that Fats Domino cover.