Putin’s Coup de Maître

It was with great surprise that we opened The New York Times on September 11th to see that the President of Russia himself, Vladimir Putin, had written an article entitled “A Plea for Caution From Russia”.

Due to the recent developments in Syria, never had the tension between Russia and the United States been so high as in the last couple of months – not since the end of the Cold War. In this atmosphere, the fact that the Russian President decided to come and “speak directly to the American people and their political leaders” was one of the most brilliant political techniques we ever witnessed.

Intelligently, Putin – or more precisely, the person responsible to write him the text – starts the article evoking the collapse of the League of Nations and how if the US takes military action without the UN Security Council authorisation, the UN itself could follow the same faith of failure as the League did. In an almost threatening tone, he explains that his action “could throw the entire system of international law and order out of balance”. As the Americans are tired of wars, the fact that he evoques that civil conflicts in foreign territories are not in the US’ long term interest, is without a doubt what the opponents to an interventions want to hear.

Nevertheless, it starts being funny – at least the ironics will find it funny – when Putin declares that “we are not protecting the Syrian government but international law”and that “the law is still the law, and we must follow it wether we like or not”. And, what is also intelligent are his final remarks when he evoques religion and how the Lord has created all of us equal.

Despite the absolute hypocrisy of this article, again, we must admit, it was a brilliant move. Reading through the comments of the NYT, Putin seems to have reach his goal. Indeed, what the majority of the commentators wrote is how they appreciated Putin’s attitude. Poor Obama. He must be collapsing right now.

Thank you Eiso Kant.


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