Putin's audacious and misleading op-ed

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  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Sept. 15, 2013 5:45 p.m.

    America ceased to be an exceptional nation incrementally, starting with FDR but has accelerated in its decline most recently. Detroit is an example of the decline of American exceptionalism and is the iconic product of the decline. America has been fundamentally transformed.

  • SEY Sandy, UT
    Sept. 15, 2013 12:50 p.m.

    I HAD to draw my own conclusion because you wouldn't answer my question in a clear manner. So I ask you again in yet another way: was America exceptional under Bush I or II, Clinton, Reagan, Carter, or any other president? Which administration do you hold responsible for losing that exceptional status? When did it happen?

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Sept. 15, 2013 7:47 a.m.

    SEY. You drew your own conclusion but its hard to argue with $20 trillion debt isn't it? "Debt is the slavery of the free." Publilius Syrus of the late, great Roman Empire.

  • SEY Sandy, UT
    Sept. 15, 2013 12:24 a.m.

    So according to Mountanman and lost in DC, America lost its exceptional status when Obama won the presidency. I give up.

  • let's roll LEHI, UT
    Sept. 14, 2013 5:05 p.m.

    I think most folks realize that Putin's motivation in writing the Op-Ed piece was not to provide helpful suggestions on how the US might improve in its role as a world leader. Anyone who thinks his self-serving piece grants him the moral high-ground isn't paying attention to Putin's domestic and foreign activities.

    Americans have never been shy about suggesting how their political leadership might do a better job. That's certainly true with respect to Syria.

    What troubles me is that there's been a lot of talk about politics regarding Syria, but little talk about what the US can, and should do, on a humanitarian basis for the victims of chemical weapons. That should be the focus of both the citizens of the US and its government as well.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Sept. 14, 2013 11:40 a.m.

    I guess I'm slow on the uptake. What right does Putin have or not have? I guess he can write an Op-Ed piece if he wants. And I guess the NY Times can post if it they want (unalienable rights belong to all not just Americans). Can Putin and Russia choose to intervene in Syria? I suppose it is their right to intervene on our side, another side or not intervene at all.

    I would say this lastly. Russia and Putin is not our friend. Just because the Soviet Union doesn't exist doesn't mean we should expect to be buddies with Russia and that they will do things in our best interest. I think with all the focus on China, Iran, North Korea, Iraq and Islamic Jihadists in general, that we have forgot about how dangerous Russia really is. Thankfully, Putin is giving us a reminder.

  • Tyler Ray Taylorsville, UT
    Sept. 14, 2013 11:23 a.m.

    @happy valley rhetoric,
    Every conservative I know of is outraged bu Putin's op ed. Hamnity, Limbaugh, Beck, they all agree that Putin has no right.

    Maybe you should get your facts straight before accusing conservatives of anything.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 14, 2013 9:12 a.m.

    Mike Richards,
    Sadly, it’s not only putin, but BO himself that has shown the world he is all bluster

    Nowhere in Mike’s comment does he defend putin. Is that your only defense of BO, to misstate what someone else said? How sad. And even when the topic – involving ourselves in the war in Syria – is something you have said in the past you oppose, you still rise to BO’s defense and attack someone who opposes BO. One-sided? Yep, "My enemy's enemy is my friend." I fixed your grammar - you are welcome.

    blaming repubs for BO’s policies – how funny!! Oh, please stop, my sides are aching!

    Defending America from all foes, foreign and domestic IS patriotism, even if one is the current potus. And where does Mike praise putin? Again, is that your best defense, to misstate your foe?

    We gradually became more selfish and less giving. Evidenced by the re-election of a community organizer who promises free lunches and no personal responsibility.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Sept. 14, 2013 8:03 a.m.

    The whole entire world and every living and existing thing in it; and related to it, is exceptional, so little people get over yourselves: you are not unique or alone in this wonderful world.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Sept. 14, 2013 7:28 a.m.

    @ SEY. When did America cease to be an exceptional nation? "A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship." Alexander Tyler Our national debt is now $17 trillion and will be over $20 trillion when we choose our next President. No nation can or will survive that much debt.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 8:10 p.m.

    Do most people in Utah now support Russia?

  • dalefarr South Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 13, 2013 4:42 p.m.

    Putin's points are:1. Under international law, force is allowed only for self defense or with the consent of the UN security counsel.2.Syria is not witnessing a battle for democracy. 3. Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya demonstrate that force can be ineffective and pointless. 4. If countries cannot count on international law for security, they will seek weapons of mass destruction for protection.5. No matter how targeted the strikes, there will be civilian casualties. 6. If we can get Syria to turn over its chemical weapons without force against the Syrian government, we all win.7. It is dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional. There is nothing audacious or misleading in his message.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 2:14 p.m.

    Classic examples of --

    "My enemies enemy is my friend."

  • Shawnm750 West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 11:45 a.m.

    Putin's trying to assert his relevance in the modern world of geopolitics. As a longtime ally of Syria, Russia stands to incite retaliation from terrorist organizations, sympathetic to the Syrian regime by opposing it. So yes, he's looking out for himself and his country, and he's leverage global disdain for America to do it.

    But no one can argue that they Syrian conflict is a complex one. I think there are too many variables to take a clear course of action. We're not even sure that if those fighting for control are going to be any better than the current government. Our intervention is not guaranteed to improve the situation. If we've learned anything from Iraq and Afghanistan it's that when we simply hand people their freedom, it doesn't mean as much having to fight for it (if freedom for all is the true goal of the rebels.) We may need to just let the Syrians sort this one out themselves, and perhaps our role should be to give humanitarian aid to all those in need.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 11:37 a.m.

    Look at how many are following the Deseret New's editorial staff in attacking others without even considering the content of the comments. I could hardly believe that the Deseret News would attack a world leader - even Putin - without discussing what he had written on THIS subject. Has uncivility come to the point that we should throw out the baby with the bath water? Is that what freedom of speech means?

    Our heritage demands that we listen to the comments of others before responding and that when we respond, we address the comments made, without attacking the person.

    Putin has skeletons in his closet. Those "skeletons" are between him, his people and God. They have nothing to do with his article.

    Those who try to cite "founding fathers" had better fully understand what those founding fathers did. They stood up against the greatest power in the world and pledged their all to bring forth a new nation. They did not blindy follow King George (Obama) just because he was king.

    We need to understand that and we need to respect those who have the courage to speak out against wrongdoing.

  • SEY Sandy, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 11:13 a.m.

    Mountanman: not that I'm trying to pick an argument with you, but I'm just very, very curious: can you specify the approximate time when the U.S. ceased being exceptional? In other words, the U.S. was exceptional until what happened?

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Sept. 13, 2013 11:10 a.m.

    There was a thread in the DN a couple days ago discussing what Patriotism meant.

    I guess to some, it means criticizing anything and everything the current POTUS does, while praising the leader of a country whose roots are communism.

    Do I have that right, Mr Richards? (who writes)

    "Obama is a disgrace to everything that represents America. If it takes someone like Putin to wake up America to that fact, then we should be grateful that Putin had the courage to tell us that Emperor Obama is wearing no clothes. "

    Anyone think our founding fathers would have hailed statements such as this as patriotic?

    I see very little of what I call "patriotism" on the far right OR the far left.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 13, 2013 10:59 a.m.


    You have totally misread my posts. I have not defended Obama against Putin. Putin is correct, no matter what his history or how he rose to power. He has shown the world who Obama really is.

    Obama is wrong - totally wrong - in wanting to bomb Syria.

    Obama is wrong - totally wrong - in citing his authority as commander in chief to bomb a country that has not harmed America.

    Obama is wrong - totally wrong - in blustering on the world stage and telling us that "the world" drew a red line over chemical weapons. That was Obama's line. He, and he alone, is responsible for making that statement and he will reap the consequences of acting out his fantasies on the world stage.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 10:42 a.m.

    Gee Mike R.,

    Putin's op-ed could have been written by you.
    He chastised the POTUS - Pres. Obama - you're sworn enemy,
    in the New York Times and now your are defending Obama against Putin?

    Now, I have it seen all.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Sept. 13, 2013 9:34 a.m.

    It is totally cool that Putin wrote to a US newspaper, and it got printed. Are we afraid to hear what he has to say? I'm not, and no one in the US should be. We value free exchange of ideas, right?

    I do wonder if the State Department had to approve it, and if they edited it.

    I also wonder if it may have been the result of that talk Obama promised Putin, you know, when he thought the mic was off and he promised they could talk more freely after the election.

    Putin saved Obama's face in all this. He was either going to have to bomb Syria, against most the country, and the world's better judgment, or be humiliated. Putin's offer to negotiate getting the chemical weapons out through diplomacy saved Obama's face with the world and popularity in America. A win/win for Obama, but a lose for the US.

    Make no mistake, Putin is in it for him and his. Russia totally looks like the reasonable, compassionate, rule of law country, and the USA looks like Hitler's Germany, trying to control the world and having a 'superior race' attitude.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 13, 2013 8:31 a.m.

    Look at the facts. Obama rattled his sabre at Syria. He had (and still has) no idea who used the chemical weapons. He believed one side and ignored the other. There are still no concrete facts supporting Obama's decision to bomb Syria's military infrastructure.

    Obama claims that our Constitution is what makes us great, even as he ignores it. He told the world that the Republicans are destroying America, ignoring the fact that the PEOPLE of the United States elected those Republicans to stand up for the principles that America believes in. He refuses to execute the duties required of him. He uses "executive orders" to circumvent Congress. If he believes in the Constitution, his actions contradict his words.

    Putin reminded Obama that the world does not support military action against Syria. That fact is easily checked. Only France said that it "might" join forces with the United States. No other 1st world nation has aligned itself with the United States.

    Putin is a world leader. Honest people will listen to his words and then evaluate his statements against known facts. Sadly, Putin has shown the world that Obama is all bluster.

  • conspiracygirl FPO, AE
    Sept. 13, 2013 8:29 a.m.

    Happy Valley Heretic,

    You haven't been paying attention. The Neocons LOVE Obama. They support his every move on foreign policy. The Neocons (McCain, Graham, Bill Kristol) WANT a war in Syria. In fact, back when Obama was bombing Libya, Bill Kristol congratulated Obama on becoming a born-again neocon. The neocons want the NSA's surveillance state. They supported Obama's NDAA -- advocating indefinite detention without trial and due process.

    It is the paleoconservatives who don't want war in Syria. The neocons have been losing influence in the GOP, heaven be praised.

  • conspiracygirl FPO, AE
    Sept. 13, 2013 8:17 a.m.

    Over the past number of years I have come to better understand the meaning of American Exceptionalism. It means that every other nation shall abide by the rule of law except us. Like it or not Putin is correct in his assessment of American actions abroad. The USA is now regarded as the bully of the world.

    Putin is also correct in stating that the terrorist rebels in Syria are not interested in democracy. It's only our fool government that believes that the Middle East wants to live by Western values and that the weaker side in a conflict must be the more moral side. It is sad that our community organizer president got outmaneuvered by a more experienced chess player, but the idea that we should go to war and kill people so that Obama can save face or "send a message" is sick beyond words.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Sept. 13, 2013 7:11 a.m.

    America used to be an exceptional nation. But Putin, Obama and liberals have completely misconstrued its meaning. America was exceptional because the vast majority of people who have lived on this planet have been subjects to dictators, kings, despots of big governments. America was the exception in that its citizens told the government what they could and could not do, not the other way around! The constitution they framed limited the power of government! That was the exception of America in all history; government by the people, for the people and of the people. That's why people flocked here because of freedom, liberty and self government. Obama and Putin think Americans are arrogant and think we are better than other people but they are wrong about what exceptional means.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 9:30 p.m.

    I disagree with the DesNews Editorial. We have no business in the civil war in Syria. There are multiple sides with multiple agendas of which we know little if anything. We commemorate 9-11 and then are contemplating assisting the same political and religious philosophy that motivated the actions of those guilty of the deaths of so many people.

    These are serious times and require mature leadership, perhaps some adults will come to the fore.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 8:23 p.m.

    @Mike Richards
    Oh come on. Putin attacked the idea of "American exceptionalism" which is practically the theme of the Republican party. This is just ridiculous... even when Obama acts like a conservative you all hate him.

    " It would put Syria on a war footing with Israel in the crosshairs. "

    Oh and not to spoil the little narrative you have going right now but Israel has already attacked Syrian territory to try and stop arms shipments to Hezbollah and Syria did not strike Israel in return.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 7:27 p.m.

    How do we know Obama didn't put Putin up to it? Nothing would surprise me anymore.

  • Sasha Pachev Provo, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 6:34 p.m.

    I think it is wrong for us to take sides when speaking about Russia-Georgia conflict. The logic goes like this - we do not like Putin, Georgia does not like Putin, so in case of conflict we side with Georgia. The relations between Russia and Georgia go back a long way, both the good and the bad, and are very complex. I have a hard time believing that the State Department that cannot even write "Reset Button" correctly in Russian would have the smarts to figure out what is going on between those two countries.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 12, 2013 5:34 p.m.

    I totally disagree with this editorial. The editors did not address the message, instead they attacked the messenger. If any progress is ever to be made, the MESSAGE must be evaluated regardless of who the messenger is. No one would disagree that Putin rose to power because he was a ruthless member of the KGB, but should that keep us from considering what he said?

    Obama is a disgrace to everything that represents America. If it takes someone like Putin to wake up America to that fact, then we should be grateful that Putin had the courage to tell us that Emperor Obama is wearing no clothes.

    Obama has not listen to anyone since he took office. He lied about every major activity that he has handled. Until he is stopped, even by Putin, he will continue.

    Does the Deseret News really believe that throwing a few missiles into Syria will do anything except extend Obama malfeasance? Just what would that do? It would put Syria on a war footing with Israel in the crosshairs. Are we willing to slaughter Israel so that Obama can regain face?

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 5:02 p.m.

    Because he shook his finger at Obama he is a New conservative Hero, if he had said this about Bush, we would be at war with russia of his your Not exceptional comment.

    Sad how the Neocons have to love all who would insult Obama.