Unethical Quote of the Week: Vladamir Putin

“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.”

—-Former KGB officer and Russian leader Vladamir Putin, lecturing President Obama and the U.S. public on right, wrong, and human potential, in a New York Times op-ed that neatly exploits the stumbling White House diplomacy efforts regarding Syria. And yes, it made my head explode.

Oh-oh...this was bad one...

Oh-oh…this was bad one…

John McCain’s tweet in response to Putin’s cheeky op-ed was on target: “Putin’s NYT op-ed is an insult to the intelligence of every American.” [Aside: Of course, so was President Obama’s speech. As always these events give us a chance to gauge which journalists warrant ever regarding seriously again. On one side there are the likes of the Daily Beast’s toadying Michael Tomasky, who pronounced the President’s speech “great.” On the other is the Washington Post’s generally left-leaning Dana Milbank, who decided to be honest, pointing out how the President’s speech arising out of his contradictory and incoherent statement about Syria was…contradictory and incoherent: “The president, in the space of his 16-minute address, was often at odds with himself. He spent the first 12 minutes arguing for the merits of striking Syria — and then delivered the news that he was putting military action on hold. He promised that it would be “a limited strike” without troops on the ground or a long air campaign, yet he argued that it was the sort of blow that “no other nation can deliver.” He argued that “we should not be the world’s policeman” while also saying that because of our “belief in freedom and dignity for all people,” we cannot “look the other way.” He asserted that what Bashar al-Assad did is “a danger to our security” while also saying that “the Assad regime does not have the ability to seriously threaten our military.” In other words, “great.”] It was more than an insult, however. Putin’s screed was ethics poison: dishonest, manipulative, and malign.

Naturally a Communist totalitarian would find exhorting the common people he regards as sheep to achieve their highest moral, ethical and productive potential to be “dangerous.” By all means, Putin believes, a nation’s citizens should believe they are helpless wards of the all-powerful state, and that every other national population must be likewise. What makes the United States exceptional is that it is pledged to allow its citizens to be free to themselves be exceptional, something Putin, and Russia, cannot abide nor understand. People who do not feel exceptional will always kowtow to their leaders, who are by definition exceptional. They will permit, as the Russian people have permitted for centuries, individual industry, goals, desires and aspirations to be subordinate to the commands of the few.

I have been to Moscow, and other Russian cities. Despite great resources and a great people, it is a sad, desperate, suffering and suppressed society, almost entirely because of  a succession of leaders with values, or the absence of them, similar to those of Vladamir Putin. Comparing almost any aspect of U.S. society or history to Russia supports the argument that in our nation, the populace has been allowed to be exceptional, and has often reached that pinnacle. The hypocrisy of Putin, of all world leaders, denying it is hypocritical to the point of nausea.

So is his cynical reference to countries “finding their way to democracy.” Putin famously pronounced the collapse of the Soviet empire, and its ability to enslave millions, as a tragedy. He has reversed the progress of democracy in Russia, and continues to do so. Those words set the new international record for gall.

Then he broke his record with the very next sentence! Does anyone believe this lifetime Communist, raised in the tradition of Marx and Lenin to regard religion as the “opiate of the people,” the State as God, and God as the enemy of the state, believes that “God created us equal”? Only in the United States would a treacherous despot like Putin be afforded the opportunity to spin his demagoguery directly to another nation’s citizenry, and only a nation that has been so feebly represented by its own leadership would be perceived as vulnerable to such a tactic.

As a final bit of black comedy on  this latest journey via Obama’s Syrian Ethics Train Wreck, Nancy Pelosi contributed the following jaw-dropping idiocy, as only she can. Citing Putin’s last sentence, she said this was good news, and that–I’m not kidding here—hoped that he included gays and lesbians in his “created equal” sentiments.

! ! ! ! !

Pelosi has always been dishonest and dim, but she now appears to be edging into dementia. Someone please tell the Democratic House leader that the topic is chemical weapons, bombing Syria and humiliating the U.S., not gay rights, that the op-ed was a diplomatic word bomb, not a statement of principles, and that every single event isn’t an excuse to suck up to some presumed segment of the party “base.”

No wonder Putin thinks Americans are idiots.


Sources: New York Times, Washington Post 1,2

33 thoughts on “Unethical Quote of the Week: Vladamir Putin

  1. Fairly incomprehensible remark from Putin, considering his views and laws against homosexuals. In Miami Beach the most dangerous criminals aren’t from the Caribbean, South America, or home grown….. It’s the Russians.

    Their views on the value of a human life are much different than anything we’ve ever been subject to. Not even sure there is a word for ethics in Russian.

  2. In defense of Nancy Pelosi, just like what seems to be pretty much all the democrat leadership, she has no idea that we’re in the middle of a serious war of words. Not realizing the gravity of what is going on she figured she could take a shot at Putin’s crackdown on homosexual equality protestors in Russia.

    • Yes, I read her comment as a snark at Putin too. Too bad we don’t have any wordsmiths at high level to say it more coherently.

      • Pelosi is so far from a wordsmith that it’s not even worth mentioning. Her party’s leader is reducing US influence to the level of Goa, and all she can do is smile and giggle and see it as a chance to get in a cheap gay rights plug??? This is the level of seriousness we have leading the nation on Capitol Hill? Am I in Hell? Is this a Terry Gilliam movie? Being There? Bananas? Duck Soup?

    • She sounded like the crazy old aunt you keep in the attic. The results of our elections are making Putin look wise…exceptional? How exceptional can a nation be that ends up with ridiculous leaders like this?

    • The American left has romanticized communism for so long that they are blind to the inherent evils of that system and the contradictions they have to accept to value communism AND gay rights, communism AND racial equality, communism AND support for the working man, to be against capital punishment AND idolize Chairman Mao. You have to be a fool or mentally ill like Pelosi or a cynical manipulator like the Clintons to toe the liberal ideological line.

  3. Jack, I’d be careful about sentences implying what the “Russian people would permit.” Through most/all of history they have truly been under thumb. In this country of ours, we are able to choose without coercion…and look at the shit we pick!!! 😦

    • The USSR and all previous versions have left the Russian people unable to function without a dictatorship. This is what happens when there is no culture of liberty—people only feel secure letting others tell them what to do. Luckily, the fools and incompetents we keep electing remind us NOT to give up our lives to leaders. That’s the silver lining.

      • The last time I checked over 40% of the work I do daily “belongs” to the government. And I am told that that isn’t even my “fair share.” I am not sure we have as strong a culture of liberty as you think. There are literally millions of us who mindlessly give power to people who, by any objective standard, have no good qualities for their positions. It will take only the direction of one of these people to shape very dangerous thoughts and eventual actions that will make it hard to distinguish us from the Soviet era. “You did not build that…”

        • Hey, our electronic communication monitoring station caught that comment. Have you not been paying ALL your taxes? I’ll bet you didn’t buy an acceptable health insurance policy like we ordered you too. I’ll bet you didn’t buckle your seat belt when you moved your car from the driveway to the curb, we made that illegal you know, it isn’t good for you, you know. We read your e-mail that you thought you should be allowed to own a firearm. Are you a terrorist or something? You bought a 44 oz drink against all our advice, we know you did. We ARE watching you. You probably think you should be able to choose a college for your child, even. We are going to make that decision for you and your children. We will put a stop to people like you. People who want to make their own choices. It’s for your own good. We have experts that say so.

  4. I’m sure that few of us who lived through the Cold War have any real admiration for Comrade Putin or are deceived by his words. I’ll only say this in his favor. He’s a leader, he understands the nature of his adversaries and he acts in the interests of his country. Obama has none of these qualities, which is why Putin is seen to tower over him on the world stage.

  5. There’s one gem of truth in Putin’s nonsense: We shouldn’t just want people to SEE themselves as exceptional, but to BE exceptional. The belief that we are all special snowflakes and everyone should get a trophy leads to this weird cultural thing we have going where it’s taboo to call someone out on being flat-out wrong *cough* the POTUS *cough* because doing so makes you racist, or sexist, or prejudiced.

    • American exceptionalism (as it is called) derives from the earliest references to America as the city on a hill, and ultimately derived from the principles of political arrangement described in the Declaration and ultimately enshrined in the federalist balance of power of the Constitution. American exceptionalism describes how unique our System is, not how unique our people are. That our system produced a uniquely exceptional people is a symptom of the greatness of the system. If America is no longer producing exceptional people (and an argument can be made that is isn’t much anymore, given the volume of leftist programs catering to unexceptional people) then that is more an indictment on what our system has been morphed into. That we no longer produce the exceptional people we used to should cause us to realize how much our formerly exceptional system probably now mirrors the very Old World systems we desperately tried to break away from.

      • Just clarifying- I don’t mean I don’t think the American system is exceptional, I mean that not every individual in it is automatically exceptional. Unique, deserving of just and fair treatment, yes- but we’re not lake wobegone, and not everyone is above average. The system is designed to give everyone a shot at making the most of themselves and becoming exceptional, but that becoming is not a given.

        • I completely agree. I also submit that our exceptional system (if it weren’t beig undermined and subverted) would produce such greatness from each individual, that even most “below average” Americans would be above average on the world stage. But alas. A pipe dream.

  6. I can’t help but feel a cool burning at the notion that not only is Putin an ethics dunce – even as he embodies the perfect communist spokesman – but that the current President of the United States agrees with him wholeheartedly.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.