The last paragraph from Putin's op-ed piece this week in the New York Times:
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.
- Vladimir V. Putin is the president of Russia.
Vladmir Putin tries to lecture the U.S. about peace and human rights in this week's New York Times and fails. He ignores that the fact that Syria has used chemical weapons (probably made with chemicals supplied by Russia) on its own people because Russia does not deeply care about human rights -- it never has nor does it care now. Foremost for Putin is making Russia a great power on the world stage, like it was during the Soviet era.
However, to be considered a great nation, you must act like one, and not jail or kill your domestic political opponents, not suppress democracy in your country, and not block constructive action at the UN on a whole host of human rights issues that are important to the civilized world.
But this last sentence of Putin's op-ed really makes me mad for its hypocrisy: "we must not forget that God created us equal." No, Mr. Putin, we have not forgotten that God has made us equal but you have, especially in your unequal treatment of LGBT Russians. That's why millions of people around the world are protesting your anti-gay laws and policies. We watch the videos of gay activists being arrested, beaten...and worse. You can lecture the world all you want on human rights, Mr. Putin, but you don't walk your talk. You are an anti-democratic autocrat, not a great man of peace and humanist values.
Mr. Putin, what makes America exceptional is that this country constantly talks about its problems and shortcomings in open and messy way, including those of its leaders. We are working toward creating a more perfect union everyday, inspired by the great ideas embodied in the U.S. Constitution. We have our problems and share of hypocrisy, but we are open about these things and are working on it.
Nancy Pelosi is on the same page as me, listen to her: