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Letter By Vladimir Putin Exposes 'Exceptional' American Inequality (Huanqiu, China)


An open letter written to the American people by Russian President Vladimir Putin, which in part takes aim at the notion of 'American exceptionalism,' has much of the world applauding. According to this editorial from China's state-run Huanqiu, 'American exceptionalism' reflects a failure on the part of the U.S. to stand up for equality, and is at variance with 'Western political thought and the teachings of the Christian world that dominate the United States.'




Translated By John Chen


September 17, 2013


People's Republic of China - Global Times - Original Article (Chinese)

Vladimir Putin: In the game of global chess, he appears to be at the top of his game. His letter to the American people has raised hackles in the United States, but plenty of applause around the world, especially his criticism of 'American exceptionalism.'

FRANCE 24 NEWS VIDEO: A victory for Assad, a loss for Obama?, Sept. 16, 00:05:47RealVideo

In the September 11 edition of The New York Times, Russian President Vladimir Putin contributed an open letter calling for a diplomatic resolution to the Syria crisis. At the end of this article, Putin criticized the idea of "American exceptionalism," which was stressed by Barack Obama the day before in a nationally-televised address. From the reaction of U.S. media, one would have thought Putin had poked a hornet's nest, as he was assailed for being contemptuous of one of the most significant American values.


Although the United States is regularly riddled with internal controversy, it is admirable that at critical moments, the whole of American society is able to unite as one to confront pressing issues. This reaction to setbacks has likely contributed America's becoming the world's only superpower.


The theory of "American exceptionalism" can be traced to the Declaration of Independence and has evolved over the past two-and-a-half centuries. It arises from justifiable pride in the achievements of American society, but also a belief that God has put the U.S. under his special care. It is a reflection of idealism, but also a basic American philosophy that guides the country. Overall, when it comes to the question of why the United States is exceptional, it is hard to argue with Americans, since the truth is less important that the value.


Some assume that until the United States seriously declines and degenerates into a "second-class country" like today's Britain, the theory of "American exceptionalism" will endure as a core U.S. value. From the point of view of international politics, however, that assumption is nonsense.


Setting that aside, the fact that Putin dared challenge America's most sacred belief must be applauded. Even if Americans question his motives, Putin's comments will leave an impression on the American consciousness. The American public may be angry that Putin touched this nerve, but the U.S. has been bossing the world around for years. There are precious few with the weight to deal Washington such a heavy blow, which is a reflection of how the United States became somewhat "spoiled" by the rest of the world.

Posted By Worldmeets.US


During the crisis in Syria, Russia and the United States resumed their chess match, and Moscow has put in an outstanding performance. Although Russia's GDP is roughly only $2 trillion, which would seem to make it ever-more difficult for it to confront the United States, the Western world has clearly underestimated the Kremlin - and Putin. [U.S. GDP in 2012 was roughly $16 trillion].


The comprehensive strength of a country depends on two aspects. One is that its power is great; the second is that its weaknesses are few. In the case of Russia, it has a very strong military, but scientifically and technologically it is merely passable, and its overall level of industrialization and computerization are not really world class. Russia's weaknesses, however, are not so significant. For example, it is neither dependent on external markets, nor dependent on external energy sources and raw materials. Hence, there are almost no strategic chips that the outside can play to threaten Russia. Russia can be unflinching when its core interests are threatened - even by an unusually coherent global force.


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The crisis over Syria's chemical weapons has demonstrated that Russia continues to have a vital role to play in maintaining the global balance of power. Moscow is eager to expand its influence and strike an active or even aggressive pose to deter other countries from violating any of its most coveted interests. This is consistent with its vast territory, abundant natural resources, complex ethnic makeup and complications with the former Soviet countries.


Russia's strategic purposes and pursuit of power and influence based on its own interests benefit the fragile balance of power in the world today. So Putin's decision to personally submit a letter to an American newspaper and speak directly against "American exceptionalism" should be applauded by world public opinion.


"All men are created equal," is both a basic proposition of Western political thought and the teachings of the Christian world that dominate the United States. As a representative of the democratic West, the United States should be more open to differing voices in the world and be able to listen. The excessive reaction of American society and U.S. elites reflect a lack of social equality and low self-esteem.


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Posted By Worldmeets.US Sept. 17, 2013, 8:39am


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