To Whom Was Putin Speaking

…in his recent New York Times op-ed?  Peggy Noonan has an answer.

Why would Vladimir Putin take such an aggressive tone in parts of a piece supposedly addressed to Americans and supposedly explaining his views on Syria and, more largely, US foreign policy?  …he’s not really writing to America.  He chose as a venue a major American newspaper, but he’s writing to the world.  He is telling the world he knows how to correct America, tell it off, criticize it for its conceit.  And he does it right to their faces, not in a Moscow interview or a St Petersburg speech.  He is rubbing America’s nose in it for the delectation of its friends, occasional friends, foes, and occasional foes.  He wasn’t writing to us at all.  He’s attempting to show the world he’s its reliable voice, its real leader, not those other guys.

Indeed.  Congratulations, President Obama.  You’ve achieved your 2008 campaign goal of fundamentally changing America.  We’ll be years undoing your damage.

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