Russian President Vladimir Putin took his case against a military strike against Syria directly to the American public Wednesday night, arguing an attack would only spark more terrorism and violence.
Putin’s message in a New York Times op-ed piece also warned that President Barack Obama’s national address on Tuesday night about America’s leadership in the world as part of its “exceptionalism” was simply “dangerous.”
“This threatens us all,” the ex-KGB strongman wrote in the alternately eloquent and stern commentary in The New York Times.
“A strike would increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism. It could undermine multilateral efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear problem and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and further destabilize the Middle East and North Africa.
“It could throw the entire system of international law and order out of balance.”
The no-strike plea comes in the wake of an extraordinary shift in gears for the Obama administration — which went from advocating a unilateral strike against Syria to asking for congressional authorization for retaliation in a suspected chemical weapons attack and a surprising diplomatic proposal from Russia that Syria turn over its chemical weapons arsenal.