The U.S. has been left reeling by an op-ed that appeared in the New York Times, and a lot of the focus has been on Putin's thoughts on American exceptionalism...
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.
Put, there is actual content to consider aside from this, and it is content that derails the entire argument presented by Putin - that the U.S. should not take action without the United Nations Security Council approval - because Putin ignores his own country's violation of that very tenant.
We are not protecting the Syrian government, but international law. We need to use the United Nations Security Council and believe that preserving law and order in today’s complex and turbulent world is one of the few ways to keep international relations from sliding into chaos. The law is still the law, and we must follow it whether we like it or not. Under current international law, force is permitted only in self-defense or by the decision of the Security Council. Anything else is unacceptable under the United Nations Charter and would constitute an act of aggression.
Now, roll back the clock to five years ago. If you need a hint, read the title of this post, and you can start to get it. Circa 2008:
On April 24, a closed-door UN Security Council emergency session convened at Georgia’s request failed to resolve the dispute, but the U.S., the United Kingdom, France and Germany issued a joint statement expressing their concern over Russia’s recent moves in Abkhazia and calling on Moscow to reverse or not to implement its decision to legalize ties with Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The Permanent Representative of Russia to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin called the demand by the Western states "a tall order" and stressed that Russia had no intention of reversing its plans.
The U.N. Security Council never authorized any of Russia's actions during the Georgia events in 2008, but they went right along with it, essentially flipping off all multi-national organizations that were working toward a resolution. They were annexing territory and Georgia got understandably upset, with a massive military strike coming in August. The war was less than a month long, but it still stands out as one of the examples of Russia's aggressive nature and lack of recognition of global authority. So why does he advocate listening to the U.N. Security Council now?
Putin is scared, frankly. If the U.S. makes it a global norm to oust tyrants, Russian leaders could very well be in trouble. The same holds true for China. Both countries' hands are covered in innocent blood after a history of violations of basic human rights, the very rights the Left in America champions, though they still seek to support both countries because they have a similar political ideology. Putin will forever oppose this kind of action, but with a close ally like Syria in the crosshairs of the U.S., Putin has lept into action like never before, and the sad part is that he is so keenly running laps around the Obama administration that they have no rebuttal to Putin, only arrogant dismissals.