Russian President Vladimir Putin penned an op-ed in the New York Times this week, calling for the US to abandon earlier calls for a military strike against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In the piece, published Wednesday, Putin argued that a strike against Syria would "increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism," while threatening to destabilize international law. He also criticized President Barack Obama's televised address to the nation, taking issue with his appeal to "American exceptionalism."
"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,'" Putin wrote. "It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation."
"That's all irrelevant," a White House official told CNN in response to the editorial. "[Putin] put this proposal forward and he’s now invested in it. That’s good. That’s the best possible reaction. He's fully invested in Syria’s [chemical weapon] disarmament and that's potentially better than a military strike – which would deter and degrade but wouldn't get rid of all the chemical weapons. He now owns this. He has fully asserted ownership of it and he needs to deliver."