Russian President Vladimir Putin’s appeal to Americans against the U.S. going to war with Syria (Sept. 13) is unprecedented and a welcome gesture by a head of state. He has been in the forefront of negotiations with the U.S. and has prevented a blatant display of unilateral belligerence by the U.S. and some other countries.
Adherence to the existing rules and mechanisms is the only way to ensure peaceful existence. When some countries flout the rules for selfish ends, they set a bad precedent and encourage others to do the same, creating a hostile and suspicious environment. Russia’s timely intervention has averted a severe humanitarian crisis and a disastrous war.
Russia’s intervention gave an escape route to President Barack Obama for whom winning over the restive Congress and the war-weary Americans for a military attack on Syria would not have been easy. Mr. Putin has rightly pointed out that it is dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional. Most of the troubles in the world can be overcome if the U.S. sheds its policy of equating its interests with those of the world. It is incumbent on all concerned to give diplomacy a chance and time to work in Syria.