Syria Crisis: Vladimir Putin's Letter To America
Excerpts from the letter by Vladimir Putin, Russian President, for the New York Times
1. No one wants the United Nations to suffer the fate of the League of Nations, which collapsed because it lacked real leverage.
2. The potential strike by the United States against Syria, despite strong opposition from many countries and major political and religious leaders, including the pope, will result in more innocent victims and escalation, potentially spreading the conflict far beyond Syria's borders.
4. Syria is not witnessing a battle for democracy, but an armed conflict between government and opposition in a multireligious country.
Al Qaeda in Syria
Mercenaries from Arab countries fighting there, and hundreds of militants from Western countries and even Russia, are an issue of our deep concern.
The people of Houla were murdered because they would not join the fight against Assad.
5. From the outset, Russia has advocated peaceful dialogue enabling Syrians to develop a compromise plan for their own future.
6. No one doubts that poison gas was used in Syria.
7. It is alarming that military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries has become commonplace for the United States.
Victims of Agent Orange used by the US military - Wikipedia.
Girls in Afghanistan in the 1960s, before the CIA started building up the extremist Moslems. Photo from O'Bannon article. In 1978, the government in Afghanistan was peaceful, moderate, progressive and non-communist.
9. No matter how targeted the strikes or how sophisticated the weapons, civilian casualties are inevitable, including the elderly and children, whom the strikes are meant to protect.
10. The world reacts by asking: if you cannot count on international law, then you must find other ways to ensure your security.
11. We must stop using the language of force and return to the path of civilized diplomatic and political settlement.
A new opportunity to avoid military action has emerged in the past few days.
I welcome the president's interest in continuing the dialogue with Russia on Syria.
If we can avoid force against Syria, this will improve the atmosphere in international affairs and strengthen mutual trust. It will be our shared success and open the door to cooperation on other critical issues.
My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust. I appreciate this.
Afghanistan 1967 before the USA intervened.