miércoles, 11 de septiembre de 2013

Nota de Putin en el NYT

El Presidente de Rusia y único líder veraderamente global, Vladimir Putin, acaba de hacer algo infrecuente y arriesgado: publicó una nota suya en la sección de Opinión del New York Times (el Pravda del Imperio, para decirlo de algún modo).  Dice varias cosas, a saber: (1) no se hagan los patoteros porque van a salir con la nariz rota; (2) queremos creer que van a negociar en serio; (3) (algunos, no lo voy a decir) van a querer sabotear las negociaciones con Siria; (4) déjense de romper las pelotas con la excepcionalidad estadounidense.

Notables son, también, las reacciones de los lectores, desacostumbrados a que un político diga algo más o menos consistente. Por este motivo hemos incluido las 16 respuestas de los lectores que había al momento de copiar el artículo de Putin. Vayamos a la nota:

Título: “A Plea for Caution From Russia”

Texto: “Recent events surrounding Syria have prompted me to speak directly to the American people and their political leaders. It is important to do so at a time of insufficient communication between our societies.

Relations between us have passed through different stages. We stood against each other during the cold war. But we were also allies once, and defeated the Nazis together. The universal international organization — the United Nations — was then established to prevent such devastation from ever happening again.

The United Nations’ founders understood that decisions affecting war and peace should happen only by consensus, and with America’s consent the veto by Security Council permanent members was enshrined in the United Nations Charter. The profound wisdom of this has underpinned the stability of international relations for decades.

No one wants the United Nations to suffer the fate of the League of Nations, which collapsed because it lacked real leverage. This is possible if influential countries bypass the United Nations and take military action without Security Council authorization.

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. 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.

Syria is not witnessing a battle for democracy, but an armed conflict between government and opposition in a multireligious country. There are few champions of democracy in Syria. But there are more than enough Qaeda fighters and extremists of all stripes battling the government. The United States State Department has designated Al Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, fighting with the opposition, as terrorist organizations. This internal conflict, fueled by foreign weapons supplied to the opposition, is one of the bloodiest in the world.

Mercenaries from Arab countries fighting there, and hundreds of militants from Western countries and even Russia, are an issue of our deep concern. Might they not return to our countries with experience acquired in Syria? After all, after fighting in Libya, extremists moved on to Mali. This threatens us all.

From the outset, Russia has advocated peaceful dialogue enabling Syrians to develop a compromise plan for their own future. 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.

No one doubts that poison gas was used in Syria. But there is every reason to believe it was used not by the Syrian Army, but by opposition forces, to provoke intervention by their powerful foreign patrons, who would be siding with the fundamentalists. Reports that militants are preparing another attack — this time against Israel — cannot be ignored.

It is alarming that military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries has become commonplace for the United States. Is it in America’s long-term interest? I doubt it. Millions around the world increasingly see America not as a model of democracy but as relying solely on brute force, cobbling coalitions together under the slogan “you’re either with us or against us.”

But force has proved ineffective and pointless. Afghanistan is reeling, and no one can say what will happen after international forces withdraw. Libya is divided into tribes and clans. In Iraq the civil war continues, with dozens killed each day. In the United States, many draw an analogy between Iraq and Syria, and ask why their government would want to repeat recent mistakes. 

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.

The world reacts by asking: if you cannot count on international law, then you must find other ways to ensure your security. Thus a growing number of countries seek to acquire weapons of mass destruction. This is logical: if you have the bomb, no one will touch you. We are left with talk of the need to strengthen nonproliferation, when in reality this is being eroded.

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. The United States, Russia and all members of the international community must take advantage of the Syrian government’s willingness to place its chemical arsenal under international control for subsequent destruction. Judging by the statements of President Obama, the United States sees this as an alternative to military action.

I welcome the president’s interest in continuing the dialogue with Russia on Syria. We must work together to keep this hope alive, as we agreed to at the Group of 8 meeting in Lough Erne in Northern Ireland in June, and steer the discussion back toward negotiations.

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. I carefully studied his address to the nation on Tuesday. 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.”

Comentarios de los lectores:

1. John C., Central Valley California: Aside from the obviously specious claim that it was the rebels who used the gas, much of this post is thought provoking and has a tone of reasonableness that I find disturbing to my prejudices. What a crazy world we are living in when Russia sounds more sane and responsible than our own government on a serious international crisis. It's as if I have blundered into some bizarre parallel universe. Any moment now Rod Serling is going to walk into my living room and announce that I have just crossed over into the Twilight Zone. Sept. 11, 2013 at 10:07 p.m.

2. David desJardins, Durlingame CA: There is not "every reason" to believe that the opposition fighters used chemical weapons to murder large numbers of their own friends and family. They don't even have the capacity to deploy such weapons on this scale. The fact that Putin must resort to this incredible claim, and bury it deep in his statement, illustrates the weakness of his position on this point. It would be wonderful if the USA were not exceptional, if every nation would stand together against such crimes. But, when they don't, inaction and even obstruction on the part of others is no reason not to act ourselves. The founders of the United Nations did not envision that a seat on the Security Council was a license to ignore or overrule every tenet of international law, on the grounds that anything that any permanent member of the Security Council allows must therefore be allowed. I hope that Russia will fulfill it's responsibilities to fiercely oppose the use of chemical weapons. That would be the best approach. But if they continue to block an international response then other approaches must be considered, because inaction and indifference to such horrors is not an option. Sept. 11, 2013 at 10:02 p.m.

3. Elizabeth, Paris: We are witnessing the birth of a great statesman. Sept. 11, 2013 at 10:02 p.m.

4. HS, Plainfield NJ: Wow. I never thought I would agree with a Russian leader on anything, but here goes - hard to disagree with this one. Though I know he keeps arming Syria and is probably ramping up their defenses at this very moment. With all that said, Putin still makes sense about our nation's constant wrangling in other countries' affairs. Let them sort out their own problems. Sept. 11, 2013 at 10:02 p.m.

5. Nuruddin, Australia: A very objective and wise statesmanlike analysis of the situation. Sept. 11, 2013 at 10:00 p.m.

6. Eric, Fenton, MO: The view is clear, and clearly expressed, from up there on the moral high ground. Can you give us a hand with Iran's nukes, too? We'd like to get out of that region. We all have better things to do. Sept. 11, 2013 at 9:58 p.m.

7. Ivehadit, Massachusetts: Quite a remarkable turn of events! Russia lecturing the US on morality. Sept. 11, 2013 at 9:58 p.m.

8. Rjkspeaks, Peru, Vermont: One wishes these were the words of Mr. Obama. Then we would indeed be exceptional. Kudos to Mr. Putin. Sept. 11, 2013 at 9:58 p.m.

9. amber.wheeler, San Francisco, CA: This made me seriously reconsider my stance on US involvement in Syria. Putin makes very cogent points. Sept. 11, 2013 at 9:58 p.m.

10. George Kennan, Princeton, New Jersey: President Putin, I am an American who would like to see the United States and Russia work together to remove chemical weapons from Syria. If such a collaboration is successful, I hope it serves as an impetus toward quelling the fighting in Syria. Yours in pursuit of peace. Sept. 11, 2013 at 9:57 p.m.

11. Jeffrey Waingrow, Sheffield, MA: Mr. Putin, are you for us or against us? That is the question. Sept. 11, 2013 at 9:57 p.m.

12. B Henly, New York: Putin has consistently given the US sound advice, including on Afghanistan. I happen to believe he is also doing the Obama administration a favor by keeping Edward Snowdon quietly in Russia, thereby avoiding the media circus and political distractions that would result from having him in jail on US soil. Having Putin in effect lecture us on our mistakes may stick in the craw of some Americans, but he happens to be right in this case, in spite of his own faults. Sept. 11, 2013 at 9:54 p.m.

13. Citizen, Texas: Say what you will about the Russians and Mr. Putin in particular. This reaching out is unprecedented. Surly our country and our leaders cannot ignore this gesture from the Russian government. We, at the very least, should meet this offer in sincerity and in the hope, that something good and lasting will come of the discussions between our two nations. The stakes are far too high to let this moment over take either one of our nations. Put aside mistrust and bad feeling for the moment, and try find and do something positive for the world. The killing needs to stop. We really can live in peace with each other if only we would really try. Sept. 11, 2013 at 9:54 p.m.

14. Reuben, East Village: Hard to argue with any of this, especially the last paragraph, I really wish Obama would cool it with the We Are #1 rhetoric. Rule of thumb: when you're not sure whether or not to initiate a military intervention, don't. Sept. 11, 2013 at 9:51 p.m.

15. Judyw, Cumberland, MD: BRAVO - great editorial. I hope our Congress reads it. Best written on the problems in Syria. I applaud the NYT for publishing this. Some real words of wisdom in it. Sept. 11, 2013 at 9:51 p.m.

16. Robert, hawaii: Putin has it largely right. Sept. 11, 2013 at 9:51 p.m.

2 comentarios:

  1. Ciertamente marca su territorio, Putin. Y muy interesantes los comentarios además (a favor y en contra).

  2. Así es, Iris. Ayer volví a mirar el artículo del NYT. Estaban por llegar al comentario nº 4.000. No los leí a todos, pero a unos cuantos, como para ver qué piensan los estadounidenses. Impresiona la racionaldad de muchos de ellos.
    Cordialmente, Astroboy.