When the Devil Tells the Truth

Shadia B. Drury

When, in the midst of the American foreign-policy debacle over Syria, Vladimir Putin wrote an article in The New York Times, American politicians balked in unison. Republicans and Democrats denounced Putin in no uncertain terms. They declared that his bold impudence made them nauseous. Some divulged that upon reading the article, they had to vomit. The airways were filled with their fulminations. How dare this former KGB agent lecture, even hector, the American people? How dare he question the fundamental principle of American greatness? What nerve—poking America in the eye in the pages of its most hallowed newspaper!

Was he not the guy who weaseled his way into becoming president for yet another term, contrary to the constitution of his own country? Was he not the guy who approved that antigay legislation just recently? Was he not the guy who harbored Edward J. Snowden, wanted by the United States for revealing sensitive government secrets? Was he not the backer of the Syrian dictator, Bashar al-Assad? These ad hominem attacks fail to refute or even address the argument. The fact is that sometimes, even the Devil tells the truth.

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