WHEN THE FOX PREACHETH... (16-09-2013)

"Recent events surrounding Syria have prompted me to speak directly to the American people and their political leaders", begins a letter by Russian President Vladimir V. Putin, published in The new York Times of September 11, 2013 and reprinted as an annex to this item. The letter is a good example of Public Diplomacy, a diplomatic instrument originating in the United States at the time of the First World War to spread democracy and extensively employed during the Cold War against the Soviet Union. Read my first book in the series "Footprints of the Twentieth Century", Volume One: Cultural Diplomacy: waging war by other means? WLP 2009. Chapter 5. Several Americans were understandably irritated or angry by the use of their preferred method of diplomacy against them. Still, the letter makes interesting reading. Of course it is hypocritical; but it is also realistic. Both the Americans and the Russians - after Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya - could know that military intervention in the Middle East is bound to further complicate and escalate conflicts. As we shall see in the next item, the letter is part of an important diplomatic breakthrough with respect to the endless and cruel civil war in Syria. The letter ends with a surprising statement for a president trained as an atheist KGB officer:"We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord`s blessing, we must not forget that God created us equal." Still, on the initiative of Pope Francis, millions of Christians held a day of fasting and prayer on Saturday September 7 for peace in Syria, Egypt and the Middle East. I am sure the Lord`s blessing is making a difference

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