WASHINGTON - Russian President Vladimir Putin is no fan of the idea of American exceptionalism. He suggests that God isn't either.
In an opinion piece for The New York Times, Putin cites President Barack Obama's address Tuesday night in which he said American ideals and principles "are at stake in Syria" as he made his case for holding the Assad government accountable for a deadly chemical weapons attack near Damascus.
Obama concluded by saying that America's ability and willingness to act to prevent an atrocity such as gassing children is, in his words, "what makes us exceptional."
But Putin writes: "It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation."
He continues to say that the world's nations all have their differences. And whether they have long democratic traditions or are still finding their way to democracy," Putin says "we must not forget that God created us equal."
Putin's remarks conclude with a plea to Americans for caution in dealing with Syria.