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September 14, 2013 at 10:03 AM
A retired colleague took umbrage at the op-ed piece in The New York Times by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The piece was an argument against an attack by the U.S. government on Syria and for using the United Nations instead. It also criticized the American idea that we are an “exceptional” nation.
Said my retired colleague: “This is an obvious propaganda piece by Putin and The New York Times fell for it. It shouldn’t have run it.”
Of course it is a propaganda piece. It’s what the Russian government wants Americans to believe. But is an article by Obama, or a member of Congress, or a newspaper columnist any different in that respect? Each is making an argument. In each case the reader is invited to consider the argument and the biases of the person making it.
Should we ban the Russian argument? Why? If we were at war with them, sure. But we’re not. Why not hear him out? (more…)