In an NY Times op-ed published yesterday, President Vladimir Putin is all like, “Military strikes are bad. Really bad. President Obama is mean!”, and so-called progressives like Katrina vanden Heuvel and Prof. Jelani Cobb are eating it up like tasty pudding. But look at what Putin wrote in (ironically) a NY Times op-ed in 1999 (h/t Jim Roberts @nycjim):
Reluctantly, we have intervened. Our immediate aim is to rid Chechnya of those who threaten the safety of Chechens and Russians. We also seek to restore civil society to the Chechen people, who have been victims of deprivation, living in the grip of armed criminal gangs for years.
American officials tell us that ordinary citizens are suffering, that our military tactics may increase that suffering. The very opposite is true. Our commanders have clear instructions to avoid casualties among the general population. We have nothing to gain by doing otherwise. The Chechen citizens, after all, are our citizens too. Our land and air forces strive to target only opposing armed forces. The whole reason we chose accurately targeted strikes on specifically identified terrorist bases was to avoid direct attacks on Chechen communities.