WASHINGTON - Russian President Vladimir Putin is using an opinion piece in The New York Times to assert that it's alarming that military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries has become commonplace for the United States.
Putin says he doubts that such interventions are in the long-term interest of the U.S. He also says millions around the world increasingly see America not as a model for democracy, but as relying solely on brute force.
In the article posted Wednesday on the Times website, Putin repeats his contention that there is every reason to believe that Syrian rebels, not Bashar Assad's government, are responsible for the poison gas attack on a Damascus suburb last week.
The Russian leader says he supports the effort to place Syria's chemical weapons under international control.
On another front, Putin says he is no fan of the idea of American exceptionalism. He suggests that God isn't either.
"It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation," Putin wrote in an opinion piece posted Wednesday on the website of The New York Times.
"There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too," he wrote. "We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord's blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal."
Putin's remarks concluded a plea to Americans for caution in dealing with Syria, a Russian ally.
He cited President Barack Obama's speech Tuesday night in which he asserted that 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.
"That's what makes America different," Obama said. "That's what makes us exceptional. With humility, but with resolve, let us never lose sight of that essential truth."