And now for a note from Putin

In the vain of famous people writing surprise op-eds in the New York Times (see Angelina Jolie and Anna Gunn), we all woke up this morning to one from none other than the Kaiser himself. That’s right, Vladimir Putin took to the Gray Lady to share with us, the American people, A Plea for Caution From Russia. Clifford Levy at the Times pointed out, “By far most trafficked NYT article today is Putin's op-ed. Nearing 1 million views.” Senator John McCain wrote, “Putin's NYT op-ed is an insult to the intelligence of every American.” Kirsten Salyer from Bloomberg Businessweek had another thought: “Wondering what it would be like to edit Putin.”

Thanks to Rosie Gray at BuzzFeed, we hear that the PR firm Ketchum Placed Controversial Putin Op-Ed. Gray also wrote, “Ketchum has been working for Russia for years but the Putin op-ed might be its biggest coup ever.” Frank Washkuch with PRWeek added, “And not for the first time…” Candice Choi at the Associated Press pointed out, “Random side note: PR firm that placed Putin's NYT op-ed also represents Wendy's.”

Shortly after, the Human Rights Watch issued a rebuttal: Dispatches: What Putin didn’t tell the American people. This time Clifford Levy at the Times said, “Human Rights Watch responds to Putin op-ed. His sincerity abt democratic values ‘hard to take seriously.’" Matt Petronzio with Mashable tweeted this quote from their report, “It’s not what Vladimir Putin’s New York Times op-ed says that’s so worrisome; it’s what it doesn’t say." Mary Fitzgerald with Irish Times added, “HRW's @AnnaNeistat, who has investigated war crimes in Syria, on what Putin didn't say in his NYT oped today.”

Meanwhile, Foreign Policy reports that U.N. Report Will Finger Assad for Massive Chemical Attack. Jeffrey Goldberg at Bloomberg News wrote, “UN: All indications point to Assad's use of chemical weapons.” Mary Fitzgerald at Irish Times tweeted: “#Syria UN report will point toward regime culpability for August 21 chemical attack, diplomats tell @columlynch.” Martin Chulov from the Guardian said, “#UN Chemical Weapons report due next Monday.” Gregg Carlstrom at Al Jazeera explained, “UN report won't directly blame Assad for chemical attack, but will make ‘strong circumstantial case.’” Henry Blodget with Business Insider added, “Wait--Putin is wrong?”

And the Washington Post reports: CIA begins weapons delivery to Syrian rebels. Paul Richter from the LA Times wrote, “With strike probably ruled out, Obama has 1 point of leverage to make Syria give up its CW: arming the rebels.” Aki Soga at the Burlington Free Press said, “Not so says Free Syrian Army general on NPR - CIA begins weapons delivery to Syrian rebels.” Laura Rozen from Al-Monitor tweeted: “At least in US newspapers, FSA says not true.” Scott Bixby with Bloomberg Businessweek added, “The Syrian rebellion has received its first shipment of weapons from the CIA. This can in no way backfire.”  

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