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Plagiarist Impressed By Putin Op-Ed

CNN’s Fareed Zakaria: 'Very intelligent, well written’

• September 12, 2013 3:55 pm

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CNN’s Fareed Zakaria described Vladimir Putin’s op-ed as "very intelligent, and well-written" on Thursday.  Zakaria’s writing analysis is ironic, as he was suspended last August for plagiarizing sections of another writer's article about gun control.

BROOKE BALDWIN: Fareed, this op-ed, at one point, Putin chides President Obama for what he said the other night about American exceptionalism, saying people who consider themselves exceptional are dangerous. Why do you think he wrote it? And why the tone of the piece?

ZAKARIA: Well, Vladimir Putin has always wanted to set himself up as a kind of — in opposition to the idea that the United States is the only superpower in the world. He has always resisted that idea. He’s always tried to in some way present an alternative to other countries. There was a while that he tried to create a Russian-Chinese axis. That didn't work out well. He was a KGB operator. He regards the destruction of the Soviet Union in his words as the greatest catastrophe of the 20th century. A certain amount of this is a kind of nostalgia for a world where the United States was not as dominant as it is.

BALDWIN: Nostalgia?

ZAKARIA: It was also very intelligent, a well-written piece. I was struck by how cleverly crafted it was, and it ended by saying the United States should not think of itself as exceptional, that’s dangerous. We are all God's children and we're all created equally. It was very, you know, whoever wrote it, and I suspect it was not Vladimir Putin, is actually a very skilled wordsmith.

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