Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Barack Obama in St. Petersburg, Russia, on September 5© RIA Novosti. Alexey Kudenko
WASHINGTON, September 13 (by Karin Zeitvogel for RIA Novosti) – When Russian President Vladimir Putin had an op-ed published in The New York Times this week, Twitter erupted with all manner of depictions of the Russian leader, many showing him besting in one way or another his US counterpart, Barack Obama.
Here is a sampling of some of the visual imagery of Putin and Obama making the rounds on Twitter since Thursday:
Many Twitter posts make Putin look powerful and “on top of his game” – and even on top of Obama, who just hours before the opinion piece was published in the Times put US preparations for a military strike on Syria on hold to favor a diplomatic path put forward by Russia.
“Wait a minute! He’s stealing the show,” says a cartoon of a tutu-clad Obama standing off on the sidelines while Putin dances, 1980s’ movie Saturday Night Fever style, under a spotlight.
In a cartoon board game, Putin is portrayed as a thoughtful strategist playing chess, while the US president is depicted as a self-satisfied, Bingo-playing buffoon.
And the Russian president is shown in Tweets as a man who is most certainly what he said in his op-ed Americans are not: exceptional.
Referring to a speech to the American people that Obama made on Wednesday, Putin said in his piece for the Times: “I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is ‘what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.’ It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation…. we must not forget that God created us equal.”
But Putin, according to Twitter, has “exceptional” powers of persuasion over Obama.
The Russian leader is often shown in doctored images based on real photos bare-chested with his legendary pectorals exposed, exuding machismo and fearlessness while doing things like… riding a bear. Alongside him, a picture of Obama shows the US leader astride a rainbow-tailed, My Little Pony children’s toy in a magical, multi-color world.
'What The World Sees' Putin vs. Obama Yes, it's this bad (maybe worse)... . pic.twitter.com/bno8A94VR6— Top Blog Sites (@TopInfoBlogs) September 13, 2013
When Putin says in his opinion piece, “The law is still the law, and we must follow it whether we like it or not,” a cartoon circulated on Twitter responded like this:
But a young Syrian who lost his 18-year-old cousin in the country’s civil war posted a cartoon to illustrate how Putin’s op-ed line about how alarmed he was that “military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries has become commonplace for the United States” was hypocritical.
Basically pic.twitter.com/t07odGiTyT— كريم المكسور (@SaiyanSyrian) September 12, 2013
@SaiyanSyrian told RIA Novosti in a tweet that he found Putin’s editorial to be “a diabolical attempt to manipulate the poorly informed,” and Georgian-American Boris Ruhadze took to Facebook to call out what he also called Putin’s hypocrisy.
"Did he forget he went to war with Georgia five years ago without giving 2 ****s about UN security counsel policy?#hypocrisy,” he wrote.
Elsewhere in the Twittersphere, Americans showed that they are able to laugh at themselves even when many say they feel they’re being insulted by the Russian president.
@BillDing51 posted a cartoon on Twitter showing Americans at their most unexceptional.
And although it might reinforce Putin’s belief that there is indeed nothing exceptional about Americans, an Air Force veteran, part-time rancher and father of seven in Colorado posted a short video clip of cowboys getting thrown from angry, bucking bulls, with the message to Putin that Americans “do this for fun.”
Probably won’t sway Putin, though.
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