If Vladimir Putin wanted to get America's attention, he's done a pretty good job.
The Russian president's opinion piece arguing against military intervention in Syria, published on The New York Times' website late Wednesday, set off a flurry of reactions -- some outraged, some impressed, and some just plain bemused.
Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez said the piece made him almost want to throw up, and House Speaker John Boehner said he was "insulted."
Putin said he wrote the article "to speak directly to the American people and their political leaders."
But he appeared to have raised some hackles with the last paragraph in which he disputed the idea of American exceptionalism.
It was a reference to President Barack Obama's address on Tuesday night, in which he said that while America can't be a global cop, it ought to act when in certain situations.
"That's what makes us exceptional," Obama said. "With humility, but with resolve, let us never lose sight of that essential truth."
Putin's answer to that?
"It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation," he wrote.
He concluded with the line, "We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord's blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal."
The White House shrugged off the fuss around Putin's jabs at Obama, describing them as "irrelevant."
Obama himself ignored a question about the op-ed on Thursday. His chief spokesman, Jay Carney, said that Putin has a right to his opinion, noting that America is an exceptional nation.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi questioned Putin's views on equality.
"What I found interesting was the closing -- when he says when we pray to God he judges us all - I don't know exactly what his words are but he says `we are all God's children.' I think that's great. I hope it applies to gays and lesbians in Russia as well," Pelosi said.
Putin signed a law earlier this year that bans public discussion of gay rights and relationships where children might hear it. Violators can be fined and, if they are foreigners, deported.
There are others who took issue with Putin's view.
"Hey Putin, next time you wanna write a letter to convince America about something, how about you skip saying we're not exceptional? #rude," tweeted Sarah Rumpf, a political consultant in Texas.
The Russian president also annoyed some people by warning against military action without U.N. Security Council approval.
"Man who launched military action in Georgia and Chechnya without UN say-so says wars without it are illegal?" tweeted the journalist John Podhoretz.
A report commissioned by the European Union said that Georgia illegally started the war with Russia in 2008 but that the Russian response, which involved occupying large parts of Georgian territory, also violated international law.
The two wars between Russian forces and separatists in Chechnya are widely considered to be internal conflicts.
Some Twitter users unearthed a previous op-ed that Putin wrote for the Times about the Chechen war in 1999.
Putin, then the prime minister of Russia, struck a different tone in which he sought to explain Russia's military action.