"No government can stand idly by when terrorism strikes," he wrote. "It is the solemn duty of all governments to protect their citizens from danger."
"Not a word on UN or Pope or Int'l law," Philip Gourevitch, a staff writer at The New Yorker, commented about the 1999 article. (Putin mentions the pope in his op-ed this week as being among those opposed to a U.S. strike against Syria.)
Senator's stomach turns
The overall tone of Putin's latest broadside was too much for Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who said he read the article at dinner on Wednesday.
"I almost wanted to vomit," he said. "I worry when someone who came up through the KGB tells us what is in our national interests and what is not. It really raises the question of how serious the Russian proposal is."
But plenty of people seemed to think Putin had scored points against Obama.
"I think it's sad to see him acting with more common sense and humanity than Obama," said Ashton Blazer.
"Putin made a compelling, though disingenuous, case against military strikes. Its effectiveness shows how badly Pres Obama was outmaneuvered," tweeted Marc Lamont Hill.
Others saw it in less subtle terms.
"#Putin diplomatically serves it to Pres. Obama in the last paragraph. Can't believe the #nytimes ran this," wrote Mary F. Mueller.
For some people, the tension between the two presidents has become a spectacle in its own right.
"Putin plays his next move on our very own NYTimes. This is almost getting as good as Breaking Bad," wrote Twitter user @MiketheEye.
Others said the tone of the article brought to mind some of the famous photos of Putin in macho poses.
"Putin wrote his Times op-ed on an Underwood, shirtless, with hunting knife nearby," joked Chris Regan.