Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Russian Bear Bares its Fangs

Photo: Reuters/Vasily Fedosenko 

Photo: Baz Ratner/Reuters

I LOL-ed when I read that US President Barack Obama had declared that Russia is acting "not out of strength, but out of weakness" in Ukraine (BBC News, March 25, 2014). I don’t think he knew what he was talking about. Against the backdrop of Russia’s “absurd” annexation of Crimea, this is rather strange. Even the word ‘absurd’ is another example of a strange choice of words. Obama had used the ‘absurd’ word on March 26, 2014 to describe Vladimir Putin's arguments for seizing Crimea. It doesn’t matter anyhow since it is clear that Russia is the aggressor. 

In fact, I would consider Ukraine weak. Russia certainly is not. Didn’t the Russians just walk into Crimea and take over? More ominously, there are more than 80,000 Russian troops (according to Andriy Parubiy, the secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council) on Ukraine’s border – how could Obama interpret that as a weakness? 

More so, when Pentagon spokesperson Navy Rear Admiral John Kirby on Thursday had said that the Russian force there is “a composition that provides a lot of capability” – indicating that it could conduct a comprehensive assault on Ukraine. 

Maybe Obama saw the Russian gambit as military posturing. It is nothing more than just psychological warfare to intimidate Ukraine. 

Methinks, the joke is really on Obama (and his European allies). His Crimean response was the introduction of a slew of slap-on-the-wrist sanctions targeted at some Russian individuals. As if that will make Putin (left) desist from undertaking any further aggression. 

It is obvious Russia is ready. Ready for what depends on the Russian President’s intentions. Certainly, Putin doesn’t give a shit about anybody or anything. 

The truth of the matter is that the US of A is helpless. Europe is NATO, meaning No Action, Talk Only. And Russia has free rein. 

Yesterday, I was hoping for a miracle. I was rooting for Arsenal to beat Manchester City. That did not happen unfortunately but it was still good as the Gunners did manage a 1-1 draw against the latter. That will slow down the EPL juggernaut. 

As for Arsenal, their title chase is over. 

And it was also heartening to see current table-toppers Chelsea fall to a surprise 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace. 

The above results provide the perfect setting for Liverpool to win today’s game against Tottenham and grab the top spot. 

I have no doubt that we are going to witness the three teams racing to a very tight finish in the EPL. 

And in the Scottish Premiership match that is purely an academic exercise for Celtic, they were held to a 1-1 draw against Ross County. The Scottish champions have now amassed 85 points.

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