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Obama misjudged the fierce Russian bear

On March 20, President Obama woke up from his Captain America dream and realised that Crimea was annexed by Russia.

Since World War II, America has used more than just franchised hamburgers and fried chicken to conquer the world. The US government has also influenced and infiltrated many other countries with its self-proclaimed American values and Western-style democratic capitalism.

After the costly wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the US and its allies decided it would be cheaper to change unfavourable regimes by promoting, instigating and financing the so-called Arab Spring revolutions, most of which ended up in internal sectarian fights and civil war that have result in hundreds of thousands of deaths in Syria, Egypt and Libya.

Nevertheless, the US succeeded in instigating pro-Western protests in Kiev, with Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland making headlines with her "F**k the EU" remark. The bloody events led to the ouster of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, in what Ron Paul, a three times US presidential candidate, slammed as a US- backed coup. However, the US has overlooked that the majority of the people outside Kiev, especially in Eastern Ukraine, still prefer vodka to Coke.

President Obama misjudged Russia, believing it would submit to a Westernisation of Ukraine. But should the Russians accept a Nato missile system at their frontier, or possible disruption of their naval stronghold in Sevastopol? Not unless Mr Putin is a paper polar bear.

Yingwai Suchaovanich

Bangkok


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