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Op-ed excoriates Barack Obama on Crimea, calls president 'Putin's patsy'

Barack Obama called "Putin's patsy."
Barack Obama called "Putin's patsy."
Guneev Sergey/Getty Images

On Tuesday, the New York Daily News excoriated Barack Obama over the situation in Crimea, calling the president "Putin's patsy," and declaring that under Obama's leadership, America is "hapless, helpless and hopeless" in facing down Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Daily News said Obama recognizes the obligations that come with being the world's only superpower, but he "hasn’t the will or the muscle to carry them out."

"He draws red lines only to see them quickly erased, along with his credibility," the paper added.

Obama, the Daily News said, said the world would isolate Russia for its actions, then withheld sanctions to give Putin an "out."

Instead, Putin thumbed his nose at Obama and moved in anyway, staging a referendum to make the world think he was only acting on the will of the people.

In response, Obama imposed sanctions on individual Russian leaders and the former president of Ukraine.

“We’re making it clear there are consequences for these actions. The international community will continue to stand together to oppose any violations of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity," he said.

"The European Union imposed similar measures," the Daily News said, but Putin simply laughed at the moves and declared Crimea a “sovereign and independent state.”

Even as he annexed the territory, Putin derided Western powers, claiming it is they and the U.S. that seeks to rule by "the gun."

"Our Western partners headed by the United States prefer not to be guided by international law in their practical policies, but by the rule of the gun," he said, according to a translation provided by Reuters. "They have come to believe in their exceptionalism and their sense of being the chosen ones. That they can decide the destinies of the world, that it is only them who can be right."

Obama threatened more sanctions, and was summarily mocked by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin on Twitter.

"Comrade Obama, what should those who have neither accounts nor property abroad do? Have you not thought about it?" he tweeted. "I think the decree of the President of the United States was written by some joker."

Other media outlets have hammered Obama over his handling of the situation.

The Washington Post, for example, called the annexation of Crimea a "humiliation for the West and a collapse of 22 years of American foreign policy in which the former states of the Soviet Union were allowed to reclaim their place in a whole and free Europe."

Jennifer Rubin also said Obama is "to blame for five years of incoherent and weak foreign policy in which he announced to the world a decade of war was ending."

Responding to the annexation of Crimea, Secretary of State John Kerry scolded Russia and expressed hope Putin would not go deeper into Ukraine.

"We have made it very clear that that’s a hard line in terms of the level -- I mean, that will be a major breach and I hope we don’t get there," he said. "This is very questionable activity and I think we have to be very wary of it, but I am not going to go into all the specifics except to say that that would be just an enormous challenge to the global community and it would require a response that is commensurate with the level of that challenge."

But given Putin's recent statements and actions, it is highly unlikely he will pay attention to anything the administration says.

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