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US is FURIOUS Turkey bought Russian S-400 Missiles – State Dept.

‘You’re only supposed to buy NATO weapons’

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One of the serene privileges being a NATO-member entails, in addition to the permission to participate in military adventurism on behalf of the US, is friendly encouragement to purchase hardware which is “interoperable with other NATO partners”. As a result, the famous protection racke…I mean…defense alliance, was not too pleased when Turkey elected to purchase the Russian S400 air defense system.

Their punishment…you’re going to love it…according to RT, possible US sanctions and may bar Turkey from getting F-35 jets. So in other words, because Turkey purchased the top of the line air defenses, they won’t get the privilege of flying the barely airworthy epic failure that is the F-35.

RT reports:

The new warning came on Thursday from US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, who said that Washington has “serious concerns about Turkey’s potential acquisition” of the S-400 anti-aircraft systems.

Under NATO and under the NATO agreement, which of course, Turkey is a NATO member, you’re only supposed to buy, they are only supposed to buy, weapons and other materiel that are interoperable with other NATO partners. We don’t see that as being interoperable,” the State Department spokeswoman said during a press briefing.

While there is much discussion that the S-400 deal may signal closer relations between Moscow and Ankara, and a rift between the later and the US, one must not rule out the possibility that it’s just business. Russia has always made the world’s top of the line air defenses and rocketry, largely a counter to the US dominance or rather, focus on air power. It’s a typical arms race, one side builds the ultimate weapon, another builds the ultimate armor, and so forth, and while Russian aircraft are no joke, Russian rocketry is out of this world…literally…it did put the first man in space.

As a result, while the deal certainly reflects modern trends in relations, one should not imply Turkey is only trading with Moscow to spite NATO. The reality is likely in between; if the Russian rockets weren’t top of the line, or if relations with Moscow were at an all-time low, there would be no deal, regardless of the quality of the S-400s. Likewise, if NATO made a far superior product, or if Turkey was 100% under NATO control, they would have bought NATO interoperable systems, which US Defense Secretary Mattis noted would not include the S-400s.

The RT report continues:

Earlier in April, Assistant Secretary of State Wess Mitchell warned that Ankara’s decision to buy Russia’s advanced complexes exposes Turkey to possible US sanctions and may bar it from getting F-35 jets. “Ankara claims to have agreed to purchase the Russian S-400 missile system, which could potentially lead to sanctions” under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), he said. The document was signed back in August 2017 and is mostly aimed at hindering Russian arms exports.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov responded to Mitchell, describing the US threats as “a typical example of attempted blackmail” with the intention of giving American companies “an unfair advantage in market competition.” 

Supplies of the ambitious S-400 systems to Turkey are scheduled to start in 2020. However, after Lavrov’s talks with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in March this year, he revealed that Moscow was ready to speed up delivery of its sophisticated systems.

Foreign Minister Lavrov is likey touching the heart of the issue. This deal has symbolic implications from the position of NATO, and pragmatic ones from that of Moscow. From NATO’s perspective, this deal is an insult and a threat to the monopoly of their military-industrial complex, as well as warning signs that Ankara is going rogue. It’s not as if the US arms industry will really be hurting over this deal. From Russia’s perspective, this is a lucrative business deal which provides an opportunity to strengthen relations with a key regional player.

One should not see this as a point of weakness on Moscow’s part, given the troubling relations with Ankara in the past. It takes strength to deal with a volatile player, and when a major regional power is using your own hardware as the heart and soul of its air defense, it makes you look stronger.

Ankara may be burning the candle at both ends, but despite the centuries of Russo-Turkish Wars – which Russia almost always won – the two powers have a lot in common from a pragmatic point of view, and both have a lot to win and a lot to lose if relations turn south, even if such events would certainly be worse for Turkey, who want to assert themselves as a more independent power.

Turkey controls Constantinople (Istanbul), long considered to be the crossroads of the world, especially in antiquity, and the former “Second Rome”. Moscow is the “Third Rome”, and the great Russian steppe represents a major crossroads between Europe and Asia. Both Russia and Turkey are Eurasian states, Russia to a greater extent, but Turkey is the only other nation which truly fits the description.

For anything to cross into Europe from Asia or Africa by land, it must travel through either Russia, or Turkey. That goes for oil, commodities, or people (terrorists, refugees, or otherwise), all of which can be geopolitically weaponized to one degree or another. For Russia to travel freely from any of her Black Sea ports, especially precious Crimea, a former Byzantine colony, she must also travel through Turkey, though Russia provides the safest and potentially most lucrative means of land transit from China to Europe.

Unless someone builds a bridge across the Caspian Sea, Russia is also the only means of land transit to Europe that does not involve going through the volatile Middle East, and if someone did build that bridge, they would still have to travel through Russia…or Turkey, to get to Europe.

With the greatest economic venture of our days being the New Silk Road, all eyes are understandably on China and Russia, however, one should keep an eye on Ankara as well, like it, or not. All that is certain, is when the S-400 deal is done, Turks can be assured of the safety of their skies.


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EU leaders dictate Brexit terms to Theresa May (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 115.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss how EU leaders have agreed on a plan to delay the the Article 50 process which effectively postpones Brexit beyond the 29 March deadline.

The UK will now be offered a delay until the 22nd of May, only if MPs approve Theresa May’s withdrawal deal next week. If MPs do not approve May’s negotiated deal, then the EU will support a short delay until the 12th of April, allowing the UK extra time to get the deal passed or to “indicate a way forward”.

UK PM Theresa May said there was now a “clear choice” facing MPs, who could vote for a third time on her deal next week.

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Theresa May outlines four Brexit options, via Politico

In a letter to MPs, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May set out the four options she believes the country has in light of Thursday’s decision by EU leaders to extend the Brexit deadline beyond next Friday.

The U.K. is faced with a four-way choice, May wrote late Friday.

The government could revoke Article 50 — which May called a betrayal of the Brexit vote; leave without a deal on April 12; pass her deal in a vote next week; or, “if it appears that there is not sufficient support” for a vote on her deal in parliament next week or if it is rejected for a third time, she could ask for an extension beyond April 12.

But this would require for the U.K. taking part in European elections in May, which the prime minister said “would be wrong.”

May wrote that she’s hoping for the deal to pass, allowing the U.K. to leave the EU “in an orderly way,” adding “I still believe there is a majority in the House for that course of action.”

“I hope we can all agree that we are now at the moment of decision,” she wrote.

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US media suffers panic attack after Mueller fails to deliver on much-anticipated Trump indictment

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”

RT

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Via RT


Important pundits and news networks have served up an impressive display of denials, evasions and on-air strokes after learning that Robert Mueller has ended his probe without issuing a single collusion-related indictment.

The Special Counsel delivered his final report to Attorney General William Barr for review on Friday, with the Justice Department confirming that there will be no further indictments related to the probe. The news dealt a devastating blow to the sensational prophesies of journalists, analysts and entire news networks, who for nearly two years reported ad nauseam that President Donald Trump and his inner circle were just days away from being carted off to prison for conspiring with the Kremlin to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

Showing true integrity, journalists and television anchors took to Twitter and the airwaves on Friday night to acknowledge that the media severely misreported Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, as well as what Mueller’s probe was likely to find. They are, after all, true professionals.

“How could they let Trump off the hook?” an inconsolable Chris Matthews asked NBC reporter Ken Dilanian during a segment on CNN’s ‘Hardball’.

Dilanian tried to comfort the CNN host with some of his signature NBC punditry.

“My only conclusion is that the president transmitted to Mueller that he would take the Fifth. He would never talk to him and therefore, Mueller decided it wasn’t worth the subpoena fight,” he expertly mused.

Actually, there were several Serious Journalists who used their unsurpassed analytical abilities to conjure up a reason why Mueller didn’t throw the book at Trump, even though the president is clearly a Putin puppet.

“It’s certainly possible that Trump may emerge from this better than many anticipated. However! Consensus has been that Mueller would follow DOJ rules and not indict a sitting president. I.e. it’s also possible his report could be very bad for Trump, despite ‘no more indictments,'” concluded Mark Follman, national affairs editor at Mother Jones, who presumably, and very sadly, was not being facetious.

Revered news organs were quick to artfully modify their expectations regarding Mueller’s findings.

“What is collusion and why is Robert Mueller unlikely to mention it in his report on Trump and Russia?” a Newsweek headline asked following Friday’s tragic announcement.

Three months earlier, Newsweek had meticulously documented all the terrible “collusion” committed by Donald Trump and his inner circle.

But perhaps the most sobering reactions to the no-indictment news came from those who seemed completely unfazed by the fact that Mueller’s investigation, aimed at uncovering a criminal conspiracy between Trump and the Kremlin, ended without digging up a single case of “collusion.”

The denials, evasions and bizarre hot takes are made even more poignant by the fact that just days ago, there was still serious talk about Trump’s entire family being hauled off to prison.

“You can’t blame MSNBC viewers for being confused. They largely kept dissenters from their Trump/Russia spy tale off the air for 2 years. As recently as 2 weeks ago, they had @JohnBrennan strongly suggesting Mueller would indict Trump family members on collusion as his last act,” journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted.

While the Mueller report has yet to be released to the public, the lack of indictments makes it clear that whatever was found, nothing came close to the vast criminal conspiracy alleged by virtually the entire American media establishment.

“You have been lied to for 2 years by the MSM. No Russian collusion by Trump or anyone else. Who lied? Head of the CIA, NSA,FBI,DOJ, every pundit every anchor. All lies,” wrote conservative activist Chuck Woolery.

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom was more blunt, but said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”

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Canadian Lawmaker Accuses Trudeau Of Being A “Fake Feminist” (Video)

Rempel segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career

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Via Zerohedge

Canada’s feminist-in-chief Justin Trudeau wants to support and empower women…but his support stops at the point where said women start creating problems for his political agenda.

That was the criticism levied against the prime minister on Friday by a conservative lawmaker, who took the PM to task for “muzzling strong, principled women” during a debate in the House of Commons.

“He asked for strong women, and this is what they look like!” said conservative MP Michelle Rempel, referring to the former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould, who has accused Trudeau and his cronies of pushing her out of the cabinet after she refused to grant a deferred prosecution agreement to a Quebec-based engineering firm.

She then accused Trudeau of being a “fake feminist”.

“That’s not what a feminist looks like…Every day that he refuses to allow the attorney general to testify and tell her story is another day he’s a fake feminist!”

Trudeau was so taken aback by Rempel’s tirade, that he apparently forgot which language he should respond in.

But Rempel wasn’t finished. She then segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career. This from a man who once objected to the continued use of the word “mankind” (suggesting we use “peoplekind” instead).

The conservative opposition then tried to summon Wilson-Raybould to appear before the Commons for another hearing (during her last appearance, she shared her account of how the PM and employees in the PM’s office and privy council barraged her with demands that she quash the government’s pursuit of SNC-Lavalin over charges that the firm bribed Libyan government officials). Wilson-Raybould left the Trudeau cabinet after she was abruptly moved to a different ministerial post – a move that was widely seen as a demotion.

Trudeau has acknowledged that he put in a good word on the firm’s behalf with Wilson-Raybould, but insists that he always maintained the final decision on the case was hers and hers alone.

Fortunately for Canadians who agree with Rempel, it’s very possible that Trudeau – who has so far resisted calls to resign – won’t be in power much longer, as the scandal has cost Trudeau’s liberals the lead in the polls for the October election.

 

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