Turkey refuses ultimatum from NATO "partners" in Washington to cancel deal with Russia for state of the art S-400 surface to air missile systems, that would be effective against US and Israeli air forces, as well as all others. (S-400 is a much better deal than -. It's worth it to just not have to buy F-35s.)Ankara signed the deal to buy the S-400s last year, and the first batch is scheduled to be delivered later this year over vociferous objections from Washington. That came after Congress last year passed a law effectively blocking a shipment of 100 F-35 jet fighters to Turkey, which is a member of NATO along with the US.
The US similarly tried to pressure India out of buying S-400s as the transaction could potentially violate American laws on sanctions placed on Russia - though Washington proposed giving New Delhi a free pass if it also agreed to buy arms from the US.
Despite pressure from overseas, Turkey and India maintained that they can freely choose partners in the arms trade without interference from Washington or anybody else.
"We don’t need permission from anybody" to purchase the S-400s, said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
(Bolton backfired :-)Turkey has threatened to strike the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia if the United States delays its troop withdrawal from the country, according to The Guardian.
"If the [pullout] is put off with ridiculous excuses like Turks are massacring Kurds, which do not reflect the reality, we will implement this decision," said Turkish foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, referring to their threat to launch a military operation in Kurdish controlled Syria.
Scores of ground troops are headed toward Syria to help move troops out, and a group of naval vessels headed by the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge is headed to the region to back up troops at the vulnerable moment they are leaving the country, the officials said. The Kearsarge carries hundreds of Marines, helicopters and other aircraft.
"Nothing has changed," one defense official said. "We don’t take orders from Bolton."
It's Yellow Vest Bank Run Saturday in France. Take all of your cash out this morning!
(This is a direct populist attack against the actual financial masters.)
Is French Democracy Dead or Alive, Diana Johnstone (Excellent, thanks Eleni.)Faced with what government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux described as “agitators” and “insurrectionists” who want to “overthrow the government”, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced a new “law to better protect the right to demonstrate”. Its main measure: heavily punish organizers of a demonstration whose time and place have not had official approval.
(This end run will certainly confuse and stymie the dull witted racist, nationalist protesters causing trouble in both countries. How clever!)Germany and France are set to forge a pact aligning their defense, diplomatic and economic policies in an unprecedented "twinning" pact "regarded as a prototype for the future of the European Union," according to The Times' Oliver Moody. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron will sign the "Aachen treaty" later this month which will govern a coordinated diplomatic front as well as joint actions on peacekeeping missions. What's more - areas on both sides of the Franco-German border will be encouraged to establish "Eurodistricts" in which both countries would merge water, electricity and public transport networks.
Berlin and Paris will offer cash to incentivise these cross-border areas, which could involve shared hospitals, joint business schemes or environmental projects. Some officials regard these experiments as a petri dish for the integration of the EU. -The Times
No word on whether France will accept half of Germany's refugees.
Happily Ever After