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Turkey: just in time for Christmas
Now that we’ve all emerged from our food comas and the following day’s prelude to The Purge because what else is Black Friday but capitalism giving vent to consumerism in an annual orgy of buying each other shit we don’t need, it’s time to talk Turkey.
With a “T.”
Because NATO leaders are meeting in London, and the question on everyone’s mind besides what it would take to field a battalion of narwhal tusk wielding Polish commandos to fight terrorists is this: what the fuck to do about Ankara?
That’s the capital of Turkey, not the other half of your vegan cousin’s conscious coupling.
And even though it sounds like an influencer that wants to sell you acai bowls filled with locally sourced kale, Ankara’s a problem for the Alliance.
That’s because Erdogan’s buying Russian, which means now he’s due for some sanctions, something the White House doesn’t want to put in place. That’s for two reasons: 1) Trump thinks a “sanction” is something you pay a hooker hush money not to talk about, and 2) Washington still needs Ankara for reasons.
The stakes include access to several key U.S. and NATO sites. Incirlik Air Base hosts American B-61 nuclear gravity bombs, and is a friendly jumping-off point into the Middle East. Turkey also controls the Bosporus, which under a 1936 agreement means it controls naval access to and from the Black Sea.
Which makes the letter Sens. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) sent to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday a problem.
I know what you’re thinking: Who the hell writes letters anymore? Thought that stopped happening some time after Franklin lost his bid to make a turkey our national bird and we stopped thinking it was cool to own people as property.
And you’re probably also wondering why the senators are incensed.
It’s because of missiles.
“It is time you applied the law. Failure to do so is sending a terrible signal to other countries that they can flout U.S. laws without consequence.”
“You have previously acknowledged that Turkey's purchase of the Russian S-400 air defense system triggers U.S. sanctions. Specifically, you said, ‘the law requires that there be sanctions. And I’m confident that we will comply with the law, and President Trump will comply with the law.’ You were right when you made that statement.”
Buying the S-400s was in response to the US not wanting to transfer more sensitive information about its Patriot missile system in a planned sale that fell through, both in 2013 and 2017.
And in 2017, then-president Obama signed the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, or CAATSA. Which would sanction Turkey for buying boom sticks from the Russians.
And I know: Obama wasn’t president in 2017.
Trump may not know that, because he blames this on America’s favorite Kenyan.
"I don't blame Turkey because there are a lot of circumstances and a lot of ... problems that occurred during the Obama administration. This dates back to the Obama administration, which was a disaster."
And then offered some insight into defense procurement.
"It's a tough situation. They're getting the S-400 and our statues and everything else — as you do that, you just can't order this equipment. And generally speaking, you can't order equipment period."
Do not let this man near a Costco is what I’m saying.
Fortunately, there appear to be some adults left in the room who think they can fix all this.
"There is room for Turkey to come back to the table. They know that to make this work they need to either destroy, return, or somehow get rid of the S-400. At the same time, we certainly have not closed the door on their ability to acquire the Patriot battery, which does address their air defense needs.”
That’s the usual unnamed state department official prepping a book deal.
And since the Turks bought from Moscow, they got themselves booted out of the F-35 program. Which means Ankara is taking its defense shopping list to the Kremlin. Given how critical Turkey is to the region, that’s a problem for the Americans. And the rest of NATO.
Not a problem for Putin, though.
He’s getting everything he wants this Christmas.
Trump dumps truce turkey on Thanksgiving
The president flew into Afghanistan for Thanksgiving, and because he couldn’t help himself, announced the start of more talks with the Taliban.
“We’re meeting with them. And we’re saying it has to be a cease-fire. And they don’t want to do a cease-fire, but now they do want to do a cease-fire, I believe ... and we’ll see what happens.”
The Taliban reacted thusly.
"It is way too early to talk about the resumption of talks for now. We will give our official reaction later.”
That’s Taliban spox Zabihullah Mujahid to AFP via WhatsApp.
Because the Taliban are down with the kids.
Sure, you’re cool, but you’re not foiled a terror attack with a narwhal tusk cool
Because that’s the dream right there.
This is not a national security story.
This is a badass motherfucker story.
Lukasz was cleaning glasses in the basement of Fishmonger’s Hall when he heard screams coming from upstairs on Friday.
Convicted terrorist Usman Khan, 28, had just fatally stabbed Cambridge graduates Saskia Jones, 23, and Jack Merritt, 25.
Instead of fleeing the danger, Lukasz, a trained first aider, ran upstairs to confront Khan.
He pulled a huge narwhal tusk from the wall before lunging at the terrorist, his boss Toby Williamson revealed this morning.
Duncan Hunter pleading guilty for his kids
Congressman and what happens when Under Armour comes to life Duncan Hunter is pleading guilty because he’s worried what his corruption trial could do to his children.
"I think it would be really tough for them. It's hard enough being the kids of a public figure. I think it's time for them to live life outside the spotlight."
Probably should have thought about that spotlight back when he was using over a quarter million dollars in campaign funds to, among other things, fund a whole bunch of extramarital affairs.
And yes, he makes the cut because he’s a veteran and whatnot and that makes him relevant.
But what did it say on the coffee cups?
If you’re a churchgoing Christian in Burkina Faso, you’re probably worried less about the war on Christmas, and more about the war on Christians. Because Islamic insurgents lit up a church and killed 14 people in the eastern part of the country.
Most insurgent attacks are attributed to the Group to Support Islam and Muslims (JNIM) which has sworn allegiance to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, and to Ansar ul Islam, which emerged near the Mali border in December 2016. Since May, Islamic State has attributed insurgent activities in the Mali-Burkina Faso-Niger tri-border area to its West Africa Province affiliate, rather than to what was previously known as Islamic State in the Greater Sahara.
Because the affiliate you’re worried about doesn’t serve coffee.
Spicer now advising the Naval Academy
Not gonna lie, this is just here as an excuse to show Spicer dancing.
Because former White House press secretary and flamenco fiend Sean Spicer is now a member of the U.S. Naval Academy’s Board of Visitors, which reviews Navy stuff.
And now to the dancing.
Because I'll take any excuse to show Sean Spicer dancing his ass off.