Best Of The Web
“As Europe moved toward war in the summer of 1914, two battleships were being built for the Ottoman Empire in British shipyards. Worried about signs of an Ottoman-German alliance, Winston Churchill, then first lord of the admiralty, seized the ships. Germany then sent two ships of its own as replacements. By October, the Ottomans were at war with the Allies.
Today’s crisis with Turkey over Russian weapons could be as consequential. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s decision to import the S-400 antiaircraft system, designed to shoot down the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s airplanes, is a fundamental challenge to the West. Mr. Erdogan’s move to drill for natural gas in Cyprus’s waters has also driven a wedge between Turkey and its erstwhile allies, with the European Union now looking to cut funding to Turkey.
Ankara is likely to lose access to the coveted American-made F-35 aircraft which, like the British ships in 1914, have been paid for but not delivered. The Trump administration is also required by law to impose economic sanctions on Turkey in response to its Russian weapons purchase, though it can choose from options ranging in severity. The Turkish economy is already shrinking, with inflation at nearly 16% and unemployment at 14%. Even mild sanctions could spook investors and send the lira and stock market into free fall.
Why would Mr. Erdogan take such a risk? From Turkey’s point of view, the country isn’t so much leaving the West as reacting to Western abandonment. The U.S., Turks note, hasn’t followed up with commitments to sell Turkey the Patriot antiaircraft system, and has armed and supported Syrian Kurdish groups Ankara regards as hostile and terrorist. Moreover, the EU has made plain that Turkish membership is an impossible dream, and as Mr. Erdogan leads Turkey in a more Islamist direction, even the pretense of a serious accession negotiation becomes increasingly difficult to keep up.”
JJ Editor's Picks
"The United States and Russia are entering a new arms race, and the costs aren’t just monetary. On August 8, Russian civilians around the remote village of Nyonoksa found themselves downwind of a military nuclear propulsion experiment gone wrong..."
"I don't know about you, but for me "Having more people run for president and effectively doubling the number of primary contests" is not up there with "Michigan beating Notre Dame in the playoffs" and "A new deluxe edition of Barbara Bush's..."
"A growing body of research suggests that, rather than posing a threat to individual wellbeing, adopting a more sustainable lifestyle represents a pathway to a more satisfied life. Numerous studies have found that people who purchase green..."
"What should a parent do when a 2-year-old shrieks inconsolably because her string cheese wrapper tore “the wrong way”? Increasingly, the answer is “snap a photo, add a snarky caption and upload it to Instagram.” Publicly laughing at your..."
"The yield curve’s inverted! The yield curve’s inverted! That was the news I awoke to last Wednesday on CNBC as the 10 year Treasury note yield dipped below the 2 year yield for the first time since 2007. That’s the sign everyone has been waiting..."
"Even a casual observer of the entertainment industry knows that Hollywood is hooked on established intellectual property at the expense of original ideas and awash in more money than it knows how to sensibly spend. But three stories about the..."
"One of the formative texts of the Safed myth, which first portrayed the town as a unique place and which was responsible for spreading word of it all around the Jewish world, is the four letters that Rabbi Solomon Shlumil of Dreznitz sent, in..."
"There are lots of reasons to patent something. The most obvious one is that you’ve come up with a brilliant invention, and you want to protect your idea so that nobody can steal it from you. But that’s just the tip of the patent strategy iceberg..."