Turkish fighters shot down a Russian attack aircraft over Syria, after accusations that it invaded Turkish air space (which Russia denies). The two pilots ejected but were reportedly killed by gunfire from the ground as they parachuted. A Russian marine on a helicopter rescue mission was also shot.
Vladimir Putin called this a “stab in the back” and said Turkey will face “significant consequences.” President Obama defended Turkey’s right to defend its air space.
As this unfolds, keep in mind that Turkey belongs to NATO, and, by treaty, an attack on one NATO member is treated as an attack on them all.
UPDATE: Russia is bombing the area of Syria where the plane came down, hitting both Al Qaeda and Turkmen (Syria’s ethnic Turks) anti-Assad insurgents. Russia says one of its pilots is alive, though the Turkmen claim to have killed them both.
The Obama administration has indignantly rejected suggestions that the United States favor Christians and other persecuted religious minorities among the Syrian refugees. But think tanker Kyle Shideler gives evidence that there is already a religious test, one that is stacked against Christians. He documents systematic discrimination against Christian refugees. [Read more…]
The United States is flirting with dynastic politics in choosing between another Bush and another Clinton. Now Canada has gone ahead and chosen the son of Pierre Trudeau, prime minister in the 1970s and 1980s, to be their new prime minister. Justin Trudeau and his liberal party defeated incumbent Stephen Harper and his conservatives.
You Canadian readers, please tell us what this means. How much further to the left will this take Canada? What were the issues and what new policies do you expect from Trudeau II?
Russia is doing what many people hoped the United States would do. It has gone into Syria and is bombing ISIS, reportedly wiping out its command center. True, Vladimir Putin is supporting the Syrian government, which we don’t approve of, against its various factions of rebels. He is also presenting Russia as the defender of humane values against the evils of terrorism. But this is surely good news for the United States. Let Russia get entangled in another mideast war. And if Russia stops ISIS, that would be good news for everyone. [Read more…]