So what’s up with

everyone calling out Russian President Dmitry Medvedev? On the Sunday talk shows, the comments of Secretary Rice were much more pointed toward Medvedev than other other figure. Other Russian figures come across as cogs in the Russian system, but not Dmitry. Even Robert Gates went out of his way to say that relations between Medvedev and Putin must be much more ‘complicated’ than everyone thought.

Old Site Closing Down

Because its service decreased steadily over the years, Dreamhost’s one-click wordpress is more powerful, and I don’t feel like the extra money, the original tdaxp blog will be shut down at the end of the month.

I believe everything is moved over to tdaxp.com, so this should not impair your blog-reading experience. Still, if anything does go wrong, just leave a comment and I will fix it as fast as possible!

Germany Supports Georgian NATO Membership

Germany (one of the original opponents of Georgia’s membership in NATO) has reversed course as the extent of Russian aggression has revealed itself.

AFP: Georgia ‘will join NATO’: Merkel
TBILISI (AFP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday assured Georgia would join NATO as she strongly backed the ex-Soviet republic’s President Mikheil Saakashvili in his conflict with Russia.

“Georgia will become a member of NATO if it wants to — and it does want to,” she told reporters before talks with Saakashvili in Tbilisi.

It was one of the strongest statements yet of support for Georgia’s NATO membership bid, which is fiercely opposed by Russia.

“We are on a clear road towards NATO membership (for Georgia),” she added at a later news conference.

On August 12, German Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung had said the conflict in the Caucusus had changed nothing with regard to Georgia’s chances of joining the NATO military alliance.

At the last NATO summit in Bucharest in April, leaders agreed that Georgia and Ukraine should join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization eventually, but neither nation was given candidate status and no timetables were set.

The United States is strongly in favour of Georgia joining NATO, but misgivings from France and Germany prevented Tbilisi being awarded full candidate status in Bucharest.

Russia is a state in the Gap, a Central Asian dictatorship fundamentally similar to the rest of the Afro-Islamic Gap. and so it is wise for the Old Core (for whom any struggle with Russia is a fight of discipline) and the New Core (for whom a struggle with Russia may be a fight for survival) to use NATO as a “firewall,” preventing the worst exports of Russia from reaching the New Core.

France and Freedom from Energy-Exporters

Razib sums up France’s power situation (very, very good) better than I can, so his thoughts get priority:

Gene Expression: France and nuclear power
France Reaffirms Its Faith in Future of Nuclear Power:

Nuclear power provides 77 percent of France’s electricity, according to the government, and relatively few public doubts are expressed in a country with little coal, oil or natural gas.

France generates half of its own total energy, up from 23 percent in 1973, despite increased consumption.

Electrical power generation accounts for only 10 percent of France’s greenhouse gases, compared with an average of 40 percent in other industrialized countries, according to EDF.

There is No Free Lunch, and life is about trade offs. Those who live in the American Pacific Northwest know this well; hydroelectric power is great and low risk, and results in cheap electricity which helps drive high tech industry such as aerospace and electronics. But, there are ecological downsides.

Well said.

Energy-dependence on unstable gap countries (Saudi Arabia, Iran, Russia, etc) is fundamentally bad not because it “funds terrorism” or “warms the globe” or whatever, but because it limits the freedom of action of market-driven economies. The energy-exporters are essentially parasitic states, that limit the ability of pro-growth states to naturally develop their economies.

Nuclear, wind, solar, hydroelectric, and other domestic and renewable sources of fuel are very important for us. France is a great example.

Little Denmark is too.

Ukraine Offers Another Clip

I mentioned before that the agree to put Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) is essentially cocking a gun in front of Russia. Against a large nuclear power, ABM is an offensive weapon. A country like Russia can easily overwhelm any ABM system by simply throwing more missile against it. However, assuming you can knock out 90%-99% of a country’s nuclear missile capacity in a first strike, ABM is a sensible method of making sure that the remaining 1%-10% doesn’t get through.

Like cocking a gun in plain view of a person you’re having a heated argument with, the US-Polish missile deal is non-violent n itself and quite violent in its possibilities.

It’s a great countermeasure. This is, too:

Ukraine offers satellite defence co-operation with Europe and US – Telegraph
The proposal, made amid growing outrage among Russia’s neighbours over its military campaign in Georgia, could see Ukraine added to Moscow’s nuclear hitlist. A Russian general declared Poland a target for its arsenal after Warsaw signed a deal with Washington to host interceptor missiles for America’s anti-nuclear shield.

The move came as the Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, signed a cease-fire deal that sets the stage for a Russian troop withdrawal after more than a week of warfare with its neighbour Georgia.

The deal calls for both Russian and Georgian forces to pull back to positions they held before fighting erupted on August 8. As of last night, though, there was little apparent evidence of a Russian pull-out from the Georgian town of Gori, which Russian tanks and troops took last weekend. Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, insisted a broader withdrawal would be contingent on further security measures.

Just hours before Mr Medvedev put his signature to the ceasefire deal, Russian forces blew up a Georgian railway bridge on the main line west of the capital, Tbilisi, an act that critics interpreted as a malacious attempt to cripple the country’s infrastructure. Moscow at first issued a denial, but television footage shot by the Reuters news agency clearly showed the bridge’s twisted remains.

Ukraine said it was ready to give both Europe and America access to its missile warning systems after Russia earlier annulled a 1992 cooperation agreement involving two satellite tracking stations. Previously, the stations were part of Russia’s early-warning system for missiles coming from Europe.

“The fact that Ukraine is no longer a party to the 1992 agreement allows it to launch active cooperation with European countries to integrate its information,” a statement from the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said.

The diplomatic measures being taken now are a down-payment for the price Russia will pay for its aggression. Interstate war must not be tolerated as a method of diplomacy. Vladimir Putin and those who might model him must learn this lesson as surely as Saddam Hussein did.