I’ve said many times that 8/8/08 (the date that will mark Russia’s major offensive into Georgia) ranks with 9/11/01 (al Qaeda’s attack on the homeland) and 8/2/90 (Iraq’s attack on Kuwait) as major historical dates. They do not mark the starts of wars against civilization, or even new Cold Wars. Rather, they mark inflection points in strategic history where one set of concerns require attention, and others fall away.
For instance, old enemies Turkey and Armenia have normalized relationships. Â Armenia is an ally of both Iran and Russia, but also a neighbor to Azerbaijan (where Caspian energy is extracted to Europe) and Georgia. Russia’s invasion of Georgia reshuffled the deck. Â Now it makes sense for Turkey and Armenia to come close together.
FM: Armenia, Turkey ready to normalize ties_English_Xinhua
MOSCOW, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) — Armenian and Turkish top diplomats have expressed will to normalize bilateral relations that were damned by “massacres” allegations in the first half of last century, according to reports reaching here on Friday.
Â Â Â Â Armenian Foreign Ministers Edvard Nalbandyan and his Turkish counterpart Ali Babacan expressed determination to full-fledged normalization of bilateral relations during their two-hour talks late on Saturday in Yerevan, Itar-Tass said.
Â Â Â Â Nalbandyan confirmed Armenia’s readiness to establish relations with Turkey without any preconditions, considering Turkish President Abdullah Gul’s visit earlier that day a serious impulse in this direction.
Â Â Â Â The two diplomats also discussed Turkey’s initiative to create a platform for the stability and security in the Caucasus, Itar-Tass reported.
Â Â Â Â Gul held talks with his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sarkisian in Yerevan during his first visit to the Caucasus state, which was widely seen as an opportunity to help thaw the frozen ties between the two countries.
Likewise, there are now leaks about how scuttling the shuttle may give Russia a monopoly on spaceflights. Â Will this mean that we keep the shuttle? Â Or (much better) accelerate aerospace cooperation with China, which also conducts manned spaceflights?
The trends from after 8/8/08 are much different from those before. Â We live in a redirected world.
Update: Another sign: U.S. Backs Off Civliian Nuclear Pact with Russia