Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Iran is child's play

Yes, you read that right. Iran getting a low-yield nuke or a dozen isn't the real problem our long range thinkers should be investing 51% of their collective grey matter. Russia is.

Remember how the election of '92 doesn't seem that long ago? 1992? Well, that was 15 years ago. 15 years from now is 2022. Keep that date in mind. Half that time, i.e. 2000 seems even closer (unless you voted for Gore). That jump forward is 2015. Store that.
...just as the export of Russia’s ideology was the biggest destabilizing factor in the last century, so the implosion of that ideology could be one of the biggest in this century. That’s to say, what’s left of the Soviet Union has hit the apocalyptic jackpot: the Middle East has Islamists, Africa has Aids and North Korea has nukes, but only Russia has the lot – a disease-riddled Slav population and a fast growing Muslim population jostling atop a colossal nuclear arsenal.
Yep, you read it right too. It gets better.
There are ten million people in Moscow. Do you know how many of them are Muslim? Two and a half million. Or about a quarter of the population. The ethnic Russians are older; the Muslims are younger. The ethnic Russians are already in net population decline; the Muslim population in the country has increased by 40% in the last 15 years. Seven out of ten Russian pregnancies (according to some surveys) are aborted; in some Muslim communities, the fertility rate is ten babies per woman. Russian men have record rates of heart disease, liver disease, drug addiction and Aids; Muslims are the only guys in the country who aren’t face down in the vodka.

Faced with these trends, most experts extrapolate: thus, it’s generally accepted that by mid-century the Russian Federation will be majority Muslim. But you don’t really need to extrapolate when the future’s already checking in at reception. The Toronto Star (which is Canada’s biggest-selling newspaper and impeccably liberal) recently noted that by 2015 Muslims will make up a majority of Russia’s army.

Mark Steyn also manages to just blow the Iraq Surrender Group's efforts out of the water from an angel (there are so many) I had not considered.
Which brings me, alas, to the Iraq Study Group. This silly shallow report, of which James Baker, Lee Hamilton and the rest should be ashamed, betrays no understanding of how fast events are moving. It falls back on the usual multilateral mood music. It wants Iraq, Iran, Syria, Israel and everything else to be mediated by the transnational jet set – the Big Five at the UN, the EU, the Arab League. Just for starters, look at the permanent members of the Security Council: America, Britain, France, Russia, China. What’s the old line on those fellows? The World War Two victory parade preserved in aspic? If only. By 2050, Russia will be the umpteenth Muslim nuclear power, but the first with a permanent seat on the UNSC. Or maybe the second, if France gets there first. And, judging from London literary offerings like George Walden’s Time To Emigrate?, Britain might not be far behind. But, as I said above, forget the extrapolations: already, domestic Muslim constituencies are an important factor in the foreign policy thinking of three out of the big five. Are Baker and Hamilton even aware of that?

As I always say, there is no “stability”. We thought we’d “contained” Soviet Communism. Instead, the social pathologies that took hold during the Russian people’s half-century of “containment” will have profound consequences for us and the rest of the world long after the last Commie is dead and buried.
We have a very interesting century to grow old in - if we do.

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