Thursday, August 28, 2008

Wither Russia

"The fact that all Russian politicians are clever. The stupid ones are all dead. By contrast, America in its complacency promotes dullards. A deadly miscommunication arises from this asymmetry. The Russians cannot believe that the Americans are as stupid as they look, and conclude that Washington wants to destroy them. ... These perceptions are dangerous because they do not stem from propaganda, but from a difference in existential vantage point. Russia is fighting for its survival, against a catastrophic decline in its population and the likelihood of a Muslim majority by mid-century. ... America's interest in Georgia, the Russians believe, has nothing more to do with promoting democracy than its support for the gangsters to whom it handed the Serbian province of Kosovo in February. ... Chess players think in terms of the interaction of pieces: everything on the periphery combines to control the center of the board and prepare an eventual attack against the opponent's king. The Russians simply cannot absorb the fact that America has no strategic intentions: it simply adds up the value of the individual pieces on the board. It is as stupid as that. ... Dull people know that clever people are cleverer than they are, but they do not know why. The nekulturny (uncultured) Colonel Ralph Peters, a former US military intelligence analyst, is impressed by the tactical success of Russian arms in Georgia, but cannot fathom the end-game to which these tactics contribute. ... If the UN demographers are correct, Russia's adult population will fall from about 90 million today to only 20 million by the end of the century. ... Russia, in other words, has passed the point of no return in terms of fertility. ... Some demographers, predict a Muslim majority in Russia by 2040, and by mid-century at the latest. ... The West has two choices: draw a line in the sand around the Ukraine, or trade it to the Russians for something more important. ... The West should do its best to pretend that the 'Orange' revolution of 2004 and 2005 never happened, and secure Russia's assistance in the Iranian nuclear issue as well as energy security in return for an understanding of Russia's existential requirements in the near abroad. Anyone who thinks this sounds cyncial should spend a week in Kiev. ... Russia has more to fear from a nuclear-armed Iran than the [US]. ... One irony of the present crisis is that Washington's neo-conservatives, by demanding a tough stance against Russia, may have harmed Israel's security interests more profoundly than any of Israel's detractors in American politics. ... If America turns Russia into a strategic adversary, the probability of Israel's survival will drop by a big notch", my emphasis, Spengler at, 18 August 2008.

Spengler cites the same phrases in Hanson's and Peter's work I have. I always believed the USSR's breakup in part was to take 65 million Moslems out of the Russian body politic and delay the time when the USSR would have a Moslem majority. Look at our present predicament: we may face a nuclear-armed Iran in 1-5 years. Not a pretty prospect. But down the road is a less appetizing one: a nuclear-armed Russia, with 6,500 "deliverables" and a Moslem majority! Instead of Iran leading the charge for a caliphate, Russia will. I cannot believe Czar Vladimir the Great (VTG) is unaware of this. I think VTG is a smart guy, even if he doesn't have even one Ivy League degree, unlike Bush who has two.

No comments: