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Mark Steyn: The death of Mother Russia
The Spectator (U.K.) ^ | 10/22/05 | Mark Steyn

Posted on 10/20/2005 6:18:16 AM PDT by Pokey78

Reader Jack Fulmer sent me the following item, which appeared a century ago — 13 September 1905 — in the Paris edition of the New York Herald:

Holy War Waged
St. Petersburg: The districts of Zangezur and Jebrail are swarming with Tartar bands under the leadership of chiefs, and in some cases accompanied by Tartar police officials. Green banners are carried and a ‘Holy War’ is being proclaimed. All Armenians, without distinction of sex or age are being massacred. Many thousand Tartar horsemen have crossed the Perso-Russian frontier and joined the insurgents. Horrible scenes attended the destruction of the village of Minkind. Three hundred Armenians were massacred and mutilated. The children were thrown to the dogs and the few survivors were forced to embrace Islamism.
Plus ça change, eh? Last week Islamists killed a big bunch of people in Nalchik, the capital of the hitherto more-or-less safe-ish Russian republic of Kabardino-Balkaria. True, in our more sensitive age the Herald Tribune’s current owners, the New York Times, would never dream of headlining such a report ‘Holy War Waged’, though the Muslim insurgents are fighting for a pan-Caucasian Islamic republic from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea.

And in the long run it’s hard to see why they won’t get it, the only question being whether it’s still worth getting. Moscow has reduced Grozny to rubble, yet is further than ever from solving its Chechen problem. Moreover, the sheer blundering thuggery of the Russian approach has no merits other than affording Moscow some short-term sadistic pleasure as it exacerbates the situation. The allegedly seething ‘Arab street’, which the West’s media doom-mongers have been predicting for four years will rise up in fury against the Anglo-American infidels, remains as seething as a cul-de-sac in Pinner on a Wednesday afternoon. But the Russian Federation’s Muslim street is real, and on the boil.

Remember the months before 9/11? The new US President had his first meeting with the Russian President. ‘I looked the man in the eye and found him very straightforward and trustworthy,’ George W. Bush said after two hours with Vladimir Putin. ‘I was able to get a sense of his soul.’ I’m all for speaking softly and carrying a big stick, but that’s way too soft; it’s candlelight-dinner-with-the-glow-reflecting-in-the-wine-glass-just-before-you-ask-her-to-dance-to-‘Moonlight-Becomes-You’ soft. Even at the time, many of us felt like yelling at Bush: Get a grip on yourself, man! Lay off the homoerotic stuff about soulmates! This is a KGB apparatchik you’re making eyes at.

But Putin was broadly supportive — or at least not actively non-supportive — on Afghanistan (a very particular case) and Nato expansion (a fait accompli), and some experts started calling Vlad the most Westernised Russian strongman since Peter the Great and cooing about a Russo-American alliance that would be one of the cornerstones of the post-Cold War world.

It’s not like that today. From China to Central Asia to Ukraine, from its covert efforts to maintain Saddam in power to its more or less unashamed patronage of Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Moscow has been at odds with Washington over every key geopolitical issue, and a few non-key ones, too, culminating in Putin’s tirade to Bush that America was flooding Russia with sub-standard chicken drumsticks and keeping the best ones for herself. It was a poultry complaint but indicative of a retreat into old-school Kremlin paranoia. Putin was sending America’s chickens home to roost. I wonder if Bush took a second look into the soulful depths of Vladimir’s eyes and decided he wasn’t quite so finger-lickin’ good after all.

Russia’s export of ideology was the decisive factor in the history of the last century. It seems to me entirely possible that the implosion of Russia could be the decisive factor in this new century. As Iran’s nuke programme suggests, in many of the geopolitical challenges to America there’s usually a Russian component somewhere in the background.

In fairness to Putin, even if he was ‘very straightforward and trustworthy’, he’s in a wretched position. Think of the feet of clay of Western European politicians unwilling to show leadership on the Continent’s moribund economy and deathbed demography. Russia has all the EU’s problems to the nth degree, and then some. ‘Post-imperial decline’ is manageable; a nation of psychotic lemmings isn’t. As I’ve noted before in this space, Russia is literally dying. From a population peak in 1992 of 148 million, it will be down to below 130 million by 2015 and thereafter dropping to perhaps 50 or 60 million by the end of the century, a third of what it was at the fall of the Soviet Union. It needn’t decline at a consistent rate, of course. But I’d say it’s more likely to be even lower than 50 million than it is to be over 100 million. The longer Russia goes without arresting the death spiral, the harder it is to pull out of it, and when it comes to the future most Russian women are voting with their foetus: 70 per cent of pregnancies are aborted.

A smaller population needn’t necessarily be a problem, and especially not for a state with too much of the citizenry on the payroll. But Russia is facing simultaneously a massive ongoing drain of wealth out of the system. Whether or not Dominic Midgley was correct the other day in his assertion that the émigré oligarchs prefer London to America, I cannot say. But I notice my own peripheral backwater of Montreal has also filled up with Russkies whose impressive riches have been acquired recently and swiftly. It doesn’t help the grim demographic scenario if your economic base is also being systematically eaten away.

Add to that the unprecedented strains on a ramshackle public health system. Russia is the sick man of Europe, and would still look pretty sick if you moved him to Africa. It has the fastest-growing rate of HIV infection in the world. From virtually no official Aids cases at the time Putin took office, in the last five years more Russians have tested positive than in the previous 20 for America. The virus is said to have infected at least 1 per cent of the population, the figure the World Health Organisation considers the tipping point for a sub-Saharan-sized epidemic. So at a time when Russian men already have a life expectancy in the mid-50s — lower than in Bangladesh — they’re about to see Aids cut them down from the other end, killing young men and women of childbearing age, and with them any hope of societal regeneration. By 2010, Aids will be killing between a quarter and three-quarters of a million Russians every year. It will become a nation of babushkas, unable to muster enough young soldiers to secure its borders, enough young businessmen to secure its economy or enough young families to secure its future. True, there are regions that are exceptions to these malign trends, parts of Russia that have healthy fertility rates and low HIV infection. Can you guess which regions they are? They start with a ‘Mu-’ and end with a ‘-slim’.

So the world’s largest country is dying and the only question is how violent its death throes are. Yesterday’s Russia was characterised by Churchill as a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. Today’s has come unwrapped: it’s a crisis in a disaster inside a catastrophe. Most of the big international problems operate within certain geographic constraints: Africa has Aids, the Middle East has Islamists, North Korea has nukes. But Russia’s got the lot: an African-level Aids crisis and an Islamist separatist movement sitting on top of the biggest pile of nukes on the planet. Of course, the nuclear materials are all in ‘secure’ facilities — more secure, one hopes, than the secure public buildings in Nalchik that the Islamists took over with such ease last week.

Russia is the bleakest example on the planet of how we worry about all the wrong things. For 40 years the environmentalists have warned us that the jig was up: there are too many people (see Paul Ehrlich’s comic masterpiece of 1970 The Population Bomb) and too few resources — as the Club of Rome warned in its 1972 landmark study The Limits To Growth, the world will run out of gold by 1981, of mercury by 1985, tin by 1987, zinc by 1990, petroleum by 1992, and copper, lead and gas by 1993. Instead, poor old Russia is awash with resources but fatally short of Russians — and, in the end, warm bodies are the one indispensable resource.

What would you do if you were Putin? What have you got to keep your rotting corpse of a country as some kind of player? You’ve got nuclear know-how — which a lot of ayatollahs and dictators are interested in. You’ve got an empty resource-rich eastern hinterland — which the Chinese are going to wind up with one way or the other. That was the logic, incidentally, behind the sale of Alaska: in the 1850s, Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolaevich, the brother of Alexander II, argued that the Russian empire couldn’t hold its North American territory and that one day either Britain or the United States would simply take it, so why not sell it to them first? The same argument applies today to the 2,000 miles of the Russo–Chinese border. Given that even alcoholic Slavs with a life expectancy of 56 will live to see Vladivostok return to its old name of Haishenwei, Moscow might as well flog it to Beijing instead of just having it snaffled out from under.

That’s the danger for America — that most of what Russia has to trade is likely to be damaging to US interests. In its death throes, it could bequeath the world several new Muslim nations, a nuclear Middle East and a stronger China. In theory, America could do a belated follow-up to the Alaska deal and put in a bid for Siberia. But Russia’s calculation is that sooner or later we’ll be back in a bipolar world and that, in almost any scenario, there’s more advantage in being part of the non-American pole. A Sino–Russian strategic partnership has a certain logic to it, and so, in a darker way, does a Russo–Muslim alliance of convenience. In 1989, with the Warsaw Pact crumbling before his eyes, poor old Mikhail Gorbachev received a helpful bit of advice from the cocky young upstart on the block, the Ayatollah Khomeini: ‘I strongly urge that in breaking down the walls of Marxist fantasies you do not fall into the prison of the West and the Great Satan,’ wrote the pioneer Islamist nutcase. ‘I openly announce that the Islamic Republic of Iran, as the greatest and most powerful base of the Islamic world, can easily help fill up the ideological vacuum of your system.’

In an odd way, that’s what happened everywhere but the Kremlin. As communism retreated, radical Islam seeped into Afghanistan and Indonesia and the Balkans. Crazy guys holed up in Philippine jungles and the tri-border region of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay which would have been ‘Marxist fantasists’ a generation or two back are now Islamists: it’s the ideology du jour. Even the otherwise perplexing enthusiasm of the western Left for the jihad’s misogynist homophobe theocrats is best understood as a latterday variation on the Hitler/Stalin pact. And, despite Gorbachev turning down the offer, it will be Russia’s fate to have large chunks of its turf annexed by the Islamic world.

We are witnessing a remarkable event: the death of a great nation not through war or devastation but through its inability to rouse itself from its own suicidal tendencies. The ‘ideological vacuum’ was mostly filled with a nihilist fatalism. Churchill got it wrong: Russia is a vacuum wrapped in a nullity inside an abyss.


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Russia
KEYWORDS: marksteyn; russia; steyn
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1 posted on 10/20/2005 6:18:18 AM PDT by Pokey78
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To: Howlin; riley1992; Miss Marple; deport; Dane; sinkspur; steve; kattracks; JohnHuang2; ...

Steyn ping!


2 posted on 10/20/2005 6:21:28 AM PDT by Pokey78 (‘FREE [INSERT YOUR FETID TOTALITARIAN BASKET-CASE HERE]’)
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To: Pokey78
Ahhh...

Cofee + Steyn = Great morning.

3 posted on 10/20/2005 6:22:56 AM PDT by SquirrelKing (I'm not mean, you're just a sissy.)
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To: Pokey78
We are witnessing a remarkable event: the death of a great nation not through war or devastation but through its inability to rouse itself from its own suicidal tendencies. The ‘ideological vacuum’ was mostly filled with a nihilist fatalism. Churchill got it wrong: Russia is a vacuum wrapped in a nullity inside an abyss

Russia is mearly leading the charge off the cliff. The EU, and then the rest of the West, will be following along shortly.

4 posted on 10/20/2005 6:27:33 AM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: Pokey78

Wow--this is high-octane stuff. Love it!


5 posted on 10/20/2005 6:27:37 AM PDT by Shalom Israel (How's that answer? Can I be a nominee to SCOTUS? I can give better answers than Ms. Miers...)
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To: Tolik

ping


6 posted on 10/20/2005 6:30:09 AM PDT by King Prout (like flies to wanton boys are trolls to the Mods - they ZOT 'em for their sport.)
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To: SquirrelKing

Leo Tolstoy wrote about the Chechnian problems in the 1800's


7 posted on 10/20/2005 6:31:56 AM PDT by tom paine 2
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To: Pokey78
There used to be a significant number of FReepers who were aggressive Russian nationalists. They would always make claims about how Russia was growing again, getting stronger and more populous, etc.

It's pathetic that a country with such vast natural wealth and such an enormous reserve of brainpower is a complete and total basketcase.

From the Treaty of Vienna until today Russia has had every opportunity imaginable to become a fabulously wealthy, vibrantly successful nation.

It has squandered each and every opportunity.

8 posted on 10/20/2005 6:35:45 AM PDT by wideawake (God bless our brave troops and their Commander-in-Chief)
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To: King Prout

bflr


9 posted on 10/20/2005 6:37:33 AM PDT by Jalapeno
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To: Pokey78

A Latvian friend of mine that served in the Soviet Army once told me that all the peoples the Russians had sucked into their empire hated them and were waiting for a chance at payback.


10 posted on 10/20/2005 6:37:57 AM PDT by claudiustg (Go Bush! Go Sharon!)
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To: wideawake
It's pathetic that a country with such vast natural wealth and such an enormous reserve of brainpower is a complete and total basketcase.

I agree.

I wonder if most of their best and brightest are all over here now. I've worked with a lot of Russians and to a person they've been smart, hard working, and tough. Stubborn as rocks, too, which can cause some problems at work sometimes but their tenacity is more often an asset.

I don't know why their former country is such a mess unless all the sharp and innovative ones have left, or if the system is just so completely hosed up that they can't make a dent if they stay.

LQ

11 posted on 10/20/2005 6:41:47 AM PDT by LizardQueen (The world is not out to get you, except in the sense that the world is out to get everyone.)
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To: Pokey78

Now I am depressed..Steyn gives a somber take on Russia.


12 posted on 10/20/2005 6:44:23 AM PDT by MEG33 (GOD BLESS OUR ARMED FORCES)
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To: Pokey78
True, there are regions that are exceptions to these malign trends, parts of Russia that have healthy fertility rates and low HIV infection. Can you guess which regions they are? They start with a ‘Mu-’ and end with a ‘-slim’.

Sad but true.

13 posted on 10/20/2005 6:49:43 AM PDT by NeoCaveman (the DNC's new slogan "how can we fool em today?")
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To: Pokey78; nuconvert; struwwelpeter; Tailgunner Joe
Are you sure about the mother-thing?

http://www.nwo.nl/nwohome.nsf/pages/NWOP_6GMGX5_Eng

Russia as a bride

7 October 2005
Not mother Russia but 'bride Russia' is a central theme in the work of many twentieth-century Russian writers and thinkers. The political developments that occurred in twentieth-century Russia, gave rise to a tendency to view the home country as an inaccessible bride held captive by the Russian state. This is what Dutch researcher Ellen Rutten contends in her Ph.D. thesis.

From the last Romanov tsar to Putin - all Russian leaders since 1900 have at some time or other been portrayed in the literature as an angry husband who tyrannises poor female Russia. In the majority of cases these images mainly revolve around the role of the Russian intellectual elite, the intelligentsia, who consider themselves to be the bridegroom of that same female Russia. That is what Rutten discovered during her research into the image of Russia in literary, philosophical, publicist and esoteric texts.

Various early twentieth-century writers and thinkers compared the elite's role with respect to Russia and the Russian people to that of a lover who fails to develop a relationship with his female beloved. This was the outcome of an identity crisis that arose in the nineteenth century and which became increasingly more serious during the course of the twentieth century. Rutten reveals how this gender metaphor continued to persist throughout the twentieth century.

Putin as a tyrannical husband

Meanwhile the image of Russia as a bride is a favourite subject for ridicule and parody in modern Russian novels and poems, but also, for example, in recent films and song lyrics. The role of the tyrannical husband is assigned to Russian rulers from Lenin to Putin; and that of the failing lover to the artistic elite from before the revolution or the dissidents of the 1970s.

Rutten's research demonstrates that the sexual dimension of the metaphor in question has become increasingly important during the course of the twentieth century. Popular modern writers introduce Russia as a young woman of flesh and blood. For them confrontations with the state or the intellectual elite are a purely sensual encounter, in which everything revolves around whether or not an orgasm is achieved. Whereas in the case of an early twentieth-century poet, such as Aleksandr Blok, Russia was still mainly portrayed as a silent, exalted female form, Vladimir Sorokin characterises Russia as a heroine whose physical attractiveness and sexual exploits take centre stage.

Ellen Rutten's research was funded by NWO.
14 posted on 10/20/2005 6:50:47 AM PDT by AdmSmith
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To: MEG33

Back in the seventies population reduction was the holy grail. Nobody said anthing about a bunch of third worlders coming to eat our lunch. Funny how we missed that part.


15 posted on 10/20/2005 6:51:34 AM PDT by claudiustg (Go Bush! Go Sharon!)
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To: Pokey78

Thanks, a Steyn top ten. One of his best, ever.


16 posted on 10/20/2005 6:54:34 AM PDT by NCSteve
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To: Pokey78

“‘I looked the man in the eye and found him very straightforward and trustworthy,’ George W. Bush said after two hours with Vladimir Putin. ‘I was able to get a sense of his soul.’”

When I first heard this, I nearly fell out of my chair.

Bush should have followed it up with his famous “Trust me.”

Gads.


17 posted on 10/20/2005 7:00:18 AM PDT by Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: Pokey78
It will become a nation of babushkas, unable to muster enough young soldiers to secure its borders, enough young businessmen to secure its economy or enough young families to secure its future.

This, dear FRiends, is what China is building up it's army to defeat--lots of land and resources for the masses--no navy needed to transport the troops to, just march across the tundra.

18 posted on 10/20/2005 7:00:59 AM PDT by twntaipan (Tagline space for sale or rent.)
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To: Pokey78

Thanks Pokey! A sobering Steyn....... As my old history teacerh used to say, 'time and biology' are on the Islamists side.


19 posted on 10/20/2005 7:03:31 AM PDT by Rummyfan
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To: Pokey78

Thanks Pokey! A sobering Steyn....... As my old history teacher used to say, 'time and biology' are on the Islamists side.


20 posted on 10/20/2005 7:03:43 AM PDT by Rummyfan
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To: Pokey78

lucid but depressing...


21 posted on 10/20/2005 7:04:35 AM PDT by chilepepper (The map is not the territory -- Alfred Korzybski)
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To: LizardQueen

We have several Russian families in my subdivision ... 3-5 children each, some with grandparents at home, and the parents have tech-industry jobs. Aside from one old guy who doesn't speak English and gets drunk in his garage, they're good neighbors.


22 posted on 10/20/2005 7:05:37 AM PDT by Tax-chick ("Neither the depth of despondency nor the height of euphoria tells you how long either will last. ")
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To: Pokey78

BTTT


23 posted on 10/20/2005 7:06:19 AM PDT by Gritty ("Today’s Russia is a crisis wrapped in a disaster inside a catastrophe - Mark Steyn)
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To: NCSteve
It was a poultry complaint but indicative of a retreat into old-school Kremlin paranoia.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

24 posted on 10/20/2005 7:06:28 AM PDT by Tax-chick ("Neither the depth of despondency nor the height of euphoria tells you how long either will last. ")
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To: Pokey78

Many thanks.


25 posted on 10/20/2005 7:07:20 AM PDT by COUNTrecount
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To: wideawake
It's pathetic that a country with such vast natural wealth and such an enormous reserve of brainpower is a complete and total basketcase.

All due to that left turn that Russia took in November 1917.

26 posted on 10/20/2005 7:08:16 AM PDT by bassmaner (Let's take the word "liberal" back from the commies!!)
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To: Tax-chick

Yes, I noticed that. It was positively Shakespearean.


27 posted on 10/20/2005 7:10:18 AM PDT by NCSteve
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To: MEG33

I have been depressed at his forecasts for old European nations (e.g. France, Germany, Spain, Italy). Now I am doubly depressed.


28 posted on 10/20/2005 7:12:15 AM PDT by Tennessean4Bush (An optimist believes we live in the best of all possible worlds, a pessimist fears this is true.)
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To: TR Jeffersonian

ping


29 posted on 10/20/2005 7:13:11 AM PDT by kalee
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To: NCSteve

I wonder how many of our NC public school students would even realize that was a pun? Did you see the article on the latest reading test results?

Imagine not being able to understand Mark Steyn ... what a BORE life would be!


30 posted on 10/20/2005 7:13:36 AM PDT by Tax-chick ("Neither the depth of despondency nor the height of euphoria tells you how long either will last. ")
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To: Pokey78

"That’s the danger for America — that most of what Russia has to trade is likely to be damaging to US interests. In its death throes, it could bequeath the world several new Muslim nations, a nuclear Middle East and a stronger China."

Thanks for the ping, Pokey...that got my day off to a lovely start...NOT! ;)

Cripes. One MORE thing to keep me up nights thinking about, LOL!


31 posted on 10/20/2005 7:15:23 AM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin (Save The Earth. It's The Only Planet With Chocolate.)
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To: Pokey78
Even the otherwise perplexing enthusiasm of the western Left for the jihad’s misogynist homophobe theocrats is best understood as a latterday variation on the Hitler/Stalin pact.
32 posted on 10/20/2005 7:15:51 AM PDT by aculeus
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To: redgolum
Russia is mearly leading the charge off the cliff. The EU, and then the rest of the West, will be following along shortly.

And when they all go off the cliff, who will be there to fill the vacuum? Islamo-fascists. Damn, they're worse than cockroaches.
33 posted on 10/20/2005 7:30:10 AM PDT by Eagle of Liberty (11, 175, 77, 93 - In Memory Always)
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To: tom paine 2

Nothing new under the sun, bro.


34 posted on 10/20/2005 7:32:50 AM PDT by SquirrelKing (I'm not mean, you're just a sissy.)
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To: Tax-chick; NCSteve

*Groan*... could that joke have been any more fowl?


35 posted on 10/20/2005 7:33:24 AM PDT by thoughtomator ("Stare decisis" means every bad decision a court ever made is perpetually binding)
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To: SquirrelKing

And we never learn from history.


36 posted on 10/20/2005 7:39:50 AM PDT by tom paine 2
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To: thoughtomator

:-).


37 posted on 10/20/2005 7:41:37 AM PDT by Tax-chick ("Neither the depth of despondency nor the height of euphoria tells you how long either will last. ")
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To: wideawake
From the Treaty of Vienna until today Russia has had every opportunity imaginable to become a fabulously wealthy, vibrantly successful nation.

Russia is a strange and complex culture which is not much focused on material success as the Western countries are. It is a synthesis of disparate elements - remote Slavic, Germanic and Siberian tribes, Greek Byzantine spirituality, Mongol/Chinese statecraft, the science and technology of Protestant Enlightenment, the extreme radicalism of Western Europe and Orthodox Christian revival. The synthesis was and is being done in the center of Eurasian chaotic landmass.

Von Metternich said: "Russia is never as strong as she appears, and never as weak as she appears."

That is why the great conquerors like Napoleon and Hitler lost their lost everything in attempt to conquer weak Russia, at the same small and weak nations nations like Finland managed to defeat the overwhelming Russian power.

38 posted on 10/20/2005 7:47:33 AM PDT by A. Pole (Lord Palmerston: "Nations had no permanent enemies or allies only permanent interests")
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To: Pokey78

Thanks for the ping.

This is a disturbing article.


39 posted on 10/20/2005 7:48:45 AM PDT by proud American in Canada
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To: wideawake; lizol; Vorthax; Polak z Polski; Grzegorz 246; Lukasz; JoAnka; warsaw44; ...
From the Treaty of Vienna until today Russia has had every opportunity imaginable to become a fabulously wealthy, vibrantly successful nation.

Russia is a strange and complex culture which is not much focused on material success as the Western countries are. It is a synthesis of disparate elements - remote Slavic, Germanic and Siberian tribes, Greek Byzantine spirituality, Mongol/Chinese statecraft, the science and technology of Protestant Enlightenment, the extreme radicalism of Western Europe and Orthodox Christian revival. The synthesis was and is being done in the center of Eurasian chaotic landmass. This being done with centralized government and wild anarchy and freedom outside of the center. Russia absorbed countless tribes and nationalities while preserving their languages and virtual autonomy.

Von Metternich said: "Russia is never as strong as she appears, and never as weak as she appears."

That is why the great conquerors like Napoleon and Hitler lost their lost everything in attempt to conquer weak Russia, at the same small and weak nations nations like Finland managed to defeat the overwhelming Russian power.

40 posted on 10/20/2005 8:09:20 AM PDT by A. Pole (Lord Palmerston: "Nations had no permanent enemies or allies only permanent interests")
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To: Pokey78

I don't know if he's right about all of it, but it is a safe bet that he's right about a lot of it. Kinda scary, that.


41 posted on 10/20/2005 8:15:08 AM PDT by Ramius (Buy blades for war fighters: freeper.the-hobbit-hole.net --> 900 knives and counting!)
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To: Destro

Pretty tough stuff re: Mother Russia.


42 posted on 10/20/2005 8:19:00 AM PDT by Antoninus (The greatest gifts parents can give their children are siblings.)
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To: Pokey78

"Plus ça change, eh? Last week Islamists killed a big bunch of people in Nalchik, the capital of the hitherto more-or-less safe-ish Russian republic of Kabardino-Balkaria. "

*****
I'm still amazed how LITTLE coverage this got. Many thanks for the pokey-ping!


43 posted on 10/20/2005 8:21:05 AM PDT by timsbella (Mark Steyn for Prime Minister of Canada!)
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To: Tennessean4Bush

"Now I am doubly depressed.”

You need immediate first aid. Treat yourself to your favorite ice cream, or cake, or both. You will feel all better. At least I do.


44 posted on 10/20/2005 8:36:57 AM PDT by Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: Pokey78

read later


45 posted on 10/20/2005 8:39:33 AM PDT by don-o (Don't be a Freeploader. Do the right thing. Become a Monthly Donor!)
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To: thoughtomator
*Groan*... could that joke have been any more fowl?

At least he is not beating his breast and winging it!

Mmmm...time for lunch...

46 posted on 10/20/2005 8:48:53 AM PDT by Freedom_Fighter_2001 (When money is no object - it's your money they're talking about)
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To: Pokey78; ValenB4; anonymoussierra; zagor-te-nej; Freelance Warrior; kedr; Sober 4 Today; ...
Ahhh lack of perspective again.

Last week Islamists killed a big bunch of people in Nalchik, the capital of the hitherto more-or-less safe-ish Russian republic of Kabardino-Balkaria.

If he means by that a dozen (Muslim) civilians and two dozen police in exchange for almost a hundred insurgents (who had tactical numeric advantage and operational surprise) killed and two dozen captured. Any rational analysis (and there usually is none from the West) would see this as not a great victory for the "insurgents", "rebels", "militants", "discontent choir boys" but a massive failure, one in a long list of failures. Their mistake was attacking military and police stations and not going after soft kiddies.

47 posted on 10/20/2005 9:10:56 AM PDT by jb6 (The Atheist/Pagan mind, a quandary wrapped in egoism and served with a side order of self importance)
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To: NCSteve; jb6
There are so many errors in Steyn's article I don't know where to start, and so I will just list a couple and let others add to the list. I'm not saying Russia doesn't have problems, but the author doesn't have a clue.

Firstly, Russian men do not live to 56, which is an exaggeration on Steyn's part. It did drop to 58 at one time, but now is back over 60.

Secondly, while Russia did have a problem with abortions at one time, abortion has been strictly restriced by law to the first 12 weeks.
48 posted on 10/20/2005 9:13:45 AM PDT by GarySpFc (Sneakypete, De Oppresso Liber)
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To: Pokey78
And in the long run it’s hard to see why they won’t get it, the only question being whether it’s still worth getting. Moscow has reduced Grozny to rubble, yet is further than ever from solving its Chechen problem.

Again not true. The West's attention span is that of a 30 second commercial but guerrilla wars last decades. As far as this goes, most of the fighting against the Jihaders are now Chechen militia that have figured out independence wasn't worth it. As for the spill overs (never mind that about 40% of the population in the area is Orthodox Christian and Jewish, none of the attacks, not even the Ossessian-Ingushi war of 1993 were able to spark a wide ranging conflict and they won't.

49 posted on 10/20/2005 9:13:46 AM PDT by jb6 (The Atheist/Pagan mind, a quandary wrapped in egoism and served with a side order of self importance)
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To: Pokey78
It was a poultry complaint but indicative of a retreat into old-school Kremlin paranoia. Putin was sending America’s chickens home to roost.

No, they were building a case for tariffs in support of their own poultry industry....something we should be doing more of ourselves, as our industries leave this nation in droves.

50 posted on 10/20/2005 9:15:49 AM PDT by jb6 (The Atheist/Pagan mind, a quandary wrapped in egoism and served with a side order of self importance)
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