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The Bear Goes Walkabout
National Review / Steyn Online ^ | 12/18/06 | Mark Steyn

Posted on 02/08/2007 6:29:29 PM PST by Dajjal

THE BEAR GOES WALKABOUT

by Mark Steyn

You gotta love these alternative theories for the murder of Alexander Litvinenko, the late “Russian dissident” (and there’s a phrase one hadn’t expected to make a comeback quite so soon). Relax, say the Kremlinologists (and there’s another), it wasn’t Putin who had the guy whacked. It was rogue elements within the state apparatus who gained access to supposedly secure facilities and then contaminated five international jets and dozens of joints all over London in order to pull off the world’s first radiological assassination.

Oh, well, that’s okay then. Nothing to worry about.

The late Mr Litvinenko, on the other hand, added to the story some last-minute wrinkles of his own. On his deathbed, the former KGB agent converted to Islam and asked that one day his corpse be reburied in a peaceful and independent Chechnya.

Now what’s that about? Well, like many in Russian political and media circles – including his fellow murder victim Anna Politkovskaya – Litvinenko had become intrigued by the 1999 Moscow apartment-house attacks that killed 300 people and provided the pretext for the Second Chechen War: Were they, in fact, a set-up intended to advance the career of Vladimir Putin? In other words, his entire presidency is founded on a lie. One can understand why a belief in such a conspiracy might destroy one’s faith in one’s country, and even that it might lead one to embrace Chechen separatist leaders, as Litvinenko did. But it doesn’t entirely explain the Muslim conversion business.

I say somewhere or other in my new book 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. The Litvinenko murder is only the first of many stories in which Islam, nuclear materials and Russian decline will intersect in novel ways.

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.

Hmm. That’ll add an interesting dimension to the Chechen campaign. Say what you like about Russia but it doesn’t want for plot twists. It is, in that sense, a textbook example of Donald Rumsfeld’s “known unknowns”: a thing we know we don’t know. What will happen in Russia? A remorseless evolution into a majority Muslim state? Bosnian-style civil war? The secession of a dozen or so of Russia’s 89 federal regions? A Muslim military coup? Or a panicky attempt to arrest decline by selling off your few remaining assets, including national resources to the Chinese and nukes to anyone who wants them? None of us knows, but we should know enough to know we don’t know. The Russia of 15 years ago is already ancient history.

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.

National Review, December 18th 2006


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: cccp; commies; islam; jihad; marksteyn; mohammedans; moscow; moslems; nukes; putin; reds; religionofpeace; rop; russia; steyn; un; unitednations; wot
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1 posted on 02/08/2007 6:29:29 PM PST by Dajjal
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To: Pyro7480; AdmSmith; Aquinasfan; Siobhan; Maeve; SJackson; Dark Skies; JohnHuang2; HAL9000; ...
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 ping

2 posted on 02/08/2007 6:30:59 PM PST by Dajjal (See my FR homepage for an essay about Ahmadinejad.)
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To: Dajjal
If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated.
--Our Lady of Fatima, July 13, 1917, to the three children Francisco, Jacinta and Lucia


It is often assumed that Our Lady was referring only to materialistic, atheistic Communism. But she herself makes no such qualification. She simply predicts that Russia will be the source of errors and destruction.
3 posted on 02/08/2007 6:34:36 PM PST by Dajjal (See my FR homepage for an essay about Ahmadinejad.)
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To: Dajjal

Stellar Steyn


4 posted on 02/08/2007 6:36:25 PM PST by dennisw (What one man can do another can do -- "The Edge")
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To: dennisw

Scary Steyn.


5 posted on 02/08/2007 6:40:46 PM PST by AZLiberty (Tag to let -- 50 cents.)
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To: Dajjal
"The Russia of 15 years ago is already ancient history."

Truer than any of us realize.

6 posted on 02/08/2007 6:47:29 PM PST by fat city (What part of cognitive dissonance don't you understand?)
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To: Dajjal

Not looking good for our children and grandchildren


7 posted on 02/08/2007 6:51:40 PM PST by blasater1960 ( Ishmaelites...Still a wild-ass of a people....)
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To: AZLiberty

Very creepy. We think about Western Europe being taken over by Muslims. Same is happening to Russia


8 posted on 02/08/2007 6:54:07 PM PST by dennisw (What one man can do another can do -- "The Edge")
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To: Dajjal

Outstanding post. Outstanding Steyn. Thanks.


9 posted on 02/08/2007 6:57:49 PM PST by PGalt
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To: Blogger; Cvengr

Blogger: Thanks for the heads-up about this article.


10 posted on 02/08/2007 6:58:26 PM PST by Dajjal (See my FR homepage for an essay about Ahmadinejad.)
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To: dennisw

Thanks for your posts on jihadwatch.org. Great site.


11 posted on 02/08/2007 6:58:49 PM PST by PGalt
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To: blasater1960
"Not looking good for our children and grandchildren"

Yup and I can't even get my 38 year old son interested.

12 posted on 02/08/2007 7:03:09 PM PST by blam
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To: Dajjal

Steyn treats Russia only briefly in his book, but it's scary stuff. As is this article. Definitely a must read.


13 posted on 02/08/2007 7:04:45 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Francisco; Jacinta; fatima

Russia-will-spread-her-errors ping


14 posted on 02/08/2007 7:07:18 PM PST by Dajjal (See my FR homepage for an essay about Ahmadinejad.)
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To: patton; theDentist; neverdem
Sobering bump.

I had (Literally!) never considered this danger.

China? Yes. For a lone time.

But a "homegrown" Muslim danger from within? Had NOT thought it was this close.
15 posted on 02/08/2007 7:08:20 PM PST by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only donate monthly, but Hillary's ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: PGalt

Thanks. My posts are brief compared to the more erudite. Do you post there? There are many Galts on the internet


16 posted on 02/08/2007 7:19:08 PM PST by dennisw (What one man can do another can do -- "The Edge")
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To: dennisw

I don't post there (haven't signed up) but have been reading it a lot the last 4-6 months.


17 posted on 02/08/2007 7:21:03 PM PST by PGalt
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To: Dajjal

We are literally "aborting" our future and our children's future - Roe v. Wade could be the epithat for the West, image a single court ruling has led to our decline, how many mathematicians, scientists, soldiers and statesman have vanished in the blink of an eye...


18 posted on 02/08/2007 7:23:50 PM PST by databoss
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To: Dajjal

We are literally "aborting" our future and our children's future - Roe v. Wade could be the epithat for the West, image a single court ruling has led to our decline, how many mathematicians, scientists, soldiers and statesman have vanished in the blink of an eye...


19 posted on 02/08/2007 7:23:51 PM PST by databoss
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To: Dajjal
Our Lady of Fatima

Odd that. Fatima

20 posted on 02/08/2007 7:24:24 PM PST by McGavin999 (I need a new tag line)
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