- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 11, 2009

Mass immigration, economic decline, and moral degradation will trigger a civil war next fall and the collapse of the dollar. By mid-2010 the United States will break into six pieces as social unrest occurs and wealthier states withhold funds from the federal government and, in effect, secede. California will form the nucleus of a republic that will be part of China or under its influence; Texas will be the heart of another republic of states that will go to Mexico or be under its influence; the north-central states will be grabbed by Canada; Washington, D.C., and New York will be part of an “Atlantic America” that may join the European Union; Hawaii will be a protectorate of Japan or China; and Alaska will be subsumed into Russia.

So, according to The Wall Street Journal in a straight-faced article, says ex-KGB analyst Igor Panarin - described as the “dean of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s academy for future diplomats,” who “appears in the media as an expert on U.S.-Russia relations.” Furthermore, scarily, his forecast is “music to the ears of the Kremlin” and eagerly followed by Russian state media. Mr. Panarin has been making his 2010 prediction for the past decade; few took him seriously at the start and supposedly most Russian experts on U.S. relations don’t take him seriously now.

It doesn’t matter so much that Mr. Pandarin’s ideas are ludicrous as that they are embraced by some (just as many in the Arab world truly believe the 9-11 attacks were orchestrated by the U.S. to make Islam look bad, and that a few people like Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad call the Holocaust a “myth”). The Journal article provides a good example of how many foreigners interpret our news and culture. Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who had rare insights on both sides of the Atlantic, once pointed out: “Europe was created by history. America was created by philosophy.” Another time, in her 2002 book “Statecraft,” she observed that unlike the U.S., “Europe is not based on a common language, culture and values,” but instead “is the result of plans. It is in fact a classic utopian project, a monument to the vanity of intellectuals.”

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In the case of Mr. Pandarin and Russia, both products of a dictatorial type of government, it is hard or even impossible to believe a people can exist united, even while competing with each other within their country and having cultural and geographical differences. As historian Shelby Steele has pointed out, before the Civil War language usage was “the United States are…” but after that the usage was “The United States is…” The U.S., one of the most ethnically diverse nations on earth, doesn’t stay together because the federal government exerts a binding force, as is often the case elsewhere (including Russia), but because Americans choose to be together as a people and as a nation. That may fray -– and immigration, economic decline, and moral decay are all legitimate strains –- but the tear that Mr. Pandarin predicts displays a sad ignorance of the American character.

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