The Australian (Sydney)
Russia is dying, said Mark Steyn in the Sydney Australian, and Islamists will eat its carcass. This death is not just a metaphor: Russians die young and have few children, so their population is dropping rapidly. And those who are left are sickly. With the world’s fastest-growing rate of HIV infection, Russia can expect to lose a half million people each year to AIDS by 2010. The only regions with growing populations are the Muslim ones, and they are getting increasingly radical. Other parts of the world are coping with similar problems, but they get them one at a time. Africa has AIDS, the Middle East has Islamists, and East Asia has North Korean nukes. Russia is the trifecta: “an African-level AIDS crisis and an Islamist separatist movement sitting on top of the biggest pile of nukes on the planet.” Its nukes, in fact, are some of the only valuable assets Russia has. As it crumbles, it will surely be tempted to sell them. It could easily “bequeath the world several new Muslim nations, a nuclear Middle East, and a stronger China.” Such a future could make the Cold War seem like a golden age.
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