Ryzhkov asks why today’s Russia, which has a democratic constitution and new democratic legitimacy, should justify the division of Europe between Hitler and Stalin.
He says that this view is now included in Russian history text books and has caused “enormous moral damage” to Russia’s reputation, particularly in the countries of Eastern Europe that were the main victims of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Ryzhkov says the only explanation for the Russian leadership’s position on the issue is what he calls “sympathy for Stalin.”Sponsored Ads
Public opinion surveys suggest many ordinary Russians share at least some of their government’s views.
Here are a couple of interesting paragraphs about Russia:
Russia faces a hard-wired demographic time bomb. Put simply, Russia is an ascending power in the short run, but it is a declining power in the long run.
The Russian leadership is well aware of this coming crisis, and knows it is going to need every scrap of strength it can muster just to continue the struggle to keep Russia in one piece.
Russia’s primary challenge, however, is time. In the aftermath of the Soviet collapse, the bottom fell out of the Russian birthrate, with fewer than half the number of babies born in the 1990s than were born in the 1980s. These post-Cold War children are now coming of age; in a few years, their small numbers are going to have a catastrophic impact on the size of the Russian population. By contrast, most non-Russian minorities — in particular those such as Chechens and Dagestanis, who are of Muslim faith — did not suffer from the 1990s birthrate plunge, so their numbers are rapidly increasing even as the number of ethnic Russians is rapidly decreasing. Add in deep-rooted, demographic-impacting problems such as HIV, tuberculosis and heroin abuse — concentrated not just among ethnic Russians but also among those of childbearing age — and Russia faces a hard-wired demographic time bomb. Put simply, Russia is an ascending power in the short run, but it is a declining power in the long run.
The Russian leadership is well aware of this coming crisis, and knows it is going to need every scrap of strength it can muster just to continue the struggle to keep Russia in one piece. To this end, Moscow must do everything it can now to secure buffers against external intrusion in the not-so-distant future. For the most part, this means rolling back Western influence wherever and whenever possible, and impressing upon states that would prefer integration into the West that their fates lie with Russia instead. Moscow’s natural gas crisis with Ukraine, August 2008 war with Georgia, efforts to eject American forces from Central Asia and constant pressure on the Baltic states all represent efforts to buy Russia more space — and with that space, more time for survival.
The full article is below.
By Reva Bhalla, Lauren Goodrich and Peter Zeihan
Russian President Dmitri Medvedev reportedly will travel to Turkey in the near future to follow up a recent four-day visit by his Turkish counterpart, Abdullah Gul, to Moscow. The Turks and the Russians certainly have much to discuss.
Russia is moving aggressively to extend its influence throughout the former Soviet empire, while Turkey is rousing itself from 90 years of post-Ottoman isolation. Both are clearly ascendant powers, and it would seem logical that the more the two bump up against one other, the more likely they will gird for yet another round in their centuries-old conflict. But while that may be true down the line, the two Eurasian powers have sufficient strategic incentives to work together for now.
“This is very significant. Right now the present Russian leadership believes that a war with Nato is very much possible,” Pavel Felgenhauer, a Moscow-based defence analyst, told the Guardian. “This is the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union that the Russian military is actually preparing for an all-out nuclear war with America.”
The spread of freedom and the West standing up to it.
The Russian state’s open hostility, not only toward Georgia but also toward Ukraine and the Baltic states, is, in this sense, partly ideological. Genuine elections have taken place in all these countries; people who have not been preselected by the ruling oligarchy sometimes gain wealth or power. Georgia’s Rose Revolution and Ukraine’s Orange Revolution even involved street demonstrations that helped unseat more-oligarchic regimes. Thus it is not pure nationalism, nor mere traditional great-power arrogance, that makes the Russian leadership disdainful of Georgia and Ukraine: It is also, at some level, fear that similar voter revolutions could someday challenge Russia, too.
[Updated March 19, 2012] Nuclear warfare in or around 2012 is very possible given, well, the threats of nuclear war (atomic war) coming out of Russia and China concerning Iran. Let’s look at what they have to say.
Attacking Iran: Putin Says Consequences Would be ‘Truly Catastrophic’ with Unimaginable Scale
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Russia is concerned about the “growing threat” of an attack on Iran over its nuclear program, warning that the consequences would be “truly catastrophic.”
In an article on foreign policy for publication on Monday, six days before a March 4 presidential election he is almost certain to win, Putin also warned Western and Arab nations against military intervention in Syria.
On Iran, Putin said that “the growing threat of a military strike on this country alarms Russia, no doubt. If this occurs, the consequences will be truly catastrophic. It is impossible to imagine their real scale.”
What does “truly catastrophic” mean?
What does – “It is impossible to imagine their real scale” – mean?
We can use statements by other Russian leaders to fill in the gaps:
Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, warned Wednesday that outside encouragement of antigovernment uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa could lead to “a very big war that will cause suffering not only to countries in the region, but also to states far beyond its boundaries.”
Mr. Lavrov’s annual news conference was largely devoted to a critique of Western policies in Iran and Syria, which he said could lead to a spiral of violence.
All these coded messages coming from Russian leadership are telling us that Russia will nuke America if Iran is attacked. Putin is up to the task: Signs Russia Would Have No Problem Nuking America.
Of course, these are not the only threats of nuclear coming out of Russia: Russian Threats of Nuclear War Grow Louder. Some of these threats are implied, and some direct, but they are getting louder.
Is Russia bluffing?
A lot of people think the recent implied threats are related to Putin’s reelection. He’s only pandering to the nationalist crowd. But there is a problem. This reelection is becoming difficult. There are a lot of unhappy people. There is a real risk of revolution in the next few years. If Putin loses the support of the nationalist crowd, then that could mean the country tips into revolution. And revolution means death or prison for Putin and his cronies. So Putin might be forced to follow through on his nuclear war threats for his own regime survival if the west crosses the line he has drawn in the sand – western interference in the Middle East and North Africa. It is fairly common for autocratic regimes to put regime security above national security. In this case leading to disaster for Russia and America.
It is likely that the US and Europe will not test Russia’s nuclear threats, but what about Israel? An article in the New York Times Magazine comes to the chilling conclusion that Israel will attack Iran on 2012. The Atlantic magazine put together a panel of experts to predict the probability of an attack in 2012:
War or peace in the Middle East amounts to a coin toss. The probability that the United States or Israel will strike Iran in the next year is 48 percent according to a new project that predicts the chances of conflict–the Iran War Clock. And as a result, the clock is set to 10 minutes to midnight.
How does the Iran War Clock work?
We’ve assembled a high-profile panel of experts from the policy world, academia, and journalism to periodically predict the odds of conflict. They include: Daniel Byman, Shahram Chubin, Golnaz Esfandiari, Azar Gat, Jeffrey Goldberg, Amos Harel, Ephraim Kam, Dalia Dassa Kaye, Matthew Kroenig, John Limbert, Valerie Lincy, James Lindsay, Marc Lynch, Gary Milhollin, Trita Parsi, Paul Pillar, Barry Rubin, Karim Sadjadpour, Kenneth Timmerman, Shibley Telhami, Stephen Walt, and Robin Wright.
Just in case you don’t believe me, two generals tell us that Russia and China will defend Iran even if it means World War III:
1. Fmr. Russian Joint Chiefs of Staff: Russia Is Ready to Use Military Power to Defend Iran and Syria
2. Implied Nuclear Threat from Russia: Russia says would be threatened by Iran military action | Reuters. This post also has a video on a Chinese general threatening war over Iran.
The next problem is that the historical signs of war are present today. Historian Niall Ferguson found three key signs present before major 20th century war: Empires in decline, economic volatility and ethnic conflict. These are the three Es. Niall goes on to explain that the three Es are present today, and the age of upheaval has started.
Historical signs suggesting that a US-China war may be on the horizon.
Great power rivalries in history:
1. Spain versus Holland in the 16th century. [War]
2. Holland versus England in the 17th century. [War]
3. Britain versus France in both the 18th and 19th centuries. [War]
4. France and Britain versus Germany in the 20th century. [War]
5. Germany versus Russia in 1914. [War]
6. Germany versus Russia (Soviet Union) in 1941. [War]
7. Soviet Union versus the US and its allies in the Cold War after 1945. [No War]
The rise of China almost certainly means conflict with America. There is a good chance this conflict will lead to war. Historically, when an empire runs into conflict with a rising power, then war has occurred 6 out of 7 times.
What about Bible prophecy? It points in the same direction – big problems ahead. Check out this article: Three Biblical Signs of Impending Doom on America
This video explains how 9/11 represents a harbinger of doom:
The Foundation for War
The reason you should be worried about threats of nuclear attack is that the world is now in a pre-collapse state after a long period of peace and stability. This is like a giant sandpile that is ready to collapse after a long period of time but is just waiting for one more grain of sand to land in the right spot.
Another way to look at the world is like a forest. The world moves into the future just like a forest (or sandpile) moves into the future. What happens to a forest after a long time of no (or small) fires? Does it mean a big fire will never happen, or does it mean that a catastrophic fire is coming? Later I explain why societies move into the future like a forest.
It is during the time of peace and stability that the seeds of collapse are sown. An example of this is the economic collapse of 2008. The government suppression of economic collapses (recessions) since 1945 sowed the seeds (bad decisions and corruption) of economic collapse. Not trying to suppress collapses would have burned out much of the bad decisions and corruption. Instead, they were allowed to build until the resulting economic collapse was unstoppable. This collapse is not finished.
A forest becomes susceptible to a major forest fire if a lot of dead wood and dead bushes build up. This happens when there are no fires to clear them out – during peace and stability. You can see the signs that a major collapse is possible by looking for the same signs present before historical collapses.
Historian Niall Ferguson talks about the historian signs present before 20th century war:
“Economic volatility, plus ethnic disintegration, plus an empire in decline: That combination is about the most lethal in geopolitics. We now have all three. The age of upheaval starts now.”
The above quote comes from the March/April 2009 edition of Foreign Policy magazine on page 58. The author had earlier explained how the three E’s described the reason for conflict in the 20th century. The three E’s being: economic volatility, ethnic conflict or disintegration and empires in decline.
Building upon his previously acclaimed volumes on empire, economics, and financial history, Professor Ferguson argues that three things seem necessary to explain the extreme violence of the twentieth century: ethnic conflict, economic volatility, and the decline of empires. He argues that the confluence of these factors helps us to understand why so much happened at certain times, especially between the years 1904 and 1953, and why this savagery was so heavily concentrated in certain places. Professor Ferguson uses these themes to reinterpret and resolve the central paradox of why extraordinary progress in science and technology coincided with unprecedented violence, and why the seeming triumph of the West in reality planted the seeds for the decline of Western dominance over Asia, which he believes is leading towards an inexorable shift in the global balance of power towards the East.
A large part of the world has moved to a pre-collapse state. Russia and China are in danger of collapse. America, Europe and Japan are in danger of economic collapse. The Middle East is now in the state of collapse. The UN predicts “global social crisis” stemming from the 2008-2009 economic downturn. If the world is a big sandpile, then it’s coming down soon.
The decline of America is real this time, says Foreign Policy magazine. The decline of an empire is a sign of bad things to come, like war. The Congressional Budget Offfice says the US could face a European-style debt crisis.
Russia has moved to a pre-collapse state similar to the one that occurred right before the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The return of Putin to power is one reason that Russians are starting to leave the country in droves. The exodus is so large, “it’s comparable in numbers to the outrush in the wake of the Bolshevik Revolution.”
Russia is starting to get friendly with Germany.
History is consistent on this point: Germany and Russia are not close friends. Any appearance that they are is a herald of war. Truth is, this forming Russian-German axis is one of the most significant and underrated trends on the world scene! History tells us where this will end. The formation of a peace pact between Russia and Germany is a sure sign that one or both are preparing for an imperialistic, violent mission.
In the following article, I logically walk through why the Russian leadership is mentally prepared to nuke America and accept the consequences: Signs Russia Would Have No Problem Nuking America.
Here we learn that Russia is already preparing for nuclear conflicts along its border.
China is “In Danger” of collapse according to the 2011 Failed Sates Index.
With Greece on the verge of default, and Ireland, Portugal and Spain waiting in the wings, the collapse of the Eurozone is a real possibility.
One author calls Japan a bug in search of a windshield. It’s only a matter of time before it experiences a major financial crisis.
Why would anybody want to start a nuclear war? Because they think war is inevitable anyway, and waiting will mean a much more unfavorable outcome. For example, both Russia and China are very worried about the missile defense system in the West. It is surrounding both Russia and China. Initially, it will not be much of a threat, but later it could potentially neutralize much of their second-strike capability if upgraded.
Another problem is confusing national security with regime security. Regimes will often go to great lengths to ensure their own security to the detriment of the rest of the country.
Looking into the Future
As any society moves one day into the future it is heavily influenced by history. History being all the prior days that people can remember. History provides a feedback loop for each new day. Events of each new day pile on all the prior days and provide the influence for yet another day.
It turns out that a lot of systems move into the future in the same way. For example, forests, sandpiles, earth movement, financial markets, societies and more. These types of systems exhibit Self-Organizing Criticality (SOC). They automatically go from a stable state to an unstable without any help. Then they just collapse.
If you track the collapses of forests (fires), sandpiles, financial markets, earthquakes, wars and attacks within wars, they all follow the power law distribution. Count the number of collapses of a given size within a given period, and plot the results on a log-graph. You will get an almost perfectly straight line. For example, a plot of attacks within wars is a straight line with a slope of -2.5.
What happens to a forest if you try really hard to put out every fire – you suppress all collapses? Eventually the forest builds up to a pre-collapse state that is so big that the next fire will be unstoppable.
The forest never stops growing and expanding. Because the system never stops, suppressing a collapse means that the future builds on an unstable base.
Suppressing collapses in forests, sandpiles, economies or societies (war) produces the same result – bigger collapses. Suppressing collapses makes the system unstable and prone to bigger collapses. Eventuality the system will experience a collapse so large that it is unstoppable. The policies of most countries is to suppress economic collapses (recessions). This explains why the West is in trouble now, and why China will soon be in big trouble.
The suppression of war in countries works the same way. Countries that don’t directly experience war for a long time get lulled to sleep. Eventually a country will become susceptible to defeat – the big collapse of society. The US and the West are in this boat.
If all collapses for a system are suppressed, then it should run into a major crisis at a given frequency. For example, a forest should have a massive fire every set number of years, or more likely a range of years. The forest may get wiped out every 90 to 100 years. We see this same phenomena with the US.
The US runs into a crisis period every 80 to 100 years according to “The Fourth Turning“. In 2005 we entered another 20 year crisis period. “Winter’s Coming for the Boomers” is an article that discusses the theories in “The Fourth Turning”. Each new crisis period is due to the impact of crises on the generations over an 80 to 100 year period. Each new generation increasingly forgets the lessons from the past. Since smaller collapses (recessions and wars) tend to be suppressed, eventually the country must experience a large crisis. You can read more stories here.
For more information about the signs of war please read this article: 25+ Signs That Point to Nuclear War.
When Will it Happen
Should Israel attack Iran, then I expect the US to be at risk of nuclear retaliation from Russia and China the following spring.
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