In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 9, 2005 / 30 Nisan, 5765

Just watch, Vlad: China will feel your pain, too

By Mark Steyn

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In his state of the union address the other day, Vladimir Putin, as befits an old KGB hand, was waxing nostalgic. ''The demise of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century,'' he declared. ''For the Russian people, it became a genuine tragedy. Tens of millions of our fellow citizens and countrymen found themselves beyond the fringes of Russian territory.''

Well, why don't they come home? If there's one thing Russia could use, it's more Russians. The country's midway through its transition from ''superpower'' to ghost town. Russian men already have a lower life expectancy than Bangladeshis — not because Bangladesh is brimming with actuarial advantages but because, if he had four legs and hung from a tree in a rain forest, the Russian male would be on the endangered species list. By mid-century, vast empty Russia will have a smaller population than tiny Yemen. The decline in male longevity is unprecedented for a (relatively) advanced nation not at war. Russia has extraordinary rates of drug-fueled AIDS, Hepatitis C, heart disease and TB, all of which are mere symptoms of an entire people unable to pull themselves out of a spiral of self-destruction. If you seek communism's monument, look around the health clinics of post-Soviet Russia.

Immediately after his retirement, the now forgotten Canadian swinger Pierre Trudeau took his sons to Siberia because that was ''where the future is being built.'' Any future being built in the outlying parts of Russia belongs to Muslims and Chinese in need of lebensraum, and drug cartels and terrorist networks eager to take advantage of remote areas in a state lacking sufficient reliable manpower to police its borders.

Moscow couldn't hold on to Eastern Europe. They couldn't hold on to Central Asia. Why would they fare any better with the Russian ''Federation''? Heard of a place called Bashkortostan? It's this week's Stan of the Week — a formerly autonomous Russian Muslim republic whose direct elections were abolished by Putin as part of his recent centralization of power. The capital city of Ufa has been wracked by protests from something called the People's Front of Bashkortistan. Be honest, if you're Vlad, that's the last thing you need right now. After all, it's his court the Bashkorti are bashing, if indeed ''Bashkorti'' is what you call the people of Bashkortistan. Whoops, I see they're called ''Bashkir,'' and no doubt they'll be downing a lot of kir at their independence bash. If you're an ''energy-rich formerly autonomous Muslim republic,'' what's the point of going down the express garbage chute of history with Russia? If the Bashkir have a future, it's not with Moscow.

The Chinese must look at Russia's diseased kleptocracy and think, ''There but for the grace of whoever.'' So far, Beijing's strategy of economic liberalization without political liberalization is working out a lot better than the Moscow model. Instead of all this guff about the blessings of liberty, Deng Xiaoping cut to the chase and announced: ''To get rich is glorious.'' And, for city dwellers whose income increased 14-fold in the two decades after Deng told 'em to go for it, things have worked out swell.

I'd say the Chinese are doing it the right way round: Historically, economic liberty has preceded political liberty. At this point, the Politburo would rise up as one and say, whoa, man, hold up, who said anything about political liberty? But, realistically, how much longer can they hold it at bay? Do you remember SARS? Big disease a couple of years ago. It started in rural China, leaping from livestock to people, because farm animals are highly valued and often sleep in the house. When a totalitarian regime has a crisis on its hands, its first reaction is to lie about it. So that's what the People's Republic did — denying there was any problem for the first three months, thereafter downplaying the extent of it, and only coming clean — or marginally less unclean — about the scale of the disease after it had wiggled free of China's borders and infected and killed people all around the world, including an awful lot in my home town of Toronto. The World Health Organization, unduly deferential to dictatorships as U.N. agencies always are, issued various travel advisories for China. But what about within China? SARS spread to the cities because some rural dweller came up to town for the day, and before you knew it it had reached Hong Kong, where the infected lobby, elevators and other public areas brought the international clientele of the Metropole Hotel into contact with the disease.

That's a metaphor for the present day People's Republic. China can make your radio. But they can't make a plausible press release to read on it. Are the internal contradictions of Commie-capitalism sustainable that much longer? With SARS, the booming modern coastal cities were infected by a vast rural hinterland where the pig sleeps in the front room. Given the ever widening income gap between these areas, how much longer can they coexist in the same state? Calling it all ''China'' sounds nice and homogenous, but the space so designated on the map is a China that has never previously existed in any functioning way. As a centralized nation-state, it's as artificial an entity as the more obvious apellatory crocks such as the ''Soviet Union'' or ''Yugoslavia.'' A lot of European lefties are pinning their hopes on the emergence of some grand new Chinese superpower, but China will not advance to the First World with its present borders intact.

The stability fetishists having assured us that nothing can ever change in the Middle East are now making the same confident guarantees for the rest of the planet. In a magnificently loopy column in the Guardian about Blair the ''war criminal,'' Richard Gott says that instead of siding with ''the evil empire'' [America], Britain should have joined ''a coalition of the unwilling that would include the Europeans, the Russians and the Chinese.'' America could yet implode, I suppose: Nothing is impossible. But the structural defects of the EU, Russia and China are all far more advanced. If you were betting on only one happy ending, I'd take China.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Mark Steyn is North American Editor of The (London) Spectator. Comment by clicking here.

Mark Steyn Archives

"The Face of the Tiger and Other Tales from the New War."  

In this collection of essays, Mark Steyn considers the world since September 11th - war and peace, quagmires and root causes, new realities and indestructible myths. Incisive and witty as ever, Steyn takes on "the brutal Afghan winter", the "axels of evil", the death of Osama bin Laden and much more from the first phase of an extraordinary new war. Sales help fund JWR.

© 2005, Mark Steyn