I know it's only January but I think we already have a winner for the 2009 Moron of the Year award.
I can't imagine anyone over the next eleven months saying anything as stupid as the former KGB analyst and Russian professor Igor Panarin.
A number of sites have recently given free publicly to his theory that the United States will dissolve by 2010.
Although stupid on its own, he takes it to a whole new level by including a theoretical partitioning of the country that is laughable to anyone who lives here:
Image (C) Wall Street Journal
The flaws with this idea are pretty obvious:
- California Republic - Under the Influence of China - I'm trying to rack my brain for another instance in history of when a large country, composed of many smaller states, collapsed and was divided. Oh right, the Soviet Union. I think it even happened within Mr. Panarin's lifetime. The Soviet Union's largest state was something called 'Russia'. Is that currently under the control of a country on another continent? Why would California, one of the largest economies in the world by itself, be any different?
- Central North-American Republic - Under the Influence of Canada - Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio combined have a larger population than Canada (look it up). If anything they should be influencing Canada - the politics of Illinois, the manufacturing strength of Michigan, the robust housing market of Ohio.... OK, maybe he has a point about this one.
- Atlantic America - May join the European Union - When I think 'European' the first places that come to mind are West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, and Tennessee. No offense intended. I've (briefly) lived in or visited all of them, they're all fine places. Let's just say the US will never be in bad enough shape that these states race to join the European Union.
- Alaska- Will go to Russia - So the suddenly empowered Canada is just going to let that happen? By owning Colorado they also have de facto control of the US Air Force. Let the fun begin.
- Hawaii - Will either go to Japan or China - Hawaii will do just fine by itself. If Hawaii became an independent country one day, without the accompanying collapse of the US, it wouldn't be that surprising.
- Texas Republic - Will be part of Mexico or under Mexican influence - Alright, saved the worst for last. This is by far the most preposterous claim of all. Anyone who thinks Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia would be ruled by Mexico has no idea what they're talking about. Heck, if there was no US government then Texas would instantly turn into one of the largest oil drillers and exporters in the world. And as for Florida.. Mr. Panarin needs to learn the difference between 'Mexican' and 'Cuban'.
You know who created a more realistic idea for the division of the US? The guys who wrote Shadowrun:
Image (C) FASA
Now that looks like something put together by someone who knows beans about the US. Even with the fantasy states in the Northwest it's still 1000x more plausible than the other one. I would have put Las Vegas in California but overall I can't argue with it.
Since I know as much about Russia as Igor knows about America, I think I'll take a stab at what a Russian split-up might look like: