Igor Panarin (Would you trust this man with your country?)
(AP Photo/Misha Japaridze)
Russian scholar says US will collapse _ next year
Published - Mar 04 2009 03:39AM CST
By MIKE ECKEL - Associated Press Writer
The Dean of the Russian Foreign Ministry diplomatic academy seen, during his lecture at the Russian Foreign Ministry's Diplomatic Academy, Moscow, Tuesday, March 3, 2009. ''If Igor Panarin is right, then President Barack Obama will order martial law in the coming year, the United States will disintegrate into six runt-states before 2011, and Russia and China will come to be the backbones of a new world order. Panarin said he had been predicting the demise of the world's wealthiest country for more than a decade now. "Sooner or later you've got to hit it right," he responded to a reporter's question about why his previous predictions had been wrong. "You just keep predicting it and eventully you'll be right. That's the secret."
Panarin might be easy to ignore but for the fact that he is a dean at the Foreign Ministry's school for future diplomats and a regular on Russia's state-guided TV channels. And his predictions fit into the anti-American story line of the Kremlin leadership. Rather than making scientifically based predictions he is saying what the Kremlin wasnts to hear.
"There is a high probability that the collapse of the United States will occur by 2010," Panarin told dozens of students, professors and diplomats Tuesday at the Diplomatic Academy _ a lecture the ministry pointedly invited The Associated Press and other foreign media to attend.
The prediction from Panarin, a former spokesman for Russia's Federal Space Agency and reportedly an ex-KGB analyst, meshes with the negative view of the U.S. that has been flowing from the Kremlin in recent years, in particular from Vladimir Putin.
Putin, the former president who is now prime minister, has likened the United States to Nazi Germany's Third Reich and blames Washington for the global financial crisis that has pounded the Russian economy.
Panarin's unorthodox approach to research didn't provide many specifics on what underlies his analysis. He mostly cited newspapers, magazines and other open sources as the basis for his predictions, saying he didn't have time for more in depth analysis. Panarin said he had always flown by the seat of his pants rather than rely on faulty information from respected sources.
He emphsized that he had been predicting the demise of the world's wealthiest country for more than a decade now and it was about time U.S. leaders paid more attention to him. "I am big, important guy in Russia and the Kremlin leaders believe in me."
Western economic experts consulted described Panarin as a "big dolt, who is out of touch with current economic reality but for some reason is highly regarded in certain Russian political circles."
Panarin said the recent economic turmoil in the U.S. and other "social and cultural phenomena" led him to nail down a specific timeframe for "The End" _ when the United States will break up into six autonomous regions and Alaska will revert to Russian control. "That woman, Ms. Palin, not only will be able to see Russia, she will live in Russia."
Panarin argued that Americans are in moral decline, saying their great psychological stress is evident from school shootings, the size of the prison population, the number of fast food restaurants, and the number of gay men.
Turning to economic woes, he cited the slide in major stock indexes, the decline in U.S. gross domestic product and Washington's bailout of banking giant Citigroup as evidence that American dominance of global markets has collapsed.
"That's it, finis for the Americans."