We hear much these days about a ‘return of the Cold War.’ This fear is based upon a resurgent Russia under Vladimir Putin. Here is just a small sample of recent scary headlines.

Putin calls for response to US ‘threat’

Putin increases missile defence rhetoric

Russia orders long-range bomber patrols

Putin slams Britain over “colonial thinking” in row

Post-Cold War chill hangs over Bush-Putin summit

‘Soviet era less bleak than US history’

Putin raises spectre of nuclear war in Europe

And so on. What to make of all this?

Not much.

Putin certainly has many fantasies about Russia: A Russia that will reclaim control over all those old Soviet territories. A Russia that seeks to return to its days of Stalinist glory. A Russia that will be able to stand up to the United States. A Russia that will use her oil and gas wealth to finance all of this.

All nonsense. All impossible. All ridiculous. Russia has neither the will nor the capacity nor the manpower to achieve any of this.

First, let us forget about power derived from oil. If oil resulted in power then Saudi Arabia would be the strongest nation on earth and Mexico and Venezuela would be regional hegemons. A list of nations that possess vast oil reserves is little more than a catalogue of military weaklings, corrupt dictatorships and petty despotisms. Not for nothing has oil been termed ‘the Devil’s excrement.’

A nation’s power does not derive from its resources. If it did then Japan would be poor and the Congo would be rich. Power derives from law, limited government and the ability to create wealth. How many of these does Russia have?

The Soviet Union did not have these either. Her power then like Russia’s power now existed only in the power to destroy and to threaten. Her wealth was stolen or extorted. She created nothing of value, not even soap. The USSR was really a gangster regime run like the mafia. Her one talent was the extermination of tens of millions of her own citizens. She always was, in George Will’s words, “An India with guns.”

Russia is likewise, except men live longer in India. The life expectancy of Russian men is 58—they are literally drinking themselves to death. The life expectancy of Russian women is 72. But it is much worse. Russians are dying out.

The primary causes of Russia’s population decrease and loss of about 700,000 to 800,000 citizens each year are a high death rate, low birth rate, high rate of abortions, and a low level of immigration.

Hard to have a Russia without Russians.

A nation can have all the resources in the world but without people they will stay in the ground. More likely, another race of people will show up to take them. This is already happening in Russia’s East.

Moscow should act quickly and decisively to limit Chinese immigration into the Russian Far East lest the growing number of Chinese there “polarize” the country, weaken Russian national identity, and give Beijing a lever over Russia in the future.

China is doing to Russia what Texans did to Mexico and Goths did to Rome.

Diseased, aborted, morally exhausted and alcoholic Russia totters toward the abyss. Nothing that Putin can do can stop it.

(Update: More gasping from the syphilitic hunchback.)

Rather than become full partners with the Coalition in the War on Terror, Putin’s decrepit and corrupt regime is dedicated to maintaining profitable Cold War financial arrangements, while desperately seeking to reestablish some semblance of the old Soviet order by vigorously opposing the US missile defense shield. Russian generals who bully our new European partners over hosting a key Eastern European radar site get the most attention.

(Update: The Replacement Fertility Rate—also called the Total Fertility Rate—is the number of children each woman must have to keep the population of a nation stable. It is generally around 2.1. The number for Russia is 1.17.)

Russia’s total fertility rate stands at 1.17, and some believe that it can reach as low as 1.0–well below replacement level of 2.14. All agreed that it will not rise higher than 1.5 over the next 20 years. Russia’s abortion rate remains extremely high, and noted demographer Murray Feshbach claims that thirty percent of Russian women of childbearing age are infertile.

Russia is finished. It is being depopulated, emptied of White Russians—who have even lost the desire to make their fornication count for something—and populated from the east by Chinese and from the south by Moslems.

Within the lifetime of living men Russia will survive only in the pages of history.