For seriously predicting that the United States will break into six parts in June or July of 2010, Igor Panarin has suddenly become a Russian state-media celebrity. Hardly a day goes by without another interview or two for the KGB-trained, Kremlin-backed senior analyst. The clamor in Russia for his ideas is growing, he says.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, January 3, 2009; Page C01
Panarin’s disintegration divination comes complete with a map. In it, Alaska goes to Russia. Hawaii goes to Japan or China. “The California Republic” — the West from Utah and Arizona to the Pacific — goes to China. “The Texas Republic” — the South from New Mexico to Florida — goes to Mexico. “Atlantic America” — the Northeast from Tennessee and South Carolina up to Maine — joins the European Union. And “The Central North-American Republic” — the Plains from Ohio to Montana — goes to Canada.
Few Americans paid any attention to his novel views until this week, when the Wall Street Journal trumpeted them on Page 1. Within hours, the U.S. media began the counterattack.
This is preposterous, Time magazine said in a blog.
“The man knows nothing at all about American regional differences,” wrote Justin Fox, Time’s business and economics columnist. South Carolina is like Massachusetts? Tennessee will join with France? Idaho will find something to love about California? Wyoming will snuggle up to Ottawa? Alabama will happily report to Mexico City? “Yeah, right!” Fox wrote. “Has this man ever been to the United States? Has he never even heard of ‘The Nine Nations of North America’? . . . Igor, do your homework!”