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Did America cause Europe’s energy war? Biden doesn't just want to weaken Russia

Get your proxies out (JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images)

Get your proxies out (JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images)


October 11, 2022   5 mins

All of Europe is suffering as a result of the energy crisis, but for the continent’s largest economy, this is more than just an economic crisis — it’s an existential one. Once hailed as Europe’s economic powerhouse, Germany is now being labelled its “weakest link”.

A recession next year is now considered almost certain; industrial production is down 9% on last year; inflation has soared to double digits for the first time since the Second World War. Given Germany’s deep-seated inflation-phobia, all this is problematic enough. But even more traumatic for the country is the fact that Germany is now running a negative trade balance — the first time this has happened in more than 30 years. This is a very tough pill to swallow for a country where export-led growth is more than just an economic model — it’s part of its national identity.

But those days are over. The German economic machine has broken down. First it was battered by the global lockdowns of 2020 and 2021, which disrupted global supply chains, forcing German industries to pay more for increasingly scarce components that they once bought from China. The pandemic also lowered growth in key Asian export markets — first and foremost China.

Then came the Ukraine conflict and the stream of Western sanctions, which have sent the price of gas (and other raw materials) soaring and further destabilised supply chains. Weighed down by rocketing energy prices, nearly one in six industrial firms in Germany are now reducing or abandoning production.

In light of the above, it’s easy to understand why the German chancellor Olaf Scholz warned of an extended crisis, one that “won’t pass in a few months”. That’s an understatement. Two of the main pillars of Germany’s economic success in the 21st century — cheap imports of raw materials and energy (especially from Russia), and high demand in the rest of the world — have been pulled from under the country’s feet, and they aren’t likely to come back any time soon.

Looking back on recent events, however, one can’t help but wonder: was this just the result of a series of unfortunate events and, some would say, Germany’s pandering to Russia and myopic obsessions for exports, which left the country extremely vulnerable to external shock? Is Germany just a collateral victim of the United States’ proxy war against Russia? Or could Germany have been a target of economic warfare itself?

This latter question is impossible to ignore following the recent attack on the part-German-owned Nord Stream gas pipelines connecting Russia to Germany. Even though Western governments and commentators have been quick to point the finger at Russia, Jeffrey Sachs, the US economist and Columbia professor, recently voiced an opinion shared by many: that the act of sabotage on the pipeline is more likely to have been “a US action” — one directed first and foremost at Germany. A similar claim was also made by Douglas Macgregor, a retired US Army colonel and former advisor to US Defense Secretary in the Trump administration. And then there’s the now-infamous tweet (subsequently deleted) by Radek Sikorski — Poland’s former foreign minister and current chairman of the European Parliament’s EU-US delegation — who published an image of the Nord Stream leak along with the words “Thank you, USA”.

It’s not hard to see why so many people are inclined to view this as a US action rather than a Russian one. While it’s unclear how Russia would benefit from losing the leverage the pipeline offered it over Germany and other European states, the US, on the other hand, has a lot to gain from putting Nord Stream out of action — possibly forever, according to German sources. (Russia disputes the damage and claims the pipeline could be repaired and reopened soon, but that Western authorities won’t allow Russia to inspect the pipelines.)

It’s no secret that the US has always been opposed to Nord Stream, and in particular to Nord Stream 2, a new pipeline parallel to Nord Stream 1 (in operation since 2011) that was completed in 2021 and was expected to enter into service in 2022, doubling the annual supply of Russian gas to Germany. It’s easy to see why the US establishment wasn’t happy about this development: more gas would have meant stronger Russian-German relations, which would have likely led to an expansion of trade, increased cultural exchanges, and ultimately to a new security architecture that would have made Nato’s security umbrella increasingly redundant and weakened US hegemony over the European continent.

This is why the United States has been attempting to torpedo the project since 2017, when the US Congress under Trump passed the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which authorised the US president to impose sanctions on companies involved in the construction of Russian energy export pipelines. Then, in 2019, Trump signed the Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act (PEESA), which sought to prevent the construction of the pipeline through US sanctions against the companies involved, causing the pipe-laying to stop for a year. More recently, both Biden and Victoria Nuland, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs in the Biden administration, known for her famous “Fuck the EU” phone call, had threatened to shut down Nord Stream 2 if Russia invaded Ukraine.

Until not long ago, the German public still viewed this as an undue meddling in the country’s internal affairs, if not — as then-Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said in early 2021 — as an encroachment on Germany’s sovereignty in violation of international law. German newspapers openly discussed how the US was opposed to Nord Stream because it hoped to replace Europe’s Russian gas with the sale of its own liquified natural gas (LNG) to the continent.

A vocal critic of the US’s meddling in German energy affairs was the former head of the German Energy Agency, Stephan Kohler. In a 2017 interview, he pointed out that the US openly argued in the CAATSA bill that the aim was creating better market opportunities for its LNG. On another occasion, Kohler said that this was part of a wider strategy to “drive a political wedge between Europe and Russia”.

It appears, then, this cannot be written off as a conspiracy theory. In fact, one of America’s best-known geostrategists, George Friedman, former chairman of the private intelligence firm Stratfor, wrote in his 2010 bestselling book The Next Decade: “Russia does not threaten America’s global position, but the mere possibility that it might collaborate with Europe and particularly Germany opens up the most significant threat in the decade, a long-term threat that needs to be nipped in the bud”. This led him to conclude that “maintaining a powerful wedge between Germany and Russia is of overwhelming interest to the United States”. More recently, Friedman stated this in even starker terms: “The overriding interest of the United States, for which we have fought wars for centuries — the First, Second and Cold War — has been the relationship between Germany and Russia, because united there they are the only force that could threaten us. And we need to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

So, this has been semi-official US policy for quite some time. And while one may disagree with the theories surrounding the pipeline attack, and the origins of the Ukraine conflict more in general, it’s hard to disagree with the consequences: it has jeopardised (for the foreseeable future) Russian supplies, destroyed Germany’s export-led growth model, and “driven a powerful wedge” between Germany and Russia.

At the same time, Germany, as it strives to replace Russian gas, has turned to the United States, which now provides (at “astronomical prices”, according to the German economy minister) 45% of European LNG imports — up from 28% in 2021. So overall, it’s hard to deny that the US is clearly benefiting from the European energy crisis in general, and from the recent pipeline attack in particular. No doubt that’s why US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the Nord Stream attack offers a “tremendous opportunity” to end Europe’s dependency on Russian energy — a strange choice of language for what effectively amounts to a terrorist attack on a strategic infrastructure of a Nato ally. He also confirmed that the action would directly benefit the US: “We’re now the leading supplier of LNG to Europe,” Blinken added.

It should also be noted that the attack came at a time when the German government was coming under growing pressure to end the sanctions. Just a week before, large demonstrations had taken place in Germany calling for the commissioning of Nord Stream 2 to resolve the energy crisis.

Now, all this may very well be a case of unintended benefit for America. However, the mounting evidence forces us to ask an uncomfortable question: could the US strategy in Ukraine be aimed not only at weakening Russia, but Germany as well? It’s a terrifying prospect, but one that German elites can’t afford to discount.


Thomas Fazi is an UnHerd columnist and translator. His latest book is The Covid Consensus, co-authored with Toby Green.

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Jürg Gassmann
JG
Jürg Gassmann
1 year ago

Thank you for this, all very solid, though you’re not making many friends.
The US tried very hard to prevent Europe, and especially Germany, from helping the Soviet Union build its Siberian gas pipelines in the 1980s. At the time, European leaders stood up on their hind legs and the US had to back down. A law school student called Anthony Blinken wrote the story up in a book, Ally versus Ally: America, Europe, and the Siberian Pipeline Crisis.
The US subsequently sabotaged the pipeline by supplying the Soviets with doctored chips, causing a massive explosion.
The US also dynamited an undersea Nicaraguan pipeline in the course of its illegal “clandestine” war against the Sandinistas.
So if nothing else, the US has pipeline derangement syndrome, and has form acting out on it.

Brendan O'Leary
BO
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago
Reply to  Jürg Gassmann

In the 1980s, both USA and USSR were trying to destabilise each other. Cold War, remember? Cold War.

Andrew Boughton
AB
Andrew Boughton
1 year ago

Which was supposed to end in 1991, but never did.

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Jürg Gassmann

Nothing surprises me about the wivkedness of the US. The Great Satan is pretty close I think.

Cantab Man
Cantab Man
1 year ago
Reply to  Jürg Gassmann

Having uncomfortable questions doesn’t mean answers exist that validate the implied direction of such questions.

Two points to keep in mind as a sanity check: (1) Biden green-lit US acceptance of Nordstream 2 (much to the chagrin of Trump who opposed it) and (2) the US has far more to lose with the EU if they are tied to this attack than they have to gain from Nordstream 2 being out of commission. Biden and team would have been happy arming Ukrainians to fight for their homelands in a war of attrition against Russia and Russia was already destabilizing Europe…no need to put all of that at risk.

Jim Cuthill
Jim Cuthill
1 year ago
Reply to  Jürg Gassmann

Bidens first act as President of the US: Cancell keystone XL from Canada. A very weak, virtue signalling Canadian PM Trudeau, rolled over and capitulated. This cost Trans Canada pipelines untold billions without reparations. North America is in a state of political hurt at the moment. Canadians at least, are fixing for new leadership.

burke schmollinger
BT
burke schmollinger
1 year ago
Reply to  Jürg Gassmann

Do you recall Angela and Ursula announcing a new investment agreement with Communist China during Biden’s inaugural period?

We do.

polidori redux
polidori redux
1 year ago

I am sure that conspiracy theories will proliferate over the weeks and months ahead, but let us not lose sight of the fact that the energy crises is entirely home grown. If you behave stupidly then other players will take advantage of the situation that you have created. Big deal – Who’d have thunk it?

Richard Pearse
RP
Richard Pearse
1 year ago
Reply to  polidori redux

Very true – this article (and cited “sources”) eerily remind me of the crazy theories that the US caused the Twin Towers to collapse on 9/11 – when in doubt, blame America and its greedy capitalists. (There was a best-seller in France just after 9/11 that argued this Twin Towers conspiracy). What some guy wrote in a 2010 book and Trump’s sanctions are not the same as the US SABOTAGING Nordstream II to sell more gas to Europe. Europe (Germany) is delaying the shutdown of coal and nuclear plants in its own effort to wean itself from Russia’s grip.

The author forgets also that, before Biden, (read – due to Trump’s policies) the US again became energy independent for the first time in decades (gas and oil) – Biden et all immediately did everything in its power to hobble the domestic oil industry and made fracking (for gas too) more difficult.

Now he is begging Saudi Arabia and negotiating with Venezuela to produce more oil to reverse surge in gasoline prices before midterm elections.

As i say, when in doubt (and in the absence of real evidence), Blame America First.

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  polidori redux

Of course it is NOT entirely home grown as this piece amply demonstrates: did you read it? The US acted as master puppeteer and Europeans in their naivety thougyt the US were loyal, moral allies. Yo some of us it has been abundantly clear for a long time that the US is opposed to every nation on the planet that doesn’t do its bidding: and will stop st nothing, not even nuclear war (in Europe) to get what it wants. The sooner Europe wakes up to that glaringly obvious fact the sooner we can ally ourselves to some block with some modicum of human decency and turn our backs on our greatest enemy. ‘No telling the British all that: they think the US is still a British colony and MI6 is smarter and dirtier than the CIA!

keith Nichol
keith Nichol
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

It is a colony bro. Always will be.

Pat Davers
PD
Pat Davers
1 year ago

Interesting idea, but I think if America’s economics interest is the primary factor, then there must be easier ways of getting people to buy your goods and services than to bring the world to the brink of WW3.
I think it’s more likely that the U.S. aim is the total defeat of Russia, and if Germany and the rest of Europe have to suffer fuel shortages, blackout and the like for this, then this will be written off as “collateral damage”

Last edited 1 year ago by Pat Davers
Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
1 year ago
Reply to  Pat Davers

Economic warfare among frenemies is common. Siemens has little idea of what it’s been put through by Defense Intelligence on behalf of IBM, though you’d think the relative treatment of the two companies in Argentine kickback scandals might have been instructive. Let’s see. IBM and Deloitte were involved in a USD 250 Ml scandal with the State Bank of Argentina. After the key state’s witness was murdered (then redundantly and improbably committing suicide), and the state prosecutor blackmailed, everyone was finally convicted a decade later, with no penalties. Impact on the State Bank and Argentine economy were significant. FBI did nothing, except warn IBM’s key witness and permit his flight to France as they drove from Manhattan to White Plains to interview him. Siemens gave a kickback to win a public transport payment card contract, and four Siemens executives were soon jailed and the company fined. Merely the tip of the iceberg. There is no unconditional love in geopolitical business matters.

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Pat Davers

Nope! The US gets yo defeat two enemies at once! Russia and Europe.

Paul M
PM
Paul M
1 year ago
Reply to  Pat Davers

You *do* remember which country benefited by far the *most* after WWII?

Margaret TC
MT
Margaret TC
1 year ago

Alarm bells rang for me in February this year when the US almost entirely ignored the call to return to discussion of the Minsk accords by Europen leaders including Macron who declared ‘Les accords de Minsk sont la meilleure chance de protection de l’Ukraine’. No doubt many Amercians have never heard of them since America had no official role. Perhaps US hawks did not perceive respect of the agreement to be in US interest. Neither side resepcted them of course. The world would be in a very different place today if they had respected them

Aaron James
Aaron James
1 year ago

I do not for a minute believe this is USA trying to weaken Germany – unless you believed the Biden is working for the Globalists to cause a global depression so Corporatism may take full control of the world. That is Claus Schwab’s Great Reset in a nutshell – only the WEF says it will be by bankrupting the world through ‘Green Energy’ breaking the energy supply – as wealth and energy consumption are correlated 100% lineally. But then this was a great opportunity to attack the global energy based economy without having to wait for Gretta and her windmills to kill it over a decade.

I think this is to destroy Russia – instead it drove it and all the natural resource nations into China’s camp with the sanctions of blocking SWIFT, but then it appears so absolutely clear the entire Covid response and the bio-weapon which is the Vax/covid thing so obviously was to destroy the global economy – there is no other possible reason the world acted so suicidal to this flu which was easily treated by conventional medications.

So who knows. Obviously the Democrats and Western Leaders are out to wreck the global economy – and who knows what they are capable of. This WWIII Biden has created from a regional conflict, and the Covid policies, do prove he is out to kill the global economy from all I can see…. so no telling really what is going on – except is it very bad, very, very, bad.

Nicholas Rynn
NR
Nicholas Rynn
1 year ago

Which country invaded its neighbour an independent sovereign state? Had Russia not invaded Ukraine there would have been no “economic collapse” in Germany. The be all and end all of this is Germany is now experiencing the consequences of its decisions to rely on Russia for its energy. If you jump into bed with an untamed and psychotic bear expect to be mauled sooner rather than later. The USA warned of the dangers of the arrangement so blaming the USA for the consequences of what has happened is far fetched. Germany is reaping what it sowed.

Adam Bacon
AB
Adam Bacon
1 year ago
Reply to  Nicholas Rynn

This reads like a US State Department statement.
Do you really believe that Russia invaded Ukraine for no reason at all?
Do you really think that American meddling and intervention in Ukraine was of no significance? It’s track record suggests otherwise.

Mike Wylde
Mike Wylde
1 year ago
Reply to  Adam Bacon

Other than to satisfy his ego what was the reason for Putin to invade another sovereign country (Ukraine)?

Adam Bacon
AB
Adam Bacon
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike Wylde

The encroachment of NATO, and military assistance provided since 2014 to Ukraine (let’s remember how the US responds to threats in it’s backyard eg Cuba, Central America). Not a justification for the invasion, but a significant provocation nevertheless.

Also American infiltration into Ukrainian business interests, attempting to prize away it’s significant natural resources from Russian influence

Su Mac
SM
Su Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike Wylde

Assuming that is a genuine question…here is a 5 minute read by Jeffrey Sachs, 3 times Special Advisor to UN Secretaries-General. Brilliantly clear. https://johnmenadue.com/the-great-game-in-ukraine-is-spinning-out-of-control/
Then read as much of this by eminent political analyst John Mearsheimer as you need to before you get the drift https://nationalinterest.org/feature/causes-and-consequences-ukraine-crisis-203182

Andrew Boughton
AB
Andrew Boughton
1 year ago
Reply to  Nicholas Rynn

A) Beside the point regarding the case being made B) Sounds like a World War I partisan rave, or “But they are so evil, we shouldn’t even look at your argument.” Yep, whatever you do, don’t look there.

Christopher Barclay
CB
Christopher Barclay
1 year ago
Reply to  Nicholas Rynn

“If you jump into bed with an untamed and psychotic bear expect to be mauled sooner rather than later.” This could easily apply to the UK and its relationship with the US. At least Germany built an industrial base on Russian energy. What similar benefit has the UK gained from its relationship with the US?

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Nicholas Rynn

Incorrect! The Ukraine war did NOT cause any of it. It was Germany’s decision to trust and obey its assumed ally the US combined with the illegal act of terrorism by the US in blowing up NS2 that resulted in the current EU meltdown. The EU and Germany in particular were stupidly naive to trust the US which only ever thinks of itself and doesn’t care if Europe starves.. Actually no. I’ll correct that: the whole dirty proxy war is the US v Russia/ Europe.. a hell of a feat to convince one of your two enemies to fight on your side and destroy itself! But we had no idea how low, dirty, immoral, underhand and ruthless the US could be. Silly us.. but little apples will grow again..

Margaret TC
Margaret TC
1 year ago

The alarm bells rang for me in February when the US took no notice of the call by European leaders to return to the Minsk accords. Macron declared at the time : ‘Les accords de Minsk sont la meilleure chance de protection de l’Ukraine ‘. Many Americans may not have heard of them at all since the US had no official role in their making (they were overseen by France and Germany). For American hawks it was not in the interest of the US that they should be respected, as they weren’t by either side. If they had been respected, or even if there had been a return to discussion of them in February the world would be in a very different place today – one in which US hegemony in Europe would be somewhat diminished.

Last edited 1 year ago by Margaret TC
Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago

Further to my post below, or above, or wherever it ends up, note these comments from the recent Brazil LNG summit (emphases added by me):
From Upstream Online:
https://www.upstreamonline.com/
Russian gas crunch creates ‘massive incongruence’ in European gas market, says Shell director
There is not enough liquefied natural gas on global markets to fill the gap left by Russian gas, Shell’s upstream director says
By Gareth Chetwynd in Rio de Janeiro
The reduction in Russian gas supply has created an imbalance in European energy markets that could last for several winters, according to a leading executive from UK supermajor Shell.
Calculating imports of Russian pipeline gas prior to the Ukraine conflict as equivalent to about 120 million tonnes per annum of liquefied natural gas, Shell’s upstream director Zoe Yujnovich highlighted what she described as a “massive incongruence”.
“Global LNG production is about 380 million tonnes per year, and about 80 million of this is already imported into Europe,” she told an audience at Brazil’s Rio Oil & Gas event.
“So essentially, you need about half of the whole LNG market to move to Europe to compensate for what has been taken away… There is a massive incongruence to this. There is not enough LNG to fill the gap.”
The situation is exacerbated by the fact that about 70% of LNG supply is sold under long-term contracts, leaving only 30% of supply on the spot market.
“This presents some opportunities, but also means some pain for this winter, and perhaps for more winters beyond the next one,” Yujnovich said.

Last edited 1 year ago by Brendan O'Leary
Jeff Andrews
JA
Jeff Andrews
1 year ago

Well if Scholz and the EU weren’t so soft they could buy Russian LNG and use the undamaged pipe on NS2 immediately. But they’re utterly pathetic, nothing better than Biden’s bitches. I bet they wish they had an ounce of Putin and Russias courage.

Slopmop McTeash
SM
Slopmop McTeash
1 year ago

Germany’s problems stem from the idiotic Merkel…She ate the country away from the inside with her woke lunacy. It is now just a hollow shell of its former self.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
1 year ago

Why the surprise? The Syrian Civil War is being fought in order to either build or stop the building of a gas pipeline through Syria.

Brendan O'Leary
BO
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago

If, as is being reported elsewhere, the attack on Nordstream has rendered NS1 inoperable for some time, making NS2 more viable, then it would appear to suit Russia’s interest more than USA’s. Russia has confirmed one of the two Nord Stream 2 pipes is operable and is thus ready to deliver gas through Nord Stream 2″
Your link under the highlighted “USA asking astronomical prices” doesn’t appear to say anything of the sort – maybe it’s changed?
It’s hard to see how Germany can suddenly switch to USA LNG since they haven’t got round to building an LNG terminal yet (maybe in 10 years …) and have to import via pipeline from Rotterdam (I think).
Not only that, but most LNG in the world is on pre-sold contracts and only about 30% is available on the spot market.

William Simonds
WS
William Simonds
1 year ago

I suppose this is all very plausible, at least in theory. But the unspoken and most fundamental assumption of this article seems to be that there is a coherent and well organized, behind the scenes pool of intelligence capable of taking significant covert action with far reaching consequences in some sort of long game, global chess match. If you have spent even 5 minutes considering the bumbling, dithering, inactions of the current US president, vice president, and cabinet, you cannot help but see the ridiculousness of such an assumption. The theory may make sense, but this administration is totally incapable of coming up with it and then pulling it off.

Warren Trees
WT
Warren Trees
1 year ago

Agreed, but the sock puppets you mention above are not running this administration.

Richard C
Richard C
1 year ago

At this juncture there is no doubt that Western Governments know who bomed the Nord Stream pipelines and they should release this information.
I think that Biden is the most likely author of this and I find the efforts to somehow pin this on Trump to be tiresome. There is a huge differrence between selling your own industry and advancing your own strategic viewpoint as opposed to bombing something that imperils, ostensibly, your German allies.
However, at the end of the day, Germany’s insane Energiewende policies did this to them, not the US and not even Putin.

Its their own fault.

Last edited 1 year ago by Richard C
David Batlle
DB
David Batlle
1 year ago

By the day, my hatred for my own government grows stronger, while it diminishes for Putin. As a red blooded American patriot all of my life, I never thought I’d say that.

Last edited 1 year ago by David Batlle
Vince B
VB
Vince B
1 year ago

The US …um excuse me…”the West,” “NATO,” er…”the US and its European partners” pushed NATO right up to Putin’s back door. After the Wall fell we spiked the ball. Putin might be rotten, but he’s got every reason to be paranoid.
Ukraine has a special spiritual-cultural place in Russian nationalists’ hearts. Putin saw it falling into the hands of the “decadent” West, and decided to invade, thinking he’d take it quickly and painlessly.
The US…um…er… excuse me…”etc.” force-fed Ukraine weapons, doing everything but squeezing triggers themselves, and providing Ukraine real-time intelligence to take out Russian generals and her flagship. The sanctions put in place by…”the West” fall just a bit short of a blockade of Russia. “The West” is essentially at war with Russia on behalf of Ukraine.
So yes, the US did cause this energy crisis. Or rather, by deciding to stand against Putin’s atrocious war, it did. That’s the cost of war. I just wish Biden would admit that he’s decided to put the West through some economic pain as the price to do the right thing. He has failed in that regard, stripping the socio-economic cost of meaning, and keeping space to dodge responsibility for the inevitable backlash from this war.

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
1 year ago

Thomas has finally done it. He now just needs to add a few more elements, which he will not have because few are those with the knowledge, to complete the picture.

Lance Stewart
LS
Lance Stewart
1 year ago

The compliance of Western European governments to the US’s campaign to weaken Russia at any cost is at best inexplicable in view of its disastrous consequences for their own people; but in view of the clear possibility that the latter may be part of a deliberate policy by America to protect its world hegemony goes beyond “inexplicable” to contemptible, if not utter madness .

Rod McLaughlin
Rod McLaughlin
1 year ago

Here’s Biden threatening to close the NordStream pipeline if Russia invades Ukraine:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fd0HWwnj-Do&t=378s

Iris C
IC
Iris C
1 year ago

Germany carried most of the EU on its back so how is this destabilization of the Germany economy affecting the weaker countries in the EU?

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago

Rather typical conspiracy theory–from the 17th Century.

Marxism, having “freed” mankind from evidence-based analysis, now only requires proof that somehow, someway, someone benefited from something. The very fact there is no tangible proof confirms that “Dark Forces” are at work.

The irony is that this kind of thinking destroyed the Soviets, and is in the process of destroying Russia.

But the Dark Threat will always live on, in a million postmodern discourses: somebody (somehow) benefited from something (just as witches did 400 years ago).

Happy Halloween!

Last edited 1 year ago by martin logan
Alex Cranberg
Alex Cranberg
1 year ago

All makes for fun conspiracy-mongering except for one tiny detail: it’s not that hard to repair a pipeline. So the idea that a move to destroy NS by the US (which would be incredibly risky) would “destroy” it is ludicrous. The much more likely scenario is that the Russians “discover” that only NS2 can be repaired. Then maybe the veil will lift from Fazi’s eyes. Or not.

Brendan O'Leary
BO
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago
Reply to  Alex Cranberg

the Russians “discover” that only NS2 can be repaired.

That has already happened, see my other posts.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
1 year ago

All this speculation is likely to remain just that for the foreseeable future. What we know is that someone set off explosives at the bottom of the ocean. Explosives are accessible to everyone and it happened in a part of the sea that is also accessible to most everyone. The sheer size of the blast and the lack of anyone claiming responsibility suggests this was the covert act of a government rather than terrorism or someone’s idea of a political statement. The two obvious culprits are the ones currently involved in a proxy war in Ukraine, the USA and Russia. They both have the means, the motive, and the opportunity. Almost everyone else lacks one of the first two. Both the US and Russia have plausible reasons for sabotaging the pipeline and can reasonably assign blame to the other side with the knowledge that the true culprit is unlikely to ever be known. . The American opposition to the Nordstream pipelines has been vocal and well documented. The Russian reasons are less obvious. If they are behind it, the likely message they are sending is to their domestic population that there will be, and can be no reconciliation with the west, even if Putin is overthrown, or to put it another way, the Russians are using the scorched earth tactics that they themselves made famous, destroying their own assets just to prevent enemies from having them.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago

Did America cause Europes energy crisis? No, that was the Europeans themselves due to their incredible lack of foresight in leaving themselves at the mercy of the whims of a dictator for their energy needs.
Will America take advantage of the situation? Undoubtedly!

David McKee
DM
David McKee
1 year ago

All right, let’s assume the Americans did do it (and that is far from proven). So what? Are we to think, “How terrible! Allies are not supposed to treat each other like that!”?
Want to bet?
Shortly after the fall of France in 1940, the British discovered they had a problem. Hitler could get his hands on the French fleet, and use it to invade Britain. So the British pre-empted that, by attacking the French fleet at Mers-el-Kebir, in North Africa. Hundreds of French sailors died, but it removed a clear and present danger for the British. It was ruthless, but effective.
International relations is a cold-hearted business, where national interest is all that matters. Under the circumstances, the Germans have got away lightly. So (if the Americans did it – big if), then the moral of the story is, next time, take a gentle hint from Washington seriously.

Frank McCusker
FM
Frank McCusker
1 year ago

From last week’s Telegraph:
“Andriy Kobolyev, who was CEO of Naftogaz up until 2021, told the Telegraph it could have been the result of explosive devices planted well in advance as a sort-of insurance measure.
He said that it was common practice in Soviet times *to build explosives into key infrastructure* in case it was captured in war.
“Knowing that many of these guys are ex-KGB, we shouldn’t be surprised that they use this as a standard,” said Mr Kobolyev.

Perry de Havilland
Perry de Havilland
1 year ago

“Is Germany just a collateral victim of the United States’ proxy war against Russia? Or could Germany have been a target of economic warfare itself?”
Oh good lord. If the war in Ukraine is a “proxy war” then so was the Second World War until December 11th 1941, given USA was sending UK weapons whilst still neutral. And the notion this war started as a cunning USA ploy to screw Russia is ludicrous, given the near universal assumption Kyiv would fall in the first week. USA has been playing catch-up (which it has now pretty much done) rather than manipulating events.
USA has zero interest in dis-aggrandising Germany, given successive German governments have managed the astonishing feat of being Europe’s largest economy whilst at the same time being a geopolitical irrelevance. Certainly Trump’s well founded warnings to Berlin about its insane suicidal energy policies and lack of military spending were not founded on fear of an assertive Germany, but rather exasperation they not taking their own security and geopolitical potential seriously. This war was close to inevitable & entirely foreseeable, given Putin’s oft stated views. The Russkiy Mir ideology is now widely entrenched as Russia’s mainstream worldview. None of that was a secret to anyone who follows Russian think tanks or even just reads Russian focused RIA Novosti rather than foreign useful-idiot focused RT (Russia Today). It was never about NATO expansion (RT narrative), it was always about Russian expansion (Russkiy Mir narrative).
A great many in the halls of power in USA would be *delighted* if Europe was not dependent on US military backup at a time when the real geopolitical threat to USA is China. If Germany, along with France & Italy, can’t see how it is in their interests for EUROPE to not allow Russia to once again share a border with Slovakia & Romania (Moldova would hardly be a speed bump), it is hardly surprising Polish & Baltic (let along Ukrainian) politicians keep turning to the “Anglo-Saxons”. That London is more influential than Berlin in Eastern Europe is a pretty damning indictment of where Germany finds itself.
If anyone in Washington DC has it in for Germany, it’s because they refuse to be Europe’s lynchpin rather than its weak spot. Yet after the political fiasco of the last half year, you have Poland planning on going for a mix of US and South Korean rather than German weapons as it rearms, because Berlin is seen as an unreliable partner.

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
1 year ago

sounds ‘sensible” to me perry !

Dell Rose
DR
Dell Rose
1 year ago

I can’t believe this was published on unherd. It is well below the site’s high standards.

Dermot O'Sullivan
DO
Dermot O'Sullivan
1 year ago

Excuse the pun, but reading this I would be suggesting that the last one out in Germany should turn off the lights. Sensational nonesense.

Andrew Boughton
AB
Andrew Boughton
1 year ago

You must enjoy Boys Own Annuals for their documentary value.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CS
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

If this hypothesis is true, surely the US is to be applauded, as it may serve to put Germany ( plus her her EU Helots) “back in her box”, where she rightly belongs?

It also follows a fine US tradition of perpetrating such skulduggery, stretching back at least as far as 1898 and the USS Maine ‘incident’, through the Lusitania and WW I, to the so called “ Day of Infamy “ and on to the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis and so to 9/11 and the Iraq War (s).

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago

Come out of the trees Charles, WWII is over.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CS
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Really?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CS
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

All too predictably the Censor forbids any response.

Ian Stewart
IS
Ian Stewart
1 year ago

I realise Unherd is supposed to provide a challenging insight to the mainstream but this? There’s a bloke in Russia who, it’s generally agreed, has lost the power of rational thought, and you think it’s illogical that he blew up his own pipeline to escalate fear of his power to damage international infrastructure?
Consider your assertion of US involvement – everything gets revealed in the end, and you think they’d risk relations with Germany over a pipeline that has, effectively, been abandoned?
If Unherd goes the same way as QAnon with daft conspiracy theories then it’s lost the plot.

Brett H
BH
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

“Consider your assertion of US involvement – everything gets revealed in the end,”
Well, most things, and some not for a long time. And many things have revealed the insane/corrupt actions of the USA. So not necessarily a conspiracy.

Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
Mr Sketerzen Bhoto
1 year ago
Reply to  Brett H

Well it is a conspiracy. As is the idea that Russia blew up its own pipeline. Both conspiracies need to weighed up and the odds accessed.

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

But the piece does that: probably very, very strongly in favour of a US attack!

Brett H
BH
Brett H
1 year ago

I didn’t say it was a conspiracy. My comment was in reply to Ian’s comment about everything gets revealed.

Pat Davers
Pat Davers
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Given that the US’s interests are much better served by the damage to the pipeline than Russia’s, then it is in no way “conspiratorial” to suggest that the U.S. is behind it.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Pat Davers

Biden and his secr. Newland both threatened to do it! The Polish foreign minister thanked them! Reliable independent commentators almost all agree. It was the US! QUI BONO?

Paul K
PK
Paul K
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

‘There’s a bloke in Russia who, it’s generally agreed, has lost the power of rational thought.’
That’s not ‘generally agreed’ at all. Putin seems very rational to me. Listen to his speeches. They make more sense than Joe Biden’s. You can vehemently disagree with him without the easy option of calling him mad – or, indeed, calling well-argued articles ‘daft conspiracy theories’ just because they don’t flatter your own prejudices.
As a rule, the use of the phrase ‘conspiracy theory’ is itself a sign that the user has given up thinking.

Brendan O'Leary
BO
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul K

“More sense than Biden” is a pretty low bar though.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul K

…plain as the nose on his face. Still he cannot see it??

Steve Cobb
SC
Steve Cobb
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul K

Ian Stewart called Putin ‘irrational’, not ‘mad’, and I find that a fitting description of Putin’s recent speech. At the very least it contained a lot of unintended irony. Note that Putin’s interests and Russia’s were never aligned, and diverging fast. While destroying the NS2 pipeline seems clearly against Russia’s interests, it was not necessarily against Putin’s.

Alan Tonkyn
AT
Alan Tonkyn
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul K

‘Putin seems very rational to me.’ Really? Is it rational to cause the deaths of thousands of your young men in a war that could drag on for years? Is it rational to lose billions of dollars of military hardware, and thereby weaken your military power? Is it rational to place your faltering economy under huge strain through this war and the sanctions that it has brought on Russia? Is it rational to ‘liberate’ a neighbouring country from imaginary ‘Nazis’ by smashing its cities to pieces and killing thousands of civilians? Is Putin’s dream of some kind of revival of the USSR a rational aim? Even if we accept that Putin’s ability to think rationally at the outset of this war was affected by getting poor information on its likely progress, his willingness to carry on with it suggests a manic pride which can’t be called ‘rational’.

Russell Hamilton
RH
Russell Hamilton
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

escalate fear of his power to damage international infrastructure?”

I heard on the radio that this pipeline was punctured a day before a new gas pipeline – the Baltic Pipe – was opened. The new pipe takes gas from Norway to Poland. So it could be Putin’s way of saying ‘see what I can do to your pipelines’.

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago

So what are you saying? He somehow blew up the wrong pipeline??? Get a grip will you!

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
1 year ago

There’s been very little reporting in the UK on Baltic Pipe. Commissioned by Poland and Denmark some time ago, starting about 2013. For some strange reason, Poland did not wish to be reliant on Russian gas. A real head-scratcher, that one! https://www.baltic-pipe.eu/

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/canadas-alberta-province-dropping-provincial-fuel-tax-oil-prices-surge-2022-03-07/ Canada cutting taxes for its citezens due to increase in oil revenues

Loss of rational thought? I think its the west loosing its mind. How about this straight out of kiev, far right militia with more power than police from the BBC https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hE6b4ao8gAQ

Excellent write up on how the west has pushed for war https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-9482475/PETER-HITCHENS-Dont-blame-Russia-ones-pushing-war.html
If putin wanted to demonstrate an attack on infrastructure it is more likely and would make a million times more sense that he would have attacked the new pipeline that opened that day between Norway and Poland, not his own multi billion dollar project.

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

The “Putin’s gone mad” argument is the thinnest of all arguments, and smacks of war propaganda. If we accept it, we might just as well say we’ve gone mad. And then add the obligatory: “We must squeeze the Russians till the pips squeak.”

Frank McCusker
FM
Frank McCusker
1 year ago

Not tongue-lolling-out-of-mouth mad, and not hearing-voices-in-his-head mad; but certainly psychotic mad. Anyone who’s relaxed about slaughter to serve his own narrow power interest is a psycho, even if he is rational in pursuit of his own ends. Most psychopaths are 100% rational, to the exclusion of empathy – that’s why we hold them to be, in that sense, mad. Putin is a vicious madman.  

Brett H
Brett H
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

One of the problems I’ve always had with Putin was knowing from interviews, particularly with Oliver Stone, that he was a very intelligent, persuasive person, more intelligent than many US politicians, but that he also represented and believed in a system I considered wrong and destructive. So if it satisfies your fears to dismiss him as a madman then do so, but don’t underestimate him as a result.

Andrew Boughton
AB
Andrew Boughton
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Frank, I don’t believe he’s even remotely “relaxed about slaughter” nor vicious. Anyone observing him would not class a man who until now consistently saluted the virtues and values of the American system while taking issue with their FP as vicious or mad. He and Yeltsin were indeed persistently keen to join NATO. The Russians were all extremely positive toward the US. Perhaps it’s something other than viciousness.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Also America has lost control of opec https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Has-OPEC-Dictated-The-Outcome-Of-The-US-Mid-term-Elections.html
Maybe blowing up pipelines is the only way america can continue to manipulate the fossil fuel markets and opec. The west is about to fall and walking into confrontation with russia and China is probably not a wise move when you are no longer holding all the cards. It would be madness not to negotiate at this point.

Charles Elliston
CE
Charles Elliston
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

You can make a list of current world leaders (let’s stick to those in the West) that have lost the power of rational thought. Joe Biden would be pretty high on the list (observe him in action), Justin Trudeau (apparent narcissist), Mark Rutte (surpassing Justin in the pursuit of wrecking their agricultural industries and the removal of democratic rights), European leaders generally pursuing an impossible Green Agenda while waging a war which will frankly undermine any gains to ‘save the planet’,unless the intention to do so is by creating the collapse of industry and starvation.

Warren Trees
WT
Warren Trees
1 year ago

How can so many see what’s happening with our own eyes, yet so many cannot?

David Batlle
DB
David Batlle
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Putin may be a “madman”, but no more so than the foreign policy establishment in the United States that has been provoking Russia for the last 30 years. If he’s one, they are too.

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

But didn’t you read… the US has done exactly this sort of thing, blow up pipelines before! Including one in Siberia! The US is banking on the MSM and rationalists (like you) to carry it off! The evidence is overwhelming.. what will it take for the gullible rationists to see what is staring them in the face? Didn’t you read Julian Assange’s revelations? Do you really think the Yanks are the good guys? 100,000 Iraqi children killed by the US nd Madeline Albright said: “It was worth it!” Try and get you mind around that level of evil.

chris sullivan
CS
chris sullivan
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

That is a lot of thumbs down for a reasonable comment ????