The Nord Stream pipelines, which run under the Baltic Sea, have been severed by an explosion, causing huge amounts of natural gas to spill out into the ocean. That much is certain. Moreover, sabotage was the most likely cause. After all, one pipeline being breached by an explosion would be suspicious. But two? In three separate places? Especially with those pipelines being a bone of contention between major powers in the midst of a war? High unlikely.
And it isn't just the multiplying of coincidences -- according to Bloomberg, there is hard evidence that it was not an accident:
Germany suspects the damage to the Nord Stream pipeline system used to transport Russian gas to Europe was the result of sabotage. The evidence points to a violent act, rather than a technical issue, according to a German security official, who asked not to be identified because the matter is being probed. In response to the pipeline leaks in the Baltic Sea, Denmark is tightening security around energy assets.
So who is responsible? Early statements from Western leaders have pointed the finger at Russia, but it seems extremely unlikely that Vladimir Putin would order the destruction of his own pipeline. Especially since he has been using Nord Stream to remind German Chancellor Olaf Scholz of the cost to his country for the continuation of the war in Ukraine into the winter months. As this author wrote recently, the Russians have "cut down natural gas flows to Germany by 60 percent, blaming mechanical problems while ostentatiously burning $10 million worth of natural gas per day at the mouth of the Nord Stream pipeline rather than sending it to Germany."
Why would Putin cut off his own pressure point? And if not him, who? Tucker Carlson has a theory. Perhaps it was the Biden White House. It sounds crazy: could Biden, Carlson asks, and his merry band of environmentalists intentionally leak millions of gallons of liquid natural gas into the ocean, and from there into the atmosphere, when they are always going on about the horrible effects of gas on the environment?
At the same time, Carlson and his team have unearthed footage of President Biden and the State Department's Victoria Nuland (who always seems to be caught up in the affairs of Ukraine) assuring the American people that if Putin invades, than (in Biden's words) "there will be no longer a Nord Stream... We will bring an end to it."
Moreover, Carlson points to a tweet from Polish politician Radek Sikorski, who is overjoyed by this development and clearly thinks it has Biden's fingerprints on it.
Sikorski is a member of the neo-liberal Civic Platform party (which the Biden administration would love to see come back into power in Poland) and previously served as Minister of Foreign Affairs under Donald Tusk, who went onto become president of the European Union. He's also married to The Atlantic's Anne Applebaum, who Carlson rightly refers to as the liberal world order's "regime stenographer." All of which is to say, he's very well connected and this is more than conjecture on his part.
What would be the consequences if it does turn out that the America is responsible? Mark Antonio Wright thinks it would mean a serious breach between Germany and the United States:
It shouldn’t need to be said, however, that the fingerprints of the United States on this incident would break the Western alliance. Whether or not it was bad economic and geopolitical policy on the part of the Germans to build this pipeline (and it surely was), the Germans would never forgive America for such an action. Do you think that German politicians would be able to withstand the political pressure from a very cold German public during a very cold German winter if America could be shown to be responsible for some of that trouble? I don’t. The Germans would throw the Ukrainians overboard, and the United States would have surrendered the moral high ground and probably lost this war in a single stroke.
Tucker Carlson's take is even darker. He argues that this would be a direct provocation of "the largest nuclear power in the world." Not, he says, that we should expect it to go nuclear immediately. But it would give Russia a real excuse to engage in some industrial sabotage of its own. Which could, very quickly, "cascade downward" into the homes of average Americans.
Watch his report and make your own decision.
Unlike Trump, Biden Puts Moscow First
Over at Newsweek Josh Hammer has a good piece on the Biden Administration's capitulation on Putin's Nord Stream 2 pipeline which, among other things, highlights the American Left's Russian schizophrenia.
We all remember the Obama years which brought us the Hillary Clinton "Russia Reset'" button; then- President Obama's famous debate smack down of Mitt Romney for his pugnacious attitude towards Moscow, "The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back;" and Barack's assuring Dmitry Medvedev that he would have “more flexibility” in dealing with his country once the election was over. Things were all candy and flowers.
Then came the 2016 election, which saw Trump, like every U.S. president going back to Reagan, indicating a preference for improving relations between the two powers. The Left lost its collective mind in response, to the point that watching Rachel Maddow's nightly show got to be like hanging out with Joe McCarthy while he was on a bender, only a lot less fun.
Hammer does a good job of illustrating how little their accusations actually matched the facts on the ground:
The irony is that Trump, on the actual substantive merits, toed a very hawkish line on the Russian Federation. He shored up missile defense in Central and Eastern Europe, which the Obama administration had undermined.... He repeatedly stood strongly with America's ex-Iron Curtain allies, delivering a powerful, Reagan-esque 2017 foreign policy speech in Warsaw that was aimed squarely at Moscow. He unilaterally withdrew the U.S. from certain bilateral and multilateral accords... that buttressed Russia due to the simple fact that it did not comply and America did. Trump also adamantly opposed and issued strong sanctions to try to prevent the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline."
That was because Nord Stream 2 would, as I wrote in May, increase Germany's addiction to Russian energy (since their own electricity rates have skyrocketed due to their foolish Energiewende program), replenish the Kremlin's coffers that had been hurt by several years of low energy prices as well as Covid, and alienate our Eastern European allies who are understandably anxious about Russian domination.
Hammer calls Biden's decision to greenlight the project "a stunning about-face." After all, the president never shied away from the Dems' constant assertion that when Trump said "America First" he really meant "Moscow First." Biden frequently calls Putin a "KGB thug," and claims to have once looked him in the face and said "I don't think you have a soul." And on Nord Stream 2 specifically, the Biden administration frequently reiterated that their position is essentially that of the last administration, right up until the day before it changed completely.
So who does this benefit? Putin, obviously, as well as the Merkel government, whose energy failures can be papered over with Russian oil and gas. And who loses out? Aside from America's allies in the region, the biggest losers are America's natural gas exporters, who are effectively locked out of a key European market.
So tell me again, which president actually puts Moscow first?
Russian Pipelines, Da, American Pipelines, Nyet
Let me get this straight. Recently, Russian hackers shut down North America's largest pipeline for days, massively disrupting the supply chain on the eastern seaboard and leading to shortages and price spikes. Eventually Colonial, Inc, the line's owner, paid a $5 million ransom to get it up and running again, a decision about which the Biden administration officially had no opinion. Of course, anyone with half a brain knows that's a lie, that they must have been working both sides, pushing Colonial to towards a course of action (presumably the one they took) on the one hand, and engaging their Russian counterparts about it on the other.
Well, the cyberterrorists got what they asked for, and now the Putin regime have gotten their dearest wish as well: the Biden Administration will allow construction of the Nord 2 pipeline project which will enable Russia to satisfy Germany's appetite for oil and gas (which has become more voracious since Germany embarked on its foolhardy Energiewende policy) without passing through Ukraine, a country where anti-Russian sentiment is rife. Moreover, Biden is waiving existing sanctions on the company building the pipeline and its president, Putin ally and former Stasi officer Matthias Warnig, to get the project done.
This is surprising, as Team Biden have been very open about their opposition to Nord Stream 2, fearing it would shift the balance of power in the region by getting Germany addicted to cheap Russian energy, boosting Russia's economy, and further subordinating the smaller countries in the region to the larger. Just this February, Jen Psaki was uncompromising when she articulated the administration's view on the matter:
Our position on Nord Stream 2 has been very clear, and it remains unchanged. President Biden has made clear that Nord Stream 2 is a bad deal. It’s a bad deal because it divides Europe, it exposes Ukraine and Central Europe to... Russian manipulation, and because it goes against Europe’s own stated energy and security goals.
And then suddenly Bidenettes backed down. Something strange is going on here. Foreign policy analyst Rebeccah Heinrichs tweeted sarcastically, "How absolutely wild is it that Russians attacked a US pipeline while gas prices were already high and like two days after the US company pays the relatively small ransom Biden lifts sanctions on Nord Stream 2." It's definitely suspicious.
Then again, the two events might be unrelated. What is indisputable, however, is that this move looks ridiculous in light of Biden's anti-pipeline domestic policy. As Dan Foster put it, "Killing energy jobs in Oklahoma and creating them in St. Petersburg is so comically inept and villainous you could never even try it without the entire press in your back pocket."
It isn't hyperbole to say Donald Trump (alleged Putin patsy, who was actually tougher on Russia than any president since the fall of the Berlin Wall) would have been impeached for this. After all, he was impeached for less.