Pipeline terrorism: Who benefits?

Western media allegations denouncing Russia’s alleged act of (self) sabotage make no sense, either politically or economically.

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Polish member of the EU parliament Radek Sikorski took to Twitter to thank the USA for blowing up the Nord Stream pipeline. And indeed, as soon as we ask the question: ‘Cui bono?’ and look a little closer into the circumstances, a very different answer presents itself than the one being glibly presented as ‘obvious’ by imperialist media and politicians. Moreover, demonstrations by workers in Germany and elsewhere demanding the reopening of the Nord Stream pipelines had been picking up steam in recent weeks. Whoever had an interest in making sure that demand could not be met, it was not Russia.

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Whoever it was that caused four massive explosions under the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline network, it was sure as hell not Russia.

For one thing, why blow up your own very expensive engineering masterpiece? Even aside from the astronomical cost of building it in the first place, just consider the value of the gas that was wasted, which is estimated to be as much as $800m.

And if Russia had it in mind to play political games with the gas supply, maybe taking a leaf out of Ukraine’s book and interrupting or diverting gas supply as a way of applying political pressure, how would blowing the pipelines up be of any help? Better surely to keep the network intact and exercise flexible control of supply – ie, just turn the tap on and off?

In any case, the fact is that Russia has stuck to its contractual obligations, carrying on piping gas through to Europe throughout the special military operation, despite the intensive economic and military war being waged against it by Nato and the European Union. It is not Russia, but Ukraine and Poland, egged on by the USA, that have been blocking gas destined for Germany.

Before the present sabotage attacks changed the picture, the most significant blocking move came from Berlin itself, finally buckling to US pressure and mothballing Nord Stream 2. The loss of Nord Stream 2 was felt all the more keenly when Nord Stream 1, in the absence of regular maintenance by Siemens, developed a major fault. The US-imposed sanction regime prevented Siemens from fixing the problem – another own goal.

So cui bono? Who benefits from the economic terrorism waged beneath the waves? Not the population of Europe, heading into a cold and hungry winter. And not Germany, whose reputation as the industrial powerhouse of Europe has been holed beneath the waterline.

Der Spiegel records that the “first German companies have begun throwing in the towel and consumption is collapsing in response to the fallout from exploding energy prices. The economy is sliding almost uncontrolled into a crisis that could permanently weaken the country”.

Even Volkswagen, originating as Hitler’s pet project and long an iconic symbol of German manufacturing prowess, is considering emigration. Says the Irish Examiner: “Volkswagen, Europe’s biggest carmaker, warned last week that it could reallocate production out of Germany and eastern Europe if energy prices don’t come down. Europe is paying seven times as much for gas as the USA.” (Both quotes cited in The US is winning its war on Europe’s industries and people, Moon of Alabama, 26 September 2022)

Could it be that he who is most eager to point the finger at Russia is himself the most probable guilty party, hell bent on keeping a weakened Europe under US tutelage?