Strategic Review – Sept 30, 2022
The explosions disrupting the Nord Stream pipelines this week might have been caused by an accidental blow-out. For months now, the undersea pipelines have been hampered by maintenance delays or made to lie idle due to Western economic sanctions imposed on Russia.
Given the immense physical pressures bearing down on the 1,222-kilometer infrastructure lying on the seabed of the Baltic, it is possible that an accident was waiting to happen, for which nevertheless the United States and its NATO allies can be held culpable owing to their obstinate blockade on the normal functioning of the Nord Stream facility.
Having said that, however, a plausible cause is deliberate sabotage. If that’s the case, then it is an act of terrorism against civilian infrastructure and a grievous blow to Russia’s national interests. It could be construed as a criminal act of war.
There is also a precedent of gas pipe sabotage. Some 40 years ago, the CIA was implicated in blowing up a Soviet natural gas pipeline from Siberia to Europe in an operation dubbed Farewell Dossier, as documented by Thomas Reed, a former U.S. Air Force officer.
The occurrence of four almost-simultaneous explosions causing serious damage to two separate pipelines, Nord Stream 1 and 2, beggars belief it was merely an accident. The implication is that the U.S. and NATO forces took military action to destroy Russia’s strategic gas link with the rest of Europe.
First, we have the self-incriminating words of American President Joe Biden himself. Back in February, Biden declared in an ominous warning that Nord Stream would be “brought to an end” if Russian troops invaded Ukraine. His cryptic assertion, over-riding European governments, suggests that a contingency plan had already been authorized to take out the Nord Stream. And, it seems, the nefarious action duly went ahead this week.
Second, Poland’s former foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorsky wasted no time publicly congratulating the United States for sabotaging the Russian infrastructure. Sikorsky subsequently deleted his statement of gratitude in a foolish attempt to conceal his remarks. The hawkish Polish politician, who is currently a Member of the European Parliament, is well-connected in Washington and in NATO circles. His disgraceful euphoria over presumed state terrorism can be taken as an unintended admission of guilt.
There is also the incriminating issue of timing. The audacious incident served as a convenient distraction from the historic referenda held in four former Ukrainian territories: the two Donbass self-declared republics as well as the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions. Millions of people voted overwhelmingly this week to join the Russian Federation. The ballots were cast in free and fair elections, according to international observers, despite ongoing artillery shelling of the regions by the NATO-backed Kiev regime. Western news media ignored that reality by making outrageous claims that the referenda were conducted with guns held to people’s heads by Russian troops. The reality is that people were voting while under fire from NATO weapons. And yet the results show near-unanimous support for these regions becoming a sovereign part of Russia in the same way that Crimea voted in 2014.
The landmark referenda completely demolish Western propaganda claims about unprovoked Russian aggression against Ukraine. The votes also vindicate the decision by Russian President Vladimir Putin to launch a special military operation on February 24 to protect the Russian-speaking populations in Ukraine from NATO-sponsored terrorism carried out by Nazi-affiliated Kiev forces.
The suspicion is that Washington and its NATO partners anticipated a “bad news story” this week from the historic votes in former Ukraine, despite the West’s attempt to smear the referenda. The explosions hitting the Nord Stream pipelines provided a handy distraction from the embarrassing votes in favor of Russia.
There is also the issue of capability. Earlier this summer, the U.S. and other NATO forces were involved in testing the use of underwater drones in the Baltic Sea, specifically near the Danish island of Bornholm. It was in this very area that the Nord Stream pipes incurred damage from what appear to have been four explosions in quick succession, according to monitoring data recorded by the Swedish geological survey center at Uppsala.
The Biden administration said it was “preposterous” to suggest that the U.S. was involved in a malicious act. Guffaw! It would be impossibly naive to take its word on the matter. The United States and its military agencies have a long, disreputable history of such malicious practices.
Thus, in sum, we have forewarning by Biden, admission by Polish acolytes, plus means and motive, which all point to the explosions as acts of terrorist sabotage.
Moreover, we have to put the event into a bigger geopolitical perspective which makes it all the more convincing that this was a willful, criminal act of destruction. Ever since the Nord Stream pipeline project began more than a decade ago, the United States and its transatlantic European surrogates have been obsessed with trying to thwart the mutually beneficial energy trade between Russia and the rest of Europe. Successive U.S. administrations, whether Republican or Democrat, have vowed to hew Europe from Russian supplies of oil and natural gas. It is a glaring case of rigging the supposed “capitalist free market” so that more expensive American hydrocarbons can displace affordable, reliable, and cleaner Russian fuel.
To get away with this de facto piracy, the United States has done everything to incite hostility against Russia and bring back the geopolitics of the Cold War. Under the guise of “defending” Europe from Russian “aggression”, the real objective is to sell American energy exports as well as vast amounts of weaponry. Provoking war in Ukraine amid relentless NATO expansion towards Russia’s borders has fomented the desired climate of hostility and zero-sum divisions.
Sure enough, as the Russian energy trade with Europe has crashed under sanctions and recriminations, the American exports of liquefied natural gas have ramped up with soaring profits.
The explosions at the Nord Stream pipelines seem intended to make sure the damage to Russian relations with Europe is irreparable.
If it is indeed confirmed to be an act of state terrorism, then that will be a red line that Russia cannot ignore. Moscow has repeatedly warned the U.S. and NATO to back off from their aggression by arming the Kiev regime. Putin has warned that the Western powers are recklessly pushing toward a catastrophic nuclear war. Attacking Russia’s natural wealth and civilian infrastructure is another step toward the abyss.