Are you receiving the message loud and clear? Accuse the US of sabotaging Nord Stream and it’s a conspiracy theory. Accuse Russia of doing the same thing and it’s news.
Not that both theories are equally well-evidenced. One wouldn’t expect them to be in a contest in which one party had their own energy infrastructure sabotaged.
Washington’s goals are not confined to containing the challenge to dollar hegemony posed by nuclear armed China and Russia. 1 It seeks also to bind Europe more closely to its imperial orbit, most visibly by forcing it to prioritise DC loyalty over cheap Russian gas, regardless of the fall-out for shivering Europeans who fondly suppose themselves citizens of sovereign democracies.
Nordstrom 2 is a bête noire since, unlike foreign technology dependent Nordstrom 1, it is under Russian control so less vulnerable to parts and maintenance embargo, or cyber-attack.
But seabed sabotage is a different matter when both pipelines run for some 1200 kilometres under the Baltic, below international waters close to littoral states hostile and/or cowed by Washington. Here’s Caitlin Johnstone writing today, with a well documented piece on the one-sided usage, by our degraded media and warmongering leaders, of the “conspiracy theory” pejorative 2
It’s Only A ‘Conspiracy Theory’ When It Accuses The US Government
The western political/media class has been dismissing as “conspiracy theories” all claims that the US is likely responsible for last month’s sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipelines, even while leveling the exact same accusations against Russia without ever using that term. Which probably says a lot about the way that label has been used over the years, if you think about it.
At a UN Security Council meeting on Friday, US envoy Richard Mills repeatedly accused Russia of promoting “conspiracy theories” in its Nord Stream accusations against the United States, saying that “our Russian colleagues have decided to instrumentalize the Security Council meeting to spread conspiracy theories and disinformation.”
“It’s important that we use this meeting not to foster conspiracy theories, but to focus our attention on Russia’s blatant violation of the Charter and its crimes in Ukraine,” Mills argues, after saying that “the United States categorically denies any involvement in this incident” and that there is no justification for “the Russian delegation raising conspiracy theories and mass disinformation in this Council.”
Mills then hilariously spends the remainder of his remarks insinuating that it is actually Russia who perpetrated the attacks, mentioning the word “infrastructure” no less than nine times in his arguments to establish that in Ukraine, Russia has a history of attacking critical civilian infrastructure similar to the pipelines.
“Sabotage of critical infrastructure should be of concern to us all,” Mills says. “In the context of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, we have seen numerous Russian attacks damaging civilian infrastructure. We witnessed Russia recklessly seize control of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, risking a nuclear disaster in Europe. We saw countless attacks destroying civilian electricity infrastructure.”
“Despite efforts that we heard today to distract us from the truth, to distribute more disinformation and slightly wacky theories, the facts on the ground in Ukraine speak for themselves,” Mills concludes.
Business Insider has a new article out titled “The sabotage of gas pipelines were a ‘warning shot’ from Putin to the West, and should brace for more subterfuge, Russia experts warn.” The “experts” in question are as follows:
- Former CIA director John Brennan, who was caught spying on US lawmakers and lying about it during the Senate’s investigation into CIA torture practices.
- US intelligence veteran Andrea Kendall-Taylor, now a Senior Fellow at the warmongering think tank Center for a New American Security, whose top donors are the Pentagon and the arms manufacturer Northrop Grumman.
- Cynthia Hooper, a history professor at the College of the Holy Cross.
That’s it; that’s all the experts. Two lying warmongers and a history professor.
Nowhere in the Business Insider article do the words “conspiracy” or “theory” appear. Contrast this with the recent Associated Press article titled “Russians push baseless theory blaming US for burst pipeline”, which was so frantic to spin accusations of US Nord Stream sabotage as a crazy conspiracy theory that it framed it as something only QAnon cultists believe.
The suggestion that the U.S. caused the damage was circulating on online forums popular with American conservatives and followers of QAnon, a conspiracy theory movement which asserts that Trump is fighting a battle against a Satanic child-trafficking sect that controls world events.
Over and over again we see the pejorative “conspiracy theory” applied to accusations against one nation but not the other, despite the fact that it’s the exact same accusation. They are both conspiracy theories per definition: they’re theories about an alleged conspiracy to sabotage Russian pipelines. But the western political/media class consistently applies that label to one and never the other.
Here’s a link to another Business Insider article applying the “conspiracy theory” label to accusations of US Nord Stream sabotage. Here’s one from The Independent doing the same. Here’s one from The Washington Post. Here’s one from Newsweek. Here’s one from Vox. Here’s one from The Atlantic Council think tank. Here’s one from the Brookings Institution think tank. Here’s one from Media Matters for America, founded by the Center for American Progress think tank.
Do you get the message? Are you receiving the messaging loud and clear? Accuse the US of sabotaging the Nord Stream pipelines and it’s called a conspiracy theory. Accuse Russia of doing the exact same thing and it’s called news.
And of course by pointing out this cartoonish double standard I do not mean to suggest that both theories are equally well-evidenced. One wouldn’t expect them to be in a contest in which one party had their own energy infrastructure sabotaged.
According to @SecBlinken, the Nord Stream pipeline bombing "offers tremendous strategic opportunity for the years to come." Too bad that this tremendous opportunity for DC bureaucrats will come at the expense of everyone else, especially this coming winter. pic.twitter.com/T2eacQUuBF
— Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) October 1, 2022
For example, there’s the fact that Secretary of State Antony Blinken explicitly said that the sabotage of pipelines delivering Russian gas to Germany offers a “tremendous opportunity” to end Europe’s dependency on Russian energy. There’s also the fact that a 2019 Pentagon-commissioned study by the RAND Corporation on how to overextend and weaken Russia explicitly stated that the US would benefit from stopping Nord Stream 2. There’s also the fact that both President Biden and his Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland explicitly said that Nord Stream 2 would be brought to an end if Russia invades Ukraine, the fact that the US sanctioned those who built Nord Stream 2, the fact that former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice is on record saying the US wants Europeans to be more dependent on North American energy than on pipelines from Russia, the fact that Germans had just been angrily demanding an end to US-led sanctions on Russia and a reopening of Nord Stream gas, the fact that US naval forces were recently conducting unmanned underwater vehicle drills right where the pipelines were attacked, the fact that unmanned underwater vehicles have been found carrying explosive charges near Russian pipelines in the past, the fact that Poland literally just inaugurated a gas pipeline that will transport gas from Norway through Denmark and the Baltic Sea, the fact that US military helicopters were reportedly recorded traveling between the blast points and along the Nord Stream 2 pipeline shortly before the explosions, and the fact that the CIA has a known history of blowing up Russian gas pipelines.
But sure, if you think the United States could have any responsibility for this attack at all, you’re a crazy conspiracy theorist and no different from QAnoners who think pedophile Satan worshippers rule the world.
Okay, empire. Message received. Does make me wonder about some of those other “conspiracy theories” you’ve told us to ignore, though.
* * *
- I mention the nuclear status of China and Russia for two reasons. One is that it renders them far less open to the bullying meted out to empire disobedient states lacking this deterrent – Iraq, Libya and, prior to Russia’s 2016 intervention, Syria spring immediately to mind. The other is that we do well to keep in mind the level of risk incurred on our behalf by Western elites who have spent decades provoking both powers.
- Personally I resist using “conspiracy theory” as a put-down. Some theories of conspiracy on high are established beyond reasonable doubt, for instance the Tonkin Incident which allowed LB Johnson to interrupt US national TV broadcasting and effectively commit his country to war on “North Vietnam”. Others are by accepted standards of evidence-based reasoning nonsense. Yet others lie somewhere between. To take the most unsettling example of this last group, official explanations of 9/11, the 2005 NIST Report included, are so replete with holes to as make conspiracy theories inevitable. Some veer towards the nonsensical (e.g. that 9/11 did not happen). Others are less easily dismissed. The general point being that evidence-lite dismissals of “conspiracy theories” are too often motivated by ignorance and unjustified confidence in our media political classes. At best. As for this one, I concur fully with Caitlin. Washington’s fingerprints are all over it.
Have been researching the sabotage by the US and found what U was looking for:
Flightradar24 is a Swedish internet-based service that shows real-time tracking information on a map. It includes flight tracking information, origins and destinations….
US helicopters circled over Nordstream for weeks
More and more disturbing details are coming to light in connection with the bombing of the Nordstream pipeline in the Baltic Sea. October 1, 2022, 8:47 am
The Arabic news channel Al Mayadeen reported that weeks before the attack, US helicopters were circling over the sea area where the fatal explosions took place on September 26 with a striking frequency.
This can be reconstructed using the flight data from the online service “Flightradar24”. According to this, at the beginning of September, just under a month before the attack, a US Navy Sikorsky MH-60R “Seahawk” helicopter was circling for hours on several consecutive days – especially on September 1, 2 and 3 later over the area of the damaged natural gas pipelines not far from the island of Bornholm.
According to the aircraft tracking portal, the US helicopter flew from Gdansk to the area where the Nordstream pipelines were several times.
On September 10 and 19, US helicopters also flew over Nordstream 1, and on the nights between September 22 and 25, several helicopters stayed for hours over the site of later explosions. The helicopters that were in the air on the night of September 22 to 23 and 25 to 26 left particularly confusing flight tracks.
On the latter night, a multi-purpose MH-60R “Strike Hawk” helicopter circled for nine hours over a sea area about 250 kilometers from Bornholm, from about 5:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Central European Time. Among other things, the “Strike Hawk” can fight underwater targets.
No repair work possible
No repair work will be taking place on Nordstream Pipelines 1 and 2. Such tasks would have to be commissioned and paid for by Russia, because Russia owns the pipelines. And the EU would have to lift its sanctions against Russia to carry out the work. This is not to be expected in the foreseeable future.
The time window for a possible repair closes in October. Because the tubes are currently full of salt water. Without immediate action, this salt water will corrode the tubes, which are protected against its effects only on the outside, but not on the inside. This information is also available to the federal government, which appears to have written off the entire Nordstream project.
With the demise of Nordstream, the German economy lost billions in value.
If you follow the logic then the US used their helicopters as transports for collecting both the 700 kilos of TNT and the divers needed to plant the explosive devices to and from the sea going vessel awaiting the transfers of both – which was likely a British naval vessel – and thus are guilty of sabotage.
I quite like being an Elliot Higgins stand in, he’s always right according to our corrupt media and of course attendant regime US brown nosers, so it should only be a matter of rubber stamping the findings as “irrefutable proof” to quote Samantha Powers re Iran having nuclear missile capability and hey presto – sorted.
I could draw lots of maps showing how the US helicopters ferried the divers and TNT and why “the helicopters in the air on the night of September 22nd and 23rd and 25th to 26th left particularly confusing flight tracks”, I could just invent the presence of the British Naval vessel/s involved in the subterfuge and subsequent sabotage. It works when the West apportions blame to the “enemy” of the day, making wild, baseless and unevidenced accusations. But then, the west has a reputation for doing just that and brainwashing their citizenry into believing it whilst censoring any content that might prove the lies.
I know what is basically, an Act of War against the Russian Federation is not a joking matter, but reading/watching outrageously dishonest propaganda in our mainstream media is no joke either.
Hope you are well.
I’m well Susan thanks, and I see you remain as well informed as ever.
Pepe Escobar has a slightly different take on who the act of war was directed towards:
A good piece, thanks. It adds detail, plus legitimate speculation along cui bono? lines and, of course, the usual Pepe Escobar grandstanding – but informed grandstanding. I recommend it unreservedly.
But it does not, I think, alter the broader picture that (a) Washington benefits from the attacks, however short term the gain, and (b) to say so is to stand accused of indulging in conspiracy theory.
One question which arises is to how Washington benefits?
One school of thought focuses on energy exports in the form of LNG and oil to a Europe which now has no foreseeable practical and realistic (despite technically feasible/viable suggestions of repair to the three out of four NS1/2 pipes being put out of commission) chance of accessing former cheap Eurasian gas.
However, as Jorge Vilches has consistently detailed on The Saker blog in recent months –
see here for just one example: https://thesaker.is/europe-fails-with-german-help/
the physical infrastructure to handle the required volumes does not exist for either LNG or Urals oil.
The port, transport, and delivery infrastructure across Europe is at least 4-5 years away for LNG and oil. And we have not even considered the existence of sufficient tanker capacity to haul this expensive energy across the Atlantic. Nor that even the limited capacity which does exist runs on diesel.
Or, for that matter, how a Europe with no industry and running on debt is going to afford to pay for this energy from Washington insisting on payment in dollars given the disparities between the currencies.
At present the oil situation – in which the entire refining operation can only produce an end product (petrol/diesel/aviation and other derivatives) using Urals blend oil (see Jorge Vilches again) – is a little better than the gas. Simply because, unlike NS1/2, the oil pipelines from Russia have not yet been sabotaged.
What seems more likely, in terms of benefits to Washington, is:
– It gets to pick up European industry and firms going out of business for pennies on the dollar.
– European companies relocate to the US bringing expertise necessary to re-industrialise the US economy.
– A strategic competitor – ie Europe is removed.
– In Geo-political terms Europe becomes an irrelevance in terms of being at any post unipolar world bargaining table.
As Kissenger is purported to have remarked ‘being a friend of the US can be fatal.’
The only question which remains is whether the UK gets sucked into this quagmire in which Europe becomes an impoverished backwater with its collectivize economy reduced back to, at best, the levels ‘enjoyed’ during the Dark Ages.