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Nord Stream – sabotage

The Nord Stream Pipeline is disabled, perhaps permanently, definitely by sabotage. The question now becomes: who did it?

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On or about Monday, September 26, pressures in the Nord Stream Pipeline, under the Baltic Sea, dropped to zero. As of the evening of September 27, we know why. Three leaks have sprung in that pipeline, two in the original project (Nord Stream One) and one in the newer project (Nord Stream Two). Swedish and Danish authorities have what they consider clear evidence of sabotage. What they don’t know is who did it – and speculation is running wild.

The Nord Stream Pipeline – where matters stand

Reportage on Nord Stream comes from NPR, Axios, CNN, and The Gateway Pundit. In addition, editor “Anthony T” at We Love Trump has some interesting commentary – and tweets.

The Nord Stream Pipeline consists of two projects, Nord Stream One and Two. Project One began shortly after the change of administration in 2021. Europe had been getting its natural gas from the United States under the Trump administration. President Joe Biden cut that off, citing the Left’s favorite excuse: climate change.

Fine, said the Europeans. They went to Russia with a proposal to buy natural gas (which Russia has in abundance) and use the Nord Stream Pipeline to bring it. Nord Stream is actually a twenty-year-old project.

Project One began operation in 2021. Project Two could operate, but has no certification.

When Russia began its “Special Military Operation” in Ukraine, Europe responded with economic sanctions. This included a halt to the certification process for Project Two. The Russians have responded by throttling Project One back. Earlier this month, they closed the valves, citing maintenance issues.

Early Monday morning, the pressure dropped. For a long time no one knew anything else. But now, seismologists in Sweden and Denmark say flatly that two explosions occurred on the Baltic Sea floor. The explosions happened several hours apart. At last report a large gas plume has formed in the Baltic Sea. The Swedes have ordered all ships to steer clear, for fear that a ship might start a gas explosion.

The cry of sabotage goes out

Authorities everywhere suspect sabotage. Two of the pipes in Project One, and one in Project Two, are leaking. That kind of thing does not happen by accident, and at last report, no one is suggesting an accident anymore. The cry comes from Swedish authorities (per Reuters) and Danish authorities (per the Associated Press).

Even the Russians have at least said they cannot rule out sabotage.

And now the accusations come in.

The Washington Post paraphrased an accusation against Russia by five “Messrs. PFWTS,” as follows:

Five European officials with direct knowledge of security discussions said there was a widespread assumption that Russia was behind the incident. Only Russia had the motivation, the submersible equipment and the capability, several of them said, though they cautioned that they did not yet have direct evidence of Russia’s involvement.

The Kremlin denies responsibility for any sabotage.

Jim Geraghty, at National Review, seemed to be gloating.

Three leaks in two days? Wow, that’s a shame! Sounds like the pipeline’s falling apart and just won’t be a reliable way to get natural gas from Russia to Germany. I guess hopes of Germany and Russia eventually putting aside their differences over the invasion of Ukraine and reestablishing long-term German dependence on Russian energy just won’t happen for the foreseeable future. Just terrible luck for Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin, who clearly thought a cold winter with limited energy supplies would make Germany and other European countries come crawling back to the negotiating table.

Wait a second…!

And yet, almost from the beginning, the Twitterverse accused another party: the United States itself.

Radek Sikorski, Member of the European Parliament, said flatly:

Thank you, USA.

He went on to make light of the loss of Nord Stream, saying,

There’s no shortage of pipeline capacity for taking gas from Russia to Western Europe, including Germany.

He suggests that Nord Stream had already been a controversial project, and seemed to shed no tears over its loss.

A Polish user tweeted a picture of Vladimir Putin in the cockpit of a tiny submarine. That, of course, was to accuse Russia.

Immediately another user pointed out the obvious. Why should Russia bomb its own pipeline, when all they need do is close the valves? Which they’ve already done.

Tucker Carlson flatly accused the United States government of planting those bombs.

Other Twitter users remembered President Biden, on February 7, specifically saying:

If Russia invades … then there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it.

An interviewer asked him how, and Biden reiterated the threat.

Ambassador Victoria Nuland had said something similar in January 27.

Another user cited this YouTube video of Condoleezza Rice saying, in 2014, that the USA had always had a plan to make Europe dependent on the USA and not Russia for energy.

So who did blow up the Nord Stream Pipeline?

No one knows for certain. But maybe Congress – meaning the next Congress, after Midterms – should investigate.

Somebody blew up the Nord Stream Pipeline. Nothing else could have caused those explosions. Nor could the pipes have failed on their own; they were too strong for that. (Sorry, Jim Geraghty, but the project didn’t just “fall apart.”)

Whoever did this, wanted to take it out of the equation. As others have pointed out: why would the Russians do it, if they could simply close the valves?

Those “Messrs. PFWTS,” those five European “officials with direct knowledge of security discussions,” are talking through their hats. About the only accurate thing they said was that Russia has the best submersible equipment and capability. They are, without a doubt, the best submersible shipwrights in the world. Their submarines, especially their Akula (“Shark”) class of fast-attack boats, can dive deeper, longer, than any other submarine in any other Navy in the world. Which also means they are best able to repair the pipeline, if they think it’s worth the trouble. (The Washington Post doesn’t seem to think so. They indicated the project has ended in irreparable failure.)

That leaves us with statements by President Biden and Ambassadors Rice and Nuland, to show motive.

But to what gain?

But what has anyone gained by this act? No one has shown that the gas cutoff has hurt anyone but the Europeans. They are now trying to make up the shortfall in other ways. That must now include rethinking their abandonment of coal and nuclear energy in the name of “the environment.”

Does Russia really lose by losing a market for natural gas? Vladimir Putin wants to make Russia a civilizational state. That means self-sufficiency. Economic sanctions assume a benefit from “free trade” and the perception of that benefit on all sides. The Russians perceive no benefit, but rather a complication they can do without.

The destruction of the Nord Stream Pipelines One and Two now mean that the Russians couldn’t reopen the valves even if they wanted to. That’s the rub: if they wanted to.

Does Biden have a motive? Actually, we should ask: does whoever writes his script have a motive? They were threatening an end to the project last winter, and simply didn’t say how. Is this it? But why? Maybe for the darkest motive of all, and the one most difficult to counter: spite.

That’s why Congress needs to investigate – after Midterms. The present Congress is too feckless to investigate anything the administration does. America will get another Congress next year. Let’s hope they can ask the right questions.

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

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Donald R. Laster, Jr

My first suspects would be “Environmentalist”. Remember what they did ,when they were protesting the Keystone pipeline, involving 2 or 3 other pipelines. They sabotaged them and caused leaks. They got caught as well.

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