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One Year After Nord Stream Bombing: Who, or What, Does War Target?

Sept. 26, 2023, (EIRNS)—One year ago, a series of explosions destroyed the Nord Stream pipeline that supplied Russian gas to Germany and one of the two lines of Nord Stream 2. This unparalleled act of terrorism against civilian energy infrastructure helped to usher in an enormously expensive winter for Germany and Europe more generally; energy prices increased by an order of magnitude for several months. Energy-intensive industries have been fleeing Germany, relocating production primarily to China and the United States. With the cumulative cost of over a €100 billion, one might expect Germany to act swiftly to find the culprits, but the truth is essentially the opposite.

In a new article published on the anniversary of the Sept. 26 bombings, journalist Seymour Hersh says that the eventual target of the Nord Stream destruction was not Russia, but in effect Germany, and Europe. “The Biden administration blew up the pipelines, but the action had little to do with winning or stopping the war in Ukraine,” Hersh concludes. “It resulted from fears in the White House that Germany would waver and turn on the flow of Russian gas.... And thus followed the ultimate fear: that America would lose its long-standing primacy in Western Europe.”

When U.S. President Joe Biden threatened Russia on Feb. 7, 2022, that “If Russia invades ... there will no longer be a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it,” he was speaking at a press conference with Olaf Scholz, the Chancellor of Germany, who explained that he was in lockstep with the U.S.: “We are acting together. We are absolutely united.” Later that month, Russian President Putin launched a special military operation in Ukraine. But the pipelines were not destroyed until seven months later. Why? Was there a fear that a rapprochement might be found, that the world might stand up to demand peace and an acknowledgment of Russia’s security concerns? By destroying the pipeline, an avenue of major potential cooperation between Germany and Russia was cut off.

This anniversary comes as the United Nations is concluding its General Debate for 2023, where a growing chorus of nations is insistent that a new paradigm must take hold in the world. “The days when a few nations set the agenda and expected others to fall in line are over,” said the foreign minister of the world’s most populous nation, India. “In our deliberations, we often advocate the promotion of a rules-based order. From time to time, respect for the UN Charter is also invoked. But for all the talk, it is still a few nations who shape the agenda and seek to define the norms. This cannot go on indefinitely. Nor will it go unchallenged.... When reality departs from the rhetoric, we must have the courage to call it out.” The Prime Minister of neighboring Pakistan warned that despite the world’s development needs, “Tensions between the global powers have continued to escalate. We see the rise of new and old military and political blocs. Geo-politics is resurging when geo-economics should have primacy in the world.”

Meanwhile, Canada dramatically strengthened Putin’s argument that de-Nazification was one of Russia’s goals in Ukraine, by applauding a Ukrainian SS volunteer in the House of Commons. This has brought new attention to Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, who held an OUN-B symbol at a rally and whose grandfather, who introduced her to the Ukrainian scouting organization Plast, was the editor for a Nazi newspaper in Krakow. Poland, which suffered mightily at the hands of people such as the guest so grotesquely honored by that Commonwealth realm, denounced the travesty: “This is a person who participated in an organization that was targeting Poles, was committing mass murders of Poles, not only the military personnel but also civilians,” said Poland’s Ambassador to Canada. While the Ukrainian SS soldier “should not have appeared in any public place” to begin with, he should certainly “face prosecution for what his unit was doing” during the Second World War.

It is gratifying to find that applauding Nazis (at least, some of them) crosses a line. But why is the funding of Nazis acceptable?

At the UN, Belarus said that “Ukraine and its people have become a bargaining chip in the ‘Great Game’ played by the West in its quest for preserving global hegemony.” But as the pawns are captured—while inflicting minimal losses on the Russians—a greater threat looms: escalations of strikes into the territory of Russia, by weapons supplied, maintained, and perhaps even operated by NATO nations. The goal is to drive Russia to the wall, to increase pressure until a counterreaction is forced, one that would threaten the world in a game of thermonuclear “chicken.” The deteriorating security situation around Nagorno-Karabakh is another flank against regional stability, and one of six options for “extending Russia” laid out in a 2019 RAND report, “Extending Russia:  Competing from Advantageous Ground.”

In this context, the Aug. 28 call by wise Western military and foreign affairs experts for “Ending the War with a Negotiated Peace” takes on greater urgency.

The world needs not just a modus vivendi of managed co-existence, but a system in which each is devoted to the benefit of the other. Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar expressed such a change in India’s conceived role on the international stage: “From the era of non-alignment, we have now evolved to that of Vishwa Mitra (a friend to the world).”

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