Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 20, 2021

Note To Greenwald - The 'Russian' Pipeline Is A Germany Need

Glenn Greenwald writes that President Trump acted more hostile to Russia than President Biden does, even while the media claimed that Trump was 'a Russian agent'. It is probably a fair point to make but in his piece Greenwald himself falls for anti-Russian propaganda nonsense.

The problem starts with the headline:

Biden, Reversing Trump, Permits a Key Putin Goal: a New Russian Natural Gas Pipeline to Germany
That Trump was controlled by Putin and served his agenda was the opposite of reality. First Obama, and now Biden, have accommodated Moscow far more.

Greenwald seems to presume that it is the right or the job of a U.S. president to 'permit' pipelines between two foreign country? That is of course completely false. The U.S. has no right, duty or whatever to interfere in regular businesses between foreign partners. Such interference is in fact illegal under international law. Biden, as well as Trump, should be criticized for even thinking about 'permitting' it.

On to Greenwald's main point:

When it came to actual vital Russian interests — as opposed to the symbolic gestures hyped by the liberal cable and op-ed page circus — Trump and his administration were confronting and undermining the Kremlin in ways Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, had, to his credit, steadfastly refused to do.

Indeed, the foreign policy trait relentlessly attributed to Trump in support of the media’s Cold War conspiracy theory — namely, an aversion to confronting Putin — was, in reality, an overarching and explicit belief of President Obama’s foreign policy, not President Trump’s.

Obama waged a massive undercover war to overthrow the Syrian government, an old Russian ally. He arranged a fascist coup in the Ukraine and he sent the anti-Russian academic Michael McFaul as ambassador to Russia where McFaul immediately started to prepare a color revolution against President Putin. It was the Obama administration which launched the 'Russiagate' campaign against Trump which further infested U.S. policies with anti-Russian sentiment.

Seen from the Russian side Obama certainly showed absolutely no 'aversion to confronting Putin'.

While Trump ripped up arms treaties with Russia and gave a few useless weapons to the Ukraine, making sure they would not reach the front lines, he otherwise took, thankfully, few other damaging steps.


Now on to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline of which Greenwald writes:

Trump found one thing even more threatening to the Kremlin’s vital interests than arming Ukrainians: namely, doing everything possible to destroy Russia’s ability to complete construction of its new underwater natural gas pipeline, Nord Stream 2. That new pipeline is designed to double Russian sales capacity to an EU addicted to cheap Russian natural gas, producing massive revenue for the Russian economy and giving Moscow greater leverage when dealing with its European neighbors. But it provides an even more important benefit: it allows Russia to bypass Ukraine and other Eastern European countries, thus avoiding costly transit fees and the risks of political instability or anti-Russian manipulation by outside forces, including the U.S. government.

For all those reasons, few priorities were more important to Putin and the Russian economy than this new pipeline. Yet for at least the last two years of his presidency, Trump — even as he was shrilly depicted as an agent of the Kremlin — was obsessed with stopping the Russian pipeline and thus sabotaging Putin’s key geopolitical project.

This is a complete misunderstanding of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. It is not Russia which needs the pipeline. It can sell its gas to China for just as much as it makes by selling gas to Europe.

The new pipeline will not 'double Russian sales capacity' to Europe. In March Russia sold a record 53 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe. The capacity of Nord Stream 2 is 55 billion cubic meters per year(!) (1.9 trillion cu ft/a) equal to 8.3 cubic meters per month. In theory the new pipeline will increase Russia's total sales capacity to Europe by some 15%, not by 100%. But in reality the new pipeline will likely replace existing pipelines which are running through the Ukraine.

It is Germany, the EU's economic powerhouse, that needs the pipeline and the gas flowing through it. Thanks to Chancellor Merkel's misguided energy policy - she put an end to nuclear power in German after a tsunami in Japan destroyed three badly placed reactors - Germany urgently needs the gas to keep its already high electricity prices from rising further.

That the new pipeline will bypass old ones which run through the Ukraine is likewise to the benefit of Germany, not Russia. The pipeline infrastructure in the Ukraine is old and near to disrepair. The Ukraine has no money to renew it. Politically it is under U.S. influence. It could use its control over the energy flow to the EU for blackmail. (It already tried once.) The new pipeline, laid at the bottom of the Baltic sea, requires no payment for crossing Ukrainian land and is safe from potential malign influence.

More Greenwald:

That a Putin-controlled Russian asset would send lethal arms to Ukraine and do everything possible to sabotage Nord Stream 2 is so blatantly absurd that it could be ratified only by a media aggressively committed to spreading disinformation and lies.

All of this became even clearer on Tuesday when President Biden reversed Trump’s blockage of the Russian natural gas pipeline. Axios' Jonathan Swan reported that “the Biden administration will waive sanctions on the corporate entity and CEO overseeing the construction of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline into Germany,” which “indicates the Biden administration is not willing to compromise its relationship with Germany over this pipeline.” Swan wrote what is clearly true: “the completion of Nord Stream 2 would be a huge geopolitical win for Putin and give him substantial new leverage in Europe.”

This “huge geopolitical win for Putin” is exactly what the Kremlin’s alleged asset in the White House spent years preventing and which Biden is now handing over.

Here Greenwald falls for Axios' view which is again mere anti-Russian propaganda. Nord Stream 1 and 2 are not 'Russia's pipeline'. The Nord Stream 1 pipeline is owned by five companies:

Nord Stream is a joint project involving five major companies: Gazprom international projects LLC (PJSC Gazprom subsidiary), Wintershall Dea GmbH, PEG Infrastruktur AG (PEGI/E.ON subsidiary), N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie and ENGIE.

The Nord Stream companies are international consortia of suppliers and buyers/distributors of natural gas. While Gasprom is a Russian company Wintershall is German, PEG is German and British owned, Gasunie is Dutch and Engie is French. The CEO of Nord Stream 1 is a Russian citizen.

To become sanction proved the Nord Stream 2 pipeline company was structured differently. While Russia's Gasprom is listed as the sole shareholder, the Dutch ENGIE, Austrian OMV, Dutch/British Shell and the German companies UNIPER and Wintershall DEA are listed as 'financial investors'. The CEO or Nord Stream 2 is Matthias Warnig,  a German citizen.

To call either Nord Stream pipeline 'Russian' is like calling the International Space Station European.

Greenwald continues:

While the Biden administration intends to maintain some of those Trump-imposed sanctions, the waivers they intend to issue will allow completion of Nord Stream 2, a gigantic gift to Putin.

No, the waiver it is not a gigantic gift to Putin. Germany needs the pipeline, Russia does not. The pipeline will be finished with or without sanctions. But imposing more sanctions would have had severe consequences for U.S. standing in Germany. The German people are already quite wary of U.S. influence. Increasing their heating and electricity bills by waging illegal sanctions against a German energy deal with Russia would have discredited it even more. Trump didn't care about that, Biden does.

Andrei Martyanow gets it:

This is not a charity move on Biden's side. Not at all, nor is it along the lines of reduction of tensions between the US and Russia Biden's people so love to talk about as of lately. Much of this decision is driven by Germany's sudden allocation of at least rudimentary spine and making sure that the US gets the message that it is risking a lot if it succeeds in sabotaging NS2 and that, as you may have guessed it already, plays into the Russian hands yet again because of major political repercussions in Germany even if the Bundestag gets much "greener", because at stake is an issue of Germany remaining the first world nation and EU's largest economy.

It is Germany, not Russia, which needs the pipeline. Germany's economy and energy security depend on it. That is why the pipeline would have been finished even under U.S. sanctions. Biden has stopped imposing more of those sanctions not as a favor to Russia but because the U.S. wants to keep political support from Germany.

Posted by b on May 20, 2021 at 16:14 UTC | Permalink

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thanks b... i don't understand how usa meddling in the affairs of others -russia and germany here - are allowed to stand.. regardless of which psychopath is president of the usa, it defies logic how the usa thinks it can interject itself into others affairs constantly.. well.. i realize this is about power and control, but it is so blatant, it defies rational comment.... as for this constant bullshit about who is worse - trump, or biden or obama - they are all cut from the same cloth serving the same deranged masters... it really matters not in the end who is leading the usa at this point.. that greenwald gets it wrong is surprising.. he is usually more on the money - my read..

Posted by: james | May 20 2021 16:24 utc | 1

Dear friend, You might be right. I really like Glenn Greenwald's work. We do seem to see some sign of a bit of detente USA Russia. No credit to the USA but to Russian strength. Many reasons maybe also responding to Germany and maybe in relation to China. Trump who was bashed as being pro Russion just followed Obama's policies and now there MAY BE some improvement??? Best. John Philpot

Posted by: John Philpot | May 20 2021 16:34 utc | 2

“… not as a favor to Russia…”. Greenwald didn’t say it was a favor to Russia. He said exactly what you do: “the Biden administration is not willing to compromise its relationship with Germany.” Am I missing something?

Posted by: Kevin | May 20 2021 16:35 utc | 3

You and Greenwald are my go to annalists. Thank you.

Posted by: Michael Weddington | May 20 2021 16:39 utc | 4

Well, the fact that the pipeline has not been finished for years, despite being near completion, tells us that it's not actually true that the "pipeline would have been finished with or without US sanctions." Certainly, it seems that Trump's pressure did work to severely slow down if not completely stop the completion of the project and presumably Biden could have continued that pressure. Btw, didn't the front-running Green party head come out against the pipeline, showing that there's not unanimous support in Germany for its completion?

But more importantly, Greenwald's main point is that Trump's actions had nothing to do with the Russian Puppet narrative against him. That both Biden and previously Obama were less "anti-Russian" in practice and yet were thought to be "tough" on Russia, while Trump (providing lethal arms to Ukraine and stopping NS2) was a "puppet" ... narrative building by the Deep State. Greenwald's larger point is in fact accurate.

Posted by: Caliman | May 20 2021 16:44 utc | 5

Greenwald sold his soul a while ago. Maybe that beating he got at his home told him to be careful what and how he should be writing in the future. Total waste of time to read him or about him now.

Posted by: Hoyeru | May 20 2021 16:45 utc | 6

Maybe Germany becoming hostile to US is worth more to Russia than having NS2 and +15% LNG exports ready in time? That would explain Russia's weak "attempts" to finish the job.

Posted by: Abe | May 20 2021 16:51 utc | 7

I think Greenwald was thrown off by what seems a sudden reversal and positive step by Biden administration.

Personally I think Biden Administration was stunned at almost having instigated WW3 within 100 days of taking office. They looked fairly like amateur idiots even to the unwashed such as myself. Then they realized that it would be difficult and given their evident ineptness they chose the well proven political tactic of taking the loss and making it a win. Voila they are genious - why didnt Trump think of that?

We in the US must accept that our government is craven incompetents and have to hope that they might accidentally do something good by virtue of being so incompetent.

Posted by: jared | May 20 2021 17:10 utc | 8

Greenwald makes an error but it is understandable. NS2 pipeline wont deliver enough gas to truly make a significant difference to Germany. Where it makes a difference is to Ukraine, which will struggle to steal as much gas from Russia as it has in the past. Gas transit rates will fall, and if Ukraine doesnt like it RF will still be able to supply Germany without Ukraine stealing gas which was meant for Germany.

But who will make good any shortfall in Ukraine's budget?

Posted by: Harry | May 20 2021 17:15 utc | 9

Hoyeru. If you wish to make allegations about Greenwald selling his soul I think you should be more forthcoming. Personally I think he is one of the sharpest most well informed journalists working, along with our host. Unless of course you're emailing from your MSM bunker in which case you can safely be ignored.

Posted by: Ramon Zarate | May 20 2021 17:18 utc | 10

Thanks b! Greenwald is writing about a situation he hasn't researched at all well.

Here's a question for b: IMO, Germany remains the last major bastion of Industrial Capitalism within an ever more Neoliberalized/Financialized EU, and that schism's creating a political crisis within Germany as to which path to follow--Policies aimed at benefiting the greater mass of German citizens or policies aimed at enriching the 1% as we see in the Outlaw US Empire, UK, France, and elsewhere within EU; is this the dynamic you see living in Germany? To mitigate the potential social problems between "native" Germans and its immigrant population, it would seem a people-first policy path would be preferred; but then, since when have greedy elites ever cared about the masses or social ferment within them.

Of course, the same dilemma exists for the entire EU. Some of that and more is discussed by Hudson here. Russia's policy direction doesn't require the EU, although Russia would like to conduct business. But it appears the EU is captured politically by NATO and the creature that controls it.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 20 2021 17:24 utc | 11

I'd say the Green Party stance against the Pipeline is just election campaign talk, the Greens are dead set on dismantling the German coal industry and expanding renewabels, likely driving the record high energy prices even higher in the process. Coal, cars, gas and Putin all sound dirty to their voters, hence the "it's a gift to Putin!" talk, but anyone with a grasp of the German energy infrastructure sees the pipeline as vital, even if the Greens come into power, they'll bend to that reality and will far more likely focus on coal and cars than gas and Putin

Posted by: ZigZag | May 20 2021 17:37 utc | 12

The early closure of the Netherlands Groningen natural gas field, due to land subsidence, was a big hit to European energy security - especially with the move from coal/nuclear to natural gas. B is very right in stating that Europe desperately needs Russian gas to fill a yawning future hole between supply and demand. Russia is also developing their Arctic gas reserves, which can be provided as LNG to Europe (as well as Asia). Very bad for the Ukrainians, but they (or the US and the Nazis) picked their bed and can deal with the consequences.

The Russians opened the Power of Siberia gas pipeline to China, and have agreements to start development on additional pipelines. China is rapidly expanding natural gas usage so no demand problem there.

Seems like the Biden administration took their "hardass" shot in the past months and it blew up in their face. Now they have to take a step back and play a bit better with their so-called allies. Probably won't last long, the US elite have extreme learning difficulties when it comes to the reality of their decline from the Unipolar moment.

Posted by: Roger | May 20 2021 17:51 utc | 13

Thanks to Chancellor Merkel's misguided energy policy - she put an end to nuclear power in German after a tsunami in Japan destroyed three badly placed reactors
Not easy to explain that move, unless Merkel knew something about that event we don't. After all, tsunamis are not an issue in Germany.

Posted by: Norwegian | May 20 2021 17:53 utc | 14

This is somewhat OT to the subject, but it's clear to me a greater understanding of the Russian POV is needed. Although the transcript is currently incomplete, this meeting of the Russian Pobeda (Victory) Organising Committee provides an excellent insight into the Russian mind, and IMO this excerpt says a great deal:

"Regrettably, the ranks of the great generation of victors are thinning out. But this is only increasing our responsibility for preserving their legacy, especially now that we are witnessing increasingly frequent attempts to slander and distort history and to revise the role played by the Red Army in the routing of Nazism and the liberation of European nations from the Nazi plague.

"We understand the reasons for this, and attempts to hamper the development of this country, regardless of its name, be it the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union or Russia, were made in different times and historical epochs and under different political systems. These approaches and principles remain the same. There is one principle or rather, one reason for containing Russia: the stronger and more independent Russia becomes, the more consistently it defends its national interests, the greater the striving of foreign forces to weaken it, to discredit the values uniting our society and sometimes to slander and distort what people hold dear, the things that are instilled in the younger generations of Russians and which help them acquire a strong character and their own opinions.

"This is why all kinds of Russophobic individuals and unscrupulous politicians are trying to attack Russian history, to promote the ideas of revising the results of World War II and to exonerate Nazi criminals." [My Emphasis]

And the geopolitical dynamic has drastically shifted from Greater Europe to Greater Eurasia. Here are Putin's comments from yesterday:

"Very soon, we will be celebrating 20 years of our core bilateral document, the Treaty of Good-Neighbourliness, Friendship and Cooperation. Since the signing of this treaty, Russia and China have achieved great success in strengthening our multidimensional cooperation and mutual trust across all areas without exception: politics, international affairs, trade and the economy, cultural and humanitarian exchanges. It can be said that Russia-China relations have reached their highest level in history."

And those relations will certainly reach much greater heights regardless the nature of Russian-EU relations.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 20 2021 17:56 utc | 15

I agree with the post in general. However, this:
"Greenwald himself falls for anti-Russian propaganda nonsense"
could be true of course, but it's also possible that he's chosen to argue "on their own terms" so to speak...

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | May 20 2021 18:04 utc | 16

reading stuff like this I know that we are doomed. not b/c of Putin, Merkel, Trump or whoever.

but b/c people who should know better think that nuclear energy is a good thing, that moving forward with pipelines is a good thing, that countries should increase their energy consumption, that shit like BRI is going to do anything except increase our rate of global eco collapse, etc., etc.

it's called physics. as far as the smart ass know-nothing atheistical types, you might as well call the laws of physics the laws of God. the world actually exists. damn. too bad.

and because people are willfully ignorant of the positive effects to the world from the economic downturn caused by the virus, like less gasoline use, we are guaranteed to move from worse to worse. nothing whatsoever learned from the last year.

Posted by: jason | May 20 2021 18:11 utc | 17

I'm puzzled by b's arithmetic on the gas flow rates: the wikipedia article which b himself references contains this text -

Nord Stream has a total annual capacity of 55 billion m3 (1.9 trillion cu ft) of gas, and the addition of Nord Stream 2 is expected to double this capacity to a total of 110 billion m3 (3.9 trillion cu ft).

Is this not what Greenwald is saying?

Posted by: SoMuchToLearn | May 20 2021 18:18 utc | 18

Posted by: jason | May 20 2021 18:11 utc | 17

Well stated Jason. I am totally against nuclear energy and bombs. Check out the half life on the waste.... 250,000 years, I think. Strange bedfellows on this topic: all the imperial powers plus Russia, Iran blah blah blah. They're wrong. It will come back on us. is already.

Posted by: migueljose | May 20 2021 18:19 utc | 19

@SoMuchToLearn #18:

I'm puzzled by b's arithmetic on the gas flow rates

Apart from Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2, there are also old Soviet pipelines that go through Belarus and Ukraine, as well as the recently completed Turk Stream, part of which is used to export gas to Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia (and soon Hungary, Bosnia and Austria).

Posted by: S | May 20 2021 18:36 utc | 20

My two cents on that is that the old surface Power-structure of Germany has been crumbling rapidly for around the last decade. Merkel has left the christian conservative party in shambles and there's no one with enough gravitas around to fill the giant sized shoes she's left vacant, same thing with the social democrats who've been in a freefall from 35% to now barely 15% for the last 15 years. Environmentalism coated Neoliberalism seems to be the maxim of the hour in the leftists and centrists spheres, and almost everyone, but foremost the Green Party, is trying to ride that wave to the finish line. Don't expect peoples first policies, climate change will dominate the election, and we'll likely be wrapped up in more deindustrialization coupled with an ever more chaotic energy policy. If anything the average persons cost of living in terms of rent, energy, food and transportation will continue to rise, while jobs in traditional industry sectors will continue to fall off. I haven't heard a coherent plan on how the German economy is supposed to work like 10 years from now, and there likely is none, all I expect is more taxes and the possibility of plundering social security trust funds to address whatever critical infrastructure issue will face us next.

Green-Party was about to oust the Conservatives in a major federal state election. People got really riled up by nuclear, especially since there already was an ongoing controversy around long term waste storage. It was one of Merkels signature opportunistic moves that aimed to size the moment in absence of long term planing. It didn't work btw, Greens still ousted them, but once you make a big move like that there's not going back without losing face, but it does seem like exiting nuclear proved to be a popular strategy with the electorate in the long run. I'm sure that are more complex/intricate theories around, but I can't speak on that

Posted by: ZigZag | May 20 2021 18:38 utc | 21

b, you are clueless when it comes to Greenwald.

That and the Covid mess you have misunderstand. You should apologize for that one too.

Posted by: seedeevee | May 20 2021 18:39 utc | 22

@ jason | May 20 2021 18:11 utc | 17

I agree with some of what you said, people treating an increase in economic activity as a 'good' thing by definition is wrong. I don't however agree that nuclear energy is necessarily bad, there are better options than the reactor types we currently use, fast neutron reactors for example actually consume what is currently regarded as nuclear waste. When it comes to fossil fuel consumption, in general you are right but you should at least concede that some fossil fuels are even less desirable than others.

Posted by: MarkU | May 20 2021 18:39 utc | 23

What Greenwald writes is certainly mainstream nonsense. The man is generally much more mainstream than his disputes with the empire on certain narrowly defined issues would lead you to believe.

But B is also spreading nonsense here. Germany's nuclear phase-out has little to do with gas consumption and was perfectly sensible. Catastrophic nuclear accidents can happen in other forms than Fukushima. With the phase-out, Germany only has reduced its electricity overproduction. Rather, Nord Stream 2 has an important function in Germany's new hydrogen strategy, because hydrogen or gas-hydrogen mixtures can also be transported through such a pipeline and then separated again at the destination. Germany will have to import a lot of hydrogen to realise its plans. For this reason alone, and because the use of hydrogen power instead of direct electric power massively increases energy consumption due to much poorer efficiency, the whole approach is wrong-headed, but will nevertheless be pursued.

Posted by: pnyx | May 20 2021 18:51 utc | 24

@2 John Philpot
Sorry all for OT
Do you have any articles on Jean Paul Akayesu, akin to what Christopher Black wrote for Augustin Ndindiliyimana?

Posted by: Johan Meyer (2) | May 20 2021 18:55 utc | 25

Here in Brasil Greenwald is known as a CIA asset. Just ask Pepe Escobar.

Posted by: FMG | May 20 2021 18:56 utc | 26

ZigZag @21--

Thanks for your reply! I see the EUP voted to greatly hinder the trade deal with China. Here's Global Times analysis of the motion and vote, which reveals the guiding hand of the Outlaw US Empire.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 20 2021 19:00 utc | 27

@ pnyx | May 20 2021 18:51 utc | 24

Hydrogen really isn't an answer. There are no hydrogen mines, hydrogen has to be manufactured, using energy to do so, one would be better off using the necessary electricity for power. Hydrogen also needs huge storage capacity because of its low density and is the leakiest element possible. Hydrogen is a method of energy storage, it is not an energy source.

Posted by: MarkU | May 20 2021 19:01 utc | 28

Glenn is intending to look cozy, playing on the "fiber" of the Permanent State from whose will might flow, again, a 6 digits revenue, like the good old days of Intercept: 500 thousand a year salary & his security expenses in Brazil. After all, the guy is accustomed to a high standard of living & now, after his resignation from Intercept, he has to toil like any podcaster for a living. You know......maybe.

Posted by: nietzsche1510 | May 20 2021 19:02 utc | 29

And ask Sibel Edmonds. On Greenwald

Posted by: FMG | May 20 2021 19:08 utc | 30

Thanks b. The Empire of the Deranged is in a steady downward slide. By its own hand, through financial engineering (stock buy back schemes fueled by bailout's of bankrupt corporations plus derivatives etc. etc.) Add to this, restrictions on the use of swift. The US devalues its own currency. Other countries are not so interested in purchasing US debt to offset rising US deficit. Include all of that with our foreign policymaking which angers even our allies like Germany, as you point out with NS2. The Leaders think they can snap their fingers and bring the world to heel. That ship sailed a long time ago. The multi-polar world is a reality that the paper tiger struggles with. To Glen Greenwald's Brazil, US influence evaporates should Lula get elected as the next President. The tiger is toothless Glen, no need to give it more authority than it has.

Posted by: Michael Crockett | May 20 2021 19:11 utc | 31

Yes, I agree with all you've written. I would like to add another layer to it. Bide wants a summit with Putin, Russia is playing hard to get this might help.

Posted by: Babyl-on | May 20 2021 19:13 utc | 32

@jason #17:

people who should know better think … that moving forward with pipelines is a good thing

Yes, moving forward with pipelines is a good thing.

Phase 1 is getting rid of coal. In 2018, 77% of Poland’s electricity was generated from coal, 13% from renewables, 7% from natural gas. Burning coal generates twice as much carbon emissions as burning natural gas. Burning coal also produces dangerous particulates, as opposed to burning natural gas. You can’t use solely solar and wind power, because: (1) you need reserve generating capacity for when there is not enough sun or wind, (2) some industrial processes require high temperatures and electric furnaces do not always work, and even when they do, it takes time and money to upgrade plants, (3) it takes time and money to replace classic heating systems with electric heaters, mostly because of the need to increase the electric grid capacity.

Phase 2 is replacing natural gas with hydrogen. Hydrogen can be generated from water using zero-emission electricity (wind, solar, hydro, nuclear) and transported by gas pipelines across huge distances with very little loss, as opposed to electric power transmission lines. Burning hydrogen does not generate any carbon emissions, only steam (2 H2 + O2 → H2O). Therefore, hydrogen is completely green if it is generated using green electricity. Liquefying hydrogen is much more difficult and energy-intensive than liquefying natural gas, so gas pipelines are even more important for hydrogen than for natural gas.

Posted by: S | May 20 2021 19:20 utc | 33

This is an excellent take on the issue. Thank you for holding Greenwald to such a high standard.

In fairness, Greenwald may be pandering to an audience who is not ready for B's points yet, but rather needs some sensational reporting to wake them from the stupor they are in after consuming so much tainted kool-aid. Writing with this angle can hopefully smash through some wrongthink, at least some of neoMcCarthyism created around Trump, which is still being milked daily in the press.

Still, in going this route, in taking a journalistic low-road to reach the lowest common denominator consumer, Greenwald may be adding to misinformation about Russia and hopefully he finds a new way to look at it or to frame it for his readers.

Posted by: Rutherford82 | May 20 2021 19:30 utc | 34

With the US pressuring Germany to end NS-2 in favor of importing much more expensive fracked US gas, we see that the US thinks there is nothing wrong with asking it’s vassal states to cut their own throats (forego steps to retain their economic competitiveness) to please their patron. The idiocy of Cold War 2 is costing US allies a lot and seems inimical to the very idea of US allies even regarding their own national interests. One would hope this is leading to either a re-evaluation of these alliances or a revolt of the satraps.

Posted by: DougDiggler | May 20 2021 19:32 utc | 35

@ S | May 20 2021 19:20 utc | 33

Three points.

1) There is no reason that electricity has to be transmitted long distances, solar, wind or wave generators could be built near the point of use.
2) You actually consume more energy than you get back when you produce hydrogen.
2) Hydrogen leaks far more readily than any other element, I am sceptical of the practicality of long distance hydrogen gas pipelines.

Using hydrogen as a storage method as a way of generating reserve capacity isn't silly though.

Posted by: MarkU | May 20 2021 19:35 utc | 36

thanks b... Agree that “the U.S. has no right, duty or whatever to interfere in regular businesses between foreign partners.” Every journalists needs to be making this key point.

Any geopolitical article that doesn’t address the MONETARY arena is missing an important element and thereby incomplete. Greenwald’s article is missing many key points and mistaken (&/or misleading) by taking U$A’s political trickery angle. It is all about the POWER game that involves deceptions, like sending the director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on a Red Cross mission to Russia or committing to not moving NATO forces towards Russia in 1991.

Vladimir Putin in his Munich (2007) speech announced Russia’s pivot away from the Dollar Empire and unwillingness to be a vassal. The Dollar Empire challenged Russia through Georgia in 2008. Obama & Clinton fooled Russia through their reset announcement and got a go ahead to attack Libya. The relationship was calm in 2012. Obama fooled Medvedev by saying, “he will have “more flexibility” to deal with contentious issues,” after reelection, in early 2012. However, Vladimir Putin was back in 2013 and the Dollar Empire realized it has been outplayed. It moved aggressively after the two outside Russian military bases in Syria and Ukraine. Russia captured Crimea in 2014, and Putin declared Russia’s willingness to go to war in Syria (2015). The Imperial Council of the United States was surprised by Russia’s move into Syria and wasn’t ready for a war. In the meantime, China was developing strong. Here comes Trump in 2017. It seems like the Imperial Council and its Intelligence Community came with a new ploy to associate Trump with Russia, so they can bully China and bend it over on trade. China stood up to Empire’s challenge and developed its independence plan! In the meantime Trump increased sanctions on Russia using the Congress as a pretext while strengthening Ukraine. The sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 brought halt to work in December 2019. Did Trump FOOL Putin/Russia by stating, “he will have “more flexibility” to deal with contentious issues,” after reelection? The reasoning behind this question is that Russia didn’t start work on the pipeline until the election was over in December 2020. One year wait to start work on the pipeline.

Why isn’t Greenwald speaking against the dollar monetary imperialism and enslavement? Very rarely one come across a journalist that shines light on reality and exposes truth. It seems like Empire’s MSM and journalists are making a big deal of this minuscule Nord Stream 2 sanction waiving. Why? It is just propaganda and perception management to create distrust in the China-Russia relationship? No one is mentioning Russia’s redlines or its ability to retaliate to additional sanctions. Andrei Martyanow gets it right!

Please analyze every geopolitical development from the MONETARY lens too. Russia as part of its De-Dollarization plan is offering energy deals in national currencies to win nations in Eurasia, including Japan. In which currency is the U$A offering its LNG ? US$? Also, it seems like Russia’s transit payments to Ukraine are in the US$. In addition to providing an alternate route, the Nord Stream 2 increases Russia’s leverage with Ukraine. Imagine if those transit payments were in Rubles to Ukraine, Russia’s leverage will be immense.

China, Russia, Germany, Japan... (Non-$ Bloc) are standing up to dollar’s monetary imperialism, and seeking more trade in their respective national currencies. The EU and Germany will pay for its energy in Euros and reduce threats to their economies. Why don’t journalists address the monetary or currency dimensions?

Successfully completing the Nord Stream 2 and supplying gas to Europe in Euros will be a huge victory for Russia and Germany. It has yet to implement its agreements (Minsk, Astana, JCPOA...). All its conflicts are frozen and unresolved. Please share agreements that Russia has successfully delivered on in the 21st Century, particularly when the Dollar Empire is involved. Will the Empire surprise Russia by attacking on multiple fronts?

The Logic of U$A Foreign Policy

Posted by: Max | May 20 2021 19:40 utc | 37

Very worthwhile opinion, the debate between you and Greenwald sharpens the mind on this issue.

Posted by: bjd | May 20 2021 19:44 utc | 38

To say that there is a shift in US geopolitical policies, is an understatement. In short, IMO, Biden is going back to Obama’s plan and his pivot to Asia. Therefore, it is China, China, China. Nothing else matters that much right now.

1. Nordstream 2 settled…..check
2. Germany and Europeans happy…..check
3. Settling ME problems with going back to JCPOA, promoting KSA and Iran peace, pulling out of Afghanistan (not ME)…..check
4. Putting Israel in its place (via a shift in media coverage and taking away support slowly and congress expressions of outrage) …..check
5. Abstention form UN resolution punishing Israel…….coming up
6. Taking Europeans to the South East China confrontation…..coming up
7. Prying away Iran and Russia away from China……wishful thinking, hopefully.
8. Ousting Netanyahoo……coming up

Although, Biden is a zionist, Netanyahu and his antics are not convenient at this time and Israel takes a back seat to grand chessboard strategy.

Greenwald’s and b’s commentaries are a bit of a sideshow, in my opinion. Best concentrate on the outcome and the bigger picture instead of this he said she said.

Posted by: Alpi | May 20 2021 19:47 utc | 39

Thank you,b! I read the Greenwald piece (and I used to be an enthusiastic supporter back in the day of the Auckland Town Hall when John Key was beginning to get his comeuppance and Five Eyes dominance was the subject of much debate along with the TPP and matters thereof.)

But no, you are correct, Greenwald is doing his best to rewrite history skipping lightly over such matters as "toothless sanctions" -- toothless, my eye! They only caused Russia to rock back on its heels and completely rework its economy so that it became non-dependent on the world outside... and to its credit, it did that. Russians, all Russians, tightened their belts and worked towards self-sufficiency, and they succeeded!

This is like a recent series I watched on PBS about WW2 times in which I believe there was one teeny mention of the USSR. All about Britain and the USofA as far as history goes, and the same with its matched series about Polish involvement. Pah! What do they take us for?

But Greenwald - my guess is he's seeking to dance with a new partner, so let's not mention reality; let's blame it all on the media!! Fortunately a lot of folk around the world and in the US have been looking behind the media curtain, forswearing that propaganda and looking for truth. Getting harder to find it online, that is for sure, but here we have been all this time, and we know balderdash when we read it.

You have feet of clay, Mr. Greenwald, and we don't blame you for trying very hard to survive; a lot of folk have had to do that. But you are leaving out huge pieces of history in this article and we need to call you out for that.

It's still a great story. Biden is discovering the limits of US hegemony. Praise God.

Posted by: juliania | May 20 2021 19:50 utc | 40

you misread the article:

The impressive year-on-year surge, to nearly 53 billion cubic meters, is reportedly due to the cold (in European terms) winter season. In March, the shipments totaled 18.2 billion cubic meters, reaching an all-time high, the company said.

Posted by: Dutch | May 20 2021 19:51 utc | 41

What happened this year is that the winter was cold, gas storage in Europe was nearly depleted, and Europe needed huge amounts of russian gas.

The other problem is that LNG is more expensive in Asia, causing LNG producers and shippers to prefer the asian market.

There are many more issues as well - such as the hit on US producers by the Covid crisis, Germany moving the carbon goal posts from 2050 to 2045, green energy problems this winter in Germany, explosions on pipelines in Ukraine, and so on.

It is also true that Russia is readying Power of Siberia 2 and 3 pipelines to China, as well as actively developing its own LNG exports.

Posted by: Passer by | May 20 2021 19:53 utc | 42

In response to SoMuchToLearn@18,

The disputed claim by Greenwald is that, "Nord Stream 2... is designed to double Russian sales capacity to an EU addicted to cheap Russian natural gas, producing massive revenue for the Russian economy and giving Moscow greater leverage when dealing with its European neighbors." This is very different from the statement that NS2 together with NS1 is twice the capacity of NS1 on its own.

There are several, to my mind, wrongful assumptions in Greenwald's claim.

The first, that the EU wants to increase its purchases of Russian gas, but is prevented from doing so solely due to the lack of infrastructure which, presumably, is operating at full capacity. From this assumption, it then follows that Russia is expecting massive revenues from an increase in transit capacity, since customers are already standing by. Finally, as a result of supplying significantly more gas to Europe and earning substantially more money from it, Moscow can be expected to take advantage of its position as an energy supplier to pressure Europe over political matters.

While it's true that European gas-needs are growing, it's more of a long-term projected development and not some energy crisis straining the current configuration. A more topical and urgent crisis is the situation in Ukraine and the state of disrepair of the gas transit infrastructure in that country, which not long ago accounted for 80% of Russian gas supplied to Europe. IIRC, official estimates gave these pipelines a few short years before becoming unusable without major repair efforts -- something like 5 years -- and coupled with the state of the country itself, it's not impossible that the pipelines outlive the state.

If we, for the sake of argument, assume that Ukraine and/or the gas infrastructure on that territory ceases to function tomorrow, halting all gas transits to Europe in the blink of an eye, which isn't as far-fetched as you might think, the result would be an energy crisis. Already, this crisis would not be of catastrophic proportions as it would have been a mere decade ago, due to alternative transit routes established to lessen reliance on Ukrainian pipelines. NS2 is designed to eliminate reliance on Ukrainian pipelines completely, if one disregards various political commitments made by Russia on Europe's behalf to retain part of its gas export through Ukraine, which I'm sure would fall to the wayside the moment European capitals started going dark. Of course, cutting off transit states also has the added benefit of making the gas cheaper and thus the contract becomes more lucrative, but that's more of a bonus.

If we, for the sake of argument, assume that all the pipelines to Europe are working at full capacity, and Europe desperately needs more gas -- say, 25 years from now when no new green alternatives have presented themselves and no new pipelines have been built because the war of sanctions continues -- there's always LNG, which Russia can supply at a competitive price, and the port infrastructure for that is already available, provided the EU is willing to resolve its energy problems collectively.

From this it follows that, no, Russia isn't expecting massive revenues to come flooding in at the completion of NS2. They're presumably expecting massive revenues from new energy projects in Asia, but they're at worst expecting to retain the current revenue in the European market, and at best see it grow in connection with European economy. Certainly, they wouldn't like to lose the European market, especially due to unpredictable incidents abroad that are outside of their control, but Europe is arguably much more vulnerable and has more to lose from such an eventuality.

Lastly, since we are no longer expecting an immediate increase in European reliance on Russian energy following NS2, how does it translate to Russian leverage over European politics? Russia is already Europe's main supplier of, not only gas, but crude oil which accounts for 2/3 of Europe's energy supply (gas is 24%). If Russia wants to leverage its position as the main energy supplier to Europe, it does not need NS2 to do so, and shutting down NS2 will not prevent it from doing so.

Posted by: Skiffer | May 20 2021 20:06 utc | 43

Posted by: Roger | May 20 2021 17:51 utc | 13

>>The early closure of the Netherlands Groningen natural gas field, due to land subsidence, was a big hit to European energy security

Yes, this too.

Posted by: Dutch | May 20 2021 19:51 utc | 41

>>The impressive year-on-year surge, to nearly 53 billion cubic meters, is reportedly due to the cold (in European terms) winter season.


Posted by: Passer by | May 20 2021 20:10 utc | 44

greenwald a gatekeeper😨 im shocked i say, shocked.


Posted by: Per/Norway | May 20 2021 20:14 utc | 45

@MarkU #36:

There is no reason that electricity has to be transmitted long distances, solar, wind or wave generators could be built near the point of use.

Not always. There are regions that receive little sun/wind. There are densely populated regions/industrial regions that need more power than can be produced locally. Finally, it may simply be cheaper and/or more environmentally friendly to buy pipeline hydrogen produced at Russian nuclear and hydroelectric power plants than to build/maintain/decommission wind turbines in EU producing equivalent amount of energy.

You actually consume more energy than you get back when you produce hydrogen.

Of course. Same as for any other chemical. Otherwise, you’d have an infinite source of energy. The important thing is the efficiency of the process. Right now, it’s not that great, and this limits applications. However, there is research being done on catalysts that improve the efficiency, so this might change.

Posted by: S | May 20 2021 20:17 utc | 46

@karlof1 #27

"US" interest are firmly entrenched in Europe and especially so in Germany, it goes way beyond the inheritance of post-ww2 occupation, even beyond the vast number of influential members of the Atlantik Brücke and politicans employing (maybe rather being employed by) US based advisor agencies like McKinsey, you have the chars of major newspapers sitting in NATO Think Tanks and what not. I have no doubt that whenever an important foreign Policy issue is brought up, someone is around to represent the interest of the empire. Not a big surprise that a trade deal with china is hitting rough terrain here

Posted by: ZigZag | May 20 2021 20:20 utc | 47

What a wonderful discussion!

IMHO there are several factors at play which Greenwald missed. I've noticed that he and Tiabbi primarily respond to the msm, which by definition misses the bigger picture. First, Biden has to get a meeting with Russia to 1) attempt to get Russia to sideline itself from the Empire's planned war on China as described in an Indian Punchline piece; 2) make it appear that the Empire actually has some clout remaining (kind of like an abusive husband saying it's all right for his wife to leave, as she is walking out the door); and 3) actually negotiate on some really important climate issuess, like remediiation of a global methane outbreak that could roast is all in short order. NOAA recalculated short term methane/CO2 equivalents and it appears that in a one year interval methane is 200x that of CO2. Right now we are at about the equivalence of 800 ppm when combine all greenhouse gases. With the Arctic in fullretreat and going toward a solar maximum, time is running out, as evidenced by Billy Gates doing SAI experiments.

Posted by: Michael | May 20 2021 20:27 utc | 48

Ironically, NS2 helps The Ukraine

Why defeating NS2 would harm the Ukraine:
The U.S. gets to keep the status quo, stop NS2, and for all NG to flow through our vassal state, the Ukraine. Hmm .. but wait. If the U.S. really wants to stick it to Russia we keep that pipeline in disrepair and reduce Ukraine's capacity. This will deprive Russia of revenue and force Germany to buy our expensive LNG. Destroying the Ukraine's transit is no worry to us, Mordor cares not for her Orcs.

Why NS2 helps the Ukraine:
The Ukraine now has leverage to push back on the U.S. by saying, 'destroying our infrastructure doesn't help you or hurt Russia so we might as well upgrade our line for the transit fees'.

So in a bizarre twist of fate, we will demonize Putin for helping Ukraine. Woe to them who call good bad and bad good.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | May 20 2021 20:34 utc | 49

Andrei Martynanov is expanding on b's piece:

Bernhard Is Furious, And Rightly So.

Posted by: Das Kommentariat | May 20 2021 20:37 utc | 50

@ S | May 20 2021 20:17 utc | 46

According to this source, long distance transmission of electrical energy is actually quite efficient, claiming efficiency as high as only 5% loss near the power station and only as bad as 20% loss even in remote areas.

I am still unconvinced that converting electrical energy into chemical energy (hydrogen) then piping the resulting (tiniest possible) atoms/molecules appreciable distances in pipelines, then converting it back into mechanical energy (at best) or worse still converting that mechanical energy back into electrical energy with turbines can ever be anywhere near as efficient as simple electrical transmission.

Posted by: MarkU | May 20 2021 20:41 utc | 51

Adding to my post @43 two points that I kept in mind, but forgot to include:

1) Obviously, if NS2 at 55 bcm/y is meant to double Russian sales capacity, then the total sales capacity to Europe right now is 55 bcm/y. However, the Ukrainian pipelines alone have an export capacity of 178 bcm/y (2009). Russia holds a transit agreement for 40 bcm/y of those until 2024. It could, theoretically, increase that capacity further with a new agreement, if such a demand existed in Europe. At the very least, the notion that NS2 would double sales capacity makes no sense, considering there are 3 NS-equivalent pipelines running on empty at this very moment. More likely, those 55 bcm/y are meant to supplant the 40 bcm/y being leased from Ukraine by 2024, as previously indicated.

2) Although I reject the notion that Russia needs NS2 to leverage its position as the main energy supplier to Europe, one should mention that politically unstable transit states who are indispensable in fulfilling the current energy needs of Europe very much rely on the absence of NS2 to influence European politics. It's such a no-brainer to me that I forgot to spell it out, but in the context of Greenwald's claim of Russia as a threat to European energy security, it's an unforgivable omission.

Posted by: Skiffer | May 20 2021 20:51 utc | 52

@ ZigZag | May 20 2021 20:20 utc | 47

Please share core values and development themes of a nation that you’re talking about.

China is fully aware of Six Eyes and Europe’s challenges. It will retaliate swiftly and significantly to any negative moves! Same with Russia! Germany, France, Poland, Italy, Russia,... want to increase their trade with China.

Nations with POSITIVE trade balance (China, Germany, Japan, Russia...) are well positioned. The U$A and UK have negative trade balance ($200+ Billion) and thereby at a disadvantage. Creditors define the terms and not debtors. It is better for a nation to play fair or they will be out of luck!

China has developed its culture on VALUES of unity, diligence, flexibility, resilience and shared prosperity. China’s key future DEVELOPMENT themes are:
1. High-quality growth
2. Sci-tech progress
3. Cultural confidence
4. Responsible global player
5. National and economic security

Please share U$A’s and UK’s core values and key development themes. If one can’t state the core values and development themes of a nation then that nation is LOST.

Posted by: Max | May 20 2021 20:56 utc | 53

Amusing how Ukraine (and Poland too) plays part of barking anti-Russia dog and yet fully expects its gas transit fees to continue into an indefinite future. Regardless, as others have stated, Ukraine will be thrown under the bus in this situation because the USA's new top priority is to put together a coalition of "democracies" to disrupt further Chinese development goals and Germany is seen as an important ally in that effort.

Trump's advisors in 2016 wanted to advance relations with Russia for the stated purpose of isolating China. This policy was obviously undermined by the Russiagate conspiracy - led by the same Democrats who are now coming around to the concept. The longstanding factionalism in US politics has been exceptionally obvious over the past 10 years, and should prove to limit the hegemonic impulse going forward. Soon enough the fact that it's all the white countries that are ganging up to prevent China's development will be too apparent to ignore.

Posted by: jayc | May 20 2021 21:05 utc | 54

@ Mao Cheng Ji | May 20 2021 18:04 utc | 16... i think you are on the money... ditto @ Rutherford82 | May 20 2021 19:30 utc | 34 who follows up..

regardless, i think greenwald is walking a fine line.. he leaves himself open to the 'gatekeeper' and 'cia' link as a result...

@ max... i agree with you on journalists needing to explore this from a financial angle, but generally this happens very little and i have never in all my reading of greenwald, see him analyze from this angle.. that is a shame... however, i no longer read him, as perspective as he can be... i think @ 16 mao reads him correctly.

Posted by: james | May 20 2021 21:18 utc | 55

perceptive - oh well..

Posted by: james | May 20 2021 21:18 utc | 56

"Greenwald seems to presume that it is the right or the job of a U.S. president to 'permit' pipelines between two foreign country? That is of course completely false. The U.S. has no right, duty or whatever to interfere in regular businesses between foreign partners. Such interference is in fact illegal under international law. Biden, as well as Trump, should be criticized for even thinking about 'permitting' it."

International law?!? (Snicker)

America don't need no stinking "international law."

America has something much better.


A brand new, shiny Rules-Based International Order!

Where America makes the rules and imposes order on everyone else.

Posted by: ak74 | May 20 2021 21:33 utc | 57

Whether Germany gets its natural gas from North Stream 2 or from the US; in both cases Ukraine gets nothing. Ukraine should get used to the idea.

Posted by: passer by | May 20 2021 21:44 utc | 58

Does anyone know the expected revenue of the gas to flow through, if at maximum capacity and at current rates? It is hard to compute since gas prices are stated in units different than pipeline volumes. Also,I believe the exact terms are confidential. I tried to estimate it a few months and came up with ~$4b, but have little confidence in that computation. Also, this is not all new revenue to Gazprom as it is partially replacing Ukraine transit capacity.

Posted by: schmoe | May 20 2021 21:44 utc | 59

NS2 is supposed to pump in CH4 and H2 to DEU for DEU's H2 Infrastructure Projects.

H2 are gathered by A) Steaming CH4, B) Electrolysis, and C) Other Industrial Processes.

Stop whining about Hydrogen storage issues. Solutions are available; and new ones are rolling out.

This is one more reason why NS2 is vital to DEU.

IMHO, UKR dug their own grave by their actions; and will probably rcv the NatGas they purchase by Cash.

Posted by: IronForge | May 20 2021 21:47 utc | 60

Important article, glad B. took the time to correct the facts here.

Probably the US could have harassed the pipeline project and delayed it a year or maybe more at the current stage. Will probably do so in the future, 6 months here, 6 months there...

My feeling is, with huge (30-50%+) export capacity increases from Qatar and RU in the pipeline in the 2020's, plus unwanted excess gas as far as the eye can see in the blended oil-gas shales in the US (the gas is practically a waste product of the world's marginal oil producers in Texas), plus Chinese fracking technology on the horizon ..... the natgas cost will be probably 80%+ transport for a while. What that means, I don't pretend to know.

Posted by: ptb | May 20 2021 21:48 utc | 61

Originally posted this on the latest open thread but I'm also posting here 'cos it may be important.

Has Chinese GDP already surpassed the United States'? I only ask 'cos I've seen a graph from The Economist attached to a tweet showing that Chinese mobile payments exceeded 60 trillion dollars while in the US it less than 0.2 trillion dollars.

Then I found another graph that showed Chinese mobile payments in 2018 at 347 trillion yuan or over $48 trillion dollars according to the exchange attached to the graph. This tends to support the 2020 figure of in excess of $60 trillion.

Then I found another graph that showed that in 2018, 83% of transaction in China were made by mobile payments.

If total payments (cash, card and mobile) in China amount to about $70 trillion why is the GDP reported as about $15 billion in 2019. I'm not an economist so I have no idea how to calculate GDP but it seems to me that there is a serious case of underreporting of the Chinese GDP.

Anybody have any thoughts?

Posted by: Ghost Ship | May 20 2021 22:03 utc | 62

It's good to see Germany standing up for its energy needs against Washington. I like Greenwald but he needed correcting here.

Surely the Greens, even in the event of electoral success, would still require coalition support from parties in favour of NS2 (representing both capital and labour who want it), so are unlikely to prevent it, unless all are particularly in favour of propping up the clown-show in Kiev, who will be the losers here.

Posted by: Ash Naz | May 20 2021 22:05 utc | 63

This is clearly petty imperial politics.

One of the main privileges of being born and living in the world's empire lies in the fact that you can easily talk about foreign policy as if it was a mere extension of domestic policy: Glenn Greenwald's article is clearly directed at the supporters of the Democratic Party, and he's clearly talking about American domestic politics (i.e. the eternal rivalry between Dems and GOP), not about foreign policy. As such, he doesn't care about the intricacies of the Nordstream II, and most likely his target readership also doesn't care.

However, this American defeat tells us more than meets the eye. It is a very complex situation, so I'll just raise here some points for discussion:

1) The USG certainly knew about all the numbers involved around the NS-II, therefore they already knew even if it was successful in cancelling it, it would not mortally wound Russia's gas sector. That means it picked up a small fight against Russia, and knew it was a small fight. Small fights are easier to win, but they give they winner less rewards. Therefore, it is likely the USA is coming to the fact that it will not be able to seriously challenge Russia for the foreseeable future;

2) Ukraine has become a burden to the West. It is now realizing it overextended, but it's too late. They're now starting to speculate about ways it can expel it from the system;

3) Western Europe is slowly realizing it is declining. The EU used and abused the fact it is still the largest single consumer market (China has more people, but it is still poorer in terms of purchase power) to slap anti-trust sanctions against even American giants (Google, Microsoft etc.). However, the failure of further expanding East until the Ukraine, the collapse of Greece, and the persistence of the economic depression initiated in 2008 and the pandemic recession, has made the EU - and Western Europe in general - to come down to reality. Some countries are already moving themselves according to their new position: Norway has given itself body and soul to NATO (i.e. the USA), while the UK has left the EU and is trying some bizarre and demented form of reviving their empire (something analogous to Erdogan's Neottomanism);

4) Russia is clearly on pace to dominate the entire Arctic. They have to thank the Soviets for that, because those new toys certainly didn't descend from Yeltsin's mind. Either way, this is clearly encroaching the USA from the North Atlantic, which may help explain why Canada is also so aggressive towards Russia. This may also explain Norway's selling out to the Americans;

5) Knowing the NS-II is small potatoes from the beginning, it can only be concluded the intention of the USA with its cancellation was not to hurt Russia's gas sector, but keeping the European Peninsula away geopolitically from Russia. It has a political, not economic, goal. You don't need to be a geopolitics specialist to know why the USA needs the European Peninsula to keep its sole superpower status: as an American country, it needs the Peninsula to project its power over Eurasia. Besides Japan in the West Pacific, there's only one region that has comparable geographical importance: the Levant, where Israel lies;

6) Even then, the USA suffered a (probable) defeat on the NS-II imbroglio. This means the American Empire is declining, because, on top of it already choosing small battles, it is becoming unable to win even those;

7) All of those 6 points above only make sense if one underlying factor is true: the American economy itself is declining. Points 1-6 are only a problem because the American Empire doesn't have the resources to keep all of its provinces tight, united to its own domestic interests. During the Golden Age of Capitalism (1945-1975) this was absolutely possible; during the Neoliberal Age (1980-2008) it was only possible because the competition (i.e. the USSR and then the Russian Federation) was even worse; during Late Capitalism (2008-present; but specially after 2012, the year of the rise of Xi Jinping) it has become not possible. In this scenario, the American Empire had two options: a) either it tried to replicate the Golden Age of Capitalism or b) it tried to make the new competition worse than it is. Marx had already scientifically demonstrated (a) is not possible because of the Law of the Tendency of the Profit Rate to Fall, so the Empire's only realistic option left was (b). They're trying to physically destroy China, and then Russia, so that the West retakes its hegemony simply for the fact it would be the least worse option.

Posted by: vk | May 20 2021 22:13 utc | 64

@1 James

B has missed a profoundly important point.

B says "Greenwald seems to presume that it is the right or the job of a U.S. president to 'permit' pipelines between two foreign country? That is of course completely false. The U.S. has no right, duty or whatever to interfere in regular businesses between foreign partners. Such interference is in fact illegal under international law."

When Germany and all the rest of the EU surrender their Sovereignty, and use US $'s to buy that gas, THEY MAKE IT THE US's RIGHT TO INTERVENE.

I'm no fan of the empire, but Putin has also clearly called the EU to reclaim their independence. Legally, and b knows this, the US has every right to intervene.

I live in Canada. Even money transfers from a Canadian Bank to a Canadian Bank are in the background done in the US funds. The US has every right to interfere in every single Canadian money transfer. This is atrocious.

This is precisely why the US is an Empire. It threatens militarily, but it controls financially.

Posted by: les7 | May 20 2021 22:13 utc | 65

@ Christian J. Chuba | May 20 2021 20:34 utc | 49

“Mordor cares not for her Orcs.” Here is an interesting article on this theme. Why Mordor Failed... Sauron’s hegemonic collapse holds potent lessons

“Historians agree that Sauron should have instead sought a strong political and economic partnership with Rohan, thus giving Mordor’s armies a steady supply of horses, the world’s best cavalry at the time, and a strong northern bulwark against Gondor. Mordor’s shaky pact with a small power like Isengard to hold back a vast country of mounted warriors remains one of history’s great strategic blunders… Mordor’s second problem was closer to home and one familiar to any observer of American life: political polarization… Once a global leader politically and culturally, the United States is now a laughing stock.”

@ James... thanks. I too ignore Greenwald and others who ignore the monetary dimension completely. Even the realpolitik scholars like John Mearsheimer, Henry Kissinger,... don’t discuss the financial realm. What is a geopolitical theory without the economic sphere... conjecture and a flawed narrative. I like Michael Hudson, Norbert Haering,...

Posted by: Max | May 20 2021 22:16 utc | 66

@ Posted by: Ghost Ship | May 20 2021 22:03 utc | 63

No. China is still substantially poorer than the USA.

Which is no shame: except for some micro-nations (Switzerland, Monaco, Qatar), every nation is at least much poorer than the USA. Even if you're a First Worlder (e.g. a French, a Japanese citizen), you notice the difference in material exuberance between your country and the USA should you go visit there.

In terms of material wealth available, no nation (excluding those bizarre micro-nations I've already mentioned) comes even close to the USA.

Posted by: vk | May 20 2021 22:17 utc | 67

Greenwald advances claims that b was documenting himself. That Democrats constructed a deranged universe in which the top demerit of Trump, and thus of Republicans, is "serving Russian interests".

This cite from his article is important: "Trump and his administration were confronting and undermining the Kremlin in ways Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, had, to his credit, steadfastly refused to do."

In other words, Greenwald thinks it is actually a credit to Democrat who strive to be "lesser evil party" that they did not and do not obstruct Russia and China to the same degree as Trump, but the deranged black-is-white propaganda machinery that currently favors Democrats presents assorted evils spawned by Russian and their resolute response to those evils.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 20 2021 22:21 utc | 68

Posted by: les7 | May 20 2021 22:13 utc | 66

"US has every right to intervene"

I don't think many people would agree that having the power or ability to pull something off means you have the right. That is kinda feudal knights type thinking.

Posted by: jinn | May 20 2021 22:27 utc | 69

Posted by: FMG | May 20 2021 18:56 utc | 26

CIA asset....hmmm. What is the reasoning behind that accusation? If I had to guess it's coming from Bolsonaro's supporters who can't be happy after Greenwald and other journalists proved that the Lula scandal was all hot air cooked up by the right wing in your country.

That having been said, you got me thinking back to this bit I found a few years ago after The Intercept stopped reporting on the Snowden files and then shut down their "research department" and locked the archives away. The story is a little convoluted, so I'll just stick to this part:

It would make sense that he's a CIA asset if he (and others at The Intercept - not to mention its shady owner Pierre Omidyar who's a well known coddler of security state politicians and agencies) intentionally withheld reporting on that story, which has a tie-in to b's work at MoA (around the time b was already reporting likely US and Saudi funding/arming/training of less-than-moderate, mostly foreign "rebels" in Syria).

The gist of it is that Greenwald and The Intercept withheld reporting on a story based on a document in the Snowden files that proved U.S. and Saudi involvement until around 2017 when it was too late and thousands died. By that time everyone already knew what the USSA and its belligerent partners in the region were doing to Syria.

Excerpt here:

Perhaps even more troubling than the article’s failure to mention the CIA’s well-documented role in backing the Free Syrian Army, now exposed as a proxy force following orders from the Saudi royal family, is the fact that the Intercept had access to this document for nearly three-and-a-half years – deciding to publish only now that the Syrian conflict is effectively over and those pushing for regime change have lost. If this document had been published sooner, it could have dramatically changed the course of the war by exposing the true face of the “moderate rebels” — and potentially saved tens of thousands of lives.

That didn’t happen, however, and no reason has been given by the publication for its notable delay. The Intercept has exclusive publishing rights and an exclusive hold on the content of the Snowden leaks, of which this newly released document is a part. Indeed, the Intercept was founded after the Snowden leaks were made public and its first hires were Glenn Greenwald and Lauren Poitras, the only journalists possessing the full Snowden cache. Those documents now belong to the Intercept’s founder — billionaire eBay founder, — and his for-profit media company, First Look Media.

Examining Omidyar’s connections to the U.S. political establishment offers a plausible reason for the Intercept’s delay in publishing documents so crucial to understanding the situation in Syria. Omidyar was a frequent guest of the Obama White House from 2009 to 2013, garnering more face-to-face visits with Obama during his two terms than did Google’s Eric Schmidt, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, New York Times owner Arthur Sulzberger and even fellow tech billionaire turned major media owner, Jeff Bezos.

Omidyar also directly co-invested with the U.S. State Department, via USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), in opposition groups that played a key role in overthrowing Ukraine’s democratically elected government in 2014 – a U.S.-brokered regime-change operation that shares some notable similarities with the Syrian conflict. His investments with USAID have continued since the Intercept’s founding, helping fund the NGO’s more recent overseas programs aimed at “advancing U.S. national security interests” abroad.

Also worth noting is the fact that PayPal, of which Omidyar is a major owner, has allegedly been implicated in several of the still-withheld NSA documents for its business relationship with the NSA and its role in the agency’s mass spying program. In addition, former Intercept writers have asserted that Omidyar was “shockingly disinterested in the actual journalism” of the paper, suggesting that the Intercept was created explicitly to delay the release of damaging documents from the Snowden cache until deemed acceptable to the U.S. political establishment and others who stood to lose face were the entire cache to have been made public.

Indeed, another interesting coincidence supporting this thesis is the fact that the Intercept published this latest piece only after the U.S. State Department itself began to report more honestly on the nature of these so-called “rebels.” A day before the Intercept’s story on Syrian “rebels” and the Saudis, the U.S. State Department – for the first time – admitted that “moderate” rebels in Syria had previously used chemical weapons, a charge it had categorically denied for years in order to facilitate laying the blame for any and all chemical weapons attacks in Syria on the Syrian government.

In other words, the Intercept released the document, which effectively destroys Washington’s “moderate rebels” narrative with its own internal documents, only after the U.S. government itself began to unravel that very same narrative.

The Intercept did not respond to MintPress News’ request for comment regarding the timing of the document’s release.

For some background:

Full copies of the files

As far as we know, complete sets of these documents are in the hands of:
- Glenn Greenwald (received from Snowden in Hong Kong)
- Laura Poitras (received from Snowden in Hong Kong)

Greenwald and Poitras agreed that no one other than they would ever have access to the full set of documents. And to "keep media organizations on a leash" they would only provide them with files and information on a story-by-story basis.

Four other people also received copies of the full archive, because on May 10, 2013, so more than a week before he left Hawaii, Snowden had sent backup copies of the NSA files in postal packages to four individuals:
- Jessica Bruder in New York, who had her package hidden by Dale Maharidge in North California
- Trevor Timm of the Freedom of the Press Foundation (of which Snowden became board member in 2014 and president in 2016)
- One person who wants to remain anonymous
- One unknown person

There are some updates based on Barton Gellman's book on the topic and it's hard to tell from that article whether he was also given full access to the cache, but it is somewhat implied by Gellman's Reddit "ask me anything" session when he said he had stopped reporting on the files because there was nothing interesting left.

In any case, I'd have to agree that there is something fishy with Greenwald. Most fishy of all is that the USSA government never tried to prosecute or off him like they have done to Julian Assange.

Posted by: K_C_ | May 20 2021 22:41 utc | 70

There have been many signs over the past few months that the USA is working clandestinely to twist the German elections so that a more pliable, anti-Russia Chancellor takes over Merkel's place. Rumour has it that the head of the GP is the favoured person. It does appear that the GP are doing quite well in polling and that the ruling party is in an abysmal situation (reminiscent of the disparity in popularity between Putin and his Russia First party). Rumour has it that the rigging crew are in place via the US embassy and other means to endure that a pro-USA candidate "wins", whose second task will be to repudiate the Minsk Agreements and invite the USA to partake in a new negotiation (accompanied by the new French and German stooges more biddable to the USA and Kiev, excluding Belarus (of course) (perhaps a Netherlands venue instead((

Posted by: bloka | May 20 2021 22:44 utc | 71

Ghost ship wrote:

Has Chinese GDP already surpassed the United States'?

They say its now getting close to about the same. Of course China has 4 times as many people so they will have to quadruple their output before the average Chinese make as much as the average USese

If total payments (cash, card and mobile) in China amount to about $70 trillion why is the GDP reported as about $15 billion in 2019.


GDP is a measure of the amount of goods produced not how much money got transferred. FedWire transfers about 750 trillion every year and that is only part of the money transfers in the dollar system. There is no clear relationship between money transfers and goods produced.

Posted by: jinn | May 20 2021 22:45 utc | 72

As a follow-on to my previous post, here's Mark Ames reporting on Pierre Omidyar's and The Intercept and the role that PayPal played in cutting off funding to Wikileaks at the behest of TPTB.

even Wikileaks -- Wikileaks! -- responded that, “We have not [fallen out with Greenwald] but @Pierre is seriously compromised by Paypal's attacks on our organisation and supporters.”

Ames and Yasha Levine make some good points with regard to how The Intercept, Greenwald and Poitras not only monetized and privatized the Snowden leaks - something that Wikileaks, Chelsea Manning, Daniel Ellsberg and Jeffrey Wigand never did - but also were *allowed* to do so by TPTB with zero real world threats to their freedom or lives. Food for thought.

Posted by: K_C_ | May 20 2021 22:48 utc | 73


You are confusing ostentatiousness with wealth, and there is an awful lot of poverty and homelessness in the United States.

As for GDP it's a statistic and so an objective measure. Ostentatiousness is a subjective measure.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | May 20 2021 23:01 utc | 74

The celebration may be premature, the N-2 isn't finished yet, the builders have another 70km or so to complete, the Biden's change of heart may turn out to be a tactical move, a successful false flag op could turn things around very swiftly. If the project does get finished, it will be a major blow to the American hegemonic grip on things (after Syria and the loss of Sevastopol), other nations will note it, it's hard to believe the Americans don't have something up their sleeves to activate before the last kms are completed.

There also is another possibility one shouldn't rule out, the Russians may have a powerful kompromat on the old man, his son's shenanigans in Ukraine may go deeper than Burisma.

Posted by: Baron | May 20 2021 23:01 utc | 75

And one final point on Greenwald during his time at The Intercept. To my knowledge he never once reported critically (or at all) about Pierre Omidyar's political/financial/ideological activities regarding Ukraine or Syria. Nobody else there has either that I'm aware of. Coincidence? I think not.

Posted by: K_C_ | May 20 2021 23:02 utc | 76

Solution to north stream 2 debacle:

let the U.S.A. place a pipeline from usa to Germany (on their account) and compete with Russia on the gas price.

b.t.w: thumbs up for B.
Sometimes it must be very hard to expose your opinion. Respect!

Posted by: Dutch | May 20 2021 23:07 utc | 77

vk 68 May 20 2021 22:17

China GDP in PPP dollars is roughly a third higher than that of the US, vk, that's what matters, Governments or rather their defence agencies purchase tanks and fighter planes and stuff in their local currencies, in the US for dollars, in the UK for pounds sterling, in Japan for Yen, in China for yuan ....., the fact that GDP per capita is considerably lower in China than in the US matters for the unwashed, but not for the State.

Posted by: Baron | May 20 2021 23:09 utc | 78

Even if you're a First Worlder (e.g. a French, a Japanese citizen), you notice the difference in material exuberance between your country and the USA should you go visit there.

Posted by: vk | May 20 2021 22:17 utc | 68

Sorry, but I agree with Ghost Ship. First of all that's a drastic generalization. But more importantly, not only does the U.S. corporate media encourage "exuberance" in the people, but they and their FIRE sector partners 'afford' them ever more debt vehicles with which to obtain their status symbol homes, cars/trucks, clothing and electronics.

You want that over-valued $750,000 1,200 square foot house but you only make $45,000 a year? They've got a loan for that.

How about this nice new Ford F-250 or Raptor truck for $70,000 but you only make $35,000 a year? There's a 9-year note for that too!

Borrow, borrow, borrow. Fake it til you make it. Bigger is better. A nation of down on their luck billionaires. Totally different than how the Chinese view debt and showiness.

Posted by: K_C_ | May 20 2021 23:10 utc | 79

@66 les7 stated that:

"I live in Canada. Even money transfers from a Canadian Bank to a Canadian Bank are in the background done in the US funds. The US has every right to interfere in every single Canadian money transfer. This is atrocious."

I worked in IT in a major Canadian bank for many years, including the interbank payment systems. These are LVTS (large value payments) and ACSS (low value payments). Both use Bank of Canada settlement accounts in C$ to settle the transfers between banks, US$ are not utilized. Thats how any country that has its own currency does internal payments,

If it is a US$ based account, which some Canadians have, then transfers will have to go through FEDWIRE/CHIPS in the US.

Posted by: Roger | May 20 2021 23:10 utc | 80

We still have to wonder why Biden would reverse the Nordstream 2 policy now. So we have to ask ourselves why the US was so determined to screw it up? My guess it was all about Ukraine. The US/NATO thought they had a real shot at Crimea but they've realized it's not going to happen. Without Crimea the Ukraine is effectivel worthless. So might as well let Germany have their cheap Russian gas.

Posted by: dh | May 20 2021 23:17 utc | 81

b is right. NS2 was Merkel's idea. Putin was initially sceptical but she talked him into it. What b doesn't take Greenwald to task for, and which he should have, is Greenwald's assertion that NS2 will give Moscow "greater leverage when dealing with its European neighbours" and that NS2 is "Putin's key geopolitical project". NS2 has nothing to do with geopolitics. It is business, pure and simple. The Russians, and before them the Soviets, have never used their commercial energy supply to Europe for political leverage. Never. To do so would, in the eyes of its customers in Europe, make it an unreliable business partner. The Russians know this. They are not stupid. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Greenwald. Exhibit A: when Russia went to war briefly with Georgia in 2008, did it cut off gas supply to Georgia? No, it didn't. If ever there was a moment to use its commercial energy supplies for geopolitical leverage, surely it was then. But the Russians refrained. For the Russians, energy is business, nothing more. Always has been, always will be.

Posted by: Sarcophilus | May 20 2021 23:20 utc | 82

Greenwald is not succumbing to US propaganda, he is a creator and distributor of CIA propaganda.


Posted by: TEP | May 20 2021 23:28 utc | 83

ak47 (about IL v. "RBO")
Listening to Xi and Putin recently. I think it's safe to say that "rules-based order" has been soundly consigned to the rubbish dump. No doubt we'll continue to hear the refrain from ratty american liberals for a while/ But as a battle cry, it's time has come and gone, I wist. Some thinktank genius is no doubt developing a new slogan of attack.

Posted by: bloka | May 20 2021 23:32 utc | 84

@Max | May 20 2021 22:16 utc | 67
"Why Mordor Failed... Sauron’s hegemonic collapse holds potent lessons" The FP article was rather inciteful,

I loved this part ...

"Similarly, Mordor did little to win hearts and minds beyond its border, other than distributing exactly nine rings that turned its bearers into undead servants...

Mordor’s dead cities, craggy mountains haunted by giant demon-spiders, black deserts, dark towers, and fiery chasms certainly intimidated foreign visitors, much like the National Mall in Washington, D.C ... But Mordor never managed to craft a compelling cultural image of itself other than “actual hell on earth."

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | May 20 2021 23:35 utc | 85

Thanks b for a good analysis.

Greenwald flashed his empire sox. Yes, Greenwald still assumes the USAi has the right to 'permit' trade and relations between other nations, Similarly economist voodoo analyst Mark Blythe never misses the opportunity to include China bashing via the 'Uighur concentration camp / genocide' in his capitalist analysis.

IMO one pipeline leads to another and once Germany gets the first flow sorted and the election is over then they will see the advantage of being the HUB. Then the HUB will get the transfer income by selling gas to all the other energy hungry northern EU states.

Watch the volumes skyrocket and the Germans drink the beer :))

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 20 2021 23:41 utc | 86

@ les7 | May 20 2021 22:13 utc | 66 and @ max 67... it is true b doesn't analyze this stuff from a michael hudson type angle... i heard the euro was a 1% creation designed to perpetuate the us$... i always thought the role of the uk in all of this was to ensure a continuation of all that... i don't know exactly how it all works, but it is outrageous that projects in germany would be held hostage to usa foreign policy.. it does look like that is the case too which ought to be an outrage for any european..

just like greenwald never goes into this area of analysis from a financial angle - neither does b... however i think b is right to question where greenwald is coming from here.. he does seem to be pandering to a certain type of reader.. i don't know how he is making our with his substack subscriptions and renvenue, or if he is reliant on it..

Posted by: james | May 20 2021 23:45 utc | 87

@ Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 20 2021 23:41 utc | 87

It's almost unconscious. The USA is so powerful and so hegemonic that it doesn't even occur to the average middle class American that the rest of the world is made of sovereign nations. It's all so easy, so up for grabs.

When you have a hammer, everything else smaller is a nail.

Posted by: vk | May 21 2021 0:11 utc | 88

greenwald has done some great journalism but he also spends a lot of time trying to point out how stupid MSM yuppies are when we already know and have known for a long time. qanon = blueanon, both sides are dumb about russia, both sides are twats about palestine, both sides are dumb about austerity, etc etc - we get it. i've seen a lot of blind spots and dumb fixations from trump 2016 to covid to the jan 6 hootenany. greenwald's aren't the worst.

and at least he hasn't gone the way of michael tracey and posted muskhole nonsense.

Posted by: the pair | May 21 2021 0:13 utc | 89

When Greenwald left the Intercept & signed up to substack, I took out a subscription to his substack account and then later to Taibbi's as well.
It became obvious from the get go that both of these journalists' loud denunciation of the current corporate media landscape had attracted readers from across the spectrum of amerikan political thought, well outside the old school 'left' readership who had followed both for a long time.
Unfortunately whilst Taibbi has continued to publish articles on a wide range of issues including his favourite shenanigans on Wall St, Greenwald seems to me to have been pandering to a particular segment of his readership that he may see as being more likely and capable to increase his subscriber base - that is disaffected Trumpists people who still prattle on about 'the election being stolen' despite the lack of any substantive evidence to support that and people who hold staunchly conservative views about religion & race as well as being fans of the old cold war mindset. I have been considering the past few weeks whether I should cancel my subscription but hanging on to see if Greenwald will go outside the interests of his trumpist subscribers into other issues.
Thus far he hasn't and the Nordstream nonsense which followed articles on the disgustingness of liz cheney (no argument there) AOC, Blinken all reasonable subjects in isolation but as a tranche they are also all preaching to the trumpist choir.

Not enough to seriously piss one off but the way his articles incite what is becoming his main readership, trumpists, does gives pause.

The opinion I like least which Greenwald expressed in his piece "The left continues to destroy itself with evidence free destruction of reputations" pissed me off because in the article & again in his responses to readers, Greenwald insists that the democratic party is a party of the left, when nothing done by any member of congress (including the so called progressive left a term which reminds me of a time as a union official when I was invited to the ALP progressive caucus only to discover it wasn't progressive but was a power play by wannabes) could be even vaguely described as leftist. In other words he has begun that same old nonsense that his trumpist comrades always promote.
That is the divisive actions of the dem party, especially in relation to 'woke' bulldust is the result of marxist beliefs, when blind freddy knows 'leftism' has always been based on establishing unity among all the diverse humans in society to get together and fight the class war/elites/1% or whatever we're calling the arseholes this week. I realise amerikan indoctrination goes deep but it doesn't take much research to realise that wokesim, or sacrificing the population's access to public healthcare in return for personal career advancement, or supporting a bill which keeps amerikan workers on the poverty line, is far removed from anything 'leftist'. neoliberal is what all the democrats in senate & representatives subscribe to apart from some of the old farts (biden, pelosi) who best fit in the 'fascist lite' category.

I get why Greenwald has done this, he has a large family to support and keep secure but I'm pretty sure I don't want to contribute to the spread of yet another amerikan deceit which if successful can only succeed in making this planet even more inhumane.
It doesn't take a smartie to see where this push to divide an easily defined subsection of humanity by luring them in part with ersatz socialism (conveniently forgotten when the time is right) then filling their heads up with hate plus the 'specialness' of those in this group, leads.

Posted by: Debsisdead | May 21 2021 0:44 utc | 90

Mr.Sarcophilus | May 20 2021 23:20 utc | 83

Absolutely correct sir.

It is the Americans that have weaponized Business to wage pointless, unwinnable wars.

Posted by: Fyi | May 21 2021 0:50 utc | 91

Mr. Ghost Ship | May 20 2021 23:01 utc | 75

The wages of war against Islam: sell your jobs to China, then take the money and burn it fighting the enemies of Israel.

When will AUMF be repealed, you reckon; before or after the Second Coming?

Posted by: Fyi | May 21 2021 0:54 utc | 92

@ Debsisdead | May 21 2021 0:44 utc | 91

Thanks for that.

Comments like this are the reason yours get promoted to well deserved full posting status at MoA.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 21 2021 0:55 utc | 93

@73 jinn

GDP is not a measure of goods produced. GDP is a measure of goods, services and all the financial transactions that support them.

Sell your house. The financial transaction, insurances etc are all GDP.

"Accordingly, GDP is defined by the following formula:GDP = Consumption + Investment + Government Spending + Net Exportsor more succinctly asGDP = C + I + G + NXwhere consumption (C) represents private-consumption expenditures by households and nonprofit organizations, investment (I) refers to business expenditures by businesses and home purchases by households, government spending (G) denotes expenditures on goods and services by the government, and net exports (NX) represents a nation’s exports minus its imports"

Posted by: les7 | May 21 2021 1:02 utc | 94

@ 94 pscyhohistorian ... i agree..

@ 95 les7...someone said these gdp numbers from the usa are like 70-80% about financial transactions... financial and military 'products' are the products of usa..

Posted by: james | May 21 2021 1:05 utc | 95

Posted by: Debsisdead | May 21 2021 0:44 utc | 91

Canceled my substack subscribe to Greenwald as well and decided to go over to Yasha Levine's substack. I also have Taibbi and, for now, Michael Tracey.

I wouldn't worry too much about Greenwald's financial situation. Pretty sure he cashed in big at The Intercept and through his books and other Snowden related activity. He was the guy in charge of privatizing, monetizing and curating the cache.

Posted by: K_C_ | May 21 2021 1:07 utc | 96

@81, thank you for the clarification.

I was given to understand that all SWIFT transactions clear through US systems and fall under US jurisdiction.

My transfers here from bank to bank use swift numbers.

Posted by: les7 | May 21 2021 1:07 utc | 97

I agree with DebsIsDead's take on Greenwald, he has never been my cup o' tea, he definitely has some issues, but I'm not inclined to get worked up about his failings. The need to maintain market share affects a lot of sites I frequent, B here is one of the few standouts for ignoring all that.

Posted by: Bemildred | May 21 2021 1:17 utc | 98

I agree with DebsIsDead's take on Greenwald, he has never been my cup o' tea, he definitely has some issues, but I'm not inclined to get worked up about his failings. The need to maintain market share affects a lot of sites I frequent, B here is one of the few standouts for ignoring all that.

Posted by: Bemildred | May 21 2021 1:17 utc | 99

Well, I would not side with b nor Greenwald on something like this. Greenwald is fantastic at finding the points of light in the sky but connecting the lines -- not so exceptional. But all that doesn't really matter. Let's face it, none of you are blues. So here we go with the final elucidation. It goes like this:

Germany cannot afford the energy deficit if Nordstream 2 were to be blocked. Just this week the so-called 'Biden Regime' was informed of this reality. So what to do? Well just cease and desist trying to block the inevitable hyper-embarrassing failure, and just let that inevitable thing happen.

ZERO policy change from Trump or Biden. Just slow roll your hideously losing poker hand. And wait for that special moment to fold 'em and run!

Posted by: blues | May 21 2021 1:23 utc | 100

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