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.


bigger

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

Comments
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Greenwald to show the hypocrisy of the Russiagate attacks on Trump has lost his way in understanding the basic facts, history and outcomes of Nord Stream 2. Nord Stream 2 is important to Russia but as of now, not so important that they will fight for it tooth and nail. Anything bringing in a good chuck of cash will be important but not devastating. But Greenwald is so focused on the Russiagate conspiracy and showing up its proponents over that last four years, he does not realize that the Russians can live without it. He does not seem to understand that the EU will be harmed by the cancellation.

As of this posting, republican senators are trying to stop Biden. The irony is that now the republicans are using the same "resistance" rhetoric against the democrats. So the story will continue domestically in the USA if democrats will turn on Biden over NS2.

Posted by: Erelis | May 21 2021 1:37 utc | 101

What matters is how empire portrayed the pipeline in their geo-political scheme of narratives and now they have lost that narrative battle and position in the larger control issue of "rules-base-order".....data point or trend?....I say trend now.

Another issue I have not read about explored here is the financial/legal status of Germany as a colony of empire after WWII. How sovereign is Germany financially?....I don't give a fuck about politically...sorry to be so blunt.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 21 2021 1:38 utc | 102

You make a pretty good point here.
Trump very nearly got lynched for accepting a fucking soccer ball from the president of the Russian Federation,
Converseley, kermit the frog very nearly initiated a global conflict by leveraging the Ukrainian junta against both itself and Russia (though to be fair(ish) Trump very nearly initiated a global conflict by trying to confront Iran based on a bunch of bullshit that his bosses made up).
So, yeah...
I guess the jury is still out on when everyone will elect to pull their heads out of their asses here...

Posted by: Josh | May 21 2021 1:40 utc | 103

Well done b.! This is a very sound rebuke and correction to the ridiculous Glen Greenwald article of yesterday. I wonder if Greenwald is already regretting that penned foolishness? The whole tone was as if he were engaged in a tit-for-tat conversation with Rachel Maddow. Very sub par, and at a time when his credibility was high.
You have explained, succinctly and clearly, the absurd exceptionalism that underpins the Greenwald article, and the geopolitical and economic realities that constitute the real situation.
Trump used Germany's NATO membership as leverage with some justification. By contrast, Team Biden appears terminally weak. Russia's gain is not economic so much as political, and does not offer easy explanations. Greenwald is unable to articulate this and is responding a la nyah nyah! to the whole Russiaphobic media obsession, but it is a disservice to his intelligence. Thanks again to your far more intelligent response b.
Now, what of Germany?
Team Biden is in the thrall of the globalists. The Greens party is ascendant in Germany, led by the scary Annalena Baerbock. The Greens are a globalist entity. I can only conclude that the Dems have ditched the U.S.A. nation in favour of a consortium of globalists, naturally under the assumption that they lead (by values!).

.

Posted by: Australian lady | May 21 2021 1:41 utc | 104

I had read some of Greenwald's article before dropping it and before seeing b's piece.

My impression was that he was promoting the dems as being smarter, nicer and overall better than the republicans.
One of the comments to his tweet was , "I like your Brazil commentary much better than your US commentary.
I usually read his twitter everyday and this seemed to be from someone who actually believes there is a difference.

Posted by: arby | May 21 2021 1:53 utc | 105

Imperial American geopolitics as dog obedience training:

America must keeps it pet German schnauzer well-behaved and on its leash.

So the Americans dangle a doggie treat called "Nordstream 2" in front of the schnauzer's face to pacify its urges to break free.

Sit, schnauzer, sit!

Good schnauzer. Good girl!


Posted by: ak74 | May 21 2021 2:12 utc | 106

Y'know, it could be that GG may just not be as informed on the particulars of the whole NS2 affair. He's shown before that he is extremely knowledgable in some areas, to a lesser degree in others; NS2 may be one of those others (he obviously knows the main bullet points, but that's probably the extent of it).
He also may be playing nice with certain US gov agencies; I personally have thought for some time that both he and Scahill may have received a similar talking to that James Risen probably had too. That these agencies are largely now dominated by the D party (via Obama/Clinton) is widely known, so yeah, comes as no surprise that GG might take this angle (others in the bar have already noted the Intercept's reporting on Syria and the Snowden archive as other examples). It's still a bummer; GG is clever and perceptive, and the people need that on our side more than ever.
Thanks b.

Posted by: robjira | May 21 2021 2:57 utc | 107

@ Christian J. Chuba | May 20 2021 23:35 utc | 86, glad you liked the article.

@ James, the euro is a creation of the global financial syndicate and most of its central bankers come from Goldman Sachs, such as Draghi, Lagarde,... Tony Norfield has a blog on this theme and a book that exposes the City’s financial structure. Tony like Michael Hudson has worked in this arena.

Posted by: Max | May 21 2021 3:01 utc | 108

The ploy is obvious, Xerxes Biden is desperate to meet with Putin. It gives Biden cover for his mental deficiencies, indicates achievement while the rest of the nation's like Cuba remain screwed or Luke Venezuela have their sovereign gold and accounts stolen.

Meeting Putin gives the empire permission to continue the plunder and undermines rule of law.

Meetings between Putin and Biden endorse rules based order.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 21 2021 3:45 utc | 109

@110 uncle tungsten

I've seen a comment at the Saker suggesting that Putin and the Kremlin might actually be curious to see how much of functioning brain there is in the zombie, Biden. And this may sound tabloid but there are real questions here for Russia. Who's running the US, and will they continue or will they be deposed, and what do they want?

It's an interesting thought. Even as overtures seem to be being made to Russia (albeit in the usual surly way), as we know from Martyanov, Russia doesn't need the US at all - the US may be realizing it wants to open some few channels.

After the "killer" insult and the superb riposte of a month or two back, it's beguiling that Putin will meet and talk with Biden. Ordinarily, a rebuff would be good for many months, maybe half a year, but suddenly something has yielded somewhere.

I don't worry about Russia - Russia won't come to any table that it doesn't walk away with more than it brings. I just wonder what Russia will walk away with from all this detente blooming like spring flowers in the snow lately.

Posted by: Grieved | May 21 2021 4:08 utc | 110

Mark U #28

Hydrogen is a VERY IMPORTANT ANSWER to energy production. The evolution of fuel cells is on par with the evolution of silicon chips.

Ammonia is a useful by-product in food cultivation.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 21 2021 4:10 utc | 111

Debsisdead #91

YES to all of that.
Thanks for clear light.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 21 2021 4:14 utc | 112

Greenwald is half right; the NS2 pipeline is between one foreign country - Russia - and a fully owned Amerikastani colony (Germany). As such it is half Bidet's business to permit it.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | May 21 2021 4:16 utc | 113

@67 Max

I'm enjoying that article at ForeignPolicy about Mordor and its classic mistakes of statecraft. We always thought the Dark Lord was such a menace but he screwed up from wanting to go it alone. So apparently this is an older story than we knew ;)

If we're going to riff on Tolkien - and I can think of nothing finer - then we should know some of the important memes:

They're Taking The Hobbits To Isengard

~~

ps..there used to be a 10-hour mix of this. People would get up in the morning and start their day with it. It was a more heroic age ;)

Posted by: Grieved | May 21 2021 4:41 utc | 114

Curious to know if and how Bide(mentia)'s magnanimous waiver over Nordstream II might be related to the US control over eastern Europe (especially over the Baltic chihuahuas, Poland and Ukraine) or whether US posturing over Nordstream II has always been for show and the purpose of it was really to keep the EU (and the Merkel government in particular) on a tight leash to ensure its fealty to Washington DC.

Then again, there must have been some tit-4-tat going on between Berlin and Washington DC, and maybe including at least one other EU or non-EU government in Europe. After all, Denmark, Poland and Ukraine among others were posturing loudly to delay if not stop Nordstream II construction. Those nations must have expected at least a pat on the head if not compensation for their baying. (Though later talk of the US buying Greenland must have shown Denmark how much its obeisance to Washington is valued over there.)

There is also the issue of the Biden family's interests in the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine and how those might be affected by Nordstream II's completion and Russia's eventual abandonment of Ukraine as a conduit for Russian natural gas supply to Europe.

Posted by: Jen | May 21 2021 4:58 utc | 115

@James

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 is very simple how it all works, call it occupation, military occupation. We had back in the sixties a “broken arrow” incident in southeastern Spain -search for Palomares- , land contaminated with plutonium, well, four B52s flew into a US base in Spain a few days ago and I found out about it through a link posted in this bar. While our air force and navy is used to poke the bear in the Baltic and Black Sea we have the hegemon arming to their teeth our neighbor and most probable military rival, Morocco, who uses a poor and oppressed population to press Spain with waves of illegal immigrants in our exclave cities of Ceuta and Melilla, plus the Canary Islands and the mainland. So there you have it, Germany is occupied, Spain is occupied, Italy and all of Europe except France even though Sarkozy took his country back to NATO. Not only occupied, but constantly harassed to pay more for the privilege of being occupied, pay up with the infamous two percent rule. It is the Al Capone business model, we protect you from ourselves so pay up and shut up, that simple. And what really amazes me is how simple things like that are hidden behind thousands of books, articles, dissertations, conferences and talking head points, when it is so simple, military occupation sold as "protection".

Posted by: Paco | May 21 2021 5:43 utc | 116

@ Jen - Very interesting questions you raise. Thank you!
I think the wheels have come off the clown cart out here in Pindostan / USA. The veil has been shredded regarding the dominance of the USA. The shattered states of Eastern Europe get to pay the price. Sad posturing. Maybe provoke nuclear war. Super depressing.
What is going on with the Southern Stream pipeline? Also, you mentioned the Biden family's interests in Donbass. If you know of any links, it would be super appreciated.

Thank you and everyone in the MoA family, as always.

Posted by: lex talionis | May 21 2021 6:09 utc | 117

jinn | May 20 2021 22:45 utc

Three ways exist to measure a country's GDP, jinn, by output, by consumption and by income, even though these three measures should come up with an identical outcome, they seldom do, and it's the income measure that's widely used, i.e. the GDP of (say) the American Republic is the income of every physical or legal entity of the country.

For international comparison the likes of IMF, the World Bank use GDP in PPP dollars (purchasing power parity) to compensate for differences in the price levels between countries, google for it. On that basis China's GDP is already roughly a third bigger than that of the US. That matters when it comes to the spending of the State on (say) the military.

To measure GDP in US dollars for international comparison is totally misleading, when Britain voted for Brexit the pound sterling drop close to 20% that would have lowered the country's GDP by the same rate overnight if converted into US$, patently a nonsense.

Posted by: Baron | May 21 2021 6:32 utc | 118

psychohistorian | May 21 2021 0:55 utc | 94

james | May 21 2021 1:05 utc | 96

K_C_ | May 21 2021 1:07 utc | 97

Bemildred | May 21 2021 1:17 utc | 99

uncle tungsten | May 21 2021 4:14 utc | 113

Thanks for the feedback. I'm sure you all know as well as I do that all too often some post that we have invested effort and heart into can appear to have been a solo cry heard by no-one..

Posted by: Debsisdead | May 21 2021 6:59 utc | 119

Grieved #111

Thank you,

Well my guess is the Russian President really won't need to meet with Biden to know 'who' is running the USAi circus. Blinkens words to Lavrov will reveal much of the mechanism in place. Who else from the USAi team attended and what did they contribute?

My assumption is that the Russian Federation analysts will measure the subsequent actions of the USA over the next few months. There is major political and vaccine action happening in South America, significant hyperventilating by the FUKUSI about invented Uighur issues, slow motion confrontation in the South China SEa, immediate tensions in the middle east, and then there is Afghanistan... These are the measure of the worth of any meeting. Yes there are reasons for the leaders to meet but not before the Foreign Policy team of both sides have designed a worthy cause to meet and agreements to sign.

I assume the current Israeli war against the Palestinians is an acid test applied by Zion Apartheid corral the white house team of ziocontrollers to their will. Right at the time of approaching dialog with Russia.

Almost the entire adviser circle around Biden is comprised of committed ziongangsters.

If I were in Putin's shoes I would expect a high order suite of agreements to be on the table, fully worked through, and ready to sign. Anything less would be a waste of time. Anything divisive of Russia / China progress would be anathema. If the USAI thinks that backing down on NordStream 2 is sufficient to get a meeting, they are jerkoffs.

I expect a subtle concerted test by Russia / China and one that the USA will absolutely fail.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 21 2021 8:35 utc | 120

Considering Pepe piece: https://asiatimes.com/2021/05/less-frost-more-warmth-at-blinken-lavrov-meet/

Sure hope Russia doesn't fall for the USA's trick.

This is Nixon all over again, except this time he visits Russia instead of China.

Posted by: Smith | May 21 2021 9:23 utc | 121

Debsisdead - May 21 2021 0:44 utc | 91

I wouldn’t worry too much about the finances monsieur Greenwald. He’ll do fine… There is a whole series about that Sir by Ken Silverstein, former The Intercept reporter here at washingtonbabylon.com. Those two hate each other I think, but OK, Silverstein raises many good points about rich kid Greenwald. I personally never understood what attracted left-leaning people for monsieur Greenwald – his way with words ?

Posted by: phiw13 | May 21 2021 10:10 utc | 122

The pile up on Greenwald is unwarranted. fine to question his work as B has done. Anyone who sticks their neck out there are plenty of actors/journos willing to take a swipe at it. I think of Assange and the price he's paying for his truth telling. AP just fired a journo for having been pro Palestinian in college. There are many journos who have been fired or laid off, or had their beats changed, or simply are rejected by the mainstream and therefore can't sell their work. In my mind we should support all these journos, lest we end up having MSMedia, or worse.

Posted by: spirasol | May 21 2021 10:42 utc | 123

Germany urgently needs the gas to keep its already high electricity prices from rising further.

If Russian NG assists in decreasing German electricity costs then this will result in German mfg gaining competitive advantage in global markets and likely undercutting US mfg of equivalent products.

The US attack on NS2 therefore represents an economic attack against both Russia and the German economy to the benefit of the US.

Posted by: Sushi | May 21 2021 11:32 utc | 124

The fact that
“White House spokesman Jen Psaki admitted that the pipeline will now be difficult to stop.”

According to one of the authors of the document, Senator Kevin Cramer, the administration of US President Joe Biden, ” At the risk of weakening America’s global standing, the Biden Administration is acquiescing to a misguided German strategy which will give Putin a grip on our allies in Europe.”

Means that Germany (business entities not German politicians -who are in US pocket) told US to “get lost”
Which means Greenwald is the Deep States’ controlled opposition. Trying to salvage the deal by using his “popular” stellar (to those easily deceived) reputation.
Remember Assange? Assange in jail but not Greenwald?

Posted by: Pied piper | May 21 2021 11:32 utc | 125

Greenwald and moa are BOTH wrong on Nordstream: https://www.anti-spiegel.ru/2021/warum-haben-die-usa-auf-neue-sanktionen-gegen-deutsche-firmen-wegen-nord-stream-2-verzichtet/

Posted by: Nope | May 21 2021 11:57 utc | 126

Lex Talionis @ 118:

I had in mind Hunter Biden's position as Board Director on Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings' board some years ago. At the time Burisma Holdings had permits to explore and drill in the Donbass region for gas and oil.

Ukrainian prosecutor-general Viktor Shokin was going after Burisma Holdings on corruption issues. Joe Biden pressured then Ukrainian President Poroshenko to sack Shokin or US$1 billion in loans would be withheld. Here is a video of Biden boasting about how he got Shokin off Burisma Holdings and his son's back.

There are probably other examples of the Bidens' involvement in Ukrainian affairs that more likely than not raise conflict-of-interest and corruption issues. You could try looking through 21st Century Wire's site for these.

Posted by: Jen | May 21 2021 12:02 utc | 127

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

I think the real problem is that we all look for confirmation bias these days, we are not open to alternative views. I have a medical background and agree that covid is not what the media claims, 9 newly minted Pharma Billionaires is apparently the new normal. B sees it differently, that doesn't mean his views on that shouldn't be considered, after all haven't we all changed views at times in our lives? I just may be wrong.

As to Greenwald, have read many a good article from him, if he is wrong on this does he really need a public lynching and snide remarks from the devoted? Are we then really any better than the woke lunatics with their tunnel vision view of the world and psychopathic intolerance for heretics?

There are two options for dissenting views, one being informed debate and the other cancellation.

Posted by: Gravel Rash | May 21 2021 12:21 utc | 128

Jen @May21 12:02 #128

... Burisma Holdings had permits to explore and drill in the Donbass region for gas and oil.

They planned to use American fracking technology.

Probably would've been very lucrative. But the Donbas Ruskies nixed that sweet deal.

10% of nothing for the butt-hurt 'Big Guy'. LOL.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 21 2021 12:25 utc | 129

I found Greenwald's article on this subject rather pointless. He is a bit stuck on the matter of how the media were unfair to Trump and this article seemed to continue in that theme, but the claim has grown a bit tired if completely, blatantly correct. In this light he is comparing how the media is unfairly fair to the chosen candidate - Biden. In making his point he using the dramatic subject of the Biden acceptance of the NS2 project, which is a bit confounding because he is using a positive development as a point of complaint. Perhaps valid but still, let it go Glen.

B's article discussing Glen's tired argument was even more pointless. Yes he nailed Glen on the point that NS2 is not technically a Russian project - which is a bit obtuse but who cares. I think B was having a bad day. Could read more into it, but not necessary.

Posted by: jared | May 21 2021 12:30 utc | 130

robjira @May21 2:57 #108

He also may be playing nice with certain US gov agencies ...

After the Snowden affair, they (likely) made him an offer he couldn't refuse: loads of money or loads of trouble.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 21 2021 12:35 utc | 131

Ghost Ship @63

Please note the comment after the Economist chart:

"What am I not understanding here? How are people in China buying $60 trillion worth of stuff on their phones? Isn’t that close to the world GDP?"

Posted by: DaffyDuct | May 21 2021 12:36 utc | 132

@S #33
Hydrogen is a terrible fuel.
1) It is both light and heavy. Light in that energy derived from burning it is really weak, heavy in that storage requires enormous weight of container. CNG vehicles, as is, are already very heavy compared to normal gasoline IC engined cars; hydrogen will be visibly heavier. More weight = more wasted energy consumed just moving that weight around.
2) Hydrogen has the extra bonus of being extremely permeable. In other words - it leaks from anything and everything. This makes it really dangerous to store in quantity and extremely wasteful to store in dispersion.
3) Hydrogen production is extremely energy intensive. It is 100% true that with today's or even the next 10 years of technology, that the production of hydrogen is more wasteful than any other form of energy production. In theory, you can do it with magic cathode/anode splitting of water - but even then the issue is collection and storage. The amounts of hydrogen needed to replace even 1% of present oil byproduct liquid fuel would make for really, really big bombs just waiting for the slightest of accidents.

Posted by: c1ue | May 21 2021 12:48 utc | 133

I think the news of the day was:
- US concedes on NS2 project.
- Big win for Russia/Putin/Gazprom/Merkel.
- Putin, playing statesman as always, is gracious in accepting Biden's approval (likely unneeded, but that is why Putin is pretty competent statesman).

Questions might be:
- What if anything did Putin yield for this?
- What is Biden/Blinken up do?
- What are implications for Ukraine and other points of US/Russia conflict?
- What are the permanent government up to? Suspect a long term plan to win Russia's to US side in war with China.

Posted by: jared | May 21 2021 12:49 utc | 134

As I predicted in my earlier post(from The Hill):

"Fourteen Republican senators on Thursday introduced a bill that would reimpose sanctions on entities involved in the construction of the Nord Stream pipeline after the Biden administration announced it would waive them earlier this week.

The Protecting Our Well-being by Expanding Russian Sanctions Act would reinstate sanctions against the company behind the pipeline and CEO Matthias Warnig, while also extending them to cover “subcontractors of any entity which works on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.”

“At the risk of weakening America’s global standing, the Biden Administration is acquiescing to a misguided German strategy which will give Putin a grip on our allies in Europe,” lead sponsor Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) said in a statement. “The Putin Pipeline must be stopped, and I urge my colleagues to join this effort before the Administration makes the United States learn the hard way why energy security means national security.”

Robert Memdez (D- compromised by teen prostitutes) is also likely to back this bill.

Posted by: schmoe | May 21 2021 12:50 utc | 135

@ Schmoe

Yes, that would be the MIC push-back.
To be expected. Everything would be fixed if only we had a few more missles and wedding parties to target.
Wonder why Menendez invited to the party.
Let's see what happens.

Is this MIC vs CIA? Who will win? We know that the public will lose.

Posted by: jared | May 21 2021 13:10 utc | 136

@uncle tungsten #112
I remember clearly when fuel cell vehicles were all the rage. They were going to revolutionize personal transport and save the Earth, etc etc.
Where are they now?

The 2021 Toyota Mirai has 151 horsepower, weights 4255 lbs and has a range of 400 miles - to get to the total of 69 hydrogen fueling stations in the entire state of California. And it costs $60K ($40K starting).
The 2021 Toyota Rav4 has 2 IC and 1 hybrid versions.
The 2 IC versions have ~203 horsepower, the hybrid has 219 horsepower.
The 2 IC versions are 3370 and 3450 lbs, the hybrid is 3690 lbs.
The IC versions have a range of 380 to 480 miles.
The IC versions cost $36K ($24K starting). But the hybrid has a payload capacity of 1165 lbs vs. the 3500 lbs for the IC versions. Basically the hybrid has a nice bump from the electric engine for 1 second max horsepower but it cannot sustain it for any length of time; the onboard gas power engine is really small and weak and is really just an onboard generator.

Fuel cells are yet another example of offshoring pollution: the creation of fuel cells is possibly more polluting that lithium ion battery production.
They're really expensive.
They don't seem to have a very good lifetime.
And they're heavy.

A hydrogen fuel cell would be even heavier - the hydrogen reservoir itself requires really thick tanks to both keep compression and reduce leakage.

So no, I don't see any potential for hydrogen fueled cars in my lifetime. Even a 10% electrical car presence, nationwide, seems highly unlikely.

Posted by: c1ue | May 21 2021 13:12 utc | 137

@jared #135
It is possible Putin gave up something, but it is also possibly Putin gave up nothing.
Or in other words, it was the Germans who put up the ultimatum.
I've said it before, I say it again: the Europeans/EU are clearly just wanting to muddle along. They'll go along with any number of minor nonsense but won't ultimately commit to major efforts which they don't believe in.
There are numerous examples of this including the EU support for American adventures in Afghanistan and the Middle East. Yes, there are European troops there but they number in the low 3 digits and furthermore are often directly subsidized by the US.
Similarly sanctions: the EU threw the secondary industries under a (small) bus: cheese, wine etc. But they still buy Russian oil and gas.
If anything - the impending Merkel exit has the German political establishment spooked. There doesn't seem to be a replacement and the ongoing far-right strengthening in Germany (AfD) and France (Le Pen) can't be very comforting for the incumbents.

Posted by: c1ue | May 21 2021 13:18 utc | 138

And more "save the planet" fun: roads are built and maintained from gas taxes: Wired">https://www.wired.com/story/electric-vehicles-problem-building-roads+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us">Wired article on electric vs. gas tax for roads
Above link from Google so signin isn't necessary.
The reality is that existing electric and alternate fueled cars are being subsidized significantly by everyone else (i.e. IC car drivers). The cost of maintaining roads is increasing - in no small part due to high oil prices/oil tech reducing asphalt production per barrel of oil but the incoming revenue is also declining both due to higher fuel efficiency and due the non-gas "free riders".
The limousine liberals like this - they argue it encourages faster non-gas vehicle adoption. This is true in a very narrow sense, but what is true in a very wide sense is that the non-gas vehicles are much more expensive, have less lifetime usability and thus such policies would hurt poor people the most.
For everyone else: what about a tax based on miles driven? Talk about a fun exercise: report the miles you drove in your state every year. Either allow the state the track you constantly via your onboard systems (an OBD device would do that nicely, particularly combined with a smartphone and its GPS) or allow a massive bureaucracy to arise - likely in the DMV - to take in this data and collect taxes. Fun!

Posted by: c1ue | May 21 2021 13:54 utc | 139

Mr. c1ue | May 21 2021 13:12 utc | 138

I agree - billions have been sunk in that Hydrogen Fuel - another snake oil.

How can water, the ash of burning hydrogen - be used to generate power?

Posted by: fyi | May 21 2021 14:05 utc | 140

@ c1ue, fyi

re. Hydrogen and Alternative Fuels

Leaving apart the science aspect which is kind of cool,
in the finacialized world in which we live (serving the owners),
the more complex the solution the better - creates lots of opportunities and problems to be solved and your friendly rentier/banker will be there to help.
It is the mode we are in - ends with a bang, but who knows when.

T. Boone Pickens, pointed out a bout 20 10+ years ago that if they were looking to save the planet they could have switched all cars to natural gas almost over night. But who needs that and of course we are not trying to save the world.

And on that subject (saving the world), this is pretty excellent (George Carlin, Saving the World):
https://youtu.be/7W33HRc1A6c

Posted by: jared | May 21 2021 14:52 utc | 141

Economic exchange creates per definition mutual dependency.

After 2014 the EU has unified it`s gas network and upgraded it`s pipelines in such a manner that gas can always flow in both directions. Germany alone has LNG docking capacity in excess ot it`s demand, enough to fully compensate for NS2. The EU is now the worlds biggest gas market and hotly contested by the worlds gas suppliers. Everybody wants a piece of the cake. I have read somewhere that the turnover of NS2 is expectet to be in the range of 70 billion euros annually with LNG from the USA being ca. 10% more expensive.

Seven billion annually is quite a fortune. But there is no doupt that the German economy could handle 7 billion in additional costs more easily than the smaler Russian economy could deal with a 70 billion loss of income. So while economic exchange creates mutual dependency per definition here the balance of power is rather in favour of Germany.


NS2 is 0% economics and 100% geopolitics. Germany needs it so that not 100% of it`s energy imports come either from the USA or got through US controlled countries or oceans. Russia needs it in order to provide Germany with a certain degree of strategic autonomy. (No matter how Germany will use that power, from a Russian perspective a Germany with some room to manouver is still better than a monolithic NATO that must follow Washington unconditionally wherever it leads.)

Posted by: m | May 21 2021 14:55 utc | 142

jen wrote

Ukrainian prosecutor-general Viktor Shokin was going after Burisma Holdings on corruption issues. Joe Biden pressured then Ukrainian President Poroshenko to sack Shokin or US$1 billion in loans would be withheld. Here is a video of Biden boasting about how he got Shokin off Burisma Holdings and his son's back.
___________________________________________________________

That is the story that Joe Biden told to the Council On Foreign Relations.
Looking at the evidence shows that Biden was lying.
Biden was nowhere near Ukraine when Shokin resigned. At the time Shokin thought the reason he was quitting was because of the failure to prosecute any of the murders during the Maidan uprising. And there was no $1 billion released as a consequence of Shokin leaving office.

The story that Biden told that he was leaving in 6 hours and if the prosecutor did not get fired he wasn't giving Ukraine $1 billion was a complete fabrication. None of the claimed facts in the story are real.

Shokin himself has testified to an Austrian court that he knew nothing about Biden having him fired until 2 years after he left office when he first saw the video with Biden telling that story.

Don't you think that if Shokin was really investigating Biden's son and he was asked to resign (thus ending the investigation) that he would have some inkling at the time that Biden was involved?

The payoff for Burisma hiring Hunter for a five year term was already made long before. After the 2014 takeover the UK had seized $23 million of Burisma assets.

https://www.sfo.gov.uk/2014/04/28/money-laundering-investigation-opened/

One month later Hunter and his CIA cohorts were appointed to the Burisma Board. Several months later the UK Special Frauds Office dropped the case and released the $23 million. The basis in court for the release of the $23M was information from the Ukrainian Prosecutor's office that said they had no evidence of wrong doing by Burisma or its CEO.

Posted by: jinn | May 21 2021 15:02 utc | 143

c1ue wrote

The reality is that existing electric and alternate fueled cars are being subsidized significantly by everyone else (i.e. IC car drivers). The cost of maintaining roads is increasing - in no small part due to high oil prices/oil tech reducing asphalt production per barrel of oil but the incoming revenue is also declining both due to higher fuel efficiency and due the non-gas "free riders".
_____________________________________________

Its a little more complicated than that.
The gas tax money is apportioned to the states based on how much road use fuel the state consumes. Therefore the state govts have an incentive to encourage the use of gasoline and discourage other types of transportation energy sources that return less revenue to the state.

Posted by: jinn | May 21 2021 15:28 utc | 144

Hi

I think you’re missing the point of Greenwald’s article

A lot of his article is ironical and shouldn’t be taken at face value. The objective of his article is to mock the idea that Trump was a Russian asset, that’s all.
The objective is not to say that Obama was pro Russia!

Posted by: Antony | May 21 2021 16:14 utc | 145

@ jared | May 21 2021 12:49 utc | 135

None of the nations are interested in a confrontation with the Dollar Empire. It is the Empire that wants to CONTROL these nations, so they don’t become powerful. The Dollar Empire is struggling to maintain its hegemony and the unipolar order.

Russia hasn’t yet implemented all its sanctions, such as those on the U$A embassy. So it has been consolatory. It doesn’t seek confrontation but will retaliate when the red lines are violated. Russia will respond in a big way to any negative move by the Financial Empire.

China and Russia want internal and external STABILITY so they can focus on their growth. It is the Empire that knows that the time and momentum are not on its side and picking fights. Even Germany is frustrated, as it is being constrained on the trade. It can’t do business with Iran, Russia and most recently China. Nations are rebelling against their VASSAL status as they want to grow.

Russian representatives have clearly stated their position, defined red lines and will not sacrifice their relationship with China, their largest trading partner at any cost. Russia wants to be sovereign and trade with all. Will the Dollar Empire end its hegemony, monetary dominance and unipolar order to pursue MULTILATERALISM?

Posted by: Max | May 21 2021 16:23 utc | 146

@ max 67 - i liked this quote you made - "What is a geopolitical theory without the economic sphere... conjecture and a flawed narrative." and thank you for the link @ 109 from tony norfield... i read a few of the articles and am presently looking at the article from july 2020 which is quite good.. thanks!

@ Paco | May 21 2021 5:43 utc | 117.. al capone... "military occupation sold as "protection"." yes to that and i think much of this knot will have to be untangled via the financial system in place with the supremacy of the us$ too.. i am afraid until that happens the al capone style capitalism will continue...

Posted by: james | May 21 2021 16:29 utc | 147

Regardless of this symbolic "waiver" of sanctions, America is ultimately counting on putting its stooges, the Green Party of Germany and Annalena Baerbock, in power with the upcoming German "elections."

The Green Party and Baebock are the quintessential America appeasers and asslickers such that they make Alexei Navalny and Juan Guaido seem like Che Guevara in comparison.

In fact, if Germany had any self-respect (which it doesn't), it would compel the Greens and Baebock to register as foreign agents of American influence.

Under the pretext of the West's latest propaganda issue du jour--environmentalism--the Green Party will undermine Nordstream 2 either covertly or overtly. More importantly, Germany will adopt an even more hostile stance towards Russia (and China) in general.

All the while, America will be covertly laughing up its sleeve as it gleefully pushes its Divide-and-Colonize strategy to undermine and destroy its hated bete noire of Eurasian integration in general.

The idea that America is "incompetent" is likely a psyops promoted by many (pro-American) assets to lull people into a sense of complacency about the existential nature of the America Threat.

America is many things: devious, ruthless, self-righteous, genocidal--but most of all, America is Machiavellian to the core.

Washington’s Green Branches in Europe
https://orinocotribune.com/washingtons-green-branches-in-europe/

Posted by: ak74 | May 21 2021 16:36 utc | 148

I have noticed that Glen Greenwald has been writing a number of pieces recently that appeal to paleoconservatives (ie non interventionist like Rothbard, Buchanan, antiwar.com, etc) in the US. This is correlated with his numerous appearances on Tucker Carlson's show. I recently learned that a friend of mine who is a right wing, pro Trump kind of guy has taken out a subscription to Glen's substack service. That is to say that though Glen identifies with the left (at least in Brazil) he has built an audience with the right in the US.

I have tremendous respect for Glen but have noticed that recently he has flirted with ideas I find objectionable. However, I would never conclude from this that he has "sold out" or is an unwitting CIA asset. That is just stupid talk.

Posted by: ToivoS | May 21 2021 16:40 utc | 149

I think #5 is right in saying Greenwald's larger point holds... at least in terms of trying to slap this label on Trump as "Putin's puppet." And I think this campaign was successful in pressuring Trump to adopt a more antagonistic stance towards Russia than he otherwise might have, had he been left to his own devices. Bringing these neocons in, like Pompeo and Abrams, is one thing that helped ensure more of a continuity with his predecessors on foreign policy. And it seems Pompeo was the one most prominently pushing against NS2. As to why there seems to be such a strong motivation to oppose NS2, my feeling is that it represents a further economic integration of the EU and Russia at a time when their policy is directed towards isolating Russia... weakening the ties... and particularly where it involves Germany, considering Germany is something of the keystone of the EU. Problem is, they're going to have a hard time ensuring the type of uniformity on the part of EU/NATO countries as was the case during the Cold War (1.0). Back in those days they could exploit the ideological rift... but these days there is no such thing... and it just comes down to, basically, the naked interests of one side vs. the other. That being the case, it seems like there's not much stopping individual countries in the EU from asking themselves "why should we sacrifice our own self interests on behalf of this other party?" I mean, what do they get out of it? In spite of the propaganda here, Russia is not threatening to invade.. they are no threat to the EU... there's no need for a "defensive organization" against Russia. As a matter of fact, it's quite the opposite Russia would like nothing better than to integrate with the EU economy. Whatever actions they've taken in recent years has been defensive in nature... responding to Western encroachment on their sphere of influence... and the European countries know this. So now it's going to be like herding cats. It's going to be harder and harder to gather them all together and keep them in line. And I see this NS2 thing as a sign of desperation on the part of the US... to put the genie back in the bottle... or the cats back in the bag... or whatever metaphor you'd prefer... that attempts to bring back the "good old days." But it just ain't happenin' -- the world has changed.

Posted by: Steverino | May 21 2021 16:46 utc | 150

Note to B, this is about the media obsession with Donald Trump.

Seriously, read the article.

"For five years, the bulk of the U.S. media pushed and endorsed a demented, dangerous conspiracy theory about the world’s second-largest nuclear power that not only lacked evidence but was negated by every relevant event. As I documented in late 2016 and then again in 2018, there is a stronger basis for claiming that Obama was significantly more accommodating of Putin than Trump ever was. And after just four months in office, the same is true of Biden. But for a media devoted to an agenda rather than truth, the inexorable destruction of their conspiracy theory does not matter. "

This is about the media obsession with Donald Trump and him being a "Russian agent". It has nothing to do with whether or not the United States can "permit" another country from doing something. It's about the media pushing fact free conspiracy theories. It's, "look Trump is appeasing Russia because Trump is letting this happen" and when someone else does it, "nothing to see here, perfectly natural, move along".

It's pretty obvious from the article.

Posted by: JoeSixPack | May 21 2021 17:01 utc | 151

Antony #146

I agree completely.

Posted by: ToivoS | May 21 2021 17:04 utc | 152

@ Jen 128 - Thank you. Burisima is what I had in mind as well. I just was wondering if there was more specific information on Biden linked energy sector sites specifically in the Donbass regions / oblasts of Ukraine.
Super interesting analysis by our host and the commentators as always!
спасибо! Thanks everyone.

Posted by: lex talionis | May 21 2021 17:05 utc | 153

Ghost Ship @63--

I've discussed the Outlaw US Empire's unrealistic GDP stat on numerous occasions, used Shadowstats figures as a comparison and added Hudson's reasoning for it being far less than stated since many genuine minuses are treated as plusses. Referring to the linked graph and adding Hudson's (and my) reasoning, the Empire's GDP has been in constant decline since the 1988 recession, which coincides with the first big Greenspan Bubble inflation shortly thereafter which has increased top 10% gains while the rest of the economy has suffered losses. It would thus be correct to conclude that the Outlaw US Empire's actual GDP is less than it was in 1988, adjusted for inflation, and thus considerably less than China's.

Another useful measure to look at is real unemployment. If the economy at any point since 1988 was actually undergoing a great expansion then real unemployment would be below 5% but is isn't and hasn't as millions are now permanently out of the workforce, which enables the statistical manipulation we see. Extreme Poverty is yet another measure and China has none whereas the Empire has @10 million. I see no change in either nation's policy, so the GDP gap will continue to grow.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 21 2021 17:15 utc | 154

@ James 148...thanks. History without monetary realm is fiction and one that includes the financial realm & key monetary events is knowledge.

@ ak74 | May 21 2021 16:36 utc | 149... Nobody is discounting or underestimating America. Even we Americans are waking up to our matrix and debtrix. It is great to see the awakening! It ain’t over until it’s over. Welcome to the Empire of Mendacity. Who & Where are Saruman & Sauron?

Everyone wants to be blessed with good luck. However, a very few can answer the question why they should be blessed with good luck. Why would the Financial Empire be blessed with good LUCK?

Posted by: Max | May 21 2021 17:17 utc | 155

psychohistorian @103--

Hudson's most recent Moderate Rebels interview/discussion discusses the EU's financial dilemma which Germany is also roped into--it's just as unsovereign as Greece and subject to facing the same pickle. Clearly, the stronger economies felt they would never need to run 3%+ deficits or they would never have signed onto what's essentially a fiscal prison--although many German banks still back Industrial Capitalism.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 21 2021 17:27 utc | 156

@ AK74

I'm not so sure as you about the competence of the US. Seems to me they pull a lot of moves that are not well thought out. EG; they lost Crimea. It is as if they come up with an idea and if problems show up they will deal with them if and when they happen.
Checkers vs chess.

Posted by: arby | May 21 2021 17:59 utc | 157

...
A lot of his article is ironical and shouldn’t be taken at face value. The objective of his article is to mock the idea that Trump was a Russian asset, that’s all.
The objective is not to say that Obama was pro Russia!
Posted by: Antony | May 21 2021 16:14 utc | 146

I'm inclined to agree.
GG definitely sees himself as a Master of Irony & the post-blurt Gotcha!

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 21 2021 18:14 utc | 158

@MarkU #52

Electric power transmission § Losses (Wikipedia)

For example, a 100 mi (160 km) span at 765 kV carrying 1000 MW of power can have losses of 1.1% to 0.5%. A 345 kV line carrying the same load across the same distance has losses of 4.2%.

Losses of 0.5–1.1% per 160 km work out to losses of 3.1–6.7% per 1000 km.

European Hydrogen Backbone (PDF — Gas for Climate, Anthony Wang, Kees van der Leun, Daan Peters and Maud Buseman, July 2020)

The operational cost is lower than expected as well; the amount of electricity required is around 2% of the energy content of the hydrogen transported, taken over a transport distance of 1,000 km.

In the proposed 2040 layout, the backbone can provide transport capacities per pipeline of 7 GW for 36 inch and 13 GW for 48-inch pipelines…

Today, small-scale dedicated hydrogen networks of approximately 1,600 km in length exist in Europe to transport fossil-based, “grey” hydrogen between industrial clusters. …these networks demonstrate that hydrogen transport over longer distances is possible – and safe.

Electrolysis of water § Efficiency (Wikipedia)

…average working efficiencies for PEM electrolysis are around 80%. This is expected to increase to between 82–86% before 2030. Theoretical efficiency for PEM electrolysers are predicted up to 94%.

What’s your purpose? Reusing gas infrastructure for hydrogen transportation (Siemens Energy, Christopher Findlay, September 11, 2020)

…a standard pipeline can transfer up to ten times as much energy as a 380-kilovolt twin overhead power line with a rating of 1.5 gigawatts, at about one fourteenth of specific cost.

As you can see, hydrogen pipeline transportation losses due to energy consumption by compressor stations are less than electric power transmission losses. Of course, you lose 20% of energy during electrolysis (which may be improved in the future), but this is compensated over large distances, plus pipelines are much cheaper to build and maintain than power lines, plus you gain the ability to store energy both in pipeline itself (linepack) and in underground storage facilities, which are already built, as opposed to pumped hydroelectric energy storage facilities etc.

Posted by: S | May 21 2021 18:23 utc | 159

Posted by: Antony | May 21 2021 16:14 utc | 146

Yah, most of it can be read with dripping sarcasm as Greenwald was constantly attacked as some sort of Putin puppet over the last 5 years or so. Thing is Russiagate lives stronger than ever and Greenwald will be attacked simply for asking journalistic integrity and EVIDENCE. Ultimately, the piece is more about corrupt journalists that some deep geopolitical analysis.

Posted by: Erelis | May 21 2021 18:39 utc | 160

Mr. S | May 21 2021 18:23 utc | 160

Good propaganda for the plebs; garbage for anyone with education in hard empirical sciences and engineering.

Posted by: fyi | May 21 2021 18:40 utc | 161

I suppose I owe it to somebody to fill out my previous comment. I think the real hot potato happens to be the United States itself. It is going totally bankrupt, and so the 'government' has only one option: put on a giant empty show.

The rest of the world has had its fill of US constant encroachment, and Russia and China have consequently drawn very sharp red lines around The Ukraine and Taiwan, respectively. Not because these places are of any particular importance, but because they consider them to be, at least in certain significant ways, parts of their own natural territory. So: No more encroachment. And everybody knows this.

In the case of Taiwan, China actually holds the US hostage via the threat of ceasing to continue sending over can openers and refrigerators. In the case of The Ukraine, things are slightly more convoluted. The US basically needs Europe, plus any other crutch it can grasp, and Europe needs Russian natural gas. If it comes through Nord Stream, that's no problem. But if it must traverse The Ukraine, then Russia losses its primary soft grip there, since the Ukies will certainly always be in a position to 'dip their beak' into that lush flow of energy. So Nord Stream 2 will definitely be completed.

However, the US is currently making useless waves around Taiwan, and has just narrowly avoided the extreme embarrassment of having utterly failed to halt Nord Stream 2. But -- This in no way will signal any halt in the output of scary US noises and gestures as it sinks into the mother of all Great Depressions. I think this is a fate that was sealed during the Vietnam debacle.

Posted by: blues | May 21 2021 18:42 utc | 162

Greenwad like his father knows which side his bread is buttered so why would you expect anything else. Fool me once shame on you, you know how it goes.

Posted by: Ricky | May 21 2021 19:11 utc | 163

"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."

I get 4.5 billion cubic meters per month.

Posted by: Keith McClary | May 21 2021 19:11 utc | 164

re: Ramon Zarate
i am NOT making "allegations". The proof is in his writing. All you need to do is read it and compare it to the Real Reality. The guy is a total sell out.

Posted by: Hoyeru | May 21 2021 19:12 utc | 165

Posted by: phiw13 | May 21 2021 10:10 utc | 123

I will definitely be checking out Washington Babylon.

The reason most left leaning people I know got into Greenwald were his critical pieces written during the Bush/Cheney years in which he pointed out all the civil liberties violations that administration was committing at home, the illegal spying on Americans, and of course the role of the "liberal" mainstream corporate media in selling and laundering the illegal invasion of Iraq. He had his own blog called Unclaimed Territory and then moved to Salon.com. Lately he's just cashing in on the "culture wars" and cultivating a following of Trump supporters the older of which probably supported the Iraq war when it was "you're with us or you're against us" and "freedom fries" and era in the USSA. Now they're all staunchly anti-war and you can't find any of them commenting under the same handles anywhere anymore.

Posted by: _K_C_ | May 21 2021 20:01 utc | 166

Posted by: spirasol | May 21 2021 10:42 utc | 124

Hmmm...but when you compare the treatment of those others the treatment of Greenwald, you start to realize that something is off. Julian Assange is in jail under extrajudicial authority and is being killed slowly after his confinement to the Ecuadorian embassy was illegally ended. He is under threat of extradition to the USA for a possible lifetime sentence despite not even being an American. ("anti-establishment" Trump didn't pardon, in fact he personally had a role in his DOJ officially charging him)

Meanwhile Greenwald has gotten rich off the same type of leaks, worked for an American "independent media" outlet for years unthreatened and decided to move to Brazil (initially for gay marriage laws) where he now critiques the government. The only threat he's under is pissing off Bolsonaro's right wing goons, so he's hired security. But he was actively working for The Intercept and publishing state secrets without any mention of prosecution or worse.

The Guardian's offices were raided and all their computers and disk drives were destroyed. Why didn't something like that happen to The Intercept where they had even more of the files?

Snowden remains in exile under threat of being subjected to a kangaroo court and jailed for life (Trump didn't pardon)

Chelsea Manning was jailed for years, and IIRC was recently re-jailed for contempt for refusing to give up a source.

Greenwald was given great wealth and a fabulous permanent vacation of his choice in Brazil, possibly due to Pierre Omidyar's political connections/donations.

See the difference?

Posted by: K_C_ | May 21 2021 20:14 utc | 167

Jimmy Dore's take on NS2 and Biden/Trump, with assistance Aaron Mate
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeovwPsMgx4

Posted by: Bluedotterel | May 21 2021 20:41 utc | 168

As a follow up and to provide a missing bit of context, Glenn Greenwald initially SUPPORTED the invasion of Iraq. He got famous, relatively speaking, at the time by reversing course and becoming a major critic of that invasion.

https://thedailybanter.com/2013/04/glenn-greenwalds-hilarious-denial-about-his-support-for-iraq-war/

Posted by: K_C_ | May 21 2021 20:54 utc | 169

Posted by: ak74 | May 21 2021 16:36 utc | 149

All the while, America will be covertly laughing up its sleeve as it gleefully pushes its Divide-and-Colonize strategy to undermine and destroy its hated bete noire of Eurasian integration in general.

The idea that America is "incompetent" is likely a psyops promoted by many (pro-American) assets to lull people into a sense of complacency about the existential nature of the America Threat.


I agree with your assessment except that I believe many people are biased into seeing incompetence and clumsiness in people or countries they dislike. The main narrative imposes a basic premise to interventionism, usually one of benevolence, which naturally creates the perception of failure when the stated objective isn't attained. The war on Iraq illustrates this point and many critics will gleefully vilify the US for failing to bring prosperity to the country, oblivious to the possibility that destruction is the desired outcome.

As for your first point, it should be obvious to all Europeans the kind of game the US is playing. And yet, here we are, watching the world arsonist lay waste to much of the world for years and years, yet perfectly unconcerned about the potential western extent of the global fire.

Posted by: robin | May 21 2021 21:05 utc | 170

Antony @May21 16:14 @146

A lot of his article is ironical and shouldn’t be taken at face value. The objective of his article is to mock the idea that Trump was a Russian asset, that’s all.

I don't see any irony. I see deception.

Yes, GG makes the good point that Trump was not pro-Russia. I've been saying the same thing for years, as have many others.

But GG incorrectly says that Obama was "weak on Russia". GG fails to see, or doesn't want to see the grift. Obama had to remain true to the peace-loving public persona that his Deep State handlers had crafted for him but took every opportunity to wreck havoc behind the scenes (helped in that regard by people like Hillary and Biden).

The Obama Administration attacked Syria, a key ally of Russia's and even made a wilful decision (as Gen. Flynn told us) to support the rise of ISIS in doing so. Then, after Russia intervened, Obama (personally) threatened to make Syria into a quagmire for Russia. And the Ukrainian coup was also on Obama's watch. So how, exactly, was Obama "soft on Russia".

GG furthers the grift of Biden's supposed softness. GG doesn't mention that close observers simply see the Biden Administration pursing a different strategy to scuttle NordStream 2.

GG also doesn't attempt to grapple with how much Biden's foreign policy resembles Trump's. In fact, foreign policy imperatives appear to be very consistent between multiple U.S. Presidents.

To the extent that GG plays along with Empire narratives, he's views are suspect. In addition many have not forgotten that the Snowden info was never fully published. I don't actually hold this against him but it is a curious fact nevertheless.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 21 2021 21:49 utc | 171

@ K_C_ and jackrabbit and max... thanks for your posts here today.. reading quickly and glossing over kinda too..

@ 164 ricky.. tell us about greenwalds father.. that is a new one on me, so you have my curiousity...

Posted by: james | May 21 2021 22:35 utc | 172

Debsisdead | May 21 2021 0:44 utc | 91

Perfectly stated. Always appreciate your posts.

I don't know whether I am imaging this but Anti Trump posts seem to get B going quite often in defence of Trump. As if it matters if he buttered his bread on the right side as he was killing Soleimani or invading Venezuela! Or spruiking land for Jewish settlers in Israel for that matter.

Re Greenwald I do see the "truth mixed in with propaganda" tactic you speak of. When I re read the above it's clear he is appealing to right wing types. And he does not make honest statements about the fake left/right wings of the beast. I believe this is disingenuous as he has appeared on more honest shows such as the Greyzone who speak for true leftism and he is smart enough to know much better. If he needs to feed a family he should get a different job and stop lying for Empire.

Posted by: K | May 21 2021 22:37 utc | 173

the Russians have so much dirt on US politicians - these 100% corrupt politicians would rather save their own hides and sellout the country

Posted by: abee | May 21 2021 23:31 utc | 174

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 21 2021 21:49 utc | 173

Greenwald was *allowed* by the Empire to get fabulously wealthy (at least by Brazilian and American middle class standards) by writing critical pieces on (select) NSA programs based on leaked information and critiquing the CIA. This after years of criticizing Bush and Obama.

Journalists and truth tellers like Julian Assange are chased around the world and/or jailed for political crimes and their livelihoods are destroyed when they attempt to do this. As I wrote earlier, The Guardian was raided and all their computers were smashed. They have been completely co-opted by the UK/US security/surveillance state ever since. Yet The Intercept was allowed to continue to possess the Snowden files and to write more critical stories about (select) NSA programs.

Fast forward to 2017 and it was shown that The Intercept, where Glenn Greenwald was the chief archivist of the Snowden document tranche, for some curious reason didn't publish what would have been a blockbuster story in 2013 directly linking the USSA and Saw-Die Arabia to the foreign non-moderate "rebels" in Syria. All the while The Intercept's founder and Daddy Warbucks Piere Omidyar made more visits to the Obama White House than Zuckerberg, Bezos, or any of the other tech tycoons. He also funded the activities of the color revolution in the Ukraine and previously mentioned headchoppers in Syria. Greenwald never wrote one single critical piece on any of that during his entire time as an "independent" journalist at The Intercept and neither did any other author there. Furthermore, when they DID finally report on the Saudi controlled non-Syrian non-moderate "rebel" headchoppers it was exactly one day after the U.S. State Department had finally acknowledged what had really been going on for the preceding 5+ years. Hmmmmm....either all of those things are just a big group of crazy coincidences or The Intercept, Pierre Omidyar and Glenn Greenwald were all controlled opposition at best, neoliberal/neocon security/surveillance state cutout(s) at worst, or just plain incompetent.

In case you haven't seen the previous posts, here is some of the source material. TL/DR: I think you're onto something.

https://www.mintpressnews.com/intercept-withheld-nsa-doc-that-may-have-altered-course-of-syria-war/233757/

https://washingtonbabylon.com/glenn-greenwald-hates-the-tech-oligarchy-ok-but-how-did-the-worlds-biggest-hypocrite-get-rich-from-tech-oligarch-money/

https://pando.com/2013/11/27/keeping-secrets/

Posted by: K_C_ | May 21 2021 23:46 utc | 175

To every single nob on this site, including the authors, see you next tuesday. You're all as dumb as a sack of hammers. Your Google searches has made you dumber than you were before. I shake my head and walk away. All of you half motherfuckers are a disgrace. Shame on the lot of you. Ran

Posted by: Randal P Harris | May 22 2021 1:03 utc | 176

@fyi #141:

I agree - billions have been sunk in that Hydrogen Fuel - another snake oil.

How can water, the ash of burning hydrogen - be used to generate power?

So you don’t understand the simplest chemical reaction (studied in Russian schools in 8th grade, that is, by 14-year-olds), yet you loudly proclaim hydrogen fuel to be a “snake oil”?

@fyi #162:

Good propaganda for the plebs; garbage for anyone with education in hard empirical sciences and engineering.

What? Where do you see “propaganda” or “garbage” in my comment #160? Which part of it specifically is “propaganda” or “garbage”? These are all rhetorical questions, of course, as your previous comment makes it clear that you don’t know what you’re talking about. “Hard empirical sciences”, my ass. I actually have an “education in hard empirical sciences”, and I don’t see any “garbage” in what I have posted.

Posted by: S | May 22 2021 1:05 utc | 177

Please internalize the laws of thermodynamics, people. Whenever you hear of something that sounds like a brilliant idea, first check to see if it violates those laws. If it does then laugh and move on to some other idea. Those laws are not optional. They are not like the laws against smoking doobies, that you can ignore if no cops are around. The laws of thermodynamics are baked into reality itself. They are far more real than your identity or your dreams and wishes. You cannot "cancel" them or shame them away. They will forever define the limits of what you can achieve or accomplish, so be smart and work with them rather than rage against them.

With that said, a hydrogen economy sounds delightful. Who would choose fluorescents, HIDs, or LEDs when they can have gaslights instead? Electric stoves? Phuque that! Now you're cooking with gas, baby! I'm having difficulty wrapping my head around powering a computer's CPU off hydrogen, but I assume that is just a failure of imagination on my part.

But you know the best part about a hydrogen economy? Rip-roaring, V-8 powered Detroit heavy metal would be back! At least for those who can afford it.

Now the question is, while keeping the laws of thermodynamics in mind, where do we get all of that hydrogen? My recommendation is a fleet of multi-billion dollar (more likely yuan) orbital solar power plants beaming the energy down to big greenish industrial facilities planetside that can electrolyze water by the megaton while waste heat desalinates seawater for the poor south Asians. Or perhaps we can put windmills everywhere to slice and dice the world's bird populations. I'm good with that too being as I hate birds. Nasty reptile things!

Posted by: William Gruff | May 22 2021 1:57 utc | 178

Mr. S | May 22 2021 1:05 utc | 179

Keep telling yourself that, may be you will come to believe it too.

General Motors corporation sunk billions of USD on hydrogen car early this century.

Waste.

Snake oil.

Posted by: Fyi | May 22 2021 2:06 utc | 179

on the periphery.... Briefing with Senior State Department Official to Traveling Press comments on the lavrov, blinken meeting in iceland..

and russian companies sanctioned today from usa treasury dept... recent additions to financial sanctions list

Posted by: james | May 22 2021 2:06 utc | 180

Read this thread on the Palestinian Victory:

https://mobile.twitter.com/IbnRiad/status/1395851365990100992

Posted by: Prof | May 22 2021 2:36 utc | 181

@179 S
Thank you S, sometimes the hyperbole around these parts goes to extremes.

Hydrogen is a viable energy source going forward as anyone with a hard science background knows. Like all new technologies, billions will get sunk into it before anything commercially useful come about.

How viable is hydrogen? Hard to say, at the moment it is a ways away from competing with other energy sources. In the future, as more countries phase out oil/coal, I believe hydrogen fuel will find a place in a diversified energy production portfolio. I think new generations of nuclear reactors will too.

Posted by: Haassaan | May 22 2021 3:24 utc | 182

Posted by: Randal P Harris | May 22 2021 1:03 utc | 178

Don't let the door hit you in the....

Posted by: K_C_ | May 22 2021 4:33 utc | 183

@ Smith 122

oh man, there are a lot of pissed off people right now. Putin's comment "knock out the teeth' makes a lot more sense

https://www.rt.com/russia/524492-sanctions-nord-stream-ships/

Posted by: abee | May 22 2021 5:30 utc | 184

Below is a quote from a ZH posting

"
In the continuing saga of contradictory US efforts to thwart the Russia to Germany natural gas pipeline Nord Stream 2, the US Treasury on Friday hit Russia with more sanctions - specifically announcing that three more Russian entities and 13 vessels will come under sanction for their work on the project.

"Among the sanctioned vessels are the Akademik Cherskiy, the Vladislav Strizhov, the Yury Topchev and the Baltiyskiy Issledovatel, along with others," Treasury announced. "The sanctioned companies are Russia's Marine Rescue Service, Mortransservice, and the Samara Heat and Energy Property Fund."

Of course, the bizarre thing about this is that it was only on Tuesday of this week that the Biden administration revealed it would actually remove Trump-era sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG and CEO Matthias Warnig (considered a personal friend of Putin) - which is the German company overseeing the project.
"

There is more to the posting but nothing more than b has covered already.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 22 2021 5:50 utc | 185

I value GG's work and enjoy reading him. I also noticed the significant errors in his pipeline piece and so am delighted to find b's excellent critique pointing out GG's flaws. MoA remains an essential must-read for anyone trying to make sense of a world of much nonsense. Thanks again!

Posted by: John Gilberts | May 22 2021 6:28 utc | 186

Come on b, pedantically picking apart an article by a guy who is basically on the same “team” as you is amateur level stuff. You could have made the same points about the politics of the NS2 pipeline without turning it into a sniffy whinge attacking Greenwald over some pretty minor points.

Writing cheap hit pieces on decent journalists/writers is the kind of stuff you expect from jokers like Eric Zuesse, not serious analysts. If you’re going to make it personal at least pick a target that is worth the effort.

Making a really sloppy error (many posters pointed out that Greenwald in fact said, correctly, that NS2 is 2x the capacity of NS1, not, as you claimed he did, that it doubles Russia’s gas exports to the EU) suggests you didn’t put much effort into writing this piece.

Not your finest moment, b. A bit like that time when you whined about Jimmy Dore ‘stealing’ a topic idea from you. Stop that shit, it’s beneath you.

Posted by: Antibody | May 22 2021 10:14 utc | 187

K_C_@171 forgets that if Greenwald (or possibly Poitras) are arrested, the materials held back by Greenwald, Poitras, Snowden et al. could be released. Very possible to the great embarrassment of certain figures, not for spying, but for the content of the revelations. So Greenwald's relative immunity (Bolsonaro may kill him yet, after all,) is purely tactical. The Snowden breach was not a modified limited hangout by the NSA and not a CIA operation either...which is the logical conclusion of this analysis.

Glenn Greenwald, like our host, pretends the MSM universally swallowed all the Trump treason nonsense, when large portions of the MSM heartily promoted the nothingburger theory. And Greenwald, like our host, pretends that Clinton wasn't targeted for the same kind of idiotic treason stories by large portions of the MSM (the email server BS, Benghazi, Clinton Ca$h, Uranium One and so on, plus the decades of demonization before.) Greenwald appears to believe nonsense about the Deep State, which in my opinion is a misleading diversion from reality that inevitably leads to irrelevance at best, or compromise with reaction at worst.

Greenwald's husband is part of some shady outfit called PSOL, a fake-left lashup of ostentatiously non (read, anti) Marxists. As near as I can judge from here at least. PSOL exists for people who want to be oppositional without getting into the real left, i.e., something Marxism based.

Posted by: steven t johnson | May 22 2021 13:02 utc | 188

Happy Pentecost Bernard,
not enough time to follow you lately, although you no doubt deserve it.

But this may well provide a micro-dive into a much larger topic. OK, once again a very old topic "Don Quixote". To what extent has Glenn been fighting windmills or not realized he was moving on given parameters. I wondered if that could be the case too.

But since I did, I need a much deeper look into your interpretations at that point in time. ...

Posted by: LeaNder | May 22 2021 14:21 utc | 189

Mr. Haassaan | May 22 2021 3:24 utc | 184

Pray, do tell me what is morally wrong with continued consumption of petroleum and natural gas?

Those billions of USD that you so cavalierly wish to be dpent on the mistaken and misguided vision of a future hydrogen Utopia, could be best spent on such things as better education; the manners of many commentators on this forum is indicative of the dire need for educational improvements.

Posted by: Fyi | May 22 2021 14:26 utc | 190

steven t johnson @May22 13:02 #190

And Greenwald, like our host, pretends that Clinton wasn't targeted for the same kind of idiotic treason stories ...

Sorry, but all 'targeting' is not the same.

Clinton wasn't really targeted anymore than Trump was. It's kayfabe fodder for the masses that helped position Trump as an "America First" nationalist.

No one should accept MSM narratives at face value.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 22 2021 14:55 utc | 191

steven t johnson @May22 13:02 #190

And Greenwald, like our host, pretends that Clinton wasn't targeted for the same kind of idiotic treason stories ...

Sorry, but all 'targeting' is not the same.

Clinton wasn't really targeted anymore than Trump has been (his two impeachments were theater). Clinton's "targeting" was little more than kayfabe fodder for the masses that helped position Trump as an "America First" nationalist - and leader of what was formerly called the Tea Party Republicans.

No one should accept MSM narratives at face value.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 22 2021 15:00 utc | 192

Offtopic but somehow worrying: John Helmers Website is down since some days. Anybody there who has information about it? https://johnhelmer.net/

Posted by: Lars Dragal | May 22 2021 17:50 utc | 193

Offtopic but somehow worrying: John Helmers Website is down since some days. Anybody there who has information about it? https://johnhelmer.net/

Posted by: Lars Dragal | May 22 2021 17:50 utc | 195

No idea, but NEO seems to have been de-platformed too. Is no site too small?

Posted by: Bemildred | May 22 2021 18:31 utc | 194

My 1962 Austin Mini with 850cc Austin ‘A’ engine consistently got 35mpg. That was whilst driving it like a teenage maniac. Which was almost unavoidable in those fun little cars. Once got 42mpg attempting to mostly drive like a sane person.

My 2010 Prius never got more than 25mpg. While driving like an anemic truck. Only owned that POS three months. Better suited to those who grew up on video games. Fly by wire is unnerving to say the least.

Difference between the two almost entirely the function of weight. The Austin weighed 600kg. What is a Prius? Feels like a lead brick.

The Austin engine was just crap. Always stank of unburnt gas.The whole car was 1930s/1940s technology. And still outperformed a modern electric. The Austin was not a living room on wheels. Just took passengers from A to B. With style. No reason a half modern version of the Austin could not get twice the mpg or maybe three. Will not occur because we are not buying transport when we buy cars. We are buying dreams. Dream of a hydrogen car all you want. More than half the pollution comes from building the roads.

Always easy and tempting to dream techno-dreams. Or instead try keeping it simple.

Posted by: oldhippie | May 22 2021 19:51 utc | 195

@ 195/ 196 works for me..http://johnhelmer.net/ try .org if that doesn't work.. john has both addresses...

@197 olidhippie.. the new austin minis that bmw sell are crap.. step daughter had one that was nothing but trouble.. she liked it because it 'looked cool'.. found out they are lemons.. they charge an arm and a leg for anything done to them... she replaced it with a subaru - another overpriced car, but reliable..

Posted by: james | May 22 2021 20:04 utc | 196

Posted by: oldhippie | May 22 2021 19:51 utc | 197

I had a girlfriend with a Mini 1000, how I miss them both!!! She hated driving so I would oblige, gladly... The new versions of old classics are a sign of the times, exhausted imagination, nothing to do with the originals but for some remote look alike.. I'm thinking of the new Beetle as well. Or the VW vans, the first vehicule I ever drove, the one with split and unbolted windshield. The new VW vans start at 50K Euro, so they're not a student or a hippie car anymore.

Posted by: Paco | May 22 2021 20:21 utc | 197

Posted by: Sushi | May 21 2021 11:32 utc | 125

The regional energy prices are highly variable in USA, and natural gas is quite uniformly cheaper than in Europe. However, transport of LNG is several times more expensive than the transport of oil. Crude oil is actually hard to ignite, thus you can fill gigantic tubes with the stuff, and LNG could be used as a high explosive. Thus the entire infrastructure of the transport is much more expensive. This contrasts with pipelines that differ between gas, oil and products like gasoline, but not to the same degree.

Industry can locate the most energy intensive processes in places where the cost is low. Residential/commercial energy use cannot use that strategy (why not to relocate, say, Hamburg, to Norway with local natural gas and plentiful hydro electricity?). But Germans have the advantage of using much smaller dwellings on the average, Americans are often on the ridiculous high end. Larger family houses than needed, larger cars than needed etc.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 22 2021 23:42 utc | 198

Related:

US Senator Ted Cruz calls Putin ‘left-wing dictator’ in attempt to outdo liberals calling him #KremlinCruz in their Russophobia

Putin's political allegiance and legacy: the most important point of debate for modern American demestic politics.

Posted by: vk | May 22 2021 23:53 utc | 199

Trip down Memory Lane -- here's Joe Harris calling Trump "Putin's puppy" https://heavy.com/news/biden-trump-putin-puppy/

Ah how things light-heartedly thrown out come back to bite us later.

Hah hah!

Posted by: Patrick Armstrong | May 23 2021 0:18 utc | 200

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