Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 21, 2021

Russia And Germany Win War Over Nord Stream 2

The sanctions war the U.S. waged against Germany and Russia over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline has ended with a total U.S. defeat.


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The U.S. attempts to block the pipeline were part of the massive anti-Russia campaign waged over the last five years. But it was always based on a misunderstanding. The pipeline is not to Russia's advantage but important for Germany. As I described Nord Stream 2 in a previous piece:

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.
...
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.

Maybe Chancellor Merkel on her recent visit to Washington DC finally managed to explain that to the Biden administration. More likely though she simply told the U.S. to f*** off. Whatever - the result is in. As the Wall Street Journal reports today:

The U.S. and Germany have reached an agreement allowing completion of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, officials from both countries say.

Under the four-point agreement, Germany and the U.S. would invest $50 million in Ukrainian green-tech infrastructure, encompassing renewable energy and related industries. Germany also would support energy talks in the Three Seas Initiative, a Central European diplomatic forum.

Berlin and Washington as well would try to ensure that Ukraine continues to receive roughly $3 billion in annual transit fees that Russia pays under its current agreement with Kyiv, which runs through 2024. Officials didn’t explain how to ensure that Russia continues to make the payments.

The U.S. also would retain the prerogative of levying future pipeline sanctions in the case of actions deemed to represent Russian energy coercion, officials in Washington said.

So Germany will spend some chump change to buy up, together with the U.S,  a few Ukrainian companies that are involved in solar or wind mill stuff. It will 'support' some irrelevant talks by maybe paying for the coffee. It also promises to try something that it has no way to succeed in.

That's all just a fig leaf. The U.S. really gave up without receiving anything for itself or for its client regime in the Ukraine.

The Ukraine lobby in Congress will be very unhappy with that deal. The Biden administration hopes to avoid an uproar over it. Yesterday Politico reported that the Biden administration preemptively had told the Ukraine to stop talking about the issue:

In the midst of tense negotiations with Berlin over a controversial Russia-to-Germany pipeline, the Biden administration is asking a friendly country to stay quiet about its vociferous opposition. And Ukraine is not happy.

U.S. officials have signaled that they’ve given up on stopping the project, known as the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, and are now scrambling to contain the damage by striking a grand bargain with Germany.

At the same time, administration officials have quietly urged their Ukrainian counterparts to withhold criticism of a forthcoming agreement with Germany involving the pipeline, according to four people with knowledge of the conversations.

The U.S. officials have indicated that going public with opposition to the forthcoming agreement could damage the Washington-Kyiv bilateral relationship, those sources said. The officials have also urged the Ukrainians not to discuss the U.S. and Germany’s potential plans with Congress.

If Trump had done the above Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi would have called for another impeachment.

The Ukrainian President Zelensky is furious over the deal and about being told to shut up. But there is little he can do but to accept the booby price the Biden administration offered him:

U.S. officials’ pressure on Ukrainian officials to withhold criticism of whatever final deal the Americans and the Germans reach will face significant resistance.

A source close to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Kyiv’s position is that U.S. sanctions could still stop completion of the project, if only the Biden administration had the will to use them at the construction and certification stages. That person said Kyiv remains staunchly opposed to the project.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration gave Zelensky a date for a meeting at the White House with the president later this summer, according to a senior administration official.

Nord Stream 2 is to 96% ready. Its testing will start in August or September and by the years end it will hopefully deliver gas to western Europe.

Talks about building Nord Stream 3 are likely to start soon.

Posted by b on July 21, 2021 at 17:13 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Did Merkel also get Biden to promise that neither he nor any of his clients (AQ, ISIS, etc. etc. etc.) would perpetrate any "unfortunate incidents" or "disruptions" on NS 2?

And would any such promises be worth the breath that uttered them?

Posted by: corvo | Jul 21 2021 17:23 utc | 1

But it was always based on a misunderstanding. The pipeline is not to Russia's advantage but important for Germany

I’m afraid it is you who doesn’t understand.

Two world wars were fought to keep Germany down. The stated purpose of NATO is to keep the Russians out, the Americans in and the Germans down.

They weren’t trying to block NS2 to keep Russia out but to keep Germany down,

Posted by: Down South | Jul 21 2021 17:42 utc | 2

I beg to differ. IMO US didn't cause NS2 friction because it thinks it benefits Russia, but exactly because it benefits Germany too much.

You know, NATO, "Keep the Germans down..." and all that. US must not permit it's vassals to become too economically stronger than their master. They want to drag everyone they can down with them (and in shitter US goes) so they can still be king of the hill (or ad least shitter bottom).

That is why there is also pressure for all western countries to adopt insane immigration, LGBT, austerity policies and what not. What a better way to destroy all these countries, both economically and culturally, or adleast make them far more worse than US, it is only way US can again become "powerhouse", like after WW2.

Posted by: Abe | Jul 21 2021 17:44 utc | 3

Posted by: Down South | Jul 21 2021 17:42 utc | 2

I see I am not alone in this opinion.

Posted by: Abe | Jul 21 2021 17:45 utc | 4

Does this represent a fracturing of the EU? or maybe a change in direction?

What b is pointing out about how if it were Trump....only means that the bullying approach by empire didn't work and now we are seeing face saving bullying and backpedaling like crazy in some areas.

I roll my eyes at this ongoing belief that Trump represented humanity instead of all or some faction of the elite....as a demigod it seems.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 21 2021 17:46 utc | 5

the "facts" as you state them are not quite right.
1. China is ruthless. They waited until the last possible second to sign a deal with Iran, thus ensuring they are getting the best possible price for Iran's oil, basically robbing Iran blind. The poor Ira didn't have a choice but to agree. Even today, Putin will NOT say how much CHina is paying for gas on Siberia pipeline and a lot of people think CHina is robbing Russia blind on the deal. A second Siberia line without a NS2 will put Russia is very bad nagoshiation position and CHina in very good one, giving them the advantage to ask for any price of Russia and get it.
2. merkel is leaving anyway in September and thw Green party that will be taking over HATES RUssia with passion. The NS2 is far from done deal, it needs to be insured. Plus it will fall under the EU 3rd energy package makign sure Germany doesn't use it 100% . the NS2 will never be 100 usable, tthe Green party will see to that. AT best it will be only 50% usage.

And so on and so on.
Funny how in today's world, we all have different facts. My facts are different than YOUR facts. My facts are just as relevant as your facts.

Posted by: Hoyeru | Jul 21 2021 17:54 utc | 6

A most worthwhile read:


What is more, the most dangerous potential alliance, from the perspective of the United States, was considered to be an alliance between Russia and Germany. This would be an alliance of German technology and capital with Russian natural and human resources.

The article explains a lot, more than just Germany or Russia.

https://newcoldwar.org/stratfor-chiefs-most-blatant-coup-in-history-interview-from-dec-2014/

Interview was from done a few months after the US coup in Ukraine.

Posted by: librul | Jul 21 2021 17:55 utc | 7

Posted by: Down South | Jul 21 2021 17:42 utc | 2


They weren’t trying to block NS2 to keep Russia out but to keep Germany down,

Germany would be 'down' no matter how much financial power it accumulates - i.e regardless of NS2.

The imperial garrison at Rammstein AFB will make sure of that.

What the Americans fear is the symbolic meaning of NS2 in terms of geopolitical influence for Russia. The loss of maneuverability against Russia that results from a key vassal not being able to move in complete obedience to Uncle Sam's wishes.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Jul 21 2021 17:56 utc | 8

The pipeline construction battle has been won, not the energy flow war.

The Financial Empire is most likely resorting to some CHARADE to find an excuse to later stop the gas flow through Nord Stream 2. Empire’s bullying was clearly exposed through sanctions and it LOST the battle of stopping the pipeline construction. So it moves to the next battle to find an excuse to stop the gas flow. Empire’s evil intent is visible in these words, “the U.S. also would retain the prerogative of levying future pipeline sanctions in the case of actions deemed to represent Russian energy coercion, officials in Washington said.”

The Financial Empire has worked hard over the last century to prevent Germany from allying herself with Russia. It wants to control energy flowing in Eurasia and its pricing. The war will be only won when the Financial Empire is defeated and its global pillars of power DISMANTLED.

“The ‘heartland’ was an area centered in Eurasia, which would be so situated and catered to by resources and manpower as to render it an unconquerable fortress and a fearsome power; and the ‘crescent’ was a virtual semi-arc encompassing an array of islands – America, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Japan – which, as ‘Sea Powers,’ watched over the Eurasian landmass to detect and eventually thwart any tendency towards a consolidation of power on the heartland.”

Has the Financial Empire stopped interfering in other regions?/B>

Posted by: Max | Jul 21 2021 17:58 utc | 9

Curious. Late yesterday Sputnik published this article with a decidedly different message:

"US, Germany Threaten Retaliatory Action Against Russia in Draft Nord Stream 2 Accord - Report...."

"As the US and Germany have reportedly reached a deal on the Nord Stream 2 project, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing the obtained draft text of the agreement, that it would threaten sanctions and other measures if Russia tried to use energy as a 'weapon' against Ukraine, though it did not specify what actions could provoke the countermeasures.

"According to the report, in such a case, Germany will take unspecified national action, a decision that may represent a concession from Chancellor Angela Merkel, who had previously refused to take independent action against Moscow over the gas pipeline that will run from Russia to Germany." [My Emphasis]

The article continues:

"On Tuesday, Ned Price, a spokesman for the US State Department, told reporters that he did not have final details of an agreement to announce, but that 'the Germans have put forward useful proposals, and we have been able to make progress on steps to achieve that shared goal, that shared goal being to ensure that Russia cannot weaponize energy."

"The US was hoping for explicit language that would commit Germany to shut down gas delivery through Nord Stream 2 if Russia attempted to exert undue influence on Ukraine. Germany, on the other hand, has long rejected such a move, stating that such a threat would only serve to politicize a project that Merkel stresses is solely commercial in nature." [My Emphasis]

The overall motive appears to be this:

"The accord would also commit Germany to use its influence to prolong Ukraine's gas transit arrangement with Russia beyond 2024, possibly for up to ten years. Those talks would begin no later than September 1, according to the news outlet." [My Emphasis]

So, here we have the Outlaw US Empire meddling in the internal affairs of three nations--Germany, Russia and Ukraine. Ukraine cannot afford Russian gas as it has no rubles to pay for it. Thus if Ukraine has no money to buy, then why should Gazprom be obliged to give it away freely? What about other European customers who rely on gas piped through Ukraine; are they going to see what they pay for get stolen by Ukraine? And what happens when the pipelines breakdown from lack of maintenance since Ukraine's broke thanks to the Outlaw Us Empire's coup that razed its economy? Shouldn't the Empire and its NATO vassals who invaded Ukraine via their coup be forced to pay for such maintenance? And just who "weaponized" this entire situation in the first place?

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 21 2021 18:15 utc | 10

From my understanding, NS 2 was mutually beneficial for Germany and Russia.

As noted, Germany desperately needs energy and relying on the outrageously priced and unreliable US LNG was not a viable option.

Russia benefits also.
1.No more high transit fees Russia pays Ukraine. I imagine some of that was finding its way into US pockets after 2014.
2.Ukraine supposedly helped itself to plenty of stolen gas from the pipeline. That will stop.
3.Ukraine was occasionally shutting down the pipeline for political reasons until Russia paid the ransom. Not anymore.

So, Russia and Germany were both highly motivated to finish the pipeline ASAP.

Posted by: Mar man | Jul 21 2021 18:21 utc | 11

Arch Bungle @ 8

Germany would be 'down' no matter how much financial power it accumulates - i.e regardless of NS2.

The imperial garrison at Rammstein AFB will make sure of that.

Putin not too long ago (can’t find the article now) said he was prepared to help Europe gain its independence should they wish to do so, Rammstein or no Rammstein.

What the Americans fear is the symbolic meaning of NS2 in terms of geopolitical influence for Russia. The loss of maneuverability against Russia that results from a key vassal not being able to move in complete obedience to Uncle Sam's wishes.

What they fear should this deal go ahead is a Germany/Russia/China Axis that would control the world island and thus the world.

Posted by: Down South | Jul 21 2021 18:31 utc | 12

I was convinced that the US of Assholery had lost its infantile anti-NS2 'battle' in September 2020, after watching an episode of DW Conflict Zone in which Sarah Kelly interviewed Niels Annen, Germany's Deputy FM. Annen came to the interview armed to the teeth with embarrassing facts about US hypocrisy including, but not limited to, the fact that USA, itself, buys vast quantities of petroleum products from Russia each year.

The interview is Google-able and, apart from pure entertainment value, Sarah is much easier on the eye than Tim Sebastian...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 21 2021 18:33 utc | 13

@Hoyeru | Jul 21 2021 17:54 utc | 6

1. China is ruthless. They waited until the last possible second to sign a deal with Iran, thus ensuring they are getting the best possible price for Iran's oil, basically robbing Iran blind.

Hmmm... I seem to remember iran shafting China on the south Pars gas field when it looked like the JCPOA was looking likely...

If this memory of mine was correct (it may not be) then you really can't blame China for a little commercial payback.

In any case it was shown as soon as JCPOA Mk.1 was passed iran RAN, not walked, to smooch up to the west for business, not China, not Russia. So if its just business for Iran then its just business for China.

There's no loyalty discount without loyalty.

Posted by: A.L. | Jul 21 2021 18:34 utc | 14

You lost me on this one b. Nukes are poison. period. period. period.
I have a brother-in-law who worked at the Byron (IL) nuke for 30 years; I heard his stories and saw his change from pro to cynical. Bottom line, what do you do with the waste for 250,000 years while we can't even secure a landfill for 50? If I need nukes for electricity I'm turning the lights out. for real

Posted by: migueljose | Jul 21 2021 18:36 utc | 15

I agree with Down South 2 and Abe 3.

In our eagerness to expose the empire's shortcomings in a quick 'gotcha!' moment we shouldn't rush head first into false premises. To suggest Dear Uncle Sam is concerned with anything other than his own navel is naive. He's the man with the plan. He knows that down the road, Oceania's eastern border won't run along the Dnieper but right off the shore of Airstrip One.

Posted by: robin | Jul 21 2021 18:38 utc | 16

As has been mentioned before, the NN2 pipeline gives Germany leverage over Russia, not the other way around.

US => Germany => Russia.
Which is now plan b for the US. If then they can use their leverage over Germany to steer it in any direction it wants to vs. Russia.

This will probably be followed by "targeted" sanctions on specific Politicians, Bankers and Heads of industry. They only need to propose such sanctions individually for them to have an effect. Using Pegasus for inside information to Blackmail those it wants to.
*****

Example of a sanctions racket:
Similar to the potential sanctions on any Lebanese Politian or Group Leaders if they get Oil from Iran, Russia or China. The Lebanese population be damned.

"Apparently US Treasury has informed the government of Lebanon, that if any Oil products from Iran make it into Lebanon, in any way; the government of Lebanon and all its members will be sanctioned. This includes the Central Bankers"

Just in case you didn’t understand how the crisis in the country is manufactured.

Pegasus again; "leaks on the targets of Israeli spy program Pegasus, show hundreds in Lebanon including the elected leadership of every party, every media outlet, & every security agency, have been targeted by clients in 10 countries; all belonging to the Imperialist camp.

But it is very easy to guess by looking at who are the external imperialist forces active in Lebanon. USA/UK/France/Turkey/Germany/Canada/Israel/Qatar; that’s eight. Plus Saudi Arabia."
*******

PS. Lebanon; This comes as a response to Sayyed Nasrallah stating in his last speech that if the State in Lebanon is not able to provide fuel, he will bring it at the expense of Hizbullah from Iran, dock it in the port of Beirut, and dared anyone to stop it from reaching the people.
*****

Germany will only be the latest victim as the Mafia-US "protection" racket is ramped up.

Posted by: Stonebird | Jul 21 2021 18:59 utc | 17

Both b and the many commenters raise excellent points. Yes, the US wants to hurt both Russia and Germany. And yes the US *definitely* fears close cooperation between Moscow and Berlin. But the main take home lesson is that the US failed despite enormous efforts to block NS2. Russo-German cooperation is inevitable and the world will be better for it.

Posted by: Lysander | Jul 21 2021 18:59 utc | 18

Posted by: Hoyeru | Jul 21 2021 17:54 utc | 6

>>a lot of people think CHina is robbing Russia blind on the deal

Why would be Russia building Power of Siberia 2 and 3 to China then? Or selling LNG too? You don't have much knowledge on the topic, the way it looks. A giant gas plant was built near the border with China, the second biggest gas plant in the world, because the gas for China is rich in rare elements, thus turning Russia in of the the biggest producers of strategic helium, not to mention extracting many other rare elements. China gets gas that has been cleaned of anything valuable from it, with the exception of the gas itself.

>>merkel is leaving anyway in September and thw Green party that will be taking over

The latest polls show clear lead for CDU/CSU. And it looks like its too late.

>>the NS2 will never be 100 usable, tthe Green party will see to that. AT best it will be only 50% usage.

Do you even follow what has been going on? Germany is free not to buy russian gas, that is, to be left without gas if this is what it wants.

Do you see how nat gas prices exploded in Europe recently? Do you know why is that? Because Russia refuses to sell additional volumes via Ukraine's network. It is a message to finish the issues with NS 2 pipeline faster and then everything will be fine, there will be plenty of space for new gas volumes, and the gas price will drop.

Posted by: Passer | Jul 21 2021 19:02 utc | 19

@migueljose | Jul 21 2021 18:36 utc | 15

I happen to be pro nuke. Managed properly it's the cleanest energy we can have today.

Take a look at the

Posted by: A.L. | Jul 21 2021 19:07 utc | 20

@ A.L. 14

It is the UNSC resolutions of 2006, 2007 and 2010 which have laid the backbone for the incremental diplomatic, economic and material warfare against Iran. Without them, there would be no narrative framing Iran as an outlaw nor justification for crippling sanctions. That Iran should even be subjected to the JCPOA is in itself an objective injustice.

Each of these resolutions could easily have been blocked by the two permanent members of the UNSC we go to much lengths on this forum to depict as selfless adversaries of the Empire. All they had to do was raise a finger and say niet. In other words, by their actions, these two members placed Iran in a very disadvantageous trading position.

So, did they profit from this position of strength?

Posted by: robin | Jul 21 2021 19:12 utc | 21

@migueljose | Jul 21 2021 18:36 utc | 15

I happen to be pro nuke. Managed properly it's the cleanest energy we can have today.

Take a look at the Natrium reactor. It's a slow reactor with walk away safety and it can also be placed next to existing gas or coal plants for (relatively) easy retrofit.

Slow reactor means no waste that have ridiculous half life of 100k years.

Here's a youtoob link:
Natrium Reactors

Sorry about the half post above, fatfinger on the mouse.

Posted by: A.L. | Jul 21 2021 19:13 utc | 22

It seems few care, but Sputnik followed its article from yesterday I linked to @10 with another that features an interview with Glenn Diesen. It reiterates:

"According to the draft deal, obtained by Bloomberg, Washington and Berlin would threaten sanctions and other retaliation if Russia 'tries to use energy as a weapon against Ukraine', with Germany being obligated to take unspecified actions in the event of Russian 'misbehaviour'. [My Emphasis]

The article then turns to the interview:

"Professor Glenn Diesen of the University of South-Eastern Norway has explained what is behind the US-Germany row is." [That last "is" appears to be a typo]

I suggest barflies pay close attention to Dr. Diesen who's the author of an outstanding book on the geoeconomics of Russia and China, Russia's Geoeconomic Strategy for a Greater Eurasia. I judge the following Q&A to be most relevant:

"Sputnik: The Biden administration waived sanctions on the firm behind the gas project, Nord Stream 2 AG, and its chief executive, Matthias Warnig. At the same time, Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated in June that the pipeline project was a Russian tool for the coercion of Europe and signalled that the US has leverage against it. What's behind Washington's mixed signals with regard to the project? How could they throw sand in Nord Stream 2’s gears, in your opinion - or are Blinken's threats empty?

"Glenn Diesen: The mixed signals demonstrate that the completion of Nord Stream 2 was a defeat for the US. Biden confirmed that he waived sanctions because the project was near complete. Sanctions could not stop the project [link at original], rather they would merely continue to worsen relations with Berlin and Moscow. The best approach for Washington at this point is to recognise that Nord Stream 2 is a done deal, and instead Washington will direct its focus towards limiting the geoeconomic consequences of the pipeline by obtaining commitments from Berlin such as preserving Ukraine’s role as a transit state [Link at original].

"The US therefore waives sanctions against Nord Stream 2, yet threatens new sanctions if Berlin fails to accept US conditions and limitations on Nord Stream 2. Blinken’s threats are loaded with 'strategic ambiguity', which could be aimed to conceal that they are merely empty threats. However, strategic ambiguity is also conducive to prevent Berlin from calculating the “costs” and possible remedies to US threats. Furthermore, ambiguity can be ideal in terms of how to respond as it is not a good look to continuously threaten allies." [Emphasis original]

The professor's closing remarks are also very important regarding Merkel's successor. Where I disagree is with the notion that the Outlaw US Empire has geoeconomic leverage over the EU--military yes, but the Empire is just as uncompetitive versus the EU as it is versus China.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 21 2021 19:24 utc | 23

@robin | Jul 21 2021 19:12 utc | 21

So, did they profit from this position of strength?

Of course they did, let's be real.

China and Russia are not going to be the all benevolent saviours of the world, they never were, never will.

They will always serve their interests first and foremost. Sometimes, they do get suckered into UNSC resolutions like those you spoke of. Sometimes, there're backroom horse trading that we're not privy to and little countries are just chips on the table...

The best we can hope for is that they can behave with more integrity than currently shown by the incumbent anglospheric bloc in their re-ascendancy.

Either we ditch the UNSC system or everybody get nukes, because i can't see the current UNSC members willing ditch their own, ever.

Posted by: A.L. | Jul 21 2021 19:25 utc | 24

Passer @19--

Hoyeru is a known disruptor troll that knows nothing whose mission is to sow chaos.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 21 2021 19:28 utc | 25

Lysander is correct.

The most important point to know is that US hegemony in Europe is predicated on fear and hostility between Germany and Russia.

Types of interdependence between Germany and Russia, eg. NRG security, are a direct threat to US dominance over Europe as a whole.

There are many limitations to European strategic autonomy -- and the EU embodies those limits in many ways -- but the case of NS2 demonstrates an independent streak in German strategy. It amounts to a zero sum loss for Washington.

Posted by: Prof | Jul 21 2021 19:30 utc | 26

It's a question of sovereignty. Europeans simply DO NOT have it.

Having been stockholmed for decades, it's refreshing to see the Germans finally said nien to its masters.

Bravo.

Posted by: A.L. | Jul 21 2021 19:40 utc | 27

Way too much confusion over what Nord Stream 2 really means.
1) Russian gas transiting Ukraine had already fallen from 150 bcm to the high 90s/low 100s before Nord Stream 2 goes online.
Even after NS2 goes online, a significant amount of Russian gas will still transit via Ukraine.
2) Energy demand generally increases over time, not decreases. Russian gas exports aren’t increasing in a straight line, but keep in mind that there are significant new competitors now and in the process coming online. These include Azerbaijan as well as the ongoing pipeline struggle through the Black Sea/Turkey/Eastern Med.

I never believed there was any chance of NS2 not completing; the only question was when.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 21 2021 19:47 utc | 28


I am MAX
the almost forgotten!

Posted by: ForgottenBoy | Jul 21 2021 19:58 utc | 29

@ Stonebird | Jul 21 2021 18:59 utc | 17

Lebanon does illustrate the incredible reach of the Empire. A leverage so long that every door leads to self immolation. Your mention of the current spyware scandal is right on point. These are instruments of absolute power.

What we need now is a worldwide Me Too movement to denounce this leverage. Taking that first step would require a lot of courage for any blackmailed individual, but the one little breach could lead to a flood of world citizens just about fed up with the Empire's shit.

Posted by: robin | Jul 21 2021 20:00 utc | 30

robin @21--

You raise an excellent point, and I second the grounds used for your objection. IMO, both Russia and China suffered a setback with Iran for only one reason that I can see (Yes, this would be an excellent question to pose to both Putin and Lavrov): Both had reasons to fear--and thus misunderstand--Iran's Revolutionary Islam. I'm going to forward your question to someone who might be able to shine some light on a better answer than the one I provided.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 21 2021 20:01 utc | 31

You have to take in consideration, that booth NS pipelines together transport 110 billion cubic metres gas per year. The consumption of Germany is less than 80 billion cubic metres per year. That means that only this makes Germany practically to an energy exporter for their neighbours. That turns the history of Europe upside down. In future there will be a button in the Kanzleramt, that so far only have the visegrad states. Big win, actually not for Merkel, instead of former chancellor Schröder. Now head of board of rosneft.

Posted by: rico rose | Jul 21 2021 20:11 utc | 32

psychohistorian @5

It pains me that I do not remember exactly who it was, but one of the more erudite posters here mentioned some time ago that Trump seemed more like a Bonapartist figure than a fascist or a typical and simple representative of a faction in the oligarchy. While Trump is certainly no representative of humanity, it just as certainly doesn't look like his rise was in the playbook of the dominant faction of the oligarchy. Trump really seems to fit the mould of a Bonapartist, though recast in the context of contemporary America. This would indicate that the imperial oligarchy is in crisis, which itself could lead to fractures in the empire, and among the empire's vassals in particular.

It is unwise to downplay the significance of Trump coming to power in 2016, regardless of what feelings one may have about the individual himself. The conditions that led to the rise of Trump not only persist, but have intensified. Those conditions cannot be resolved by mass media gaslighting and social media censorship, which actually seems to be having an effect more like holding the emergency relief valve on a boiler closed; it quiets an annoying sound, but causes the underlying issue to grow more severe.

Basically, further splits in the EU are inevitable. It is the timing of those splits that is difficult to predict, but the accuracy of that prediction hinges upon the accuracy of our assessment of events occurring now. Interestingly, Trump is still part of these unfolding events.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 21 2021 20:12 utc | 33

NS2 is designed to pump H2 as well as CH4 to DEU.

Considering all the Complaints and Anti-RUS+DEU Rhetoric by ZATO, Baltic Foursome, and UKR - better for DEU and RUS to continue with more NordStream-like Projects directly between themselves.

Posted by: IronForge | Jul 21 2021 20:20 utc | 34

Fracturing NATO and the West hmmm ... If Germany gains any independence from U.S. coercion they are 'fracturing Europe'. Bad Germany.

Germany must forever remain a vassal state of the U.S. by allowing the U.S. to use another vassal state to control their energy supply. And who says we don't believe in freedom.

Neocons are such vial creatures. Always twisting words but remember, whenever they say something, the exact opposite is true.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Jul 21 2021 20:33 utc | 35

I like robin # 30 with the call for a worldwide MeToo movement around the leverage of spying but it won't stop until and unless the incentives to keep spying in place are gone.....that weaponizing of energy that Merkel is accusing Putin of has been the strategy for empire since going off the gold standard in 1971 and tying the cost of energy to the value of the Reserve Currency US dollar.

Aren't we in a civilization war over the public/private control of finance issue?

William Gruff | Jul 21 2021 20:12 utc | 32 who wrote to me

"
Trump really seems to fit the mould of a Bonapartist, though recast in the context of contemporary America. This would indicate that the imperial oligarchy is in crisis, which itself could lead to fractures in the empire, and among the empire's vassals in particular.
"

I am confused because you write that Trump is/was not a representative of any elite body and specifically not the "dominant faction" but you also write that the "imperial oligarchy is in crisis"....and how could Trump be (s)elected and not be of the elite?
Comparing Trump to Bonaparte is quite the stretch, IMO, but I agree that Trump played a pivotal role in empire history....the end of Might-Makes-Right as global tool of control.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 21 2021 20:40 utc | 36

There are no good 'positions' for nuclear energy plants. Catastrophic accidents are inevitable. Dangerous waste disposal impossible. They are not carbon neutral nor does nuclear energy pay for itself. Each plant requires millions of gallons of water a day which has a negative impact on the environment and the all too possibility of leaks. Cancer clusters are recorded around each plant. Germany did the right thing and others should follow. Natural gas isn't a long term solution either but it's better than nukes by a long shot.

Posted by: CD Waller | Jul 21 2021 20:44 utc | 37

One issue underlying this fiasco is I believe that the neocons / Atlantic Council were 100% certain that Russia did not have the expertise to lay pipelines at the required depths, and once Allseas was facing sanctions, the project would never be completed.

**********************************************************

Re: China/Russia deal

I believe that the exact pricing formula for Power of Siberia is confidential, but this much is known:

"The price of Russian gas supplies to China increased in the second quarter of 2021 for the first time since deliveries started via the Power of Siberia pipeline in 2019, but daily delivery volumes fell in April, Interfax reported on Sunday.

Russian gas giant Gazprom GAZP.MM has said it supplied China with 3.84 billion cubic metres of gas via the Power of Siberia pipeline in its first year of operation.

Citing Chinese customs data, Interfax said the price of gas increased to $148 per thousand cubic metres, rising from $121 in the first quarter, and reversing a downward trend."
**********************************************************************************
Also, Victoria Nuland informed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today about Biden's cave to Russia. That must have been brutal for her. Regardless, nice to see a rare display of sanity from s US administration.

Posted by: schmoe | Jul 21 2021 21:00 utc | 38

A lot of bad information here about nuclear energy.

France gets most of its energy from nuclear, without any problems.

We now have the next-generation technology that promises to close the fuel cycle, which means fuel can be reprocessed practically in perpetuity, with practically no hazardous waste to deal with, nor even relying on ore supply and the harmful extraction that goes with it.

Russia's Rosatom, by far the global leader in nuclear power, already has a large commercial, closed-cycle reactor hooked to the grid.

Even today's best third-generation plants are by far the most environmentally friendly sources of clean energy.

The so-called 'green' energy 'revolution' turns out to be just another corporate scam. After a generation of windmills and solar panels, the results are in. They are by far the most ecologically harmful way to make energy.

Michael Moore Presents: Planet of the Humans

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 21 2021 21:06 utc | 39

librul | Jul 21 2021 17:55 utc | 7

The primary and only objective of the US Foreign policy vis-a-vis Europe since WW2 has been to prevent Russia and Germany (now read the German run EU project) coupling up, that's it, nothing else matters on Europe.

The completion of N-2 presents a serious blow tho this aim, the new pipeline is a must for Germany, it must get finished, without it Germany's supply of energy would have been almost fully controlled by the Americans who have either direct or indirect authority over every major source of hydrocarbons except for Venezuela and Russia, the latter only partly, the Ukrainian pipeline is fully in their sphere of influence.

Energy fuels everything from private dwellings to major corporations, it's together with labour and technology the most important ingredient in every economy. To lose control of it would have been a catastrophe for Germany, in particular if one takes into account the secret treaty between Germany and the Allies (read the US) from 1949.

"On 23 May 1949, the Western Allies ratified a new German constitution, known as the “Basic Law” or Grundgesetz.
However, two days prior, a secret state treaty - Geheimer Staatsvertrag - was also signed to grant complete Allied
control over education and all licensed media, press, radio, television and publishing houses until the year 2099.
This was confirmed by Major-General Gerd-Helmut Komossa, former head of German Military Intelligence in his
book, “Die Deutsche Karte” or The German Card".

Has anyone read the Komossa's book in full?

Posted by: Baron | Jul 21 2021 21:16 utc | 40

schmoe @37--

What's interesting about Power of Siberia-1 is that the gas is being stripped--refined at the newly completed Amur Gas Plant--of its components prior to being piped into China. I don't know if Germany's petrochemical industry will be deprived in similar manner with NS2.

CD Waller @36--

Nothing in the energy production realm is carbon neutral. ROSATOM has mastered the fuel cycle which means most if not all toxic waste will now be burned for energy. New reactors do NOT use water as coolant. Clearly you need to update what you know about nuclear power.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 21 2021 21:18 utc | 41

The Russian 'victory' is very narrow and mostly consists of the patience and determination to follow-thru while consistently being derided/attacked by Western media, pundits, and politicians:

  1. Since Russia/Gasprom owns NS2 100% (paying for half the construction cost outright and financing the rest), there was never much need to stop construction, only to stop/limit consumption. The 'trick' was to find a way to accomplish US/NATO goals that would not make German leaders look like puppets.
  2. Biden's approach looks good compared to Trump's heavy-handed approach. As they are BOTH spokesman of the Empire's Deep State, we can surmise that this is merely good cop / bad cop theatrics.
  3. This USA-GERMAN agreement makes Germany appear to voluntarily support EU/NATO - a good thing(tm) that most Germans will accept without question. But behind the scenes, it's unlikely that there was ever any real choice, just a mutual desire to fashion a 'smart' policy that didn't undermine German political leaders.
  4. Germany can now be pressured to support USA-Ukraine belligerence - if they don't they will be portrayed as not living up to their obligations to US/NATO/EU/Ukraine as enshrined in this agreement.
  5. If Russia retaliates against German purchase reductions in any way they will be labeled as a politically-driven, unreliable supplier. That will 'invite' sanctions and spark efforts to force EU/Germany to eliminate all Russia goods from their markets.
  6. Russia and China are likely to be increasingly linked in Western media/propaganda. Deficiencies of one or the other will apply to BOTH.

The next few winters in EU will be very interesting.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 21 2021 21:31 utc | 42

@Gordog & Karlof1

Thanks for your comments. The green energy and electric car fanatics are always smug until you ask them about the total end to end environmental impacts. As you said, the numbers are in and it ain't good.

There's certainly places for hydro, wind and solar but given the consumption demands nuke is the only way until fusion is worked out. Estimated to be 20 years away by scientists 30 years ago. :D

Unfortunately hard science and reasons has given way to irrational fears with old data.

Posted by: A.L. | Jul 21 2021 21:36 utc | 43

Baron @39--

Thanks very much for mentioning Komossa's book!! Here's a very short but illuminating article about book and author. There appear to be copies available for downloading, but I've yet to find one.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 21 2021 21:44 utc | 44

@6: To think that russia needs anything from anyone is funny indeed. Russia is still the only Country in the World that has literally anything on his own soil and could shut down their borders and would missing nothing at all. If the World has an Zombie apokalypse they shut down the Border and couldn't care less.
Combined with the central spot in Eurasia they could easily rule the World, if they put at least a bit efford into it (but they don't do it for some reason). It's Mac Kinder theorie all over the place.
This is why the West try to conquer Russia since over 150 Years straight. This is why the NATO expands eastwards. This is why they stir up the middle east. to rule the world from the outer crescend ist expensive af and proned to fail like we wittness right now.

Posted by: Kerwas | Jul 21 2021 22:10 utc | 45

AL
I am sure that you are right about nuclear options. We never needed to build them big and dirty - don’t forget that they were initially built to make fissile material for bombs!
Thorium was always an option.

But. What do you make of Hydrogen? Fuel cells are efficient.
Hydrogen capture storage and transport can be technologically step changed. Why then have we gone straight to battery? The answer to that is about the majors trying to preserve their mega enterprises.

Hydrogen storage and scale able fuel cells are a lot more efficient then batteries.

As for NS2 and many more that will build a reliable grid from the Atlantic to the Pacific to the South China Sea and one day incorporate Africa into energy security. Great. I love cooking with gas on a hob and baking with electric! The fracking yanks and LNG tanker bombs can keep themselves happy within their ends of the same oceans.

Posted by: DG | Jul 21 2021 22:21 utc | 46

I disagree with every comment here so far.

In my opinion, the only importance of the German-Russian economic relation right now for Russia is to diversify its clients portfolio and not to become too much dependent on China in three decades or so.

Germany cannot be a leverage against China because China already is Germany's main economic partner outside the EU (15.82% by April 2021). Russia is far below the list in Germany trade at 3.71%). If anything, competition for the German market is between the USA and China (the USA had 14.26% of the German market by April 2021). Just because both economies are complementary, it doesn't mean there must be a large volume of trade between them; otherwise, Brazil and Argentina would be a capitalist binary titan. We don't live in the 1930s anymore.

I think the approval of the NS-2 is the culmination of the political decline of ex-Warsaw Pact and ex-Western USSR Europe (except Belarus). When the EU was at the apex of its euphoria, it quickly expanded to the ex-Yugoslavian and Transpolonian ex-Warsaw Pact countries. This resulted in an initial burst of capital formation to the EU, but it later became very clear those newly acquired provinces (members) were a deficit in the long term. As a result, those nations - led by Poland - started to have to use the device of the European Parliament to extract what they needed from Germany. Ironically, the wake up call came not from a Slavic member, but from Greece.

In this sense, Germany's blatant attempt to form an European Empire backfired. Empire formation is only good when you become stronger as you grow your territory. The quick expansion to the East was clearly an over-extension. The worst part, however, were the reforms that allowed this quick expansion: the strong member from Western Europe had to sacrifice their political-economic structure in order to make a more or less cohesive European machine for the sake of a stronger Germany (the HQ of the EU). As the EU weakened, those countries started to be hollowed out. Most extreme example of that is Italy, which essentially doesn't have a national government anymore (it is led by non-elected EU banker Mario Draghi). Italy doesn't exist anymore as a sovereign nation-state and nobody is talking about that, which is amazing in my opinion.

In addition to Italy, France also entered into a perpetual stagnation phase (which then triggered the phenomenon of Le Pen and then the Yellow Vests) and the UK was lost. The only other country that continue to truly prosper with the EU was the Netherlands, which is essentially an extension of Germany itself.

So, now Europe is in a situation where the tentative of centralization in Germany has actually made it weaker. Before the EU, an alien power had to wriggle with many powers, and the conquest/domination of the entire Europe was virtually impossible (you could snatch Eastern or Western Europe but not both; you could be friends with Germany or France or the UK, but not the three of them at the same time). Now, all you need is to neutralize Germany, and the entire European Peninsula will fall.

The reason for that is Europe doesn't have what it takes to become a superpower anymore. That's why Germany's herculean effort to unify Europe ultimately failed. The EU will continue to exist if for no other reason than sheer inertia - but nobody thinks it will ever be a superpower anymore (as was expected when the Euro was created, in 2000). It will continue to be a zone of dispute between the superpowers, though; in that sense, the EU is more like a glorified SE Asia.

Posted by: vk | Jul 21 2021 22:31 utc | 47

Gordog@38
Rosatom Reactor you mention is where? Seversk?

Posted by: Volkodav | Jul 21 2021 22:40 utc | 48

Jackrabbit @41 incorrectly says Russia owns NS2 100% It's owned by Nord Stream 2 AG, and here's its website listing its financial investors, while its shareholders/owners are global. The company is located in Zug, Switzerland. Here we are told who the financial companies are:

"In April 2017, Nord Stream 2 AG signed the financing agreements for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project with ENGIE, OMV, Royal Dutch Shell, Uniper, and Wintershall. These five European energy companies will provide long-term financing for 50 per cent of the total cost of the project."

As with the first string, Russia doesn't own it 100% nor did it finance it completely; rather, its stake was @50% It appears both Nord Streams will be managed from the same location in Zug. I hope the company produces a similar sort of book to record its accomplishment as it did for the first string pair, which can be found and downloaded here.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 21 2021 22:40 utc | 49

I was thinking this project at Seversk:
https://www.powermag.com/nuclear-first-work-starts-on-russian-fast-neutron-reactor/

Posted by: Volkodav | Jul 21 2021 22:50 utc | 50

karlof1 @Jul21 22:40 #48

This Deutsche Welle (DW) explainer details NS2 ownership and financing:

Who is paying for it: Russia's energy giant Gazprom is the sole shareholder of the Nord Stream 2 AG, the company in charge of implementing the €9.5 billion ($11.1 billion) project. Gazprom is also covering half of the cost. The rest, however, is being financed by five western companies: ENGIE, OMV, Royal Dutch Shell, Uniper and Wintershall.
Emphasis is mine.

<> <> <> <> <>

Nord Stream 2 AG is a German company that is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Russia's Gazprom. The German subsidiary has borrowed half of the construction cost but is 100% owner of the NS2 project.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 21 2021 22:55 utc | 51

DG @45--

You'll find this ROSATOM item on hydrogen useful. I was invested in fuel cell tech at the end of the last century, but it wasn't capable of being scaled up for a variety of reasons which the Russians and Chinese are currently working on circumventing.

Volkodav @46--

ROSATOM's PR about its REMIX fuel is here. You'll note it can be used "in current VVER-1000 reactors," but I don't know the location of those types.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 21 2021 22:59 utc | 52

Rabbit, Gazprom's shareholders aren't exclusively Russian; they're from all sorts of nations including the USA and UK. They are the owners of Gazprom.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 21 2021 23:00 utc | 53

From karlof1's link to Nord Stream 2 AG's Shareholder and Financial Investors page makes it clear that NordStream 2 AG is a subsidiary of Gazprom international projects LLC, which is, in turn, a subsidiary of Gazprom. Under "Shareholder" there is only one company listed: Gasprom.

PS I was mistaken: Nord Stream 2 AG is a Swiss company, not a German one.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 21 2021 23:07 utc | 54

Volkodav @ 49, thanks for that excellent link.

I wasn't aware of this, but this project in Siberia is putting all the pieces for the closed cycle in one place!

I was actually thinking of another fast-breeder reactor that has been operating for some time. But this current project will really put all the pieces in place for the first time!

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 21 2021 23:07 utc | 55

Karlof1@51
Siberian Chemical Combine locate is Seversk. Formerly Tomsk 7.
I knew Lady whose Father Head Engineer there, both passed now.

Gordog@54 No problem!
Remember Brest 300

Posted by: Volkodav | Jul 21 2021 23:19 utc | 56

Jackrabbit @ 41

I am no sure if this is that plausible:

"4. Germany can now be pressured to support USA-Ukraine belligerence - if they don't they will be portrayed as not living up to their obligations to US/NATO/EU/Ukraine as enshrined in this agreement.

If Russia retaliates against German purchase reductions in any way they will be labeled as a politically-driven, unreliable supplier. That will 'invite' sanctions and spark efforts to force EU/Germany to eliminate all Russia goods from their markets."

Germany has been portrayed as not living up to its NATO obligations one way or another since about 1985, and with respect to NS 2, since 2018. They do not seem fazed - maybe a Green win would change that. If the USA-Ukraine get (more) belligerent, Germany might be less likely to insist on Ukraine gas transit after 2024.

Posted by: schmoe | Jul 21 2021 23:20 utc | 57

The Russian government owns a majority of Gazprom. As majority owner they can be said to control the company and with that control comes an inescapable political dimension.

For the purposes of this discussion: the Russian government has biggest stake in the financial success of Nord Stream 2. That "success" depends on gas sold, not simply the completion of NS2 construction.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 21 2021 23:20 utc | 58

NS2 has absolutely nothing to do with benefiting Russia. It has absolutely everything to do with keeping the German economy viable.

As such, Amerikastani opposition to NS2 has absolutely nothing to do with "countering Russia" and everything to do with keeping the German economy unviable.

And, of course, to sell Amerikastani LNG to Amerikastan's European slaves at five times the price.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Jul 22 2021 0:07 utc | 59

@ Biswapriya Purkayast | Jul 22 2021 0:07 utc | 58:

NS2 has absolutely nothing to do with benefiting Russia. It has absolutely everything to do with keeping the German economy viable.

Yes, but killing NS2 would've been quite a gratifying sucker punch delivered to both Russia and Germany, I imagine. A twofer! What a shame Uncle Sham turned out to be too weak to pull it off. (/s) Thus while I accept all of vk's arguments about Germany/Europe's decline, it seems to me this new NS2 agreement only goes to show that Uncle Sham's decline has been even more drastic.

Posted by: corvo | Jul 22 2021 0:22 utc | 60

Gordog @54--

If you have time, I suggest exploring ROSATOM's website as it contains a great deal of info on the current state of nuclear energy since it's the #1 company in that realm globally. Several months ago before you arrived at MoA, China's fusion accomplishments were discussed along with Russia's newest nuclear power plans which included the new fast reactor and other info. One of the key items was a Russian article that looked into the sorry state of the Western nuclear realm, in particular that of the USA. I'm certain you'll want to read this.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 22 2021 0:44 utc | 61

Hey this is entirely off topic but I didn't know where to post. On Sunday I was flying from the Hilo to Honolulu and when descending into HNL in the early afternoon we flew over what was for sure an SSBN/G entering Pearl Harbor. I'm no expert, but I doubt this is common without a lot of fanfare. I have been searching all over for some announcement of this arrival. It was definitely a boomer, they are very distinctive with a lot of missile doors aft of the sail

Posted by: manix37 | Jul 22 2021 0:53 utc | 62

robin #21

Each of these resolutions could easily have been blocked by the two permanent members of the UNSC we go to much lengths on this forum to depict as selfless adversaries of the Empire. All they had to do was raise a finger and say niet. In other words, by their actions, these two members placed Iran in a very disadvantageous trading position.

So, did they profit from this position of strength?

Thank you for that insightful question. IMO the state (regardless of which nation) acts to perpetuate itself in the interests of their elite (for some) or their people (for others). In this scenario of the trio R-C-I, the larger states possess a stronger bond/imperative/trading necessity than Iran. Yet Iran is a valuable ally but not so valuable as to warrant reduction in the R-C trading and hydrocarbon strategy. So did they profit? Certainly they threw Iran to the wolves but that may well have been due to the trio being divided in very critical strategic scenarios and the need to shake down some perceived power contest in the long run.

Yes, all conjecture as there is not a lot of analysis from those close to the strategic considerations that I have access to or seen published. But the key strategic alliance was developing between Russia and China and I am certain that took some mighty serious diplomacy and evidence of sincerity to be demonstrated by each state. Their alliance may also have been contingent on the completion of key infrastructure elements (promise of performance) before each successive step is taken and having a third hydrocarbon rich state in the mix may well have been an intolerable complication for R and C. This all the more so as they had to watch the FUKUSAi belligerent like a hawk. Both R and C need to enlarge their public confidence in their performance to do otherwise leaves them vulnerable to the lunatic assaults from the west. The FUKUSAi seem to have their public trapped in a propaganda cage and so have reduced vulnerability to accountability in that forum.

The other side of your question - did they profit? Not as much as they and Iran and the entire world would have profited its people had this ugly and unnecessary aggression from FUKUSAi never existed.

From the small village market suffering grenade attack to the global market suffering vast wealth diversion to military madness, all markets have been assaulted and diminished by the belligerence of FUKUSAi for the past decades.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 22 2021 1:17 utc | 63

Baron #39
Has anyone read the Komossa's book in full?

No but I found this from RT 2009: https://www.rt.com/usa/germany-us-pact-komossa-978/

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 22 2021 1:31 utc | 64

ooops I see karlof1 has already posted the above.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 22 2021 1:34 utc | 65

Karlof, thanks kindly for that very intetesting article on the fission-fusion hybrid in Russia.

Some papers have also been published in the professional literature, and I will be looking those up too! Great stuff!

I believe it was the Russians that invented the tokamak fusion reactor. So they've been plugging away for a good long while!

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 22 2021 1:36 utc | 66

I just couldn't pass up sharing the Reuter's Orwellian posting title associated with this story

"
U.S., Germany strike Nord Stream 2 pipeline deal to push back on Russian 'aggression'
"

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 22 2021 1:46 utc | 67

karlof1@60, very cool, thank you, great share.

Posted by: emersonreturn | Jul 22 2021 2:47 utc | 68

Gordog | Jul 21 2021 21:06 utc | 38

"France gets most of its energy from nuclear, without any problems."


Doesn't France dump its nuclear waste outside of European France?

Posted by: jiri | Jul 22 2021 3:12 utc | 69

William Gruff @32, psychohistorian @35

Thread has moved on and a little off topic anyway, but I speculated here a couple of months ago that Trump was a kind of failed Bonapartist experiment to overcome the fractures in the US ruling class. Unfortunately for Trump's faction, the lack of an organised challenge from below meant that the attempt to impose a Bonapartist solution only exacerbated the divisions within the US elite, resulting in the defeat of the Trumpists. Hadn't considered the implications of this for the US' vassals, definitely deserves further study.

Posted by: S.P. Korolev | Jul 22 2021 4:06 utc | 70

In 19th century Germany (Prussia) and Russia have tried to form an alliance several times, but failed because of sabotages by the UK and France. It had to be sabotaged because the alliance would make UK and France look like fools. Now in 21st century Germany and Russia try once again to form an alliance. This time around all countries will sabotage the process because the alliance will make all countries look like apes.

Posted by: Kim Jong Il | Jul 22 2021 4:52 utc | 71

@ S.P. Korolev | Jul 22 2021 4:06 utc | 69 with the response to WG and myself...thanks

I went and reread your comment and still have trouble understanding the factions of the elite...do either/any of the factions disavow the tools of global private finance and support public finance like China has ....NO!

So what is the core difference except as gladiators at a WW wrestling event for entertainment to opiate the masses?....like a stale Good Cop/Bad Cop routine that has been used over and over.

At least you recognize that Trump is/was some face of the world elite moving the levers behind the curtain unlike WG. As I and others have remarked before, Trump was a Hail Mary attempt by the elite to use bullying of the Might-Makes-Right strategies of the past to impact the public banking system of China....I assume they were not successful but we don't know for sure do we?

So Trump was using up too much of global power thrashing about so that approach was abandoned and now we are back to slimy and desperate tactics by the Biden face of empire......I will agree that if Trump were to return to a supportive environment, comparing him to Bonaparte would make more sense but I see him as a one-shot Liberace grifter and nothing more.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 22 2021 4:54 utc | 72

psychohistorian #71

I like that - so Boneraci then?

I am sticking to Xerxes Biden but barflies might have suggestions.

Barney Biden? Don Martin Biden perhaps.

Anthony J Blinken has got to be Alfred E Neuman

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 22 2021 5:23 utc | 73

@ uncle tungsten | Jul 22 2021 5:23 utc | 72 who wrote
"
I like that - so Boneraci then?
"

I see what you meant there...grin....I still remember the pics of Trump with baseball bat playing mafioso don....it didn't work on China....or Russia.....or Iran......

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 22 2021 5:33 utc | 74

Closed fuel cycle fast reactor. That is a very impressive achievement if it works out. The Russians never cease to amaze me in recent years. Some of their new products at the airshow are very impressive and vastly under priced compared to the beltway bandits military products.

I am glad to see them provide energy to Germany. Mutually beneficial trade returns a good relationship. The US will never stop poking at that project and certainly has to be sick over the competition from Russian armaments.

We in the US will continue to watch the country spiral down into an abyss. Maybe the planned October 15 general national strike will do some damage.

Posted by: circumspect | Jul 22 2021 5:38 utc | 75

Someone wrote that a) China is ruthless b) pro-American Greens are poised to be in the next German government.

Concerning a), compared with USA, China plays hardball to gain, USA plays hardball (much harder) to wreck havoc. Given a choice, partner with China. Concerning b), Greens had a moment in limelight in May, but the tide in opinion polls reversed. My bet is CDU+CSU/SPD coalition either as a minority government that can legislate as long as even a single opposition party abstains (or supports), or even as a majority. Or a great coalition without any blocking rights for the Greens.

Concerning the prices on NG Russia gets from China, this is a long-term contract signed in the midst of pandemic and the collapse of energy prices. And Russia needed to assure the customer for the east-Siberian projects. All the havoc games of USA lead to Europe, Korea and Japan loosing and China gaining (Korea and Japan could get piped gas from Sakhalin, their nearest group of NG fields).

I skimmed through a review of EU options to resist economic pressures. Seems that there is no solution for American financial sanctions given total penetration of European banking information by USA. HOWEVER, something was not mentioned among various possible mechanisms.

Europeans, at least larger countries, may retaliate in a way that is painful for USA and economically costs nothing: freeze the use of American military bases and the use of ports and airports by American military for the duration of sanctions infringing on national interests of the retaliation countries. Americans (the government types) are addicting to "projecting strength" and to protecting their over-sized dignity (see next post explaining what it means) so that would be painful -- totally irrelevant to American poor, struggling middle class and even most of the well-to-do, but the elite could develop insomnia, ticks, loose regularity of bowel movements, consequences could be quite severe.

But European elites have addictions that are even more weird, the slighted threat to suspend "intelligence sharing" (pure manure of assorted origin, including bulls, directly from the source, perhaps they are like maiden threatened with being deprived of Harlequin novels with lurid covers

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 22 2021 5:43 utc | 76

Unlike the deluded Assholians, neither Germany nor Russia do knee-jerk responses to any thing. Each, in their own way, will have war-gamed every possible Assholian-provoked anti-NS-2 scenario.

If push comes to shove, Germany can politely invite the Occupying ex-Superpower to STFU and piss off. Korea and Japan would almost certainly find such an invitation worthy of consideration.

I was catching up with What's Left (Gowans Wordpress) few days ago and found this lucid, logical and resonant perspective on "Israel's" place in a Jewed-up, AmeriKKKa-dominated, West.

Why Washington Rejects a Liberal Democratic Solution to the Problem of Palestine
June 26, 2021.

A couple of snippets...
"Israel was envisaged by the secular Jews who undertook the project of building a Jewish state, that it would be a state that acted as an instrument of a sponsoring great power (or powers), which would be used to quell the resistance of Arabs to assaults on their sovereignty. Israel’s role would be to overcome the Arabs’ resistance to Western domination and the plunder of their markets, labor, and resources—a domination that would eventually be related to achieving the principal US aim of controlling Arab oil.

and...

"Theodore Herzl, an Austrian journalist, pioneered political Zionism, the movement to enlist the help of a European power to build a Jewish state in Palestine. In return, Herzl proposed the Jewish state would look after the interests of its sponsor in the Arab world. Israel’s attack on Egypt in an effort to recover the Suez Canal for Britain and France, was precisely the kind of role Herzl envisaged for the Jewish state.

Acting as the West’s lieutenant in the Arab world would mean that, if the Arabs should seek to use their resources for their own development, on their own terms, that the Jewish state would see to it that they acquiesced to the use of their resources for the enrichment of investors represented by the Jewish state’s sponsors. The Zionist Jews would rent themselves out as an army to whichever European colonial power would back them, and the army would act as the guarantor of the colonial power’s economic interests against the interests of the Arabs."

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 22 2021 5:50 utc | 77

The concept of oversized pride and the consequences was nicely described in Mikado by Gilbert (lyrics) and Sullivan (music, not always original).

Pooh. I am, in point of fact, a particularly haughty and exclusive person, of pre-Adamite ancestral descent. You will understand this when I tell you that I can trace my ancestry back to a protoplasmal primordial atomic globule. Consequently, my family pride is something inconceivable. I can’t help it. I was born sneering. But I struggle hard to overcome this defect. I mortify my pride continually. When all the great officers of State resigned in a body, because they were too proud to serve under an ex-tailor, did I not unhesitatingly accept all their posts at once?
PISH. And the salaries attached to them? You did.
POOH. It is consequently my degrading duty to serve this upstart as First Lord of the Treasury, Lord Chief justice, Commander-in-Chief, Lord High Admiral, Master of the Buckhounds, Groom of the Back Stairs, Archbishop of Titipu, and Lord Mayor, both acting and elect, all rolled into one. And at a salary! A Pooh-Bah paid for his services! I a salaried minion! But I do it! It revolts me, but I do it!
NANK. And it does you credit.
POOH. But I don’t stop at that. I go and dine with middle-class people on reasonable terms. I dance at cheap suburban parties for a moderate fee. I accept refreshment at any hands, however lowly. I also retail State secrets at a very low figure.
-------------
The exalted members of our elite were probably "born sneering" as well. But however exalted the office, President, Her Majesty's Prime Minister, Chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, Secretary of State etc. they entertain middle-class people on reasonable terms, Madam Yellen racked more than 7 millions in two years, Madam Clinton was probably not much behind, Blair kept mortifying himself continually ... And visits to Gulf countries, "it revolts me, but I do it".

And how do our mass media get information from "well informed sources"? Do those sources "accept refreshments" or "reasonable prices"?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 22 2021 5:57 utc | 78

I can fully agree with B on this issue. Due to stupid Gree(d)n policies Germany and her neighbors will badly need Russian gas soon. This might prevent a EU planned collective West European energy suicide. Less dependency on the ME and US: what is there not to like?

Next now possible and sensible step: halt mass import of ME free income seekers. Not being a hostage of oil sheikhs and ayatollahs is healthy.

Posted by: Antonym | Jul 22 2021 6:11 utc | 79

Germany and Turkey, old allies from 100 years ago, have directed the destruction of Syria from NATO's base in Adana. Sanctions are in place for the re-building of Syria and then the rest of the Middle Eadt by any other power, such as China. The US want the ME to belong to the West, as Eastern Europe now does. Sanctions alone don't work so the US has agreed the financial boost of NS 2 to Germany so that Germany can finance Syrian construction, and the creation of a Greater Israel. NATO and its pimps Al Qaida and Islamic State are working their way toward China while loudly saying they are turning towards the Pacific. Godless China unites the Pilgrim fathers and jihadists in foam-flecked rage, otherwise known as greed.

Posted by: Giyane | Jul 22 2021 6:11 utc | 80

Short interview of Lavrov by Interfax, at this time partially translated, concerning NS2 and the agreement USA-Germany:

However, from what we know from media “leaks,” I was stunned to learn (if it’s true) about an agreement that Germany had committed to ensure the extension of Russian gas transit through Ukraine after 2024. That’s a strong move by Germany... Let's see how it works out in the end.

Afghanistan, the Defender incident and the Opec+ deal form part of the interview as well, sharp as usual.

Lavrov Interfax Rus.

Lavrov Interfax Eng.

Posted by: Paco | Jul 22 2021 6:28 utc | 81

psychohistorian @72

As ruling class factions of a declining capitalist suoerpower, you are right to point out that both factions are beholden to the financial superstructure balanced atop the hollowed-out ruins of the US' industrial greatness. In this context most disputes take on the appearance of fake wrestling, but the factions do represent different economic interests with different visions for the future of US capitalism.

The Big-Tech led faction now associated with the Democratic party is wedded to the 'International Rules-Based Order', diluting the US state structure in order to expand it throughout the US empire. The Trumpists (rooted in the MIC, Big Oil and what remains of US heavy industry) support a more traditional imperialism. They support a strong state relying on threats of military force and economic coercion abroad, and domestic repression to suppress wages at home, rather than (rigged) legal and market mechanisms to ensure a favorable climate for US capitalism. It can be argued these factions go back to at least the US civil war, with one faction favouring 'open door' policies to exploit Asia, while the other sought imperial expansion into Latin America and the extension of plantation slavery.

As you point out, both factions are beholden to the FIRE industries. Traditional powerhouses like Goldman Sachs and big insurers faced with the immense costs of climate change probably tend toward the Democrat faction, while modern day privateers like the Mercers and Trump's fellow real estate moguls probably tend toward the other. The problem for these factions is that both of their visions for the US are dramatically unpopular among the the American people. Americans are sick of sacrificing their futures on the altar of financialisation and the 'free market', and are equally tired of sacrificing their children in imperial wars.

This is where the 'Bonapartist' strategy comes in. Unifying the country under a strongman who can sell the idea of a noble crusade to 'Make America Great Again' (rather than making the world safe for US billionaires) could divert popular anger and resolve intra elite disputes in return for renewed ruling class legitimacy. This strategy may have failed under Trump and weakened his associated faction, but an upsurge in popular anger or a change in the relative fortunes of the elite factions may yet see it return, with a more effective and palatable frontman.

Posted by: S.P. Korolev | Jul 22 2021 6:42 utc | 82

@ Gordog #39


A lot of bad information here about nuclear energy.
France gets most of its energy from nuclear, without any problems.

Sorry Buddy, you're lost in French propaganda. And sharing bad information.
I got no time yet. Fixing my own electrical issues at home 🏡
Nuclear is less than 20% of energy consumption in France. Just look even at Wiki 😋.
The economy and future of French nuclear energy production is an industrial mirage.🤔
As France "grandeur" itself.

I'm French. Hope to be saved by Germany. 👍

Posted by: Rêver | Jul 22 2021 7:29 utc | 83

IMO, this is more a concession of US trying to get Russia under their wings.

But congrats for Germany and Russia.

Posted by: Smith | Jul 22 2021 7:34 utc | 84

As to NS2 being more in German interest: doubtful. The gas reserves are in Western Siberia and there´s already a pipeline to European Russia in place. To get the gas to China would mean constructing a new pipeline of several thousand km across some of the most forbidding terrain in the world. Finally the pipeline dependancy cuts both ways: not only does the resipient need the gas - the purveyor doen´t have an alternative customer for the gas once the piepline is in place. Right now Russia and China are allies. But for how long? Best for Russia to diversify as much as possible instead of relying on just one customer.

Posted by: Tom67 | Jul 22 2021 8:03 utc | 85

vk @ 47

Most extreme example of that is Italy, which essentially doesn't have a national government anymore (it is led by non-elected EU banker Mario Draghi). Italy doesn't exist anymore as a sovereign nation-state and nobody is talking about that, which is amazing in my opinion.

Italy has been occupied territory since the end of WWII. It is in the same position as Japan and Germany.

The last Prime Minister to act independently was Aldo Moro. Lesson learnt.

Draghi was apppointed Director General of the Italian Treasury and presided over the large scale privatisation of state assets after the Italian political establishment was gutted by the Mani pulite investigations.

After that position he went and joined Goldman Sachs.

He wasn’t elected into office by the Italians and he certainly isn’t running the country on their behalf either.

He’s the consummate bankster. Wiki:

After a lengthy career as an academic economist in Italy, Draghi worked for the World Bank in Washington, D.C., throughout the 1980s, and in 1991 returned to Rome to become Director General of the Italian Treasury. He left that role after a decade to join Goldman Sachs, where he remained until his appointment as Governor of the Bank of Italy in 2006.

His tenure as Governor coincided with the 2008 Great Recession, and in the midst of this he was selected to become the first Chair of the Financial Stability Board, the global standard-setter that replaced the Financial Stability Forum.

He left those roles after his nomination by the European Council in 2011 to serve as President of the European Central Bank. He presided over the institution during the Eurozone crisis, becoming famous throughout Europe for saying that he would be prepared to do "whatever it takes" to prevent the euro from failing.[4]

In 2014, Draghi was listed by Forbes magazine as the eighth-most powerful person in the world. In 2015, Fortune magazine ranked him as the world's "second greatest leader".[5] In 2019, Paul Krugman described him as "the greatest central banker of modern times."[6]

Moreover, thanks to his monetary policies, he is widely considered the "savior of the euro" during the European debt crisis.[7][8][9][10] He has been nicknamed Super Mario by some media, a nickname that was popularised during his time as President of the European Central Bank, when he was credited by numerous sources as having played a key role in combatting the Eurozone crisis.[11][12]

Posted by: Down South | Jul 22 2021 8:05 utc | 86

Hoarsewhisperer #77

Acting as the West’s lieutenant in the Arab world would mean that, if the Arabs should seek to use their resources for their own development, on their own terms, that the Jewish state would see to it that they acquiesced to the use of their resources for the enrichment of investors represented by the Jewish state’s sponsors. The Zionist Jews would rent themselves out as an army to whichever European colonial power would back them, and the army would act as the guarantor of the colonial power’s economic interests against the interests of the Arabs."

The Kurds are attempting to occupy the same position aimed at Syria, Iraq, Iran and Turkey.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 22 2021 8:09 utc | 87

The Three Seas Initiative isn`t -that- unimportant.

Posted by: m | Jul 22 2021 9:20 utc | 88

Uncle Tungsten

Iraqi Kurdistan is now nearly as dangerous as under Saddam, because the same foreign Islamist spies that poked Saddam are now poking Barzani. Critics of the government are murdered daily. That is because Churchill wanted Mosul , and briefly got it under Obama, for its large oil reserves that pump cash into the UK. Churchill divided the Kurds to ensure their very strong Sunni mentality was permanently castrated. No Kurd anywhere is anything but a slave to Anglo Saxon imperialism. This week they demonstrated in London against government oppression, a fatuous political exercise if ever there was one, to ask the slave owners for better working conditions.

Posted by: Giyane | Jul 22 2021 9:49 utc | 89

@korolev

Excellent analysis.

For more on the ruling class fractions which backed Trump, see Doug Henwood's essay in a recent Socialist Register.

After the 2020 election, the NYT had a long article about Big Tech and Wall Street's dominant position in the Democratic party. I'll try to find the link.

Canadian labor historian Bryan Palmer has also used the concept of Bonapartism to explain January 6. Worth reading.

Posted by: Prof | Jul 22 2021 10:32 utc | 90

@korolev

Here are the links:

NYT, "We need to stabilize: Big Business Breaks with Republicans."
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/15/business/republicans-business-trump.html

Doug Henwood, "Trump and the New Billionaire Class".
https://socialistregister.com/index.php/srv/article/view/30933

Bryan Palmer. The Meaning of January 6.
https://jacobinmag.com/2021/01/trumpism-capitol-riot-protest-police-state

Posted by: Prof | Jul 22 2021 10:40 utc | 91

Lavrov's graffiti in London, who are you to f*cking lecture me.
There you go british gentleman...

https://t.me/MariaVladimirovnaZakharova/423

PS. could not find it with google so the link is for telegram.

Posted by: Paco | Jul 22 2021 11:00 utc | 92

Was this a failure? I don’t know.

Keeping Russian gas flowing west ensures some of it doesn’t go east. Think about the implications. What was really lost compared to that?

Might the hegemon have caused trouble because hegemons always make trouble for everyone else, to raise the cost of them doing business directly?

Posted by: oglalla | Jul 22 2021 11:40 utc | 93

I wouldn't get too worked up about Germany's super secret pinky swear to "probably try really hard to think about doing something to sort of support" continued gas transit via Ukraine. You don't have to read very carefully to see that they were committing to nothing concrete; certainly nothing as concrete as "We will guarantee that Ukraine promptly and steadfastly performs its obligations under the Minsk Accords."

That was all a face-saving move by the Biden administration. They're facing defeat on NS2, so they wanted to be able to assure their critics at home and abroad that they had insisted on strong commitments from Germany to not be too nice to Russia in exchange for US capitulation. Nothing but unenforceable noise. And Germany knows that, as a practical matter, even both "streams" probably won't completely satiate their gas needs, so they will probably still be needing to purchase at least some amount of gas through the Ukrainian route. The big question will be whether Germany will be willing to pay for sufficient maintenance reinvestment in the Ukrainian lines to keep them functioning.

Posted by: J Swift | Jul 22 2021 12:24 utc | 94

Interesting to compare this to South Stream. Bulgaria gave up on a potentially enormous source of revenue by saying no to it. Keeping Uncle Sam sweet. What were the benefits to Bulgaria of saying no? There weren't any. Plenty of downsides. But they had a corrupt leadership that did not serve the Bulgarian people and no industrial lobby to keep onside. So they refused it.

Posted by: Jeremn | Jul 22 2021 14:02 utc | 95

J Swift @Jul22 12:24 #94:

You don't have to read very carefully to see that they were committing to nothing concrete; certainly nothing as concrete as "We will guarantee that Ukraine promptly and steadfastly performs its obligations under the Minsk Accords."

That was all a face-saving move by the Biden administration.


While the wording may not be ironclad, Germany's unwillingness to stand by international agreements (like Minsk guarantees and JCPOA) when they conflict with USA/NATO informs our expectations.

We also saw how EU and Germany reacted to Nalvany poisoning. Manipulating Germany to "do the right thing" will be not be difficult.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 22 2021 14:43 utc | 96

oglalla @Jul22 11:40 #93

See Tom67 @Jul22 8:03 #85

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 22 2021 14:44 utc | 97

@Jeremn | Jul 22 2021 14:02 utc | 95

This is such a good point. So many IR academics and commentators talk about US "soft power" but don't see that the US is destroying some of the basics of soft power - consistency, trust, and compliance to agreements.

Whatever we think of the Quisling heads of Afghanistan, we can certainly understand their sense of betrayal as the US leaves. The same for the Kurds as the US leaves Syria and Iraq (screwed over yet again by the US, remember them allowing Saddam Hussein to crush them after the First Gulf War?), and the Ukrainian leadership that is left to hang by Nordstream II. Then also Iran with JCPOA and Russia with the promise that NATO would not advance into Eastern Europe. Oh, and also Georgia that was left to be defeated by Russia. The list goes on..., At the same time China, Russia and Iran are showing consistency, trust and compliance to agreements. Within the context of the BRI, China is showing respect of sovereignty and a readiness to renegotiate agreements when needed by the other party, and holding out the hand of peace and development rather than one of aggression and bullying.

Another part of soft power is the view of a nation as "advanced" and "competent". Does the US come across as "advanced" as its technology leaders start to fail (Boeing, Intel with latest chip technology etc.), its politics and its police become more partisan and violent, and its state show such incompetence in the face of COVID and with the inability to build effective weapons, and its wealth distribution is now one of a banana republic? In the meantime, China is sending spaceships to Mars and building its own space station, became the world lead leader in 5G technology, and built the greatest network of high speed trains.

If the US thinks that soft power will save them they are in for a severe disapointment.

Posted by: Roger | Jul 22 2021 14:51 utc | 98

...
While the wording may not be ironclad, Germany's unwillingness to stand by international agreements (like Minsk guarantees and JCPOA) when they conflict with USA/NATO informs our expectations.
We also saw how EU and Germany reacted to Nalvany poisoning. Manipulating Germany to "do the right thing" will be not be difficult.
!!
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 22 2021 14:43 utc | 96

Have you dismissed the likelihood that Germany, being the first country in the post-WWII world to realise that AmeriKKKa was hell-bent on creating a Virtual World, based on balderdash and whimsy, and decided to play along until it achieved its desired pecking-order status?

USA's Shadow Govt believes so much of its own infantile bs that it can be played like a fiddle by the simple expedient of feigning obedience and feeding its bs back to it - with due solemnity and reverence.

In the end it didn't matter what Germany SAID or DID about Navalny. He's back where Russia wants him.
Coincidence? Happenstance?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 22 2021 15:39 utc | 99

Western leaders are antihuman and don't believe in economic growth. They are attempting to force the "new normal" to save the world from the dreaded "climate change". They want to control all access to resources and monitor and ration resources to a subsistence level of living. The elite will live like Roman Gods while the rest of humanity goes hungry.

Posted by: goldhoarder | Jul 22 2021 15:45 utc | 100

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