"Pandora’s Box, Opened?"
by Brian Maher
“No doubt the U.S. government is behind it; if not, the English on behalf of the U.S.”
“It doesn’t make sense for Russia to sabotage their pipeline. Follow the money and the conspicuous timing with the other Poland-Norway pipeline… Coordinating such an adventure is difficult and expensive. It would need submarines and logistics. Who has the money and the motive? NATO and their billionaire banking friends. Act of war for sure.”
“My first thought was that either Ukraine or the U.S. was responsible. Their motivation would be to ensure that, when winter hits, the Europeans don't succumb to the pressure of energy shortages and lift sanctions on Russia to save them from backlash from their constituents. I think either of these parties would be capable enough and devious enough to undertake this sabotage - even more likely, the U.S. and Ukraine coordinated this sabotage. And the CIA warning to Germany could easily have been a false flag to belay suspicion.”
“I do not believe Russia would damage the golden goose that's paying for its war in Ukraine, nor would it damage its leverage against Europe. China, however, has nothing to lose by the sabotage of Nord Stream. It gains more Russian dependence on China's purchase of Russian energy resources. Also, it strikes a blow against Europe and the West at an opportune time, with winter coming. Lastly, China has new submarines that can deliver an explosive package in the deep. I believe China did it.”
“Shouldn't rule out the eco-terrorists! They got the Democrats to kill the XL pipeline, why not the Nord Stream pipelines?”
“In a word: Israel.”
Yesterday we solicited your opinion on who dynamited the Nord Stream pipelines. Here you have but a sample of the answers we received. The United States, Russia, Great Britain, Ukraine, China, Israel, eco-terrorists… readers have placed each under suspicion’s cloud for one reason or other. While we cannot publish or acknowledge the entire run of responses, be assured that we looked each one over. The bulking majority were thoughtful and insightful. We thank you for your participation.
Whoever has the true answer is keeping it dark. In the meantime we expect rumors will swirl and swirl and swirl yet more. Yesterday we expressed nagging doubts about Russia’s supposed guilt. Revenues from pipelined natural gas exports keep Russia in funds. These exports likewise cede Russia fantastic leverage over energy-needy Europe.
Why would Russia shoot a bullet through its perfectly good foot? We concede the possibility of Russian guilt. The foot-shooting may serve some high statecraft of which we are ignorant. Yet we incline away from the Russian theory - and for the reasons just listed. The pipelines represent a grand strategic asset.
Let us assume for the moment that Russia is free of guilt. Another party… or parties… dynamited the pipes. Is it not a war act against Russia, as one reader claims? If a foreign actor blasted holes in an American-run pipeline, how would the United States take it? As a war act in all likelihood.
Let us assume, further, that the Russian intelligence agencies pinpoint the culprit. They acquire the red-handed evidence, the recently fired handgun oozing smoke from the barrel. Will Russia simply let the war act go? Or will it seek its fracture for fracture, its eye for lost eye, its tooth for lost tooth? We bet high it would pursue the path of vengeance.
Let us assume, lastly, that the responsible party is a Western power. Perhaps that power conspired and leagued with others to wreck the Nord Stream pipelines. What would prevent Russia from playing the devil with Western energy pipelines? The Russian Navy boasts substantial submarine capabilities and the frogmen for the job.
Another possibility to consider: The global internet depends upon undersea communications cables to very high degrees - some 380 in all. Here are those joining the United States to Europe:
What if Russia chooses to scissor many of them in a coordinated caper… and knock down the internet in selected locations? British lawmaker Rishi Sunak: "Funneled through exposed choke points (often with minimal protection) and their isolated deep-sea locations entirely public, the arteries upon which the internet and our modern world depends have been left highly vulnerable. The threat of these vulnerabilities being exploited is growing. A successful attack would deal a crippling blow to Britain’s [and America’s] security and prosperity."
Meantime, Russia knows how to play with computers. What if yesterday’s pipeline assault unleashes their hacking talents against critical U.S. and European infrastructure? Here we merely speculate. Nothing at all may come to pass from yesterday’s aggressions. And we concede - again - the possibility of Russian self-sabotage, however unlikely in our estimate. Yet perhaps… just perhaps… Tuesday's pipeline explosions blasted the lid clear off Pandora’s box…"