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The end of NordStream and the dawn of a new nuclear era

2022-09-28 | Global news
The end of NordStream and the dawn of a new nuclear era

What happened?

NordStream leaks

The night before yesterday, the first reports of leakage at Nordstream 2 appeared. Shortly afterwards, during the course of yesterday, Swedish seismological reports made it clear that these were not accidents but possibly an act of sabotage as they noted two more explosions in NordStream1. Subsequent reports from the Danish military left no room for doubt.

What are the consequences?

  1. Any possibility of Germany receiving gas from Russia again this winter and thereafter via the NordStream, now closed for repairs that are part of Moscow's pressure on Berlin, is closed.
  2. The NordStream2, now completed and capable of doubling the flow of gas to Germany, has become a thing of the past. Russian pressure on Germany has focused up to this very month on pushing Berlin to agree to put it into operation.
  3. The leaks endanger navigation in the passage between the Baltic and the North Sea. A five-mile exclusion zone has already been imposed around each of the three leak points. This is more relevant than it sounds: it is the exit route for Russian oil to the Atlantic and was already being called into question in a tug-of-war between Denmark and NATO. Denmark did not want to close the passage or stop giving assistance to Russian captains because of the dangers it might pose to general shipping.

Why is this the end of an era?

February 2022, Biden pledges in front of Scholz to "end" NordStream

February 2022, Biden promises to "end" NordStream at the White House in front of a Scholz that feigns dementia.

German industrial supply and the Russian energy business have been at the heart of the imperialist battle in Europe for the past twenty years.

The tension between Vladimir Putin and the United States goes back even further, to the early 2000s, when the all-powerful head of Yukos, the first Russian oil company, forged alliances with the Exxon Mobil group. Its CEO, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, then planned to sell his group to the Anglo-Saxons for $25 billion, which would have allowed him to finance a presidential campaign with the benevolence of the Americans. Vladimir Putin then brings him down for tax evasion and imprisons him for ten years. The Americans then understand that they would no longer have their hands on Russian raw materials.

Twenty years later, the United States has become an exporter of liquefied natural gas and is seeking to conquer the European market. The Germans, under pressure from the Greens, have opted for 45% intermittent renewable energy: they need the additional gas from their gas-fired power plants, currently supplied by Russian pipelines. And the new one, Nord Stream 2, makes it possible to bypass Ukraine. Obviously, it is this pipeline that the Americans are threatening to shut down in the event of an incident on Ukrainian soil.

Editorial de Marianne, 16/2/2022

In this last phase it was Trump who openly initiated the confrontation at the 2018 NATO summit: either the US would enter the Russian gas business or it would impose sanctions on Germany, as it finally did, and ended up sending methane tankers through France, Holland and Poland. The US position immediately led to the divorce of the Franco-German axis in the EU.

The arrival of Biden to the presidency only radicalized things. The US's policy towards the EU then centered on pushing the confrontation with Russia to the point of turning the repression against Nalvalny into an excuse to try to force Germany's hand.

When, in front of Scholz himself, Biden raised the pressure against Russia by making Ukraine's entry into NATO and deployment of nuclear-capable missiles on its territory imminent, he directed the threat not so much at Moscow but rather at Germany.

As we commented at the time: "The press conference following the meeting was strangely violent on the American side and passive-aggressive on the German side". The New York Times recounted it thus:

"If Russia invades, that means tanks and troops cross the Ukrainian border again, so there will no longer be a Nord Stream,' Biden said. "We will put an end to it." When asked exactly how, Biden said, "I promise you we can do it."

Biden says pipeline from Russia to Germany would not go forward if Moscow invades Ukraine, New York Times 7/2/2022.

Who did it?

NordStream

Biden's statements were recalled yesterday by the US representative to the European Parliament with a retweet immediately prior to another post in which, in what seemed to be a full-fledged celebration of the attack, he commented on a photo of one of the leaks and said tersely: "Thank you, USA".

The German press commented that the CIA had been warning its German counterparts of the danger and that in reality only a "state agent" could carry out such an attack, which requires mini-submarines and special commandos. Something difficult in an area saturated with NATO military presence. Moreover, only Ukraine -which is not known to have such operational capabilities- and the USA could be interested in the outcome of the attack.

The EU's response has been to demand an investigation into what it believes to have been sabotage. Only Poland insists that it may have been human error.

Meanwhile, in Russia, Peskov spoke of the attack without openly pointing the finger at anyone, but Moscow-based agencies recalled that:

On September 23, a U.S. Navy amphibious assault group left the Baltic Sea, consisting of large landing ships USS Kearsarge, USS Arlington and USS Gunston Hall. They housed an expeditionary Marine infantry battalion with up to 2,400 military personnel, as well as a special forces unit.

What stage is now open?

Yars Missile

On September 23, a U.S. Navy amphibious assault group left the Baltic Sea, consisting of large landing ships USS Kearsarge, USS Arlington and USS Gunston Hall. They housed an expeditionary Marine infantry battalion with up to 2,400 military personnel, as well as a special forces unit.

For Germany this is burning its ships, or rather, discovering that its main ally has burned them. For Russia, losing the last remaining objective to one day recuperate with the EU. The Nordstream pipelines were at the end of the day, the umbilical cord of Russian capital with that of the rest of Europe.

It is no coincidence that Medvedev then openly put on the table the possibility of nuclear war. Just yesterday he wrote in his Telegram channel:

The topic of the last few days is the Russian nuclear threat. Biden and Truss, various sideline blinkers and sullivans, spraying Atlanticist spittle, demand that Russia take its hand off its "nuclear button". Together, they constantly threaten us with "terrifying" consequences if Russia uses nuclear weapons. And the young-minded London cousin is fully prepared to immediately initiate an exchange of nuclear strikes with our country.

I have to remind again those deaf people who only listen to themselves. Russia has the right to use nuclear weapons if necessary in predetermined cases. In strict adherence to the Fundamentals of State Policy on Nuclear Deterrence. If we or our allies are attacked using such weapons. Or if aggression with the use of conventional weapons threatens the very existence of our state.

The President of Russia spoke about this directly recently. In addition, we will do everything possible to prevent the emergence of nuclear weapons in our hostile neighbors. For example, in Nazi Ukraine, which today is directly controlled by NATO countries. It makes no sense to count on the reason and political will of the Kiev regime. But there is still a fragile hope of common sense and a sense of self-preservation of the enemy countries that tolerate them. They understand that if the threat to Russia exceeds the established danger limit, we will have to respond. Without asking anyone's permission, without lengthy consultations. And this is not a bluff.

Imagine that Russia is forced to use the most formidable weapon against the Ukrainian regime, which has committed a large-scale act of aggression that is dangerous for the very existence of our state.

I believe that NATO will not directly intervene in the conflict even in this situation. After all, the security of Washington, London and Brussels is much more important for the North Atlantic Alliance than the fate of the dying Ukraine, which nobody needs, even if it is abundantly supplied with various weapons. The supply of modern weapons is just a business for Western countries, however, heavily involved out of hatred of us. No more.

Foreign and European demagogues are not going to perish in a nuclear apocalypse. Therefore, they will accept the use of any weapons in the current conflict. It would be good if the Kiev authorities would at least partially realize this sad conclusion. Unfortunately, this is almost impossible. They are in constant war frenzy with brief pauses for strange hallucinatory dreams.

The danger is obvious. The attack opens wide the nuclear Pandora's box. The Polish government, with the untiring genocidal will of all the bourgeoisies born of Stalinist filth from Russia to Albania, practically congratulated itself and immediately bet on a "devastating" response by NATO.

It is clear that the ruling classes of the former Russian Cold War bloc are touching the sky of their dreams: they wage war against Russia with the full force of the US and NATO behind them. What is not clear is against whom the US is already waging war. As Sigmar Gabriel, foreign minister under Merkel until the entry of the present German government, recalled only yesterday.

A military escalation into a major war between NATO and Russia would not result in a free Ukraine, but in a wiped-out Europe.

This is the horizon that is now opening up. And from the outset, the resistance to its realization is less than the inertia. Certainly in Poland or the Baltic states. And apparently in the USA and Russia.

Only the emergence of real struggles - that is to say, massive strikes - against war and militarism, not the individual exits of pacifism, however suicidal, violent or even massive they may be, can stop this accelerated drift of barbarism.

One does not have to go back to 1918 to find examples. Two years ago the protests and strikes in Libya on both sides of the front cut short what was an escalation involving almost all the major powers and their agents.

What we need to do in each country to confront impoverishment is the same thing that is needed to defeat the militarism and warmongering of both warring blocs before the slaughter multiplies. Let's get moving as workers.

  • The main victims of bombings and sanctions are the workers on both sides of the front lines.
  • The war expresses the growing antagonism between capitalism and human life.
  • In all countries, the enemy is within the country itself, calling for sacrifices and subordinating universal human needs to the benefit of business and investment.
  • In every strike, in every meeting, in every company and in every neighborhood, let us make visible militarism and war and let us organize as workers against them.