Nord Stream sabotage: If this attack was not carried out by Russia, then it is very bad news for the western alliance

The German defence minister said something revealing, warning of the kind of debate we are going to get as the investigation into the Nord Stream explosion reveals more details.

Boris Pistorius said yesterday that we don’t yet know whether this was a Ukrainian commando that acted with the knowledge of the Ukrainian government, a pro-Ukrainian group that acted without their knowledge, or whether it might have been a false flag operation. Until we know, we can’t speculate on the consequences.

What we find interesting in this comment is that he includes the notion of official Ukrainian involvement in the list of possibilities. From the information that has now been uncovered by the German public prosecutor, leaked to German media, is that this is was without a doubt a professional job. When people use professionally forged passports, and use 500 pounds of C4 explosives, you can pretty much rule out climate change protesters, who normally rely on super-glue as their weapon of choice, or hobby terrorists who watched too many James Bond or Die Hard films. What still baffles us about the information is that prosecutors were able to trace the rented yacht to Ukrainian owners. There are no shortages of yachts to rent in the German and Polish waters of the Baltic Sea. Why leave such an obvious clue?

There is still a lot we don’t know. In addition to the possibilities mentioned by Pistorius, there is also the possibility of a no-fingerprints operation: government agents that act on outside the direct line of command. But politically that would not make much difference. In other words, if this attack was not carried out by Russia, then it is very bad news for the western alliance. 

We see intelligence agencies keep pushing the nothing-to-do-with-governments line, trying to pass blame to some unidentified pro-Ukrainian groups. With our knowledge of the German political systems, we doubt that it is possible to influence the investigation of the public prosecutor, in the way that this is possible in the US or the UK. It also makes us wonder why this information was leaked to the press. This is not something German prosecutors usually do.

No matter what conclusions we get, it will have significant political consequences. We have been reporting that German public opinion is relatively fickle on the issue of weapons deliveries. That nervousness is reflected in Olaf Scholz’s hestitation and even obstruction of arms deliveries in the early phase of the war. If it became known that a Ukrainian commando, or a US unit, were responsible for this, the political implication would be massive. Public pressure would grow to stop supplying arms to Ukraine. If the US was responsible, it would endanger the recent renaissance of transatlantic relations. Europeans, even at the highest levels of government, have tendency to be naive about American politics. Many drew the wrong conclusions about Donald Trump’s electoral defeat. They misread the mood in Congress on trade. Even if the Democrats were to stay in power for the next 20 years, it won’t remain like this. Transatlanticism is not the defining characteristic of that party, though it has been the defining characteristic of the president.

In Germany, nobody defends the Nord Stream project any longer. A senior SPD politician is now under fire, even from her own party, for her role in setting up a foundation with the explicit purpose to evade US sanctions against Nord Stream. But it is one thing to oppose Nord Stream, and another to condone what qualifies as an act of war. We recall Jens Stoltenberg, Nato secretary general, describing a hypothetical Russian attack on Norwegian gas or oil pipeline infrastructure as a legitimate trigger for Nato Art. 5.

Handelsblatt argues that these investigation play politically into the hands of the far-left and the far-right, which are capitalising on formidable opposition to arms deliveries. As we reported yesterday, this issue is of sufficient strength, like nuclear power in the 1970s and immigration in the last decade, to create political parties dedicated primarily to this cause. We note conflicting opinion polls about public support for weapons deliveries. The conflict is mostly related to the way questions are asked. We interpret the sum total of these polls as a majority with varying degrees of enthusiasm in support of Scholz’s hesitant pro-Ukrainian position. But all these data are very soft. If Ukraine is implicated in these attacks, the politics could swing quickly.

Vir: Eurointelligence

2 responses

  1. V današnjem prispevku na Zerohedge

    je zanimiv odlomek:

    “By destroying the two Nordstream pipelines, the United States broke the German and by extension European economy. They did this deliberately.

    In Dubai, I was speaking with an escapee from Germany — a very wealthy industrialist, and what he told me was interesting and has been corroborated by many similar discussions.

    Germany doesn’t want to fight Russia. Europeans don’t want to fight Russia. Their leadership is doing their damndest to drum up support for it, but on the ground Europe doesn’t want it. This makes perfect sense. Wars are fought by young ambitious powers. EUROPE IS AN OLD MAN.

    Most telling however is that, as this man put it, “HOW CAN YOU BELIEVE AMERICA IS YOUR ALLY?”

    Now, consider all of this just as Seymour Hersh published his research on the Nord Stream pipeline bombings. Here’s his extensive piece

    on the bombing.”

    Če pogledamo anglosaksonski pravni model (Common Law) in ameriško prakso, je verjetnost, da bo nekdo, ki ima:

    – MOTIV, je
    – izrazil NAMEN (glej izjave Biden-a in drugih državnih funkcionarjev) in
    – ima ZMOŽNOST (sredstva),

    da nekaj naredi, tudi obsojen. Samo teoretično seveda. Verjetnost, da bo nuklearna velesila, pa naj bo to Amerika ali Rusija (ali Kitajska) odgovarjale za svoja dejanja, je enaka nuli. Niso pa posledice dejanj na mednarodni ugled, javno mnenje, soft power, politična razmerja… nikakor nezanemarljiva.

    Všeč mi je

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