Within a couple of days, several countries, including Russia, agreed the leaks were the result of intentional sabotage or, to quote Fox News host Tucker Carlson (above), "an act of industrial terrorism." Obvious questions include who did it? Why? And why now?
Incidentally, just one day after the Nord Stream sabotage, a new Polish pipeline was inaugurated. As reported by the Pipeline Technology Journal, the Baltic Pipe will "help Poland and Europe reduce their longstanding dependency on Russian natural gas" by transporting gas from Norway via Denmark to Poland and neighboring nations.1
Military Readiness Escalates
According to Naval News, Nordic countries have heightened their military readiness in response to the sabotage:2
"The explosions took place in the Swedish and Danish exclusive economic zones, and the Danish Navy was quick to send both naval and airborne units to investigate, while on the Swedish side the Coast Guard is responsible with the Navy standing by to provide assistance if needed ...Germany has announced it will partner with Denmark and Sweden to investigate the sabotage using navy, police and intelligence services from the three countries.3
Closer to the other end of the pipeline, Finland has declined to comment on whether there is an increase in readiness following the Nordstream leaks in line with a longstanding policy of ambiguity ...
A country that has been open with their heightened readiness is Norway. The European oil and gas powerhouse had already before the incidents reported on unidentified drone activity close to their energy infrastructure in the North Sea, and in the aftermath of the incident the Norwegian government has decided on heightened security at the Norwegian oil and gas infrastructure ...
[Norwegian] Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre has accepted offers of help from Germany, France and the UK to increase the security surrounding the North Sea oil and gas infrastructure."
Who's Being Blamed?
Several countries have officially condemned the brazen attack on civilian infrastructure, including the U.K. Ministry of Defense4 and the NATO alliance as a whole. In a September 29, 2022, statement, NATO said attacks on allies' critical infrastructure will be met with "a united and determined response."5
Fatih Birol, head of the Paris-based International Energy Agency — which provides energy policy recommendations, analysis and data for 42 countries — said it was "very obvious" who was behind the sabotage, but didn't specify who that might be.6
Western officials and media have by and large blamed Russia itself. The Washington Post suggested Russian President Vladimir Putin is "fully weaponizing the Nord Stream pipelines." Bob Rae, Canada's ambassador to the United Nations, accused Russia of "using pollution as an act of war."7
The Center for Strategic & International Studies admitted that Russia's motives for attacking its own pipelines are unclear, but that it "may be warning and signaling to Europe and the West that it is willing to target civilian infrastructure."8 Putin has dismissed such allegations as "stupid," and is placing the blame on the West, the U.S. in particular.9 As reported by Yahoo News:10
"Russian officials have said Washington had a motive as it wants to sell more liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Europe. President Vladimir Putin said ... the United States and its allies blew up Nord Stream. 'The sanctions were not enough for the Anglo-Saxons: they moved onto sabotage,' he said ... [The] White House has dismissed the accusation that it was responsible ...European security officials claim Russian navy support ships and submarines were observed in the vicinity of the leaks. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov rebutted saying "a much larger" NATO presence was also in the area.11 As mentioned earlier, Norwegian authorities have also reported "unidentified drone activity" near other energy infrastructure in the North Sea.
[If] it was an act of sabotage, it has damaged pipelines that were built by Kremlin-controlled Gazprom and its European partners at a cost that ran into billions of dollars.
The damage also means Russia loses an element of leverage it still had over Europe, which has been racing to find other gas supplies for winter, even if the Nord Stream pipelines where not pumping gas when the leaks were discovered, analysts say.
Whoever or whatever is to blame, Ukraine may also be a beneficiary. Kyiv has long called for Europe to halt all purchases of Russian fuel — even though some gas still runs to Europe across its territory. Disrupting Nord Stream brings Kyiv's call for a full Russian fuel embargo closer to reality."
Tucker Carlson: 'Did the US Do It?'
In his September 27, 2022, show, Carlson laid the blame at the feet of the Biden administration. As noted by Carlson, Russia has no reasonable motive for blowing up its own multibillion-dollar pipelines. Those pipelines are part of Russia's power, wealth and leverage against Europe, which needs Russian energy to survive, both economically and physically.
To quote Carlson, Putin would have to be "a suicidal moron" to waste that leverage, for any reason. If he wanted to cripple Europe by shutting off the gas, he could do that without destroying the equipment. Indeed, he'd already done just that.
Other countries, however, may gain from the destruction of those pipelines, and at least two U.S. officials have openly called for it.
Carlson showed footage from a February 2022 White House press conference in which President Biden warns that if Russia invades Ukraine, the U.S. will "bring an end" to Nord Stream 2. When asked, "But how will you do that, exactly, since the project is within Germany's control?" Biden replied, "I promise you, we will be able to do it."
Victoria Nuland, under secretary for political affairs at the U.S. State Department, made similar promises in January 2022, when she stated that "If Russia invades Ukraine, one way or another, Nord Stream 2 will not move forward."
Jeffrey Sachs: 'The US Probably Did It'
Another person who believes the U.S. is responsible is Columbia University professor Jeffrey Sachs,12 an economist, public policy analyst, director of the Center for Sustainable Development and chairman of the Lancet Commission, who, by the way, has also been outspoken about his suspicions that SARS-CoV-2 emerged from a U.S.-backed research program in China.
In a recent Bloomberg interview, Sachs suggested the pipelines were struck by the U.S. as a means of damaging the Russian economy, something that sanctions have failed to accomplish. Bloomberg host Tom Keene quickly interjected saying, "Jeff, we've got to stop there ... What evidence do you have of that?" Sachs responded:13
"Well, first, there is direct radar evidence that US military helicopters that are normally based in Gdansk were circling over this area. We also had the threat from ... [Nuland] earlier this year that 'one way or another we are going to end Nord Stream.'An Act of Environmental Terrorism
We also had a remarkable statement from Secretary of State [Antony] Blinken last Friday in a press conference where he said 'this is also a tremendous opportunity.' It's a strange way to talk if you're worried about piracy on international infrastructure of vital significance.
I know it runs counter to our narrative; you're not allowed to say these things in the West. But the fact of the matter is, all over the world, when I talk to people, they think the U.S. did it. Even reporters on our papers that are involved tell me 'of course' (the U.S. did it), but it doesn't show up in our media."
Carlson also highlighted the environmental impacts of this sabotage. Enormous amounts of natural gas are streaming into the Baltic Sea, which may have a dire effect on marine mammals in the area.
Natural gas is also comprised of 90% methane, a key driver, allegedly, of manmade global warming, which climate change activists insist poses an acute and lethal threat to all mankind.
"So, if you're worried about climate change, what just happened to the Nord Stream pipelines is as close to the apocalypse as we have ever come," Carlson says.Biden has declared climate change the most pressing emergency in the history of the world. If his administration is responsible for blowing up these pipelines, then they're also responsible for massively worsening climate change, as the methane emitted from these pipelines far outweigh the methane released from cows, for example, which the Green Agenda is so intent on eliminating in order to "save the planet." As noted by Carlson:
"The people lecturing you about your SUV may have blown up a natural gas pipeline and created one of the great catastrophes of our time in its effect on the environment. If they did this, it would be the craziest, most destructive things any American administration has EVER done.That bill brings U.S. expenditure on Ukraine, for its war effort and funding of its government and energy, to $67 billion. According to Carlson, that's more than Russia's entire military budget for 2021.
But it would also be totally consistent with what they do ... They destroy. These people build nothing. Not one thing. Instead, they tear down and they desecrate — from historic statues, to the Constitution, to energy infrastructure.
And no one in Congress is trying to stop any of it. They're just preparing for the inevitable fallout. Tonight, the Senate just prepared a spending bill with $35 million for the Department of Energy to 'prepare for and respond to potential radiological incidences in Ukraine.'"
What Will Happen Next?
Another obvious question that remains to be answered is, what next? As Carlson points out, if the U.S. is responsible for blowing up the Nord Stream pipelines, we have basically entered into direct war with Russia, one of the greatest nuclear powers on the planet.
And, certainly, it's reasonable to suspect that this kind of industrial terrorism, this intentional sabotage, will have consequences. Aside from a nuclear response, Russia could conceivably respond by severing underwater power and data cables, which would immediately cripple Western nations.
In his Bloomberg interview, Sachs discussed his deep concerns about where we're headed. He correctly highlighted that the world is in a period of unprecedented instability, with the potential for nuclear war looming, at the same time as we're suffering hyperinflation, energy shortages and more.
What's worse, there are no efforts to address any of these issues. Instead, world leaders are acting in a manner that escalates and worsens the situation. "So many provocations in the midst of huge instability!" Sachs said.
So, who would actually benefit from the destruction of the two Nord Stream pipelines, one of which, by the way, had not even opened yet (Nord Stream 2). The U.S. certainly appears to have both motive and intention. U.S. officials have publicly stated that they would "one way or another" eliminate Nord Stream 2 if Russia decided to invade Ukraine, which, of course, it did.
By sabotaging the pipelines, the U.S. stands to gain financially by increasing its own natural gas exports, and it gains by weakening Russia's income potential and leverage over Europe. The loss of the pipelines also benefits the U.S. by putting Europe in a situation where it cannot be tempted to leave America's side against Russia. As noted by The American Conservative:14
"Winter is soon arriving in Europe. If European peoples get tired of being cold, and/or paying a fortune for heating, they may take to the streets to demand that their governments push for peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, so that the flow of Russian gas can start again. But now, with the Nord Stream pipelines badly damaged, that possibility has been foreclosed ..."Poland may also benefit, as it just opened its own pipeline, as might Israel,15,16 which entered into negotiations with the European Union to supply natural gas when Russia started cutting off supplies (see video above).
Russia, meanwhile, just lost a multibillion-dollar investment, long-term wealth potential and hence geopolitical power, and present-day leverage against NATO sanctions.
Aside from "sending a message" that it's willing to destroy civilian infrastructure, it gains nothing from sabotaging its own pipelines, and such a message would have been far clearer and more rational had they attacked someone else's infrastructure and not its own.
For now, the answer to who blew up the Nord Stream pipelines remains elusive. It seems all we can do is wait for the results of the German-Nordic alliance's investigation, and hope that cooler heads prevail.
Sources and References
- 1 PTJ October 5, 2022
- 2, 4 Naval News October 4, 2022
- 3, 13 NY Post October 4, 2022
- 5, 8 CSIS September 29, 2022
- 6, 9, 10, 11 Yahoo News September 30, 2022
- 7 YouTube Tucker Carlson September 27, 2022
- 12 Twitter Sarah Abdallah October 3, 2022
- 14 The American Conservative September 28, 2022
- 15 The Jerusalem Post March 8, 2022
- 16 Haaretz May 31, 2022