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Discussion point: what do you think of the apparent sabotage of Nord Stream 1 and 2?

On February 7th, Joe Biden said, “If Russia invades…then there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it.”

Today the Guardian reports: “Fears of sabotage as gas pours into Baltic from Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines”

Was it sabotage? If so, who did it and was it a good thing to do?

73 comments to Discussion point: what do you think of the apparent sabotage of Nord Stream 1 and 2?

  • Patrick Crozier

    I have no ideas on who did it but wasn’t there a story the other day about one of these pipelines having a “fault” (according to the Russians) and being out of action? In which case where’s the gas coming from?

    We are sure it is sabotage aren’t we? I mean who would do it? One would presume everybody would want Russian gas to flow at when the war is over. Well, except for Ed Miliband’s lot. Maybe Just Stop Oil got a lot more sophisticated.

  • Kirk

    Who had the ability to destroy it? The US? Not sure how the hell we could have, what with there being zero US Baltic Sea bases, and not a hell of a lot of familiarity with the waters. Sure, some of the special operations subs could have done it, but without the Germans or Swedes noticing?

    There have been US anti-submarine aircraft in the area for weeks, now. My guess is that the answer to “whodunnit” is going to be found in why they were there, and what they were looking for.

    The question is, who benefits the most from Nordstream going off-line? Would it be in the US interest for NATO allies to freeze in the dark, or would it be in Russian interests to make it look like the US did something, and left those allies to slowly refrigerate? Were I Putin, a false-flag operation would start to look awfully tempting, especially since it puts an end to any hopes of German reconciliation over energy blackmail. Even if the Germans decided to, they’re stuck with “no Nordstream”, now. I rather suspect that the pipeline is sufficiently damaged that repair is a non-starter, not in any reasonable timeframe.

    We’re in the crazy years. Anything is possible, I suppose. Might have been the US, might have been Russia. Hell, maybe Poland…?

    Might even have been sheer accident.

  • Paul Marks

    Joseph “Joe – the Big Guy” Biden said, on live television (as Mark Steyn has just shown us on his programme) that if Russian tanks crossed the Ukrainian border the United States would find ways (regardless of the Europeans) to close these pipelines, they “would be no more”. Perhaps Mr Biden did not mean it – he is a senile person who often says things that do not make any sense. Perhaps Mr PUTIN sabotaged his own pipelines – but Mr Biden did say America would do something like this, and it has been done.

    So, who was it – Mr Biden or Mr Putin? As I despise both of these people, I am not sure I care.

    But the whole thing reinforces the old point – relying on foreign sources for vital things is crazy.

    “But Adam Smith said….” no he did NOT, you can read the works of Adam Smith from cover to cover, and you cannot find anywhere where Adam Smith said that we should rely on hostile foreign sources for the basic things of life.

    Adam Smith was many things – but he was not stupid.

    What Adam Smith did say was “defence is more important than opulence” – short term gains (say from supposedly cheap labour, from people who hate you, or supposedly cheap gas from people who hate you) at the expense of the very existence of your nation (of your life – and the lives of your family) do not make sense. And the gas did not turn out to be “cheap” anyway.

    Get rid of the taxes (green levies) and regulations – and produce the energy (and other vital things) domestically – it will work out less expensive and (more importantly) it means your enemy does not have his boot on your throat.

  • Paul Marks

    A nation of 40 to 50 million people struggled to feed itself, increase that population to 70 million and build housing estates and warehouses on the farmland – I am sure it will work out fine, even though the manufacturing exports do not cover the bills, we can just create lots of money from nothing and import vital food and fuel.

    Said no sane person ever. Certainly, Adam Smith never said this – none (none) of the great Free Trade Economists ever said that we should create money from nothing and use this money to import the basic needs of human life.

    It will not work – and before Americans smile, your position is awful. The American Balance of Payments is in an insane position.

    “But Adam Smith said.” – see above.

    In reality the classical Free Traders hated fiat money – for example Edmund Burke (who was a classical Free Trader) – much of his “Reflections on the Revolution in France” (which people mention – but rarely actually read) is an attack on fiat money.

    As for giving your enemies control of your food and fuel supplies – Jesus wept.

  • bobby b

    I doubt Biden would have had the expertise or the sharpness to comment on the possibility of turning off the Russian gas unless it had been mentioned to him at some point as being “the plan.”

    If it had been Putin, I’d guess the damage done would have been in some place that would be addressable and fixable at his option. Say, by claiming his pumps were bolluxed. Damage could then be addressed at his option, when it was advantageous to him. A rupture underseas in the Baltic, outside of his control, seems unwise.

    Not too tough to run out a targeted torpedo where it happened. We’ve had subs in those areas forever. They wouldn’t necessarily have to be close to hit it exactly. A medium torpedo against the bottom would yield similar magnitude-effects.

    And our North American gas just became more expensive. Suits both a balance-of-trade concern, and makes it more likely we’ll move to more non-oil energy internally as our internal prices rise.

    So I’m guessing it was us.

  • Baffling. Europe will be buying US gas regardless, so what is anyone’s upside for this?

  • Paul Marks

    Well Perry – if it was the United States military, or the Agency (or both), at least it proves they can still do things. That they have a basic level of professional competence.

    Which is more than can be said for Mr Putin’s forces – who have been shown to be utterly incompetent.

  • fcal

    The Kremlin has an interest in ensuring that the price of gas in the world and Europe is as high as possible, but can only earn from this if Russia can also supply gas to its customers now and later.

    The most efficient way to do this is through pipelines, which could already be closed off on both sides. So there is someone, probably a state, who wants to prevent these pipelines from being put back into operation after a settlement now and in the future.

    Who suffers the most damage? That is both Russia and Europe. European industry is yearning for reasonably priced gas or will soon collapse. And Russia will soon be unable to sell gas to Europe without the pipelines.

    An attack organized by Ukraine is a possibility. What Zelensky lately proclaimed in the media seems to me more and more unreasonable.

  • Druid144

    el gato malo has his usual thoughtful take on this.

    Note his reporting of relevant American underwater exercises in the area – I’m not sure how long ago.

  • Interesting info from someone who knows the pipeline industry here.

  • Carnivorous Bookworm

    An attack organized by Ukraine is a possibility. What Zelensky lately proclaimed in the media seems to me more and more unreasonable.

    Nah, Ukraine has no bases or infrastructure in Baltic & Zelenskyy doesn’t seem that unreasonable to me. USA could obviously do this but politically reckless & uncharacteristically risky from a risk averse administration unwilling to even provide Ukraine with ATACMS, but I suppose Old Joe might have had a brain fart.

  • Kevin Jaeger

    Both Biden and Victoria Nuland publicly promised they would do exactly this and now it’s been done. Radek Sikorski, former Minister of Foreign affairs of Poland and husband of Anne Applebaum has publicly thanked the US for carrying it out.

    Unless there’s compelling evidence that points to someone else I think it’s safe to take them at their word.

    Blowing up critical infrastructure in international waters is certainly a major escalation of the economic war. It’s hard to imagine Russia won’t respond with a similar escalation of their own, and there are a lot of potential targets out there now that the precedent has been set.

  • Kirk

    I can’t quite bring myself to believe that even the Biden Administration is this dumb, but… Man. It is possible.

    Nonetheless, it’s a good idea to go beyond the obvious, here. The US isn’t the only country with the ability to do this thing, and there’s every incentive for the US not to do this, not the least being the potential for blow-back and escalation.

    It will be interesting to watch and see. I’d wager that we may never find out who did this, or we’ll have some really stupid “evidence” turn up showing that it was one party or another–After all, once this crime is “solved”, people will quit looking for other answers about who perpetrated it.

    On the one hand, I honestly doubt that the US could carry this off, and keep it secret. Many of the men who’d be used to conduct operations like this are also the types who’d be more than willing to blow the operation to the media, in order to screw the Biden Administration. If some SEAL team did this, I’d almost be expecting for photos of the operation to start showing up on Instagram…

    Whole thing is opaque as hell, right now. I’m waiting for more actual evidence, but I’m also pretty sure there won’t be any. Hell, for all we know, this could have been anyone–It’s not like where the pipelines run is some secret, and it ain’t all that hard to fabricate the necessary explosives to do the job. I’d say that any trained underwater salvage type could pull it off, with ease. You might even be able to do it from the surface, with a big enough bomb.

    TBH, if the US had done this, I’d be willing to believe it if it were something entirely subtle and deniable, like the way they did STUXNET with the Iranian uranium centrifuges or the supposed insertion of sabotaged chips which resulted in that massive Siberian pipeline blast back in 1982. Blatantly blowing things up? Not so much… I suppose it’s possible, but…? Likely? Not based on the history of these things. Not at all.

  • I can’t quite bring myself to believe that even the Biden Administration is this dumb, but… Man. It is possible.

    Likewise, can they really be this crazy? If so… wow.

  • bobby b

    “I can’t quite bring myself to believe that even the Biden Administration is this dumb, but… Man. It is possible.”

    I’d believe it.

    The US is in the midst of a large expansion of its LNG port facilities, which is what we need to meaningfully increase NG exports to Europe. Receiving facilities are also being built over there. Tankers are being built. It’s almost like someone felt that Russia might not be able or willing to meet anticipated future Euro demand. Granted, we cannot ship enough LNG to make up for the loss of Russian supplies, but we don’t have to at the new prices that will result. Everyone’s use will decrease.

    If we start exporting more NG, our prices rise, our usage decreases. Everyone in Biden’s cabinet (and world) wants those results. Win/win. Except for global consumers, of course.

    With one stroke, someone just set up a less-oil-intensive future for the US and Europe, more money and impetus available for “sustainable” crap, an improved US balance of trade, and they also perhaps have crippled Russia’s main source of export income.

    “On the one hand, I honestly doubt that the US could carry this off, and keep it secret”

    It’s only been a day or so.

  • Kirk

    Muddying the waters as to who might have done this… The Finns are reporting that the Professor Logachev, a Russian “research vessel” was recently in those waters, around the beginning of the month. Plenty of time to emplace something on a timer or remote control system, then present a “false flag”.

    Biden’s a dumbass, but I don’t think the people running him are this dumb, either.

    Even if the US had had a plan to do something like this, the adults in the room should have taken that off the table the moment Biden’s mouth opened, in order to prevent the US from being blamed. The Russians had, from that moment forward, a perfect means to blame the US, thanks to Biden. Good way to break up NATO, BTW–Freeze Europe, blame the US.

    Odds are there’s going to be a lot of obfuscation about this. The US is either really good with cunning espionage, or really, really bad. And, even the “really good” stuff tends to come out, with time–Like the submarine cable taps they put on near the Soviet missile test ranges back in the day. We simply can’t keep a secret, not for very long. I’d be looking for negative evidence, in all this–If nothing conclusive comes out from the US side of things, then it almost certainly wasn’t the US.

    Also, where are the special operations subs, right now? I’m hearing that they’re all in port here in the US. Which is either plausible deniability or evidence. Eye of the beholder, suppose. My instinct is that any really good espionage event that happens out there? Nine times out of ten, it ain’t the US. If it is, then you likely never, ever even heard of whatever it was happening. Something this blatant, this out in the open? It’ll either show up with photos of SEAL Team Six guys wearing Rolexes and sunglasses, clad in their swim trunks and planting charges next to the pipe, on Instagram or whatever. Or, it won’t, because the US had nothing to do with it in reality.

    There is really no point to the US doing this, either… The pipeline shutdown was enough, so far as political needs were going. Same with the price caps, etc. Only people actually benefiting from this move would be the Russians, in terms of the optics and the politics, if they can make blaming the US for it stick.

  • llamas

    As others have said, look behind Biden, who was an idiot long before he became senile – remember what President Obama famously said of him – because Biden’s not running anything anymore. You need to look at the people running him. And I could now actually believe that those people are so totally-committed to the zero-carbon madness that they might actually think that this is a unique opportunity to press that agenda.

    Why else would the pipelines be destroyed in what must be the single most-difficult place to repair them? It makes no sense for Putin do do this – the natural gas supplies are only valuable to him when they are actually deliverable, and the pipelines were the only means he had to deploy that pressure. Cutting the pipelines will have no effect whatever on his activities in the Ukraine – he had already made the choice to stop supplying NG to Europe, so he must have taken the loss in revenue into account for some period into the future anyway. For him ‘won’t supply7’ and ‘can’t supply amount to the same thing, for the immediate future a least. Talking about US LNG supplies and the possible beneficial effects on NG prices for US suppliers ignores the fact that there aren’t the facilities or the vessels to ship US LNG to Europe in anything-like the quantities required to meet their needs.

    The sole effect of this attack is to render a vast portion of Europe’s energy needs, not merely unavailable for political reasons (which can always be negotiated) but physically completely unavailable (no matter what political steps may be taken), and unlikely to be made available again for some considerable time. I’m inclined to the view that this was the primary goal of the attack, and that any loss of political leverage by Putin is purely a side-effect. The goal is not short-term political advantage, but long-term existential change. Very-importantly, it will have no negative effect on the upcoming US elections, in the way that economic sanctions or military efforts might do. And I’m afraid that I no longer have any difficulty in believing that there are those in the US administration who think that doing this kind of thing is all to the greater good of ‘saving the planet’.



  • Lee Moore

    I disagree with Kirk’s assessment. There are no adults in the room. There’s no actual President, the administration is run by the staff and nothing about them sings “cautious and risk averse.” They’ve gone full on police state with the J6 thing – they just think they’re immune. Moreover they’re confident that the media and the tech geeks will keep the news in order, and they know that the FBI can get away with trying to bring down an elected President in plain view, with no repercussions. They’re very confident folk, and why wouldn’t they be ?

    Cui bono is your friend here, but not your only friend. There are other people than the current gaggle of sociology graduates and lawyers running the White House, who are bono-ed by the death of the Nordstream pipeline in current circumstances. Like everyone who wants the Russkies to be taught a lesson that invading your neighbours carries a price, and Germany to be taught that sleeping with hookers can land you with a nasty disease.

    So, for example, Poland. Poland would also benefit from a new – more easily repairable if sabotaged – pipeline overland. Indeed the whole point of the Nordstream thing was to eliminate any leverage for the countries between Russia and Germany.

    But I don’t suspect Poland, even though they’re conveniently nearby, because nobody would be able to do it and expect not to be identified by US intelligence. Way too risky.

    But the spotty youths in the WH ? Not gonna be leaked by the CIA, and if it were who’d print it ? The US is not being run by a cold hard calculating, but rational and risk assessing Donald Rumsfeld. It’s being run by middle aged college kids, who are used to ther Dads slipping the cops a bung to overlook the carpet of drugs in the kid’s apartment. They don’t believe in consequences – they have no experience of consequences.

  • Steven R

    It’s entirely possible that whatever happened to the pipeline was just the result of a catastrophic design or construction failure and not because of some state actor or other entity.

  • Kirk

    Early speculation is even more speculative than normal, I fear. Not much is going to be known until forensics are in, but I suspect that even with forensic examination, the waters are gonna be very, very muddy.

    The US could have done it, but I think the odds are “Unlikely”, if only because the guys who would have been called on to do it are entirely off-side from the whack-jobs running this administration. Ordered to do it, I think that the SEAL teams would have found a way to compromise it, and they’re the subject matter experts on this sort of literal “wet work”.

    Biden is not well-loved in the Navy SpecOps community. Do remember that they blame him for the loss of SEAL Team Six after they were identified in the aftermath of the bin Laden killing. If the orders had gone out to them to do this thing, I’m pretty sure that someone, somewhere, is going to “allow” it to leak. Which is going to cause a huge blow-up in US politics, if only because of the investment into Nordstream by US parties.

    Going forward, one of the things that people are going to need to grasp is that the traditional loyalty of the military to the current president is no longer there. After Obama’s purge of the upper ranks, coupled with the way Milley got away with what he did around Trump, the traditional US military deference to civilian authority is no longer a given. I suspect that the whole thing is seriously fragmented, top to bottom, side to side. If the Biden handlers did order this, don’t expect the Navy SpecOps guys to go along with a cover-up, and don’t expect them to stay quiet.

    I think it far more likely that this is a Russian operation meant to blame the US, and hopefully crack NATO. I honestly can’t say that the US military could be trusted with something like this, at this point, and I don’t think that the CIA has the sort of assets they’d need to do this. The Professor Logachev having been in the area earlier this month is what I’d call a significant “tell”. Why would the Russians have sent that ship there, unless there was a purpose? Any particular reason they’d have an interest in that region of the Baltic, outside that set of pipelines, which are already built?

  • Kirk

    An additional point to be made, here: At least one of the blasts that damaged these pipelines hit an estimated 2.3 on the Richter Scale. The tonnage of TNT to accomplish that is in the neighborhood of at least 2-3 tons of explosives.

    Whoever it was that did this, however it was done, the odds are very unlikely that they did so without being noticed or without some major state sponsorship. You don’t come up with a couple of tons of high explosives and put them near a pipeline at sea without major backing; it’s not very likely to be somebody from Greenpeace in a chartered fishing boat or borrowed family cruiser.

    It’s also not going to be done by helicopter, either.

    So… State sponsorship, for whatever reason. Several ways it could have been done, but likely not without someone’s navy being involved.

  • Kevin Jaeger

    Correct. Technically, any marine salvage operation or offshore oil and gas service company would have the ability to do it, but they would not have the ability to do it discreetly. Big ships would have to hang out over the site for quite a while and the crews would take some time to do the work.

    So we can conclude that this was a state sponsored operation that has the ability to place quite large undersea mines. There are a few of those, but really only one that has a years-long commitment to stopping Russian pipelines and recent promises to do so.

  • Kirk

    If Biden had really wanted to stop Nordstream, then why the hell did he literally approve it back in July of 2021? Is everyone forgetting he lifted the sanctions on it, contravening what Trump did? If Biden really wanted to “do something”, why did he approve the damn thing in the first place?

    It’s really weird to find myself arguing that the US likely didn’t do it, but the more I think about it? The less I think we might have.

    Of course, on the other hand, the people we have running the country these days are really that incredibly stupid, so I suppose anything is possible.

    Whole thing is turning into a circus funhouse, wheels within wheels of potential responsible parties. I suspect that if the US did do it, you’ll be hearing from someone within the Navy, fairly soonish. SEALs have long proven the dictum about narcissists and keeping their mouths shut: They can’t do it.

  • Mary Contrary

    Cui bono? The one party that unequivocally benefits from this is Ukraine. Putin’s leverage over the EU has just been removed; there is no longer any reason to stop promised shipment of munitions to Kiev.
    The fastest way for the EU to restore Russian gas shipments may now be a Ukrainian victory and pipe it through Ukraine.

    But does Ukraine have the capability? Not unnoticed, certainly not, but who says the Finns and Swedes haven’t noticed? There’s an awful lot of Finnish and Swedish special forces and ex-special forces on holiday in the Ukraine right now.

  • Lee Moore

    why the hell did he literally approve it back in July of 2021? Is everyone forgetting he lifted the sanctions on it, contravening what Trump did? If Biden really wanted to “do something”, why did he approve the damn thing in the first place?

    His minders were not aware that Mr P was going to invade Ukraine 7 months later. Just as his minders were not aware that their Afghanistan withdrawal plan would blow up in their (OK in other people’s) faces. Their soothsaying capabilities are weak.

    I expect that deep down in the US military/intelligence complex there are all sorts of schemes and plans. They can be dusted off and offered to the politicos (or ther minders) when circumstances are propitious.

    Right thinking people were in favour of Nordstream because Trump opposed it. But I’m sure there were some in the complex who understood that its existence is not in US interests. But now Russia needs a smack, it can be offered up to the teenagers for implementation.

    Of course a more cynical idea might be that the reason for approving Nordstream was, ah, financial. And the financial bit now having been completed there’s no reason for Nordsteam’s continuing existence.

  • John

    US mid-terms are barely a month away and despite the usual friendly opinion polls the Dems are likely to lose the house (the senate less so as the key action will take place in 4 of the “shut down counting at 2am” states) and even then the squishy house RINOs will do little of note as was the case under Paul Ryan’s leadership.

    My question is whether Biden’s handlers are sufficiently paranoid to somehow arrange this, which as many have pointed out would require uncharacteristic competence, and then use it to support “you thought Trump was tough on Russia but look what our guy actually did”.

    Talk about playing with fire. I really hope I’m wrong.

  • Paul Marks

    If it was an American attack, and we do NOT know that for sure, it may not really be about the Ukraine.

    Remember John Brennan (American Communist Party and ex-CIA Director – these days there is no contradiction there) and many other establishment types, have said that the United States military and agencies such as the CIA must find a new “Progressive” role in the world, now they are no longer on the side of the “Reactionaries” (I would dispute that they ever really were on the side of “Reactionaries”, i.e. Conservatives – but let that slide), and “fighting Climate Change” is an objective openly discussed by Brennan and co – and by lots of key people in the Pentagon as well.

    It is true that Methane is now leaking out of the pipelines – but they will be shut off.

    Perhaps in the future if, for example, Britian tries to open a power plant based on hydrocarbons, the CIA will sabotage it, or the USAF will launch an air strike upon it – everyone must be dependent on solar cells and windmills made in China (even though this stuff does not work very well). “Impossible Paul – it will never happen” – who knowns, I used to think the American government would never support the sexual mutilation of children, but they now do (and not just in the United States).

    “The War on Greenhouse Gases” may be the new role for the United States military and CIA (and so on) around the world – apart from the People’s Republic of China of course, which will be allowed to endlessly increase emissions of “Greenhouse Gasses” (the Chinese Communist Party is not going to bet the future on windmills and solar cells – not domestically).

    I can see it now – USAF and U.S. Navy pilots screaming “Death to the Racist, Sexist, Homophobic, Islamophobic, Transphobic, Capitalist West!” (they have just come from their “Critical Theory” classes) as they launch attacks on oil pipelines and coal power stations, all over the world. Apart from in China.

    This may be the script for “Top Gun Three”.

    John Brennan and co will be delighted – and Joseph “Joe – the Big Guy” Biden will burble something whilst mucus runs down his face.

  • rhoda klapp

    ‘Sobvious whodunnit.

    Who was always opposed to the pipelines and banned them?

    Who told Germany not to do it?


    Even now the FBI is finding or faking documents to prove it.

  • Rob Fisher

    Gas isn’t flowing (the leaking gas is just what’s in the pipe). It wouldn’t be surprising if the maintenance checks got a bit lax.

  • Jacob

    It’s obvious. Greta did it.

  • Patrick Crozier

    So, anyone with the means didn’t have the motive and anyone who had the motive didn’t have the means.

  • Freddo

    Most likely the US/UK, especially given reports of their military ships having been close to the sabotage locations. If so, it was certainly not done out of a position of strength. Perhaps a childish tit-for-tat for the Russian referenda, or to signal to the West that there will be no gas this winter no matter what, so they may as well stay hitched to Brussels donkey cart (looking at you Italy). Much smaller chance of Ukrainian interference, the possible motive being to ensure that future gas will flow through Ukraine, enabling them to siphon off gas and/or transit fees.

  • It’s entirely possible that whatever happened to the pipeline was just the result of a catastrophic design or construction failure and not because of some state actor or other entity.

    …and I’m a monkey’s uncle. The timing and location alone are FAR too convenient.

    As to whom? I’m guessing a false flag attack by the Russians, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out to be the United States. The depth and size of the explosion alone suggest a major player.

    Seems like someone has done the Germans a big favour. 😂 They were addicted to cheap Russian gas and even if Putin and Zelensky made peace tomorrow, there ain’t no easy way of fixing Nordstream 1 or bringing Nordstream 2 online.

    So maybe it was Germany that did it? 😀

  • KrakowJosh

    Lee Moore, 27 Sept @ 11:28pm:
    Poland has just (as of 27/09/22) opened its own gas pipeline connecting it to Norway via Denmark and the Baltic. Considering this was several years in the planning and constructing, it all seems rather prescient. I hadn’t previously considered that Poland might be in the frame for the Nordstream “accidents”, but those of a more conspiratorial bent might give it pause…

  • MobiusSlit

    Nobody has mentioned the French yet. A bit of Rainbow Warrior-esque scuba-diving just after Germany fills its reserve tanks and suddenly Germany isn’t an impediment to the EU in the support of the Ukraine.

  • Kirk, while I agree that your hypothetical SEAL team (who would have done this if it were a US operation) would surely loathe Biden, this is not incompatible with their obeying his orders to do it.

    a) They may dislike both Biden and Putin. (I myself combine these feelings with ease.)

    b) They may know the old military adage:

    Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.

    If the SEAL team knew the late great Andrew Breitbart’s SOP, they would know to let Biden and the greenie globalists get fully on record with their indignant denials before then (nearer the mid-terms?) blowing them up as thoroughly as the pipeline, and e.g. contrasting Trump’s open and honest warning of the Germans and forbidding of the pipeline with Biden’s allowing the pipeline (because he’s corrupt and has no foresight) and then (with as little foresight) blowing it up a year later.

    None of which proves it was a US operation, only that it could be.

  • Kirk

    I dunno about that… In my experience, SEALs are not calculating political types, other than when it comes to their rivalry with others in the US SOCOM community. They are, however, egotists of the first and highest order. If they were involved, they’re gonna be like the “love that can’t be named” and essentially, will not shut up. OPSEC and common sense are two attributes I don’t include as being likely to be encountered in about 90% of the SEALs I’ve met. UDT shorts? Ray-Bans? Rolexes? Yep; all three will be observed, generally on missions that don’t require any of the three and whose OPSEC would likely be compromised were they seen.

    SF or Delta does something, it’ll be kept quiet and only heard about decades from now. You still don’t hear what went on with a lot of the missions in Eastern Europe during the Cold War, nor did you hear about all the pre-positioned caches that were recovered after the Wall came down. I know SF guys that broke out in cold sweats after that happened, because they knew how much work they had ahead of them covering that stuff up and recovering it. Which still haven’t made their way into the “Tell-all” confessionals like the ones penned by Marcinko.

    Subtlety ain’t a SEAL hallmark, nor is “quiet professionalism”. Those guys will be speaking loudly, if they had anything to do with it, and there won’t be the slightest attention paid to the politics. If SEALs were to want to blow something like this, I’d wager they’d do so publicly and before it happened–There’d have been a “deployment failure” or something.

    I could be (and, probably am…) wrong, but this just doesn’t feel “right” for US involvement. If nothing comes out about who did this, all I’m saying is that it most likely ain’t the US, and it most certainly didn’t involve SEALs.

  • bobby b

    If the Seals got an order to go out and do something violent to project American power, they would do it in a heartbeat. That’s what they do, eagerly. My gung-ho friends on military bases are right now punching each other on the arm and loudly proclaiming “finally, we’re taking it to Putin!”

  • Kevin Jaeger

    I could be (and, probably am…) wrong, but this just doesn’t feel “right” for US involvement.

    It’s always possible the US wrapped the operation in some layer of plausible deniability. The NATO forces fighting in Ukraine take a “vacation” from their official military service and work through private military contractors or wrap a Ukrainian armband around their sleeve to maintain the fiction that NATO isn’t officially at war with Russia (yet). But everyone involved knows it’s a fiction.

    So maybe they wrapped the operation in a veneer of deniability. I notice the Royal Navy has been training Ukrainians on the use of Umanned Underwater Vehicles and supplying them with equipment:

    Maybe a NATO force merely gave someone the equipment and training to carry out the task and then was just shocked that a pipeline blew up. Possible.

  • Kirk

    You’ve got irrational actors all around. I can’t rule out anyone, at this point. Hell, it may have been irredentist Hanseatic League activists wanting Griefswald independence back…

    There are good arguments to be laid out for any of the potential players. I would very much like to know, however, where these blasts took place in comparison to where the various undersea pumping stations and so forth are. If, as I suspect, they were done in the immediate vicinity of those pumping stations with an eye towards destroying them, then the odds are that whoever did this wanted the pipelines destroyed permanently. I’m not sure what the provisions are with the design for protecting the line against breaches, but I’m going to suggest that prolonged exposure of the line to internal salt water corrosion ain’t going to be good for long-term viability of either line. Just how much and what sort of damage these blasts did will tell us a lot about who caused them.

    I’d surmise that the Russians would prefer to have the line “temporarily unavailable” in order to activate whatever Force majeure clauses there are in the contracts. Other parties might prefer that the lines never work again, or require massive rework before going into use at all.

    It would be very nice to know more about the pipeline design, in terms of where the blasts were and what sort of infrastructure there was at those locations. I’m sure some of that will be highlighted in the coming days…

  • Lee Moore

    Niall : before then (nearer the mid-terms?) blowing them up as thoroughly as the pipeline

    Y’all need to register the modern dynamics of the “October Surprise.” Any October Surprise which benefits the Republicans and hurts the Democrats will simply not be printed / transmitted / internetted / Facebooked. It will languish in obscurity either forever, or it will dribble out in bits and pieces a couple of years later when it is “old news.”

    A Democrat-damaging “October Surprise” is like dry water or a square circle. It’s a contradiction in terms.

  • bobby b

    A couple of interesting sets of musings on this topic by people whose musings I don’t normally love, but which are interesting anyway:

    John Helmer:


    Alex Christoforou:


  • The argument of the first link bobby b notes above is that this was Poland (with whatever degree of US encouragement or assistance) preempting possible German weakening). This has a mirror image. If Putin wants to preempt weakening on his side, this would help buy him a few months of not allowing his colleagues to consider a deal with Germany, just as it buys the west a few months of not allowing Germany to consider it.

    If (and only if) Putin allows or expects the west’s rulers to know he did it, it adds somewhat to the credibility of his nuke-rattling by advertising that he will do surprising things – surprisingly costly to Russia, that is – so warning the west not to rely on his unwillingness to cut off his nose to spite his face.

    A comment by ‘David’ way down that link’s thread begins

    I think the point to start from is that there’s no hard evidence of any kind linking anyone to anything. That evidence might be forthcoming, or it might not, and if it is, some will believe it and some won’t.

    BTW, this may be the first time I have seen a twitter ban imposed in real time. Bobby b’s first link starts (or rather started) with a tweet of Nordstream gas bubbling up off Bornholm, captioned “Thank you USA. The MEP who tweeted (satirically, I’m guessing but I might be wrong)

    a) is WaPo journalist Anne Applebaum’s husband IIUC

    b) has either thought better of it or been banned by twitter (as you can see by revisiting the website – must have happened in the last 15 minutes or so)

  • Alex

    Y’all need to register the modern dynamics of the “October Surprise.” Any October Surprise which benefits the Republicans and hurts the Democrats will simply not be printed / transmitted / internetted / Facebooked. It will languish in obscurity either forever, or it will dribble out in bits and pieces a couple of years later when it is “old news.”

    So why is this so? Why are all the media, all the effective media, in Democrat-sympathetic hands? Why can’t the republicans-sympathetic people run media companies?

  • Kirk

    Alex asks:

    “So why is this so? Why are all the media, all the effective media, in Democrat-sympathetic hands? Why can’t the republicans-sympathetic people run media companies?”

    Well, here’s a data point for you: Some twenty years ago, I had a friend who was quite the accomplished intellectual, as well as being someone who’d gotten his education via the good offices of the US Army’s educational opportunities. He had a Masters Degree in English with a minor in journalism.

    He noted that all of the local newspapers were utterly bereft of any sort of military subject matter experts, and since this was the Puget Sound region with a multitude of Army, Navy, and Air Force bases, it struck him that it was a bit of an oddity that they kept publishing stories demonstrating a near-total lack of military knowledge and extreme stupidity about military affairs.

    Openings were advertised for by multiple major newspapers, periodically, and there were also broadcast television and radio outlets looking for new blood as both writers and on-air “personalities”. He applied for every one. Even got interviewed, occasionally.

    I’ve read his writing, to include the examples of his work that he would submit with his resume (CV, for our UK brethren). All of it was pretty darn good writing, far better than the confused and ignorant dreck that was typical of the average “military affairs” correspondent then writing or broadcasting in the region. Dude wrote with a lucid pen, and could elucidate fairly complex concepts relating to military affairs in passing that better explained what was going on to the layman than anything I’ve ever seen anywhere else.

    He never got past the first interview, at any of these “news outlets”. “Not our sort, dear…”

    He wasn’t a frothing-at-the-mouth conservative, either–His politics were actually slightly left-of-center, really. It wasn’t that he had an abrasive personality, or anything else obvious that I could identify, and he had asked me to vet his resume and practice his interview technique with him. I could find nothing at all objectionable, and given the quality of his writing, I’d have hired him just on spec.

    He couldn’t even get freelance work.

    Why, do you suppose, that was so? I really have no idea what was in the heads of the parties who interviewed him for these jobs, but I suspect that a major part of it all was that he just wasn’t the usual sort of “journalist” they were used to, being as he was former Army enlisted Infantry with a Ranger tab and time in 2/75 Ranger Battalion. I suppose he might have come across as a bit intimidating and threatening to some raw civilian features editor, but… I just didn’t see that, really: What I saw was a highly professional and fully qualified person who’d be an asset to any news organization.

    He never got hired by one. Ever. Last I heard, he was doing technical writing for one of the defense contractors. I think he should have had a lengthy career in journalism, because he knew his stuff, he knew the people, and he could get people to talk to him with ease and aplomb.

    I still think it was more a case of “Not our sort, dear…”, more than anything else. Which, to answer your question, is exactly why you don’t find “conservative voices” much any more in either academia or the world of journalism. They don’t ever even get hired, ‘cos the people doing the hiring just… Don’t.

    Once an institution is captured by the dolts of the left, getting it back requires a revolution, I fear. A revolution that becomes both inevitable and necessary because they screen out reality by shutting everyone who dissents with them and their approved party lines down.

    For examples, see the nice lady running New Zealand, these days.

  • Simon Jester

    Interesting post suggesting cockup: Nordstream

    One of the comments asserts / points out that pigs can only be run through the line if gas is flowing.

  • Paul Marks

    Patrick Crozier – “so everyone with the means did not have a motive, and everyone with a motive did not have the means”.

    No Patrick – the United States government had been the means and motive (the motive being to destroy anything belonging to their enemy Mr Putin – I am a foe of BOTH so I can be fairly objective), that does not prove that the United States government did it – but they had the means and the motive.

  • Paul Marks


    Excellent comment Sir.

    And this most certainly does not just apply to military affairs – it applies to many things that the mainstream media write about.

    The mainstream media have no basic knowledge – for example ABC news says that the Maldives are in the Pacific Ocean (they are in the Indian Ocean) and are shrinking due to C02 emissions – the Maldives are growing. And the media dislike (to put it mildly) anyone who does have the knowledge to actually know what they are talking about – on just about every subject.

    The ignorance of the mainstream media is astonishing – for example Mr Don Lemon of CNN (very highly paid indeed) cannot even understand a map.

    I watched him talking about Florida (a State he grew up in) in relation to Hurricane Ian, and it was horribly obvious that the man knew nothing about the geography of his own State – even though there was a map. For example, he thought that Hurricane Ian was not hitting Southwestern Florida – which was precisely the area it was hitting. Mr Lemon is clearly one of these weird people we have so many of today – the incredibly highly paid MORON. They often have “excellent qualifications” from “elite” universities – yet know almost nothing (are incredibly ignorant) and seem unable to reason. Yet are also very arrogant – have vast amounts of false-pride “self-esteem”.

    Almost needless to say, Mr Lemon also thought that hurricanes were being “intensified” by C02 emissions – there is no evidence that hurricanes are more frequent or more severe than they were in the past.

  • Lee Moore

    I enjoyed the cock up theory, though this is one of those rare subjects on which I am not a world expert (gas pipelines that is, not cock ups.)

    It just seems to me to be a bit of a coincidence that both pipes should accidentally explode as a result of cocked up maintenance operations, within 17 hours of each other. The chap postulates that the Russkies might have tried some risky maintenance on both pipes at the same time, but this seems rather unlikely. Most people would do one at a time. Now the Russkies are not most people but even so.

    It’s not quite in “lonesome bat flies a thousand miles non stop from Yunnan to Wuhan to cough on a concession holder at the Wuhan Market, amazingly just down the road from China’s leading bat-cough Institute” territory, but two bangs in different pipelines at almost the same time ? Hmm.

    btw I have read somewhere that there was a third bang, but more than one bang in the same pipe is not such a coincidence.

  • Kirk

    I was going to post that LawDog contribution to the discussion, but I see that someone else also reads Instapundit.

    These things happen, and they have a nasty habit of happening to Russians. Do remember that the Russians are the ones who managed to blow up (!!??!!) one of their very own hydroelectric plants through piss-poor execution of design, lousy maintenance practices, and really inept management.


    I honestly can’t think of anyone else who has managed that feat, to that degree. All by themselves, no outside interference or sabotage required.

    It’s not the Russians so much as it is the Russian “system” as a whole, the entire apathetic culture. In the American military, at least until recently, were one to tell the guys down at the local ammo handling point that you were going to store a bunch of stuff that came in unexpectedly out in the open and without proper storage precautions, ‘cos you were “storming the norm” to make points with the boss and because you didn’t want to “make waves”…? Yeah; expect outright mutiny and some crusty senior NCO to make some calls about your stupidity, which will then get the attention of responsible parties who will take proper corrective actions.

    That doesn’t happen in formerly Communist countries, because anyone who dares stick their head out gets hammered. It happens here in the West, true, but to a far lesser degree. In the former Soviet system, nobody does anything when they observe rank and arrant stupidity taking place around them at the behest of higher authorities, mainly because they know they’re going to get hammered instead of those stupid fools up top.

    There’s a lot of “white mutiny” and “silent insolence” baked into the Russian culture; there is damn little in the way of “Yeah, we ain’t doing Stupid Thing… And, you can’t make me.”

    I could easily see this having happened due to some idiocy perpetrated by some bright light sent down by Moscow. Wouldn’t be the first time; won’t be the last.

  • Doug Jones

    Lee Moore wrote:

    It just seems to me to be a bit of a coincidence that both pipes should accidentally explode as a result of cocked up maintenance operations, within 17 hours of each other. The chap postulates that the Russkies might have tried some risky maintenance on both pipes at the same time, but this seems rather unlikely. Most people would do one at a time. Now the Russkies are not most people but even so.

    Maybe so- but this is the same industrial culture that created the Chornobyl disaster by trying a known-risky improvisation when the decay-heat experiment failed. “Вот дерьмо, the max pumping experiment failed but we have to show success to keep our heads, let’s try again,” is the sort of abysmally-stupid-in-retrospect thing that dysfunctional organizations do.

  • Kirk

    One of the weird effects that the Soviet mentality created in its victims was a simultaneous apathy towards responsibility and a very fatalistic attitude towards consequence. “It’s not my problem; it belongs to the state”.

    So, you see something going very, very wrong. What do you do? Do you say something, do something?

    It’s hard enough to get people to act in accordance with wisdom in open Western societies; how many disaster or accident after-action reports have we seen where people foresaw what was likely to happen, and were not listened to? In the Soviet realm, many of these people never even voiced their concerns, because that sort of initiative and independence had been beaten out of them by the system.

    A system set up and run by utter narcissistic sociopaths like Lenin, Stalin, and Putin. Their inimical influence flows up and down the system, just like Xi is putting into place again in China. Free flow of information, both positive and negative, must flow. It mostly doesn’t, in these totalitarian societies built by egotists. You can see the same thing in many Western enterprises, but there it is usually compartmentalized into individual firms and organizations. The Nazis had the same issue–Nobody wanted to be the “bad guy” telling the idiot in charge that no, the tides hadn’t ceased flowing at his command.

    Which is why, thankfully, we don’t have Hitler or Stalin around, any more. If there is ever an ego-free tyrant that can take criticism and advice, while not murdering anyone that even hints at questioning their most minor act or idea? We might be in trouble. As is, the ego of these morons always destroys them, in the end.

  • Lawdog makes a good case (and so does Kirk as regards Soviet mentality). That said, I’ll just add to my latest comment above that another possible reason for Putin to do it (and say the US did it) is to legitimise attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure.

    Kirk (September 29, 2022 at 7:18 pm), sad but interesting description of your friend’s non-hiring experience. People are policy, and the policy in much media, academia and etc. has been to prize political reliability over talent – bit like in Soviet and Putin’s Russia. one might say.

    The process compounds over time. Hannah Arendt noted the tendency of the Nazis to replace even supporters who were talented with crackpoints “whose lack of talent was the surest guarantee of their ideological loyalty” (quoted from memory).

  • Kirk


    That’s the foundation of why I’ve concluded that ideology of any stripe is dangerous. The fact that a “system of thought” is allowed to develop and shape conduct and decision-making is an indicator that people have ceased thinking and are substituting rote procedural rules for actual critical thinking. The ideology forms over time, and may be effective for a given moment, but then underlying conditions and assumptions change, whereupon the ideology becomes a straight-jacket ticket to failure.

    It doesn’t matter whether the ideology in question is Communism, Nazism, or even Christianity. Once you start substituting doctrine for thought, you cease the necessary adaption to newly arisen circumstance, and since you’re relying on the thinking of earlier people, who were responding to entirely different situations and inputs? Guess what? You’ve made failure almost inevitable.

    I’m a rational pragmatist. I don’t believe in any particular way of thinking or belief system, and I note that those who do almost always wind up failing. Today’s solution to today’s conditions will fail in the face of the fact that today’s conditions will not obtain tomorrow or the day after. You have to adapt, you have to be flexible, and recognize that rote response is something that only the extinct or soon to be extinct offer up to the Gods of Chaos.

    Current situation in Ukraine is a perfect example: Putin is behaving as though he were the Tsar or Stalin, facing down a half-ass bunch of semi-motivated kulaks and Cossacks. Reality has changed; he has instead called up into being a Ukrainian nation-state that’s willing to fight him to the death, and their military potential is far in excess of that which he can cope with, what with the deracinated state of the former Red Army. Which, we have to remember, wasn’t all that great or really all that competent, in the first place. How many millions died in their ranks, during WWII? How much demographic damage did the Soviets do to themselves in the course of 1942-45?

    Conditions change. Ideological fetters prevent you from adapting to them. Ideology is bad. Need I say more?

  • Kirk

    Niall said:

    “Kirk (September 29, 2022 at 7:18 pm), sad but interesting description of your friend’s non-hiring experience. People are policy, and the policy in much media, academia and etc. has been to prize political reliability over talent – bit like in Soviet and Putin’s Russia. one might say.”

    I don’t know that “political reliability” is really the way to frame the issue, TBH. While I’m sure that played a role in it, I strongly suspect that it was more a case of “Not like us”, in that my friend was a.) very down-to-earth working class sort (first in his family to go to college, and I think he may have even been one of the first to actually get a high-school diploma…), and b.) very much a plain-spoken sort of person. No airs, no graces, none of the usual “common cultural indicators” that the anointed rely upon to identify their own.

    They say that the US is a classless society, and while it might have been, once? I have come to believe that the so-called “meritocratic elite” are doing their very best to establish one. There are all kinds of “tells” when it comes to this, and the hiring preferences for media are a major one. Time was, a reporter went up the news organization from the bottom, sometimes starting out as a newsboy selling papers on the street. Then, after Watergate, they proceeded with this “academization” and “credentialization” to coin a couple of terms, and here we are where they won’t hire anyone other than their dreadfully earnest and stone-ignorant own sort.

    Thing about a meritocracy? You actually have to demonstrate merit, on a fairly consistent and widespread basis, if you are to maintain the fiction that you have such a thing going. The old-school aristos in France failed at that endeavor, and once the general populace became convinced that there was no value added by the aristocracy, they ceased to believe in same. Followed shortly thereafter by the tumbril and trips to the guillotine.

    Not advocating for their return, merely noting things. The current lot of “meritocrats” in Holland might want to cast their minds back a few generations, and remember that the mob in Holland not only put a Prime Minister out of office, they done et his ass alive.

    Just sayin’…

  • Snorri Godhi

    That doesn’t happen in formerly Communist countries, because anyone who dares stick their head out gets hammered.

    It does happen in some, perhaps most, formerly Communist countries.
    But obviously it does not happen in formerly-Communist countries that have remained autocratic.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Seems like someone has done the Germans a big favour. 😂 They were addicted to cheap Russian gas and even if Putin and Zelensky made peace tomorrow, there ain’t no easy way of fixing Nordstream 1 or bringing Nordstream 2 online.

    So maybe it was Germany that did it? 😀

    I had a related thought:
    Maybe it was the German government that did it, because it allows them to resist Putin’s blackmail without risking a popular uprising.

    Although, if i were Scholz, i would not risk making my plan known to the entire cabinet.

    In Palace of Treason (sequel to Red Sparrow) there is a subplot involving a German secret service (SBE) whose existence is known only to the President: not even to the Chancellor. (But it is known to some friendly intelligence services, such as the CIA.)

    But of course that’s just fiction, right?

  • phwest

    As a chemical engineer with some (mainly on the business side) experience around the petroleum sector, Lawdog’s points ring true to me. I had some experience managing the consequences of having a significant product depending on a poorly run government oil company, in my case Pemex (Mexican national oil company) and I would expect that Pemex and GazProm have a lot in common. If you want a sense of what I mean by that, just google “Pemex” and “explosion” and you’ll get quite the collection of dramatic videos.

    Even highly competent western gas pipelines have the odd explosion. It’s an inherently dangerous business that requires good engineering and high quality operations to run safely. Since the Nordstream pipelines were 50% German funded I would expect the engineering to have been solid, but the Russians are operating them and high-pressure gas pipelines are very unforgiving – again if you want some idea of the potential failure modes see the linked post from Lawdog.

    As to why there were explosions on both pipelines, the simple explanation is that the root causes were the same for both – extended downtime coupled with poor operating discipline resulting in methane hydrates forming the lines and botched attempts to clear them leading to explosively ruptured pipes. In a certain sense, 17 hours seems contemporaneous, but for a military operation, why on earth would you blow the first pipeline at 1 AM and then wait until 6 PM to blow the second? But it makes sense if it was an operational error – you create the hazardous conditions, one blows first, followed by attempts to defuse the second that delay, but ultimately fail to prevent a second explosion. 1 AM is also prime time for industrial accidents (Chernobyl happened at ~1:24 AM).

    The Russians, of course, are happy to cover up their incompetence by blaming the Americans. The Germans would rather blame sabotage than admit they tied a huge chunk of their economy to two enormous under water pipelines run by incompetents. The CIA are happy to have other countries (and the American public) believe they might have done it, given the current situation. None of the intelligence services really have any reason to make a case for simple incompetence, at least not publicly. Much more useful to cast suspicion everywhere. It’s not like any of them have any qualms about lying to the general public.

    Given that the investigation is being conducted by German, Danish and Swedish authorities I would think we have a good chance of getting an accurate report on the nature of the damage, and it should be possible to distinguish between an explosion inside vs outside of the pipeline. My bet would be on a report that determines accident, followed by furious Russian denials and accusations of a cover-up.

  • Kirk

    As I posted… We need to wait on the forensics. Assuming that the investigators can be trusted to relate facts rather than conform to pre-determined blame.

    One of the things about the Russian response to this that makes me think this is likely down to either incompetence or accident is that there wasn’t a well-rehearsed media campaign ready to be dropped blaming someone else. When the Russians do a “wounded gazelle” gambit, you can usually expect a fully developed media campaign beforehand, during, and after the event. This didn’t occur, so I’m thinking that either it was misadventure on their part, taking them by surprise, or it was someone else.

    If it was the US, which I wouldn’t rule out, the sheer audacity of it is just stunning. Danish territorial waters, a key piece of infrastructure keeping Germany’s economy going…? WTF, Joe? Who authorized this?

    It does go to highlight the feckless manner in which the German elites have been managing things. The German economy is reliant on cheap energy; the EU is reliant on the German economy. What now, my friends? What happens to the EU project, now that the economic mainstay is choking itself out on high energy costs?

    Ain’t none of our “elites”, anywhere in the West, worth the powder to blow them up with. Guy Fawkes would find something better to do with his stash, instead of using it on anything in Brussels–They’re doing a fine job of rendering themselves irrelevant and useless without someone trying to blow their building up with them in it. Indeed, were someone to do that, it’d probably be a net benefit for the nations making up the EU. Just like someone nuking Washington, DC would be doing the US as a whole an enormous favor.

    Both things being true, that’s indicative of the quality of our “leadership”, these days… We’d all be better off without them.

  • Kirk

    LawDog did some additional posting reference the “Russian F-up” theory:


    If those maps are accurate, and the explosions took place at turns in the pipeline… Misadventure looks more and more probable, to me.

    Ya don’t need SEALs to go after pipelines when you’ve got Russian attention to detail and industrial competence to explain your massive industrial “accidents”.

  • Paul Marks

    Kirk – both Russian pipelines were hit.

    This was not an accident – this was done deliberately.

    Yet the new pipeline bringing in gas from Norway was untouched.

    Why destroy your own pipelines, and leave the pipeline of your opponent untouched?

  • Kirk

    Paul, read the links. Inept management by Russians would hit both pipeline systems, and the 17 hour spread between events sorta militates against there being any sort of actual “attack”. Why would you a.) stay in the area for that much time, and b.) make the attacks so far apart?

    I await forensics before I make any judgments… It should be fairly obvious what it was, when it is all said and done. The difference between an internal pipe issue and an external explosive attack should be quite clear from the remains at the breaches.

    LawDog makes a lot of excellent points about the whole thing, and I am leaning more and more towards the “Russian incompetence” theory. You don’t shut these sorts of systems down on a whim, which is what they did.

    We shall see what we shall see. Maybe Biden did send a single SEAL team, and they had to swim from their first target the next one…

  • bobby b

    It strikes me as strange that the fact that two explosions happened 17 hours apart might be used as proof that they were poor-maintenance accidents on two lines of such disparate age and condition instead of planned demolitions. I can think of several reasons why two acts (or at least the results of two acts) might be separated by that much time.

    However, I fully expect the ongoing investigation to conclude publicly that this was the case, as it is the least confrontational way to move on. When no one wants to cross a certain line, you can push things close to that line and feel safe that the line itself makes your actions safer for you.

    All that is occurring leads me to favor something more in line with Christoforou’s guess.

  • Kirk

    Let’s say that this was due to an attack. Why would the Russians attack their own line, and not the new Polish-Norwegian one? Which accrues more benefit, to them?

    Likewise, what does the US gain by attacking it? It opens up a whole can of retaliatory worms, in that the Baltic is crisscrossed with other targets that the Russians could go after. I’m not going to claim that the Biden Administration is staffed with competent or sane people, but the potential for this attack to be a trigger for bigger and more events strikes me as making US involvement very unlikely. The current lot of idiots are feckless morons, not adventurers.

    I’m thinking that there is rather more chance that the hydrate plug or mismanagement scenarios are the ones to bet on. Russian mismanagement of industrial infrastructure is infamous; they’re the only people I’m aware of who managed to blow up an entire dam powerhouse through sheer ineptitude and mismanagement. Their petroleum infrastructure, absent Western supervision, ain’t much better. An acquaintance of mine who was working the Siberian oilfields had stories to tell about the number of insane things he had to deal with, and how brutally inept the Russian employees were, not to mention the management they had to contend with. Just based on what he had to say, I would find it very easy to accept that they blew up their own pipelines through misadventure.

    Like I’ve been saying, however… It’s early days, yet. Wait for the forensics to come in, and then we’ll see. I’d be willing to lay a small bet on the f*ck-up fairy having made a visit.

    I remember how hard it was to accept that Chernobyl was Soviet stupidity. Nobody in the Western nuclear industry could believe the real story, when it first came out…

  • bobby b

    Just because it’s interesting, and trending quickly: Twitter thread by Germans asking for declaration of war against the US for working to destroy German industry and society, specifically through destroying NS1 and 2.


  • Lee Moore

    I’m not sure German declarations of war against the US have a particularly good track record. From the German point of view, that is.

  • Lee Moore

    One thing – of many – of which I was not aware is that, apparently, each pipeline consists of two pipes. Since there are four reported leaks, it would be interesting to know whether there is one leak in each pipe, or more than one leak in one pipe (or two pipes) and one or more undamaged pipes.

  • Kirk

    Gotta love the irony, there… Germany commits Green Energy seppuku, is warned against it by Trump, who gets laughed at. Then, when what he warns them about eventuates, it’s all our fault.

    I do not like Trump. I think that he’s a monstrous egotist and he sure as hell isn’t someone I’d want to sit down and have a beer with, but… Dude was right more than he was wrong, about a lot of things. Irony of it is, like Cassandra, he was doomed not to be listened to, mostly because it was coming from him.

    Nonetheless, it’s going to be very, very interesting watching Europe try to overcome the Scylla and Charybdis of navigation between the Green Nude Eel and keeping a modern industrial economy going.

    I predict a lot of German politicians going under, this winter. Also, a lot of “interesting facts” coming to light about who, precisely, was on Mr. Putin’s payroll.

  • Mr Ed

    I am delighted to find myself agreeing with Jacob for once. 28.09.22 09.58

  • Paul Marks

    Mr Ed and Jacob – yes, the “Greta did it” theory is interesting.

  • Steve

    It was the US or a US client. Anything else is stupid.

    The absolute worst case scenario for the US is closer EU/Russian ties. This is probably half of the point behind the the whole Ukraine war/sanctions etc. mess.

    The US needs the EU to remain a subordinate client and Russia is the boogeyman to force them into that position. Germany and other EU states becoming reliant on Russian energy threatens a switching of sides or at least neutrality.

    Ukraine is a war over Europe that has been forced by the US to re-polarise a European/Russian situation that had been lapsing into co-operation, a situation that couldn’t be tolerated in the face of a rising threat to US hegemony from Asia etc., which is ultimately all the neo liberal elites in the US care about. Even Trump was on board with that.

    Blowing up the pipeline is removing the hand that Putin has to play to win over the Germans, it removes the pressure the german government faces from it’s own people to find common ground with the russians.

    The war was created to force the EU and Russia apart and the main thread binding them together has now been cut as well.

  • Ukraine is a war over Europe that has been forced by the US

    And there was me thinking it was a war caused by Russia wanting to destroy Ukraine because it didn’t want to be ruled from Moscow. Steve is a useful idiot in the grips of the Americocentric delusion.