Time Runs Out on U.S. Opposition to Nordstream 2

The Nordstream 2 pipeline represents the last stand of U.S. influence over the internal affairs of Europe.

Once finished it will stand as a testament to the fundamental split between the European Union and the United States.

Europe will see this as its first successful defense of its newly-declared independence. And the U.S. will have to come to terms with no longer having control overseas.

This is a theme repeating itself all around the world right now.

Your view of Nordstream 2 depends on who you are.

If you are the U.S. it is a massive rebuke of the post-WWII institutional order mostly paid for by the U.S. to rebuild Europe and protecting it from the scourge of the U.S.S.R.

From Europe’s perspective it’s, “Job well done and all that but Russia isn’t a threat anymore and it is time for us to come out from underneath the U.S.’s shadow.”

And if you are Russia Nordtream 2 is the wedge driving these two adversaries apart while improving national security on your western border.

Europe has imperial ambitions of its own and Nordstream 2 is a very important part of that. Those ambitions, however, are not in line with those in the U.S., particularly under the “leadership” of Donald Trump.

Trump has this strange idea that the U.S. has gotten nothing in return for our running the world these past seventy-odd years. Our massive trade deficit is wealth stolen by our trade partners in Trump’s simplistic mind.

He refuses to see the wealth we’ve ‘lost’ as squandered by decades of corruption, sloth, regulatory over-reach, etc.

And so, to Trump, Nordstream 2 is an abomination because he’s funding NATO to protect Europe from Russia but they then are increasing the amount of gas they buy from that very same ‘enemy.’

And that should tell you where all of this is headed in the long run.

The dissolution of NATO through attrition by both Russia and the EU.

So, no matter how much the U.S. and the anti-Russian forces within European and British society want to stop this pipeline, as evinced by this week’s non-binding vote against it in the European Parliament, there isn’t the appetite in the U.S. to actually do it.

The U.S. Senate has no interest in telling the President to sanction the companies building Nordstream 2. It may not stop Trump from doing so anyway.

The real reason Trump won’t sanction Nordstream 2 is the same reason he will fold to China on trade: dollar liquidity and world trade.

He’s already done enough damage. Now he’s staring re-election in the face with a hostile Federal Reserve.

If he were going to do sanction Nordstream 2 he would have. In fact, this vote in the European Parliament is a feeble last gasp to stop the pipeline, not the shrewd move of a guy holding pocket aces.

Precisely because the U.S. hasn’t imposed sanctions on it yet this is all we have left; pathetic virtue signaling.

If it’s going to happen it has to be before the European Parliamentary elections in May when we can expect at least a doubling of Euroskeptic representation.

If things continue to spiral out of control in France, Italy hardens even further against the EU and Brexit is postponed Euroskeptics could be the largest block in the Parliament come July.

At that point we’ll see a sincere lowering of the influence of the infamous Soros List in that body and possibly in the European Commission itself. And, if anything, more pipeline deals and investment in Russian energy.

In fact, a Euroskeptic Parliament could lift sanctions on Russia completely.

Moreover, Ukraine’s upcoming elections will likely bring someone to power not thoroughly beholden to the U.S.’s strategy there.

Between that and Ukrainian parliamentary elections later this year we’ll likely see Ukraine and Gazprom renegotiate the gas transport contract, bringing even more Russian gas to the continent.

And that will only make Trump even madder than he is now. He has staked so much of his overall strategy on the U.S. as a powerful petroleum exporter. He needs markets for that gas.

Europe and China are two obvious ones but Russia has him outflanked now on both.

The end of this interminably shallow expansion brings the U.S. face to face with an unsustainable fracking boom as debt-servicing spikes demand for the dollar sparking a sharp rise in interest rates.

The shale market will break again.

All of this confirms for me that the Garden Summit last summer between Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel laid out their strategy to beat Trump on Nordstream 2 and begin the next phase of relations between Russia and Germany.

Optics are important and this image captures what both parties wanted to convey.  This meeting is the beginning of a shift in the relationship between Germany and Russia for the better.

And the question is why?

The obvious answer is necessity brought about by pressure being placed on both countries by Donald Trump through sanctions and tariffs and their shared interests represented by the Nordstream  2 pipeline.

And all that implies.


7 thoughts on “Time Runs Out on U.S. Opposition to Nordstream 2

  1. It seems more likely that the neocons are even angrier than Trump is about this. If anything the tendency of the neocons to go to threats instantly is pushing the rest of the world away. Ironically this gets the US out of the world policeman role which is what Trump campaigned on.

    How much of current foreign policy is of Trump’s design rather than Bolton’s? I really don’t know and can’t know without a paper trail. There are four possibilities to consider and I don’t have enough evidence yet to decide which is correct.

    The first is that Trump is a complete idiot who has no clue about what is going on in his administration. The flaw in this notion is that idiots do not get or stay rich which Trump has managed to do. This also implies that getting the US out of NATO which is what candidate Trump seemed to want to do.

    The second is that both Trump and Bolton are complete idiots. Here we still have all of the same problems as the first case but Bolton is a known to be an idiot. Mysteriously two idiots manage to attain a goal candidate Trump wanted.

    The third is that Trump actually knows what he is doing and letting Bolton and his merry band of neocons incompetence to work for him and achieve a goal that candidate Trump wanted. Given the permanent bureaucracy and its total opposition to Trump then using the neocons own incompetence to get what candidate Trump wanted is a brilliant move.

    The fourth is that the logic of dying empires is playing out and there is nothing that Trump and Bolton along with his merry band of neocons can do to change the outcome. Pax Americana is ending due to the usual bankruptcy and military over extension that ended the Roman empire and every other empire.

    It seems that the fourth case is probably what is really going on but it is still not possible to rule out the other three cases. Other than to satisfy my own curiosity it doesn’t seem to really matter which case is true because the indispensable nation is about to become very dispensable to the rest of the world. It seems unlikely that the US government is going to take this well and the permanent bureaucracy will become even more insane than they already are. I doubt that even if Trump is a one term president these trends will be reversed by the next administration.

    • Galen,

      Look at Patrick Armstong’s latest on SCF:

      https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/03/17/trump-mysteries-inconsistent-inconsistencies.html

      He has been the biggest proponent of Theory #3 and even he is having doubts about it now. I’m leaning, like you, towards #4, that this is the lashing out of an empire that doesn’t know how to do anything other than what it’s currently doing to keep people in line.

      People rarely change. They are who they were during their imprinting period. And if they do ‘change’ it is only because their ‘imprinting’ itself was confused. John Bolton is the same person today as he was when he dodged the Vietnam war draft…. Now he has the power to indulge his adolescent power fantasies.

      Trump is likely just trying to do his best within a corrupt structure which sometimes looks like him working for us while simultaneously betraying his mandate.

      As I said in this month’s Newsletter, everyone is on Auto-Pilot.

      • It has always been my position that “stupid” American presidents are much smarter than they actually appear. George W Bush, for example – everyone claimed he was a moron who was led by the nose by Cheney and Rumsfeld, but in the end all the blame went to Cheney and Rumsfeld while the “moron” Bush reinvented himself as a hero to the vet liberals who fifteen years ago wanted to skin him alive. Barack Hussein Obama was a mass murdering war criminal and stooge of Wall Street who successfully passed himself off as a suave, liberal, left wing figure, eminently reasonable and mistreated by his political opponents (who in reality bent over backwards to let him get exactly what he wanted, even to the extent of supplying him with the unelectable buffoon John McCain as an opponent). Trump is exactly the same -a servant of Wall Street and the Zionist entity in Occupied Palestine. He needs to be nothing more to get re elected. He, too, will be presented with someone guaranteed to lose as an opponent in 2020. And after 2020? Who cares about that. America is a nation ruled by MBAs, and the forward thinking of MBAs extends to the next quarterly balance sheet. What happens one day after the bonus is paid is immaterial.

      • Justin Raimondo like Armstrong tends to lean toward case #3. They are both worth reading but they like most people, including then candidate Trump, misunderstand the nature of the Presidency. They missed a very important detail regarding Trump’s administration.

        When Trump first got into the Oval Office he started carrying out his campaign promises, at least those that could be done by executive order, which first time I ever saw a president do that. Then progress on his agenda slowed and stopped and its unlikely it was Trump’s idea. It was here that Trump ran into what I think of as the “Zaphod Beeblebrox Theory of the Presidency” and is why I lean toward case #4 myself. Those of you familiar with the works of Douglas Adams understand what I mean and everyone else needs to correct this deficiency immediately.

        In my experience people only change when they see their own destruction upon them and even then they change only rarely. Bolton has never really personally had to deal with the consequences of his own decisions and so has even less incentive to change.

        I wouldn’t say that everyone is on auto-pilot but no one wants to risk changing anything because their own narrow interests, primarily financial, will be threatened by that change. It is why the Federal deficit can not be tackled because all of the interests involved are trying to stick everyone else with the bill. Default in some form is inevitable and the deep state is trying to keep it going as long a possible.

  2. Ironically, the US buys oil and gas from Russia itself, all the while reprimanding Germany for doing so. Last winter the US was short if gas and imported Russian LNG. Now, with the loss of the heavy Venezuelan crude, the US imports this heavy grade from Russia. The question arises: is Rosneft importing Venezuelan crude which they then mix with lighter oils to prepare it for refining – in the US? Is Russia importing Venezuelan oil to make up the loss of US oil refiners? That would be a most ironic outcome for the sanctions on Venezuela: the US driving up the price of oil it imports rather than what it sells!

  3. I am always comforted by the thought that international politics has little to do with armies, nuclear weapons, Trump, Obama, Merkel, etc and has everything to do with the increasingly cold weather across the planet and in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, etc in particular who already are tired of paying the highest prices for energy in the world.

    But to your article, The AFD is on the march and Austria already isn’t playing nice on immigration. If Trump and the EU’crats manage to stop this pipeline, then these now full blown political parties will immediately have a huge lever to get more votes and the EU Bureaucracy will not be able to stop them nor will the increasingly poor USA be able to do so.

    It is just getting too cold. And the funny part is that the same Greenies and EU Folks who convinced the Germans to shutdown their nuclear reactors only to purchase French electricity generated with French nuclear reactors with lots of wasteful line loss are ones against this pipeline.

    And don’t think that Bush and Obama weren’t trying to stop this pipeline. Trump just doesn’t have same incentives that they against making news about it.

    • Of course Obama was against this pipeline… he’s the one that scuttled Southstream by pressuring Bulgaria and fomented the coup in Kiev. That necessitated NS2. And Merkel, out of necessity and a desire for solidifying Germany’s political dominance in Europe, jumped at the opportunity.

      If the EU wasn’t destined for the ashbin of history I would be worried about how this will be used. But as you say, AfD etc. are rising and destroying the globalist putsch. Pipelines outlive politicians. Putin understands this.

Leave a Reply