Eurasia is about to get a whole lot larger as countries line up to join the Chinese and Russian-led BRICS and SCO, to the detriment of the west
The record shows that the US weaponizes Ukraine to the hilt against Russia. The Empire is a de facto war combatant via an array of “consultants,” advisers, trainers, mercenaries, heavy weapons, munitions, satellite intel, and electronic warfare. And yet imperial functionaries swear they are not part of the war. They are, once again, lying.
Let’s start with what is in fact a tale of Global South trade between two members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). At its heart is the already notorious Shahed-136 drone – or Geranium-2, in its Russian denomination: the AK-47 of postmodern aerial warfare.
The US, in yet another trademark hysteria fit rife with irony, accused Tehran of weaponizing the Russian Armed Forces. For both Tehran and Moscow, the superstar, value-for-money, and terribly efficient drone let loose in the Ukrainian battlefield is a state secret: its deployment prompted a flurry of denials from both sides. Whether these are made in Iran drones, or the design was bought and manufacturing takes place in Russia (the realistic option), is immaterial.
The record shows that the US weaponizes Ukraine to the hilt against Russia. The Empire is a de facto war combatant via an array of “consultants,” advisers, trainers, mercenaries, heavy weapons, munitions, satellite intel, and electronic warfare. And yet imperial functionaries swear they are not part of the war. They are, once again, lying.
Welcome to yet another graphic instance of the “rules-based international order” at work. The Hegemon always decides which rules apply, and when. Anyone opposing it is an enemy of “freedom,” “democracy,” or whatever platitude du jour, and should be – what else – punished by arbitrary sanctions.
In the case of sanctioned-to-oblivion Iran, for decades now, the result has been predictably another round of sanctions. That’s irrelevant. What matters is that, according to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), no less than 22 nations – and counting – are joining the queue because they also want to get into the Shahed groove.
Even the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, gleefully joined the fray, commenting on how the Shahed-136 is no photoshop.
The race towards BRICS+
What the new sanctions package against Iran really “accomplished” is to deliver an additional blow to the increasingly problematic signing of the revived nuclear deal in Vienna. More Iranian oil on the market would actually relieve Washington’s predicament after the recent epic snub by OPEC+.
A categorical imperative though remains. Iranophobia – just like Russophobia – always prevails for the Straussians/neo-con war advocates in charge of US foreign policy and their European vassals.
So here we have yet another hostile escalation in both Iran-US and Iran-EU relations, as the unelected junta in Brussels also sanctioned manufacturer Shahed Aviation Industries and three Iranian generals.
Now compare this with the fate of the Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drone – which unlike the “flowers in the sky” (Russia’s Geraniums) has performed miserably in the battlefield.
Kiev tried to convince the Turks to use a Motor Sich weapons factory in Ukraine or come up with a new company in Transcarpathia/Lviv to build Bayraktars. Motor Sich’s oligarch President Vyacheslav Boguslayev, aged 84, has been charged with treason because of his links to Russia and may be exchanged for Ukrainian prisoners of war.
In the end, the deal fizzled out because of Ankara’s exceptional enthusiasm in working to establish a new gas hub in Turkey – a personal suggestion from Russian President Vladimir Putin to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
And that bring us to the advancing interconnection between BRICS and the 9-member SCO – to which this Russia-Iran instance of military trade is inextricably linked.
The SCO, led by China and Russia, is a pan-Eurasian institution originally focused on counter-terrorism but now increasingly geared towards geoeconomic – and geopolitical – cooperation. BRICS, led by the triad of Russia, India, and China overlaps with the SCO agenda geoeconomically and geopoliticallly, expanding it to Africa, Latin America, and beyond: that’s the concept of BRICS+, analyzed in detail in a recent Valdai Club report, and fully embraced by the Russia-China strategic partnership.
The report weighs the pros and cons of three scenarios involving possible, upcoming BRICS+ candidates:
First, nations that were invited by Beijing to be part of the 2017 BRICS summit (Egypt, Kenya, Mexico, Thailand, Tajikistan).
Second, nations that were part of the BRICS foreign ministers’ meeting in May this year (Argentina, Egypt, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Thailand).
Third, key G20 economies (Argentina, Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Turkiye).
And then there’s Iran, which has already shown interest in joining BRICS.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has recently confirmed that “several countries” are absolutely dying to join BRICS. Among them, is a crucial West Asia player: Saudi Arabia.
What makes it even more astonishing is that only three years ago, under former US President Donald Trump’s administration, Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman (MbS) – the kingdom’s de facto ruler – was dead set on joining a sort of Arab NATO as a privileged imperial ally.
Diplomatic sources confirm that the day after the US pulled out of Afghanistan, MbS’s envoys started seriously negotiating with both Moscow and Beijing.
Assuming BRICS approves Riyadh’s candidacy in 2023 by the necessary consensus, one can barely imagine its earth-shattering consequences for the petrodollar. At the same time, it is important not to underestimate the capacity of US foreign policy controllers to wreak havoc.
The only reason Washington tolerates Riyadh’s regime is the petrodollar. The Saudis cannot be allowed to pursue an independent, truly sovereign foreign policy. If that happens, the geopolitical realignment will concern not only Saudi Arabia but the entire Persian Gulf.
Yet that’s increasingly likely after OPEC+ de facto chose the BRICS/SCO path led by Russia-China – in what can be interpreted as a “soft” preamble for the end of the petrodollar.
The Riyadh-Tehran-Ankara triad
Iran made known its interest to join BRICS even before Saudi Arabia. According to Persian Gulf diplomatic sources, they are already engaged in a somewhat secret channel via Iraq trying to get their act together. Turkey will soon follow – certainly on BRICS and possibly the SCO, where Ankara currently carries the status of an extremely interested observer.
Now imagine this triad – Riyadh, Tehran, Ankara – closely joined with Russia, India, China (the actual core of the BRICS), and eventually in the SCO, where Iran is as yet the only West Asian nation to be inducted as a full member.
The strategic blow to the Empire will go off the charts. The discussions leading to BRICS+ are focusing on the challenging path towards a commodity-backed global currency capable of bypassing US dollar primacy.
Several interconnected steps point towards increasing symbiosis between BRICS+ and SCO. The latter’s member states have already agreed on a road map for gradually increasing trade in national currencies in mutual settlements.
The State Bank of India – the nation’s top lender – is opening special rupee accounts for Russia-related trade.
Russian natural gas to Turkey will be paid 25 percent in rubles and Turkish lira, complete with a 25 percent discount Erdogan personally asked of Putin.
Russian bank VTB has launched money transfers to China in yuan, bypassing SWIFT, while Sberbank has started lending out money in yuan. Russian energy behemoth Gazprom agreed with China that gas supply payments should shift to rubles and yuan, split evenly.
Iran and Russia are unifying their banking systems for trade in rubles/rial.
Egypt’s Central Bank is moving to establish an index for the pound – through a group of currencies plus gold – to move the national currency away from the US dollar.
And then there’s the TurkStream saga.
That gas hub gift
Ankara for years has been trying to position itself as a privileged East-West gas hub. After the sabotage of the Nord Streams, Putin has handed it on a plate by offering Turkey the possibility to increase Russian gas supplies to the EU via such a hub. The Turkish Energy Ministry stated that Ankara and Moscow have already reached an agreement in principle.
This will mean in practice Turkey controlling the gas flow to Europe not only from Russia but also Azerbaijan and a great deal of West Asia, perhaps even including Iran, as well as Libya in northeast Africa. LNG terminals in Egypt, Greece and Turkiye itself may complete the network.
Russian gas travels via the TurkStream and Blue Stream pipelines. The total capacity of Russian pipelines is 39 billion cubic meters a year.
TurkStream was initially projected as a four-strand pipeline, with a nominal capacity of 63 million cubic meters a year. As it stands, only two strands – with a total capacity of 31,5 billion cubic meters – have been built.
So an extension in theory is more than feasible – with all the equipment made in Russia. The problem, once again, is laying the pipes. The necessary vessels belong to the Swiss Allseas Group – and Switzerland is part of the sanctions craze. In the Baltic Sea, Russian vessels were used to finish building Nord Stream 2. But for a TurkStream extension, they would need to operate much deeper in the ocean.
TurkStream would not be able to completely replace Nord Stream; it carries much smaller volumes. The upside for Russia is not being canceled from the EU market. Evidently, Gazprom would only tackle the substantial investment on an extension if there are ironclad guarantees about its security. And there’s the additional drawback that the extension would also carry gas from Russia’s competitors.
Whatever happens, the fact remains that the US-UK combo still exerts a lot of influence in Turkey – and BP, Exxon Mobil, and Shell, for instance, are actors in virtually every oil extraction project across West Asia. So they would certainly interfere on the way the Turkish gas hub functions, as well as determining the gas price. Moscow has to weigh all these variables before committing to such a project.
NATO, of course, will be livid. But never underestimate hedging bet specialist Sultan Erdogan. His love story with both the BRICS and the SCO is just beginning.
Pepe Escobar,born in Brazil, is a correspondent and editor-at-large at Asia Times and columnist for Consortium News and Strategic Culture. Since the mid-1980s he’s lived and worked as a foreign correspondent in London, Paris, Milan, Los Angeles, Singapore, Bangkok. He has extensively covered Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia to China, Iran, Iraq and the wider Middle East. Pepe is the author of Globalistan – How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War; Red Zone Blues: A Snapshot of Baghdad during the Surge. He was contributing editor to The Empire and The Crescent and Tutto in Vendita in Italy. His last two books are Empire of Chaos and 2030. Pepe is also associated with the Paris-based European Academy of Geopolitics. When not on the road he lives between Paris and Bangkok.
He is a regular contributor to Global Research.
Featured image is from The Cradle
The original source of this article is Global Research
Units of the British Navy were involved in a “terrorist attack”, which destroyed the key Nord Stream gas pipelines, the Russian Defence Ministry alleged on Saturday.
Writing on its official Telegram channel, the ministry alleged that Royal Navy operatives “took part in planning, supporting and implementing” the plot to blow up the infrastructure in September. It did not provide any direct evidence to support its assertion.
The accusation follows a Russian Foreign Ministry claim that NATO conducted a military exercise during the summer, close to the location where the undersea explosions occurred.
The September incident put the pipelines, connecting Germany to Russia, out of commission. Western countries have blocked a transparent international investigation.
The Defence Ministry further alleged that the same UK operatives trained Ukrainians involved in a drone offensive in Crimea earlier on Saturday.
In late September, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova noted that this summer, NATO conducted military drills not far from Bornholm, which featured intensive use of “deep-sea equipment.’’
While the officials stopped short of naming the culprit, they were said to be “working under the assumption that Russia was behind the blasts.” Moscow has repeatedly denied that it had anything to do with the incident.
Meanwhile, Sky News has cited a UK defense official as saying Nord Stream 1 and 2 could have been damaged by a remotely detonated underwater explosive device. At the time, the broadcaster said the pipelines might have been breached by mines lowered to the seabed, or explosives dropped from a boat or planted by an undersea drone.
No kidding. Sweden announced Nord Stream 2 was attacked. Obviously, there was an explosion, and obviously, that explosion was sabotage.
What is most remarkable is the unified reaction of the United States of America’s civilian, military, and intelligence services leadership. For six years now everything bad that happens in the world is blamed on Russia. This incident is no different.
The preponderance of this propaganda leads one to believe the Democratic Party is living in the midst of the Cold War, and official Washington wants war with Russia. In fact, official Washington is openly talking about direct U.S. conflict with Russia.
A new months ago, President Joe Biden said he “would end” Nord Stream 2 if Putin invaded Ukraine. He said we would “make it happen.” So when the big bang happened beneath the sea, it was all “Russia, Russia, Russia.”
Former CIA Director John Brennan said so. Former Gen. David Petraeus said so. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said so. Petraeus went so far as to game out how the United States could sink the Russian Black Sea fleet in retaliation for the use of tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine. A pipeline in the Baltic Sea became the catalyst for tactical nuclear strikes and war in the Black Sea. Please explain.
For his part, virtually every word Joe Biden has spoken since Russia started moving military assets toward Ukraine has been provocative, insulting, and dangerous. The weak and mentally incompetent president has bluffed his way through decades of his Senate occupation and now retreats to his “behind the gym” approach to deal with Vladimir Putin.
The general U.S. response has been madness. The American public is told by the Washington leadership and the media that Russia blew up its own pipeline for some nefarious reason. No one in a leadership position that matters has suggested Russia could have simply refused to sell oil to northwestern Europe and keep its pipeline investment intact. An obvious alternative would be to simply close the valves, also keeping its pipeline intact. Why damage what you just paid to create?
Since Russia is not an economic power, and since Russia depends upon the revenue from the sale of hydrocarbon fuels, how could it possibly be in its own interest to destroy its economic cash cow?
Before Biden, the U.S. was an energy exporter capable of providing lifesaving hydrocarbon fuels to Germany in such a crisis. Biden took care of that strength on day one.
Clearly, Russia does not gain from the attack on its pipeline. Equally clear, then, is the reality that the Biden administration leadership is lying to the American people.
Why? What is the motive?
The Germans and their neighbors in Europe face a winter without adequate electrical power.
As noted, the Russians lose vital economic income from the sale of natural gas.
Consider the fact Joe Biden, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, and the entire Democratic Party have made clear their goal is to eliminate all carbon emission sources as soon as possible. Mandates are being issued almost daily, from the elimination of gasoline engines to the rebuilding of entire cities with the singular purpose of achieving energy efficiency. Driven by fear of carbon, which is the most common element on Earth, climate change cultists are willing to restrict the growing of food to feed 8 billion people. The climate cult changes to agricultural practices would leave half that population of 8 billion without food. Only a cult would advocate starving 4 billion people to save humanity.
Climate change is characterized by these people as an “existential threat” to humanity and that, in their tiny, malfunctioning minds, means everything must be done yesterday to save the world.
Obviously, the destruction of much of Europe’s hydrocarbon supply is a major benefit to the carbon alarmists and the climate cultists. The loss of Nord Stream 2 is as big as Joe Biden’s abandonment of the Keystone pipeline and the multitude of federal regulations to block oil and natural gas production in the United States.
Worldwide, socialist leaders are promoting climate control “solutions” with one thing in common: Each would require massive political consolidation.
For starters, we can no longer have nations. Independent nations might opt for expensive hydrocarbon fuels. So there must be a world government and that world government must be able to impose uniform solutions. We would not take a vote on “existential threat” solutions.
Occasionally, major international events have more than one purpose. In this case, the orchestrated U.S. response to Nord Stream has been to blame Russia and talk up nuclear war.
What would a nuclear war mean to humanity? Chaos. Chaos on a scale that required a worldwide response, done on a crisis schedule, without the niceties of discussion, public consideration, voting, or nations. The solutions would be akin to the restrictions during the international test case imposed upon society during COVID. Do what you are told by government authority to do, or else. You must surrender all your personal freedoms guaranteed by God or you will be driven out into the desert and left to die.
Socialists throughout the world have been writing about and talking about the necessity of eliminating nations since the end of World War II. After eight decades of advocacy, planning, rewriting of history, and the destruction of social order based upon morality and individual achievement, we may have reached the climax. Joe Biden uses the one-world euphemism “transition.” He means a transition from national government to world control.
The destruction of Nord Stream 2 and Joe Biden’s prediction it would be destroyed by the United States are not accidents.
Whenever someone attempts to examine the actions of leaders, those leaders and their companies do not debate, or reason together. They instead dismiss the entire subject as a “conspiracy theory” or its contemporary equivalent, “misinformation” or “Russian disinformation.”
That dismissal is both insulting, and “disinformation.”
Fact: The people of Russia and the people of northwestern Europe do not benefit from the destruction of Nord Stream 2. The resulting chaos only benefits those people pursuing a “transition” agenda.
“Will anyone now dare claim that our country is behind this act of sabotage? I agree it’s hard to face the truth. But someday the EU countries will have to face up to the fact they were betrayed by their allies,” she said.
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova
As the Biden Regime and its media proxies continue to blame Russia for blowing up the Nord Stream Pipeline with no evidence, the EU countries will have to face the truth and admit that they have been betrayed by their US ally, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on her Telegram channel on Wednesday.
She pointed out Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak had said that Russia was ready to supply gas through the undamaged branch of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, TASS reported.
“Will anyone now dare claim that our country is behind this act of sabotage? I agree it’s hard to face the truth. But someday the EU countries will have to face up to the fact they were betrayed by their allies,” she said.
Russia and Germany must participate in the investigation into the incidents at the Nord Stream pipelines, said Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Vershinin Wednesday.
“We are talking about sabotage,” the diplomat said. “An investigation is needed. Certainly, this should be an investigation with Russia’s participation, but it would probably be important to involve Germany in this investigation as well since gas was actually flowing to Germany in the first place,” Vershinin said.
Denmark and Sweden have announced they will launch an investigation into the suspected sabotage. Germany and the USA have been unusually silent.
“You’re not allowed to quote the president of the United States promising to eliminate the Nord Stream pipelines. You’re not allowed to quote his secretary of state celebrating that sabotage. You’re required to believe that Putin took out his own infrastructure. You must.” “The only explanation allowed, of course, is the one the government wants you to believe: Vladimir Putin is so evil, he’s destroying his own pipelines,” Carlson concluded.
6 October, 2022
Tucker Carlson warned Wednesday that the fact anyone who even suggests that The U.S. and its allies had anything to do with the Nord Stream pipeline sabotage is being labeled as a ‘Russian propagandist’ is a sure sign that we no longer live in a democratic society.
Carlson noted that it is now apparent that we are “not really living in a democracy. You can’t be because in a democracy, the government has a moral and legal obligation to tell you the truth always. Period.”
Instead, Carlson warned, citizens have been reduced to “subjects” and “mere consumers”.
“Anyone who imagines, who thinks for a moment the Biden administration was in any way involved with that sabotage, directly or indirectly, is not simply wrong, no. Anyone who imagines that is a bad person, a tool of Vladimir Putin,” Carlson continued.
The host noted that information is so tightly restricted, yet Americans are still being told they are engaging in wrong think.
“Where might some Americans have gotten the notion that the Biden administration might have been involved directly or through a proxy in the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines? Why would they think that?” Carlson pondered, adding “They certainly didn’t watch it on Russia Today. RT has been pulled off the air. They didn’t hear it from Putin or any of his ministers.”
“You can barely find anything from the Russian government on Google and of course, any book sympathetic to Putin has been banned on Amazon,” Carlson continued, further pointing out that “every piece of information that reflects the modern Russian point of view has been censored in the United States because this is a free country fighting for democracy. You just can’t read what you want or think what you want.”
Carlson posited that Americans may have gotten the idea that the U.S. was involved in the sabotage from Biden himself saying the pipeline would be ‘ended,’ further noting that believing the U.S. could do such a thing is now, however, considered unpatriotic.
“Who did it? Well, Russia did it,” Carlson stated, citing the regime narrative.
“They blew up their own pipeline, making their own country poorer and weaker in the middle of a major war because that’s how crazy but also diabolically effective the Russians are: suicidal, yet brilliant and if you don’t buy that story uncritically, if you have any questions about how exactly that might work, you’re a disloyal American. Shut up.”
Carlson continued, “You’re not allowed to quote the president of the United States promising to eliminate the Nord Stream pipelines. You’re not allowed to quote his secretary of state celebrating that sabotage. You’re required to believe that Putin took out his own infrastructure. You must.”
“The only explanation allowed, of course, is the one the government wants you to believe: Vladimir Putin is so evil, he’s destroying his own pipelines,” Carlson concluded.
After threatening to eliminate the Nord Stream gas pipelines, the West has not concealed its actions in destroying this infrastructure, Russian Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov said during a meeting with Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Tuesday.
Russia’s chief prosecutor explained that nowadays, both the architecture of international security and the rule of law are being undermined worldwide. “Politicians and diplomats from Western countries are increasingly adhering to double standards. Their public stance on recent malevolent acts with regards to the Nord Stream gas pipelines became the pinnacle of aggression and cynicism. First, they proclaimed their intention to eliminate this infrastructure, then they made little attempt to conceal their actions to destroy it, and finally they accused Russia of sabotage. You see that this is complete insanity, of a mass nature at that,” he said.
“Under these conditions, it is particularly valuable that Vietnam, despite provocations and disinformation, remains our reliable friend and strategic partner,” Krasnov added.
Four leaks were discovered last week on the Nord Stream gas link, with the most recent one pinpointed by Sweden’s coast guard. Earlier, the Nord Stream AG company reported that three threads of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 offshore gas pipelines had suffered unprecedented damage on September 26. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that Moscow was “deeply concerned about the news” and did not rule out that the pipelines’ operation could have been disrupted by an act of sabotage. Swedish seismologists later revealed that two explosions had been recorded along the Nord Stream pipelines on September 26. The Danish Energy Agency reported that a large amount of gas had spilled into the sea.
The closure of the Nord Stream 1 (NS1) pipeline, the world’s largest natural gas pipeline, is a historic event that, instead of hurting Russia, is threatening to de-industrialize the entirety of Europe
There is a pretty good chance that Europe is done for as it pertains to manufacturing.
The soaring cost of energy has made it prohibitively expensive for primary-metals producers and other heavy industries to continue doing business across the continent, which is boycotting Russian energy over Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Anti-Russia sanctions have all but crippled the European economy, forcing major companies like Slovalco, an aluminum producer in Slovakia, to close up shop.
For the first time, cheap Russian energy is no longer flowing into Europe like it has for many decades, including throughout the Cold War and during other periods of high tension between Moscow and the West.
The closure of the Nord Stream 1 (NS1) pipeline, the world’s largest natural gas pipeline, is a historic event that, instead of hurting Russia, is threatening to de-industrialize the entirety of Europe. (Related: Germany’s leaders are finally waking up to the fact that no more energy from Russia means no more economy for Europe.)
“Unlike the U.S., Europe leaned on manufacturing and heavy industry to keep its economy chugging in recent decades,” reported The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). “A bigger chunk of its economy comes from the likes of steelmakers, chemicals producers and car makers.”
“Europe’s energy crisis has left few businesses untouched, from steel and aluminum to cars, glass, ceramics, sugar and toilet-paper makers. Some industries, such as the energy-intensive metals sector, are shutting factories that analysts and executives say might never reopen, imperiling thousands of jobs.”
Is this the end of metal production in Europe?
Up until now, the assumption has been that this is all temporary. Western media outlets say Putin can only last so much longer and that eventually, everything will get back to “normal.”
Meanwhile, the “green” energy transition has proven to be even more disastrous for countries trying to wait out the pain. Some have had to restart their “dirty” energy industries in order to keep the lights on.
By the looks of things, Europe as we currently know it will not survive on the current trajectory. It would need to abandon the sanctions, fire back up the coal and gas plants, and once again become energy independent.
Even then it might not save Europe’s heavy industries which, once shut down, are very difficult to start back up again.
“… the continent might never again have access to the cheap Russian gas that helped it compete with the resource-rich U.S. and offset high labor costs, rigid employment rules, and stringent environmental regulations,” write the WSJ’s Joe Wallace, David Uberti, Georgi Kantchev, and William Boston.
Before energy prices started to go crazy last year, Slovalco was paying about $45 per megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity. In late August, that same MWh or electricity hit about $1,000 across Europe, a more than 2,200 percent increase.
Keeping an energy-intensive business alive in such a volatile climate is an economic impossibility, and Slovalco knows it.
“The volatility of the price of electricity these days – it’s crazy,” says Milan Veselý, who has worked his entire life at Slovalco. “This is probably the end of metal production in Europe. This is the way we are actually killing industry.”
The company did not even attempt to renew its power contract for 2023, which at recent peak prices would have cost $2.5 billion. With only an aluminum recycling component left to its business, Slovalco recently had to let go of 67 percent of its workforce.
“We need immediate emergency aid now, otherwise we are threatened with de-industrialization in Germany,” added Franziska Erdle, general manager of WV Metalle, another major metal producer in Europe.
As the West falls apart due to rampant corruption and idiocy, we will keep you up to date with the latest at Collapse.news.
The technical issues with gas deliveries to Europe via Nord Stream 1 will persist until the West lifts the sanctions it has slapped on Russia over the ongoing Ukraine conflict, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday. In his telling, these restrictions hamper maintenance of the pipeline.
On August 31, Gazprom completely shut down gas deliveries via the pipeline. Although initially Nord Stream 1 was slated to resume gas transit on Friday, Gazprom announced that it would remain closed indefinitely due to technical issues.
“Problems in [gas] deliveries arose due to sanctions that have been imposed on our country and a number of companies by Western countries, including Germany and the UK. There are no other reasons behind supply issues,” Peskov noted.
The Kremlin spokesman also claimed that it is not Gazprom’s fault that “the Europeans absolutely absurdly make a decision to refuse to service their equipment,” which they are contractually obligated to do.
Peskov stressed that all Nord Stream 1 operations hinge on “one piece of equipment that needs serious maintenance.”
On Sunday, his comments were echoed by Alexander Novak, Russian Deputy Prime Minister, who blamed the European Union for the problems that have prevented the resumption of gas supplies via the pipeline.
“The entire problem lies precisely on [the EU’s] side, because all the conditions of the repair contract have been completely violated, along with the terms of shipping of the equipment,” he said.
On Friday, Gazprom canceled the restart of Nord Stream 1 citing an oil leak in the turbine, which was detected during a joint inspection with manufacturer Siemens Energy at the Portovaya compressor station near St. Petersburg. At the same time, the malfunction could be remedied only in Canada, which has imposed sanctions against Moscow.
Despite the maintenance issues, Europe has accused Russia of weaponizing energy supplies, with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen describing Moscow as “not a reliable partner” in terms of gas supplies.
Justin Trudeau is in over a barrel. In 2015, he made a deal with Alberta. He would get an oil pipeline built to a coast if the province joined his pan-Canadian climate plan. After his election this past April, Conservative Alberta Premier Jason Kenney ripped up Alberta’s side of the bargain and declared war on Trudeau’s climate plan.
What should Ottawa do now after being jilted by Alberta?
Should the Liberal government maintain its side of the bargain, and proceed with the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline from Edmonton to the Vancouver area and lose credibility as a climate warrior? Or should it kill the pipeline expansion now and say this was a bargain gone bad?
In the long run, the latter course would save Ottawa lots on further subsidies. But there’s that little short-run thing – the looming federal election on or before Oct. 21.
How could Trudeau explain taking a big loss of taxpayer money on a pipeline that no private sector investor would touch last year? Either choice will look bad. No good options is a predicament.
Kicking the can down the road beyond the federal election is one way out. But Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi promised a decision by June 18.
Remember Justin Trudeau’s grand entry onto the world stage at the Paris Climate Summit in November-December 2015? Canada is back, my friends. That was just six weeks after his stunning electoral upset, leapfrogging his party from third to first place, winning a solid majority.
In Paris, Trudeau and Environment Minister Catherine McKenna promised to catapult Canada from environment laggard under Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper to a global climate leader. While most rich countries at the Paris talks aimed to limit global warming to a 2 C rise above pre-industrial levels, Canada joined low-lying island states to champion a stricter 1.5 C global limit.
How then did Trudeau get stuck with a pipeline that makes no environmental or financial sense?
The pipeline is not going to change the fundamental disadvantages of Alberta’s oilsands. At $90 a barrel for new projects, their break-even cost is among the highest in the world. And their emission intensity is through the roof. Environment and Climate Change Canada scientists found that CO2 emissions were more than 60 percent higher than industry had calculated.
The sands are in a remote part of a remote, landlocked province. Their main market – the U.S. – where 99.9 percent of Canadian oil exports now head, is now their main competitor. The U.S. produces cheaper, lower-emissions oil.
The idea that the Trans Mountain expansion would open new markets in Asia is illusory. The price of heavy, sour crude oil in the Far East is $1 to $3 a barrel lower than on the U.S. Gulf Coast. Transport costs via the Trans Mountain line and tankers will be at least $2 a barrel higher to Asia. China does not have the capacity to refine bitumen. Besides, the world is swimming in light crude oil.
In recent years, only a few oil tankers have left Vancouver harbour. Most of that oil has gone to the U.S., not China. So the premise behind the Trans Mountain pipeline is faulty. The pipeline expansion will likely be a white elephant, owned or subsidized by taxpayers.
The pipeline expansion could cost up to $10 billion, in addition to the $4.4 billion purchase price that the auditor general said was $1 billion too much.
If by some miracle the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is built, gets filled to capacity and finds markets, it would encourage the production of 590,000 barrels a day more oil from Alberta’s sands. That would add another 13 to 15 megatonnes of carbon pollution.
So it doesn’t make environmental sense either.
The Trudeau government got a special exemption in the new NAFTA (USMCA) to enable it to subsidize the Trans Mountain pipeline.
Why would a government so publicly committed to climate action throw more good money at a dodgy pipeline expansion, especially when Alberta has torn up its side of the climate understanding? Better to cut your losses now.
Gordon Laxer is a political economy professor emeritus at the University of Alberta and author of the Council of Canadians report “Billion Dollar Buyout. How Canadian taxpayers bought a climate-killing pipeline and Trump’s trade deal supports it.”
Canada declared a national climate emergency on Monday. The next day, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave the greenlight to a massive oil sands pipeline.
The House of Commons, with strong support declared climate change a “real and urgent crisis.” A week before, Justin Trudeau proposed a ban on single-use plastics, which, if implemented, would be the latest in a growing number of bans on plastic that could put multibillion-dollar bets on plastics and petrochemicals by the oil industry at risk.
But Trudeau has never really stood in the way of Canada’s oil industry, despite years of platitudes about addressing climate change. That was clear on June 18, when he gave the approval to the Trans Mountain Expansion (not for the first time), a $4.5 billion twin pipeline that would run along an existing line from Alberta to the Pacific Coast in British Columbia.
The Trans Mountain Expansion is one of a few high-profile pipeline projects that have run into serious trouble. Trudeau first gave the greenlight in 2016, but the project ran aground amid legal challenges from First Nations and environmental groups. Last year, Kinder Morgan, the original owner of the project, headed for the exit, threatening the cancel the project altogether.
Desperate to keep it alive – and the clearest example imaginable of how much the Canadian government depends on the oil industry – Trudeau moved to nationalize the project in mid-2018, buying it off of Kinder Morgan’s hands. A year later, here we are, with Ottawa once again trying to push it forward.
“This isn’t an either/or proposition. It is in Canada’s national interest to protect our environment and invest in tomorrow while making sure people can feed their families today,” Trudeau said on Tuesday. Despite Trudeau’s plea, many see it precisely as an either/or proposition. Faced with a binary choice, Trudeau could either anger the oil industry, or anger First Nations and environmental groups. He chose the former, even though that was mostly expected.
The approval comes as no surprise—the federal government owns the pipeline after all,” Scotiabank’s Rebekah Young wrote in a note. The Canadian government has vowed to build the project with a Crown corporation, then turn it over to private investors or some other company.
But the next step is unclear.
The approval from Trudeau’s government is a “positive step” for the project, but “project execution risk remains elevated,” Goldman Sachs wrote in a note to clients. The investment bank said that while the government plans to begin construction this year, Goldman is not factoring the project into its base-case forecasts, “given prior uncertainty in the outlook of this project.”
“Today’s decision is a positive development for Canada’s western oil sector, but it will have little impact on short term production,” Rebekah Young for Scotiabank said. The expansion will triple the pipeline system’s current capacity, taking it up to 890,000 bpd. “However, with the earliest completion date only by 2022,” Young added.
Still, commencing construction on the project would be seen as a breakthrough for Canada’s oil industry. “We would also anticipate that reaching surety in construction of TMX would provide oil sand producers confidence to commence re-investing in production growth, given the capital constrained budgets most companies are now operating under,” Goldman analysts said. “That said, we continue to see pipeline shortages until at least 2022…and during this period from now until then, see light-heavy differentials wider than pipeline economics.”
The inability to build a new pipeline had diminished production growth in Canada’s oil sands, and could limit output in the long run. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) just released its 2019 Crude Oil Forecast, and lowered its estimate for production growth to 1.44 percent annually through 2035, less than half its prior estimate from 2014. “Pipeline constraints, a lack of market diversity, and inefficient regulations are largely responsible for holding back Canada’s oil sector,” CAPP said.
Oil forecasts aside, the Trans Mountain Expansion will still run into stiff resistance from First Nations and environmental groups. “The Trudeau government does not have the right to put a pipeline through unceded Secwepemc land,” spokeswoman Kanahus Manuel said, according to Reuters. More lawsuits and protests are inevitable.
Moreover, the pipeline needs permits from British Columbia, where the government has opposed the project.
“[T]he project still faces significant political, regulatory, and judicial challenges, and ultimately we see a tremendous amount of execution risk up until the oil starts flowing,” Gavin MacFarlane, a VP with Moody’s Investors Service, said in comments circulated to reporters.
Meanwhile, the other pipeline that could potentially add takeaway capacity from Alberta – Enbridge’s Line 3 replacement – hit another snag. State agencies in Minnesota said on Tuesday that they would not issue permits until a revised environmental review was completed, following a recent court order that said the state had failed to adequately assess the potential impact of an oil spill. In short, permits could be delayed longer than expected.
If Line 3 fails to move forward for any reason, that increases the stakes and importance for the Trans Mountain Expansion as the only route left for new pipeline capacity. And vice versa.
Only the US – not Germany or the EU – is interested in economic sanctions against Russia, the head of the Bundestag’s economy and energy committee has said. German MPs are looking at ways to lift the restrictions, he added.
Bundestag energy and economy chief Klaus Ernst of Die Linke party accused the US of behaving as if Germany is its colony, as Washington tries to bully Europeans out of buying Russian gas.
“Those measures don’t only target Russians, they deliberately target Europeans, for example, German energy companies involved in Nord Stream 2,” he said at a conference on the prospects of energy cooperation between Russia and the EU, organized by the Russian Gas Society – an association of Russian energy companies, relevant research institutions and local administrations.
US officials, including President Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Berlin ambassador Richard Grenell, have mounted an offensive against the Russian-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that is expected to be completed in 2019. With the stated goal of countering Russian “leverage,” they are threatening European companies with sanctions if they continue investing in the project.
“The actions of the US ambassador to Germany are simply unacceptable,” Ernst said, as cited by Russian media.
It’s as if Germany is a US colony.
The real goal, according to Ernst, is to make the EU buy American gas instead: “The Americans are using politics to realize their own interests in this field.”
The threats have had no effect so far, with Nord Stream 2 construction continuing to surge ahead. The Gazprom-owned pipeline’s operator stated that each of its European partners, which include German, French, British, Dutch and Austrian companies, have invested around a billion euros in it.
Speaking of other economic measures in place against Russia, Ernst noted that the US is the only party that wins from them.
“There are currently discussions about this in the Bundestag economy committee, and it is growing stronger – how sanctions against Russia can be lifted. Neither Germany, nor Europe is interested in these sanctions. The only ones winning from these sanctions are the Americans.”
“We have a duty to protect what we’ve all been blessed with in British Columbia in regard to the pristine beauty of the environment,” said one First Nations leader. “We will rise to the challenge.”
This is the problem with drinking the Kool-Aid served by politicians who are masters of progressive symbolism but evade substance. Once in power, they can be counted on to do substantive harm. On climate (and much else) we do not have even 1 more year to waste on these imposters.
The National Energy Board of Canada on Friday recommended approval for the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project. (Photo: Greenpeace)
Indigenous tribes and green campaigners were angered but not surprised Friday when Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) recommended that the government move ahead with its planned expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline—despite acknowledging that the project will negatively affect the environment.
The decision paved the way for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s administration to increase fossil fuel emissions, endanger wildlife, and threaten the lives and livelihoods of the eight million people who live in the pipeline’s path.
The NEB argued that the pipeline is in the public interest and provided the government with a list of 16 conditions that it must meet as it prepares to expand the 1,150 kilometer (714 mile) pipeline, tripling the amount of oil the tar sands pipeline will carry from Edmonton, Alberta to Burnaby, British Columbia—but critics including Burnaby mayor Mike Hurley argued that the NEB has no intention of protecting the environment or wildlife by enforcing strict regulations on the construction.
“This is the problem with drinking the Kool-Aid served by politicians who are masters of progressive symbolism but evade substance. Once in power, they can be counted on to do substantive harm.” —Naomi Klein
The conditions will not “prevent significant public safety risks and harms to marine life and other environmental impacts,” Hurley told the Vancouver Sun.
The board noted that the Trans Mountain pipeline is likely to have a significant negative impact on the Southern resident orca, whose population in the Salish Sea off the coast of British Columbia is rapidly dwindling; on the Indigenous population in the area, especially in the event of an oil spill; and on the environment, with fossil fuel emissions rising as cargo ships carry the oil after it travels from Edmonton.
Outcry from First Nations and campaigners ensued when the NEB initially approved the project in 2016, and opponents rejoiced last summer when the Federal Court of Appeals temporarily blocked construction. The court argued that Trudeau’s administration and Kinder Morgan, which sold the pipeline to the government for $4.5 billion last year, had not sufficiently considered its effects on Southern orcas and indigenous tribes.
But Friday’s approval—which came after what one campaigner called a rushed process with a “compressed hearing schedule” that allowed for little input from the public—was not unexpected among critics.
“This entire process is a joke,” Peter McCartney of the Wilderness Committee told the Sun. “I don’t think anybody’s surprised to see the NEB green lighting this pipeline—it’s what they were designed to do.”
Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis Chief Bob Chamberlin, vice-president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, said Trudeau has indicated his government will stop at nothing to complete the project.
“The troubling part for me and First Nations concerned about their water and their territories is the fact that Trudeau has stated this pipeline will be built, full stop. It makes an absolute mockery of the consultation process that was court ordered and has been accomplished today,” Chamberlin told the Sun.
In a press conference, Grand Chief Stewart Philip also said indigenous tribes will not relent in their “deeply entrenched opposition” to the pipeline, which will threaten food sources of the 29 tribes that live in the path of the proposed route.
“We are proud British Columbians and we have a duty to protect what we’ve all been blessed with in British Columbia in regard to the pristine beauty of the environment,” Philip said. “We will rise to the challenge.”
“I understand in British Columbia, this pipeline will provide a way of having an income,” said Noel Purser of the Suquamish Tribe, which joined four other Northwest U.S. tribes in challenging the project in 2013. “But is it worth the potential of a spill, that risk? Is it really worth that? Because that will impact everybody, not just here in British Columbia. It will impact us in Suquamish; it will impact our relatives in Alaska.”
“Once again, Canada’s NEB has sided with short-term Big Oil profits instead of the long-term health of the Pacific Northwest’s people, climate and orcas,” said Marcie Keever of Friends of the Earth. “Shame on Prime Minister Trudeau, his government, and the National Energy Board of Canada for ignoring widespread opposition and serious concerns in favor of this destructive pipeline. Canada’s decision will likely bring about the extinction of the Northwest’s iconic killer whales and drive us further towards the brink of climate chaos.”
Author Naomi Klein argued that the Trans Mountain pipeline project should offer a lesson to voters who have been convinced by politicians who exude “progressive symbolism” while campaigning “but evade substance” when asked how they will initiate a bold, ambitious agenda to protect the planet and human rights.
Pipeline Prime Minister @justintrudeau is a serial liar whose phoney energy regulators support sacrificing iconic wildlife in order to expand tar sands exports that fuel catastrophic global warming. He must be stopped for the sake of us all. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-neb-says-trans-mountain-pipeline-expansion-in-public-interest-despite/ …
So, the Trump administration is warning European companies they face punitive sanctions if they continue doing business with Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas project.
The latest American bullying act came with the US ambassador in Berlin, Richard Grenell, writing to German companies to tell them of the danger of future economic penalties for participating in the ambitious gas pipeline project.
That was not the first time Grenell has issued such a warning. His boss, Donald Trump, has also previously made threatening sounds of economic sanctions against European companies involved in constructing Nord Stream 2.
Trump has castigated Germany in particular for allegedly being beholden to Russia owing to its abundant import of Russian gas and oil. When the Nord Stream 2 project — a 1,222-kilometer pipeline under the Baltic Sea — is finished within the next year, Germany will be able to double its gas consumption from Russia.
The Trump administration claims that this prodigious role for Russia as an energy supplier will give Moscow undue political leverage over Europe. Washington alleges that European national security is being undermined by dependence on Russian energy fuel.
Here is where a glaring contradiction emerges. Trump is warning Europe about an alleged Russian menace over its geopolitics. But hold on a moment. Isn’t Trump supposed to be a Russian puppet?
The relentless, and lately intensifying, narrative from Trump’s political enemies in the US is that he is a stooge for Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
The New York Times recently reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had opened a file on Trump back in 2017 probing into whether he was “working on behalf of the Russians”.
Then the Washington Post appeared to coordinate the pressure by also running reports that Trump had gone to extraordinary lengths to keep secret his conversations with Putin when the pair met at conferences. It was even claimed that Trump confiscated the notes taken by his interpreter after he met with Putin on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg in July 2017.
These recent claims come on top of two congressional investigations and the probe by Special Counsel Robert Mueller — conducted over the past nearly two years — which allege that Trump colluded with Russia either wittingly or unwittingly to win the 2016 presidential election.
A phalanx of politicians and pundits in Washington have continually sought to paint Trump as some kind of surrogate for the Kremlin, giving “foreign enemy” Russia strategic sway over American politics and America’s European allies.
Sceptics point out that this fantastical depiction of Trump as a Russian puppet has never been substantiated with any evidence, despite the unremitting probes and media obsession. Even the New York Times admitted in its recent attempt to link Trump to Russia that there is no evidence.
Trump has repeatedly dismissed the Russian collusion claims as “fake news”. In response to the recent reports in the New York Times and Washington Post, the president told reporters this week: “I don’t work for Russia!” He said the claims were a “big fat hoax”.
The evidence that Trump does not work for Russia is plain to see. If he were a stooge for Moscow then why is Trump trying his utmost to undermine Russia’s strategically important energy market in Europe?
Why is the American president and his envoy in Berlin portraying Russia as a malign actor towards European security if Trump were somehow in Putin’s pocket?
The sinister inference from Trump’s warnings to Europe over the Nord Stream 2 project is that Russia is a menace and a malignant power. Trump is thus using the “Russian Card”. That is, he is using the “bogeyman” demonization of Russia to blackmail Europe into spurning Russian energy supplies.
Of course, Trump is abusing a Cold War caricature of Russia for entirely self-serving American interests. He wants to discredit and displace Russia as a legitimate energy supplier to the European market so that the Americans can step in with their much more expensive and uncompetitive gas exports.
If Washington were to abide by free-market capitalism — as it claims to do — then American gas supplies to Europe would not stand a chance against Russia’s abundant and much more economical supply, especially after the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is completed. What the Americans have to do — and Trump is brazenly making this pitch — is to use propaganda devices to warp the market in their favour.
Trump is playing the Russian Card as ruthlessly and as unscrupulously as any Cold Warrior in Washington.
Now, how is it plausible for any of his domestic enemies to maintain that Trump is a stooge for Moscow when he is trying to steal Russia’s lucrative energy market in Europe?
However, the contradiction works both ways. Yes, Trump’s political enemies are shown to be flogging a dead horse of a story about him being an agent for malign Russian interference in US and European politics. Trump himself dismisses that spurious fantasy.
Yet, Trump is shamelessly using a similar propaganda fiction about Russia being a villain when it comes to him touting for American energy business in Europe. Shame on all the American politicians.
The views and opinions expressed by the contributor do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.
It’s a Gas… Germany Outraged by US Colonial Arrogance
This time the outspoken US ambassador in Berlin may have gone too far to be ignored. The German government has denounced as a “provocation” letters that the American envoy sent to companies involved in the Nord Stream 2 project warning them of possible US sanctions.
The German government reportedly told the project companies to “ignore” the missives dispatched by Ambassador Richard Grenell.
Nord Stream 2 is the 1,222-kilometer pipeline being laid in the Baltic seabed which will greatly increase delivery of natural gas from Russia to Germany. It will double Germany’s import of Russian gas when complete. But the Trump administration has repeatedly voiced its objection to the project, claiming that it will give Moscow undue political leverage over Europe. Trump has warned of sanctions on participating companies, which include German and Austrian firms.
The flagrant ulterior agenda is seen as the US trying to undermine German-Russian energy trade, for the purpose of selling more expensive American liquefied natural gas to Europe. So much for American free-market capitalism!
Grenell’s letters to the German firms – received at the weekend – are viewed as an unprecedented threat to the nation’s conduct of private business. The US embassy denied it was a threat, saying the letters were merely stating Washington’s policy of imposing sanctions.
It is but the latest furore involving the maverick envoy who has been accused in the past of violating diplomatic protocol by meddling in Germany’s domestic affairs. German media have previously blasted Grenell for seeking “regime change” in Berlin because of his open support for the anti-immigration party, Alternative for Germany (AfD).
When Grenell took up his diplomatic post in Berlin last May, he immediately provoked a political firestorm when he tweeted that German companies doing business with Iran “should wind down operations” or face punitive American sanctions. That was at the time President Trump pulled out of the international nuclear accord with Iran. “Never tell the host country what to do, if you want to stay out of trouble,” snapped Wolfgang Ischinger, Germany’s former ambassador to Washington.
Only a few weeks after that dubious debut, Grenell gave an interview to the pro-Trump Breibart News outlet, boasting that he wanted to “empower other conservatives throughout Europe”. That was taken as an endorsement of the AfD in Germany, which has emerged as a serious challenger to the political establishment in Berlin.
Martin Schulz, the former leader of the Social Democratic Party, was among several political figures who then demanded Grenell’s dismissal. “What this man is doing is unheard of in international diplomacy… he’s behaving like a colonial officer of the far-right,” said Schulz. He added a fair point by noting: “If a German ambassador were to say in Washington that he was there to boost the Democrats, he would have been kicked out immediately.”
Grenell’s high-profile media interventions concerning German politics and business do appear to constitute a brazen breach of the 1964 Vienna Convention which stipulates that diplomats must remain neutral on matters of policy concerning host nations. Officially, an ambassador’s role is to lobby discreetly on behalf of his government, and to always adopt a low-profile.
Of course, this would not be the first time that US embassies and envoys have violated the Vienna Convention in host countries. Washington habitually uses these outposts for fomenting regime change.
Richard Grenell, however, has openly flouted these norms and acted as an unabashed mouthpiece for Trump, echoing the president’s contempt for the German government of Chancellor Angela Merkel. The upshot, according to Der Spiegel, is that Grenell has become politically isolated in Berlin. Merkel “keeps him at a distance” and most politicians, except for the AfD, have shunned his contact.
After the latest controversy of writing warning letters to German companies, it may be the final straw for Berlin’s tolerance.
Already, the German media have been commenting on how the “trans-Atlantic partnership” is finished under Trump.
Business newspaper Handelsblatt commented previously: “Nothing in trans-Atlantic relations is normal any longer… Berlin has for too long clung to the illusion of trans-Atlantic normalcy… the era of close ties is now over”.
Moreover, there are increasing calls among German politicians and media for a “strategically autonomous Germany and Europe” unfettered by Washington’s policies.
Such a development is long overdue and its necessity long predates Trump. Since the end of the Second World War, Germany has resembled an occupied country for American military power and a subordinate to Washington’s political objectives. The primary objective has always been to prevent Germany from developing a natural partnership with Moscow, previously with the former Soviet Union, and subsequently the Russian Federation.
The absolute disregard for German sovereignty was perhaps best demonstrated not by the Trump administration, but during the presidency of Barack Obama when it emerged that American intelligence agencies were tapping the personal phone calls of Chancellor Merkel. If that’s not colonial arrogance, then what is?
Yet the German political and media establishment barely protested over that infringement by Washington on the country’s sovereignty and its leader.
What Trump and his cipher-envoy in Berlin have done is take the arrogance to an unbearably overt level. Trump has been kicking Germany for alleged “unfair trading practices”, denigrating Merkel over her refugee policy, browbeating Berlin to double its spend on NATO military budget, and lambasting German businesses for not complying with Washington’s hostile foreign policy towards Iran and Russia.
Trump in his boorish style is merely laying bare the long-presumed US hegemony over Germany. And it’s not a pretty sight. Berlin is being shamed into having to be seen to stand up to this American bullying.
The absurdity is that the US and its NATO acolytes have been foaming at the mouth for the last two years about alleged and unproven Russian interference in domestic politics of Western states. Whenever the glaring reality is it’s the Americans who are driving horses and coaches of interference through their supposed allies, who are evidently vassals.
If it was refined first in Alberta to a form where it is not irreversibly polluting to perhaps the most beautiful mountain-and-sea life and waterways in the world, and if it provided long-term productive jobs at the top end for Albertans at the same time, you could understand why such an oil-tar extraction-export scheme made economic sense in a falling world.
But it does the opposite on all counts.
It is a maximum-risk disaster with oil tar every step of the way through Canada’s most beautiful lands and waterways and perhaps history’s.
And it ships all the refinery jobs necessary to purefy it for market as well as Canada’s primary mountain and water heritages of beauty and life out of Canada to a massive Texas oil-control conglomerate.
The reason you never hear a word of the life-coherent, eco-economic and real job-creating option from the mouths of PM Trudeau or Notley or the corporate media or the Fraser Institute or vassal CBC news is that it may be the biggest-lie project of looting and polluting the life-ground of Canada in its history.
Prof. John McMurtry PhD (London) is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the author of books and articles published and translated from Latin to Japanese, including the three volumes of Philosophy and World Problems for UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems and The Cancer Stage of Capitalism. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.
“Our citizens should know the urgent facts…but they don’t because our media serves imperial, not popular interests. They lie, deceive, connive and suppress what everyone needs to know, substituting managed news misinformation and rubbish for hard truths…”—Oliver Stone