Ray McGovern asks: Is Nord Stream 2 Dead in the Water?

Thursday, February 10, 2022 9:19 PM

Klaatu barada nikto.--The Day the Earth Stood Still

Dear Friends + Interlocutors,

I’ve notice that Papa Joe Biden has become comfortable with referring to Russia's President Vladimir Putin as simply “Putin”. This reminds me of what the godawful G.W. Bush and his inner circle did to Saddam Hussein of Iraq. 

The president of Iraq became simply “Saddam”. Demonization is the game.

In my view, we have an attempted or hoped-for “regime change” operation underway. At the very least, the nitwit megalomaniacs in charge in Washington want to kill the gas pipeline into Germany from Russia. 

They were not able to persuade Angela Merkel to do that. They hope to do it now with sanctions. Washington is sanction-crazy.

I don’t know where it leaves them if Vlad just sits on his hands and does nothing. Ray McGovern (see below) thinks Putin will not oblige Washington. I’m not so sure.

The crisis with respect to Ukraine is made in Washington, not Moscow. The latter is responding to an aggressive Washington/NATO series of actions which go back to 2014 and even before.

Biden is an unbalanced, arrogant, unwise and corrupt career politician of the Washington Democrat Establishment whose poll numbers and credibility are imploding. Ergo, there is the possibility of a wag-the-dog scenario. 

The White House may want to distract an edgy, disenchanted, mostly ignorant and confused populace with a foreign adventure. In fact, it looks to be underway right now. It is a dangerous gamble. 

by Ray McGovern

Does President Joe Biden consider himself King of Europe, with a kind of eminent (or is it “imminent”) domain over multi-billion-dollar projects like the German-Russian Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline? That’s sure what it sounded line yesterday at the joint press conference with visiting German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Biden’s royal deportment was discussed yesterday on The Critical Hour, as well as the various visits of top European leaders in recent days; Macron to Moscow, as well as Scholz to Washington.

Never before has the subjunctive mood carried such alarming connotation. Everything depends, you see, on IF Russia Invades Ukraine. I have told my interviewers that, IF Russian troops outrace Godot into Kiev (See: Godot Likely To Arrive Before Russia Invades Ukraine), I will stand corrected. Today, when I referred back to my insistence for months that Putin is not stupid enough to invade Ukraine (See, for example, this), my radio hosts mercifully avoided asking whether I thought an invasion was “imminent.”

The ‘Botch From Hell’ on Nordstream 2

Some congress members have been saying for months that, IF the Russians invade Ukraine, “sanctions from hell” will be imposed on Russia. Biden’s misbegotten gaffe, however, might well be described as “the botch from hell”, since he asserted imminent – sorry, I mean eminent – domain over Nord Stream 2. Poor Chancellor Scholz was standing right there, no doubt wishing he could hide behind his podium until the next question. He did stay, of course, and in the process proved himself quite accomplished in evasiveness and circumlocution.

By pre-arrangement, Biden picked a Reuters reporter to ask the first question:

Q Thank you, Mr. President. And thank you, Chancellor Scholz. Mr. President, I have wanted to ask you about this Nord Stream project that you’ve long opposed. You didn’t mention it just now by name, nor did Chancellor Scholz. Did you receive assurances from Chancellor Scholz today that Germany will, in fact, pull the plug on this project if Russia invades Ukraine? And did you discuss what the definition of “invasion” could be? …

PRESIDENT BIDEN: The first question first. If Germany – if Russia invades – that means tanks or troops crossing the – the border of Ukraine again – then there will be – we – there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it. 

Q But how will you – how will you do that exactly, since the project and control of the project is within Germany’s control?

PRESIDENT BIDEN: We will – I promise you, we’ll be able to do it. 

(Transcript here)

The coming reaction in Germany to Biden’s gaffe d’etat will go a long way toward telling us whether, after 77 years in vassal status, the Germans now, in the pratfall-prone and highly dangerous current circumstances, will finally start acting as adults – quite able to deal with the Russians “all by themselves” (as maturing children tend to put it).

Don’t hold your breath.

This originally appeared at RayMcGovern.com.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. His 27-year career as a CIA analyst includes serving as Chief of the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and preparer/briefer of the President’s Daily Brief. He is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).