EU Original Patrick Lawrence

Patrick Lawrence: Europe’s Self Destruction

Despite the economically disastrous impact the Nord Stream pipeline sabotage will have on Europe, Western media still holds its tongue about it.
Ceremony of opening of gasoline Nord Stream. Among others Angela Merkel and Dmitry Medvedev, 2011. Kremlin.ru, CC BY 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

By Patrick Lawrence / Original to ScheerPost

Absolutely remarkable, Western media’s determination to ignore the recent Baltic Sea detonations, which knocked out the Nord Stream I and II gas pipelines. A major piece of Europe’s energy infrastructure, the joint property of Germany and Russia, has been destroyed. Any chance that Russian gas transmissions westward will be resumed is off the table. The Continent is now sent on a desperate search for new sources of natural gas, inevitably at higher prices. I cannot think of many stories that are more significant. 

The Western press and broadcasters have reported next to nothing about this momentous development since the September 26 explosions.And it is now clear that the media’s silence reflects a larger silence. On October 14, Reuters reported that Sweden has declined to participate in a joint investigation with Germany and Denmark. German television reported that the Danes also dropped out. Now we have a German minister stating his government knows who is responsible for the attack but cannot say who it is. In all three cases, the explanation is the same: This matter is too sensitive to pursue and doing so risks “national security.”

So: There will be no joint investigation of the Nord Stream I and II incident. And whatever Sweden and the others may discover on their own, they have no intention of telling the world about it.

Unless you are given to parlor games that never end, it is nearly impossible to avoid concluding that the U.S. was either directly responsible for the Nord Stream I and II sabotage or supervised those who were. If national security is at issue, it is plain that the Russians had nothing to do with it and equally plain that the culpable entity is nominally allied with Germany but has no fundamental respect for its interests.

It is notable that Stockholm and Copenhagen have decided to shut up about what happened off a Danish island close to Germany’s Baltic Sea coast. It is shocking that Berlin has done so. Somebody just blew up a project worth €11 billion, $10.8 billion, that Germany set in motion and in which it has a majority share. In effect, the Federal Republic has chosen to stand with what is almost certainly a state actor as said actor impugned its sovereignty and destroyed not only its property but also its energy-sourcing alternatives.

What are we looking at here?

My answer comes with a long story—the truly big story Western media have left unreported.

It is the story of how Europe has bowed supinely to America’s dictates since the Cold War decades, even when this does the Continent harm. Lately, it is the story of the disastrous toll the U.S.–led campaign against Russia via its proxy in Ukraine is taking on European societies and economies. And now we must wonder whether the story that began long ago turns out to end with the destruction altogether of Europe as an independent pole of power with a voice of its own and—just as important, to my mind—of “Europe” as an idea and an ideal.

“We are risking a massive deindustrialization of the European continent,” Belgium’s prime minister, Alexander De Croo, told the Financial Times recently.

Europe’s creeping economic ruin is the most immediate, tangible casualty of the war in Ukraine the U.S. provoked and the sanctions regime against Russia the U.S. leads and the European Union backs. The nearly incredible refusal of Germany and its neighbors to stick up for themselves on the pipeline question suggests that the larger consequence is the final collapse of all pretense that Europe is other than a collection of vassal states subservient to the U.S., even at the expense of their own citizens.

Think about this the next time the Biden administration bangs on about the sanctity of Ukraine’s sovereignty. 

I was long among those who wondered with a certain measure of hope when Europeans would speak up and act according to what they determined was best for themselves. I spent decades at this. Yes, I remember thinking, the Continent is done with the Cold War binary Washington forced on the world. Yes, I thought more recently, Europeans will refuse to support the sanctions Washington imposed on Russia after the U.S.–cultivated coup in Ukraine in 2014. German businesses didn’t want them. The Greeks and Italians didn’t either. But when they came up for renewal every six months, as required by E.U. rules, they went through anyway.

Then Emmanuel Macron came along. When he hosted the Group of 7 in Biarritz three years ago, the French president tried on his de Gaulle act, declaring that Russia was inevitably part of Europe’s destiny and the Continent must find its own relationship with its vast eastern neighbor.

Yes, I said again, failing to see that Macron is little more than a squeaky weather vane mounted grandly atop the European barn.

No was the answer in these and many other cases.

This topic came up some years ago during an interview I did with Perry Anderson, the British writer and publisher. Why can’t Europe find its voice? I asked. Anderson had an interesting reply.

The last generation of European leaders with any experience of acting independently of the U.S.—Churchill, Anthony Eden, de Gaulle, et al.—passed into history during the early part of the Cold War, Anderson astutely pointed out. No generation since has any experience other than as dependents sheltering under the American security umbrella. They know nothing else. They have never spoken in voices of their own.

This is not to say Europe has been entirely at ease. By the mid–Cold War years there were signs aplenty that Europeans were restive within the trans–Atlantic relationship as Washington had fashioned it. De Gaulle withdrew French forces from the NATO command in 1963. Three years later he ordered NATO to close all its bases on French soil. Three more years after that, in 1969, Germany premiered its Ostpolitik. Another year on, Willy Brandt became the first German chancellor to meet an East German leader, Willi Stoph.

Let us not forget what was going on in the streets. If you do not understand les événements of 1968 in Paris and elsewhere as in part a protest against the American-imposed world order, you do not understand 1968. 

But Washington, flush with its post–1945 primacy in global affairs, had learned well by this time how to coerce its friends with a toothy American grin and whatever was required by way of money, bribes, fixed elections, political subterfuge, and all the rest. It had a nasty gift for force-marching Europeans to keep them in line with the Cold War crusade, their barely submerged disquiet notwithstanding.

So were those of us who wanted to see a freestanding Europe, in its way a bridge between West and East, so often disappointed. And so came my question to Perry Anderson only a few years ago: How come this?

And here we are with methane bubbling up in the Baltic Sea from what the BBC reports to be a breach of 50 meters, 164 feet, in the Nord Stream pipelines. Assuming American culpability of one or another kind in this crime—as I do not care for parlor games, I make this assumption pending evidence—there is a straight line between Washington’s capricious abuses of European sovereignty during the Cold War and the events of September 26. A nation that licenses itself to intrude into Europe’s affairs without more than murmured protests is a nation that will think little of wrecking an expensive piece of European infrastructure. And a Continent that bowed down for decades during the Cold War is a Continent that dares not say a word about it.

Europe’s goose seems cooked on the energy side now. Saad al–Kaabi, the Qatari energy minister said in an Oct. 18 interview with the Financial Times that for Europe to go without Russian gas will doom it indefinitely to economic decline and widespread suffering. If “zero Russian gas” flows into the EU, he said, “I think the problem is going to be huge and for a very long time.”  

Post–Nord Stream Europe is now at the mercy of hard-bargained contracts in the open market, where it will never match the price at which Russian gas would have flowed under the Baltic Sea to Germany. Or it can make agreements with Turkey, as Recep Tayyip Erdoğan arranges with Moscow to turn Turkey into a depot for Russian energy exports. Let’s put it this way: You don’t want to buy a used car from the Turkish president, never mind a multibillion-dollar energy supply.

And leave it to the Americans. Macron, Robert Habeck, who is vice-chancellor and climate minister in the Scholz government, and other European leaders are already complaining that American LNG due to arrive at European terminals is priced four times higher than what it goes for in the U.S. market.

It has been clear since the Nord Stream question broke into the open during the Trump administration that capturing the European natural gas market from Russia was part of what drove Washington’s vicious opposition to the completion of Nord Stream II. But we have to think in larger terms to explain so bold a move as the Baltic Sea detonations.

This is another part of the story that extends far back. As much as Washington feared the Russian bear, it fretted at least as much and possibly more about all those European impulses to achieve a stable settlement with the Sovs—Ostpolitik, what was called convergence, a “third way,” and other such notions. The true enemy was a threat greater than the Soviet Union: It was the gravitational pull of the Eurasian landmass and the perfectly logical thought that a sovereign Europe would find its destiny as its westernmost flank.

Preventing this by whatever means has been a submerged feature of Washington’s trans–Atlantic policy for decades. This is why a gas pipeline took on so immense a significance for the U.S. and why “whatever means” just computed out to a gross international crime and a full-frontal attack on European interests.

To turn the gaze forward, the most discouraging aspect of the Nord Stream incident is a tie between two grim realities. On the one hand, it seems clear now the U.S. is emboldened to do anything it likes to the Europeans to preserve its power over them, and on the other it seems just as clear the Europeans will take it in the way of the Stockholm syndrome.

But this is not the end of the story. I cannot even speculate whether or when Europe will produce a new generation of bolder leaders with thoughts of their own. This is the age of Liz Truss and Olaf Scholz, after all. But looking further out, I do not see that the U.S. can bring history’s wheel to a screeching halt even if it looks as if it just did: Macron was for once right when he asserted that Russia’s destiny was with Europe and Europe’s in an interdependent relationship with it. This is history’s longue durée, plain and simple. I’ve never heard of any nation stopping it for more than a short while.


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Patrick Lawrence
Patrick Lawrence

Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune, is a media critic, essayist, author and lecturer. His most recent book is Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century. His web site is Patrick Lawrence. Support his work via his Patreon siteHis Twitter account, @thefloutist, has been permanently censored without explanation.

59 comments

  1. Excellent article, Patrick. You are spot on about the history of European subservience to the U.S. empire, and also about the fact that post WWII Europe had no independent identity vis a vis the United States. U.S. military remained–and continues to remain–in Germany and other European countries, and NATO absorbed Eastern Europe after 1991 and has installed weapons of mass destruction aimed at Russia since that time

    1. The US-NATO-UK Ukrainian Proxy War on Russia is an existential war of survival, for Russia. The West as well. It is now a Zero Sum Game Conflict. American political and economic goals are to destroy the Russian state, apply regime change strategies and steal Russia’s vast natural resources.

      This campaign comes as the culmination of several hundred years of Western global dominance, not by the superiority of Western ideas and values, of which we hear much, but rather by The West’s superiority in applying organized violence, mass murder and resource theft, notably against technologically inferior states. It thus is a test of The West’s dominant Geo-Political and Geo-Economic Success Paradigm. Russia is not a technologically inferior state.

      The Ukrainian people are entirely expendable cannon fodder for this campaign and they are the modern equivalent of a Pyramid of Skulls.

      https://les7eb.substack.com/p/ukraine-long-proxy-war-vi-god-favours

      God Favours Russia.
      ___________________

      Washington-London Systems Managers attribute the destruction of Nord Stream to Russia.
      Joe Biden made it clear that they would stop it.
      Nord Stream has been a long standing concern for American energy interests.
      When one commits a crime, one invariably assigns blame elsewhere.
      A have the Washington-London Systems Managers.

      Others believe this.
      No greater and tangible evidence of The Greater Fool Theory than this.

    2. There will be no peace and no prosperity in the Europe until Europeans kick out American agents

  2. 4th paragraph from the bottom: “The true enemy was a threat greater than the Soviet Union: It was the gravitational pull of the Eurasian landmass and the perfectly logical thought that a sovereign Europe would find its destiny as its westernmost flank.”
    Should “…Europe would find its destiny as its westernmost flank.” read …AT its westernmost flank”
    This seems a most insightful article but can’t quite make sense of “as” rather than “at”.
    Lee Camp at Rumble discussed this article and I agree it is worthwhile and important to further.
    Thank you

      1. I think the intended idea is “Europe as the Eurasian land mass’s western flank.”

  3. The author seems to confuse Russia with Putin. Is the US really that powerful these days? And are the European leaders are so feckless that they let the US impose suicide?

    1. I think Paul, without saying much, is on the right track. While I greatly respect Mr. Lawrence and his insights, and don’t disagree with any specifics in this article, there is a subjective tone to this that strikes me as missing the larger picture. I will be criticized for not offering an alternative view, but individuals do not make the important decisions as is, at least partially, implied here. Europe has, as is said, engaged in self destruction. A powerful ruling class has harmed its own interests. Even the photo with Angela Merkel should help make this point. Germany had a leader in her who was just as conservative/centrist as any, but who had the common sense to support the Nordstream pipelines and a relatively eurocentric course. It took a new government, superficially liberal while in fact subservient to U.S. imperialism, to fully knuckle under to the current narrative. And it’s not just a party or collection of them to do this. Other forces are at work, even if the U.S. holds the hammer in the relationship. This is a good analysis, but more is needed.

      1. ” It took a new government, superficially liberal while in fact subservient to U.S. imperialism, ”

        Plus, can you spell d-a-v-o-s?

  4. Who can forget Bidens brazen public statement in front of Olaf Scholz during Scholz’s visit of homage to Washinton not long ago.
    In front of the World media with Scholz looking on, like some scholded schoolboy, Biden threatened in unmistakable language……………
    “The Nordstream 2 pipeline will not be connected.l will promise you that.We have the means to stop it.” (Summary”)
    The embarrassment felt by Scholz was palpable. What the German people thought is another question.
    Since their liberation by the USA in 45 Europe has paid the price and this latest incident shows how beholden they are to their “Liberators”.
    Good article Patrick,

    1. USA liberates nobody—USSR defeated the nazis and Japan…typical racist american

      1. Fair enough, but for the “racist american” part. I don’t know Patrick Lawrence, but Bob Scheer is an American. So am I. We were just born here. Our responsibility is not to emigrate or commit suicide. It’s to do what we can where we can.

  5. Patrick (if I may), thanks for this and so many other great posts.

    Everywhere one looks, we see that the truth is blacked out- either directly censored, or algorithmically-disappeared, or in some cases, made criminal. In all cases, the censorship is exeeded by the flood of propaganda to which a good part of the populous (in the western world, at least) is subject.

    Given this, those who continue to try to turn on light bulbs in the darkness of all that propaganda might easily get discouraged. The weaker ones will throw up their hands in surrender to the seeming inevitable.

    Yet you, and I, and many others realize, that we have no choice but to try to break through the floods of lies by telling the truth the best we can. Thank you for doing this.
    With much respect,
    Roger Hoffmann

  6. Amen, Patrick! You nailed it again with an excellent summary of the docility of Europe, or at least the “leaders” of these nations, if they can be called leaders. There really never was a post-WW2 Soviet threat because in it’s heyday, especially in the 60’s, the Soviet Union had more tanks on the East German border than we did, and anyone stationed there back then that if the Russians attacked, we couldn’t stop them, short of using atomic bombs, which they also had and saner heads prevailed on both sides of the “Curtain” and MAD never transpired.

    I remember while in Europe about 15 years ago reading in the International Tribune newspaper of German businessmen telling Angela Merkle not to listen to Bush Jr. about the Russians, because business was good between Germany and the Russian Federation. Corporations in both nations were making money by “cooperating” in trade and business dealings rather than “confrontation” which the US thrives on. And no need to elaborate on the mysterious Nordstream pipeline explosion last month, especially by blowhard Joe B’s threats if the Germans allowed it to open.

    Who gave Zelensky the olive drab tee shirt he seems to wear 24/7? Or at least every time I see him in the news. Just a joke folks! But in all seriousness, as of yesterday, Oct 21, 2022, comments written on consortiumnews.com are now blocked from being published, as I tried posting several comments on two different articles. Censorship? A violation of the First Amendment to the US Constitution?

    Maybe fellow readers understand why I use monikers for the R’s & the D’s .

    1. I experienced that at CN, too. Glad (well, not glad) to know it was a problem with the site and not a result of Big Brother banning me personally form posting.

    1. The people who.turn on the light.of the US and its misdeeds wind up dead.or in prisons a writer or commentator speaks truth their articles.never are printed or aired An ignorant.public us easily sold a bill of goods that has nothing to.do with the truth.I am.not sure that the American population wants.to know the facts.or can.handle the truth about.who and.what the US.is.

  7. Why is Europe so compliant? Why is Norway, recall the LTTE in Sri Lanka, what a thorn that was for the US. I think it was the penetration of secret financial records, Epstein’s island and spy craft. They have compromised enough people that they can focus them like a lens on uncompromised targets.

    1. the cost is very high—Cuba is one example….recent evidence that USA has spend millions in failed efforts to disrupt Hungary—economically and politically has now been published….the scores of US produced coups, assassinations, sanctions, etc are not ignored by small nations

  8. re: European subservience to U.S. empire

    See Operation Gladio, “NATO’s Secret Armies,” the CIA, and the “strategy of tension.” We also cannot ignore the 35,000 US troops still occupying Germany or the 12,000 occupying Italy. Nor can we help wondering what the NSA may have learned from tapping Angela Merkel’s phone for 10 years. Indeed, if Merkel’s phone was tapped, what is stopping the US from spying on phones across the EU? Blackmail can work wonders.

  9. Patrick:

    Part of the answer may lie with the international nature of Western finance, the “globalist” project Putin has spoken of. European and American elites share a neoliberal ideology as far as I can tell, forming an interconnected financial elite that do not have loyalty to any one nation or region, but to the idea of global capital that can move instantly to wherever the greatest profit can be made.

    I remember the Canadian environmentalist, Dr. David Suzuki, saying that to care for forest sustainably will generate a 2% growth rate, but to cut down the forest and put money in the financial system could generate 10x that growth or more, however irrational from a survival perspective destroying nature is.
    It’s hard for me to imagine the motives of Olaf Scholz, who is destroying his own country and accepting the humiliation of US dictates, but being rewarded as part of a Western financial elite, as President Zelensky has been, may be part of the answer.

  10. I wanted to add that, as the Jeffrey Epstein case reveals, the US deep state will exert pressure on all Western business and political leaders, sooner or later, to support Western hegemony. The message to leaders is “support the Davos consensus and live a very pleasurable, powerful, affluent life or act against us and we will marginalize or destroy you”. Charles de Gaulle, for example, had multiple assassination attempts allegedly orchestrated by the CIA.

    Also, is it possible to talk about the situations in Africa, South America and Southeast Asia? What are the political, social, economic dimensions in the rest of the world in the face of the changes you speak about?

  11. Nordstream II was non operational as a result of Putin’s colonialism against Ukraine, while Nordstream I was non operational for nearly a month prior to the bombardment of the pipes by ??? as part of the Russian attempts to gauge gas prices, and blackmail the EU to accept Putin’s military and nuclear adventurism against the people of Ukraine and on top of their charred corpses.

    The idea the sabotage marks a ‘remarkable’ event by any definition might emanate from Russian propaganda outlets and left-ish, Neo Progressive useful i****s like Patrick, but most of the world, an certainly the EU, knows a fake-fact, Russian-propaganda driven nonsense when they encounter one.

    1. DGA: You post here constantly, always in opposition to what is stated. You insult every writer and seem to be at war with the entire website. What is your agenda?

      1. Facts are an “insult” only to liars, demagogues and propaganda peddlers, Paul. Exposing them IS my agenda.

        What’s yours?

    2. dga lies tiresome—no blackmail—only self defeating EU suctions—-price increases derive from the sanctions—your lies are disgusting

  12. Germany is behaving like an imprisoned, battered wife who has a black eye and swollen face. She insists that her marriage to a physically abusive husband (the USA, who displays bruised knuckles) is the only thing that counts. She regards the social worker (Russia) who offered her comfort and security as the enemy, because of her twisted thinking.
    Using another (gender bending) perspective: it is clear that Angela Merkel had way more balls than that Oaf Scholz (he is the battered wife AKA America’s bitch)

  13. The total collapse of UK PM Truss tells us all we need to know about “voices” and those who are dictating policy: “the markets” and “investors”.

    I have no use for tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations and austerity for the people, but those policy decisions should be made by democratically elected officials, not the “market” and “investors”.

    It is shocking that there has been virtually no criticism of what amounts to a complete seizure of government power by capital. Worse, progressive and liberals seem to celebrate this outcome.

  14. Biden was not smart in saying what he did about stopping nordstream because that gave other countries an opening to sabotage it knowing that the U.S. would be the prime suspect.

  15. According to accounts on the internet, the Nordstrom I and II pipelines are actually 4 physical pipelines. Recent accounts suggest that only 3 of those four pipelines were rendered inoperable by the recent attacks. I’m speculating that this is no accident. If you can take out 3 of these pipelines, you can take out four (although screw-ups do happen sometimes). Why would the attackers leave one of these pipelines operable? Who Benefits? What is their strategic goals? I’m wondering. Anybody got any ideas about this?

  16. (1) Meh, yet another ‘woe is us’ story. This time about the EU.

    The author seems really disappointed that the collective bout of collective and public navel-gazing and fault-finding about the sabotage of the Nordstream pipeline he so badly wants to see did not materialise.

    Perhaps it did not occur to him that the important thing is not: “who did this?” but “what do we do now?”. Due to the Russia’s Ukraine war, it is definitely unwise to keep Russia as an energy supplier. Perhaps he hadn’t considered that stuffing Russia full with cash will only prolong the war and allow Russia to create more misery among the civillian population of the Ukraine by targeting its grid with missiles and Iranian drones.

    Perhaps he hadn’t considered that if it were Russia that destroyed the pipelines it would not be in the EU’s collective interest to find out about that. Especially not when such information, if it emerged, would be shared with more than 20 partners. It is therefore certain to leak. And what choices would we have then? Take it as a casus belli? Take it lying down? Waffle about it while slapping Russia firmly on both wrists? The value of this information (if Russia did it) would be negative.

    And the alternative? Supposing for an instance that the US or Poland had blown up the pipeline? Both of them have always been dead against it. What does the author suggest we do about it in that case? Sue the US? Sue Poland? Leave NATO and slam the door on the US? Expel Poland from the EU? Suffer the humiliation of doing nothing if tha twere the case? Would that benefit the EU? Again the value of that information is negative. It seems that the author hasn’t given that any thought at all.

    This might be the reason Mr. Lawrence is a journalist and is nowhere near policy making. We may truly count ourselves fourtunate in this respect.

    (2) Mr. Lawrence also wastes no time in berating the EU for ‘bowing supinely to America’s dictates since the Cold War decades’. Toss in the lament of the “disatrous US campaign” against Russia and the (totally unfounded) slur of ‘the US “provoking” the Ukraine war’ and the usual (on this forum) “bash the US” narrative is complete. Nice try at political arson by the way.

    I know it would be too much to hope for that the author realises that after the dissolution of the USSR, the Ukraine became de jure and de facto an indpendent state. One moreover where Russia has precisely zero justification in meddling with. Not to be deterred, Russia did precisely that by fomenting an insurrection in Luhansk and Donetsk and by outright occupying the Crimea. Only an observer as biased as Mr. Lawrence could keep silent about that and deny the Ukraine the right to defend itself against its big aggressive neighbour. The US didn’t and probaly for that reason Mr. Lawrence leaves no opportunity unused to (a) villify the US and (b) try to set the EU against the US.

    It might be too much to hope for that the author remembers that the EU has been only too happy to shelter under the US nuclear umbrella, and behind the US conventional forces since the same cold war decades. I for one am happy we did for it brought us prosperity and prevented us from wasting billions upon billions on military hardware and large standing armies. There is of course a price to be paid for that: the EU is dependent on the US for its security. That means that we need to keep on the US’ good side.

    As the author almost certainly hasn’t noticed, the threat by a certain Mr. Trump of withdrawing the US army from Europe unless Europe started spening at least 2% of its GDP on its military caused shockwaves throughout Europe and the EU. The reason is simple: we don’t WANT to increase military spending. It’s like buying and maintaining a lot of very expensive fire extinguishers. That’s a dead waste unless there is a fire (i.e. a war).

    You might see it as necessary insurance, but we in the EU preferred to engage in Ostpolitik (e.g. seeking a modus vivendi with Russia that didn’t involve building a military standoff). The Nord Stream project was an exponent of that approach. Unfortunately Russia’s aggressive right-wing nationalist (and callous) restore-the-USSR-empire endeavours mean we’ll have to.

    Russia is as close to a failed state as it’s possible to have North of the Sahara. It had decades of cash inglux, liberty, trade, and aid. And what did it do with it? Ramp up (with the assistance of Western oil companies) the one resource that generates oodles of money without needing many actual Russians to support it. And what did it do with that money? What wasn’t pumped into yet another bout of military spending, military adventurism, propping up the most unsavoury regimes available (provided they bought Russian arms) was siphoned off by a corrupt clique of ‘Olicharchs’. A complete mafia setup, up to and including Russian government. Russia has turned itself into a complete liability for all its neighbours (except China and North Korea), and an aggressive and dangerous one at that.

    One that needs to be deterred from taking by force what it could never obtain by merit.

    Only … it will take us years to (re)build the military and industrial basis we’d need in order to deter Russian adventures in the Baltics and the Balkans. Which brings us back to the fact that we are (and remain) dependent on US military protection.

    (3) Due to objective conditions, the EU is currently facing an acute energy shortage. And yet there are still large swathes of the electorate who are dead against keeping our nuclear power plants open for a bit longer (Germany). Granted, Germany’s AKWs can’t fill the gap left by the disruption of Russian gas supplies. But it most certainly can reduce it. But no … ecological goals still count heavier. Even is that means that old and polluting coal plants need to be recommissioned.

    The EU as a whole is trying its best to ramp up alternative energy sources (solar, wind) but we can’t do that quick enough. We are also racing to build LNG terminals for US and North-African LNG in order to substitute that for Russian gas. We are on a mondial buying spree for LNG. Great. Just great. That drives up the cost of LNG for every developing nation too. I’m sure they’ll thank us for that.

    (4) Completely undeterred by the global climate catastrophe, Mr. Lawrence seeks to portray the continued use of fossil fuels (natural gas, oil, and coal) implicitly as desirable. It completely passes him by that if the external costs of fossil fuels were to be internalised, we would arrive at higher energy prices. Perhaps as high as we are seeing now. His shrill portrayal of what he calls “Europe’s creeping economic ruin” seems to bear this out.

    The disruption of Russia’s natural gas supply might just provide the required urgency to a switch to sustainable energy production that the world needs but would never have been able to bring itself to admit without a price rise.

    Rather than bellyaching, wallowing in self-pity, and fault-finding as advocated by Mr. Lawrence we would do bettter to focus on the question: how do we repair our energy supply and do it to maximise sustainable sources. Or is that not what he wants to see?

    1. You’ve spent too much space echoing what we can see on PBS any night of the week. You lament this: “Completely undeterred by the global climate catastrophe”, yet dismiss discerning the perpetrator of the pipeline explosion. That was the largest single release of methane in human history, with methane being one of the most potent greenhouse gases, thirty times more so than CO2. The result of this explosion will be the harm, including deaths, to many people and the planet we all share. Your tone is arrogant and callous, while the limits of your historical understanding go back to the last commercial break.

    2. again golodh lies—unlike USA failed state Russia thrives by all measures—debt, revenue, optimism, reduced poverty crime etc—USA the reverse…only a liar denies US terrorism on NS….there is every legal and moral justification for Russia to terminate amerikan imperialism in Ukraine–achied…and nothing NATO can do to reverse this—now you are isolated from the entire civilized world…Russia trades w all nations –positive balance no sanctions except NATO …your distractions dissimulations are mere nazi dishonesty…you merely lie about Russia–you know zero —your pathetic propaganda is expected from a moron american

    3. ” …Russia did precisely that by fomenting an insurrection in Luhansk and Donetsk …

      Uh -I think you left out the part about the US “fomenting an insurrection” in Kiev in 2014 – which led to a Right wing gov’t that discriminated against the Russian population in the Donbass which led to a desire for semi-autonomy in that region which resulted in 8 years of attacks by Ukrainian troops against their own people and a refusal to implement the Minsk accords which would have left Ukraine intact (Crimea is another issue)

      I know, picky, picky, “minor” details which get in the way of the Western (US) narrative – but the devil (these days, decades, being the US) is always in the details – as he was in blowing up the pipelines ….

    4. My God, just a long-winded bit of bloviating, regurgitating State Dept talking points and bad ideas, of which there are no shortages.

  17. Another thing to consider, as other commenters have alluded to, is that post-WWII the United States helped manage the intelligence services of Europe, especially Germany. How much can the leaders of Europe trust their own deep states and how much has been compromised over decades by the US and its command of NATO? Had the US been able to infiltrate the Russian gov’t and FSB to the extent they could in Europe, things may have been very different today. As head of the FSB and then president, it’s my understanding Putin’s national pride led him to resist the US pillaging of post-Soviet Russia.

    It may be no coincidence that Putin has been so effective in his leadership of Russia by being a former intelligence official and understanding that vector of politics.

    To Patrick and Scheerpost:

    It may be useful to do an article focused on the CIA and the role of intelligence agencies in influencing govt and business leaders. It would also help to discuss the term “conspiracy theory” and how a realistic assessment of agencies like the FBI, CIA, NSA, etc can be made.

  18. Lawrence merely reports american malevolence immorality—an inherent american quality. the desperate empire is crumbling cannot compete—the angloshere and NATO colonies are ossified and isolated from the civilized world—this is particularly evident and demonstrated by Russian, Chinese, Indian successes. trade consortiums that exclude the anglosphere now dominate; US currency is no longer trusted. there is nothing amerikan imperialism and bullying can do to decelerate the reduction of the USA to a 3rd world nation

    1. Yes, without a truly socialist movement we are left with commentators and celebrity individuals.

      Alas, the US and the Christian West are crashing and this is precisely what makes them so dangerous.

      1. Maricata:

        The early labor movement existed because of the abysmal working and living conditions for the majority of people. I’d offer that our consumer culture is a form of the Roman “bread and circuses”, and life is good enough now that most people are passive in the face of any injustice our govts perpetrate. It’s a good system for the elites, as long as life is relatively good for the masses, govts can use their access to money creation from the treasury to act outside the interest of their own citizens.

        Most people are concerned with their own lives and the wellbeing of their families. Issues like nuclear war, pollution and climate change (or chaos), are somebody else’s problem. As a society we don’t have a collective memory of nuclear war or ravages of climate change. The US would be a very different society had it been on the receiving end of an invasion like Russia had been in WWII.

        It means that future generations are going to have a very hard time, a very sharp learning curve due to our ignorance and greed, and perhaps we enter a new dark age. One thing about being cynical is that you can lose a sense of surprise and wonder at the universe, and the virtue, love and beauty that are possible in the human spirit, despite outward circumstances. It matters how we live and try to make the future better for our children’s children, but our species is one flower among millions that will bloom across space and time in the Cosmos.

  19. Excellent article. I too feel deeply the disappointment of Europe’s complete capitulation to the Anglosphere. I am reminded of the poem, The Leaden Eyed: “Not that they sleep but sleep so dreamlessly / Not that they die, but die like sheep”.

    The Europeans are still under occupation. But unlike other occupied people, thy have no concept of their occupation.

  20. @Oakland Pete

    “You’ve spent too much space echoing what we can see on PBS any night of the week.”

    If you say so. If you want solid information about the Ukraine war read this website: https://www.understandingwar.org Specifically the daily commentaries on the Ukrainian war.

    <>

    Quite so, for reasons I have outlined.

    <>
    Is that so? Link or it didn’t happen. Oh, and could it be that our Russian “friends” were the treensiest bit tardy about switching off their pumps after the pressure dropped?

    <>
    Read the rest of my post, especially the part about how we ought to stop moaning and start repairing the damage.

    <>
    Too bad you don’t seemable to address the substance of my remarks but focus on scoring brownie points.

  21. I don’t have to link anything. You are already commenting on the website that gives the truth. You happen to be the outlier here. Or you can go to Consortium News, Moon of Alabama, or myriad other sites that I’m sure you know about. Talk about seeking brownie points!

    1. pathetic golodf can only resort to puerile name calling—right wing, failed etc—distractions about climate change—now even France attacks american greed and hypocrisy…USA is a failed morally decayed state an empire near collapse

  22. So true. Russia lost upwards of 25 million people in WWII, the US suffered 400,000 dead.

    Columbus did not discover America and the US did not liberate Europe.

    It helped install top level Nazis such as Rheinhardt Ghelen, as the spy on the Eastern Front which he had done for Hitler.

    It set up basically a German government and economy that contained many of the same Nazis the US said it was fighting.

    The CIA drafted many if not most of Ghelen’s Nazis in the CIA,.

    Nazi gold found by the Americans was used to set up the West German government and the ‘former’ Nazis were employed in the Cold War battle that is back today.

    1. Maricata: Yep! To my knowledge, you won’t see Hollywood movies made about the collaboration, either!

      And now, pro-war Joe B. sent around 5,000 troops (cannon fodder for US war machine businesses and Wall Street greed) to the Ukraine to fight the Russians. If I remember correctly, Biden said earlier this year he wouldn’t send American troops to the Ukraine.

      World War 3 is coming and It’ll make the first two world wars seem like a Keystone Kop comedy.

      Capitalism and Imperialism has been the rule of the day for several thousand years. The greed and desire for more and more is insatiable!

  23. Thank you, Patrick, great writing again. Majority of people do not take economics seriously, just look at USA Debt Clock. Westerners seems to disregard their financial conditions, Europe has a scary 10% + inflation but reports are that they only target a 2% interest rate which is very meek. Their October PMI is a low 47.1 which is well below needed growth and nothing less than a catastrophe. Astoundingly, most Europeans are accepting high costs of food, living, and energy as Normal, without serious complaints as there is enough gas for this winter ( if sparingly used). Maybe when troubles are up to eyeballs, some of the people might protest because analysts warns that critical German factories will have to shutter if no gas in the spring. There is talk of UK needing IMF loans, usually for 3rd world nations not a G7….. Hopefully it’s just rumors. USA Fed rate might go as high as 4,5% to halt stagflation but it also puts immense pressures on the cost of serving our huge debt : Nation debt of 31 trillion or $ 93,700 per American and Total debt of $ 92, 740 trillion. The debt clock also shows: interest paid $13,400 per adult and would increase when interest rates rise. But, Americans are comforted by asset of 522,00 per citizen. Longue duree, long duration, of Russian resources being vital and critical to Europe is historically correct. Analysts contend that Europe became wealthy because of cheap, available, & plentiful Russia gas for their industrial base, so there fore with out, – – then Europe becomes far less wealthy. N’ est pas. Next summer will be tremendously hectic.

  24. EU is now increasing reliance on firewood—2-5 times more expensive now, coal—Indonesia and Russia are selling more than ever at high prices. the 2 nations that invested in fake green—germany Denmark are suffering deindustrialization the highest inflation and residential energy costs all EU nations…panic and blankets cannot address the m ts–by a magnitude of 10+…USA has destroyed EU–they are now isolated desperate as Russian economic growth reaches record levels w China, turkey, Africa, India, ME etc….due to the thriving economy 2% unemployment and the need for more skilled workers 3.1 million legal immigrants admitted to Russia 2022…those US sanctions help Russia—now gas only 1$ gallon in California

    1. America has fanatical beliefs they are EXCEPTIONAL and convinced Europe to be included in American Exceptionalism – – – even if they go bankrupt. They truly believe they have god given rights to have primacy over others ; genocide of indigenous and slaves by the millions is proof and confirmed with recent Critic Race Theory upheavals. Most of the world is now caught up in their own versions of exceptionalism and religious fervor. We have western cultural preeminence, use Christian power, and instill white Supremacy to safeguard our Exceptionalism. It is especially powerful that many Brown / Blacks relinquish voting rights and forfeit civil rights to submit to American style religion /culture. A reversion to Confederacy is not unthinkable. Europe, facing undesirable immigration and costly support of a proxy war, have no solution to their undeniable deep, long recession that will cause them to be 3rd world – – – Unless they concede to diplomacy– against strong pressures from the Exceptional Nation.

  25. how’s the old petrodollar doing
    me thinks there is a lot of hot air in that balloon – endangering all of us

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