Mystery surrounds what is increasingly looking like an act of sabotage against the Nordstream I and Nordstream II pipelines. Owned by Russia’s Gazprom, one of the two 761 mile parallel seabed pipelines has been closed since August, and the other is only functioning at 20% capacity. Russia has been cutting gas flow across Europe, claiming a parts shortage, leaving many countries scrambling to connect to new supplies. Even in good years, more people die of cold than heat, so the pressure is on governments to quickly secure a steady supply as winter approaches.

Danish and Swedish seismologists have determined that two explosions occurred, one near Denmark and the other near Sweden. The Nordstream II blast is believed to have been the equivalent of 220 lbs of dynamite. The purported attack coincides with the planned opening of a new Baltic pipeline connecting Norwegian gas to Poland.

Cui bono, the Latin phrase for who benefits, begs for an answer. Financial interests? Political interests? War aims? At least one English tabloid has gone so far as to present a Russian false flag operation scenario complete with maps and plans. What are some of the possibilities?

Clearly, financial interest would involve damage to the companies that distribute the supply of Russian gas. Then there are those benefiting from the higher gas prices caused by a supply crunch. The October Dutch price was up 10% on the news Tuesday, which brings prices in Europe up 200% from 12 months ago.

With Ukraine and Russia at war, they are obvious suspects, as is the United States, which has been providing both weapons and covert intelligence support to the Ukrainians. Although the Russian false flag theory does hit a bit of a wall when you consider that Russia continues to pump gas through Ukraine to Europe. Yes, despite the many months of the war, Russian gas is flowing into Ukraine.  Reuters today is reporting that the flow of 42.4 million cubic meters was unabated as of Tuesday.  As for some fools in the Ukrainian or American intelligence agencies carrying out this caper, the question of who benefits politically or militarily would be hard to answer short of desiring a new European crisis.

Of course, there is another possibility that these are all just natural failures in the system. The United States went to war with Spain under the battle cry “To hell with Spain, remember the Maine.” When the dust settled, the United States controlled Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. Eighty years later, when a forensic review was done with modern technology by Admiral Hyman Rickover, he concluded it had been caused by coal dust. Others strongly disagree.

Unless t it was an accident, clearly, the war between Russia and Ukraine has spread beyond their disputed borders.  This was something almost inevitable without smart diplomats stopping it from becoming a prolonged conflict. One hopes we are not relying today on the same smart diplomats who didn’t believe the war would occur in the first place.

Anyone who would sabotage the Nordstream pipelines is not playing with a full deck. If someone blew up a U.S. pipeline, what would we do? A safe bet is to always presume your opponent would do the same or worse than you would do. If you are wrong, good. If you are right….does anyone recall what happened when an obscure nobody from some Black Hand separatist group shot a crown prince in Sarajevo? Only a few hundred million people died in the wars and revolutions that followed in its wake. And just think, now some of the players in this great game have nukes.

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