by Eric Arthur Blair for the Saker blog
(note: the author is not Russian, knows no Russians and has never been to Russia)
Further to my last “Motive, Means and Opportunity” summary regarding who blew up the Nordstream pipelines (the USA), let us stand back and look at the bigger global picture today. Let us ask “Cui bono?” with regard to the entire Ukrainian debacle.
First of all, we need to be absolutely clear that this insane FUBAR Ukraine situation was 100% concocted, fabricated and engineered by the USA, certainly since the droolin’ Nuland / lamebrained McCain / CIA Maidan coup of 2014, but even dating back before that. There are few situations in life where one party can be found to be 100% guilty and evil and morally bankrupt, and where the other party is 100% acting in self defence and self preservation. However history will show that with respect to this Ukraine situation, the USA was 100% the evil aggressor and Russia was 100% acting in self preservation and in defense of civilian Russian speakers in Ukraine. This is truly a war of good against evil and in case you still haven’t got the message yet, let me repeat: the USA Deep State is EVIL. This reality is indisputably obvious to any semi-comatose person remotely interested in historical, documented FACTS. For those with any remaining doubts, they need to listen to this comprehensively researched three part podcast summary by a journalist and a military historian (both Anglophones). They actually obtained their information from Western mainstream media sources before those reports and articles mysteriously vanished from the Google search algorithms (or were relegated to 500th priority on the search list) after 24 Feb 2022:
It is unfortunate that the stupid sheeple of the West, probably 99% of the “golden billion”, believe the exact opposite of the Truth, which is testimony to the incredible effectiveness of the relentless lying propaganda pooped out from the AngloEuroZionist mainstream media sewer outlets ever since 24 Feb 2022.
Until the two recent terrorist bombings (Nordstream pipelines and Kerch bridge), Russia had been reacting in a highly restrained manner to the US and US proxy aggravations. The US started provocations many years ago and contemptuously rebuffed multiple opportunities for peaceful settlements. Russia will soon end it. How? With the humiliating defeat of Ukraine for sure, but more widely we will see the economic devastation of Europe (apart from those who buy energy in Rubles – eg Hungary and Turkey) and eventually the destabilization of the USA: perhaps with civil war and revolution in the USA, resulting from its own inevitable economic collapse. The latter two eventualities were never Russia’s intended goal, but will be unintended consequences of the malicious actions of the US and EU themselves, blowback or karma if you like.
So what motivated the USA to provoke Russia to invade Ukraine? What parties hoped to benefit from it (hint: definitely not the US public) and what were the short, medium and long term goals of the US Deep State? Context is everything and we need to view the big picture, which can be found in Andrei Martyanov’s excellent book which was nicely summarized in this review:
In short: US industrial, economic and social decay, all entirely self inflicted over the past several decades, have led to the decline of the USA as a functional society and hence to the impending loss of its unipolar global hegemony. This is a situation that the megalomaniacal “indispensable nation, shining beacon on a hill” ideologues simply cannot accept.
It is vital to understand exactly how this hollowed out mockery of a former empire continues to limp along in a moribund fashion right now, just prior to its complete self-inflicted collapse:
- Most important is to understand how the US fraudulent “economy” works. The best commentator regarding this is the brilliant Real World Economist* Professor Michael Hudson whose works are too numerous for me to mention https://michael-hudson.com/ In brief, the US economy largely operates as a global blood sucking parasite, by extracting wealth from the rest of the world and by keeping weaker countries under the its jackboot (AKA economic Neocolonialism). The major mechanism for this is the exuberant privilege of the US dollar as the International Reserve Currency, a privilege no other country has.
- This scam operates in tandem with other mechanisms that were contrived and designed and tweaked and refined to suit the US “rules based order” ever since Bretton-Woods in 1944 (which established the precursors to the World Bank, WTO and IMF, with the simultaneous designation of the USD as IRC), the abandonment of the gold standard in 1971 by Nixon and especially the US creation of the Petrodollar. This was a Godfather type “offer you can’t refuse” that the USA presented to the Middle Eastern Oil producers. It was a protection racket that the Gulf States sequentially signed up to and was completed by 1974. Oil, an essential commodity, could only be bought from the Gulf States in USD, all other currencies were refused. Where could a country get USD from? Why from the USA of course, in exchange for real world products. The Petrodollar enabled the USA to obtain limitless high quality imported products for free by simply electronically “printing” US dollars, quite apart from getting free oil. It was the first class ticket on a gravy train of unimaginable wealth far exceeding the wildest fantasies of the most avaricious, rapacious, greedy robber barons. If the US could get imported goods for free, why bother to fund US domestic industries? Why not offshore their industrial production? So that is exactly what the US did.
- Petrodollar recycling involved the investment of excess oil profits from the Middle Eastern States in US debt securities / treasury bonds, which further propped up the fiat US dollar, even though the USD had no intrinsic value in itself. The value of the dollar was based entirely on the confidence of those who invested in those US “assets”. It was a confidence trick based on a protection racket. This is what enabled the US to rack up trillions of dollars in debt, backed up by the savings from foreign countries, to fund 800+ US military bases around the world. This is a debt that will never be repaid when this whole Ponzi scheme collapses.
- All this is coming to an end. The Neocons believe that the only way such US global parasitism can continue to operate is to subjugate the “World Island” ie. Eurasia. To “regime change” Putin and Xi and to ultimately Balkanise the whole of Eurasia, each banana republic to be “led” by a US puppet dictator. This wet dream “strategy” is derived entirely from the well worn CIA playbook. Such actions had been repeatedly inflicted by the US on practically every state of Latin America (the “Monroe doctrine”) and on Global South countries over many decades. The US Neocons believe that the subjugation of Eurasia is the only way to resurrect the dead corpse of Bretton-Woods and the Petrodollar and to force the rest of the world to continue funneling their Real World valuable commodities and products to the USA for free.
Much has been written about the Mackinder declaration that “who controls the World Island controls the world“, a sentiment echoed by Zbigniew Brzezinski in his book ‘The Grand Chessboard’ and certainly adhered to by the US Neocons who run the Deep State. This is why the sock puppet Biden, or more specifically his handlers, have been provoking dangerous confrontations in Ukraine and in the East China Sea ever since Biden’s “election”. The US has gone back to its “gunboat diplomacy” historical roots, thuggish bastardry which worked in the past to bully other countries into compliance, but which cannot work today against nations that now possess hypersonic missiles. Such US behavior is a “hail Mary” pass, the last desperate act of a failing unipolar hegemon.
The above account describes the USA’s long term Grand View, better termed a Grand Delusion. Given the advanced state of decay of the US and the unstoppable rise of China and Russia militarily, industrially, economically and socially, there is zero prospect of the USA prevailing. There are only two possible outcomes: either the USA backs down or there will be global nuclear Armageddon. There is nothing in between.
Morally and ethically speaking alone, the only correct and proper and decent action is for “Exceptionalistan” to back down. They should count themselves lucky that the rest of the world has no appetite for revenge against the US after centuries of it perpetrating genocide, slavery, racism, foreign skulduggery and exploitation of the rest of the world. However the Global South is more preoccupied with their own well being, they will simply ignore the putrefying carcass of the USA, they are only interested in “win-win” interactions with partners who actually play fair, who abide by actual UN International Law and not by the US rigged “rules based order”.
What about short and medium term more limited perspectives? What specific parties hoped to gain from a war in Ukraine? The usual suspects: the Military-Industrial-Complex, the US fossil fuel industry and possibly the US banking/financial sector.
The MIC: How does the US MIC profit from perpetual war? By all rational accounts the US invasion and occupation of Afghanistan was a miserable failure. However the US persisted at it for 20 years, the longest war in US history. Why? Because was a massive financial windfall for the MIC, it was the gift that kept on giving. It funded numerous McMansions and luxury yachts for the MIC executives and MIC Washington lobbyists. Please refer to appendix two at the end of this document for the explanation of exactly how the Afghan debacle, and indeed all of the USA’s endless invasions and interventions, worked in financial favor of the MIC:
Today, sending “billions of dollars” worth of US ordnance to Ukraine (much of it outdated and obsolete) represents a massive financial windfall for the US MIC. It is the only way they could profitably dispose of stuff they could never legally sell. It does not matter if 30% of it goes missing (eg Javelin missiles to be sold by terrorists from car boots) nor if the rest gets blown up by the Russians. Of course, such obsolete ordnance will need to replaced with overpriced new versions to replenish the US inventory, which will be funded by ever larger sums of taxpayers’ money, to the detriment of US publicly funded roads, rail, schools, healthcare, libraries, etc, etc.
The US fossil fuel industry: In my previous “Whodunnit” article I mentioned that blowing up the Nordstream pipelines was the only way that super expensive US LNG could ever be exported to Europe. US fracked LNG is far more expensive** than piped Russian conventional gas and far more environmentally destructive, with far higher carbon emissions. In order to understand why different energy sources incur vastly different expenses in their production and distribution, it is essential to understand the concept of EROI (energy returned over invested) as well as the full life cycles of the different energy sources: from extraction to processing to transportation to end user. Such explanation is beyond the scope of this article. Suffice to say that high EROI energy sources are cheap to harvest and deliver, however low EROI energy sources are expensive to harvest and deliver and indeed may represent a financial net loss. Such has been true for fracked US shale oil, another Ponzi scam which was never profitable at ANY oil price (even >$100 per barrel). It was a misbegotten project that was bulldozed through using market hubris, blatant fraud, low interest bank loans and inappropriate government subsidies. Such economic stupidity and fraud is also true for the overseas export of fracked US shale gas, even before considering the expensive energy requirements to liquefy it (cooling down to around minus 163 deg C), with continued energy needed to refrigerate it during transportation in specialist highly insulated tankers (now in short supply around the world) and the multi billion dollar investments required for specialist handling at purpose designed export and import terminals (not yet built).
The USA has depleted all its economically viable sources of oil and gas, all its remaining sources have woefully low EROI and hence are super costly (energy wise and hence price wise) to extract, process and transport. Fracked shale oil is nothing like crude oil, it has the API index and volatility of paint thinner, which is why the trains used to transport it are called “bomb” trains. You cannot make diesel, the indispensable workhorse fuel, from fracked shale oil.
Russia, along with the Caspian area, has in aggregate gone past the peak of oil production, with declining EROI (with only a few fields pre-Peak eg Kashagan). However compared with the USA, the Eurasian oil and gas sources have a far higher EROI, which is IMPOSSIBLE for the US to economically compete with. The fact the the USA is now depleted of easy, cheap oil is the reason they are now stealing oil from Syria and also why they hijacked several Iranian oil tankers. Pipeline terrorism was the only way the US could sell uneconomic LNG to Europe, just as provoking a war was the only way the US could “sell” their obsolete old ordnance to Europe. Dirty tricks and devious skulduggery is how the US “free market” and “rule based order” operates, indeed how it has always operated.
The US financial sector: It was the drug crazed dream of the USA that sanctioning Russia would cause Russia to economically collapse which would then spur a coup d’etat against Putin. This goal backfired spectacularly after Russia demanded energy payments in Rubles, which caused the Ruble to appreciate beyond all expectations. Sanctioning Russia’s fossil fuel exports only caused the European and global price of oil and especially natural gas to skyrocket, leading to a huge financial windfall for Russia, which by now has largely compensated for the US theft of $300 billion of Russia’s foreign reserves. In times of global uncertainty, many nations move their financial assets into US treasury bonds / securities as a default “safe haven” which has kept the US dollar value afloat so far. However those nations now also realize that their savings could be arbitrarily stolen at any time by the US “rules based order”, hence they are figuring out ways to shift their reserves. At present the European currencies have fallen against the USD, primarily as a result of their own energy sanctions against Russia which has caused the recession of their own economies. The European industrial sectors are poised to collapse from energy starvation. Once the BRICS+ currency arrangements and financial systems, which bypass the USD, get up and running, there will be massive flight of away from US bonds and securities and the massive international repatriation of US dollars back to the US, which will result in hyperinflation and devaluation of the US dollar, resulting in their inability to afford any imports. Along with the deindustrialised condition of the USA, resulting in no significant domestic manufacturing, that all spells extreme poverty for “Exceptionalistan”.
In summary: any initial hopes by the US banking/financial sector that they might benefit from the Ukrainian war have at best resulted in the USD remaining neutral so far, but will inevitably lead to the accelerated collapse of the USD.
CONCLUSION: The USA is screwed. Get over it.
*as opposed to fraudulent economic neoliberal, neoclassical “trickle down” FIRE sector ideologues, those of the Leo Strauss, Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek ilk.
**original contracted price for Russian piped gas to Germany was $280 per 1000 cubic meters vs current market price of around $2000 (and the EU is now expected to buy US LNG at “only” 6 to 7 times the cost of domestic natural gas in the US)