by Pepe Escobar, posted with the author’s permission and widely cross-posted
Let’s start with Pipelineistan. Nearly seven years ago, I showed how Syria was the ultimate Pipelineistan war.
Damascus had rejected the – American – plan for a Qatar-Turkey gas pipeline, to the benefit of Iran-Iraq-Syria (for which a memorandum of understanding was signed).
What followed was a vicious, concerted “Assad must go” campaign: proxy war as the road to regime change. The toxic dial went exponentially up with the instrumentalization of ISIS – yet another chapter of the war of terror (italics mine). Russia blocked ISIS, thus preventing regime change in Damascus. The Empire of Chaos-favored pipeline bit the dust.
Now the Empire finally exacted payback, blowing up existing pipelines – Nord Stream (NS) and Nord Steam 2 (NS2) – carrying or about to carry Russian gas to a key imperial economic competitor: the EU.
We all know by now that Line B of NS2 has not been bombed, or even punctured, and it’s ready to go. Repairing the other three – punctured – lines would not be a problem: a matter of two months, according to naval engineers. Steel on the Nord Streams is thicker than on modern ships. Gazprom has offered to repair them – as long as Europeans behave like grown-ups and accept strict security conditions.
We all know that’s not going to happen. None of the above is discussed across NATOsan media. That means that Plan A by the usual suspects remains in place: creating a contrived natural gas shortage, leading to the de-industrialization of Europe, all part of the Great Reset, rebranded “The Great Narrative”.
Meanwhile, the EU Muppet Show is discussing the ninth sanction package against Russia. Sweden refuses to share with Russia the results of the dodgy intra-NATO “investigation” of itself on who blew up the Nord Streams.
At Russian Energy Week, President Putin summarized the stark facts.
Europe blames Russia for the reliability of its energy supplies even though it was receiving the entire volume it bought under fixed contracts.
The “orchestrators of the Nord Stream terrorist attacks are those who profit from them”.
Repairing Nord Stream strings “would only make sense in the event of continued operation and security”.
Buying gas on the spot market will cause a €300 billion loss for Europe.
The rise in energy prices is not due to the Special Military Operation (SMO), but to the West’s own policies.
Yet the Dead Can Dance show must go on. As the EU forbids itself to buy Russian energy, the Brussels Eurocracy skyrockets their debt to the financial casino. The imperial masters laugh all the way to the bank with this form of collectivism – as they continue to profit from using financial markets to pillage and plunder whole nations.
Which bring us to the clincher: the Straussian/neo-con psychos controlling Washington’s foreign policy eventually might – and the operative word is “might” – stop weaponizing Kiev and start negotiations with Moscow only after their main industrial competitors in Europe go bankrupt.
But even that would not be enough – because one of NATO’s key “invisible” mandates is to capitalize, whatever means necessary, on food resources across the Pontic-Caspian steppe: we’re talking about 1 million km2 of food production from Bulgaria all the way to Russia.
Judo in Kharkov
The SMO has swiftly transitioned into a “soft” CTO (Counter-Terrorist Operation) even without an official announcement. The no-nonsense approach of the new overall commander with full carte blanche from the Kremlin, General Surovikin, a.k.a. “Armageddon”, speaks for itself.
There are absolutely no indicators whatsoever pointing to a Russian defeat anywhere along the over 1,000 km-long frontline. The spun-to-death withdrawal from Kharkov may have been a masterstroke: the first stage of a judo move that, cloaked in legality, fully developed after the terrorist bombing of Krymskiy Most – the Crimea Bridge.
Let’s look at the retreat from Kharkov as a trap – as in Moscow graphically demonstrating “weakness”. That led the Kiev forces – actually their NATO handlers – to gloat about Russia “fleeing”, abandon all caution, and go for broke, even embarking on a terror spiral, from the assassination of Darya Dugina to the attempted destruction of Krymskiy Most.
In terms of Global South public opinion, it’s already established that General Armageddon’s Daily Morning Missile Show is a legal (italics mine) response to a terrorist state. Putin may have sacrificed, for a while, a piece on the chessboard – Kharkov: after all, the SMO mandate is not to hold terrain, but to demilitarize Ukraine.
Moscow even won post-Kharkov: all the Ukrainian military equipment accumulated in the area was thrown into offensives, just for the Russian Army to merrily engage in non-stop target practice.
And then there’s the real clincher: Kharkov set in motion a series of moves that allowed Putin to eventually go for checkmate, via the missile-heavy “soft” CTO, reducing the collective West to a bunch of headless chickens.
In parallel, the usual suspects continue to relentlessly spin their new nuclear “narrative”. Foreign Minister Lavrov has been forced to repeat ad nauseam that according to Russian nuclear doctrine, a strike may only happen in response to an attack “which endangers the entire existence of the Russian Federation.”
The aim of the D.C. psycho killers – in their wild wet dreams – is to provoke Moscow into using tactical nuclear weapons in the battlefield. That was another vector in rushing the timing of the Crimea Bridge terror attack: after all British intel plans had been swirling for months. That all came to nought.
The hysterical Straussian/neocon propaganda machine is frantically, pre-emptively, blaming Putin: he’s “cornered”, he’s “losing”, he’s “getting desperate” so he’ll launch a nuclear strike.
It’s no wonder the Doomsday Clock set up by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in 1947 is now placed at only 100 seconds from midnight. Right on “Doom’s doorstep”.
This is where a bunch of American psychos is leading us.
Life at Doom’s doorstep
As the Empire of Chaos, Lies and Plunder is petrified by the startling Double Fail of a massive economic/military attack, Moscow is systematically preparing for the next military offensive. As it stands, it’s clear that the Anglo-American axis will not negotiate. It has not even tried for the past 8 years, and it’s not about to change course, even incited by an angelic chorus ranging from Elon Musk to Pope Francis.
Instead of going Full Timur, accumulating a pyramid of Ukrainian skulls, Putin has summoned eons of Taoist patience to avoid military solutions. Terror on the Crimea Bridge may have been a game-changer. But the velvet gloves are not totally off: General Armageddon’s daily aerial routine may still be seen as a – relatively polite – warning. Even in his latest landmark speech, which contained a savage indictment of the West, Putin made clear he’s always open for negotiations.
Yet by now, Putin and the Security Council know why the Americans simply can’t negotiate. Ukraine may be just a pawn in their game, but it’s still one of Eurasia’s key geopolitical nodes: whoever controls it, enjoys extra strategic depth.
The Russians are very much aware that the usual suspects are obsessed with blowing up the complex process of Eurasia integration – starting with China’s BRI. No wonder important instances of power in Beijing are “uneasy” with the war. Because that’s very bad for business between China and Europe via several trans-Eurasian corridors.
Putin and the Russian Security Council also know that NATO abandoned Afghanistan – an absolutely miserable failure – to place all their chips on Ukraine. So losing both Kabul and Kiev will be the ultimate mortal blow: that means abandoning the 21st Eurasian Century to the Russia-China-Iran strategic partnership.
Sabotage – from the Nord Streams to Krymskiy Most – gives away the desperation game. NATO’s arsenals are virtually empty. What’s left is a war of terror: the Syrianization, actually ISIS-zation of the battlefield. Managed by braindead NATO, acted on the terrain by a cannon fodder horde sprinkled with mercenaries from at least 34 nations.
So Moscow may be forced to go all the way – as the Totally Unplugged Dmitry Medvedev revealed: now this is about eliminating a terrorist regime, totally dismantle its politico-security apparatus and then facilitate the emergence of a different entity. And if NATO still blocks it, direct clash will be inevitable.
NATO’s thin red line is they can’t afford to lose both Kabul and Kiev. Yet it took two acts of terror – on Pipelineistan and on Crimea – to imprint a much starker, burning red line: Russia will not allow the Empire to control Ukraine, whatever it takes. That’s intrinsically linked to the future of the Greater Eurasia Partnership. Welcome to life at Doom’s doorstep.