The House of Mirrors

 

There is an excellent conversation going on regarding the post @unsk ‘s post, Tucker Carlson: Nord Stream Pipeline Sabotage: Who is behind it? The problem of course is not one thing, it is a series of things: who did it? what did they think they would get from it? who did they want people/governments to think did it? what comes next?

“What comes next?” is of course the most important question and is entirely distinguishable from “Who did it?”

Europe was already in an energy squeeze. The attack on the pipeline rendered it differently from Putin merely turning it on or off. I don’t know anything about how you repair pipelines other than it is likely easier to breach them than to repair them. This, in my mind, makes Putin the least likely source of the attack. Europe cannot now curry favor with him by reducing support for Ukraine — the very tactic most valued by Putin. This implicates the Ukrainians.

Ukraine is already in a world of hurt, so they likely see the suffering of other Europeans is not out of line with their own problems. And the Europeans are now “boxed in” when it comes to their dealings with Russia. Placating Putin now really doesn’t solve their energy problems. But it does eliminate a possibility that the Ukrainians dearly wish was not there.

Does this mean the Ukrainians sabotaged the pipeline? Not necessarily. Let’s look at their greatest bought and paid for friends: the Bidens and US military-industrial complex. That group has no desire for Europe to go wobbly this winter, which they likely would with Putin being able to relieve their suffering with a turn of the valve. That is no longer an option. And who had the better technology to carry out a sabotage mission — the U.S. or Ukraine? A joint mission where one does one thing and one does another creates some room for plausible deniability.

But could Putin be so diabolical as to think that this might be a conclusion that Europe comes to and drives a wedge between Europe/Britain and the US? Did he believe such a rupture between allies would be of more use than control over the flow of natural gas into Europe? This seems like a Götterdämmerung strategy. But is it impossible? And even if Putin didn’t blow up his own pipeline will he not be tempted to blow up some others? A new pipeline just opened up to flow Norwegian fossil energy to Poland and thence to the rest of Europe. Why would that stay intact?

And if the Norwegian pipeline is blown, who is going to be implicated for that? Will it be seen as a single perpetrator for all sabotage or a Russian retaliation? If it could be an object of Russian retaliation, would there be a better one — the US energy grid?

We have entered a house of mirrors where there is an increasing likelihood of bad things happening without knowing who is the actor (although claims will be made). And this will put pressure on peoples and governments to react and to target perceived (real or not) bad actors.

We are on the verge of “we are all Ukrainians” in the sense of the destruction that awaits, the disruption and the turmoil. The only question is will your hardships be akin to Kharkiv, Kyiv, Odessa, or Lviv.

Published in General
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 44 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    We have entered a house of mirrors where there is an increasing likelihood of bad things happening without knowing who is the actor (although claims will be made). And this will put pressure on peoples and governments to react and to target perceived (real or not) bad actors. 

    Excellent point!

    • #1
  2. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    I lean toward China. That country isn’t on anyone’s mind since it is distant from the problem, it hurts our allies, they make us into bad guys by seeding blame made credible by Biden’s threat, heightened tensions with Russia would distract us, and voila, Taiwan is theirs. Thoughts?

    • #2
  3. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    I lean toward China. That country isn’t on anyone’s mind since it is distant from the problem, it hurts our allies, they make us into bad guys by seeding blame made credible by Biden’s threat, heightened tensions with Russia would distract us, and voila, Taiwan is theirs. Thoughts?

    Interesting and diabolical. The only downside is the impact on future exports to the US and Europe. But if China is imploding why wouldn’t they attack everyone else?

    • #3
  4. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    I lean toward China. That country isn’t on anyone’s mind since it is distant from the problem, it hurts our allies, they make us into bad guys by seeding blame made credible by Biden’s threat, heightened tensions with Russia would distract us, and voila, Taiwan is theirs. Thoughts?

    Plausible.

    • #4
  5. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Has anybody checked to see whether Ernst Blofeld has been buying up energy supplies?  And maybe the FBI can take a timeout from the Right-to-Life and school board protester menace to see if Emilio Largo has been on a henchmen hiring spree.   You’ve seen what I can do, Mr. energy company CEO, are your facilities next or will you pay?

    This was not permanent damage–can be back in under two weeks.  Seems more like a message than a deciding blow.  I would be amazed if our government was dumb enough to do this.  The Ukrainians cannot take the risk of offending their arms suppliers if caught.  China is keeping its powder dry, literally.  So that brings me back to Greta and Blofeld….

    • #5
  6. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Has anybody checked to see whether Ernst Blofeld has been buying up energy supplies? And maybe the FBI can take a timeout from the Right-to-Life and school board protester menace to see if Emilio Largo has been on a henchmen hiring spree. You’ve seen what I can do, Mr. energy company CEO, are your facilities next or will you pay?

    This was not permanent damage–can be back in under two weeks. Seems more like a message than a deciding blow. I would be amazed if our government was dumb enough to do this. The Ukrainians cannot take the risk of offending their arms suppliers if caught. China is keeping its powder dry, literally. So that brings me back to Greta and Blofeld….

    If repairable in a couple of weeks that would be good news. And, if a message, who sent it?

    • #6
  7. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Rodin: Did he believe such a rupture between allies would be of more use than control over the flow of natural gas into Europe?

    What if the goal is to try to force the United States to share our supplies with Europe this coming winter, which will cause U.S. public sentiment to turn against supporting Ukraine? I wonder. Does Ukraine lose without U.S. support?

    • #7
  8. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Has anybody checked to see whether Ernst Blofeld has been buying up energy supplies? And maybe the FBI can take a timeout from the Right-to-Life and school board protester menace to see if Emilio Largo has been on a henchmen hiring spree. You’ve seen what I can do, Mr. energy company CEO, are your facilities next or will you pay?

    This was not permanent damage–can be back in under two weeks. Seems more like a message than a deciding blow. I would be amazed if our government was dumb enough to do this. The Ukrainians cannot take the risk of offending their arms suppliers if caught. China is keeping its powder dry, literally. So that brings me back to Greta and Blofeld….

    Good point. I didn’t know that. Ignore my previous comment 7.

    I’m back to engineering error.

    • #8
  9. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    Jim Geraghty had an excellent column on this subject this morning. It’s up at NRO.

    • #9
  10. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Has anybody checked to see whether Ernst Blofeld has been buying up energy supplies? And maybe the FBI can take a timeout from the Right-to-Life and school board protester menace to see if Emilio Largo has been on a henchmen hiring spree. You’ve seen what I can do, Mr. energy company CEO, are your facilities next or will you pay?

    This was not permanent damage–can be back in under two weeks. Seems more like a message than a deciding blow. I would be amazed if our government was dumb enough to do this. The Ukrainians cannot take the risk of offending their arms suppliers if caught. China is keeping its powder dry, literally. So that brings me back to Greta and Blofeld….

    OB, I just put up my own post on this one, mentioning SPECTRE as the culprit.  I did so before seeing your comment, though you beat me to it.

    • #10
  11. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Vizzini’s logic was perfect up until the very end.  Or was it his initial assumptions that were wrong?

    Who is setting fire to the world’s oil refineries?  And why?  Who benefits and who suffers?  Who have stated their intention to shut down the world’s petroleum industry?

    Does the Biden administration care about the US going without — or with very costly — energy from now on?  Does the Biden administration mitigate it’s destructive petroleum policies for the sake of the US population, for their food, heat, gasoline, and infrastructure needs, let alone the country’s economic and manufacturing needs?

    If the Biden administration doesn’t care about its own people, what makes anyone think that he would care for Germany’s?

    If the initial assumption is that Biden is trying to help, protect, and improve America, or any country, this might be the wrong starting point.

    • #11
  12. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    Jim Geraghty had an excellent column on this subject this morning. It’s up at NRO.

    https://www.nationalreview.com/the-morning-jolt/good-riddance-nord-stream/

    • #12
  13. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Rodin: Did he believe such a rupture between allies would be of more use than control over the flow of natural gas into Europe?

    What if the goal is to try to force the United States to share our supplies with Europe this coming winter, which will cause U.S. public sentiment to turn against supporting Ukraine? I wonder. Does Ukraine lose without U.S. support?

    Do we even have the capability of fueling Europe through the winter?

    • #13
  14. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    The article has the following quote:

    “…Only Russia had the motivation, the submersible equipment and the capability, several of them said, though they cautioned that they did not yet have direct evidence of Russia’s involvement.”

    OK. Nice statement, but nothing in the article addresses this assertion and provides an explanation for only Russia having a motivation to blow up its own pipeline. 

    • #14
  15. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Flicker (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Rodin: Did he believe such a rupture between allies would be of more use than control over the flow of natural gas into Europe?

    What if the goal is to try to force the United States to share our supplies with Europe this coming winter, which will cause U.S. public sentiment to turn against supporting Ukraine? I wonder. Does Ukraine lose without U.S. support?

    Do we even have the capability of fueling Europe through the winter?

    We had, but I don’t think we have at the moment. But setting about restoring that capability immediately would at least give people of notion that the misery would have a time limit.

    • #15
  16. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    Jim Geraghty had an excellent column on this subject this morning. It’s up at NRO.

    https://www.nationalreview.com/the-morning-jolt/good-riddance-nord-stream/

    Thanks. I was too anxious to post the reply and too lazy to do the link.

    • #16
  17. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    Is this a first, praise for Trump from Jim? 

    Finally, we’ve got to give credit where it’s due: Former president Donald Trump had this issue nailed, and when he warned the Germans, they just scoffed and dismissed him.

    • #17
  18. Douglas Pratt Coolidge
    Douglas Pratt
    @DouglasPratt

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    Is this a first, praise for Trump from Jim?

    Finally, we’ve got to give credit where it’s due: Former president Donald Trump had this issue nailed, and when he warned the Germans, they just scoffed and dismissed him.

    Not really. He’s less never-Trump than some of the other writers on NR. I think he’s emphasizing it to tweak those fellows.

    • #18
  19. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Rodin: Did he believe such a rupture between allies would be of more use than control over the flow of natural gas into Europe?

    What if the goal is to try to force the United States to share our supplies with Europe this coming winter, which will cause U.S. public sentiment to turn against supporting Ukraine? I wonder. Does Ukraine lose without U.S. support?

    Do we even have the capability of fueling Europe through the winter?

    We had, but I don’t think we have at the moment. But setting about restoring that capability immediately would at least give people of notion that the misery would have a time limit.

    We could, couldn’t we, if we shared ours even if it hurt the American people? 

    • #19
  20. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    Jim Geraghty had an excellent column on this subject this morning. It’s up at NRO.

    https://www.nationalreview.com/the-morning-jolt/good-riddance-nord-stream/

    From the article:

    As natural gas continues to leak

    If Russia can shut it off, why haven’t they done so?

    I ask because that was a huge flaw in the Boston Harbor outfall (sewage) design of twenty years ago: it could not be shut off except manually by a crew of deep-sea divers shutting the portals manually.

    If Putin can shut it off, then one would think he would use that personal power to torture Europe this coming winter. If he can shut it off at his will, then he had no reason to blow it up to torture Europe slowly. If he can’t, then we’re looking at something else. It’s possible he is behind the sabotage.

    • #20
  21. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    Douglas Pratt (View Comment):

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    Is this a first, praise for Trump from Jim?

    Finally, we’ve got to give credit where it’s due: Former president Donald Trump had this issue nailed, and when he warned the Germans, they just scoffed and dismissed him.

    Not really. He’s less never-Trump than some of the other writers on NR. I think he’s emphasizing it to tweak those fellows.

    That’s not the take I get from him from listening to the Three Martini Lunch podcast. Not sure I’ve heard a positive thing about Trump on there. Just recently he repeated the koi feeding smear when talking about Abe’s assassination.

    • #21
  22. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    FWIW: https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2022/09/analysis-nord-stream-pipelines-sabotaged-one-country-benefits/

    • #22
  23. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    I lean toward China. That country isn’t on anyone’s mind since it is distant from the problem, it hurts our allies, they make us into bad guys by seeding blame made credible by Biden’s threat, heightened tensions with Russia would distract us, and voila, Taiwan is theirs. Thoughts?

    Interesting and diabolical. The only downside is the impact on future exports to the US and Europe. But if China is imploding why wouldn’t they attack everyone else?

    Why not if nobody would suspect you

    • #23
  24. GPentelie Coolidge
    GPentelie
    @GPentelie

    The Ukrainians have been training with US, UK, and European (especially former Soviet Baltics) militaries for many years. This includes Special Forces type training such as underwater demolition/sabotage. 

    My guess: Execution was done by Ukrainian SFs with mission planning and training from US/UK/Polish/etc. “advisors”. This provides sufficient plausible deniability distance to those governments in case of detection or capture. 

    Result: Russia lost a big carrot that it will no longer be able to dangle in front of Germany, so as to keep it resistant to Ukraine’s insistent demands for Leopard II tanks and such. Germany now has to turn hat in hand to Poland for at least a little bit of nat gas, just to help a little bit over this winter pretty please, from the Norway-to-Poland pipeline that, abracadabra, opened the very next day after the Russian ones got blown up, and then obediently await any nat gas that the US will manage to sell them over the longer term. A weakened Germany makes the UK and  France happy, as well as other European players with similar schadenfreundenish inclinations toward their too-often-too-big-for-its-lederhosen big neighbor (e.g. Italy, Greece). And the Ukraine War can now continue apace, compleat with those Leopard II tanks and such, compleat with billions more dollars of equipment that the mainly US weapons manufacturers will be more than happy to provide in order to replenish the inventories that the Europeans have been sending into the Ukraine grinder. And for how long, who knows? To the last Ukrainian? ‘Til Putin is ousted (most likely replacement, btw: Medvedev, who’d be even less friendly to whoever is in charge of the Biden admin, not to mention Zelensky)? ‘Til US taxpayers’ patience with yet another “forever war” on the heels of the Afghanistan debacle runs out?

    What a bloody mess, with no White Hats among any of the main players. Ugh.

    • #24
  25. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    GPentelie (View Comment):
    And for how long, who knows? To the last Ukrainian? ‘Til Putin is ousted (most likely replacement, btw: Medvedev, who’d be even less friendly to whoever is in charge of the Biden admin, not to mention Zelensky)? ‘Til US taxpayers’ patience with yet another “forever war” on the heels of the Afghanistan debacle runs out?

    I don’t know how long. The Russian population is getting restive. So are the Chechens, who Putin has been using as shock troops through this whole thing. Ramzan Kadyrov has been gung-ho for this operation, and the Chechens are getting sick of him too. And now, Vladimir proposes to send 300,000 ill-trained, poorly equipped conscripts who were insufficiently motivated to volunteer despite what apparently have been excellent inducements. Challenged to get out of the hole he himself dug, Vladimir has elected to grab a bigger shovel.

    • #25
  26. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Percival (View Comment):

    GPentelie (View Comment):
    And for how long, who knows? To the last Ukrainian? ‘Til Putin is ousted (most likely replacement, btw: Medvedev, who’d be even less friendly to whoever is in charge of the Biden admin, not to mention Zelensky)? ‘Til US taxpayers’ patience with yet another “forever war” on the heels of the Afghanistan debacle runs out?

    I don’t know how long. The Russian population is getting restive. So are the Chechens, who Putin has been using as shock troops through this whole thing. Ramzan Kadyrov has been gung-ho for this operation, and the Chechens are getting sick of him too. And now, Vladimir proposes to send 300,000 ill-trained, poorly equipped conscripts who were insufficiently motivated to volunteer despite what apparently have been excellent inducements. Challenged to get out of the hole he himself dug, Vladimir has elected to grab a bigger shovel.

    I thought that the latest Russian mobilization was reservists, not conscripts.

    • #26
  27. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    GPentelie (View Comment):
    And for how long, who knows? To the last Ukrainian? ‘Til Putin is ousted (most likely replacement, btw: Medvedev, who’d be even less friendly to whoever is in charge of the Biden admin, not to mention Zelensky)? ‘Til US taxpayers’ patience with yet another “forever war” on the heels of the Afghanistan debacle runs out?

    I don’t know how long. The Russian population is getting restive. So are the Chechens, who Putin has been using as shock troops through this whole thing. Ramzan Kadyrov has been gung-ho for this operation, and the Chechens are getting sick of him too. And now, Vladimir proposes to send 300,000 ill-trained, poorly equipped conscripts who were insufficiently motivated to volunteer despite what apparently have been excellent inducements. Challenged to get out of the hole he himself dug, Vladimir has elected to grab a bigger shovel.

    I thought that the latest Russian mobilization was reservists, not conscripts.

    They were all conscripted originally. If you were in the army, you are automatically in the reserves until a certain age. In addition,  they seem to have been “calling up” people without paying much attention to their actual status. At one point, they were handing out induction notices to students who haven’t yet served. It doesn’t sound like this was planned before it was announced. Someone is panicking.

    • #27
  28. David C. Broussard Coolidge
    David C. Broussard
    @Dbroussa

    I’ve been listening to people who are convinced it’s Putin, but the logic is tortured at best. They say it’s short term a net zero effect because he isn’t selling gas right now. Putin could use this to strengthen his support at home by telling everyone that they are all out to get Russia. That could be it, but once again, Putin looses the chance to turn the gas on quickly. 

    Ukraine makes sense to me, but at the same time they would need support to accomplish this. 

    • #28
  29. DrewInWisconsin, Oik Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik
    @DrewInWisconsin

    David C. Broussard (View Comment):

    I’ve been listening to people who are convinced it’s Putin, but the logic is tortured at best.

    If you don’t believe that Putin did it, you’re obviously a tin-foil-hat-wearing conspiracy theorist.

    Or so I’ve been lectured on these pages.

    I mean, the CIA’s very own perjurer and friend of Hillary, John Brennan, one of the ringleaders of the Resistance Against Trump and promoter of the Russian Collusion Hoax, says that Russia did it. Why would you doubt him?

    • #29
  30. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Percival (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    GPentelie (View Comment):
    And for how long, who knows? To the last Ukrainian? ‘Til Putin is ousted (most likely replacement, btw: Medvedev, who’d be even less friendly to whoever is in charge of the Biden admin, not to mention Zelensky)? ‘Til US taxpayers’ patience with yet another “forever war” on the heels of the Afghanistan debacle runs out?

    I don’t know how long. The Russian population is getting restive. So are the Chechens, who Putin has been using as shock troops through this whole thing. Ramzan Kadyrov has been gung-ho for this operation, and the Chechens are getting sick of him too. And now, Vladimir proposes to send 300,000 ill-trained, poorly equipped conscripts who were insufficiently motivated to volunteer despite what apparently have been excellent inducements. Challenged to get out of the hole he himself dug, Vladimir has elected to grab a bigger shovel.

    I thought that the latest Russian mobilization was reservists, not conscripts.

    They were all conscripted originally. If you were in the army, you are automatically in the reserves until a certain age. In addition, they seem to have been “calling up” people without paying much attention to their actual status. At one point, they were handing out induction notices to students who haven’t yet served. It doesn’t sound like this was planned before it was announced. Someone is panicking.

    Are you sure that they were all conscripted originally?  I’ve seen reports of Russian recruiting efforts.

    I don’t know the facts here.  Very brief internet research indicates that Russian men aged 18-27 are subject to conscription, but it doesn’t appear that all of them are actually conscripted.  It appears that this depends on voluntary recruiting — something like a backup draft, so that in essence, the Russian military recruits volunteers, but a shortfall can be made up by conscripts.

    If this research is correct, then it would not be the case that all of the reservists now being activated were originally conscripts.  I don’t know for sure, though.

    • #30
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.