Tag Archives: Europe

Nord Stream 2 ‘Deal’ Is Not an American Concession, It’s Admission of Defeat, by The Strategic Culture Editorial Board

Nord Stream 2 is a victory for American foreign policy in the same way as the Afghanistan War has been. From the Strategic Culture Editorial Board at strategic-culture.org:

All in all, Washington’s virtue-signaling is one helluva gas!

After much arm-twisting, bullying and foghorn diplomacy towards its European allies, the United States appears to have finally given up on trying to block the giant Nord Stream 2 project with Russia. What an epic saga it has been, revealing much about American relations with Europe and Washington’s geopolitical objectives, as well as, ultimately, the historic decline in U.S. global power.

In the end, sanity and natural justice seem to have prevailed. The Nord Stream 2 pipeline under the Baltic Sea will double the existing flow of Russia’s prodigious natural gas to Germany and the rest of Europe. The fuel is economical and environmentally clean compared with coal, oil and the shale gas that the Americans were vying with Russia to export.

Russia’s vast energy resources will ensure Europe’s economies and households are reliably and efficiently fueled for the future. Germany, the economic engine of the European Union, has a particular vital interest in securing the Nord Stream 2 project which augments an existing Nord Stream 1 pipeline. Both follow the same Baltic Sea route of approximately 1,222 kilometers – the longest pipeline in the world – taking Russian natural gas from its arctic region to the northern shores of Germany. For Germany’s export-led economy, Russian fuel is essential for future growth, and hence benefiting the rest of Europe.

It was always a natural fit between Russia and the European Union. Geographically and economically, the two parties are compatible traders and Nord Stream 2 is merely the culmination of decades of efficient energy relations.

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Europe: Non-competitive Power Prices Derail Growth, by Daniel Lacalle

There’s a lesson here for those the US economy can be burdened with energy mandates that make no economic or common sense. From Daniel Lacalle at dlacalle.com:

Despite an endless chain of monetary and fiscal stimuli, the Eurozone consistently disappoints in growth and job creation. One of the reasons is demographics. No monetary and public spending stimulus can offset the impact on consumption and economic growth of an ageing population, as Japan can also confirm.

However, there is an especially important factor that tends to be overlooked. The lack of competitiveness of the Eurozone industry due to rising and non-competitive power prices.

Residential electricity prices in the European Union between 2010 and 2014 averaged near $240/MWh, whereas the U.S. averaged nearly $120/MWh, or less than half of EU prices. Gasoline and gasoil prices were also twice as expensive in the average of the European Union compared with the United States (https://www.globalenergyinstitute.org/sites/default/files/2019-07/EU_Report.pdf).

This trend has not improved. In 2020, the average residential consumer’s electricity price in Europe showed an increase of 13% over the average price ten years before.

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Japanese Pot Calls European Kettle Black, by Doug Bandow

What Japan and the Europeans really want is to outsource their defense to somebody else, that is, the United States. From Doug Bandow at theamericanconservative.com:

Tokyo wants Europe to do more about China. But neither Japan nor the E.U. pull their own weight.

Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi told European leaders that they should increase the continent’s military presence in Asia to help Tokyo put “tremendous pressure” on the People’s Republic of China. In return Kishi proposed sending two armored divisions to Europe to help face down a revived Russian Federation.

Hah, hah, hah! Only kidding about the latter. Japan isn’t in the armored division business. Or inclined to send Japanese troops overseas. Or even to do that much to constrain Beijing. After all, Tokyo believes that confronting China is primarily America’s job. However, the minister would like Europe to join America in helping to defend Japan. Such a deal!

 

Kishi testified before the European Parliament’s committee on security and defense. He urged the European Union to “continue and expand” security cooperation with Japan in the “Indo-Pacific region.” He advocated cooperation “against authoritarianism,” telling the panel that “I highly commend the point that the EU strategy sets out the strengthening of presence and action in the Indo-Pacific.” An unnamed Japanese official told the South China Morning Post: “Japan hopes to use this opportunity to get more involvement from the EU in the region.”

Apparently, Tokyo isn’t satisfied with the defense welfare that it receives from the U.S. Now it hopes the Europeans, who have been as shameless as the Japanese in forever cheap-riding on Washington, to “visibly increase their military presence” in the Indo-Pacific. If Europe went along with his proposal, Japan would become a double-dipper, a notable achievement since it long has devoted less effort to the military even than the Europeans!

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World Biden’s Two-Step Geneva Waltz Simply Buys Him Space, by Alasdair Crooke

For Biden his confab with the G-7 and summit with Vladimir Putin were exercises in public relations. For the Europeans and Putin they were inconsequential. Russia, China, and Iran will continue to do what their doing in Eurasia, ignoring the occasional American protest and trying to lure the Europeans away from the American axis. From Alasdair Crooke at strategic-culture.org:

Washington would do well to discount von Leyen’s gushing love-in with Biden – it means very little, Alastair Crooke writes.

The show came, and now has passed. The G7 visuals were meant to underline the prolongation of the unipolar moment and its purported values – Macron described it as a ‘family’ get-together, after a long hiatus, and Johnson remarked that it was so reminiscent of a ‘return to school’, with old mates crowding around, after the ‘hols’. The West is back, facing off against the autocratic ‘beasts from the East’ – so says the new narrative of the U.S. and the EU – said without a trace of irony – as democracies are mobilising against the threat from ‘the East’. The West is best; democracy is best; and works better, too … and shall win any race!

But visuals and re-booted mission statement apart, where does this take us? Well, nowhere substantive, beyond Boris Johnson’s celebration of G7 bonhomie. The NATO summit however, did elevate Russia to an ‘acute threat’, whilst China was lowered a rachet, to being only a ‘systemic challenge’. Why so?

Well, the NATO statement represented something of a Faustian Bargain. West Europeans (Macron and Merkel essentially) were resigned to the fact that they needed to give Biden some ‘China Threat’ language in the final communiqué to bring him – and America – back aboard the multilateral Eurobus. The Europeans have pressing trade ‘bones’ (steel and aluminium tariffs), that they wish to pick with Washington. So they didn’t want China entirely demonised; they need it too much. They wanted it instead, ‘differentiated’. That is to say, they argue that China presents differential threats – military, trade, tech and cultural – each of which should be treated differently. Macron says this approach represents the spirit of his Euro strategic-autonomy campaign.

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Putin Takes Nord Stream 2 Victory Lap: “Either Buy Cheaper, Cleaner Gas From Us” Or “Dubious” US Shale, by Tyler Durden

Putin has outsmarted American and European politicians many times, but it never gets old. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

On Friday Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed the successful reaching of a major milestone in the Nord Stream 2 Russia to Germany natural gas pipeline despite an aggressive US sanctions campaign toward thwarting the project which began under the Trump administration (and ironically somewhat softened under Biden, at least on the German side), which will imminently bring the controversial project to completion.

In an address to the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, which is often referred to as “Russia’s Davos”, Putin said “I am pleased to say that today, just two-and-a-half-hours ago, we have completed laying the pipes for the first section of Nord Stream 2, and works are advancing on the second segment.”

Just days ago TASS cited the governor of the Leningrad region, where the pipeline originates, as saying testing will begin as early as next week. At the end of March, Russia’s energy giant Gazprom had declared it to be 95% complete.

Via AP

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U.S. Spying on ‘Allies’ Spoils Biden’s Set-Piece Visit to Europe, by Strategic Culture Editorial Board

It’s hard to cast spying on your friends in a good light. From the Strategic Culture editorial board, at strategic-culture.org:

Biden is to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva only days after his embarrassing encounter with European vassals, er, “allies”.

American President Joe Biden flies to Europe next week for a series of major summits in what was being billed as a happy revival for the transatlantic alliance. Four years of bitter and divisive chaos under Trump were supposed to be sutured by the new president declaring the importance of a strong U.S.-European partnership and “shared values”.

Unfortunately for Biden, the scandal over U.S. spying on European governments looks like casting a shadow on the “happy family reunion”. What’s more, this American president is fully implicated in the illicit snooping.

The timing also upsets Biden’s attempt to burnish America’s image as a defender of “rules-based order” and “shared Western values” when he meets Russian leader Vladimir Putin in Geneva for their first face-to-face presidential summit.

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Europe: Anti-Israel Protests Descend into Anti-Semitism, by Soeren Kern

There are many Europeans, particularly the newly imported Islamic variety, who are rabidly anti-Israel and antisemitic regardless of what Israel does and want to drive the Jews out of Europe. From Soeren Kern at gatestoneinstitute.org:

  • The current crisis of anti-Semitism is a testament to the failure of European multiculturalism, which is making Jewish life in Europe increasingly unviable.
  • “Open, disgusting hatred of Jews and Israel, but not only: It was also hatred of our free, tolerant democracy.” — Peter Wilke, correspondent, Bild.
  • “It is astonishing that, only 76 years after the Shoah, many people fail to understand that the Jewish state cannot accept a threat to its existence without being able to defend itself. The anti-Semitic attacks of the past few days have once again made it clear how fragile Jewish life is in Germany.” — Andrei Kovacs, managing director, “321-2021: 1700 Years of Jewish Life in Germany.”
  • “Angela Merkel’s refugee policy, which no longer bothers to identify true war refugees, has imported hundreds of thousands of times an ideology that focuses on the Jew as an eternal enemy… Too many streets were in the hands of people at the weekend who want a different Germany, a country without Jews.” — Julian Reichelt, editor-in-chief, Bild.
  • “A large part of this mob consists of people who came here as refugees and brought their hatred of Jews with them and continued to expand it here.” — Michal Kornblum, German commentator.
  • “German politicians have not understood that immigration from Iraq and Syria, from the Arab countries, also brings more anti-Semitism to Germany. Anyone who says that is immediately branded as right wing and there is no fair discussion or debate about it.” — German-Egyptian political scientist and author Hamed Abdel-Samad, Die Welt.
  • “In the end, not even schools can talk about anti-Semitism or the Middle East conflict. Or about Erdogan or about Islamism. Even at universities, Muslim students refuse to speak about such topics. Universities should be a safe haven for opinions. But for many Muslim students, universities are now safe spaces from opinions and criticism, even though that is where we have to start.” — German-Egyptian political scientist and author Hamed Abdel-Samad, Die Welt.
  • “This isn’t about Gaza. We’ve never seen such hate after any Western action in Syria or Afghanistan. No British crowds marching through malls to protest airstrikes in Iraq. This is bigotry in its most ugly, rawest form. Gaza is an excuse to find a socially acceptable way to publicly express Jew-hatred while pretending that your hate is righteous…. Arab persecution of Palestinians is ignored by the anti-Israel crowd as well.” — Elder of Zion blog.

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Passenger Locator Forms: When You Become A Health Threat, And Removing Your Rights A Formality, by Children’s Health Defense Europe

If you think Covid totalitarianism is bad in the US, check out Europe. From Children’s Health Defense Europe at childrenshealthdefenseeu.eu:

Since the WHO declared a pandemic, Europe has seen the advent of two curious legal instruments: the Digital Green Certificate (DGC) and Passenger Locator Forms (PLFs). Working shoulder-to-shoulder as a draconian ‘universal framework’, they are digging a six-foot legislative hole in which to lay freedom of movement and the concept of bodily integrity to rest.

Until now you have been able to travel freely. Generally, you required proof of identity and citizenship, ie a passport. Sometimes there were visa and medical requirements. Within the Schengen Zone meanwhile, European citizens didn’t even need a passport.

And until now, you had command over your own body. You could choose your medicine, for example. If you got sick, generally speaking, you decided on your treatment. You could only be imprisoned if you did something wrong.

Until now you were a person, a citizen; free to move and bodily autonomous.

You may have noticed that this has all changed. However you may not realise how and to what a dramatic extent this has changed, or why.

It’s not that you can’t travel anymore. The State will still let you travel—in return for certain permissions. Before you can move, you will let the State do things to your body; conduct an unsanitary test or administer an experimental gene therapy for example—whether or not you are sick. Then, as you begin to move, the State will track and imprison you as it sees fit.

So, to travel, you will have to give up the right to decide what happens to your body. Instead, in certain matters, you will let the State decide. Why? Because the State presumes you are a threat to public health, and you accept this.

Now let’s look at the two instruments that make up this new pact between government and ‘passengers’ or, better understood, all members of our presumably plague-bearing society.

The first is the Digital Green Certificate, DGC, which followers of Children’s Health Defense Europe will be familiar with. It’s is a health control system incorporating medical certificates which you will carry on your phone.

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Barbarians Rampage Through Europe’s Cemetery, by Dmitry Orlov

Russians have long admired the rest of Europe and sought to emulate Europeans, but that’s fading. From Dmitry Orlov at Club Orlov via lewrockwell.com:

Around the world, very few people are capable of wrapping their heads around the European reaction to the migrant crisis. On the side of the migrants, we have avid displays of barbarism, fanaticism and aggression; on the side of the Europeans, we have abject fear of appearing… intolerant. In an out-of-control situation where we would expect people to organize, protest, put up road blocks and vote en masse for nationalist parties, we are instead subjected to the ridiculous spectacle of meek, effeminate Europeans dressed up in unisex outfits chalking “No to terrorism!” on sidewalks. Most people around the world see in this an orchidaceous display of anthropological nullity. “Is Europe dead?” they wonder aloud.

Lest you think that this impression is politically incorrect or undiplomatic or somehow marginal rather than mainstream, Russia’s FM Sergei Lavrov, a senior Russian statesman and a diplomat’s diplomat, is on the record saying that the European Union is “committing suicide” by letting in the invading hordes from the Middle East and North Africa.

Here we have a flood of people coming in, the majority of them young adult males shirking military service back home, and relatively few of them are qualified to seek asylum. Most of them are unqualified to do any sort of work within the EU due to lack of literacy, education or work ethic. Many of them would not be trainable in any case, coming as they are from populations bred for physical stamina and disease tolerance rather than intelligence.

Quite a few are Islamic radicals who see themselves as actual colonizers; many more have no qualms about robbing Europeans and raping European women. A few thousand are actual terrorists being sent in to await orders. For most of them, crashing into the EU and freeloading there is part of an excellent adventure—far more exciting than herding cattle or growing millet in their native villages.

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Washington’s Green Branches in Europe, by Diane Johnstone

How a fringe party goes mainstream in Europe: cozy up to the United States government and toe its line. From Diane Johnstone at consortiumnews.com:

The German Green Party has a chance to join a ruling coalition in September’s election, after turning its back on its roots, to root for Washington.

The core of the American empire is its domination of Europe, directly through NATO and indirectly through a web of treaties, institutions and elite organizations which develop policy consensus and select upcoming leaders in European countries. Pervasive American influence has caused drastically deteriorating relation between Western European countries and Russia.

Russia is a great nation with an important place in European history and culture. Washington’s policy is to expel Russia from Europe in order to secure its own domination of the rest of the continent.

This policy entails creating hostilities where none exist and disrupting what should be fruitful relations between Russia and the West.

It is quite obvious to all serious observers that trade between resource-rich Russia and highly industrialized Germany is a natural fit, beneficial to both – and not least to Germany. A symbol of that beneficial cooperation is the Nordstream 2 pipeline, now nearing completion, which would provide Germany and other European customers with much-needed natural gas at reasonable prices.

The U.S. is determined to block the completion and operation of Nordstream 2. The obvious motives are to block “Russian influence,” to sell Germany more expensive gas from U.S. fracking and eventually to weaken support for Putin in the hope of replacing him with an American puppet, like the drunken Boris Yeltsin who ruined Russia in the 1990s.

But for those Europeans who prefer to reject Nordstream on the basis of high-sounding moral posturing, an abundance of largely fictional pretexts are available: Crimea’s vote to rejoin Russia, falsely portrayed as a military takeover; the incredible saga of the non-poisoning of Alexei Navalny; and the latest: an obscure 2014 explosion in the Czech Republic which is suddenly attributed to the same two Russian spies who allegedly failed to poison the Skripals in Salisbury in 2018.

According to the liberal doctrine justifying the capitalist “free market,” economic self-interest leads people to make rational choices. It follows that many sensible observers have placed their hopes for effective opposition to Washington’s policy of isolating Russia on the self-interest of German politicians and especially of German business leaders.

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