James Howard Kunstler – Are Russian sanctions a ploy so US can sell more natural gas to the EU?

  • Published on August 4th, 2017

Russia hysteria has become a full-blown national psychosis at a moment in history when a separate array of troubles poses the real threat to America’s well-being. Most of these have to do with the country’s swan dive into bankruptcy, but meeting them honestly would force uncomfortable choices on the grifters and caitiffs in congress. Meanwhile, the Treasury Dept is burning through its dwindling cash reserves, and all government activities will face a shutdown at the end of the summer unless congress votes to raise the debt ceiling — which may be way harder than passing the stupid Russia sanctions bill.

By James Howard Kunstler russisan pipeline

That bill, vaingloriously called The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act will only blow up in America’s face. This country’s actual trade with Russia is negligible, but the bill aims to interrupt and punish Europe’s trade, centering on oil and natural gas, which they need desperately. Mainly, the US bill seeks to interrupt a gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea that would bypass several of the Baltic Nations currently being used by America — under the NATO banner — as staging areas for unnecessary and provocative war games on Russia’s borders.

liquified natural gas tankerGermany is certain to not stand for it, and like it or not, they are the straw that stirs the European drink. The sanctions pretend to seek to isolate Russia, but the effect will only be to isolate the United States. Europe will laugh at the measure as impinging on their sovereign prerogatives to trade as they please. And Russia can turn around and sell all the natural gas it wants to customers in Asia. Left undiscussed in the moronic American media is the American gas industry’s hidden role in pushing the sanctions so it can sell liquefied gas overseas — which would only end up raising the price for American gas customers to heat their homes.

Russian arctic gas drillingThe stupid bill pretends to be a lever for improving relations between the US and Russia, but is actually designed to make relations much worse. In the meantime, the US Deep State military and intelligence matrix is engineering new crises and confrontations for absolutely no good reason. For instance, shoveling arms to Ukraine so it can step up conflict in the eastern Donbass region bordering Russia. The sanctions bill will also make it impossible for the US and Russia to coordinate an end to the conflict in Syria. Anyway, Deep State strategists in the State, Defense, and Intel departments are tacitly determined to create another failed state by insuring continuing chaos there.

Another interesting unanticipated consequence of the sanctions bill is that it will only intensify Russia’s effort, already well underway, to provide for itself many of the products it currently imports. Import replacement, as the process is called, is actually the same dynamic that led to the rise of the USA as a great industrial power in the 19th century, so the bill only prompts Russia to diversify and strengthen its economy.

James Howard Kunstler's peak oil bible, The Long Emergency
Kunstler’s bible of Peak Oil

So what exactly was Mr. Trump thinking when he signed the “deeply flawed” (his words) Russian Sanctions bill coughed up like a hairball by congress? It’s a ridiculous piece of legislation from any angle. It limits the president’s own established prerogatives for negotiating with foreign nations (probably unconstitutionally), and will only provoke economic warfare (at least) against the US that can easily lead to shattering global trade relations entirely. Some observers say he had to sign it because the vote for it in congress was so overwhelming (419 to 3) that they would only override a Trump veto. But the veto would have had, at least, symbolic value in the Jacksonian spirit that Trump pretended to want to emulate at the outset of his term. Perhaps he sees the Deep State endgame and is tired of resisting.

On the home front, Russia paranoia is at the center of Robert Mueller’s intensifying probe of Trump and his political associates as he calls a federal grand jury to hear testimony — which implies that he some lined up. This opens up all kinds of opportunities for prosecutorial mischief, for instance going after every business transaction Trump made as a private citizen before he ran for president, and coercing Trump intimates into immunization deals in exchange for testimony, real or cooked-up, to enable the establishment’s ultimate goal of shoving Trump out.

The “Russian meddling in our election” story hasn’t produced any credible evidence after a full year — and speaking to foreign diplomats is not a crime — but the Russian meddling juggernaut rolls on perfectly well, and might accomplish its ends, without it. Just repeating “Russian meddling” five thousand times on CNN has surely induced many poorly-informed citizens to believe that Russia changed the numbers in American voting machines though, in fact, voting machines are not connected to the Internet.

All of this psychotic political behavior screams for the rise of a new party, or more than one new party, composed of men and women who have not lost their minds. I’m sure they’re out there. Plenty of traces on the Internet attest to the existence of a higher and better political consciousness in this country.

It just hasn’t found a way to congeal. Yet.

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(Originally appeared at Clusterfuck Nation.)





About the Author

James Howard Kunstler has been writing about peak oil and the destruction of American civil society since the 1990s. He is the author of The Long Emergency, Too Much Magic, The Geography of Nowhere, the World Made By Hand novels, and more than a dozen other books. He lives in Washington County, New York.