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Keep the Change

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

With Sy Hersh’s description of the Biden administration allegedly destroying the Nordstream pipelines, we see our failed leaders once again dabbling in regime change.

When the event actually occurred last year, the Biden Administration immediately accused Russia of engineering the attack. Some, like Tucker Carlson, wondered aloud why Russia would destroy one of its most important sources of income. The answer was that it had to be Putin, he being diabolical and not necessarily rational. Still, some doubts remained. Sy Hersh describes in detail how the US Navy prepared the explosives around the pipelines and three months later blew them up, causing a massive release of methane, which should have bothered the green warriors in the White House but somehow did not. The loss of natural gas in Europe led to fears that Europeans would freeze to death during this winter. While the US has increased its liquid natural gas shipments to Europe, countries like Germany are increasing their coal production and usage. The destruction of the Nordstream pipelines may have been directed at Putin’s wallet, but the energy security of Europe and the price of natural gas were collateral damage.

Long before the destruction of the pipelines, both Joe Biden and Victoria Nuland warned that an invasion by Russia of Ukraine would lead to Nordstream 2 never going online. One envisioned hard sanctions on those involved in constructing and running the newer pipelines (there are 2 for each of Nordstream 1 & 2). When pressed, each said in a somewhat obtuse manner that they had the means to make sure that the pipelines never became operational. And with that, the Obama alumni signaled that they were getting back into regime change. Both the Bush and Obama (but notably not Trump) administrations tried their hand at regime change primarily in the Middle East. How did that turn out?

Iraq: Still a basket case with a weak government and ethnic and religious divisions. Saddam Hussein supposedly said that if the US removes him, they will need seven Saddams in his place. For once, he may have been right. The US thought that it could import democracy, but the country was financially better off under its dictator than it is in the post-war turmoil that exists today.

Afghanistan: After the US left behind billions of dollars of military hardware as well as allies who aided the US during 20 years of war, the Taliban found itself ruling more land than it had prior to the US invasion. Women’s rights are being rolled back and the Taliban have found China to be a new friend who can help in developing natural resources like lithium.

Syria: When Obama’s red line on poison gas vanished in the sand, the possibility of removing Assad from power went with it. Syria is still a broken country and Assad has overcome most of the opposition with the strong aid of Iran and Hezbollah. The US still attacks ISIS now and then but Assad remains in control of the vast majority of the country.

Libya: Then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took great pride in having played a role in the death of Moammar Gaddafi. But with his demise, a formerly relatively stable oil state that had been aiding the West against terrorism and nuclear proliferation, became a free-for-all that saw the death of the US ambassador and two of his colleagues. Libya is a failed state of warlords and tribes, and nothing good has come from the killing of Col. Gaddafi, only more unrest and fighting.

So it’s fair to say that the Obama veterans are 0-4 on regime change. They definitely had help in their failure from George Bush and his neocons. But really, they do not know how to effectively remove a leader unfriendly to the US and install one who does that which the US asks. It would be 0-5 if we included Egypt, where Obama and his people liked the Muslim Brotherhood; the Egyptian people threw out Mohamed Morsi and installed General El-Sisi who would be a great ally if the US would let him. Due to being rebuffed by the current administration, El-Sisi reintroduced Russian fighters into Egypt for the first time in nearly 50 years.

So we have Joe Biden, Victoria Nuland, Susan Rice, Samantha Power and maybe between flights, John Kerry figuring that they have so much experience in regime change that the time has come to look at a bigger target—Russia. That Russia has more nuclear weapons than does the US or that nobody in Washington would have a clue as to what might come after Putin does not deter our regime change warriors. Just throw out the old and roll the dice—something better has to come along. Blowing up the Nordstream pipelines was an attempt to hasten regime change in Moscow. Deny Putin his Euro-dollars for gas and the economy will tank and the people will throw him out. Putin is too smart and devious for our armchair regime changers. He continues to make war in Ukraine and in some areas he apparently is seeing some levels of success despite huge losses of men and equipment. Successful regime change has to come from the bottom—the people want new leaders enough to risk taking on the government. And this is the shame on the Obama team when they left Iranian protesters high and dry; ditto for Biden and the current unrest there. When the people want to get rid of their leaders, the US may be able to help them to do so when it serves US interests.

Amateur hour in Washington involves blowing up Russian gas pipelines and supplying weaponry to Ukraine until the Russians decide to attack a NATO country or set off a nuclear bomb. These people are not serious, and the death and destruction they have left in their wake are proof of their utter incompetence. If they were a serious lot, they would tell President Zelensky that a peace conference is coming, whether he likes it or not. Zelensky sees how much the Biden administration wants to get rid of Putin and he gains nearly endless weaponry and financial support—even at the expense of US capabilities and readiness—as the White House plays out its fantasy of weakening and getting rid of Vladimir Putin.

One day Vladimir Putin will no longer rule Russia. But the clowns in the White House will not be the ones choosing what day that will be.


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