West hiding behind Putin to advance own policies
Talk here in Europe has recently turned to energy rationing. The pretext? National security, or the need to stick it to Russian President Vladimir Putin. It’s absolute nonsense and a “crisis” entirely of their own making — contrary to what they want us to believe.
“Putin’s new gas squeeze condemns Europe to recession and a hard winter of rationing,” according to a recent CNBC headline. Except that Putin isn’t “condemning” Europe to anything. It’s Europe’s own self-imposed gas crunch that has it looking down the barrel at what various economists are now predicting to be a recession.
Blaming this fact on Russia is a cop-out that only serves to deflect blame for the grotesquely incompetent and utterly suicidal policies of our Western leaders. It lets them off the hook and allows them to avoid accountability.
U.S. President Joe Biden has used the same rhetoric, referring in June to the U.S. cost of living spike to “Putin’s tax on both food and gas.” Biden doesn’t seem to be fooling anyone, though. A Rasmussen poll from June found that just 11 percent of Americans bought his Putin excuse, while 52 percent blamed Biden and his own policies.
Regardless of what anyone might think of Putin or the conflict in Ukraine, it’s outrageous that our leaders are attempting to use both as an excuse for imposing — and then doubling-down — on their own horrific policies, which ultimately just impose greater control and suffering on their own citizens. The evidence that their actions harm their own people far outweighs any such proof of harm to Russia, as some opposition figures have recently pointed out.
“Europe is going to face a blackout, notably on the question of Russian gas imports. These sanctions are simply useless. All they do is make Europeans suffer. And that, incidentally, includes French people,”
France’s main parliamentary opposition party leader, Marine Le Pen, said last week. “You’d need a huge dose of bad faith not to realize that, contrary to the inflated claims of our government, the Russian economy is not on its knees. They are not on the brink of bankruptcy.”
Le Pen is right to emphasize that it was Europe that foolishly turned off the gas tap on its own citizens and what’s left of its manufacturing base. Proof lies in the fact that it could still turn on the gas if it wanted to and solve all of its problems. While there’s currently an ongoing debate between Russian and Western officials over the legitimacy of maintenance issues cited by Moscow for the shutting down the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany, there’s nonetheless a whole other alternative pipeline (Nord Stream 2) just sitting there and available for use by Europe. But that would require the European Union to lift anti-Russian sanctions against its own gas supply. It would also require the EU to violate U.S. sanctions imposed on Nord Stream 2. You’d think that it could get a pass from Washington on that if the EU explained that it was a matter of avoiding the implosion of its own economy.
But no such expression of interest is forthcoming from Brussels. European leaders are therefore deliberately choosing to impose ideologically-driven rationing on their own citizens and economy — much like they chose to impose arguably useless, ineffective COVID-related mandates, which have since resulted in major disruptions to staffing that are currently wreaking havoc across various sectors from travel and leisure to health care. About the only lasting “value” that jab mandates produced was the bloc-wide digital “health certificate” QR code system — ultimately a win for state-sponsored big data surveillance.
Before Putin was targeted as enemy number one, our powers that be considered that you and I were the threat. Or rather, our consumption in light of “climate change,” or else our risk of passing on COVID-19. All of which conveniently required greater central government planning.
Speaking of control, the EU recently issued a bloc-wide top-down directive for member states to cut gas use by 15 percent. So how does that trickle down? Well, folks seeking respite from the 40C (104F) heat in Madrid, for example, have to now sweat it out in movie theaters which are mandated by government decree to prohibit the air conditioning from being set lower than 27C (81F). The same holds true for any other commercial or public building across Spain, and Italy has imposed similar restrictions.
The law isn’t mandatory for private households — yet. Although it’s not unimaginable that they could eventually try to pry our air conditioning from our cold hands.
During the COVID crisis, then French health minister Olivier Veran said that there would be no jab mandates. But then France — and much of the EU straitjacket– ended up conditioning everything from employment to sports participation and travel on a digital QR code jab pass. The same Veran is now the French government’s spokesman, reassuring citizens that there will be no forced reduction of energy imposed on households despite the pending shortages.
This hasn’t reassured some citizens who are concerned that the remotely controlled gas and electricity counters installed in homes across France over the past few years could easily be subject to greater state control under the pretext of a crisis.
Before the conflict in Ukraine came along, Western officials were regularly framing “climate change” as a national security issue, and evoking it as a pretext to ramp up taxes and control. It seems that there’s no crisis that they won’t exploit, all while deflecting blame for the blow back onto anyone or anything else but themselves.
Marsden is a columnist, political strategist and host of independently produced talk shows. Her website can be found at www.rachelmarsden.com.