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US Withdrawal From Syria a Chance for Peace


#1

US Withdrawal From Syria a Chance for Peace

Jeffrey D. Sachs

President Donald Trump’s announced withdrawal of US forces from Syria has met with near-universal condemnation by Democrats and Republicans alike. That says less about Trump than it does about the US foreign policy establishment’s blinkered vision.


#2

Since WWII at least, US military involvement has never been a positive thing. The “secret” and illegal bombing of Cambodia led to the rise of the Khmer Rouge. The “Bear Trap” set by the US in Afghanistan to lure the USSR into their own Vietnam, led to the rise of the transnational Jihadhi movement, Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden. The destruction of Iraq led to the rise of ISIS. The rape of Libya, turned one of the most advanced African nations into a failed state where slavery has returned to Africa. Those on the “cruise missile left” need to learn this history. The US never gets militarily involved for “humanitarian” reasons - ever. One thing I didn’t see Sachs mention in his otherwise good article: oil. The reason the US wants to be the hegemon in the region (and the world too!) is the control of oil. Militarism and oil are of the same piece. That is why if we want a real green new deal, we must start with slashing military expenditures.


#3

I love Jeffery Sachs and mostly agree with this article as usual. One point that seems a little inconsistent. First:

Second:

What if a separate Kurdistan is the right thing to happen and would happen if we weren’t involved? Is that an example of us interfering?

Sachs should be in the cabinet of a future progressive president.


#4

And what about the billions in arms sales approved by the trup administration for Saudi? Gee… those will must be going into the gold reserve safe - certainly not to be used for anything else. 9/11 ? such smooth allies. Isis? and what was the former appellation? al kaida? Damn the powers that are so insensate as to be in denial that they are the real vampires.

Lala land aside, opining loses its gloss when the actions are in reference to ‘deal breaking’ as model over and over and over again.

If Hasan Minaj is counting real beans, here is a link to Charity Navigator to check out direct donations for Yemen in the mean time.
Charities Responding to the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen


#5

Yeah, about that ‘chance for peace’ . . .


#6

I’m curious. Why do you love Jeffrey Sachs?

I used to read Sachs as a voice of reason, until I learned that he was instrumental in the CIA-Soros regime change coup that decimated Poland and its citizens, followed by the CIA-directed/Soros breakup of the Soviet Union and the looting/privatization of the Russian Federation; which collapsed the Russian economy as if it had been subject to a major war.

Sachs was (probably still is) a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), which is working towards a New World Order or One World Government, where the UN would be the de facto world government. This is also an objective of the Bilderberg Group, where Sachs was a participant in 1990. In this regard, go to Wikipedia and note that Sachs is currently, and has been, special advisor to the UN Secretary General, since 2002.

So, when I read this article, I see Sachs continuing to disparage the Obama/CIA’s Operation Timber Sycamore (which is/was a typically brainless CIA endeavor), while pushing for a UN-devised and led solution to the Syrian crisis. Such a UN-led solution would be directly in line with the CFR’s objectives. There’s much more to this; but, this is as much time as I can spend this evening.


#7

Well, I’m overstating it I guess. I haven’t heard or read him nearly as much as Ralph Nader or others, but every time I’ve read something on CD or seen him in a few clips he seems to have a command of the subject and a reasonable value system. I took a look at his Wikipedia page and I’m finding mention of Third Way and Radical Center - concepts where good ideas from the right are joined with those of the left. I happen to think the right has almost no good ideas, so I may have to reconsider my opinion. (Nader also talks about left-right alliances often, but I trust him completely and don’t view those ideas as ways to undermine the left, only to accomplish things we might not otherwise, or take longer otherwise)

In this case, I appreciate his voice as one of the few in the somewhat mainstream that is saying the obvious about getting US troops out of Syria at least.

Like you, I have zero respect for the CIA - I wish we could be rid of them. The UN has its flaws, but I haven’t given up on it just yet.


#8

Jeffrey Sachs drops a massive load of Syria-related common sense on MSNBC – Apr 15, 2018 - YouTube

If you have time, watch Sachs in this MSNBC interview. It appears to me that the Morning Joe group received instructions from above to stage this interview. Mika seems to be having trouble starting it; and, Sachs appears to be waiting for her to start the introduction; and, nods his head once she’s accomplished that.

Other people, Jimmy Dore, for example, were/are of the opinion that Sachs brought out this about Syria, when none of the interviewers were expecting it. But, I doubt that. First of all, it’s agreed that he’s been on the show before; so, I’m certain they new, basically, that he was going to blow open Syria (otherwise they wouldn’t have also had an admiral there to appear to oppose him); but, they were having trouble handling it; because, it’s opposite of what the Morning Joe group has been reporting for the past several years. The elites, who , in effect, control the CFR, however, also control much of the MSM media; so, I expect the Morning Joe group got their marching orders with regard to this interview.

Here’s another interivew, which I’ve only partially listened to:

Jeffrey Sachs on America and a New World Order – Mar 8, 2017 - YouTube

One article, I read recently, stated the following:

The CFR is the promotional arm of the Ruling Elite in the United States of America. Most influential politicians, academics and media personalities are members, and it uses its influence to infiltrate the New World Order into American life. Its’ “experts” write scholarly pieces to be used in decision making, the academics expound on the wisdom of a united world, and the media members disseminate the message.


#9

Just FYI, he still is (he’s listed on https://www.cfr.org/membership-roster-q-u)

I think I saw this parts of this (perhaps on Jimmy Dore). He comes across well here I think. I’ll check out the longer interview later.

I could imagine that if I dug in to the CFR I might not like it, but still think it is possible to be a member who is pushing the group in the right direction. I don’t think this about the CIA and it is hard to listen to someone like Ray McGovern when my first thought is - what the hell were you doing in the CIA in the first place. Have you come across a damning article written by Sachs? Something that exposes he doesn’t really care about sustainable development for the benefit of poor people in other countries or the US, but is orienting himself for his own benefit or to enrich his peer class? He still is looking pretty good so far.


#10

Nothing written by him; but, I haven’t purposely sought out his writings.

F. William Engdahl’s Manifest Destiny: Democracy as Cognitive Dissonance details the effect of Sach’s “Shock Therapy” economics on the economies of Poland and, then, the Russian Federation.

Rather than type out the several pages that Engdahl devotes to the effect on Poland, I’ll just type the following two paragraphs, to give you an idea:

Inflation in the first twelve months of Soros’s and Sachs’s shock-therapy rose by a hyperinflationary 584 percent. The currency, the zloty, was floated free against the dollar and fell like a stone. State control of personal incomes was ended, with wages now to be set by “market conditions,” resulting in a catastrophic drop in living standards for tens of millions of Poles.8

Under Sachs’s shock therapy, the state bankrupted its own industrial and agricultural enterprises by using astronomical interest rates, withholding state credits (austerity), and burdening firms with unpayable debt. In addition, with the zloty at new lows, Poland’s state-owned crown jewels were to be privatized and put up for sale to Western buyers, including the friends of George Soros or even Soros himself.9

And, here are a few paragraphs from several chapters with regard to what Engdahl (and others) call “The Rape of Russia”:

"Operation Hammer"
The Bush administration’s attack on the post-communist Russian Federation, dubbed “Operation Hammer,” had four distinct covert elements: 1) the CIA would secretly finance the August 1991 generals’ coup against Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev; 2) they would use their secret financial war chest to destabilize the ruble; 3) they used corrupted Russian Gosbank national bank officials to organize the theft of the country’s official gold reserves; 4) and they began a systematic takeover of strategic energy, raw materials, and high-tech state military industries in the Soviet Union via IMF-dictated privatization operations run by Yeltsin’s finance minister Yegor Gaidar. Gaidar worked in league with Harvard’s Jeffrey Sachs and other friends of billionaire hedge fund speculator George Soros.7

…The Soviet economy was self-sufficient in everything except perhaps bananas and coffee. The shops had been full until November 1991, when Yeltsin announced the exact date when price controls were to be lifted: December 31 of that year. Shop owners promptly hid their goods, waiting for the announced profit bonanza of price decontrol. Shops were suddenly empty. Within a week of Yeltsin’s speech, rationing was imposed on Muscovites. It was just the beginning of almost a decade of economic horror for most Russian citizens.4

Incalculable Human Economic Toll
The human cost of the US-imposed Russian shock therapy brought by Soros, Jeffrey Sachs, Larry Summers, and a stable of CIA-linked financial and legal operators, such as Jonathan Hay and Andrei Shleifer, was beyond belief. Between 1991 and 1997, the Russian GDP-the value of all goods and services that Russia produces-collapsed by 83 percent. Farm production had declined by a staggering 63 percent as state support for large farms ended. Investment into the economy decreased by 92 percent.

More than 70,000 factories were closed down…In a country that had been without unemployment under the Soviet era, thirteen million people lost their jobs under Yeltsin’s “free market” Russia. Those who still had work had their wages cut in half. The average life span for men had been shortened by six years, down to the same level as in India, Egypt, or Bolivia. Alcoholism became epidemic as depression spread among the population. It was a shock therapy indeed, the kind of shock a country experiences only in a major war. 32

Engdahl relates that, once Harvard learned of the privatization theft and other frauds perpetrated on the Russian peoples, Larry Summers was fired from his presidency. This also appears to have been the fate for Sachs, according to the following paragraph in this article on RealJewNews:

1. Jeffrey Sachs: After being exposed for making a “killing” off of the privatization of Russia, he was allowed by Harvard to quietly leave and take a professorship at the Jewish-run Columbia University in NY.

Finally, here’s an article that backs up a lot of what Engdahl writes in his book:

What the Hell Was Economic Hit Man Jeffrey Sachs Doing at Occupy Wall Street? – Oct, 2011 - Internationalist

Oh…I almost forgot that I want to point you to the following regarding the CFR. It’s very revealing, regarding the relationship between the CFR and the Federal Reserve;

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and The New World Order – Dec 21, 2013 - Terry Melanson - ConspiracyArchive


#11

Interesting. I can’t stand Summers and wouldn’t put anything past him - I did not know he was let go by Harvard for the things you described (nor did I realize people at Harvard really gave a damn). So the same claim is made of Sachs - that he made a killing in Russia - if true, that is damning (he denies it). I wanted to hear his side of the story which is quite long, but I read it anyway (http://jeffsachs.org/2012/03/what-i-did-in-russia/) and if what he says is true, I still think he is an asset in today’s world. His defense covers his time in Bolivia (which seems positive overall), Poland (which as you say was pretty rough for a while), and Russia. A key argument of his in all cases is that high inflation hits poor people quite hard since they mostly deal in cash and if a country has crazy high inflation, it has to be addressed somehow. In the Russia case in particular he offers a concise description of his understanding:

Let me summarize the main issues in the Russian reform debate, the position that I took, and the outcome. This will help to clarify what I actually believed and recommended, and to compare that with what actually happened.

I believed that price controls should be eliminated to enable supply and demand to operate. This was largely done at the start of 1992.

I believed that the money supply should be tightened and subsidies to firms should be ended. This would stabilize prices but at the cost of initial unemployment. This advice was rejected. High inflation continued unabated for several years.

I believed in the need for a strong social safety net, partly funded by the West. This was not accomplished. The health care system, for example, fell into shocking collapse.

I believed that the West should provide large-scale and timely foreign assistance to Russia, as it had to Poland. The United States and the IMF rejected this advice. Russia fell into a deep balance of payments crisis.

I believed that Russia should “commercialize” its enterprises by turning them into corporations with state ownership. This was generally done.

I believed that Russia’s privatization should be quick but transparent and law-based. Care should be taken to prevent corruption. This was not done. The privatizers went ahead outside of transparency and the law. Corruption and insider dealing were rampant.

I believed that the large natural resource companies should remain in state hands. This was to ensure that the Russian Government got the revenues from the production of metals, hydrocarbons, and other valuable commodities. This was not done. The natural resource sector was corruptly privatized, giving rise to the new oligarchy.

My area of responsibility for advising was macroeconomics, not privatization. I had no responsibility for the corrupt privatization, though I was often blamed wrongly for it. I actually opposed it strenuously, but was no longer even an advisor to the Russian Government when it occurred (especially 1994-1996).

I may not be as free market oriented as Sachs but I appreciate his position on health care and the safety net as well as large natural resources remaining in government hands. In short, I believe Sachs (if his accounting here is accurate) was better than many other economists that could have conceivably been in his place would have been. He specifically addresses claims that he benefited from his advice here:

Claims that I “got rich” on Russia are outlandish, false, and defamatory. I follow two strictures in all of my activities:

  1. Never invest or undertake any business dealings at all in a country in which I have an advisory responsibility, so that there is absolutely no conflict of interest;
  2. Never accept compensation other than my academic salary.

My early work in Poland was supported by the Open Society Institute, which covered travel costs and staff, and I received no salary.

He has an interesting section where he gives his opinion on the term Shock Therapy. I don’t want to paste the whole section, but the gist of his feeling is:

I have occasionally been an advocate of the first kind of shock therapy (notably in Bolivia, Poland, Russia, and some other post-Communist transition economies), always in the context of specific conditions of high inflation, shortages and inconvertible currencies. I never have been an advocate of shock therapy in its second, neoliberal context. I regard a pure “free-market” economy as a textbook fiction, not a practical or desirable reality.

I could be being snowed (I like to be skeptical as well), but I still find Sachs pretty credible - more credible than many others at least.

Thanks for your detailed posts, I will hopefully have to time to read more on this topic in the future.


#12

Perhaps, read Engdahl’s book. I think Sach’s may be “mis-remembering” whether there was actually high inflation prior to the application of his “Shock Therapy” policies. With regard to Poland, you’ll note above where Engdahl writes:

Inflation in the first twelve months of Soros’s and Sachs’s shock-therapy rose by a hyperinflationary 584 percent.

And, I believe this was also the case with Russia. Here’s a portion of a paragraph from a thread titled, The Rape of Russia by Anne Williamson

The activities of H.I.I.D. in Russia provide some cautionary lessons on abuse of trust by supposedly disinterested foreign advisers, on U.S. arrogance and on the entire policy of support for a single Russian group of so-called reformers. The H.I.I.D. story is a familiar one in the ongoing saga of U.S. foreign policy disasters created by those said to be our “best and brightest.”

Through the late summer and fall of 1991, as the Soviet state fell apart, Harvard Professor Jeffrey Sachs and other Western economists participated in meetings at a dacha outside Moscow where young, pro-Yeltsin reformers planned Russia’s economic and political future. Sachs teamed up with Yegor Gaidar, Yeltsin’s first architect of economic reform, to promote a plan of “shock therapy” to swiftly eliminate most of the price controls and subsidies that had underpinned life for Soviet citizens for decades. Shock therapy produced more shock–not least, hyperinflation that hit 2,500 percent–than therapy. One result was the evaporation of much potential investment capital: the substantial savings of Russians. By November 1992, Gaidar was under attack for his failed policies and was soon pushed aside. When Gaidar came under seige, Sachs wrote a memo to one of Gaidar’s principal opponents, Ruslan Khasbulatov, Speaker of the Supreme Soviet, then the Russian parliament, offering advice and to help arrange Western aid and contacts in the U.S. Congress.

I’m trying to find an article I encountered, yesterday, where a female author described Sachs as not wanting to admit to his past failures; but, I’m not having luck finding it.

However, here is a very in depth critique of Sachs, which pulls him apart, labeling him a “neurotic neoliberal”

The Shock of the Real: The Neoliberal Neurosis in the Life and Times of Jeffrey Sachs – Jan, 2014 - Japhy Wilson - ResearchGate

The predicament of the neurotic neoliberal thus recalls that of the private investigator Harry Angel in Alan Parker’sAngel Heart, who fruitlessly pursues a serial killer through numerous false leads, only to make the final discovery that he himself is the murderer. In a similar way, the neoliberal neurosis compels its agents to engage with the symptoms of capitalism, but in a disavowed form that prevents them from identifying themselves as those responsible for the exacerbation of the very symptoms that they are attempting to address. Angel’sfinal realization results in psychotic breakdown.

On Amazon, there’s an interesting customer review, with regard to a book titled, " Jeffrey Sachs: The Strange Case of Dr. Shock and Mr. Aid (Counterblasts)"

And, here’s an interesting article which mentions a book by Anne Williamson titled, Contagion, which I’d like to read; but, it appears that the elites won’t let it be printed anywhere in the world.

The Plunder of Russia in the 1990s – Mar 24, 2011 - Paul Likoudis - WordPress

In an ordinary election year, Anne Williamson’s Contagion would be political dynamite, a bombshell, a block-buster, a regime breaker.

If America were a free and democratic country, with a free press and independent publishing houses (and assuming, of course, that Americans were a literate people), Williamson’s book would topple the Clinton regime, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the rest of the criminal cabal that inhabits the world of modern corporate statism faster than you could say “Jonathan Hay.”

Hay, for those who need an introduction to the international financial buccaneers who control our lives, was the general director of the Harvard Institute of International Development (HIID) in Moscow (1992-1997), who
facilitated the crippling of the Russian economy and the plundering of its industrial and manufacturing infrastructure with a strategy concocted by Larry Summers, Andre Schliefer (HIID’s Cambridge-based manager), Jeffrey Sachs and his Swedish sidekick Anders Aslund, and a host of private players from banks and investment houses in Boston and New York — a plan approved and assisted by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.