JEFFREY SACHS: I was attacked in The
Atlantic for being on the side of peace.
And I confess, I'm on the side of peace.
I'm very worried we are on the path of
escalation to nuclear war, nothing less
Russia feels that this war is at the
core of its security interests. The
United States insists it will do
anything to support Ukraine's defeat of
Russia. Russia views this as a proxy war
with the United States. Whatever one
thinks about this, this is the path of
extraordinary, dangerous escalation. And
I am very fearful.
A lot of the world is watching these
events in horror, and a lot of the world
doesn't like this NATO expansion, which
they interpret as at the core of this.
They want to see a compromise between
the U.S. and Russia.
In vote after vote in the United
Nations, basically, it has been the
Western nations that have been voting
for sanctions and denunciations and
other actions. Whereas most of the
world, certainly most of the world
counted by population, is on the
sidelines. They just view this as a
horrible clash between Russia and the
U.S. They don't view this, as we
describe it in the media, as an
unprovoked attack by Russia on Ukraine.
Anyone in the U.S. thinks, "well, what
else is it?" But that is because of the
way our media has been reporting this.
This conflict goes back a long time, it
didn't start on February 24, 2022. In
fact, the war itself started in 2014,
not in 2022, and even that had
Most of the world doesn't see it the way
we describe it. Most of the world is
just terrified right now, frankly.
It is unbelievable to be hearing on one
side that they will use nuclear weapons
if they have to, while the other side
says, "You can't frighten us."
Europe is in a very, very sharp economic
downturn. The sharp decline in output
and living standards also shows up as a
rise in prices, but the main fact is the
European economy is getting hammered by
the sudden cutoff of energy.
And now to make it definitive, the
destruction of the Nord Stream Pipeline
(which I would bet was a U.S. action,
perhaps U.S. and Poland). That is
BLOOMBERG HOST: Jeff, we've got to stop
there. Why do you feel that was a U.S.
action? What evidence do you have of
JEFFREY SACHS: Well, first, there is
direct radar evidence that U.S. military
helicopters that are normally based in
Gdansk were circling over this area. We
also had the threat from the U.S.
[President Biden] earlier this year that
"one way or another we are going to end
We also had a remarkable statement from
Sec. Blinken last Friday in a press
conference where he said "this is also a
tremendous opportunity." That's a
strange way to talk if you're worried
about piracy on international
infrastructure of vital significance.
I know it runs counter to our narrative,
you're not allowed to say these things
in the West, but the fact of the matter
is all over the world when I talk to
people, they think the U.S. did it. Even
reporters on our papers that are
involved tell me "of course" [the U.S.
did it], but it doesn't show up in our
[About the lack of trust in media and
The bigger problem is we have major
geopolitical conflicts, not only the
U.S. and Russia, but also the U.S. and
China. Again, with a tremendous amount
of provocation coming from the U.S.
side, so we're breaking any sense of
stability right now. For the moment,
many in Europe are saying that the U.S.
is their closest ally and they need to
hold on but watch what is happening
politically. There is upheaval in
Europe. Country after country right now.
We're entering a period of enormous
instability. And we're unstable in the
U.S. right now. We went through an
insurrection, we're still not past that.
So we're entering the most unstable
geopolitical era in many decades. We're
entering the first hyperinflation in
more than 40 years. And we're entering
the first escalation to the nuclear
precipice in 60 years. 60 years ago
exactly this month was the Cuban missile
crisis. This is the most dangerous
moment since the Cuban missile crisis.
It is an extraordinary overload and we
see no attempt to tamp this down or to
quiet it down. Every day is about
escalation, we're going to defeat the
other side, we have our rights, we can
stand up for what we want. We have
Speaker Pelosi flying to Taiwan. We have
so many provocations in the midst of
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