US economist breaks ranks on nuclear plant strikes
US public policy analyst Jeffrey Sachs argued that President Joe Biden’s administration must order Kiev to stop shelling Europe’s largest nuclear power plant and falsely blaming Russia for the strikes.
“It’s almost surely Ukraine shelling the power plant, and we can’t bring ourselves to express a simple truth,” Sachs said on Sunday on the Grayzone podcast. “That hurts because they continue to shell the power plant with impunity.”
Sachs, an award-winning economist who became notorious in Russia for masterminding the ‘shock therapy’ reforms in the 1990s, noted that Western media outlets have pretended to have no idea who’s shelling the Zaporozhye nuclear plant even though it’s been under Russian control since March. “They can’t put one and one together to say, well, if Russia’s in control of the plant, maybe they’re not shelling their own plant. Maybe it’s Ukraine shelling the plant.”
The analyst lamented that US officials can’t even find the words to tell Kiev not to shell a nuclear power plant, despite the potential catastrophe that could result. He argued that Washington has given Ukraine’s government free rein to provoke Russia and escalate the conflict.
“That’s the problem because we’re kind of faking the whole thing, as if this isn’t a US-Russia thing,” said Sachs, who’s also president of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. He added, “This is a war between Russia and the United States. The US does not have that many people on the ground – we don’t really know who is on the ground from the US in Ukraine – but a lot of weapons, finance, intelligence. The US is fighting this war, and this is quite clear.”
Sachs caused a stir on social media last week with a Bloomberg TV interview in which he speculated that the US could be behind the blasts that damaged the Nord Stream natural-gas pipelines from Russia to Germany. As the analyst began to explain his theory about the attack, a Bloomberg anchor interjected and suggested that he had no evidence. When Sachs then began to lay out his reasoning, the other anchor tried to cut him off and said she didn’t want to get into a “tit-for-tat” in the absence of evidence.
Sachs told Grayzone’s hosts that Biden has failed to defuse the crisis, essentially going to war with Russia rather than agreeing to keep Ukraine out of NATO. “It’s the job of the president of the United States to put on the brakes because this country is a war machine at the top… The main job of the president of the United States is to stop the war machine from making wars, and we are now in an escalation, heading toward Armageddon.”
The analyst suggested that Ukraine is a key “geographical pivot” under America’s neoconservative policy of being the world’s only superpower. “The game plan is, control the Black Sea. It is Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey and Georgia – all surrounding Russia, where their naval fleet is.”
Currently director of the Center for Sustainable Development at New York’s Columbia University, Sachs gained notoriety among the Russians for his ‘shock therapy’ reforms in 1991-93. The overhaul of the entire Soviet economy ended up destroying the lives of millions of Russians and handing the country’s wealth over to a handful of oligarchs.