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A world imperilled at the end of US leadership

Jeffrey Sachs highlights the damaging US mindset that the world should revolve around it, which is undermining the need for regional cooperation to get on top of the huge problems facing the planet

| Drawn from John Menadue’s Pearls and Irritations and other sources

NOOSA - In this speech made by Jeffrey Sachs ahead of late June’s NATO Summit in Madrid, he offers a view of a world in a great mess and which needs to renew diplomacy, negotiation, cooperation and collaboration to solve the immense problems humanity is facing.

Sachs, a professor of sustainable development and professor of health policy at Columbia University in USA, has served as an adviser to three United Nations secretaries-general and is an economist who advised on economic reforms in Russia and several Eastern European nations in the 1990s.

His books include ‘The End of Poverty’, ‘Common Wealth’, ‘The Age of Sustainable Development’, ‘Building the New American Economy’, and most recently, ‘A New Foreign Policy: Beyond American Exceptionalism’.

He believes the real trigger of the Russia-Ukraine conflict was constant NATO expansion supported by the US..

"The real solution is to end the [US] neo-con fantasies of the past 30 years and for Ukraine and Russia to return to the negotiating table with NATO committing to abandon its goal of eastward expansion to Ukraine and Georgia in return for a viable peace."

Sachs disagrees with NATO's view that China poses a challenge to the values, interests or security of NATO countries.

"I find the (NATO) statement sad," he said.

“China is nearly one-fifth of the world's population, a great civilisation and with cultural heritage and wisdom that contributes notably to all of humanity," he said, urging Western nations to stop demonising the growing power.

Jeffrey SachsHere are the main points made in this 18 minute address:

00:18 We are at the end of US leadership

01:44 We need global co-operation everywhere

02:15 Covid came out of US biotechnology

03:15 We could have avoided Ukraine war

05:25 US insisted on no negotiation with Russia

06:09 I can't get an op-ed piece in the media

07:08 This is not right, this is dangerous

08:35 US has a neurotic fear of China

09:32 We are in the post-unipolar world

10:00 We need at least regional co-operation

11:00 The issues are the same everywhere

12:45 Talk about infrastructure, talk about zero-carbon energy systems


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Arthur Williams

I recently read this US is leading the world to nuclear war [Mike Billington, Executive Intelligence Review interviews - Colonel (ret) Richard Black].

With his formidable USA military career it is worth reading. If nothing else makes a change from the vast quantities of propaganda based 'news' we are being fed.

I wonder why the USA media went silent after the Trump impeachment about Biden's son's 'Ukrainegate' especially as Zelensky is now clearing the detritus of the Kiev stable.

Chris Overland

I have written a response to this piece which I hope Keith will see fit to publish.

I think that Sachs is wrong on many counts but he is certainly right about the urgent pressing necessity to collaborate to deal with climate change. In the face of an existential threat we seem collectively unwilling or unable to grasp that our petty differences are trivial in comparison.

I do not think that the USA is a failed state but it is undoubtedly a flawed democracy. Its political system has become captive to the forces of reaction and religious intolerance, whilst its so-called progressives seem incapable of articulating a coherent and credible alternative to the current political and constitutional arrangements.

The dearth of effective political and ideological leadership in the USA from the political left is alarming. If President Biden is the best they can come up with, then they are in a great deal of trouble.

This may seem a long, long way from PNG but, in a highly globalised world, it is no longer protected from the consequences of events far beyond its borders.

Ian Poole

Right on the ball, Phil, but I do consider that all the world's major players are part of the mess in which we've got ourselves.
Recently, an erudite, witty Australian columnist concluded that the United States of America has become "a failed state", no less.
Now that's something to think seriously about, is it not?
Frankly, I think that he's dead right.

Philip Fitzpatrick

Jeffrey Sachs speaks a lot of sense but, as he says, no one wants to listen to him.

There are a lot of people like Sachs who people go out of their way to ignore. Among them are climate scientists and epidemiologists.

Instead they prefer to listen to the propaganda emanating from governments and other vested interests.

These listeners are not just your average dumb Joe but people who are reasonably intelligent and should know better.

Why smart people are beguiled by this stuff is decidedly curious.

Perhaps it is just the sheer weight of the propaganda and disinformation that is heaped on us on a daily basis.

Perhaps it is the incredible subtlety of the stuff that seeps into our brains without us even noticing it.

Perhaps it is the human proclivity to see the world in simple binary terms. USA good, China bad is a ludicrous way to view the world.

Just because the USA has a neurotic fear of China doesn’t mean we have to fear it too.

The USA and its sycophants like Australia are extremely good at disseminating propaganda and disinformation.

Everything we see, read and listen to is riddled with propaganda. It’s not just those patently obvious sources like the nightly news. It occurs in the books we read, the music we listen to and the films we watch.

That a large part of our literature, music and cinema originates in the USA or its aligned countries should be a warning to treat it very carefully. We shouldn’t just simply absorb it, we should think about it too.

If Australia had any sense it would listen to people like Sachs and start to think for itself.

It should be encouraging the Pacific nations to join it in forming a regional bloc that also thinks for itself, makes its own rules and sees to its own future.

The USA is a sick society staggering into its end days, just like all the empires before it.

It is dragging the rest of the western world down with it.

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