Prima facie, one would not expect them to have much in common. But, I find some convergence in their views on the Trump Visa policy that has aroused so much noise inside Left echo chambers. Read Karl Rove’s views on the Trump administration’s amateurish execution of the policy on temporary visa restrictions.
It is important to note that what Jeffrey Sachs says about Obama’s policies on Syria:
The US bears the main responsibility for the recent wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria that have been the main cause of the mass refugee movements of recent years. Those were wars of choice (mainly of attempted regime change) and should never have occurred.
In my opinion, it is a US-Saudi-Turkish war of regime change that is essentially stupid and against international law. The reason we have a refugee crisis is not because of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but because the US, the Saudis, and the Turks said in 2011 that Assad should be overthrown. It was a stupid idea – just as stupid as the idea of overthrowing Libya’s Muammar el-Qaddafi in 2011 and Iraq’s Saddam Hussein in 2003.
This particular exchange is equally, if not more, important:
SS: But Assad is a real danger.
JS: No, nothing like the danger of a continued proxy war in Syria and the open space for the Islamic State. Assad wasn’t such a danger from 2000 to 2010. Syria was a normal country with autocratic rule. It wasn’t a global humanitarian disaster. It became a disaster in the spring of 2011, and especially on August 18, 2011, when Barack Obama said that Assad must go. That was Obama’s worst foreign-policy blunder, and we’re still living with the consequences. Why would a US president say that another country’s president must go? The idea that the US can choose who should lead other countries has been a complete failure.
SS: So is Syria Obama’s Iraq?
JS: Yes, but it’s not seen that way, because we live in a world of illusions. The illusion here is that Obama failed because he didn’t enforce his “line in the sand,” he didn’t do more or respond more aggressively. In fact, Obama signed executive orders – secret, but released in the media – directing the CIA to cooperate with Saudi Arabia to overthrow the Assad regime. The US pumped in a tremendous amount of weapons. The Saudis, Qataris, and Turks sent even more, and also sent in jihadists.
SS: Why were they interested in overthrowing Assad?
JS: Because he’s an ally of Russia and Iran, and because they thought that they could do it in 30 days. This was a geopolitical game, and it was both shockingly naïve and exceptionally arrogant. Obama, who’s a handwringer in general, said, “Okay, we’ll do this, but we won’t do that. We’ll do just a little bit, but we’ll let the Saudis, Turks, and Qataris take the lead.” But half a war is not half a disaster. We needed no war.
SS: What was the fight in Aleppo about?
JS: Assad and Russia were trying to root out the anti-Assad rebels. Who are these rebels? Who is funding and arming them? The CIA, Saudi Arabia, Turkey. So if we were to turn back the clock, Aleppo didn’t have to be destroyed. The reason it was destroyed is that the so-called US-led coalition is funding an anti-government rebellion in another country. The last time I checked the UN Charter – which is pretty frequently, actually – this behavior is completely prohibited under international law.
The full interview is here.
It really makes one wonder about the moral compass of the so-called Left and Liberal commentators, isn’t it? They have a lot to answer for. Of course, one doubts if they ever ask questions of themselves.
If they do, they won’t be repeating their mistake that made them let Trump win. They were and they are deluded.