The last time time President Trump launched massive strikes on Syria in April of 2018, Jeffrey Sachs went on MSNBC's Morning Joe just two days before the attack to give the American public a perspective they had never heard aired on a major cable network.
Importantly, Sachs is not some random unknown blogger or obscure editorial writer, but a renowned Columbia University professor and career Harvard academic who has won numerous awards and serves as special economic adviser to the U.N.
During the panel Sachs appeared to shock his hosts with erudite analysis of how the seven-year long war in Syria has fundamentally been fueled by covert regime change from the West and its Gulf allies - a rare if not unheard of subject for the show.
In a mere two minutes Sachs cut through the soundbites even as - just like now - the Trump administration was advancing completely unverified claims of an Assad chemical attack on civilians in order to prep the public for military intervention.
Sachs told the MSNBC panel:
We know they sent in the CIA to overthrow Assad. The CIA and Saudi Arabia together in covert operations tried to overthrow Assad. It was a disaster.
Eventually it brought in both ISIS as a splinter group to the jihadists that went in, it also brought in Russia.
So we have been digging deeper and deeper and deeper. What we should do now is get out, and not continue to throw missiles, not have a confrontation with Russia...
As we now have nearly the exact same situation a mere six months later with the current war of words between the US and Russia, and the potential for a "chemical provocation" in Idlib which could ignite a dangerous escalation toward World War 3, Jeffrey Sachs' words are now more urgent than ever.
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In the full interview, Sachs went on to summarize:
This happened because of us... We started a war to overthrow a regime. It was covert... a major war effort, shrouded in secrecy, never debated by Congress, never explained to the American people... And this created chaos, and so just throwing more missiles in right now is not a response.
He also insisted in the full segment:
This is the CIA, this is the Pentagon, wanting to keep Iran and Russia out of Syria. But no way to do that. And so we have made a proxy war in Syria. It's killed 500,000 people, displaced 10 million. And I'll say - predictably so.
There was wasn't much the talking heads sitting across from the UN economist could say after that.