Sputnik spoke to the human rights activist and the Green Party’s nominee for Vice President in 2016, Ajamu Baraka to get more insights into the issue.
Sputnik: So the US’ ambassador to the UN, Nikki Hayley, has said that regardless of whether the US gets UN Security Council approval to confront the Syrian government over its alleged use of chemical weapons or not, Washington will respond anyway. Some have said that this is indicative of Washington’s contempt for international law, do you agree?
Ajamu Baraka: Not only do I agree, but it’s important to point out that this is not new behaviour on the part of the US state. It’s something that we’ve seen through the previous administrations, even when they have pretended to address and work through UN structures; we know that in the end, when its seen to be in the interests of the US the US has acted unilaterally.
So this is a continuation of policies that can only be characterised in my mind as a form of international gangsterism. That’s the first point, but the second point is this: it is absolutely absurd that the US can make an argument that it has the moral authority to respond to any situation that is supposed to be reflective of a human rights crisis. That’s absolutely in contradiction to objective reality.
Sputnik: Do you see this as causing the further internationalisation of the conflict, making the possibility of a confrontation between great powers like Russia and the US all the more likely?
Ajamu Baraka: That’s really danger of this escalating situation in that because of pure incompetence and manipulation of powerful elements in the US state. A powerful scenario is being produced, or being created where there’s a real possibility of a conflict, that could escalate accidentally to something really serious between the US and Russia.
The Russian’s have indicated, saying that there will be “severe consequences” if there’s a US attack, but of course that ups the ante in terms of this kind of toxic masculinity that’s in place with some of these issues. So the real possibility of an escalating conflict is more real than ever before.
Sputnik: And finally, Moscow’s ambassador to the UN offered for investigators from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to carry out its own investigations in Douma under Russian protection, but ambassador Hayley didn’t really have much to say to that, why is that do you think?
Ajamu Baraka: Because the US authorities are not interested in having an objective investigation. They have certain political objectives therefore objective evidence is of no importance to them. But the Russian position at this point represents the common sense approach to an issue like this. Let’s have an investigation. Let’s surface the facts and then see what kind of appropriate action needs to be made.
The views expressed in this article are solely those of Ajamu Baraka and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.