Ajamu Baraka: The Trump-Putin Summit and the Break with Reality in the U.S.

The Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases Takes on American Exceptionalism

My guest on the program today, Ajamu Baraka, is part of a global coalition to end U.S. and NATO military bases all over the world ( Global Campaign Against US/NATO Bases), and he holds what he calls the controversial opinion that, when it comes to growing the power of the anti-war movement in the US and the world, Trump actually provides a unique opportunity that a Hillary Clinton administration would not have.

LISTEN:

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When it comes to Trump and US Foreign policy, the outrages and humiliations come daily — sometimes more often.

This morning it was an all caps rage tweet threatening Iran:

However, it just as easily could have been mocking Kim Jong Un as “little Rocketman” and then holding a North Korean summit. Or his Muslim ban and border wall rhetoric — both supported by his racist, anti-immigration stance that holds high a middle finger to the refugees fleeing violence created by US foreign policy; or the unprecedented chest thumping at Canada, of all places, to Trump’s blowhard, and blowback inducing behavior towards traditional allies and enemies alike.

On the world stage, it does not seem like there is a bear that Trump does not want to poke. Except, of course, if that bear is a Russian:

All joking and Trump bashing aside, wouldn’t it be better if we got along with Russia? And when it comes to Russian meddling in the 2016 US election, can we please establish a little perspective?

I wonder what would happen if the U.S. interfered in the election of a foreign power? I mean, we’d wanna keep that a secret, right? We wouldn’t brag about it and put it on the cover of TIME or anything. Right?

Not to offer any excuses here, but election meddling is as typical as a Republican exposed as a racist ass clown on Sasha Baron Cohen’s new show Showtime series Who Is America? (spoiler alert: this is a common event)

The United States has been meddling in elections ever since the creation of the CIA. Russia’s 2016 effort was merely the electronic age version of what we do all of the time.

But let’s stop obsessing about Russia for just a second. For those of us on the left who want to see an end to the Imperial wars and occupations that have been a bi-partisan part of US foreign policy from the trail of tears all the way through the so-called war on terror: does Trump’s very unhinged-ness provide an opportunity to organize?

About the guest:

Ajamu Baraka serves on the coordinating committee of the Coalition Against U.S. Foreign Military Bases, an international organization that aims to close all US and NATO bases worldwide. He was the Vice Presidential Candidate for the Green Party, running alongside Jill Stein, which I where I had the pleasure of spending some time on the road with him.

A human rights defender whose experience spans four decades of domestic and international education and activism, he is a veteran grassroots organizer whose roots are in the Black Liberation Movement and anti-apartheid and Central American solidarity struggles.

Baraka is an internationally recognized leader of the emerging human rights movement in the U.S. and has been at the forefront of efforts to apply the international human rights framework to social justice advocacy in the U.S. for more than 25 years. As such, he has provided human rights trainings for grassroots activists across the country, briefings on human rights to the U.S. Congress, and appeared before and provided statements to various United Nations agencies, including the UN Human Rights Commission (precursor to the current UN Human Rights Council).

Ajamu Baraka was the Founding Executive Director of the US Human Rights Network (USHRN) the first domestic human rights formation in the United States explicitly committed to the application of international human rights standards to the U.S.

Baraka has also served on the boards of various national and international human rights organizations, including Amnesty International (USA), the Center for Constitutional Rights, Africa Action, and the Mississippi Workers’ Center for Human Rights.

He is currently an editor and contributing columnist for the Black Agenda Report, a writer for Counterpunch. He serves as the National Organizer and National Spokesperson for The Black Alliance for Peace, a group that seeks to recapture and redevelop the historic anti-war, anti-imperialist, and pro-peace positions of the radical black movement.


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