Back in November 2016 I wrote about Trump’s choice of American representative at the UN, Nikki Haley:
The Indian-American, who is in her second and final term as governor, was elected in 2010, riding the wave of the Republican Tea Party with the support of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.
Prior to becoming the state’s chief executive, she served six years as a member of the state’s House of Representatives.
I’ve noticed that Haley appears to be generating a rather warm following from the American right, not least because of performances at the UN like this one:
.@nikkihaley: “The United States is by far the single largest contributor to the @UN… We’ll be honest with you: when we make generous contributions to the UN, we also have a legitimate expectation that our goodwill is recognize and respected.” pic.twitter.com/TO5QK5yWNS
— Fox News (@FoxNews) December 21, 2017
She is referring to the vote in the UN General Assembly “rejecting” – as if the US was asking for permission – the decision to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. I also liked this:
At the UN we’re always asked to do more & give more. So, when we make a decision, at the will of the American ppl, abt where to locate OUR embassy, we don’t expect those we’ve helped to target us. On Thurs there’ll be a vote criticizing our choice. The US will be taking names. pic.twitter.com/ZsusB8Hqt4
— Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) December 19, 2017
She appears to have her boss’ support, too. Here’s Trump being as diplomatic as ever:
‘Let them vote against us, we’ll save a lot. We don’t care!’ #Trump vows to cut foreign aid to those countries planning to vote against the recognition of #Jerusalem as #Israel‘s capital https://t.co/42uLG1CVsV pic.twitter.com/8QVhmbrliC
— RT (@RT_com) December 21, 2017
A lot of people are decrying this as bullying on the part of the United States, which leaves me a little confused. I’ve encountered bullies in many places throughout my life, but never have I seen one handing out substantial sums of money to those they are supposedly bullying. If making discretionary payments dependent on the behaviour and attitude of the recipients towards the donor constitutes bullying, parents had better not cut off their kids’ pocket money in future.
The motion itself was tabled by Yemen. Yes, Yemen, that bastion of human rights and enviable governance which is now in its umpteenth year of all-out civil war which has left millions dead or homeless. Now I can see why the likes of Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, etc. all voted to condemn the US. I can also see why countries like Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, etc. voted for the motion – they have to pay lip service to the man on the street that they hate Israel and the west, even if they hate each other more. What I don’t quite get is why certain other countries voted for this appalling resolution.
Notably among them is the UK. What the hell May thinks she’s doing in voting for a resolution tabled by Yemen condemning the US I don’t know. She’s thick beyond belief, but even she must realise she needs all the friends she can get right now, but instead she seems determined to drive a wedge between the UK and US at a time when she should be building bridges. At the very least, the UK should have abstained; Australia and Canada did, to their credit. The rest of western Europe predictably went along with Yemen’s motion, almost certainly because they believe pandering to the Muslim world and condemning the US will somehow help address the serious terrorist problems they have within their own borders. It’s a sad fact that most Europeans think more highly of Middle Eastern despots than they do Trump, but this is nothing new: George W. Bush was subject to much the same treatment. Notably Poland and Hungary abstained, probably after a moment’s consideration about which horse is worth backing in the long run should things turn nasty. That the EU suspended Poland’s voting rights in protest at the policies of its democratically elected government probably sharpened some minds in Warsaw.
What is more surprising is that South Korea and Japan voted to condemn the US. If I were Trump I’d be sorely tempted to believe the whole Kim Jong Un problem just solved itself right there. The South Koreans and Japanese don’t believe the US has the right to locate its embassy in Jerusalem? Okay, fine. Perhaps we should now ask US citizens whether they believe they’ve any obligation to involve themselves further in what amounts to a regional dick-waving contest. If I were Trump, I’d be ordering my units in the DMZ to stand down immediately and wishing the Japanese all the very best in their dealings with the Chinese and North Koreans in future.
That won’t happen, but what I do hope is Trump makes good on Haley’s promise to stop shovelling more money at these countries which despise them, and to pull funding from the utterly contemptible United Nations. I also hope that Haley makes a run for president some day. She seems likeable and capable, and nothing would drive a stake into Hillary Clinton’s corrupt heart like a Republican woman becoming the first female president in her lifetime.