Nikki Haley and the UN

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:

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:

She appears to have her boss’ support, too. Here’s Trump being as diplomatic as ever:

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.

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46 thoughts on “Nikki Haley and the UN

  1. I couldn’t agree more.

    When I discovered that the “UK” had voted in favour of this motion I was (honestly and actually) disgusted. I felt nauseated for a moment and then deeply and coldly angry.

    It’s brilliant. Take the only democracy in the Middle East and Britain’s most important ally and piss them both off for no benefit whatsoever. Do this because you want to make a pathetic and pointless gesture to nations and individuals in the UK who hate you and who will never stop hating you whatever you do.

    I have many conservative-voting friends who keep telling me that May is doing her best and is misunderstood.
    If she knew about this and supported it then they are revealed as being woefully wrong.

    The arguments are all in favour of this move by the USA. The pathetic and dickless cries of “think of the damage this will cause to the peace process” reveal that the objectors obviously use for brains (and other things) shriveled walnuts. There is, to all extents and purposes, no extant peace process. Moreover, the response from Saudi and elsehwere shows that Trump’s more robust approach including recognition of the status quo is far more productive than the self-defeating, bitter and infantile outpourings of our mandarins at the FCO and elsewhere.

    Bah!

  2. As her femmi-Marxist posturing shows The Fish Faced Cow is BluLabour right to her rotten middle-class, cultural marxist, London Bubble core.

    If Christmas is a time of miracles–as Hans Gruber opined–is there truly no hope of replacing the Queen’s Speech with live video of May being obliged to re-enact the “shower” scene from Lethal Weapon (an excellent seasonal film BTW) ?

  3. Damn right Tim. It was a truly great day yesterday, and I say this mostly as an American.

    I was looking for a way to quote Mr. Ecks, but then I saw him here 😀 That woman is useless, if not outright damaging.

  4. “We will be collecting names” was a bit of a cheap threat I thought as the names are there anyway. I definitely think that Trumps role is to bring the UN to the brink, in order that a new format can be agreed, which amongst other things will get rid of the pain in the ass veto. Trumps recognition of Jerusalem has now enabled this Armageddon like security council end scene to be played out.

    Can’t see what all the fuss is about anyway as Tom Hanks told us that the Templar’s took the Arc of the Covenant away from Jerusalem and buried it under Rosslyn Chapel donkeys years ago.

    Not a big fan of Nikki, plus she likes Bono.

  5. This is just the small change of the FCO’s policy since WW1, to act in foreigners’ interests against those of the UK (rather than, as you would assume, the other way round). As you write, I can’t see where this decision to vote against the US does the UK any good either. Mr Ecks and Alisa get it right: May is not just useless, she’s positively dangerous. Also Boris must have had a hand in this: so much for his being “Churchillian”!

    As to Nikki Haley, I remember the glory days when John Bolton – and Daniel Moynihan – were US ambassadors to the UN. I just hope she lasts longer than those two.

  6. Alisa
    “In what way and why?”

    Well, he is Foreign Secretary and our ambassador to the UN comes under his department.

  7. Japan and South Korea are easy enough to explain. Public opinion there is pro-Palestinian, as it is virtually everywhere outside the US, and the US is not really in a position to retaliate against them because of their strategic importance.

  8. Stolen from elsewhere:

    She’s making a list,
    She’s checking it twice,
    She’s gonna find out whose funding to slice,
    Nikki Haley’s coming to town.

  9. Japan and South Korea are easy enough to explain. Public opinion there is pro-Palestinian

    Is it? I mean, are Japanese and South Koreans genuinely pro-Palestinian, or only when somebody asks them directly about it? I have a hard time believing Japanese or Koreans spend much time worrying about Palestinians, tbh. I noticed this when people campaigned for foxhunting to be banned in the UK. Most Brits simply didn’t care either way, it just didn’t come up on their radar, but when they’re stopped in the street and asked an opinion, they think about it and give one. The surveys then said 80% of people don’t like foxhunting, whereas it should have said 70% of people don’t give it a moment’s thought.

    Still, the Japanese and Koreans have obviously concurred that their concern for the Palestinians outweighs any obligations they feel towards the US. With Trump in the White House, that might be a riskier game than they realise.

  10. No, I don’t believe that East Asians think a whole lot about the Middle East in general. The reason that they are pro-Palestinian is that pretty much all their knowledge on the subject comes from translated wire service articles from AP, Reuters, AFP, etc. Nevertheless, the sentiment is there.

  11. >pretty much all their knowledge on the subject comes from translated wire service articles from AP, Reuters, AFP, etc. Nevertheless, the sentiment is there.

    For that reason Trump is doing them a service by providing a counter-narrative that may get heard even after it’s spun by the wire services.

  12. Top ten recipients of US Aid shown below, nine voted against US recognizing Jerusalem but I cant see them cutting funds in the Muslims ones anyway, Trump and Haley haven’t played the threat card well here at all, I will put it down to inexperience.

    Muslim nations – Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Pakistan
    African nations – Kenya, Tanzania, Nigera and Ethiopia
    And Israel which voted with the US.

  13. I may have well missed a specific, but it seems that there was no direct financial threat made, other than the mentioning of the fact that the US is the principal financial contributor to the UN (rather than to any particular country). So if I’m correct, that card seems to have been played quite well actually.

  14. Alisa, listen to what Trump says in the message on the OP he is threatening members that vote against the US in the council or the general assembly. He threatens the UN on funding as well all the time, yes absolutely. But that is showbiz.

    Maybe they will carry through and cut funding to the many naysayers but if you look at the largest nations that the US funds which incidentally are Muslim I cant see it.

  15. I may have well missed a specific, but it seems that there was no direct financial threat made, other than the mentioning of the fact that the US is the principal financial contributor to the UN (rather than to any particular country).

    There’s another clip I saw a couple of days ago that I can’t find where she says something like “A lot of these countries come to use for help and we give it; we will not be taking a keen interest in how these countries vote” or words to that effect. Which is fair enough, if you ask me.

  16. You are right, Bardon – I did miss that one, and was thinking mainly of Haley’s speech at the UN.

    But that is showbiz

    Precisely.

    As to any particular nations, I’m not sure Muslim or not comes into it in this specific context, other than the fact that Muslim countries happen to be the ones incapable of sustaining their own economies and militaries without external help. I imagine the funding will stand or fall as based on any particular country being helpful to US interests; yesterday’s vote may come into it, but it would be wrong to interpret Trump’s words there as not taking into account the full picture of cooperation (or lack thereof) of any particular aid recipient with the US.

  17. “Which is fair enough, if you ask me.”

    But now that the US has copped such a massive shellacking, they have basically told her to Foxtrot Oscar and she is the one that has been left hanging out to dry. I think that diplomatically she blew it. Just saying that a wiser head would have done it better, not taking sides here, I don’t mind Trumpet, Nikki is another story.

  18. Which is fair enough, if you ask me.

    More than fair.

    However, I read Bardon’s point as being about not making specific threats (specifically financial, in this case) one may not be able to carry out due to other considerations, and I still think that no such simplistic threat has been made. Apart from the ‘showbiz’ bit, that is 🙂

  19. Yes Alisa, I am sure that their faces are noted and it may well be mentioned in dispatches. I mentioned those Muslim nations as they are the biggest recipients of US Aid in dollar terms followed by those African ones.

    And yes never make threats.

  20. However, I read Bardon’s point as being about not making specific threats (specifically financial, in this case) one may not be able to carry out due to other considerations, and I still think that no such simplistic threat has been made.

    I think any repercussions will happen at the margins. Like I implied in my post, the US isn’t going to be making any major changes as a result of this but, knowing Trump, when the next basket-case comes begging cap-in-hand he may well pull out that list and tell them to FO.

  21. “the US isn’t going to be making any major changes as a result of this but”

    Trump is now going to sign on the Paris Climate Agreement, he cant afford for global warming to cause the sea levels to rise and wipe out all of his pro-Jerusalem coral atoll voting nations.

  22. Another point comes to mind, which is that Trump was mainly addressing his home audience (specifically his voters), more than anyone abroad.

  23. Not just his supporters: there’s obviously a section of the Democrat left that would despise him if he cured childhood cancer tomorrow, but on this issue of the embassy – and being more robust at the UN – he is getting some cheer from pro-Israeli Democrats and Nevertrumpers as well. I think a lot of people were fed up with Obama’s and Powers’ cravenness at the UN, and had many pro-Israel voters aghast.

  24. The Dajjāl speaks.

    ANKARA — Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan called on Friday for the United States to step back from its decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital after the United Nations voted against the move despite what he called “ugly and unforgivable” US threats.

  25. Absolutely.

    The useless fish faced cow May really is beyond comprehension.

    Mind you the limp wristed fuckers in the party need to be making themselves heard.

  26. “Trump was mainly addressing his home audience (specifically his voters)”: that’s the norm for most countries. Most foreign policy is really domestic policy.

  27. We have let down our brothers and sisters in the US — many of them tied to us by blood, language and principles of law — and once more are attempting to appease those who will not be appeased.

    The US is taking names, so good for them. They might like to think too that it is time to hoof the useless, dictator-loving UN out of their country. I am sure all those ‘international diplomats’ would just love the UN to be sited in downtown Mogadishu or Kabul.

  28. 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.

    Yes, hand the keys over to China, and let them call all the shots in Asia. Because that would really be in the US national interest wouldn’t it?

  29. That is always true, dearieme, but to widely varying degrees. Think of Obama as a recent example of nearly the opposite.

  30. Yes, hand the keys over to China, and let them call all the shots in Asia. Because that would really be in the US national interest wouldn’t it?

    I wasn’t being entirely serious, but let’s look at it anyway. What exactly is the US national interest insofar as South Korea and Japan are concerned? Containing China? Why? Is China going to invade either country? Unlikely. From what I can tell, the US national interest in South Korea is nothing more than supporting an ally against potential aggression from their neighbour, i.e. helping a mate out. If this mate now feels they should vote in favour of a Yemeni-tabled resolution condemning the US for aspects of its domestic policy, perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate that friendship. At the very least, Tillerson should be on the phone asking what the fuck they think they’re playing at, and perhaps ask the South Koreans to explain what they believe the US national interest is on the peninsula.

  31. Excellent link, Alisa. It’s amazing how:

    1. Accurate that show was.
    2. How little has changed since.

  32. “Tillerson should be on the phone asking what the fuck they think they’re playing at”

    I find its surprising that you would think that Tillerson would stoop to such lows, especially given your previous view on his upstanding character. This was a nothing vote on an unbinding resolution that doesn’t mean anything, Nikki unnecessarily walked into this leading with her big nose and chin. They had their important veto at the council, they knew they would get massive push back so why not just downplay it rather than attract the flies around shite? No so she chose not to and instead went for the big one and got punished. Tillerson of all diplomats is far more tactful than to further buy into a losing position and complicate any real diplomatic efforts with important stakeholders over such an insignificant matter.

  33. “No so she chose not to and instead went for the big one and got punished.”

    I haven’t been following this in detail, so this is not a rhetorical question: how exactly has Nikki Haley, or by extension, the U.S. State Dept, been punished?

  34. The US made it’s decision some time ago in recognizing Jerusalem as the capital, yes its purely symbolic, they already have a consulate there and its not as if they were about to relocate the Embassy in the new year. As unpopular a decision it was they had announced it, and got through the security council veto with the immediate furor now behind them, everyone just wanted to get home for Christmas and that would have been how the year ended. Nikki despite knowing how unpopular the US decision was across the board and rather than play it down and ignore the forthcoming means nothing assembly vote chose instead to ratchet up the rhetoric and quite bizarrely threaten nations with consequences if they voted against the US.

    And boy did they vote against her, including all of her so called allies, including countries that they are spending fortunes on currently liberating, even bitter foes uncharacteristically joined hands and voted in alignment against her and with the worlds spotlight now shone on her she couldn’t have gotten a worse result. She has quite unnecessarily empowered her foes who have immediately taken the moral high ground against her threatening behavior and by doing so she has weakened the US position. Instead of keeping her head under the parapet for this last minor hurdle of the year, she went out swinging and her threats were wholeheartedly rejected by the rest of the world in the most public of forums and in diplomatic terms they punished her, big time.

    I should send her a copy of Diplomacy for Dummies for Christmas.

  35. “I should send her a copy of Diplomacy for Dummies for Christmas.”

    Trump and Haley have done exactly what huge swaths of the USA populace have wanted to see done for decades. His “threats” (your term) have consisted of pointing out that nations who eat our charity to the tune of billions of dollars per year might not receive such largesse should they keep trying to stymie what we see as an important issue of basic justice. (And I do not mean where the damned embassy is located. I mean which side deserves our support and deserves to prevail.)

    I’m about to start on my 2017 tax returns, which will be accompanied by a large check representing my payment to the US Treasury. That’s the source of that charity. Not sending more charity is only a “threat” if you consider it to be my duty to continue sending them my money. It’s not. It’s arguably not even in my own interests to do so.

    And the Armageddon of a UN opposed to us? Horrors. We’d have to leave. More money saved, fewer dictators and idiots and socialists rewarded. We can live with that on our consciences.

    We are leaning more towards isolationism than ever before. I see little in the way of a downside. We might sell less, but then we’d face a surplus of . . . what? . . . food? And fewer I-Phones? And . . . whatever do we depend upon Europe for? Syrians?

    “Threats”? “You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means. (Call me Inigo.)

  36. America has a lot of supporters in the world, I am one of them. I am anti-state, loathe the UN, mind my own business and have nothing but respect for patriots of any nation.

    You need to separate the roles out here Trump is a politician and Haley is an ambassador. Trump does politics and Haley should do diplomacy, yes we know that she doesn’t as many here have pointed out, instead she does politics and is using the UN as her election campaign trail. Diplomacy is a skill regardless of whether a home based American realises that or not. I am quite sure that Rex Tillerson does though.

    Whilst there is nothing more certain than a bellicose Trump draped in a flag experiencing a spike in his voter approval ratings and them coming out in support chanting “USA! USA! USA!”. It is not in the Americas best interest for their senior ambassador to do similar to foreign audiences, you would have to take an outside view looking in to understand this. America does not operate in a vacuum.

    As I have said many times I am sure that she is being intentionally put up to do things like this and she will surely have her Colin Powell moment in the not to distant future and if anyone believes that the UN is going to go away and stop expanding then I have a bridge to sell you.

    I too think the world and american citizens and its tax payers would breathe a collective sigh of relief if their forces just went home. The US military would be far better off adopting a defensive stance and guarding against aerial strikes in New York and Washington.

    To quote Trump “After having foolishly spent $7 trillion in the Middle East, it is time to start rebuilding our country!” I couldn’t agree more. But the bad news for you as a US taxpayer is that even if they withdrew from everywhere now the bill will keep rising until 2053 to about $12 trillion due to the ever increasing veterans budget, health care costs and interest payments on the current debt level. That’s about $100k for every US taxpayer.

    Which reminds me I have two years tax returns to catch up with.

    Happy Christmas Bobby and all the best for 2018.

  37. I fear that Ms. Haley is being misread here.

    There’s a unfortunate inexactness in the words “diplomat” and “diplomacy.” “Diplomacy” can encompass concepts of fostering friendly, nonthreatening, productive speech – a “diplomat” can be a person who deals with others smoothly and happily. But there’s also an interpretation of the concept of “diplomat” as someone skilled at communicating someone else’s point of view to a third party as accurately as possible, even when that point of view may be hostile or negative in some sense. In this formulation of “diplomacy”, the viewpoint is communicated without buffering the unpleasantness.

    Working for Trump, I see Haley’s “diplomat” role largely in that second sense. She is not at the UN to make Trump palatable. She is there to represent Trump – to BE Trump in many respects.

    And I think she’s doing that well. The extent to which people receive her message as a negative thing is, I think, exactly the message Trump is asking her to communicate. She’s not being very “diplomatic”, in the first sense of the word as set out above, but she is being a true “diplomat” in the second sense. When she speaks, people ought to hear Trump’s voice.

    I think that, when dealing with Trump, many of our prior conceptions of “how things work” are no longer valid. I think Haley’s role at the UN is one example of this.

    But, in any case, Merry Christmas to you, too, Bardon, and Happy New Year!

  38. “I fear that Ms. Haley is being misread here.”

    Well perception is the reality and she isn’t doing that well outside of the US. So, yes she is at least being misread and might just have to adjust her signal frequency to suit.

    I am biased, as I see her as a kind of Wicked Witch of the West type without the green tinge or the largess of Madeleine Albright, you got to admit there is a resemblance. Sure there has been progress in her short time as ambassador, she seems to have backed off on demanding the removal of Assad and that the Russians fixed the election bit and thankfully has stopped pulling out random photos of dead children that Assad gassed. They say that Tillerson early on had insisted that she be reeled in and stayed on script but I am not sure that his expectation is working all that well either.

  39. They say that Tillerson early on had insisted that she be reeled in and stayed on script but I am not sure that his expectation is working all that well either.

    Bad Cop/Good Cop? Anyway, what Bobby said.

    Merry Christmas everyone.

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