Washington D.C. (AHT) – The decampment of Nikki Haley from Trump’s military regime is, or ought to be, a nonstory. The United States’ ambassador to the United Nations is a ceremonial position that serves no purpose. The very idea of it is absurd. The US is a law unto itself, readily violating the UN Charter whenever the latter’s principles get in the way of the former’s imperial agenda. Washington didn’t bother obtaining a Security Council resolution for its invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq; nor did it get one for its bombing of, and deployment of troops in, Syria; nor did it get one for its protracted bombardment of Yugoslavia; nor did it get one for its various military operations in Yemen.
True, Washington obtained a Security Council resolution re: Libya in 2011. Resolution 1973 authorized the “imposition of a no-fly zone on Libyan military aviation” and the establishment of “safe areas in places exposed to shelling as a precautionary measure.” It also expressed a “strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity” (my emphasis) of the Libyan state. What did Washington and its NATO flunkies do? They immediately breached the terms of the resolution by relentlessly shelling Gaddafi’s security forces on behalf of the armed opposition.
While Gaddafi fled, NATO bombed his convoy. Gaddafi was captured, sodomized and murdered by a gang of “rebels.” Hillary Clinton (literally) cheered. The upshot: Libya, once North Africa’s most prosperous and stable country, became a failed state overrun by warlords and Wahhabi terrorists, and the main conduit through which all kinds of African migrants make it across to Europe. It remains so today; and Europe, in no small part due to said migrant crisis, continues its descent into political disarray.
The United Nations is useful insofar as it can provide cover for American crimes. Otherwise it’s merely a thing to be sidestepped and disregarded. It’s of no consequence who serves as the empire’s official envoy to the UN. Still, Haley’s resignation is a welcome circumstance, if only because we’ll be spared her vapid effusions going forward. This is the woman who has repeatedly cast blame on Iran for the cataclysm in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been deliberately murdering civilians, millions of whom are starving to death, since 2015—using US-made munitions. So atrocious is the Saudi-led massacre that even CNN has begun to report on it objectively.
For Haley, though, it pales in comparison to the handful of rockets fired at Saudi Arabia by the Houthis, Iran’s so-called proxy.
Moral hypocrisy may be part and parcel of politics, but Haley took it to uncommon depths. When Israeli snipers mowed down hundreds of non-violent demonstrators in Gaza earlier this year, killing children, medics and journalists, Haley had this to say: “Let’s remember that the Hamas terrorist organization has been inciting violence for years, long before the United States decided to move our embassy [to Jerusalem in violation of international law]. This is what is endangering the people of Gaza. Make no mistake, Hamas is pleased with the results from yesterday.”
She went on to condemn Gazans for flying kites over the fence into Israel and asserted with a straight face that “No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has.” When the Palestinian envoy began to speak to the delegation, Haley walked out of the room. Such is her racist contempt for the victims of Israeli terrorism. She might just as well have called them “sand-n******.”
For the record, the demonstrators in Gaza were attempting to escape what has been variously described as a concentration camp, a massive open-air prison, and a human rubbish heap. In 2012 the UN speculated that Gaza would become “uninhabitable” by 2020. Last year, the UN’s leading humanitarian official in the West Bank and Gaza Strip stated that they’d been overly optimistic: for all intents and purposes, Gaza is already unlivable.
“We predicted some years ago,” Robert Piper told AFP, “that Gaza would fast become unlivable on a host of indicators and that deadline is actually approaching even faster than we predicted—from health access, to energy to water.”
Ninety-seven percent of Gaza’s drinking water is contaminated. More than half of the strip’s population is unemployed. Around half do not have enough food to eat. Almost seventy-five percent require humanitarian assistance. Gazans get around two hours of electricity per day. The health care system is virtually nonexistent. All this is owing to the illegal siege imposed on Gaza by Israel and Egypt. Very little is allowed in, and nothing is allowed out.
This past spring the people of Gaza made a concerted effort to break free from this living hell. They met with bullets from IDF rifles. Haley praised Israel’s “restraint.”
Nevertheless, “Nikki Haley Will Be Missed.” That’s according to—who else?—The New York Times editorial board.
Why will this immoral bigot be missed? Because apparently, she’s a “practitioner of multilateral diplomacy,” as evinced by her support for the unilateral embargo on Cuba, for instance, as well as her support for the unilateral axing of the Iran nuclear agreement. She is also apparently one of a small number of former Trump regime officials “who can exit the administration with her dignity intact,” because “dignified” is certainly the word to describe her unequivocal support for the mass murder of civilians in Gaza.
Haley’s accomplishments, as told by the Times, are rather vague. For example, she is said to have “helped explain [Trump] to a world confused by the chaos in Washington. She also developed a good relationship with … the United Nations secretary general.” (This is reminiscent of the NYT’s endorsements of Hillary Clinton, which counted among her major accomplishments a speech that “criticized Arab leaders.”)
Additionally, Haley “managed the effort to pass tough new sanctions on North Korea.” Why this is something for which she should be congratulated is a mystery, given that sanctions—a form of collective punishment—serve only to strengthen the target government and further immiserate its subjects, and oftentimes lead to war. And as anyone paying any attention understands, Kim’s sudden embrace of diplomacy has nothing to do with sanctions and everything to do with the fact that North Korea is now officially a nuclear state with bargaining power—in spite of the sanctions.
What else? Haley “maintained some independence from the president on relations with Russia and other matters.” In other words, like the Times, she’s opposed to improving relations with Moscow; she’d rather increase tensions and heat up the New Cold War.
Lest they come across as hagiographers, the editors gently lament Haley’s association with Trump’s “cruel” and “misguided” policies, e.g. revoking aid for Palestinian refugees and backing out of the Paris climate accord. And in a radical understatement illustrating their true degree of concern for oppressed and victimized people, the editors write that the US, and by extension Haley, have “not done enough to push back against Israeli abuses in Gaza.”
Bear that in mind when The New York Times erupts in self-righteous fury over the next “me too” revelation.
This post originally ran on American Herald Tribune.
Michael Howard is a writer and teacher living in Vietnam. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.