Nikki Haley

America Makes A List: Who Is with And Who Against Us


According to the State Department’s report, UN’s General Assembly voted on 98 resolutions in 2017. In 31% of those votes, the results went the way the United States voted, which is 10% less than in 2016. This is the 34th such annual report published by Washington.

Top ten countries that voted the same as the US are Israel, Micronesia, Canada, Marshall’s Islands, Australia, Great Britain, France, Palau, Ukraine, and the Czech Republic. Ten states that have voted against the US the most are Zimbabwe, Burundi, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, North Korea, Turkmenistan, Cuba, Bolivia, and the South African Republic.

“The American people pay 22 percent of the UN budget — more than the next three highest donor countries combined. In spite of this generosity, the rest of the UN voted with us only 31 percent of the time, a lower rate than in 2016. That’s because we care more about being right than popular and are once again standing up for our interests and values. Either way, this is not an acceptable return on our investment.” said Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the UN.

According to her, that is unacceptable. She reminded of her promise when she took the office that she will be mindful of the countries that oppose United States interest. Haley threatened to cut funding for countries that repeatedly vote against the US.

“President Trump wants to ensure that our foreign assistance dollars — the most generous in the world — always serve American interests, and we look forward to helping him see that the American people are no longer taken for granted,” she said.

However, there is an important caveat in the report that indicates the difference in opinions between the US and the rest of the world isn’t as drastic as it appears.

“The vast majority of resolutions in various UN bodies are approved by consensus where no votes were taken,” the report says. “Overall voting correlation between countries is highly dependent on the types of resolutions that come to a vote. For example, in the UNGA, Israeli-Palestinian issues account for approximately one-quarter of resolutions that are adopted with a vote, skewing the voting coincidence metrics for countries that oppose these resolutions.”

The difference can also be explained by the US frequent voting against resolutions proposed by other countries.

“In 2017, the United States voted against more UN General Assembly resolutions (71 percent) than any other UN member state,” the report says. “The average UN member state voted against six percent of resolutions. In 2016, the United States also voted against the most resolutions (58 percent).”

USA Loses Credibility Due to Foreign Policy Double Standards


The American leaders are promoting their country as the example of how a country should behave in the world, but the reality is completely different. While the US has been overthrowing some repressive rulers, they have allowed the others to keep their positions and called them their friends and noble members of the Free World. Names that pop up include Shah of Iran, Nicaragua’s Somoza family, Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, to name a few. This hypocrisy lives on, and it appears that will continue to be a dominant part of the US foreign policy.

The value United States practices and those that they preach are vastly different, and that gap can be seen in the Middle East. Recently, the United States harshly criticized Iran and Syria because of their domestic and foreign policy and while some of those criticisms are valid, the others are not so much. Bashar al-Assad’s regime and Iran’s government broke numerous international laws and violated human rights on many occasions, but sometimes officials from America are quiet and to make matters worse, the US is the one committing such crimes.

After the reported use of chemical weapons by Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, Trump called him to be an exceptionally vile enemy. He used Twitter, as always, to say that Assad is “an animal” and to justify the use of airstrikes on Syria, Trump wrote: “[The incident confirmed] a pattern of chemical weapons use by that very terrible regime. The evil and despicable attack left mothers and fathers, infants and children thrashing in pain and gasping for air. These are not the actions of a man. They are crimes of a monster instead.” He was also quick to criticize Russia and Iran for the support and sponsorship of such a man. He said: “To Iran and to Russia, I ask: What kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children?”

According to Daniel Larison of TAC, Trump should be the one who knows the answer to this question. He acknowledged: “Trump should know the answer since he just hosted one of the chief architects of the war on Yemen that the U.S. has backed to the hilt for the last three years. Britain welcomed the Saudi crown prince earlier on, and France just hosted him in the last few days. All three have been arming and supporting the Saudis and their allies in Yemen no matter how many atrocities they commit.”

It appears that the United States spread not only peace and democracy around the Middle East, but also chaos and war. They have funded Saudi Arabia and provided intelligence in their attacks on Yemen, which besides other devastating events triggered cholera epidemic which affects regular people. However, it doesn’t end here, and Washington would have a hard time washing their hands after everything they have done. Evidence has emerged that the Saudi forces have used white phosphorous munitions which cause severe burns on the victims and the supplier is no other than Washington.

To show that America is a hypocritical country, we have to go north and visit another US ally – Turkey. When Russia annexed Crimea, the United States was first to react, but they did nothing when Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974 and occupied the northern part of the island. They sort of criticized Turkey for the invasion, but as the time passed by, the US officials became more and more disinterested. Instead, they pressured Cyprus to accept the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus which was established by Ankara. The sanctions were imposed initially, but they were soon lifted, which was an embarrassment. This mild reaction from the US repeated when Turkey sent their troops to northern Iran and northern Syria as well.

We are moving on. The next stop is Iran. The United States keeps criticizing Iran for repression and their domestic conduct, and they are joined by Egypt and Saudi Arabia, the US allies. UN Ambassador Nikki Haley is the first one to verbally attack Iran for repression. After demonstrations emerged in several parts of the country, Haley used the opportunity to speak up: “The Iranian regime’s contempt for the rights of its people has been widely documented for many years.” She added that America stood “unapologetically with those in Iran who seek freedom for themselves, prosperity for their families, and dignity for their nation.”

Her facts are way off. Let’s be clear on something. Iran’s political system differs from the Western democracy, but that doesn’t mean that it is repressive. Of course, there are some matters which can be improved and dealt with, but this country is way more open than Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The candidates for office which are considered “unacceptable” are excluded from the race by Guardian Council, but the Iranian election are quite open, and people have a chance to vote for a candidate they like. More often than not, two candidates have very contrasting views on the matters regarding Iran, and President Hassan Rouhani managed to win electoral mandate over his opponent in May 2017. Why is Saudi Arabia America’s ally when the laws in this country are too strict, and inequality and repression are pouring out of its borders?

The Saudi royal family is condemning any attempt at creating an opposition. People who criticized regime have often been imprisoned and sometimes even beheaded. According to Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, Saudi Arabia is at the bottom when it comes to respecting human rights. For instance, the government has just allowed women to drive and this was considered to be a radical reform. The similar things happen in Egypt where speaking against the regime could mean losing your head. President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi put thousands of his political opponents behind bars, and hundreds were killed. Where is the United States in these countries? Why aren’t troops sent to free the people who don’t have the rights they deserve?

The United States, with President Trump in the oval office, is aware of what is going on, but they refuse to react. These are brutal atrocities, committed by the US allies, but just because they are allied countries, they would go unpunished. The US is even selling weapons to such countries, aiding their repression and attacks on other states in the region. This leads us to the conclusion that the United States don’t care at all about freedom around the world. Now, we understand that this is no fairytale and to get rid of some enemies the United States needs to unite with the countries which are drastic in their laws to strengthen the position in the Middle East.

What bothers us is that the officials are not frank with the United State citizens. Instead of explaining that these decisions are made for the interest of the US, they are presenting one side of the story. Is it possible that they are afraid of how the public would react in such case? For once, the United States need to be honest in their intentions, and these do not include the rights or welfare of the people who live in the Middle East. No matter what the politicians say, the foreign policy of Washington indicates otherwise, and we must not turn a blind eye.


Trump’s foreign policy: all sound and no fury


In the recent months, the White House has made numerous statements condemning various countries around the globe for their actions but has yet to act in a decisive fashion to stop them.

The current administration’s foreign policy has left many experts scratching their heads. The constant back and forth, carrousel-like personnel changes, and complete lack of strategy has seen White House officials scrambling, desperately trying to guess which one of his numerous agendas President Trump will be pursuing on any given day.

The latest fiasco with Russian sanctions is just an illustration of how indecisive his leadership has been. The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley stated that new sanctions will be imposed on Russia, only to be contradicted just hours later by the President’s chief economic advisor Larry Kudlow. The newly appointed Kudlow was quick to say that the Ambassador was just confused and no new sanctions are coming down the pipe. Ms. Haley coolly retorted “With all due respect, I don’t get confused.”

It would seem that President Trump okayed the new sanctions, that did a 180 and threw a tantrum when he saw Ms. Haley announcing the on TV. Add the rumors of her and Vice President Pence running on a ticket together in 2020, and you get a picture of how confusing it must be working in the White House at the moment.

Yet, despite Presidents utter disregard for diplomatic procedures, his knowledge gaps in many areas, and his insistence on running his personal foreign policy via Twitter, the damage could have been much worse and certainly is less than what his critics have repeatedly warned us about.

The North Korea situation is seemingly heading towards a negotiating table, where only a few months ago it seemed that both leaders had their fingers on nuclear launch codes. Whether is this a natural cycle of threats and negotiations for North Korea or Mr. Trump had a real decisive impact, it is still a preferable outcome.

The recent strikes against Syria’s Bashar al-Assad’s forces accused of using chemical weapons against civilian population have won POTUS some respect from his allies, although some claim that strikes have been largely inefficient in reducing Syrian’s regime ability to fight the war. In the light of Russian statements and their heavy presence in the region, perhaps such strike was needed in order to prevent escalation, even if it was inefficient as critics say.

Finally, President Trump has even managed to utter a statement resembling a critic of Vladimir Putin, accused of annexation Crimea, invasion of Ukraine and attack on Sergei Skripal’s poisoning, perpetrated on British soil.

He even managed to mend some fences within NATO, by forming a surprising, yet functional relationship with France’s President Emmanuel Macron.

Still, there are some worrying aspects of his foreign policy, mostly caused by his impulsive behavior, which puts most world leaders on guard when dealing with him, as they can’t predict his reactions, and represents a constant danger to the international stability. U.S. military budget is a record one, something heavily frowned upon even by America’s allies. Finally, his attitude towards Iran deal is potentially very dangerous development in a region that is already strained to its limits. It remains to be seen whether Mr. Trump will manage to avoid mistakes committed by his Republican predecessor President Bush.


America and Iran poised for battle in Syria


One of the hallmarks of President Trump’s foreign policy has been a fierce critic of Iran and the deal made by President Obama, which allowed for the Iranian sanctions to be lifted in exchange for Teheran’s giving up its nuclear program. Apart from the Persian Gulf, a traditional battleground between the two countries, US and Iranian forces are also in close proximity in Syria, where members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard have been instrumental in recent victories of the Syrian Army, with Russian air force providing ample air support. On the other hand, US forces have maintained a presence in Kurdish-occupied parts of Syria, from where they have been coordinating air strikes against regime’s forces.

Despite heavy fighting, there haven’t been any clashes between the two sides so far, much to the dismay of Israel, which has been advocating for a tougher stance on Iran, especially in Syria and has conducted numerous strikes against both Iranian forces and local militias backed by Teheran. This was all done in an effort of preventing Iran from gaining a stronger foothold in the country that shares a border with Israel.

In March, President Trump fired H. R. McMaster from the position of the national security advisor and appointed John Bolton as his replacement. Bolton, a Bush-era hawk and a strong supporter of Iraq war, is known for his aggressive stance and has advocated for preemptive strikes against both North Korea and Iran, a stance that has earned him a wide-spread criticism in international circles. Many have seen this move as a preparation for a more hostile posture towards Iran and its involvement in Syria.

The fears of conflict escalation have also been fueled by the statement made by the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, saying that “we want to make sure that the influence of Iran doesn’t take over the area. They continue to cause problems throughout the region, and we want to make sure that there is a hold.” The looming deadline imposed by President Trump on its European allies to fix the Iranian deal, set for May 12th, is fast approaching and if the US withdraws, it would only further destabilize the already fragile situation.

Some experts say that the cost of direct confrontation would be too steep for both countries. Professor of international politics at the University of Birmingham Scott Lucas said that “There’s no appetite on either side to deliberately look for a wider conflict because then your costs outweigh your benefits,” he told Al Jazeera. “You have to put in so many resources and have the problem of not knowing how far this will go.”

Iran has just starting to recover from decades of international sanctions and an open conflict with the world’s most powerful military is something they are desperate to avoid. On the other hand, the US is faced with a dramatic decrease of domestic support for any military adventure in the Middle East and is trying to limit its forces in the region.

While an outright conflict between the US and Iran’s forces may be far-fetched, both countries possess capable forces in Syria that can do the fighting for them. Iran has numerous militias which it has trained and supplied for years, and the US have Syrian Democratic Army, a heavily Kurdish-dominated force opposing Assad’s regime. These are fully able to maintain a low-intensity conflict for a long time, supported by their allies in Washington and Teheran.


Trump’s decisions increase Foreign Policy Tensions


The United States President Donald Trump has met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida to discuss important matters. This meeting is shadowed by the world drama that the U.S. president has created in the past few weeks.

First of all, Trump’s economic adviser Larry Kudlow and the UN Ambassador Nikki Haley quarreled over the reveal of the sanctions which were imposed on Russia. Kudlow said that Haley “got ahead of the curve” and that “there might have been some momentary confusion about that.” Haley answered: “With all due respect, I don’t get confused,” and Kudlow apologized. After that Larry Kudlow told the NY Times: “I was wrong to say that — totally wrong. As it turns out, she was following what she thought was policy. The policy was changed, and she wasn’t told about it, so she was in a box.”

The UN ambassador definitely smelled something fishy and Trump was agitated when he saw Haley talking about sanctions imposed on Russia, according to the Times. They reported: “President Trump was watching television on Sunday when he saw Nikki R. Haley, his ambassador to the United Nations, announced that he would impose fresh sanctions on Russia. The president grew angry, according to an official informed about the moment. As far as he was concerned, he had decided no such thing.”

The drama continued with one of Trump’s tweets. He confirmed that Mike Pompeo, possible future secretary of state met with Kim Jong-Un, North Korean leader. Trump tweeted: “Mike Pompeo met with Kim Jong Un in North Korea last week. Meeting went very smoothly, and a good relationship was formed. Details of Summit are being worked out now. Denuclearization will be a great thing for World, but also for North Korea!”

Read also: Kim Jong-Un and Mike Pompeo Meeting, Donald Trump Confirms

The problem with this was not the meeting itself. Mike Pompeo may not get enough Senate votes to become the new Secretary of State. Perhaps with this tweet, Trump wanted to show the Senate that he wanted Pompeo at one of the most important positions in the country? And we are not sure what Shinzo Abe would think of such dialogue.