There has been a lot of tension over the past few weeks over the loss of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, a member of the Trump Administration who recently announced her resignation effective at the end of 2018. She has often been praised as a beacon of rationality and candor within the administration, providing guidance and concrete policy goals to the regime’s otherwise murky and unpredictable foreign policy. Yet, for all the praise heaped upon her by moderates on both sides of the political spectrum, Haley has been a combative, pugnacious, and largely unhelpful presence on the floor of the United Nations, and should not be glorified beyond that station.
As one of the administration’s loudest international mouthpieces, Haley has been a staunch defender of Israel and its policies towards Palestinian populations in Gaza and the West Bank, including draconian episodes of military brutality, mass arrests, and airstrikes on public demonstrations. She manacled fellow delegates into agreeing with her positions by threatening to withdraw aid from dissenting countries, especially those regarding the movement of the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Her withdrawal of funding from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and departure from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has caused international anxiety about the future of those organizations, and her criticism of the U.N. for its examination of Trump-era poverty in the United States indicated a sense of American exceptionalism which further isolated the United States from the international table. She has helped beat the war drum in implicit support of conflict with Iran; she has not contributed anything constructive to multilateral relations between countries, and, like President Donald Trump, she is refusing to allow the country to involve itself in a growing global framework at a time when cooperation is critical.
However, despite this lengthy, damning litany of arrogant unilateralism and isolationist tendency, some have speculated that Haley’s departure simply foreshadows a more fruitful career path going forward: the presidency. This speculation is, in my opinion, decidedly unwarranted; Haley has largely refrained from public spectacle (in favor of the more clandestine and nefarious operations outlined above) and leaves no profound impression in the popular consciousness. Her participation in Trump-era politics will hopefully serve as a “dark mark” on any political career going forward, although she may stress her lack of overt contentiousness during her tenure as proof of dissension from the administration. As with most former Trump officials, it is likely that we will see criticism emerge from the Haley camp towards Trump in the months and years succeeding her resignation.
Haley now joins the ranks of others who have left the administration such as Michael Cohen, Rex Tillerson, Steve Bannon, and Omarosa Manigault Newman; their exits do not come from a place of genuine moral outrage, but simply an attempt to win back the support of the center. It is paramount that this support never materializes; Haley has continually served the interests of a group of racist, monopolistic warhawks with only contempt for human life, and she deserves nothing but our scorn.