Nikki Haley Is Fearless in Bucking Trump

No Cabinet-level member of the Trump administration has been as fearless and independent as our ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, in speaking out regardless of her boss's position. Perhaps the distance between New York and Washington affords her some latitude. Maybe the not-ready-for-prime-time secretary of state is too lax or clueless to rein her in. At any rate, since taking her post she has slammed the Russians on support for Syria and complicity in human rights atrocities; affirmed that the Western Wall is in Israel; confirmed there is no question that Russia interfered in our election; made clear there can be no peace in Syria as long as Bashar Assad is in power; and put human rights front and center.In some cases, these declarations contradict U.S. policy under President Donald Trump; in other cases, her emphasis and tone simply differ from Trump's and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's normal rhetoric. Her starkest disconnects are with Tillerson, on the importance of human rights and on the Western Wall, for example.Some of this can be attributed to the nature of her role, which is primarily rhetorical. Her presence at Turtle Bay affords her above all the ability to name and shame wrongdoers and stick up for repressed people. She can raise the banner of human rights, pointing to the hypocrisy of repressive states that spend their time condemning the only democracy in the Middle East, Israel.She stands out in this administration because virtually no one else gives voice to these concerns. Her sharp elbows can fend off anti-Israeli and anti-U.S. sentiment. She does not need to extract cooperative understandings with rogue states or balance, say, trade and human rights.  Continue reading...

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