As Nikki Haley Resigns, Critics Forced to Clarify That "Pro-War, Pro-Imperialist" Sycophant for Trump Is No "Moderate"
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley unexpectedly announced her resignation on Tuesday, but informed critics are raising their voices in the aftermath of the news to make sure nobody gets away with describing the outgoing diplomat—who said she will serve in the position until the end of the year—as anything other than what she is: a sycophant for President Donald Trump and a horrible war-monger who used her powerful position to push a neoconservative foreign policy while undermining global goodwill, overtly attacking human rights, and making the world a more dangerous place.
“Nikki Haley resigned, good riddance.”
—Rania Khalek, journalistWhile some news outlets and commenters ignored historical evidence as they attempted to frame Haley as a “moderate” voice in the Trump administration and Republicans applauded her “moral clarity,” progressive critics hit back hard against such blatantly false characterizations.
“Moderate?” exclaimed political commentator Amir Amini in a tweet responding the New York Times‘ story about the surprise resignation. “Haley spent every minute of her time at the UN threatening innocent nations w/ war, terror and literally bullying and trying to blackmail (and miserably failing) the entire [world] into supporting her agenda dictated by the military industrial complex.”
Blasting CNN for whitewashing the record, Medea Benjamin of CodePink didn’t have a hard time cataloging some of Haley’s most deplorable accomplishments while at the UN:
Numerous data points during Trump’s presidency and Haley’s time at the UN have shown a woeful decline of the United States’ standing in the eyes of the world. Just last week, as Common Dreams reported, a global Pew survey showed that only 50 percent of the world currently has a favorable opinion of the U.S., down from 64 percent when President Obama left office.
According to journalist Glenn Greenwald, the reason outlets like the Times describe Haley as a “moderate” is “because she affirms all of the standard pro-war, pro-imperial orthodoxies that are bipartisan consensus in Washington. That’s why [Bill Kristol, founder and editor of the right-wing The Weekly Standard] reveres her. She was a Tea Party candidate, but ‘moderate’ means: loves U.S. wars & hegemony.”
Before Trump’s hiring of John Bolton as National Security Adviser, Greenwald added, “Haley was probably the most pro-war, pro-imperialist high-ranking Trump official, and therefore the most beloved Trump official by the war-loving U.S. media. She held every conventional foreign policy view that has generated so much destruction.”
Meanwhile, religious scholar and author Reza Aslan issued this plea to reporters and commentators, “Please make sure all your Nikki Haley hot takes mention just how awful she is, what an embarrassment she was as UN Ambassador, and how quickly this ‘moderate’ Republican violated her ‘values’ to serve at the feet of a racist, pussy-grabbing sociopath.”
And as journalist Matthew Chapman noted:
Beyond her disgraceful record, the news of Haley’s resignation was greeted with widespread speculation about her future plans. While some have concocted a theory—not wholly without merit—that Haley could be used to replace Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) if he is tapped by Trump to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions (assuming Sessions gets canned or quits following the midterms), others said the much more interesting and importation speculation is about why she is departing now.
While Trump and Haley stated Tuesday that her departure has been planned for months, on Monday the ethics watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) called on the State Department Inspector General to initiate an official probe in order to determine if Haley violated ethics regulations by accepting more than half a dozen free flights for herself and her husband on luxury private aircraft from three South Carolina businessmen last year.
“By accepting gifts of luxury private flights, Ambassador Haley seems to be falling in line with other Trump administration officials who are reaping personal benefits from their public positions,” said CREW executive director Noah Bookbinder, in a statement.
It might be too early to speculate about precisely who might replace Haley next year, but journalist Rania Khalek had a good idea of what qualifications the top candidates can expect to have:
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