One of the pleasantly surprising bright spots of President Donald Trump’s administration has been the appointment of Nikki Haley as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, who has taken a decidedly blunt and no-nonsense, call-it-like-we-see-it American attitude to the international organization.
Haley delivered yet another fiery speech to the U.N. Security Council on Monday, in which she placed the council on notice for its utter failure to maintain a temporary cease-fire agreement in Syria. She explicitly called out Russia and Syria, as well as Iran, for their roles in the continued fighting in violation of a recent Security Council resolution, according to TheBlaze.
Her eight-minute speech boiled down to one pointed message: If the U.N. doesn’t do anything to address the contempt with which the Security Council resolution was treated by Russia and Syria, the U.S. military will.
As Haley began, she noted all of the promises made by Russia in regard to enforcing the resolution which imposed a 30-day cease-fire in the area of Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus, and pointed out how fighting and bombing was still ongoing in spite of the agreement that Russia claimed to support.
She further noted that Russia and Syria had taken advantage of a “loophole” in the agreement that allowed for military action against terrorist organizations like al-Qaida and the Islamic State group by essentially declaring all opposition groups and civilians in Ghouta to be “terrorists” and open to attack.
“This is no cease-fire,” Haley asserted. “This is the Assad regime, Iran and Russia continuing to wage war against their political opponents.”
“If we can’t save families that haven’t seen the sun for weeks because they have been hiding underground to escape barrel bombs,” she continued, “then the Security Council is as impotent as its worst critics say it is.”
“When the international community consistently fails to act, there are times when states are compelled to take their own action,” Haley said, as she reminded the council of the U.S. missile strikes in April 2017 in response to Syrian chemical attacks on civilians.
“We warn any nation that is determined to impose its will through chemical attacks and inhuman suffering, most especially the outlaw Syrian regime, the United States remains prepared to act if we must,” she added. “It is not the path we prefer, but it is a path we have demonstrated we will take, and we are prepared to take again.”
You can watch Haley’s tough speech right here. Take note of the tone and occasional sharp side-eye toward the Russian and Syrian representatives as she calls them out for their duplicity in front of the spineless council.
According to The Hill, Haley’s warning to the U.N. Security Council came amid reports heavy fighting and bombings in and around Ghouta — which were preventing the delivery of humanitarian aid and evacuation of sick and wounded civilians from the besieged city — as well as allegations of chemical attacks using chlorine gas in the area.
It is worth noting that Haley was not entirely alone in her threat to the U.N. that the U.S. would take military action to enforce the cease-fire if necessary. Defense Secretary James Mattis informed the Syrian government that “it would be unwise for them to use weaponized gas” in response to the alleged chemical attacks, and added that Trump had “full political maneuver room” to take any sort of action he deemed necessary to bring peace to the war-torn region.
Haley was also backed up by none other than French President Emmanuel Macron, who stated recently at a news conference in India in response to the alleged chemical attacks in Ghouta that France was prepared to carry out airstrikes and other military action to halt the travesty and enforce the cease-fire.
Haley, on behalf of Trump, has made it crystal clear to the U.N. that the era of “strategic patience” and leading from behind are over and done with, and if the international community doesn’t see fit to do what must be done to obtain peace and stability, America has no problem rolling up her sleeves to do what is necessary.
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