John James is Being Considered to Replace Outgoing UN Ambassador Nikki Haley

Other contenders include current State Department spox Heather Nauert.

President Trump want be appointing Detroit businessman and recent GOP nominee for U.S. Senate in Michigan, John James, to replace outgoing US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley. James recently lost his general election race against incumbent U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow by a [52 to 46% margin](https://ballotpedia.org/John_James_(Michigan%29), signaling that he has a bright political future in Michigan with such a narrow loss.

Here’s more on the matter:

The Trump administration is considering putting a person without ambassador’s experience into the job, a source said. James has never been an ambassador, but a source said a person with ambassador’s experience would likely be his deputy if he is chosen.

A White House spokesman said Monday he had “no personnel announcements at this time.” A call to James’ office was not returned.

James visited the White House last week to discuss an administration job with Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, unidentified sources told Bloomberg News, which first reported James’ candidacy for the UN ambassadorship.

Former Fox News host and current State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert is also considered a top choice to replace Haley when she bows out of her post at the end of the year.

James attended West Point and went on several deployments during his military career. Haley also didn’t have much of diplomatic experience, but has served the U.N. post well. We shall see.

Nikki Haley Calls Russian Election Interference ‘Warfare’

Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, hit back hard at Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections on Thursday. Haley, speaking to an audience in New York, delivered one of the strongest denunciations yet against Vladimir Putin’s “weapon of choice” and called Russia’s meddling an act of “warfare.”

“I will tell you that when a country can come interfere in another country’s elections, that is warfare. It really is, because you’re making sure that the democracy shifts from what the people want to giving out that misinformation,” Haley said in Politico. “And we didn’t just see it here. You can look at France and you can look at other countries. They are doing this everywhere. This is their new weapon of choice. And we have to make sure we get in front of it.”

Haley continued, “I find it fascinating because the Russians, God bless ‘em, they’re saying, ‘Why are Americans anti-Russian?’ And why have we done the sanctions? Well, don’t interfere in our elections and we won’t be anti-Russian. And I think we have to be so hard on this and we have to hold them accountable and we have to get the private sector to understand they are responsible for this, too. We all have to step up from this event.”

President Trump has frequently denied that Russia attempted to manipulate the 2016 elections, but did sign a sanctions bill passed by Congress. A few weeks ago, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) announced that the Trump Administration had not yet implemented the sanctions.

Even though the president has been largely silent on Russia’s interference, other members of his administration in addition to Haley have spoken out to confirm and condemn the cyberattacks. CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Chief of Staff John Kelly, Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are among the members of the Trump Administration who have expressed concern about Russia’s interference in the election.

In her remarks, Haley indicated that the silence from the president does not mean that the threat from Russia is being ignored. The ambassador said that US counterintelligence agencies are “working overtime” to counter the Russian cyberthreat.

Haley made her comments at the “Spirit of Liberty” forum in New York sponsored by the George W. Bush Institute. President Bush made a keynote address at the conference as well, in which he singled out Russia as an external threat to American democracy.

 

UN Security Council Sanctions North Korea (Again)

The United Nations Security Council has unanimously approved a new set of sanctions against North Korea in response to its nuclear and missile programs.  This is significant as both Russia and China voted for the sanctions, rather than vetoing them or abstaining from the vote. In order to get this unanimity, the United States had to remove provisions which would have blocked all oil imports into North Korea as well as provided for stronger naval inspections of ships entering or leaving North Korea.

However, the new sanctions do have some teeth.  They reduce oil imports into the country by 30%, ban all natural gas imports, prohibit the export of textiles (worth $800 million), eliminate work authorization for North Korean nationals (worth $500 million), ban joint ventures with the country or its nationals, and allow for inspection of ships (with the consent of the ship’s flag state).  It also imposes travel bans on certain individuals and freezes their financial assets.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said that the addition of this set of sanctions on top of previous sanctions means that 90% of North Korean exports are now banned.

The hope is that North Korea can be encouraged to stop its nuclear and missile testing programs through the use of these latest set of sanctions.  However, based on past history this may be a forlorn hope.  Since the country began weapons testing in 2006, sixteen resolutions have been passed by the U.N. Security Council condemning North Korea and imposing sanctions against the country.

Switzerland Will Mediate With North Korea. What Should We Ask For?

North Korea has an arsenal of nuclear weapons. They’ve likely got a thermonuclear weapon, or at least an enhanced “atomic bomb” that can produce a yield of at least 100kt. The bomb that America exploded over Hiroshima was 15kt.

Putting this into perspective, a big chunk of America’s nuclear inventory is the W76 thermonuclear warhead, which has a yield of 100kt. The W76 weighs something less than 362 lbs, which is the combined weight of the warhead plus its re-entry vehicle. (Source.)

North Korea also has demonstrated the capability for an extended-range IRBM or possibly an ICBM. If the North Koreans can successfully fit their warhead into the re-entry package for their missile, that’s a credible threat. Of course, we don’t know if they can (assuredly, we know more than our government is telling, however) until they do it.

Kim Jong-un has repeatedly said his nuclear program is non-negotiable. We can assume this means the missile program is also non-negotiable. So what would the United States tell Switzerland to ask for in mediation?

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley is set on ratcheting up diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea.

She told the Security Council Monday that Kim is “begging for war,” and urged the adoption of the strongest sanctions possible against North Korea.

“Enough is enough,” Haley said. “We have taken an incremental approach, and despite the best of intentions, it has not worked.”

The Chinese Ambassador to the UN, Liu Jieyi, stopped short of giving thought to a military option.

“The peninsula issue must be resolved peacefully,” he said. “China will never allow chaos and war on the peninsula.”

This seems like an impasse. Anything other than China’s tacit approval of a military threat with the UN’s imprimatur seems to acknowledge the inevitability of a nuclear, ICBM-equipped North Korea.

It would appear this is the starting point of any mediation through Switzerland. North Korea gets to keep its nuclear deterrent in exchange for…what?

Here’s some thoughts on that–which has been unthinkable until now.

A real peace, an end to armistice

First on the list has to be an end to the armistice signed in 1953. The armistice preserves a technical state of war between North and South Korea. A formal peace treaty recognizing both countries, their common ethnic heritage, and the importance of international cooperation has to be a must.

This means giving up on reunification except through political means.

Demilitarization

If real peace is to be had, then the threat of conventional war needs to be reduced significantly. The North must agree to remove its Sword of Damocles hanging over Seoul and enter into arms reduction talks with South Korea for peace to have a chance.

As part of this discussion, America has to be willing to pull our troops out of South Korea. There’s no need to defend South Korea from attack if North Korea abandons its hopes for conquest.

America’s withdrawal, China’s accountability

If we leave the Kims in charge of North Korea, armed with a realistic nuclear deterrent (to America), then China has to step up as the adult in the room.

We ask for normalized relations between North and South Korea, with a permanent treaty, and America leaves the peninsula. However, only China can enforce that treaty. So if North Korea breaks it, and China backs the North, everything goes back to the way it was…and quickly.

The risk

Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that Switzerland negotiates some form of all-of-the-above between North and South Korea, and China accepts. What are the risks?

The risk is that Kim never really intended to keep the treaty, and never truly complies with demilitarization, while the U.S. leaves South Korea. Then China backs Kim by covering up the deception.

Now the U.S. can’t get back to South Korea without facing serious charges of its own destabilizing influence. In fact, the North could threaten to lob an ICBM at us if we set foot on the peninsula.

The real question we must ask is if we can trust Kim to be a rational actor, who has no designs on forced reunification, or if this is would be another fruitless ruse.

Would discussions progress indefinitely while Kim continues to build his nuclear arsenal? Would the North suddenly disengage at the last minute, claiming some minor event as a trigger?

Camp David and Oslo

We’ve all seen this before: the Middle East discussions between Israel and the Palestinians has moved tantalizingly close to “peace” (Camp David, Oslo) only to have the entire thing thrown in the trash by the latest Palestinian leader who really wants Israel destroyed, not peace.

If Kim is like the Palestinians, there’s no good solution, and a military conflict seems inevitable. If Kim simply wants to be left alone, the unthinkable (a nuclear North Korea, left alone at peace with its neighbor) could be possible.

Personally, I think Kim has been raised from birth to believe his own bulls*it. I believe he wants to rule–or for his successors to rule–over one Korean people. I believe, like the Palestinians, he will never accept true peace, even a peace secured by his own nuclear deterrent.

I believe we must stop Kim by other means, which will be extremely dangerous. I honestly hope I’m wrong, but we can’t afford the price of being right.

Also published at The New Americana.

Trump Gets North Korea to Back Down From Threat to Hit Guam

NBC Nightly News reported that while Kim is said to be “reviewing plans for the missile strike to launch toward . . . Guam,” if North Korea “actually goes through with it, Defense Secretary Mattis promised swift military action.”

The Los Angeles Times reports North Korean looney leader Kim Jong-un has “decided not to launch missiles toward Guam. According to the Times, the North Korean announcement appeared in Pyongyang’s state media Tuesday shortly after U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis warned that an attack could quickly escalate to war:

Mattis said Monday that if North Korea follows through on its threats to fire a missile at the United States, “it’s game on.”

 

Speaking to reporters, Mattis added that the U.S. military would “take out” any North Korean missile it detects is heading for American soil, including Guam, a U.S. territory. Mattis said the U.S. would detect a missile of that nature heading toward Guam “within moments.”

 

Mattis added that if North Korea fires at the U.S., “it could escalate into war very quickly . . . yes, that’s called war, if they shoot at us.”

 

Asked how the U.S. would respond, Mattis initially declined to say. When pressed, he said that if U.S. radars and other detection and tracking systems determine that a missile was going to fall into the sea, short of Guam, then the matter would be taken to President Donald Trump for a decision on how to respond.

The Washington Examiner reports North Korea backed down on its threat to launch a missile attack on Guam after Trump threatened it last week with “fire and fury” on North Korea if it threatened the U.S. again.

North Korea’s decision to back down is a yuge victory for President Donald J. Trump and the United States.  The North Koreans backed down after a sustained “Twitter war of words” with President Trump. Trump’s cabinet members deserve credit here as well. United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley got Russia and China to agree to harsh United Nations Security Council economic sanctions against North Korea. Sanctions China actually seems to be willing to implement.  China even warned North Korea that it would be on its own if it launches missiles threatening the U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, CIA Director Mike Pompeo and  National security adviser H.R. McMaster did a great job calming the waters, saying that an attack from North Korea is not imminent And Mattis made it clear the U.S. military was “ready to fight tonight.” NPR reports that Guam and the U.S. air and naval forces based there have been under alert since it was named by North Korea as a potential target

In addition, Sunday the Trump administration announced the end of Obama’s failed do nothing “Strategic Patience” so-called strategy for dealing with the rogue state. Under President Trump the U.S. will hold North Korea to account as we pursue a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.

Unfortunately the North Koreans could always change their minds about attacking the U.S. The Los Angeles Times reported the statement in the North Korean state media warned that Kim could change his mind “if the Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions,” in which case the country’s artillerymen would “wring the windpipes of the Yankees and point daggers at their necks.”

During NY Gay Pride Parade, Nikki Haley Subjected to Leftist “Civility”

When they say they want “acceptance” and “tolerance,” you should always be prepared to read between the lines.

To the LGBT community, it will always be “Tolerance for me, but not for thee.”

Hypocrisy is, after all, considered a virtue on the lunatic fringe.

On Sunday, New York City held its Pride Parade.

That wouldn’t be pride in the resilience of the human spirit, pride of actual accomplishments, or pride in anything that would otherwise move the nation to a higher level of achievement and general well-being.

It’s a celebration of what goes on in their bedrooms – something homosexuals used to adamantly insist that we stay out of.

And they’re nasty about it.

Case in point would be the treatment of the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.

Leaving lunch on Sunday, with her young son in tow, Haley says she was subjected to boos and “hateful things” by the revelers.

Our country used to be better than this, Ambassador. I fear we have long since lost the high ground, due to the twisted ideology of social justice warriors, who have strategically placed themselves in media and academia.

After sending her tweet, almost as if to prove my point, the cackling, hate-filled masses responded:

“Well, Nikki Haley opposes trans protections, tried to oppose SSMs from other states, and now works for Trump,” Zack Ford, LGBTQ editor at Think Progress, tweeted. “So yeah, she was booed.”

No, Zack. She was appointed by Trump. She works for the United States.

“Good,” Eleanor Saitta tweeted. “Until you stop threatening to destroy our lives, you shouldn’t have peace in public.”

If somebody believing in the sanctity of marriage could destroy your lives, you had pretty weak lives, to begin with, so maybe you should fix them.

“It’s not wrong at all,” another Twitter user noted. “This day is for gay PRIDE, not for people who actively work to oppress gay rights.”

If gay PRIDE is the equivalent of hateful rhetoric, then shouldn’t being gay be treated the same as a hate crime?

I don’t know. I’m just bouncing ideas out there to run in the same vein as the thinking held by these stalwart activists.

Their problem seems to be that Haley, as former governor of South Carolina, held views they disagreed with (The Horror!).

In 2013, she fought a federal lawsuit that sought to overturn the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

“The citizens of South Carolina spoke … they spoke something that I, too, believe, which is marriage should between a man and a woman,” Haley said, the paper noted. “I’m going to stand by the people of this state, stand by the constitution, I’m going to support it and fight for it every step of the way.”

She was doing her job, and also being open about her own feelings on the issue. That’s what she’s supposed to do. It’s what she was elected to do – represent the people of South Carolina.

Does that make her a bigot?

No. It does not.

This is the same Nikki Haley that spoke out in April against the atrocities being committed against gay men in Chechnya.

“We continue to be disturbed by reports of kidnapping, torture, and murder of people in Chechnya based on their sexual orientation and those persecuted by association,” Haley wrote in a statement. “If true, this violation of human rights cannot be ignored–Chechen authorities must immediately investigate these allegations, hold anyone involved accountable, and take steps to prevent future abuses.”

It is one of the most vigorously pushed fallacies of the left, and the foot soldiers of liberalism that you must comply in thought and deed, with no variation, with every position they hold, or else.

Ambassador Haley did not deserve to get booed and heckled for her beliefs about marriage, any more than she deserves to be booed and heckled for who appointed her to her current position.
She’s an individual, not a cog in a machine.

If New York’s gay community want respect, but are unwilling to show even the most basic measure of respect to a U.S. ambassador, as well as a mother in public with her child, they shouldn’t be upset when others view that behavior and reject the notion of meeting them halfway on issues that matter to them.

Haley’s Ultimatum on UN Human Rights and Israel: Fix It or Else…

Using the strongest words yet, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley issued what could be called an ultimatum to the UN Human Rights Council. In a speech in Geneva, Haley kept a promise she made last week.

She called on the UN to make two key changes:

  • “Act to keep the worst human rights abusers form obtaining seats on the Council.”
  • “Agenda Item Seven must be removed.” This is the permanent item that singles out Israel for condemnation.

On the first item, Haley recited a litany of abuses by sitting members of the Council, including Venezuela and Cuba. She called Cuba’s jaw-dropping hypocrisy “a reversal of the truth that would make George Orwell blush.”

She singled out Russia, Zimbabwe, and North Korea; and accused China, Burundi and Saudi Arabia of failing to “uphold the highest standards” of human rights. “They clearly do not uphold those highest standards,” she said.

Citing former Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s 2005 disbanding of the erstwhile Human Rights Commission, Haley levied the same charges against the new body that was supposed to fix the problems of the discredited body.

These problems were supposed to have been fixed when the new Council was formed. Sadly, the case against the Human Rights Council today looks an awful lot like the case against the discredited Human Rights Commission over a decade ago.

Once again, over half the current member countries fail to meet basic human rights standards as measured by Freedom House.

And she closed with an implied threat.

For our part, the United States will not sit quietly while this body, supposedly dedicated to human rights, continues to damage the cause of human rights.

She called on America’s allies–“likeminded countries”–to join her call for reform.

Let the world be on notice: We will never give up the cause of universal human rights. Whether it’s here, or in other venues, we will continue this fight.

Like the Paris Accords, the Human Rights Council is nothing more than a cover for globalists to seek legitimacy and despots to do as they please; it’s proclamations are without effect, and it statements without power. The U.S. should have nothing to do with it.

In the question and answer session following the speech, however, Haley pulled her punches.

“America does not seek to leave the Human Rights Council,” Ms. Haley said. “We seek to re-establish the council’s legitimacy.” Pressed by the audience, she would not commit to staying or leaving.

Some organizations believe that, even with these egregious problems, the U.S. should stick with the HRC.

Eight rights organizations wrote to Ms. Haley last month highlighting the importance of the United States’ leadership role and its ability to change the council’s practices and its approach toward Israel.

(Source.)

They pointed out that during the Bush years, America’s ability to influence the Council was at its nadir. But former President Obama’s terms helped the Council focus on other issues than Israel. One could argue that the Council didn’t see Israel as a necessary target since Obama’s own policies (and in the Security Council) seemed to take care of that checkbox.

“What is certain is that the departure of the U.S. from the Human Rights Council would only result in worse, and perhaps even pernicious, outcomes,” the rights organizations said in their letter.

Israeli officials are not so convinced. They believe (and I agree) that the structure and form of the HRC are too corrupted to be corrected from within, unless and until Haley’s demands are met.

“The US should present the Council with an ultimatum: Either Item 7 goes or we go,” Deputy Minister for Diplomacy Michael Oren told The Times of Israel in a recent interview. The organization would still be heavily biased against Israel, he added, “but at least it would not condemn us three times a year automatically.”

However, Oren said at the time that the Council cannot be reformed from the inside, urging the US to leave. “By being there, the US and like-minded countries are only legitimizing an inherently anti-Semitic organization. I don’t want to sound hyperbolic, but wanting to reform the UNHRC is like wanting to reforming the BDS [Boycott, Divest and Sanction] movement from the inside.”

The UN as a whole teeters on the brink of irrelevancy–especially in the Trump era, where multilateral cooperative deals are definitely out of favor. The HRC has zero credibility for the supposed purpose for which it was created. Why should the U.S. continue to lend it legitimacy?

Ambassador Haley, your message should be received as: Get right or America gets out.

Nikki Haley Shames the UN Human Rights Council’s Bloody Tyrants

The United Nations has been a bad joke for decades. Its history of mismanagement, bloated kleptocracy, and inept cowardice is legendary. But the worst offender in this miasma by the East River is the UN Human Rights Council.

UN Ambassador Nikki Haley took the HRC to task the other day with a blistering Op-Ed in the Washington Post, explicitly questioning its legitimacy in its condoning and whitewashing of brutal tyrants and regimes. She will make that case in person today in Geneva, a stopover on her way to Israel.

In her Op-Ed, she cited as examples the laughably false statement by the Cuban deputy foreign minister, who lauded Cuba’s historic prestige “in the promotion and protection of all human rights.” She bashed once-rich, now sad and brutal Venezuela.

Venezuela is a member of the council despite the systematic destruction of civil society by the government of Nicolás Maduro through arbitrary detention, torture and blatant violations of freedom of the press and expression. Mothers are forced to dig through trash cans to feed their children. This is a crisis that has been 18 years in the making. And yet, not once has the Human Rights Council seen fit to condemn Venezuela.

Haley even fired a broadside at the Russians, for their invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea.

This illegal occupation resulted in thousands of civilian deaths and injuries, as well as arbitrary detentions. No special meeting of the Human Rights Council was called, and the abuses continue to mount.

Today, Haley will address the council and propose a new voting scheme to “keep the worst human rights abusers from obtaining seats.” Instead of regional blocs nominating their own candidates, which are frequently back-scratching deals resulting in abusers sitting on the very council that should condemn them, Haley favors competitive voting.

“Competition would force a candidate’s human rights record to be considered before votes were cast,” she wrote.

And returning to a theme Haley addressed before, she blasted the body for its unceasing persecution of Israel.

The council must also end its practice of wrongly singling out Israel for criticism. When the council passes more than 70 resolutions against Israel, a country with a strong human rights record, and just seven resolutions against Iran, a country with an abysmal human rights record, you know something is seriously wrong.

Obviously, something is seriously wrong. The Human Rights Council is nothing but a costume for despots and bloody tyrants to don the mask of legitimacy while they continue their butchery at home.

It also exists as a bludgeon against the most hated nation in the entire UN, what most of the body considers a mistake it made 70 years ago–the State of Israel.

Haley hit the nail right on the head. But in Geneva, they may as well remove their earpieces for all the listening that will be going on. The UN has little interest in being anything other than cover for evil dictators.