On Thursday, The Daily Wire obtained an excerpt from Ambassador Nikki Haley’s upcoming book, With All Due Respect. Haley is widely perceived to be among the leading Republican candidates in 2024 and beyond; her approval numbers as of April 2018 were unprecedentedly high, with a 75/9 split among Republicans, 55/23 split among Democrats, and 63/19 split among independents. The excerpt demonstrates just why Haley was so popular with Americans across the political spectrum: she was extraordinarily willing to speak hard truths to countries with malign practices and intent, and she stood strongly with American allies in her position as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
The excerpt opens with Haley explaining that when she first arrived in her new position, she made sure to break with foreign policy tradition by taking her first meetings with the members of the U.N. Security Council. Instead, she writes, “We decided to send a message by going another way. I thought it was important to visit our friends first.” After meeting with the British and French ambassadors, therefore, she next “ditched protocol and met with the ambassador from Israel, Danny Danon.” Haley explains:
Seeing Danny in person gave me an opportunity that I had wanted for some time: to know what the passage of Resolution 2334 had been like from his perspective. Danny said he knew something was going on in those last weeks of the Obama administration, he just didn’t know what. He and his colleagues tried for days to reach out to Ambassador Power and everyone they knew in Washington. No one would take their calls. No one would return their messages. The United States had literally stopped talking to Israel.
The most painful part of our conversation was Danny’s recounting of the vote itself. When a non–Security Council member country, like Israel, is the subject of a Security Council vote, its ambassador sits at the huge C-shaped table with the Security Council members. So when Resolution 2334 was passed, Danny was right there. Disgustingly, all the ambassadors at the table stood up and applauded after the vote was tallied. The audience cheered. And in the middle of it all was the Israeli ambassador, remaining seated while the council applauded his country’s humiliation. As Danny told me about it, all I could think was how that feeling was all too familiar to me. I know what it feels like to be different, humiliated, and ostracized for being who you are.
Fascinatingly, Haley also points out that her next meeting was with the ambassador from Ukraine, Vlodomyr Yelchenko. “Just as Ambassador Power had said, I was making a deliberate statement,” Haley writes. “And that statement was that the Untied States was not going to overlook Russia’s violations of other countries’ sovereignty and democracy. We stood with the people of Ukraine in the face of Russia’s ongoing aggression.”
Haley’s writing about Ukraine provides a timely reminder with regard to Trump administration policy, which has come under heavy fire thanks to Trump’s alleged pressure on Ukraine to pursue specific investigations, including one into Burisma and the Bidens: the Trump Administration has been far more supportive of Ukraine’s defense than the Obama administration ever was. In her first Security Council meeting as U.S. ambassador, in fact, she took on the issue of Russian aggression in Ukraine, and insisted on writing her own remarks. She explains:
I had my own way of communicating, one that was rarely reflected in remarks drafted by committees of bureaucrats. This was a subject—Russia’s illegal activity in Ukraine—that I strongly believed needed clarity for the American people. I was happy to give the State Department and the National Security Council advance copies of my remarks, but my words had to be my own. Some people thought my remarks were controversial. Many were surprised by my adamant tone. But for me, it was a no-brainer. What Russia had done and was doing in Ukraine was inexcusable. Anyone who thought the United States was going to give Russia a pass on its aggression was wrong, plain and simple.
As Haley recognizes, the press praised her speech, perceiving it as a rebuke to President Trump, whom they were busily portraying as a Russian cat’s paw:
Many people in the press approved of my remarks because they thought they were in defiance of the president. Any time the press thought I, or anyone else in the Trump cabinet, disagreed with the president, it ran wild with that “story.” This would not be the last time the media pursued its favored narrative instead of the more complicated reality. The truth was much different. President Obama had talked a tough game but had refused to provide Ukraine weapons to fight off Russian-backed separatists. The Trump administration did the opposite. In my view, the president’s words were far too forgiving of Russia. But the policies he implemented left no confusion over who was our friend and who was our enemy. Our policy, in the end, was much tougher on Russia and much more supportive of the Ukrainian people.
Haley’s book will be released November 12.