NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Nikki Haley’s Twists and Turns, Leading Down a Path to Nowhere

Nikki Haley is the most popular member of Donald Trump’s national security team, according to a recent Quinnipiac University poll, which found that 63 percent of voters approve of the job she is doing as United States ambassador to the United Nations. Just 17 percent disapprove. (Only 39 percent approved of Trump’s performance, the poll … Read more

BOOKS

An Eloquent Homage to Syria’s Past, in Case It Has No Future

As one of the world’s oldest areas of human settlement, Syria has seen it all: glory and irrelevance, conflict and calm, dynamism and stagnation, tyranny and tolerance. While it has gone through long periods of international obscurity — pretty much ignored by the Roman and Ottoman Empires, for example — it has at times also … Read more

 

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Speaking Loudly Even While Wielding the Big Stick

Whatever else came out of the latest American-led strikes on Syrian chemical weapon sites, it put on display rare signs of diplomatic skill on the part of the Trump administration, even if those signs first surfaced at the Pentagon rather than at the White House, the United Nations or Washington’s rudderless Department of State. After … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Will Trump’s Musical Chairs Leave Nikki Haley Without a Seat?

Nikki Haley insisted all along that she had no desire to become Donald Trump’s secretary of state. But with Mike Pompeo, the CIA director, in line to succeed Rex Tillerson as the State Department’s top dog, Haley may soon find that her thinking was a big mistake. Haley asked Trump right from the start not … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

A Useful Mideast Peace Plan? Don’t Hold Your Breath

Nikki Haley is appealing to the Palestinian people for “negotiation and compromise” in search of Middle East peace, denying that Washington is biased against them even as she warns their leaders that holding out will “lead to nothing but hardship.” But the latest pitch for Palestinian engagement by Haley, the United States ambassador to the … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Trump and Haley, Desperately Seeking Retribution

Unable to win converts with fake facts, Nikki Haley has turned to threats to persuade her fellow United Nations diplomats to support her boss’s incendiary foreign policy. Haley tested this novel approach to counter a General Assembly vote on Dec. 21 aimed at pressuring President Trump, the fellow who appointed her as his UN ambassador, … Read more

 

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Will the Real Nikki Haley Please Stand Up?

Nikki Haley must have raised eyebrows at the White House with her bold off-the-cuff defense of the women complaining that Donald Trump sexually abused them before the election. “[A]ny woman who has felt violated or felt mistreated in any way, they have every right to speak up,” Haley said on the CBS talk show “Face … Read more

UN EATS

Jasmine: Authentic Chinese Food Now Starring in Midtown Manhattan

Per conventional wisdom, it’s a big mistake to go out for Chinese food in Midtown Manhattan. For great Chinese dishes in New York, make your way to Chinatown; if not the one in Manhattan, then in Brooklyn or Queens. But that may no longer be the case, thanks to an increasingly impressive collection of Midtown … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Dear Ambassador Haley: Diplomacy Is a Team Sport

When working on sticky world problems, should the United States use the United Nations as a forum to try to drum up global support for its policies, reasoning that it gains strength by linking its interests to as many other countries as possible? Or should it stand alone in a blind embrace of President Trump’s … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

With Bombs and Stability at Stake, Nikki Haley Bets on Trump

When you’re a reality TV star running for president who likes to talk tough and you know nothing about foreign policy, maybe it makes sense to repeatedly attack the Iran nuclear agreement as “the worst deal ever” and to pledge to kill it if you ever get the chance. If you end up getting elected, … Read more

 

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

On Iran Nuclear Deal, Haley’s Dark Side Beckons

Donald Trump will have his third chance this October to weigh in on Iranian compliance with the international nuclear agreement reached by Tehran in 2015 with the United States and five other world powers. The United States Congress requires the president to certify every 90 days that Iran is observing the pact’s terms, and Trump … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

North Korea and the UN: Agony and Ecstasy

If you are reading this, it must mean we have not been annihilated by a nuclear war between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Not that Nikki Haley, the American ambassador to the United Nations, will be able to take much credit — not because she didn’t try but because she … Read more

BOOKS

A Hint on Confronting Islamist Power. Or Maybe Not.

Will it never end? When will time run out on the array of shape-shifting militant Islamist movements intent on moving into shaky trouble spots around the world to impose their extreme ideology, harness the population and hijack the local economy? How long will it take for the international community — the ubiquitous West — to … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Nikki Haley’s Balancing Act

Nikki Haley is one lucky Trump appointee. Sure, sure, it’s a great honor to be a public servant, especially when you’re way up at the top. But the GOP wastes no love on the United Nations; Republican presidents can take years to realize that it can prove pretty useful every once in a while. So … Read more

 

UN EATS

Peak Thai, a UN Neighborhood Star

Peak Thai is hidden on a side street — East 49th — and easy to miss. It may never win a Michelin star. But there’s a reason lines form around noon: you can count on this quiet, efficiently run restaurant for solid cooking and pocket-friendly prices. These days, that’s no small thing. It is minutes … Read more

BOOKS

The Secret Work on War-Crime Trials Before Nuremberg

It is widely believed that the Allied powers were in the dark about the “final solution” — the Nazi campaign to exterminate Europe’s Jews — until the discovery of the death camps, strewn with corpses and emaciated inmates, at the end of World War II. Yet Russia, Britain and the United States publicly declared their … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Jerusalem Has Always Been a Contested City

The long-simmering dispute over the fate of Jerusalem stands at the center of the Middle East conflict. Israelis and Palestinians, divided on many points, become most emotional when discussing the future of the walled, ancient crossroads city that is holy to three world religions. So international diplomats took notice when foreign policy neophyte Donald Trump … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Seeking a Path for Jerusalem: A Chronology

Here is a brief political history of Jerusalem, in timeline format, dating from the earliest human settlement to the present. The chronology is selective, focusing primarily on the development of competing visions over the years of the ancient city’s past and future. The timeline accompanies a separate article, “Jerusalem’s Fate: Myth Versus Reality,” by Irwin … Read more

 

Educators on the UN Denounce Trump’s Crackdown on Refugees

More than 700 educators and students, meeting at United Nations headquarters in New York recently, called on the international community to protect refugees’ lives, encourage countries to take in “large numbers of refugees and migrants” and do more to ensure they get an education and are protected from sexual and gender-based violence. Acting as President … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

The Syrian War and the Refugee Crisis: Spawning the Rise of the Far Right

The butterfly effect teaches us that seemingly insignificant actions can have enormous future consequences. A tiny pair of fluttering wings can disturb the air in a way that helps trigger a hurricane halfway around the world. Witness Syria, where the Arab Spring made its debut in 2011 in the form of a tame wave of … Read more

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