Tom Rogan, writing for the Washington Examiner, recently declared that UN Ambassador Nikki Haley is the finest US Ambassador in fifty years. At this point, Rogan has assumed the opposite view of one of Haley’s initial critics —a Democratic hack from the University of Baltimore. She may be the finest ambassador, but I think we’ll need a bit more than eight-months to sort her out. I’m not one of those people who easily admire public servants —at least not until they’ve had a chance to prove themselves. In Haley’s case, I do have a few reservations.
Yes, it is true that Ambassador Haley rallied members of the United Nations to approve new sanctions on North Korea, which according to Rogan, demonstrates that Haley has credibility with her contemporaries. And it’s also true that Haley is (so far) a breath of fresh air following the past eight-years of diplomatic incompetence. Yet, I am a bit concerned over Haley’s position on Syria.
History tells us that for the United States (and we are not alone), the Middle East has become a quagmire; a place where a prosperous nation is able to chuck away its material wealth and pour out into the sand the blood of their warriors. Possibly the reason for this is that no American executive or diplomat appears to understand all they know about Middle Eastern culture. I cannot say that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad deserves humanitarian awards, but I will go so far as to suggest that he is a victim of Arab politics. For starters, one should wonder about the clandestine machinations of Saudi Arabia in Syria. A few relevant facts include the following:
- Syria is a country predominantly populated by Sunni Arabs, but led by Alawites (Shi’a Arabs).
- Al-Assad’s principle enemy are the Saudis, a land predominantly populated by Shi’a Arabs, but led by Sunnis.
The differences between Alawites and Sunnis in Syria have sharpened dangerously since the beginning of the 2011 uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, whose family is Alawite. The reason for the tension is more political than religious: Top positions in Assad’s army are held by Alawite officers, while most of the rebels from the Free Syrian Army and other opposition groups come from Syria’s Sunni majority.
If we just stop there, who might be behind the so-called revolution in Syria?
As for Russia’s involvement in Syria, while George Bush was gazing into Vladimir Putin’s soul and finding a “truly good man,” and as Obama made the world tour apologizing for America’s sacrifices in the Twentieth Century, Vlad was embarked on a robust Middle Eastern diplomatic tour (as both President and Prime Minister of the Russian Federation) making deals with Middle Eastern potentates, primarily in Iran, Turkey, and Syria. Who knew that a former communist would one day become a raging capitalist? To summarize, while the United States was squandering its political capital, Putin was investing it.
So, as Mr. Rogan admits Haley has been unable to “guide Trump away from appeasing Russia,” he gloats over Haley’s condemnation of Syria’s slaughter of innocents. Rogan told us, “… Haley has made the US the leading voice for Syrian Sunnis.”
Rogan thinks this is important because, “… it represents the return of American moral leadership after eight years of Obama administration neglect,” and “… it helps consolidate the Sunni-Arab monarchies in believing that the U.S. will not allow Iran, Assad, and Russia to set the path of the Middle East uncontested.” If the Sunnis lack this faith in American morality, then the Saudis will double-down on groups like the Islamic State.
To me, it appears Haley merely continues a time-honored American ritual behaving as useful idiots to Arabs. Who drove two airplanes into the World Trade Center? Sunnis. Why do our leaders continue to appease those who seek the destruction of western (Judeo-Christian) culture? Is this the best America can do? If it is, then I must reserve my judgment about Haley.
 The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also Daesh, is an Arab Salafi (Sunni) sect of psychotics who receive direct and indirect support from Saudi Arabia. This “murder for hire” scheme is likely the reason Ambassador Stevens was murdered in Libya.