UN Members Show Spine in Rebuffing Trump

President Trump and Ambassador Nikki Haley tried to bully the U.N. into accepting Trump’s decision on Jerusalem as Israel’s capital but – in a rare show of independence – most U.N. members pushed back, notes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

By Paul R. Pillar

When North Korea began the Korean War with an invasion of South Korea in June 1950, the armed response was waged under the flag of the United Nations thanks to the Soviet Union having absented itself from the Security Council. The Soviets were boycotting the council to protest the fact that China’s seat had not been given to Mao Zedong’s communists, who had won the Chinese civil war the previous October. With no Soviet veto in the way, the Security Council quickly passed the resolutions necessary to bestow U.N. sanction on the U.S.-led military resistance to the North’s aggression.

Nikki Haley speaking at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. (Flickr Gage Skidmore)

The Soviets came to realize that they were not going to get support for their contention that the absence of any of the council’s permanent members should prevent the council from conducting business. The Soviets resumed their seat and began vetoing further resolutions on Korea. To get around this obstruction, U.S. diplomats led by Secretary of State Dean Acheson persuaded enough other delegations at the U.N. to have the General Assembly, where there are no vetoes, assert the power to take action on matters on which the Security Council was unable to act. That assertion, known as the “Uniting for Peace” resolution, passed the General Assembly in November 1950.

The General Assembly has used this power sparingly, in recognition of how it twists somewhat the division of responsibilities envisioned in the U.N. Charter. The power is appropriately looked at as a last resort in the face of obstructionism by any of the veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council.

The most recent use of the power came this week, with the General Assembly passing a resolution essentially identical to one that the United States had vetoed three days earlier and had been supported by all 14 other members of the Security Council. The resolution was the international community’s response to the Trump administration’s declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and stated intention to move the U.S. embassy there.

The vote in the General Assembly was 128 countries in favor, nine against, and 35 abstentions. Besides the United States and Israel, the only “no” votes came from some of the Pacific microstates among whom the United States usually gets support when the support is meager (Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, and Palau) as well as Guatemala, Honduras, and Togo. Among those casting “yes” votes were major U.S. allies such as Britain, France, and Germany.

It is appropriate and unsurprising that the resolution gained such strong support even in the face of the U.S. administration’s threats and bullying. The resolution does not criticize the United States by name. It instead calls on all members to comply with Security Council resolutions regarding Jerusalem and reaffirms that the status and governance of the city constitute “a final status issue to be resolved through negotiations in line with relevant U.N. resolutions.” Far from being a usurpation of the Security Council’s role, the General Assembly’s action is a declaration of respect for the Security Council’s own prior resolutions, in the face of U.S. flouting of those resolutions.

More Spine Than Usual

Among the principal takeaways from the General Assembly’s action is that an international sense of justice and fairness matters. Many states reject the notion that might makes right, which is how the Israeli government has treated its relations with the Palestinians, and how the Trump administration approached its lobbying on this resolution.

President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at joint press conference on Feb. 15. 2017. (Screen shot from Whitehouse.gov)

Another conclusion is that, notwithstanding how much the Israeli government and its supporters in Washington would like to think that Arabs don’t care about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict anymore and that the only thing that matters to them these days is to confront Iran, that is not how Arab governments (and certainly their constituents in the street) think. Every Arab state supported the resolution. Non-Arab Muslims also care about Jerusalem. Every Muslim majority state except Turkmenistan (which was absent) voted for the resolution.

The administration’s threats and bullying did not work. The crude tactics included U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s rhetoric about “taking names” and Donald Trump’s bombast about cutting off U.S. aid. Among the Arab states that supported the resolution were the two states — Egypt and Jordan — that receive more U.S. aid than anyone other than Israel. The very crudeness of the tactics, and the offense taken to bullying, probably made the tactics counterproductive.

More generally, the result of the vote is one more illustration of how much less is the capacity of the United States to push the rest of the world around than those Americans of an assertive nationalist stripe seem to think. This discrepancy between reality and uber-nationalist belief predates Trump and has existed at least since the post-Cold War “unipolar moment” that was barely a moment, if that. Trump’s policies and rhetoric have caused international confidence in the United States to plummet to even lower depths. The United States’ pushing ability has dropped along with the confidence.

Paul R. Pillar, in his 28 years at the Central Intelligence Agency, rose to be one of the agency’s top analysts. He is author most recently of Why America Misunderstands the World. (This article first appeared as a blog post at The National Interest’s Web site. Reprinted with author’s permission.)

109 comments for “UN Members Show Spine in Rebuffing Trump

  1. Zachary Smith
    December 29, 2017 at 14:57

    Netanyahu gifts Micronesian island a sewage plant for UN vote

    Two weeks before the UN General Assembly vote to condemn President Trump’s Jerusalem declaration, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved a request from the president of the republic of Nauru, an 8 square mile island in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, population 11,347, and donated Nauru a $72,000 wastewater treatment plant.

    Not all bribes are costly. Making a laughably low assumption of $3 billion dollars of taxpayer money sent to Israel last year, this would amount to 15 minutes of the year’s allowance. Something under 3 thousandths of 1%.

    Possibly the islanders figured something – however small – was better than nothing. And there is not telling at all what Trump threatened them with.


  2. Joe L.
    December 26, 2017 at 12:10

    The fact is that I do not believe that this is just Trump but it was a very stupid decision in my eyes. Jimmy Dore did a video on YouTube which shows that both Obama and Clinton along, with I believe, the head of the DNC support Trump’s decision.


    • Joe L.
      December 26, 2017 at 12:15

      I believe it is Chuck Schumer that supports this decision.

  3. Danielle
    December 26, 2017 at 08:35

    I need some help. I’m translating in french and I am not sure to properly understand “unipolar moment that was barely a moment, if that”. Does it mean that this moment lasted only for a short period? ans what is the meaning of “if that” in this context.
    Thank you for your help

    • Mercutio
      December 26, 2017 at 10:01

      Hi Danielle!

      I think he indeed means that the glorified “unipolar moment” was incredibly short, and “if that” implies, that the “moment” never took place, and the Cold War never really stopped even for a moment.
      I.e. Cold War either stopped for a bare moment, or never really stopped at all.

      • Danielle
        December 26, 2017 at 11:36

        Hi Mercutio!
        Many thanks for you help
        I wish you a happy new year

  4. Reality Check
    December 25, 2017 at 18:55

    Here’s my take on current political life in America.

    From HRC to DT…..from the frying pan into the fire.

  5. December 25, 2017 at 15:01

    Good will to all? King Jesus, Robert Graves. Amour, Mere.

  6. December 25, 2017 at 04:31

    it makes little difference where the american embassy is located in apartheid-terror-state israel. from what i hear, much diplomatic business is already conducted in jerusalem, and the move is largely rhetorical. after the crime of 9/11 has been properly investigated, and the criminal state of israel has been properly chastened for the role it played in that operation, i believe that we will see imagined divisions between the major abrahamic sects begin to disappear.

  7. Mercutio
    December 25, 2017 at 03:22

    I was really surprised by initial rebuttal of Trump’s “astonishing” declaration on Jerusalem. And even more surprised (and pleasantly, I must say), by how the situation has developed so far, i.e. UN “showing spine”.

    But I really, really wonder, if UN fully realizes that they basically painted themselves into a corner. Now there is really no turning back. Trumps declaration by itself was already a breakpoint for UN – if they’d let it pass, it would cement their image as american proxies (a widespread view on UN across the globe). But by firmly rebutting it by the power of General Assembly – once again, three cheers for that spine! – the bridge behind has been set on fire and falling apart now. If UN chickens out AFTER such move (and I still think it is very possible – bet my hat, Israel is working on this matter like crazy), any credibility they ever had will turn into dust and be gone with the wind. And I REALLY do not want to see what happens in the world after that.

    P.S. Thank you very much for the article.

  8. Seamus Padraig
    December 24, 2017 at 16:32

    More generally, the result of the vote is one more illustration of how much less is the capacity of the United States to push the rest of the world around than those Americans of an assertive nationalist stripe seem to think.

    I’m sorry, but if someone is truly an “assertive nationalist,” then they would definitely be opposed to having our foreign policy run from Tel Aviv. Other than that, good article.

  9. Realist
    December 24, 2017 at 15:56

    All well and good that the world has showed some small amount of token courage in the face of shameless racist Zionism that has systematically and protractedly suppressed the Palestinian people. Now, why doesn’t the world community push back against the mindless American aggression towards Iran, North Korea, Russia, China, and half the countries in the Middle East, which poses an existential threat to the entire world in every case? Europe, I am specifically asking you because you’ve walked lockstep in policy with every dangerous irrational decision that comes out of Washington, as if you view your role now as no more than taking orders from and validating the hegemon. You also claim to be the wellspring of the enlightenment and the arbiters of morality. Let’s see you live up to your self-described reputation, rather than dispensing endless convoluted excuses for the tyrannies perpetrated by the United States government and its Israeli string-pullers. “Never again” was not supposed to be a mere catch phrase that applies only to the descendants of the Third Reich, but to any incipient tyrannies on this planet, including those who vanquished the Third Reich and wrote the new rules in the aftermath of that apocalypse.

  10. Mild-ly - Facetious
    December 24, 2017 at 12:27

    Thousands denouncing corruption in Israel demand ouster of Netanyahu

    Noga Tarnopolsky


    This was no happy Saturday night for Israel’s embattled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

    In about 15 cities, crowds ranging from about 200 people to thousands gathered to protest corruption and demand his ouster.
    Netanyahu is the subject of two police investigations for possible graft and abuse of his public position, and his close associates are the targets of two more. He has been interrogated as a criminal suspect seven times.

    … the longtime backing of his right-wing supporters appears to be wavering.

    On Wednesday, Netanyahu lost a key ally, coalition whip David Bitan, who faces charges of fraud, breach of trust and graft relating to his time as deputy mayor of a Tel Aviv suburb.

    In Tel Aviv, for the fourth week in a row, about 5,000 protesters clogged >Rothschild BoulevardZion Square<, an unprecedented assembly of about 500 of Netanyahu’s supporters rallied under the banner “A Rally For” — meaning a rally for clean government, not a rally against Netanyahu.

    Whatever the intentions, Netanyahu was blasted by a series of high-profile speakers, including Moshe Yaalon, a former minister of defense in Netanyahu’s government and former chief of staff of the Israeli Defense Forces.

    "This kind of unity is needed not just in the IDF and not just in war. Unfortunately, narrow-sighted political self-interests lead to division,” Yaalon continued, asking, “Why do politicians turn the issue of morality into a matter of left or right?”

    Yaalon closed his remarks by saying that he does not lose sleep over military threats that Israel faces, but is tormented by other concerns. “Corruption is chipping away at society, damaging equality and costing us our health. Corruption tells citizens that injustice is being done. This is a bigger danger to us than the threats posed by Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas or ISIS," he said.

    Hendel alluded to the symbolism of the location, Zion Square, the site of a notorious rally in late 1995
    — weeks before the assassination of then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin
    — at which Netanyahu presided from a balcony while his supporters below loudly called Rabin a “traitor,” “murderer” and “Nazi” for signing the Oslo peace accords with the Palestinians months earlier.

    Aryeh Eldad, another former ally of Netanyahu, took direct aim at the prime minister and at the electoral apprehension gripping Israel’s right. “Netanyahu is trying to convince us that if he falls, the left wing will rise to power, and I share this fear,” he declared. But, he said, referring to the nationalist ideology embodied by Israel’s right-wing political parties, “if the nationalist camp chooses a trustworthy candidate, there is no reason a change of government will lead to the rise of the left.”

    “No honest man can assent to corruption in government,” he said.


    Netanyahu is suspected of being complicit in the assassination of the peace seeking Rabin, whereby his dictatorship and military rule was established.

    Ultra right wing zealots and Rothschild bigoted Zionist ought to be put before an International Court of Justice and duly charged for their Extremely Violent Mistreatment of the People Whom Occupied the land of Palestine for centuries before the Balfour Declaration and the political creed of "Zionism" was granted, by England's Decree, Authority over the Palestinian People and their centuries of occupation of the land.



    Authentic Jewish / Christian socialism is the only road toward 'world peace'

    Rule by Zionist Authoritarianism or United States Imperialism is the road to perdition, destruction, death, suffering/Occupational Rule over "subjects" and Brutal Authoritative Enforcement over human lives. Clear history proves this.

    Only willing ignorance of history cannot see this.

  11. Al Pinto
    December 24, 2017 at 10:25

    Quote from the article:

    “Trump’s policies and rhetoric have caused international confidence in the United States to plummet to even lower depths. The United States’ pushing ability has dropped along with the confidence.”

    That might be just a wishful thinking and may have not resulted in pushing ability, or loss of confidence…

    On December 21st, the UN SC unanimously approved Resolution 2396 (2017):


    This is a resolution that neither the Bush, nor the Obama administration could get approved by the UN SC.

    So, go ahead, celebrate and predict what the US will/will not be able to do, but know this. You are wrong and the US will rebound from this fiasco. It’s easy to do, if and when the US provides 22% of the UN operational budget and the UN SG’s main goal is protect the financial viability of the UN.

    • Jacob
      December 24, 2017 at 12:03

      “That might be just a (sic) wishful thinking….”

      Probably right. These sites have their fair share of wishful thinking. Still, there’s usually something to be found under rocks. Don’t ask what.

      • Mild-ly - Facetious
        December 24, 2017 at 12:53

        the “MERRYTRUMPMAS” posters and signs waved at his MIRA LAGO Florida ‘white house’ is a DEPLORABLE shoutout for the promotion of an anti-christ.

        \MERRY CHRISTMAS to all who stand outside the camp of trump-the-Anti-Christ… . our deceiver.

        • Gregory Herr
          December 24, 2017 at 21:51

          Don’t ya think that if an anti-Christ (a great deceiver) did appear on the world stage, he’d be a lot better at deception?

          • Joe Tedesky
            December 25, 2017 at 10:14

            If I remember correctly the anti-Christ will be from the ‘land’, and the anti-Christ’s False Prophet will be from the ‘sea’. If I recall this right Trump would be more from the ‘sea’ because he is outside of the ‘land’. The ‘sea’ represents the False Prophet who is outside of Israel, and the ‘land’ is Israel’s home turf from where the anti-Christ will appear. Don’t attack me to much, because it has been around 35 years since I read this stuff …do I have it somewhat right? If I do, would not Trump be an outsider….& what about putting Jared in the role of his being the anti-Christ because he is of the ‘land’?

            In any regard, have a nice Christmas Day no matter what you call it Gregory. Joe

          • Gregory Herr
            December 25, 2017 at 13:18

            Thanks for your well-wishes, Joe.

            Christian lore on the subject of an antichrist is pretty sketchy. I’m not one who possesses much real knowledge of the subject.

            May the blessings of goodwill be deeply felt by you and yours this Christmas Day and going forward. Peace brother.

    • December 26, 2017 at 13:59

      Dear Al The United States is a dying empire. Your offering of ‘Reason’ as a source explains why you are unaware of what the rest of the world already knows. It will likely go out with a bang not a whimper as dying beasts are dangerous. Getting your news from the Koch Brothers has stinted your worldview. Broaden your horizons.

  12. Foo
    December 24, 2017 at 07:48

    Wonderful contextualization by Pillar to introduce the story. This is what I want from news. Give me the background that puts the recent events into historical context.


  13. December 24, 2017 at 07:20

    WRONG ! It It took real spine to defy the Papacy, the Muslims and the rest of the world
    to recognize the REALITY that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, the Jews.

  14. padre
    December 24, 2017 at 07:19

    This kind of things are done behind the scenes, making it public just shows how stupid you are!Nobody wants to be shown spineless publicly!

  15. Lisa
    December 24, 2017 at 03:36

    When Trump announced the decision about accepting Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, I was expecting that he would simultaneously make an offer to Palestinians about something that is hard for Israel to accept. This would have been “a deal”. What happened?

    • john wilson
      December 24, 2017 at 05:51

      Nothing happened Lisa, things went on as normal and the Palestinians were screwed as usual.

  16. Lucy
    December 24, 2017 at 00:14

    Following the wishes of a country (like Israel) in setting the location of our embassy is what we should have done.

    How would we feel if another country told us where they were going to set up shop in our country?

    If the US wants other countries to put their embassy to the US in Kansas – that is what the country that wants a US embassy should do – not try to bully for a location in Colorado because they don’t like Kansas.

    Let’s face it – the UN and the CIA are stupid.

    Coddling these Arab children and patting them on the back and giving them cookies when they throw fits is not responsible.

    This type of mentality is exactly what is wrong with the UN.

    The UN is a joke. And so is the CIA. And so is the Catholic Church. And so are all these Imams and other dumb dumbs with their religious ideology and stupid religious laws.

    The UN needs to go. It was a good idea but when the Deep State leadership thinks its a good idea that Saudi Arabia is in charge of human rights laws there is a MAJOR problem – https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/09/28/why-one-of-the-worlds-worst-human-rights-offenders-is-leading-a-un-human-rights-panel/


    • Marko
      December 24, 2017 at 01:18

      Lucy , read a bit about Jerusalem and the religious faiths associated with it. Jerusalem is not even remotely analogous to Kansas or Colorado for the purposes of this argument.

    • Oscar
      December 24, 2017 at 09:50

      Corpus separatum (Latin for “separated body”) is a term used to describe the Jerusalem area in the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine. According to the plan the city would be placed under international regime, conferring it a special status due to its shared religious importance.

    • Lucy
      December 24, 2017 at 10:36

      Marko – religion should be irrelevant to this issue

      Oscar – this should be a matter of logistics – not religion

      Items to consider –
      1) There are many sites around the world – even in the US – that are considered religious sites by 2 or more religions. Example is Mount Graham in Arizona where the Catholic Church established a monastery and the native American Indians protested the building of an observatory because in their religion it is considered a portal to another dimension. Didn’t stop the Catholic Church from making a claim. Native Americans also still consider the site as sacred.
      2) All of these “religions” have killed or kill in the name of God – which means that none of them are any good because killing for God is not the place of men. Any religion, like Islam, that condones the chopping of women’s head in the street for adultery when they treat women as inferior or throwing homosexuals off of buildings is a false religion. Any religion, like Judaism, that condones the bombing of poor civilians in Arab lands that only have rocks to defend themselves is a false religion. Any religion, like Christianity, that promulgated the Crusades and other holy wars is a false religion. None of these religions are any good. Therefore, they should all be given equal representation in any international negotiations.
      3) If the area is truly “international” then any country that lays claim to Jerusalem should be able to establish an embassy there – including Israel.
      4) Actual “God” is an extraterrestrial and likely conducting an experiment on the species of this planet to see which ones to keep for future use. If I were God, and I looked down and was monitoring this experiment, I would say that the human race is not one to keep for the future. After all, even after I (as God) gave humans the ability for rational thought and language, they seem not to be able to use their brains for anything but primitive thinking and using my name to carry out things that only benefit them and not the planet. If I were God, right about now I would be setting a time line on a global killer asteroid so I could start my experiment over. Its not like I (as God) have not done this before – the dinosaurs had to go too.

      Time for the “leaders” of this planet – both in governments and religions – to wake up to the fact that dwelling on small irrelevant details is not going to fly anymore in the universe.

      I mean really – how many “UFOs” does the US government need to see to understand what is actually going on and that they are not actually in charge?

      At this point I am going to offer some advice – if I was a world leader, the last thing I would be doing right about now is starting a war.

      The heavens have eyes, understand quantum physics, and are pretty tired of watching the irrational.

      Just FYI.

    • mike k
      December 24, 2017 at 14:53

      Dear Lucy – the joke’s on you! As a troll, you can’t conceal your complete idiocy!

      • Marko
        December 25, 2017 at 00:48

        She can’t be trusted either , Mike.

        She pulls the football away at the last second , every time !

      • Lucy
        December 25, 2017 at 04:04

        The joke is the UN and the CIA and the globalist elite who think they know what is actually going on in this universe. God is currently delivering a message – just listen – if you are ready they will tell you what you need to know. I pray that you get out of the dark and see the light.

      • December 26, 2017 at 13:33

        thank you Mike… it had to be said. Not a fan of word salads meant to obfuscate.

        • Lucy
          December 27, 2017 at 00:38

          Linda – the only obfuscation is by the Deep State and the rest of the globalists that are trying to destroy this country. I am not obfuscating. I am protecting your life. That is my job.

  17. Steve ABBOTT
    December 23, 2017 at 21:54

    Would like to have believed that as Canadians we might have shown a little more spine. If the false leads on Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, and so many other atrocities, all the way back to the (still continuing) Korean war, were not enough, surely the crass attempts at bribery and extortion in the past week should have lent us some spine. … but no. Even that was too much to hope.

    • P Dunne
      December 23, 2017 at 23:47

      Steve the Canadian position isn’t anything more than the dictates of the various lobbies that have the PM at a disadvantage. The Canadian Jewish Congress, Jewish Defense League, Jewish Federations of Canada, B’nai Brith Canada, Canadian Jewish News
      The Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs, Gerald Schwartz, head of Onex Corp, Canada-Israel Committee and media mogul Leonard Asper.
      They control Canada’s foreign policy, and Canada as a rule ignores all UN resolutions regarding Israel because of them.

      I understand there are 400k Jewish folks in Canada but they are not all rabid Zionists, seems to me the PM should get on the right side of this, join the world and help find a resolution to the crimes occurring in occupied Palestine.

    • Piotr Berman
      December 24, 2017 at 02:23

      To Steve: you may still call yourself Canadians, but soon you will gain a new name, New Trumpland (or British Trumplandia).

      Trump’s decision on Jerusalem is not much of a surprise, because it fits into the Washingtonian criterion of rationality, namely, “bipartisan support in Congress” that passed specific law authorizing the move. In this sense, harping at poor Haley is unfair, and unlike Colin Powell, she may be excused as not knowing any better. Powell new, but fat good it made. Comparatively, Haley is a decent ambassador, unlike demented Mr. Peter Hoekstra who managed to contradict himself “I never said that” less than two minutes after saying so. That was sooo unprofessional.

      A professional official or politicians denies the obvious more suavely. He first denied what he said, on tape, as a panel member, two years ago about havoc wrecked all over Lower Countries — and being interviewed as ambassador there, and apparently somehow learned that Muslim problem in The Netherlands is not as bad as he lectured it to be. So he called reporter’s allegation “fake news”, rather than “I do not have precise recollection now but it seems to be taken out of context” or “sorry, I have to rush because I promised my granddaugher to watch her school drama role live” or something like that. So far, nothing TOTALLY outrageous, his president himself denied his taped statements. But saying two minutes (or was it one minute) later that he did not say “fake news” suggests profound neurological deficiencies.

      • Jacob
        December 24, 2017 at 11:21

        You need to understand devious minds like those of Pete Hoekstra. To the Dutch who know the situation in their own country, Hoekstra’s claims were Fake News. To Americans who don’t know what goes on beyond their borders it would have been Real News.

        Hoekstra’s cringeworthy. Probably the administration at Hope College (Holland, MI) must be reeling from the duplicity of an alumnus.

        Same with Calvin College (Grand Rapids, MI) admin officials must (should) feel embarrassed by the performance of one of their alumni, Betsy de Vos.

  18. Babyl-on
    December 23, 2017 at 21:51

    Really, if you wanted someone to destroy the reputation of the US and its soft power and its ability to have powerful influence – not to mention the ability to slaughter on a daily basis with impunity. Who could you pick who would be better than The Donald.

    The US has lost considerable economic power, lost standing and reputation, soft power and much more. The US is about to loose – in the next five years – the dollar reserve global hegemony.

    Trump is perfect, blustering about the great great military and spending like no tomorrow on it but day by day it is becoming nothing but a burden a necessary burden because the dollar is backed by nuclear weapons and aircraft carriers nothing else. The US has this huge military and no one to fight, Russia and China refuse to be drawn the military is useless unless Trump decides to end civilization.

    • mike k
      December 23, 2017 at 22:08

      But empires at their end show their craziness more and more. Their evil karmic accumulations will not let them go gentle into that goodnight. The worst is yet to come……….

      • mike k
        December 23, 2017 at 22:14

        We deeply want to believe that somehow we are too special and important to simply disappear from the world. But this mistaken belief in our immortality as a species actually is one of the factors leading to our destruction. A more humble and realistic sense of our own impermanence would make us more careful of how we live together, and lead us to care for each other and our world in a way that we have failed to learn.

      • December 25, 2017 at 10:51

        Yes a flailing dying monster is harmful but is wise to avoid codifying the worst in verbiage.

    • Joe Tedesky
      December 23, 2017 at 23:12

      If I may add to your excellent observations, that unlike no other before him, even Gamal Abdel Nasser or Saladin could not have done any better of a job to uniting the Arab nations, as did President Donald Trump has done with the blunt and brutal help from his UN Ambassador Nikki’s mafia style line in the sand. If the Middle East needed one thing to center itself around, well this U.S. Embassy being moved to Jerusalem is it. Seriously, what morons are dwelling inside the Oval Office, to think that theirs is the ultimate solution to this Israeli made disaster? This display of arrogance and ignorance, is just another example of U.S. diplomacy painfully going awry. There again this is nothing new.

      • Joe Tedesky
        December 24, 2017 at 01:06

        Before Americans get behind Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital they should all read this….

      • Realist
        December 24, 2017 at 16:13

        Unfortunately, the United States seems to have to commit an incredibly provocative and dangerous act before anyone else in the world takes notice or finds the courage to say anything about it. The world community should have spoken and taken action on the entire Middle Eastern fiasco two or three generations ago, if not sooner. The token bit of push-back against Israel and its Zionist enablers in the American government by the world community will, unfortunately, once again be completely ineffective and quickly forgotten once the bodies start being stacked in the morgues. This can be foreseen by everyone with even part of a brainstem and was understood before any one of the critics of Trump and Israel opened their mouths. I think the operative terms are “platitudes” and “lip service.”

        • Joe Tedesky
          December 25, 2017 at 02:21

          There is a scenario where Israel runs to Russia, now that the U.S. is being seen as an illegitimate mediator in the Palestinian Israeli divide. What do you think?

          • Realist
            December 25, 2017 at 04:26

            Russia cannot appear to side with Israel in the Islamic world or it will pay a price in domestic terrorism. Putin will simply advise Israel to give the Palestinians a just deal, but he will not pressure either side to do anything specific. He should not even fall into the trap of making public suggestions. He would probably have more to lose than to gain. I doubt there is any third party interlocutor who can substantively affect the process. The United States could never escape being Israel’s tool, and Russia surely does not want to replace it in that role. Just my gut instincts. Cozying up to Israel is like dating a partner with AIDS plus Ebola.

          • Joe Tedesky
            December 25, 2017 at 09:59

            I would think that if Israel does seek out Russia to replace the discredited U.S. as a third party negotiator, and that if Russia puts together a P5+1 type of team of various countries (& includes ME nations) to negotiate a peace agreement, that this would be better than a single country doing the mediating. I don’t see Putin taking the sole lead in such a request, if this should mature into something of what I just brought up.

            Realist have a wonderful day this Christmas 2017, and may you enjoy good health this coming 2018. Joe

        • Dave P.
          December 25, 2017 at 13:55

          Realist, both of your comments are well thought and very accurate. Those of us who are more familiar with that part of the World in terms of religious, ethnic and economic terms vs international politics will agree with you.

    • Zachary Smith
      December 23, 2017 at 23:34

      Who could you pick who would be better than The Donald.

      I’d maintain both Bush the Dumber and Obama would be in the running. Just an opinion, but except for the over-the-top boorishness, Trump isn’t acting much differently than them. That he behaves so obnoxiously makes him look worse, but I believe the losses you mention are merely being a little accelerated by the Trumpies. The rest of the world was getting mighty fed up with US bullying and blundering before Trump arrived.

      • Marko
        December 24, 2017 at 01:09

        Agreed , Zach. Trump is merely the boil at its end-stage. We’ll either lance it or it will burst , and then , if we’re really lucky , healing will begin.

    • December 25, 2017 at 11:57

      This is the great virtue of the Jerusalem decision. For the good of the USA the world must force Washington to roll back the imperial project as new international power relations emerge.

  19. Zachary Smith
    December 23, 2017 at 21:04

    A comment on this subject from the site owned by the son of the famous Orthodox Jewish novelist.

    The UN continued its shameful tradition vis-à-vis Israel with an emergency session held yesterday in order to denounce Trump’s declaration of recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and demanding that the US rescind the President’s decree.

    Outrageously and absurdly, it was Yemen who called for the debate on the grounds that the declarations “threatens peace”. This is Yemen which is embroiled in a civil war with tens of thousands of casualties, not to mention massive human rights violations.

    Australia and Canada, traditionally two of Israel’s strongest Western allies, hardly covered themselves in glory when they abstained – which is almost as bad as a vote in favour of the resolution.

    But the star of the show was no doubt the US’s intrepid Ambassador Nikki Haley.

    I have no doubt that the day will come when the entire international community will finally recognize Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the State of Israel. 4/4

    — Ambassador Danon (@dannydanon) December 21, 2017

    That’s what the Zionists are saying to each other.

    I’ve seen a theory that the Israeli Propaganda is really directed at American Jews. Presumably it’s to keep them from glancing at their consciences – I don’t know. But it’s sure and certain the Zionists don’t give a hoot about most of us, for they have the US Congress – the ones who aren’t either dual citizens or already devout True Believers in Holy Israel – by the gonads. And they surely do know it. That’s the reason for so much of the gloating we see these days.

  20. Gary Hare
    December 23, 2017 at 19:53

    It is hard for me to imagine a more arrogant and disdainful reaction, than that enunciated by both Haley and Trump, following the UN Security Council and General Assembly votes regarding the US Embassy in Israel.
    We see a total indifference to the thoughts and feelings of virtually the rest of the world. We should also note that the world’s peoples’ attitudes are even more against US unilateralism, that their politicians are.
    The only good thing that may emerge from the US hysterical reaction, is that the rest of the world might be emboldened to resist even more disastrous US foreign policy.
    I am ashamed that Australia showed zero independence by abstaining.
    That the US population does not cringe with disgust at the behaviour of their government in this regard, is a demonstration of how similar they are to lemmings jumping from a cliff, following their leader. How pitiful is the combination of ignorance and arrogance fostered across US society by its misguided “exceptionalism”.

    • Joe Tedesky
      December 27, 2017 at 17:20

      Gary you make a good point. The U.S. I believe is unwillingly coming to a fork in the road, with the belief that our might will make right. If only the U.S. had not made the decision to follow the ‘Project for a New American Century’ the center piece of their diplomacy, how the destruction the U.S. has rot over so far this early 21st Century could have been avoided. Instead the toadies in DC shake their fist, and make threats knowing full well the U.S. has the largest military on earth. These rhetorical acts of aggression are signs of a country who has loss the will, or the know how, to use diplomacy rather than destroy everything it sees as a oppositional rival to it’s hegemony project. I honestly believe that the chicken-hawks in DC are playing chicken with other countries, by believing that no one will confront them head on in a fair fight, as this attitudes shelf life becomes shorter by the escalation of weapons by those who fear the ugly U.S., and wish to defend themselves from the American Empire. This type of thinking is never any good, because when, or if the day ever comes for all out war there maybe a huge surprise waiting for those who thought that the U.S. was unbeatable.

  21. Zachary Smith
    December 23, 2017 at 19:44


    That’s our Trump!

    Those words also fit his little weasel in a skirt – Nikki Haley.

    Good interview.

  22. Brendan
    December 23, 2017 at 19:43

    Nikki Haley must have felt confident that she could silence any criticism of Israel after her success earlier this year in blocking a UN report on Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

    That report by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) established “on the basis of scholarly inquiry and overwhelming evidence that Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid”. Under pressure from Washington, the UN was forced to withdraw it and remove it from its website.

    The same brute force tactics by Haley didn’t work so well this time round because Washington’s declaration of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital went a bit too far. This move effectively supported Israeli annexation of East Jerusalem and was just unacceptable to anyone who believes in international law.

    • Matthew
      December 24, 2017 at 12:23

      Hey Brendan….pay attention to the process. This act was approved by Congress (put in by the American people) to move our embassy to Jerusalem. Many presidents in the past didn’t have the nuts to follow through on that approval. As the Chief Commander, Trump is doing what Congress said to do. You act like he just pulled this decision out of thin air. Open your eyes and stop being brain washed. Try to think for yourself for a change.

      • Brendan
        December 24, 2017 at 14:17

        Matthew, I’m fully aware of the hypocrisy of the Democrats who voted overwhelmingly for the move, but that does not justify Trump’s decision. In a way, I’m happy that he made it official because it kills the myth that Washington is a neutral honest broker in the so-called peace process.

      • mike k
        December 24, 2017 at 14:47

        Why is it that trolls are always so insulting? Does it make up for their lack of any real arguments to support their nonsense?

        • December 26, 2017 at 13:16

          this tactic works very well in their own minds. when you have no argument… attack/insult with ammo from the echo chamber

      • Marko
        December 25, 2017 at 00:39

        ” This act was approved by Congress (put in by the American people) to move our embassy to Jerusalem. Many presidents in the past didn’t have the nuts to follow through on that approval. ”

        Israel has fully-owned Congress for a long time. Trump just demonstrated that he’s the first fully-owned President.

        You see , it’s not a question of presidents having nuts , it’s a question of whether Israel has the president by the nuts.

        • December 26, 2017 at 13:20

          Israel has all presidents and politicians by the nuts. Israel owns the narrative. The real foreign power in the US of AIPAC

  23. mike k
    December 23, 2017 at 19:28

    Fascism is essentially the worship of force as the answer to all situations. Trump is a fascist leading what has been the world’s leading fascist nation for all of it’s history, which began in genocide and slavery, and has continued thus ever since. The worship of brutal power has been the religion of the majority of Americans to this day.

    • Larco Marco
      December 23, 2017 at 19:47

      shades of Hitler’s “Machtpolitik” (power politics).

    • Gary Hare
      December 23, 2017 at 19:55

      Hear, hear!

    • JC
      December 24, 2017 at 00:40

      i don’t believe for a second that the majority of americans worship brutal force…but the msm and congress sure do.. the majority of americans have no voice..a small minority zionists have a massive voice…neocons warmongers what ever they are..are a bad group that pushes around the congress

      • Marko
        December 24, 2017 at 00:56
        • Bart Hansen
          December 24, 2017 at 17:43

          Then they came for the Federal Lands…

      • mike k
        December 24, 2017 at 14:41

        How do you account for the interest of the population in brain damaging boxing, football? And who is supporting the massive violence on TV, movies, video games. How many Americans are cheering on their vicious military at every opportunity? Why do we lead the world in homicides and wife battering? How many millions have we killed with the populations approval? Are you telling me this is a peaceful nation?? Take your blinders off, and look around………

      • December 25, 2017 at 10:42

        Considering the hollywood movies USAans flock too, they love violence.

    • Soldim
      December 24, 2017 at 05:00

      No. Fascism is essentially the highest form of corporatism. This occurs when the interests of the corporate elite and the political elite councide. It is obvious that the US fully meets the definition. The love, or use, of force, jackboots in the streets (or someone like Trump) and the like are only proximate factors not essential.

      • Soldim
        December 24, 2017 at 05:13

        Meant ‘coincide’ of course

      • mike k
        December 24, 2017 at 14:45

        So Hitler and his gang were not violent, they just espoused a certain form of corporate government?? You have a rather limited understanding of the psychology and practice of fascism.

        • Soldim
          December 24, 2017 at 16:08

          Lots of isms are violent. The essence of things is what sets them apart from anything else. If you are aware of the definition then you realise that fascism can exist without the obvious manifestations you describe. I never said they were not violent even if the nazis were not fascists technically

      • December 25, 2017 at 10:45

        Framing is essential to language. Not “elite”, parasites etc.; not “highest” worst etc..

      • December 26, 2017 at 12:28

        I second Soldim on his argument regarding Fascism. Fascism is Musolini’s idea that a ‘fasci’ or bundle of the most successful businessmen supported by academia, security and defense could rule a country best, because it would profit the elite to rule well. It is an insane idea, but America has practiced Fascism successfully without the people figuring it out. The most successful descendants of the robber barons rule America, and it’s vassals through the American voting ballot. Only those vetted candidates may appear on t.v. or be spoken of nationally. Having control of the institutions of governance, full control of the population’s perception, and bountiful resources for the masses to compete for, force need not become a factor internally.
        Trump’s unlikely election is proof that Americans are waking up to the scam. Although Trump was on t.v. much of the time, he was not the pick of the litter, as far as them who rule over us would have liked. People still chose THEIR lesser disliked, instead of who the Buttholes That Be favored.

      • mike k
        December 26, 2017 at 15:44

        When has there been a situation where the wealthy who own the corporations do not control the government? Power, wealth, and political rule are one inclusive force. Your imagined definition seems to imply a situation where wealth and power have no influence on politics. There is no such situation. By your definition all governments are fascist, only ideal non-existent governments are non-fascist.

        • mike k
          December 26, 2017 at 15:49

          Also, jackboots, concentration camps, torture, constant warfare, elimination of individual rights, etc. are part and parcel of fascism, and it does not occur in reality without these adjuncts. Real fascism includes much that your neat and clean definition chooses to ignore.

          • December 27, 2017 at 13:21

            Fascism has in fact existed long before Mussolini coined the word. The definition I provided is not imaginary, it is in fact what Mussolini had in mind. What you have described is in fact a police state, and one can live in a fascist society without ever knowing it, the proof is the world about you.
            “When has there been a situation where the wealthy who own the corporations do not control the government? Power, wealth, and political rule are one inclusive force.”
            The aristocracies of Europe, were in fact fascists, they just did not know it, since Mussolini was just coming of age when they were on their way out, and was in no position to inform them. They controlled the nations industry, newsprint, coin, and military to their profit. If the state did well, the king was content and all did well enough. If the state did not do well, the people rose up, and the king brought about jackboots, concentration camps, torture, constant warfare, elimination of individual rights, etc. etc. Actually, constant warfare is about subjugating nations and siphoning their wealth to keep the masses happy, else the jackboots, concentration camps, the tortures, and the elimination of the individuals rights etc., etc. would be necessary.
            Your tone pissed me off, so I will now insult you now by confirming that you are some antifa dimwit.

          • Soldim
            January 6, 2018 at 15:32

            You are betraying your ignorance. A definition is the opposite of what you imagine it to be. First you have to understand the difference between core and proximate factors. You only need to identify the core factor to get to a definition. For example, Max Webber’s definition of the state: ‘that agency within society that posseses the monopoly of legitimate violence’. Bang! Smashed it! Will never be bettered. The definition needs to be minimal and precise so as not to confuse the subject matter with irrelevant issues. The point is not to write an encyclopedia about it. As for the definition of fascism, it is neither imagined nor mine (it would have been the proudest achievement of my life). It is the definition accepted by political scientists. I know this because i am one of them.

    • Reality Check
      December 25, 2017 at 18:52

      Weird though that its the dems who first empowered the number one bona fide fascist movement in Europe…Ukraine. How’d that happen?

  24. December 23, 2017 at 19:03

    Whatever may be the twisted logic responsible for Donald Trump and his administration’s unprecedented confrontational stance toward virtually the entire human population, people had better recognize the extreme dangerousness of such irrational thinking. Once the root cause(s) – ideology, worldview, etc. – of the potentially catastrophic behavior (potentially resulting in war) become(s) identified, responsive actions are then necessary for soundly defeating it, using the most powerful reasoning tools and wisdom available to humankind.

  25. Lisa
    December 23, 2017 at 18:53

    A bit of a side track, but you can watch how Haley makes a fool of herself, speaking with a Russian prankster, presenting himself as Polish Prime Minister. She thanks him heartily for support in the UN vote, and takes seriously the claim that Russia has meddled in the elections of a non-existing country “Binomo”.

    These guys have fooled earlier Maxine Waters, John McCain and other US politicians. Russian humour!

    “Prank with Nikki Haley (Ambassador USA to UN)” – Search on youtube.

  26. Greg Driscoll
    December 23, 2017 at 18:17

    Haley is neither smart nor stupid – she’s but a toady like most other pols, following a script provided by Jared and John Kelly in the name of Trump. Kushner and Kelly are the real stupid ones – stupid enough to be eager to get us into a war, with N. Korea or Iran or both.

    • WiiliamF
      December 24, 2017 at 12:08

      You’re right: Nikki Haley is reading a script, just as Colin Powell read a script when he told the UN that Iraq had nukes. The only question is, who exactly is writing those scripts.

      Nikki Haley had no experience in US foreign policy before her appointment as UN ambassador. Nor does she have any educational credentials to support her nomination. (Her only college degree is a BS in accounting from Clemson.)

      As a native of South Carolina and resident of the state for the six years she was governor, I don’t recall her ever expressing an opinion on foreign affairs. I recently learned, however, that she supported anti-BDS legislation at the state level.

      Among those who know SC politics, it’s generally assumed that Trump appointed governor Nikki Haley to the UN to reward the lieutenant governor, Henry McMaster, for his vocal Trump support early in the 2016 primary season. When Nikki Haley went to the UN, McMaster became governor.

      • Reality Check
        December 25, 2017 at 18:50

        Who’s writing these scripts? Folks like David Frumm, where it goes through the neocon pipeline for review & modification before it hits Trump’s desk where its read by a flunky then into Haley’s lap.

      • December 28, 2017 at 18:35

        Nikki Haley is even more of a disgrace than her predesessor Samantha Power. Trump would have been better off appoting her chief dog catcher if he had to make a political appointment.

  27. Nop
    December 23, 2017 at 17:36

    Haley is an imbecile. Makes Sarah Palin look smart.

    • MA
      December 23, 2017 at 19:55

      Anyone who has to defend the indefensible Israeli position will look imbecile.

      • Stronger Together!
        December 24, 2017 at 07:49

        This reverses all the progress that the Obama administration made. On December 23rd, 2016 the United States abstained from the UN Security Council resolution which said: “The resolution says Israel’s settlements on Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, have “no legal validity”.

        So any Israeli presence in Jerusalem is 100% illegal by international law and now that Trump put our embassy there we are ILLEGAL and are on the side of warmongers.

        So we went from being on the verge of world peace in the Middle East, which Barak Obama (Nobel Peace Prize winner) and Hillary Clinton fought so hard to obtain, to being outlaws and guaranteeing 100 more years of war. Think about that!!!

        • Matthew
          December 24, 2017 at 12:13

          Hey Stronger Together….pay attention to the process. This act was approved by Congress (put in by the American people) to move our embassy to Jerusalem. Many presidents in the past didn’t have the nuts to follow through on that approval. As the Chief Commander, Trump is doing what Congress said to do. You act like he just pulled this decision out of thin air……Since his departure, it has become very apparent that there were many bad foreign policy decisions, on the part of Obama and his crew. Open your eyes and stop being brain washed. Try to think for yourself for a change.

          • Will
            December 25, 2017 at 16:17

            So Matthew, were all of Obama’s decisions bad? Do you think there are any foreign governments that would enjoy the destabilizing effect of moving the embassy? Does congress (controlled by conservatives) do everything trumpkin wants,. or anything he doesn’t want? How can you tell which is which?

        • Annie
          December 24, 2017 at 16:48

          Sronger Together, I would have respected Obama if he had not waited for the 12th hour to put forth this resolution, and he did so because he didn’t want to take on the Israeli lobby, or his own party, during his 8 years in office. He also waited until Clinton lost the election, since she was dependent on the Jewish establishment and their donors. That’s the only logical explanation as to why he waited so long. Do you really think Clinton would stand in the way as Israel continued it’s illegal settlements into the West Bank? People blame the Christian right in this country, but they don’t tell the democrats what to do. If anything Trump’s clumsy hand will cause greater change. Abbas said at a press conference in Paris. “We will not accept any plan from the United States of America because of its bias and violation of the international law.” Hope he means it, since he has been a long time puppet of Israel himself.

          P. S. Since when has international law, or the Geneva conventions meant anything to the US when it comes to war and allowing Israel to extend it’s territories into the West Bank?

          • Nancy
            December 25, 2017 at 20:41

            It’s really sad how brainwashed these “stronger together” sheep are. Can’t see the forest for the trees.

          • December 26, 2017 at 11:55

            HEAR! HEAR!
            Well put Annie.
            That comment by Stranger Together was cult-like, creepy …

          • Joe Tedesky
            December 27, 2017 at 16:40

            Annie you are right to point out the good that could come from this Trump decision to relocate the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. When it comes to unbiased mediating the U.S. was never a bipartisan party to the Palestinian Israeli disputes. Maybe now that the U.S. has discredited itself the Palestinian people will get a fair shake with another negotiating mediator.

            The only thing I enjoyed with Obama and Kerry’s UN abstain vote over Israel’s illegal settlements, was that in some weird way I felt that we were getting a glimpse of how they really feel about Israel from behind the curtain. If my hunch is correct, then what Obama and Kerry did with that abstain vote, was to tell Israel how they can’t get everything they want, and a retiring American politician is untouchable to the Israeli Lobby. Although I found it hard to get up on the chair and chant “yeah, go get them’, because like you said Annie, Obama and Kerry waited until it was 12th hour, and heroism wasn’t to be found for the lingering short timing pair to do much good.

            We should not forget this UN vote was what incoming National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was trying to help Netanyahu out with, by Trying to get the Russians to delay the vote. Again, we are talking Israel-Gate, and not interference from Russia.

        • jocker12
          December 24, 2017 at 19:25

          (Nobel Peace Prize winner) and Hillary Clinton – Trump is an asshole, but to comment on Obama, the Nobel Peace Prize Winner (who “embraced the US drone programme, overseeing more strikes in his first year than Bush carried out during his entire presidency. A total of 563 strikes, largely by drones, targeted Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen during Obama’s two terms, compared to 57 strikes under Bush. Between 384 and 807 civilians were killed in those countries, according to reports – https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/stories/2017-01-17/obamas-covert-drone-war-in-numbers-ten-times-more-strikes-than-bush“) or Hillary Clinton who never ever opposed a war in her entire career, is a monumental imbecility.

      • journey80
        December 24, 2017 at 11:30

        Yes, but Haley takes imbecility to an art form.

        • December 26, 2017 at 11:59

          The above commentator, Stranger Together, takes Haley’s imbecility and embraces it, caressing the imbecility with it’s lips as it whispers, “my precious.”

          • December 31, 2017 at 21:25

            Most of the above replies criticizing Stronger Together do not refute his/her points directly but use thoughtless, idiotic smears based on nothing at all. The right-wing sure distinguishes itself by avoiding the issue and making smears–the sign of someone who fundamentally doesn’t know what they’re talking about or is unable to verbalize something because it’s non-verbal, possibly located in the lizard brain, a real place at the base of the brain–a brain-challenged individual or party. The point Stronger Together was making, among others, was that putting the US Embassy in Jerusalem is illegal based on previous U.N. Resolutions which the United States needs to adhere to to have any credibility in such an international collaborative body… No one did anything to refute that contention.

      • Skip Scott
        December 24, 2017 at 15:49


      • Marko
        December 25, 2017 at 00:27

        Haley standing up to protect the integrity of elections in Binomo – what’s not to like about that ?

        Sure , it’s a fictional country , but still…….

        • December 26, 2017 at 12:45

          Of course, the possibility that any U.S. corporate media organization publishes a single report on BINOMO and the profoundly embarrassing prank phone call of Nikki Haley – even with a humorous narrative “spin” – is very, very, very, very small … In other words, it “ain’t gonna happen”. One finds it difficult to assess which is more worrisome: a) the United States’ ambassador to the world’s highest-level deliberative body the United Nations Nikki Haley is so uninformed she swallowed the BINOMO election-independence hoax, or b) that no mainstream media group or journalist in the United States will touch the story with a ten, twenty, hundred, thousand, million, billion, or trillion-foot pole.

    • Reality Check
      December 25, 2017 at 18:47

      She’s not an imbecile. She’s just a Bolton clone.

Comments are closed.