A week before leaving the Trump administration, Nikki Haley spoke to the neocon group – Council for National Policy – lending weight to the prospect of a 2020 candidacy while touting her record as a warmonger’s warmonger.
The secretive, heavily evangelical CNP has developed a reputation for anointing Republican presidents. Donald Trump and George W. Bush both spoke in front of the CNP before setting out on the campaign trail, and Trump appointed several members to his cabinet in gratitude, including Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway.
Haley revealed that, while she began 2016 as a never-Trumper, a job offer from Trump’s Chief of Staff Reince Priebus was all she needed to convert to a disciple of the Donald. Mercifully, she turned down that first offer, admitting she was completely underqualified to be secretary of state. She had no such qualms about becoming ambassador to the UN, however, even though she told Trump at the time, “Honestly, I don’t even know what the UN does.”
Once inside the halls of power, Haley chose Henry Kissinger as her mentor, the veteran warmonger who served in the Nixon and Ford administrations, whose policies resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. She met with him every two months and apparently learned a lot, adopting a form of his “madman theory” in her diplomatic dealings.
Attempting to wring a “Yes” vote from China on sanctions against North Korea, Haley told the Chinese ambassador she was concerned that Trump would invade the recalcitrant nuclear power. He’s “kind of unpredictable, and I don’t know what he’ll do,” she warned.
The audience went wild as Haley touted the US’ withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council as the fulfillment of its “duty” to protect Israel, complaining that the body had condemned the Jewish state dozens of times but had issued only nine such condemnations against her favorite bogeyman, Iran. The Trump administration’s relocation of its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem and its cutoff of UNRWA aid to millions of Palestinian refugees also received thunderous applause from the assembled Zionists.
In light of her CNP speech, Haley’s rabidly pro-Israel track record looks less like froth-mouthed fanaticism and more like savvy (if still terrifying) politics. The evangelical group is nothing if not pro-Israel, and her tenacious defense of the country’s alleged war crimes in the face of international condemnation certainly endeared her to big-money GOP donors like Sheldon Adelson.
Media are expressly forbidden from CNP events, and it’s easy to see why. Max Blumenthal, who wrote up the event for Harpers, was able to infiltrate the group but was promptly shown the door when a member recognized him.
Haley’s departure from the Trump administration was lamented by establishment media including the New York Times, which called her a “pragmatic envoy” and urged the president to appoint “a replacement in her mold.” In light of her CNP speech, the Times could simply have been setting the stage for an endorsement of Nikki Haley 2020.