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  • Writer's pictureDavid M. Rubin


Former UN Ambassador and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley continues to prove she belongs in a circus as a tightrope walker.

On April 13 she was quoted in the Charleston Post and Courier as saying she would not run for President in 2024 if Donald Trump chose to run. (This assumes Trump is not in jail in 2024, or bankrupt.) But if he did not run, Haley let it be known she intended to enter the Republican primaries, and she would run on foreign policy achievements.

She told reporter Jamie Lovegrove of the Post and Courier that “we [Haley and Trump] did some fantastically great foreign policy things together.”

This fantastic statement was left unchallenged, as is often the case when politicians make grandiose claims about their achievements to journalists.

So let’s challenge her statement, on the off-chance that Haley really walks the tightrope and manages to enter the 2024 Presidential primaries.

Hard as I try, I cannot locate these fantastic foreign policy achievements. But I do see disasters everywhere I look. Consider the outcome of four years of Trump directing foreign policy in his idiosyncratic manner, with Haley at the UN for two of those chaotic years:

Our relationship with China has entered a new and more dangerous phase as the Chinese consider the U.S. to be failing, and China’s time to assert itself as an economic and military power is now.

Russian aggression in Ukraine and in cyberspace is unrelenting. On the Trump/Haley watch, Russia gained a foothold in Syria specifically, and spread its malign influence throughout the Middle East.

Kim Jong-un continues to waive his nuclear saber in North Korea. The Trump/Haley charm offensive with him did nothing to curb his nuclear delusions.

Despite ratcheting up sanctions on Iran and abandoning the Obama-era agreement to limit Iranian development of a nuclear bomb, Iran continues to enrich uranium and has shown no inclination to change its policy. Iran is now more dangerous than it was when Trump took office.

Libya remains a warring mess.

Trump/Haley left it to President Biden to leave Afghanistan once and for all, which he will do on the twentieth anniversary of that failed Bush-era intervention to dislodge the Taliban.

Haley sees Trump as a great leader on the world stage, but former U.S. allies around the globe are now trying to assess if the Biden administration can restore American leadership, trashed by the lies and incompetence of the Trump/Haley team.

Finally, the national security and military establishments all agree that climate change poses the greatest threat to American security. Yet the Trump/Haley team not only failed to act on climate change, it actively worked to undermine activities to mitigate the crisis. Trump left the Paris climate accord. He forbade his climate scientists to even use the term “climate change” in reports. He ignored government climate scientists and moved to de-fund their work.

We are still learning how much damage the Trump/Haley team did in the climate arena and how many years we were set back in our efforts to get a grip on this problem.

So this is the “fantastic” foreign policy record on which Haley wants to pin her post-Trump Presidential hopes.

Haley was fond of saying that “It’s a great day in South Carolina.” Sadly, she didn’t leave us such a great day in the United States and the rest of the world.

She will have to defend this sorry record come 2024, if Trump Republicans even let her remain in the increasingly irresponsible and delusional MAGA party.

Blogger David M. Rubin is the former Dean of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. He is a former columnist for the Syracuse Post-Standard and an expert on First Amendment law (speech and press). He lives in Summerville.

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