U.N. am­bas­sador giv­ing United States new, stronger voice.

Nikki Ha­ley is giv­ing the United States a new, stronger voice

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - By Suzanne Fields Suzanne Fields is a colum­nist for The Washington Times and is na­tion­ally syn­di­cated.

The new sher­iff at the United Na­tions is stylish in heels but not so stylish in at­ti­tude, and the del­e­gate lounges haven’t been the same since Nikki Ha­ley ar­rived al­most three months ago. She’s blunt with­out be­ing brash, not shy about giv­ing the Rus­sians the cold shoul­der, nor mak­ing it clear that the United States stands with Is­rael, not with the wolves that look for op­por­tu­ni­ties to mock, be­lit­tle and scorn the Jewish state.

The pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tion seemed com­fort­able cozy­ing up to the en­e­mies of Is­rael, and timidly (some might say “cow­ardly”) ab­stain­ing from a U.N. Se­cu­rity Coun­cil vote con­demn­ing the Jewish state. Mrs. Ha­ley calls that ab­sten­tion “em­bar­rass­ing” and “hurt­ful.” The chances of some­thing like that hap­pen­ing now are likely small, in­deed.

The new sher­iff, as she calls her­self, will get her first chance to demon­strate the new Amer­i­can re­solve this month when the United States as­sumes the pres­i­dency of the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil on the monthly ro­ta­tion. For the first time in re­cent mem­ory the coun­cil will not fo­cus on rants against Is­rael. Mrs. Ha­ley told re­porters that she will push in­stead for re­forms of the U.N. peace­keep­ing mis­sions with con­cern for hu­man rights is­sues, which are not pop­u­lar among del­e­gates from na­tions with the worst records of abuses.

She prom­ises that a de­bate will be about Iran’s sup­port for ter­ror­ism, the war in Syria, out­rages by Hamas and Hezbol­lah and other things that some na­tions just don’t want to talk about. “So much has been put for­ward against Is­rael,” she says, “and not enough has been put to­ward some of th­ese other is­sues.” She ex­pects howls and shrill cries of out­rage from del­e­gates de­prived of the plea­sure of the pile-on.

The am­bas­sador does not have a rep­u­ta­tion for the usual ar­gle-bar­gle that com­prises diplo-speak, for say­ing not much at great length that is the lin­gua franca at the U.N. Words trans­late to ac­tion only with re­solve and de­ter­mi­na­tion, and the Amer­i­can Mis­sion at the

U.N. sud­denly has a new rep­u­ta­tion for both words and ac­tion.

Last month the United States de­manded that a U.N. com­mis­sion with­draw its re­port that de­scribed Is­rael as “an apartheid state.” The re­port was with­drawn and the ex­ec­u­tive sec­re­tary of the com­mis­sion re­signed, and the com­mis­sion took down the re­port from its In­ter­net web­site.

Mrs. Ha­ley re­places a very dif­fer­ent Amer­i­can voice at the U.N. Sa­man­tha Power was pop­u­lar with her Se­cu­rity Coun­cil col­leagues, and why not? She was an aca­demic com­fort­able with ar­gle-bar­gle and fa­mil­iar with slow­ing things down, and her out­spo­ken for­eign pol­icy views meshed eas­ily with what she heard in the del­e­gate lounges.

The new am­bas­sador has Cabi­net sta­tus, the first am­bas­sador to have such sta­tus and the ac­com­pa­ny­ing ac­cess to the pres­i­dent since Jeanne Kirk­patrick, who served in the Rea­gan ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Her ten­ure as a gover­nor and ex­pe­ri­ence with the re­tail pol­i­tics of the South tempers her plain speech with a warmth that has en­deared her al­ready with many col­leagues. When she speaks, it’s often not what her col­leagues ex­pect to hear from an Amer­i­can am­bas­sador, but some of them find her can­dor re­fresh­ing.

Mrs. Ha­ley, 45, is the daugh­ter of Sikh par­ents, and the mother of two chil­dren. Her hus­band, Michael Ha­ley, is a cap­tain in the South Carolina Na­tional Guard. He served a tour in Afghanistan and re­turned to be­come the “First Gen­tle­man of South Carolina,” so des­ig­nated, when his wife was elected gover­nor.

They were mar­ried in two cer­e­monies, one Sikh and the other Methodist. She has a gift for mock­ing po­lit­i­cally cor­rect at­ti­tudes, and de­scribes her­self as “South Carolina’s first mi­nor­ity gover­nor and the first girl gover­nor.” She rel­ishes delivering the mem­o­rable one-liner. “I wear heels,” she fa­mously said, “and it’s not for a fash­ion state­ment. It’s be­cause if I see some­thing wrong, we’re gonna kick ’em ev­ery time.” In her first pub­lic ap­pear­ance at the U.N., she warned those “who don’t have our backs, we’re tak­ing names.”

She was a bit of a sur­prise choice to join the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion. She warned Repub­li­cans dur­ing the cam­paign not to fol­low “the siren call of the an­gri­est voices,” and the Don­ald tweeted in re­turn that “the peo­ple of South Carolina are em­bar­rassed by Nikki Ha­ley!” (but with only one ex­cla­ma­tion point).

No one in the ad­min­is­tra­tion has been as rough and tough on Rus­sia. “Never trust the Rus­sians,” she says. This in­de­pen­dence is the mark of the woman. “The pres­i­dent has not once called me and said, ‘Don’t beat up on Rus­sia.’ So I am beat­ing up on Rus­sia.”

The pres­i­dent has the in­de­pen­dent voice he says he wants. The mes­sage may be that when you want the job done well, send a girl.

The new am­bas­sador has Cabi­net sta­tus, the first am­bas­sador to have such sta­tus and the ac­com­pa­ny­ing ac­cess to the pres­i­dent since Jeanne Kirk­patrick.

THE WASHINGTON TIMES

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