I don’t understand what they were thinking. Donald Trump makes a decision to appease his largest donor, Sheldon Adelson, and recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel (but not necessarily as an “undivided” city leaving the status of East Jerusalem ambiguous).
He must have been told by Tillerson and Mattis, who advised against it, the decision would be unpopular on the international stage, and at the UN. Instead of taking the inevitable UN backlash on the chin, Trump and Haley team up for a pitiful, half-arsed attempt at threatening the entire globe that only highlights how isolated and powerless the lone superpower is here.
At the UN we're always asked to do more & give more. So, when we make a decision, at the will of the American ppl, abt where to locate OUR embassy, we don't expect those we've helped to target us. On Thurs there'll be a vote criticizing our choice. The US will be taking names. pic.twitter.com/ZsusB8Hqt4
— Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) December 19, 2017
In the final tally just eight other UN members voted with the US. Aside from Israel itself they are Guatemala, Honduras, Togo, Palau, Nauru, Micronesia and Marshall Islands. — A total of one impoverished West African nation, two Central American banana republics traditionally in Uncle Sam’s pocket, and four joke countries in the Pacific Ocean (really US protectorates), the largest of which has 100,000 inhabitants.
UN members which voted to condemn the US include Uncle Sam’s tight clients such as Albania, Afghanistan, Estonia, Lithuania, Japan, Montenegro, Macedonia, Netherlands, Norway, UK to name just some.
Referencing tomorrow's UN vote criticizing the US embassy move. In the words of the President, "Let them vote against us, we'll save a lot." pic.twitter.com/eUGWD4cCBR
— Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) December 20, 2017
Naturally, in the past the US has had at least some success in bending clients to its will against their better judgement or international law. In 2003 Washington could claim 48 nations of the “Coalition of the Willing” backed its invasion and occupation of another UN member – Iraq. Since 2008 Washington and NATO have secured the backing of 112 capitals for their dismemberment of Serbia. But what seems to have been lost on Haley and Trump is that even these very limited “successes” took a prolonged lobbying and pressure campaign.
Even the comical “coalition” Bush cobbled together for Iraq took many months of serious behind-the-scenes arms-twisting. Did the Haley-Trump duo seriously expect their half-arsed threat two minutes before midnight would have a similar result?
This was a symbolic, non-binding resolution of the UN General Assembly. It could have been easily shrugged off. Instead the Trump-Haley duo elected to make an inconsequential vote into an embarrassing display of American diplomatic isolation and impotence.