US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, held a reception for the “Friends of America” to thank the countries who voted against the UN resolution, condemning President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem. It was a bit bizarre, as of the 193 members representing almost all of the 7.6 billion inhabitants of our planet, only 9 countries voted against the resolution. Of these 9 countries, only 5 have populations over 1 million residents: US, Israel, Guatemala, Honduras, and Togo (See list at end of this blog). Some reception!
If Donald Trump is dividing the world into proper civilized countries, and shithole ones, Guatemala probably would fall in the latter. The State Department’s Travel Advisory states:
Reconsider travel to Guatemala due to crime. Violent crime, such as sexual assault, carjacking, armed robbery, and murder, is common. Gang activity, such as extortion, violent street crime, and narcotics trafficking, is widespread, particularly in the border regions. Local police may lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents.
This is Level 3 advisory. The top warning is Level 4 which advises travelers not to visit the countries and if intrepid travelers ignore this advice, the State Department suggests having a will prepared prior to travel. The only other South American countries with a Level 3 advisory (Reconsider Travel) are Honduras and El Salvador.
Personally, I have nothing against Honduras and Guatemala. I have been several times to Guatemala, and each visit was fantastic. The other country, Togo, is in Africa, and has been struggling for years due to low prices for its agricultural exports. It has an astounding dense population of approximately 8 million residents. I was actually surprised at Togo’s vote, with a 20% Muslim population.
So, Nikki’s party invitees of “No Voters” had one wealthy country (Israel), three countries in economic dire straits (Guatemala, Honduras, and Togo) and 4 tiny island states in the Pacific. Nauru is one of them, which has a population of 13,000 residents, whose best asset is it’s seat in the UN and a vote that comes cheap. See link below on Nauru’s recognition of Russia’s breakaway republics in exchange for aid.
It is our President which is dividing up the world, through his travel bans, cuts in aid and policy decisions, to make the US disliked around the world as never before. He’s been able to sour relations with our close neighbors, Mexico and Canada.
The invitees to the Haley’s reception included all those who didn’t vote at all or abstained so the total number of invitees was 64. I can see why – as the resolution was going to pass anyway, and it really had no effect except to embarrass the US. So, to be a friend of the US doesn’t take much, just sit at home on the day of the vote. Still, it was a landslide vote against the US.
Usually, when you tell nation leaders that they must support US policies or else, “We’re taking names” comment by Nikki Haley, it is counter productive. The recent violence in Pakistan, is directed at Trump’s cut off of military aid. It’s regrettable as we need them as an ally against terrorism.
We seem to be antagonizing both friends and enemies. We lost the chance to broker some peace settlement between Palestine and Israel, with our decision to recognize Jerusalem. South Korea seems to be making inroads to reducing hostilities with North Korea, after we exchanged increasingly higher threats with North Korea. The humanitarian crisis in Yemen seems of little importance to Trump. It is a Iran-Saudi proxy war, and we’ve sided with the Saudi’s.
The Middle East countries are now more divided into the Sunni and Shi’a factions, and doing less to curb real terrorism. We may eventually undermine the moderates control in Iran, by President Rouhani, by imposing new sanctions, and threatening to abandon the nuclear agreement. In doing so, we discourage any deal with North Korea over their nuclear program. Meanwhile, the State Department continues to shrink under Secretary Rex Tillerson, with many of the diplomatic posts unfilled. Yet I consider him one of the best of the cabinet leaders. I would include Gen. Mattis at Defense as well.
I would like to have seen a “Friends of the US” reception with leaders from all the continents of the world. This would require a major re-think of the America First agenda. We are “Stronger Together” the slogan of Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Yes votes: 128 No votes: 9 Abstaining: 38 votes Not voting: 21
I’ve often thought about a service on the internet, similar to “Letgo.com” where countries could bid on the UN representatives’ vote. Maybe “Cash4votes.com” would work. Of course, the country would first have to let the world know it’s vote is up for sale.