NYT’s U.N. Defender Again Tears Into Trump for Human Rights Hypocrisy

April 20th, 2017 2:43 PM

Reporter Somini Sengupta continued demonstrating her strange hostility toward Nikki Haley, the U.S envoy to the United Nations, in “Trump Envoy Aims to Show That Rights Are a Priority” in Wednesday’s New York Times.

The text box read: “A discussion in the Security Council draws criticism.” It’s a follow-up to Sengupta’s previously, and widely condemned, Haley-bashing and ardent defense of the United Nations, which is evidently not at all “corrupt” like Haley rudely claimed.

There may even be a whiff of cynicism in the headline: Haley is not the U.S. envoy, but a partisan Trumper trying to show that his administration actually cares. Sengupta tried to put Haley on the backfoot from the lead in her new story.

In a bid to show that the Trump administration cares about human rights around the world, its envoy to the United Nations, Nikki R. Haley, on Tuesday presided over what the administration called the first “thematic debate” on human rights in the Security Council.

“In case after case, human rights violations and abuses are not merely the incidental byproduct of conflict,” Ms. Haley said at the session. “They are the trigger for conflict.” She referred to countries that the United States has consistently criticized for their rights abuses, including Cuba, North Korea and Syria.

Rights groups reacted with criticism. The Trump administration, they pointed out, has been sued at home for its visa ban targeting some predominantly Muslim countries. The president has praised Egypt’s authoritarian leader, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the advocates noted. On Monday, President Trump congratulated Turkey’s authoritarian president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for prevailing in a referendum that strengthened his powers.

“Can’t wait for discussion about detention of journalists, writers, & others in Turkey,” David Kaye, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine and a special United Nations envoy on freedom of expression, wrote on Twitter.

The United Nations already addresses human rights, one of the pillars of the organization’s system.

Sengupta, as she did last March, kept playing defense for the United Nations.

And many of the mandates of United Nations peacekeeping missions authorize human rights investigations, as a memo by Ms. Haley’s aides pointed out in proposing the meeting to fellow council members.

Sengupta put America’s long-held concerns about human rights on a par with nationalistic grievances of other countries.

While Ms. Haley cited abuses by North Korea, Syria and Cuba, other countries, likewise, used Tuesday’s session to shame their rivals. Ukraine singled out Russia; Russia in turn complained about a “general hatred of Russia.” China spoke against terrorism.

Ms. Haley has called the United States the “moral conscience” of the world and has said she was committed to addressing rights abuses. She has been skeptical of the United Nations Human Rights Council, though, describing many of its constituents as countries with poor human rights records and calling it “so corrupt.”

At the conclusion, she found an unlabeled left-wing group to bash the Trump administration:

“If the U.S. administration wants to show it has a genuine commitment to human rights, then it needs to take a serious look at its recent policies,” Sherine Tadros, the head of the New York office for Amnesty International, said in an email. “You can’t have directives coming from Washington that are distinctly anti-human rights and then say you’re championing human rights at the U.N.”