“With All Due Respect”

Security Council Holds Emergency Meeting After U.S. Airstrikes In Syria

The next line of the Pope’s prayer asks that we remove venom from our judgements. As I pondered these words, I thought about Nikki Haley, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations. In this capacity, she speaks to the world as a representative of the White House and its President Donald Trump. On Sunday, she announced that there would be new sanctions against Russia for their activity in Syria. She based this announcement on reliable sources in the federal government for which she was speaking.

On Monday, the White House announced that there were no new sanctions in the works. One of the President’s advisors said that Haley “must have been confused.” Since the confusion was clearly from the White House and not the U.N. Ambassador, Haley had an opportunity to respond in any way she felt necessary. She could have returned this slur on her character with venom. Instead, she replied with diplomatic aplomb. “With all due respect, I do not get confused.”

I take comfort from her approach to a personal attack and undermining of her position. She is telling her colleagues at the United Nations that she was speaking the policy that she had been given. She left unsaid, in a very gracious way, who exactly was causing the confusion.

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