Nikki Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, is proving to be a lioness in the halls of the United Nations. Recently, she condemned Bashir Assad, Russia, and Iran for continuing to inflict death and mayhem in the wake of a chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians committed by Syrian government forces. She offered a threat that the United States would take action if the UN fails to do so at an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council as she held up pictures of dead Syrian children. What sort of action that the United States might take was left to the imaginations of the other delegates.

Americans regard the United Nations as a useless, corrupt institution, to a significant part because it is. But the UN has been useful as a forum for the United States to express its core values and, more importantly, take to task other countries whose values consist of violating human rights at home and waging war abroad or tolerating those that do, which tends to be most of the world. The late Daniel Patrick Moynihan performed magnificently when he was UN Ambassador in the early 1970a. President Reagan’s ambassador to the United Nations, Jeanne Kirkpatrick and Bush the Younger's John Bolton, carried on the tradition. Diplomats sent to the world body by Democratic presidents tended to be apologists for tyrants and terrorists.

No possibility exists that the Security Council is going to take any action. Assad is Russia’s client, and so that country is likely to veto any resolution. The Russians are already brazenly claiming that the chemical attack was carried out by insurgents.

The Trump administration is blaming the current state of anarchy in Syria on former President Obama.

Obama famously suggested that Assad using chemical weapons would be the crossing of a “red line” that would not be tolerated. Then, when the Syrian government forces used chemical weapons, the Obama administration tolerated it. Rumor has it that the Trump administration may launch a military strike on targets Assad values, such as his various palaces, as a way to demonstrate that with new management in the White House, atrocities will have consequences.