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Haley delivers at U.N.

| Thursday, April 20, 2017, 8:55 p.m.
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U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley attends a U.N. Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, where the ongoing conflict in Syria was discussed. (Photo by Spencer Platt | Getty Images)

When President-elect Donald Trump nominated former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to serve as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations shortly after his November election, she was criticized for her lack of experience on the international stage. Liberal media questioned her capability to do the job, and their focus quickly became her previous opposition to Trump in the GOP primary, when she backed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

Conservatives defended Haley as completely qualified with a strong understanding of American values and a dedication to boldly represent them at the U.N. They also argued that she would bring a much needed attitude change to the international body after eight years of Obama administration appeasement to U.S. enemies and rogue nations while severely damaging relationships with longtime allies.

“She's such an unknown in foreign policy space that it's kind of hard to tell what to expect,” a U.N. official told Politico at the time of her nomination.

While critics were wrong about her limited foreign policy experience being a problem, they were correct when they said the job wouldn't be easy.

Haley's first big test came earlier this month when Syrian President Bashar Assad dropped chemical weapons on his own people in Idlib. In 2013, a chemical attack by Assad crossed a red line drawn — but never enforced — by President Obama.

Haley passed this test with flying colors, calling out Russia and Syria for their horrific actions in front of the U.N. Security Council.

“Just a few weeks ago, this council attempted to hold Assad accountable for suffocating his own people to death with toxic chemicals. Russia stood in the way of this accountability. They made an unconscionable choice. They chose to close their eyes to the barbarity. They defied the conscience of the world. Russia cannot escape responsibility for this,” Haley said at the U.N. in response to the attack.

“There is an obvious truth here that must be spoken. The truth is that Assad, Russia and Iran have no interest in peace. The illegitimate Syrian government, led by a man with no conscience, has committed untold atrocities against his people for more than six years,” she continued.

Just days after her statement, the U.S. fired dozens of Tomahawk missiles into Syria, damaging one of Assad's air bases.

Moving into other areas of interest, Haley has addressed a number of issues concerning human-rights violations. One of them being persecution of gay men in Chechnya — again, standing up to Russia.

“We continue to be disturbed by reports of kidnapping, torture and murder of people in Chechnya based on their sexual orientation and those persecuted by association,” Haley said in a statement. “If true, this violation of human rights cannot be ignored.”

The time for worthless “smart power” and “strategic patience” under the Obama administration has finally passed. Haley by far is one of Trump's best nominations. She has been representing the U.S. in a way all Americans can be proud of in an increasingly hostile environment. There's no doubt she's just getting started — and the U.N. is starting to understand that America once again is standing up for what's right.

Katie Pavlich is news editor of Her exclusive column appears on the first and third Fridays of the month.

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