On the Fourth of July in the year 2017, North Korea successfully tested a missile capable of reaching Alaska, posing a serious and unexpected threat to the United States — and apparently disrupting U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley's holiday plans.
Haley would tweet again a couple of hours later, noting that North Korea's new capability to bomb other continents has implications besides more meetings.
But the ambassador's initial “#ThanksNorthKorea” complaint about Independence Day meetings racked up more than 11,000 replies on Twitter, and there wasn't much sympathy for Haley.
Most comments broke down along the lines of “do your job!” and “other people are doing harder jobs today.”
“Did you think being the United States ambassador to the United Nations was a 9-5 job with holidays off?” wrote one self-described “political activist” (who boasts in his Twitter bio that he's been
Meanwhile, BuzzFeed's Jason Leopold offered Haley a link to an ABC News explainer of her job description — “in the event you are unaware of what it entails.”
We'll save you the trouble of reading it yourself. The former South Carolina governor, who had no foreign policy experience before President Trump appointed her, is paid to advocate for American goals at the United Nations, to its nearly 200 member nations, especially in times of crisis.
And this is a crisis, according to the experts. They say North Korea had not been expected to deliver a weapon with intercontinental range so soon, and will likely manage to eventually attach a nuclear warhead to one of them. According to a former acting CIA director, any military response to Pyongyang would risk a catastrophic war.
Haley's spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment about her tweet.
The ambassador did have her defenders on Twitter, though. One appreciated her “lighthearted” take on the issue.
But such sentiments were drowned out by unending comparisons to other people who had to work on the Fourth, too.
“I just saw an ambulance go down my street,” wrote Jim Hollifield. “Doubt they'd be all, 'Thanks, stroke patient,' or whatever situation they're facing on the 4th.”
“I spent July 4th 2003 on walking patrol in Tikrit, Iraq you got it easy,” wrote one member of the #VetsAgainstTrump brigade. “Might want to think before you tweet.”
Again, the condemnation was not universal. Some noted that Haley's husband is in the National Guard, so the ambassador is likely familiar with the strictures of a military schedule.
But it made little difference. The digs kept coming, with one woman telling the ambassador about her husband in the U.S. Army and his four tours in Afghanistan, holidays and anniversaries notwithstanding. “Stop whining,” she wrote.
Inevitably, all this talk of soldiers circled back to the original theme of the holiday.
Actually, the Fourth of July does not mark any particular battle. On that day in 1776, the members of the Continental Congress gathered in a room and discussed a long list of things: the procurement of flint, the appointment of bureaucrats, the deployment of militias.
At some point in the agenda, they also adopted the Declaration of Independence.
In other words, it was a day of meetings.