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GOP lawmakers outraged that Rep. Ilhan Omar acknowledged US has committed atrocities

GOP lawmakers attacking Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar had no objection to Donald Trump saying, ‘You think our country’s so innocent?’

By Josh Israel - June 08, 2021
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Ilhan Omar
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., the first Somali-American elected to Congress who is a frequent target of President Donald Trump, speaks as she introduces the Zero Waste Act that creates a federal grant program to help local governments invest in waste reduction initiatives, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, July 25, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Congressional Republicans are attacking Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) over comments acknowledging that the United States is among other countries in having a history of some atrocious actions. But they expressed no such outrage when Donald Trump made a similar comment a few years ago.

On Monday, Omar shared a video of her questioning of Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on the fiscal year 2022 budget for the State Department and tweeted, “We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity. We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban.”

Referring to recent violence in Israel, Palestine, and Afghanistan, the lack of domestic courts willing or able to prosecute alleged crimes involved there, and the United States’ current opposition to any investigation by the International Criminal Court, Omar asked Blinken, “Where do we think the victims of these supposed crimes can go for justice?”

“@Ilhan was a refugee from Somalia and America welcomed her,” Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas tweeted in response on Tuesday. “If she really believes America is a hateful country on par with the Taliban and Hamas, she’s welcome to leave.”

“#USA is a generous nation that gave over $490M in aid to her homeland Somalia last year,” wrote New York Rep. Nicole Malliotakis. “How dare she question our humanity & compare US to terrorist organizations.”

“America is not a terrorist organization. Full stop,” said South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace. “It is absolutely befuddling that Rep. @IlhanMN continues her vicious, hateful assault on America, likening our country to terrorists.”

“Frankly I’m surprised she even admitted that Hamas and Taliban are bad. Baby steps, people, baby steps. Maybe one day she’ll even believe America is good. Maybe,” wrote Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw.

“This is absolutely disgusting from a Member of Congress. I lost two legs and a finger defending the USA and fighting the radical Islamic terrorists that @Ilhan Omar is now defending,” added Florida Rep. Brian Mast. “She is completely unfit to serve our country.”

Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs also suggested that Omar’s comments disqualified her from serving in public office. “Grouping the U.S. & Israel with the actions of Hamas & the Taliban is disgusting,” he wrote. “@Ilhan does not deserve to represent America with these vile & completely false comparisons.”

And Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeted, “@IlhanMN our American troops are NOT guilty of committing ‘unthinkable atrocities’ and are NOTHING like the Taliban! You clearly hate our country and have no respect for our freedoms. You’re a supporter of terrorists. America deserves justice for you.”

Omar’s inclusion of the United States among countries that have committed human rights violations is not wrong: The United States has a history of human rights violations, including legal slavery, the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, and war crimes in multiple contexts, including No Gun Ri, Korea; My Lai, Vietnam; Haditha and Abu Ghraib, Iraq; and Azizabad, Afghanistan.

In 1988, Republican President Ronald Reagan signed into law the Civil Liberties Act, which offered a national apology to the 100,000 American citizens held in internment camps during World War II and gave them $20,000 each in reparations.

While GOP lawmakers were quick to denounce Omar, every one of them continues to support Donald Trump, even after he made a similar assessment about the nation.

Asked in 2017 why he respects Russian President Vladimir Putin despite Putin being a “killer,” Trump responded: “There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?”

In December 2015, Trump made similar comments, responding to a question about Putin’s allegedly ordering journalists and political opponents killed posed by MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, “He’s running his country and at least he’s a leader, unlike what we have in this country. I think our country does plenty of killing also, Joe, so you know. There’s a lot of stupidity going on in the world right now, a lot of killing, a lot of stupidity.”

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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