Rep. Ilhan Abdullahi Omar (D-Minn) on Saturday erupted in a flurry of tweets that easily threatened President Donald Trump’s record on his most productive day, and called on President-elect Joe Biden to essentially take down every last achievement of his predecessor in the Middle East.
Omar retweeted a Politico story from last Wednesday, about bipartisan Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Rand Paul (R-KY) who want to block Trump’s weapons sale to the United Arab Emirates because such a sale could weaken Israel.
Trump proposed a staggering $23 billion in arms sales to the UAE, which the administration admitted was linked to the deal. (I introduced resolutions this week to ban these sales.) https://t.co/NW1dsGaqzE
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) November 20, 2020
Sen. Paul is a chronic separatist, so it would be his default inclination to block the $23 billion arms deal. Sen. Murphy objects to the sale on the grounds that “a sale this large and this consequential should not happen in the waning days of a lame-duck presidency.” So, ostensibly, he would approve the same sale under the Biden administration.
Sen. Menendez was the one who suggested the sale could weaken Israel and argued that “circumventing deliberative processes for considering a massive infusion of weapons to a country in a volatile region with multiple ongoing conflicts is downright irresponsible.”
Rep. Omar plans to introduce her own measure in the House, but on the grounds of Abu Dhabi’s human rights record.
As Politico confirmed, there’s little chance the sale won’t go through. The president is certain to veto any objection to it, and there aren’t enough senators for a two-thirds majority to overrun a veto, so, come December 10, the UAE will get its approved sale. It would take years to fulfill it, but it’s in the bag.
For Omar, this was the start of a very busy day on her smartphone, which I cite here so we’ll get a good view of what’s to be expected in the next two years in the House.
She started with a kind of presidential tone (Jimmy Carter comes to mind): “We can create an America that means what it says when we claim to stand for human rights and democracy.
– An end to arms sales to dictators.
– An end to collective punishment of innocent civilians.
– And renewed support for multilateralism and accountability.”
To which at least one follower responded unfairly: “Call me crazy, but as a rule, I don’t trust anyone who married their brother.”
And another cut to the chase, in jest, I’m sure: “End of all aid to Israel! Till they do what they are told.”
At which point the Congresswoman from Somalia glided into her familiar shtick: “This applies to the occupation as well. We must reinsert the call for a two-state solution with full human rights and self-determination for both Israelis and Palestinians back into the public debate with urgency.”
To which one follower replied: “Tell Palestinians to stop lobbing rockets and maybe it could work.”
And another suggested: “Any thoughts on the Turkish occupation of Cyprus and their oppression of the Kurds, Ms. Omar?”
Omar tweeted: “We can hold Iran accountable for its human rights violations while also holding Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and the UAE accountable.”
The thing is, though, it’s not so much Iran’s record on human rights that motivates more than half the Middle East to seek the purchase of state-of-the-art US military equipment, it’s the part about Iran exporting terrorism and developing nuclear weapons.
Omar urged: “President Biden has a tremendous opportunity to reverse this. Instead of siding with one group of dictators over another, we should position ourselves at an equal distance from both.”
You’ll note that for the Congresswoman from Minnesota there are only dictators out there, not even one singular country that respects the rule of law and holds parliamentary elections – some say too many parliamentary elections. One can only surmise that you can get the girl out of Somalia but man, it’s hard to get Somalia out of the girl.
She wailed about President Trump’s rather admirable record in the Middle East: “He recently inked so-called “peace deals” between the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Sudan, and Israel. The only problem? They weren’t peace deals. They’re arms sales to human rights abusers, designed to empower the Gulf States and increase the risk of war with Iran.”
“Meanwhile, he cozied up to Saudi Arabia, a regime responsible for some of the worst human rights atrocities of our young century—including routing murder of human rights advocates and war crimes in Yemen,” she tweeted.
She added: “We must ask: What do these agreements mean to the millions of Palestinians who continue to live under Israeli military occupation?” and “Rather than make statehood or self-determination more likely, they have normalized the occupation and made real peace for Israelis and Palestinians increasingly unlikely.”
Finally, Omar declared regarding the Democratic presidential win (but ignored key losses in districts where voters who chose Biden nevertheless preferred the Republican candidate for Congress and even sent home several Democrats – because of the leftist ideology the party has been unable to shed): “We did that this election and we won. We should be proud of that. Let’s continue to organize and use our mandate to pursue the America we all deserve. Onward.”
Onward indeed. If ever there were a need for a Democrat in the White House to purge his leftwing rank, it’s today. One can only hope that sane centrists such as Rahm Emanuel – whom the Squad absolutely abhors – would succeed in pushing the party to the right. The alternative would be a one-term presidency.