On January 16, CNN reported, an ISIS fighter detonated an explosion that killed four Americans, including two U.S. service members, a defense contractor, and a civilian Department of Defense intelligence expert. The ISIS blast also killed eight civilians and two soldiers with the Syrian Democratic Forces, backed by the United States. The deaths prompted no condemnation of ISIS from freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar, but less than two weeks later her past statements on the Islamic State made news.
In 2015, when ISIS was on a roll and holding territory in Syria and Iraq, Omar lobbied on behalf of “Minnesota men” accused of trying to join the Islamic State. As Fox News reported the nine men faked passports for a plan to travel to Syria and fight for ISIS. They were arrested and Omar, then a state representative, urged an approach of “inclusion and rehabilitation,” and light sentences.
“Incarcerating 20-year-old men for 30 or 40 years is essentially a life sentence,” Omar wrote to the judge. “Society will have no expectations of the to-be 50- or 60-year-old released prisoners; it will view them with distrust and revulsion.” Punitive measures, “not only lack efficacy, they inevitably create an environment in which extremism can flourish, aligning with the presupposition of terrorist recruitment.”
One of the men, Abdirahman Yasin Daud, was on record that “I was going strictly to fight and kill on behalf of the Islamic State.” Daud faced a sentence of 30 years but Omar told the judge, “a long-term prison sentence for one who chose violence to combat direct marginalization is a statement that our justice system misunderstands the guilty. A restorative approach to justice assesses the lure of criminality and addresses it.”
So the ISIS troops, with their black flag and captured tanks, were fighting “direct marginalization,” which implies that they were somehow victims, not aggressors. No mention of ISIS slaughtering of civilians, taking of sex slaves, and executing prisoners of war such as the Jordanian pilot burned alive in a cage. And according to Omar, only the “lure of criminality” was in play here.
This performance recalls the proclamation of POTUS 44, formerly known as Barry Soetoro, that ISIS was only a “JV” or “junior varsity” team, and therefore safely ignored. That’s a tough act to follow but Ilhan Omar pulled it off. Indeed, if the Islamic State ever said or did anything with which she disagreed, it never made the news. The Mogadishu-born Muslim is not on record with sympathy for victims of ISIS atrocities, but she wanted leniency for aspiring ISIS fighters. In Congress Omar has stepped up her game.
She charges that President Trump is blackmailing Lindsey Graham, and she was “pretty sure that there is something happening with him.” Graham has never married and some interpreted Omar’s remarks that Trump knows Graham’s true sexuality and uses this to leverage the formerly critical senator into public support. This did not go over well, even in the establishment media.
Omar also charged that Catholic students from Covington High School were “protesting a women’s right to choose” and “taunting five Black men.” It soon emerged that the black men, from the Black Hebrew Israelites were taunting both the students and Native Americans. Omar took down her tweet but on other fronts she was undeterred.
The socialist Maduro regime in Venezuela has plunged a prosperous nation into abject poverty and starvation. Millions have fled and Maduro attacks the opposition. The United States, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay and Peru support Juan Guaido as interim president of Venezuela. Ilhan Omar sides with Bolivia and Cuba’s Communist dictatorship, the only countries in the region to support Maduro.
“Trump’s efforts to install a far-right opposition will only incite violence and further destabilize the region,” she tweeted. As Becket Adams noted in the Washington Examiner, Omar also “circulated state-produced propaganda in service of a hostile foreign power” and urged an end to economic sanctions that, she wrote, “are inflicting suffering on innocent families.” As Adams noted, “It’s also funny to hear a staunch supporter of the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions movement disparage the idea of imposing sanctions on a truly destructive and despotic government.”
Quite the performance from the freshman representative from Minnesota. To her credit, Rep. Ilhan Omar has illustrated the axis of terrorist regimes and socialist dictatorships, united in their hatred of the United States.
Meanwhile, some ISIS fighters will be returning to nations such as Canada, the United Kingdom, France and the United States. Canada gave $10 million to Omar Khadr, a captured enemy combatant in Afghanistan, so veterans benefits to Islamic State troops is a possibility. If Britain and France don’t roll out the welcome mat, they might look the other way.
It would not have gone well with any American or Canadian who fought with Nazi Germany against the Allies then attempted to return. It’s also worth recalling that more than a few Nazi war criminals gained entry to the United States and received millions of dollars in Social Security payments, even when they were banished from the country.
Whatever the United States decides to with returning ISIS soldiers, Rep. Ilhan Omar will be lobbying for leniency. As she said, these Muslims only “chose violence to combat direct marginalization” and “our justice system misunderstands the guilty.”