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Ilhan Omar rocketed to notoriety a few years back by warning that some American officials have dual loyalties. As it turns out, she was one of them.
Back in 2019, the winsome and patriotic congresswoman had the courage to declare, “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says that it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.” She was talking about American officials who supposedly had loyalty to both the U.S. and Israel, but on Sunday, a video appeared on X showing Omar telling a Somali crowd that they all were “Somalis first, Muslims second.” Nothing about being Americans. And that was the least jarring and offensive part of the speech.
We were profoundly surprised, even shocked on discovering the remarks made by Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D) of Minnesota in a recent public forum, widely circulated on most social media platforms and attached below for your reference.
The language she employed was regrettably… pic.twitter.com/7Ag9ZafTKY
— Ambassador Rhoda J Elmi (@AmbRhodaJElmi) January 28, 2024
Omar was speaking in Somali, and the translation was made by someone who clearly opposes her; however, in response to the controversy that her statements sparked, she didn’t take issue with the accuracy of the translation, but only with its interpretation. To a certain extent, Omar is right about this. She is being criticized for saying, “We Somalis must have the confidence in ourselves that we call the shots in the U.S. The U.S. government will only do what Somalians in the U.S. tell them to do. They will do what we want and nothing else.”
That sounds terrible, but an Omar defender on X contended that it was innocuous: “Omar says she is representing the interests of Somalis in the United States, which is a legitimate task, as a Congresswoman in any democratic system.” Commenting approvingly on that post, Omar herself added: “It’s not only slanted but completely off, but I wouldn’t expect more from these propagandists.”
All right. Certainly, a representative should stand for the interests of his or her constituents. Everyone acknowledges that. But Omar was speaking in Minneapolis and yet says nothing, at least in the available video, about fighting for her constituents’ interests in the United States. Likewise, she says nothing, as you’d expect, about fighting for the interests of the U.S. itself. Instead, she says that the U.S. government “must follow our orders and that is how we will safeguard the interest of Somalia… Sleep in comfort, knowing I am here to protect the interests of Somalia from inside the U.S. system.”
The interests of Somalia, as Omar characterized them, involved winning back what she contended was Somali territory from the breakaway province of Somaliland, as well as from Djibouti, Kenya, and Ethiopia. This led Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene (R-Ga.) to declare that “terrorist sympathizer Ilhan Omar… flaunts using her position as congresswoman to protect Somalia’s border while our border is invaded by MILLIONS of illegals who are a danger to America.”
Good point. Omar’s speech also landed her in hot water with Ambassador Rhoda J. Elmi, the deputy minister of foreign affairs for the Republic of Somaliland. Elmi characterized as “troubling” Omar’s efforts in the speech to “revive the once-violent and dangerous ideology of Greater Somalia or Somali Weyn, which caused so much death, destruction and conflict in the Horn of Africa.” This is the idea that Somalia is the rightful owner of all that territory Omar claims in the video. Elmi also criticized Omar’s “use of ethno-racist rhetoric” and noted that this was “particularly bewildering for those who recall similar racist attacks she endured not long ago, of being ‘not American enough.’”
In the speech, Omar said of herself: “The woman you sent to Congress is working day and night to protect your interest. She knows your plight and that of Somalia. I am as concerned about Somalia as you guys are. Together we will protect the interests of Somalia.”
That’s swell, but members of the U.S. House of Representatives take this oath: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”
Do you see anything in there about protecting the interests of a foreign country? Neither do I. Ilhan Omar has the dual loyalties that she has claimed supporters of Israel have. In the wake of the release of this speech, many are calling for her to be expelled from the House à la George Santos, and she should be. But given the left’s tendency to circle the wagons and defend its own no matter what, that is about as likely as Old Joe Biden uttering a coherent sentence.