Everyone knows that The Squad in the House of Representatives is so far to the Left as to make Stalin look like a John Bircher, but would they go so far as to cheerlead for a former KGB man’s war of aggression? It looks as if the answer is yes.
“The Democrats,” Stephen Kruiser observed on Feb. 21, “were lurching leftward long before the arrival of AOC and her gang. What they’ve done though is help drag the party so far to the lunatic fringe left that whatever passes for center with them these days is probably somewhere in Cuba.” Or, say, Moscow. Putin, after all, has called the fall of the Soviet Union a “tragedy” for “most citizens,” and said it was “the greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century.”
In October 2020, Putin praised the Democrat Party for being “traditionally closer to the so-called liberal values, closer to Social Democratic ideas, if compared to Europe. And it was from the Social Democratic environment that the Communist Party evolved.” He went on to reveal: “I still like many of these left-wing values. Equality and fraternity. What is bad about them? In fact, they are akin to Christian values. Yes, they are difficult to implement, but they are very attractive, nevertheless.”
What’s for a good Squad member not to like in all that, except maybe the reference to detested “Christian values”? And so the New York Postreported Saturday that “comrades in ‘The Squad’ have bent over backwards in the House of Representatives to defend Vladimir Putin, voting against sanctions on Russian oil and parroting Kremlin talking points.”
For at least one of the far-Left Squad members, the winsome and patriotic Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Mogadishu), this may represent a hard-headed business decision: Omar “has family with business interests in Russia and its oil industry. Omar’s father, Nur Omar Mohamed, was a colonel in the Somali army during the 1970s and 1980s under the Soviet-backed regime of dictator Siad Barre. During that time he received a military education in the Soviet Union, according to an obituary.”
That’s not all. “Omar’s brother-in-law, Mohamed Keynan, served as a government spokesman and then later as chief of staff to former Somalian Prime Minister Hassan Khaire. Khaire is known in the West for all but giving his country’s oil reserves to Putin, according to news reports.” Well, then, why not Ukraine?
To be sure, Ilhan Omar did condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but still came out against sanctions, explaining: “I don’t support broad based sanctions on any country. They are economic warfare and we should all oppose them like we oppose military actions. Also, as humans who are interconnected to other humans globally, we will directly or indirectly be impacted by it.” Well, sure, especially those of us who have family members involved with Russia’s oil industry. She and Rep. Cori Bush (D-Race-Baiting) were the only two Democrats in the House who voted against sanctions on Russian oil.
But Omar is not alone among Squad members in wanting to go easy on Putin. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Ditzville) tweeted and then deleted a call to “avoid sanctions” because they would “hurt the Ukrainian people.” The Post pointed out that this stance “echoed Russia’s own propaganda network, RT which blared in February that ‘Anti-Russia sanctions are threat to Ukraine too.’”
But the Squad’s concern about sanctions hurting regular working people is selective and inconsistent. The Post notes that “the concern for sanctions on ordinary civilians does not extend to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel — which all Squad members either openly support or have expressed sympathy toward.”
Of course, they have. The Squad’s line may come from a higher power: “All four women are closely aligned to the Democratic Socialists of America, which has stood steadfastly with Russia during the conflict and blamed the war on US Imperialism. None have moved to distance themselves from the organization’s stance.”
Why should they? They know that the establishment media will back them up whatever they do, and Old Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi are afraid to cross them. Ultimately, their self-serving opposition to tough measures against Russia may actually serve a good purpose in forcing the Democrat leadership to tamp down some of the war hysteria that is running so high these days. This could be the most valuable service for Americans that the Squad ever performs, and it’s of course no surprise that it would be unintentional.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 23 books including many bestsellers, such as The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), The Truth About Muhammad and The History of Jihad. His latest book is The Critical Qur’an. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.