After Venezuela exchange, the case grows for throwing Ilhan Omar off the House Foreign Affairs Committee
The unfitness of Rep. Ilhan Omar for the House Foreign Affairs Committee has already been brought up based on her persistent anti-Semitism, her strange habit of repeating Russian propaganda, and her apparent abuse of U.S. immigration law. Now a new and very big reason has come up: Her cringe-inducing ignorance of actual foreign affairs.
In a hearing on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Omar got her big moment to show her foreign policy chops, and started in by misstating the actual name of the State Department's grizzled old special envoy for Venezuela, the well-known Elliott Abrams, calling him 'Adams.' Then, sneering and smiling weirdly, she brought up a tangled political controversy Abrams had been involved in, the Iran-Contra scandal, dating from before she was born and cited that as proof Abrams could not be "truthful." After insulting her witness, she then insolently refused to allow Abrams to reply, and Abrams, who comported himself very professionally, accurately called that an attack.
Here's a perfectly curated tweet with video from Scott Johnson of Power Line:
While Rep. Ilhan Omar questioned Special Envoy for Venezuela Elliott Abrams in a House Foreign Affairs hearing, I got the eery feeling that Rep. Omar had no clue what the Iran-Contra Affair actually was. pic.twitter.com/cKDfYeCKeA— Mike (@Doranimated) February 13, 2019
Mr. Adams [sic], in 1991 you pleaded guilty to two counts of withholding information from Congress regarding your involvement in the Iran-Contra affair, for which you were later pardoned by President H. W. Bush. I fail to understand why members of this committee or the American people any testimony that you give today to be truthful.
If she claimed he couldn't be truthful and insisted the whole declaration "was not a question," why was she asking him anything at all? You don't talk to people you don't think are truthful, nobody does. But there she was, carrying on after that attack when she should have departed the scene immediately.
Next up, she brought up the El Salvador wars of 40 years ago, sounding as though this was a place she had just heard about. (Notice she wasn't particularly interested in Venezuela, the topic of the hearing). Here's her amateur-hour "question," as recounted by the Daily Beast:
She quoted Abrams as having said years ago that U.S. policy in El Salvador had been a success. “Do you think the massacre was a fabulous achievement,” she asked.
“That is a ridiculous question,” Abrams retorted. He noted that after the election of Napoleon Duarte as president, every government since has been democratically elected, and he considers that a success.
After that, she slid into Russian propaganda talking points, warning that Venezuela's democrats were going to stage massacres and she wanted to know if he'd be happy about those. Seriously, that's straight from Russian propaganda talking points, derived from its Ukraine war, and Moscow could only be smiling.
Here's Breitbart's story about it:
Rep. Omar went on to suggest that Abrams would “support an armed faction within Venezuela that engages in war crimes, crimes against humanity, or genocide” if he believed it would advance U.S interests, claiming that is what he did in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua.
“I am not going to respond to that question,” a seemingly annoyed Abrams replied when asked if he would support such an armed group.
So after all that ignorant crap about El Salvador, blaming the U.S. for some decades-old civil war crime it had nothing to do with, we finally get to her issue about Venezuela: The horrible danger from ... Venezuela's opposition. Never mind the starvation, never mind the people fleeing, never mind the ruined institutions, never mind the dining out on zoo animals. In Omar's addled mind, the big risk in that country is ... Venezuela's democrats.
Nobody in Venezuela's legitimate government, run by President Juan Guaido, is talking massacre - or even throwing Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro in jail, actually, which shows the extent of Omar's ignorance. The thrust of the talks in Caracas is how to get him out of there, with some Venezuelans saying a comfortable exile would be acceptable just to get him out over the alternative of leaving him in. The whole democracy movement in Venezuela has been an incredibly peaceful one, with gargantuan crowds of people and Venezuelan-led. It's been marked by a focus on urging Venezuela's military to abandon Maduro and join them. And the reason for the uprising is very serious: Millions of Venezuelans are starving, dying of disease, or fleeing for their lives. Armed revolt talk is not just a smear on Venezuela's already abused democrats, in a place where gun ownership is illegal and troops are crying out for weapons, it's not even possible. What Omar was doing was smearing Venezuela's democratic opposition - which has already been jailed, tortured, and beaten (one of the top four opposition leaders, Maria Corina Machado, had her nose broken in the Venezuela assembly by socialist thugs). She was also repeating Russian propaganda points derived from its invasion of eastern Ukraine.
I heard this bizarre exchange and could only conclude that Congress had descended into something out of an old V.S. Naipaul book. A third world doofus of partial education and substandard literacy, enamored of some third world ideology or other, brimming with pride and victimhood, goes into a confusion-and-resentment laced rant against the perceived wicked super-power of America, all the while desperately seeking its benefits (and in her case, power) on the side.
The Daily Beast's Ron Radosh had a superb summary of just why that's a problem:
Omar’s comportment at the hearing, as well as her obvious belief that the United States is an imperialist and reactionary nation that by its very nature abuses human rights, should alone be reason enough to have her removed before she can do real damage.
The case is growing for throwing this unfit person off that committee. There's even a rapidly growing public petition calling for it. She doesn't belong there, and as Radosh notes, the more she opens her mouth, the more she damages the Democrats. She should be thrown off and given her some Play-Doh with which to work her issues out. Not even Democrats can afford this kind of idiocy.