Ilhan Omar challenges establishment politics

Ilhan Omar, the first Somali-American elected to Congress.

Stephen Lendman
THOUGH it is too early to judge her after barely over two months in Congress, her forthright outspokenness is encouraging. She supported what demanded rejection – HR 676, the NATO Support Act, banning use of federal funds for withdrawal, requiring the US to remain a member in good standing, prohibiting withdrawal from the alliance, a killing machine used by Washington to rape and destroy nations.
Ilhan Abdullahi Omar (born October 4, 1981) is a Somali-American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Minnesota’s 5th congressional district since 2019. The district includes all of Minneapolis and some of its suburbs.
Omar attended Edison High School, and volunteered there as a student organizer.[16] She graduated from North Dakota State University with a bachelor’s degrees in political science and international studies in 2011.
Omar was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2016 on the Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party line, making her the first Somali American elected to legislative office in the United States. She was also the first naturalized citizen from Africa and first Somali-American elected to the United States Congress. Along with Rashida Tlaib, she was one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress and the first minority woman to serve as a U.S. representative from Minnesota.
A member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Omar has advocated for a living wage, affordable housing and healthcare, student loan debt forgiveness, the protection of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and the abolition of ICE. She has strongly opposed the immigration policies of the Trump administration, including the Trump travel ban. Omar has also been outspoken on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, criticizingIsrael’s settlement policy and military campaigns in the occupied Palestinian territories, as well as pro-Israel lobbies such as AIPAC.
She backed HJ Res. 30, opposing executive actions with regard to (illegal) sanctions on Russia. The Security Council alone may legally impose them on nations, not individual states against others.
Along with other House members, she condemned Trump regime efforts to undermine Puerto Rico’s recovery from devastation caused by Hurricane Maria, striking the island in September 2017.
She supported HR 790 – the Federal Civilian Workforce Pay Raise Fairness Act of 2019, calling for a 2.6% increase for federal employees.
US special forces from Yemen
She co-sponsored HJ Res. 37, calling for removal of US (special) forces from Yemen within 30 days of enactment of the legislation.
She co-sponsored HJ Res. 46 – opposing Trump’s Feb.15, 2019-declared national emergency along the US/Mexico border when none exists. The measure calls for terminating it.
In a letter to Mike Pompeo, she and other signatories “express(ed) deep concern about credible reports that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have transferred US-origin military equipment and weapons to al-Qaeda-linked terrorist groups in Yemen in direct violation of existing arms agreements with the US” – backed by Trump regime hardliners.
She supported HR 183, condemning anti-Semitism, bigotry, and anti-Muslim discrimination – a watered-down measure accomplishing nothing.
Her website bio explained she’s a Somalia national. Her family fled the country (targeted by the US for decades) when she was age-eight.
They lived in a Kenya refugee camp for four years before emigrating to the US, settling in a Minneapolis suburb.
Omar’s interest in politics began at age-14. In high school, she was an “organizer” and “coalition builder,” at the University of Minnesota, a “community educator” involved in “progressive activis(m).”
She supports issues relating to “support for working families, educational access, environmental protection, and racial equity.”
She’s one of two Muslim women in the House (along with Rashida Tlaib), the first two ever, the first Somali/American congresswoman.
In 2016, Omar was the first female Muslim legislator in the US, serving as a Minnesota state representative.Her website bio calls her “an accomplished legislator, policy analyst, community organizer, non-profit leader, public speaker, board member, youth mentor, and an award-winning human rights advocate.”
As a Minnesota state legislator, she served on committees relating to civil law, higher education, as well as state policy and finance.
She chaired the state’s Young Women’s Initiative, along with serving as Policy, Women Organizing Women director, Child Nutrition Outreach Coordinator, and Community Nutrition Educator at the University of Minnesota.
She’s a former Minnesota Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) advisory board member, a former Minnesota NAACP vice president, a Human Rights & Women’s Advocate member, a Legal Rights Center board member, along with other community activities.
She opposes Trump’s ban on Muslims from the wrong countries. A recipient of numerous awards for public service, she supports world peace, equity and justice.
What’s more important than that, her website endorses “peace & prosperity,” saying: “We must end the state of continuous war, as these wars have made us less safe…(W)e are currently in the midst of an extreme global migration crisis.”
“Meanwhile at home, there have been increasingly cuts to spending on healthcare, infrastructure, education, and housing.”
“We must scale back US military activities, and reinvest our expansive military budget back into our communities…(in) healthcare, education, housing, jobs, clean energy, and infrastructure.”
“We are currently engaged in a number of wars that have no end in sight—Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia.”
She omitted US involvement in Israeli wars on Palestinians and neighboring countries, along with intermittent Ukraine war on Donbass.
US “wars have destabilized regions, created massive humanitarian crises, and continue to hurt our image across the world. We must end these wars.”
She called for “repeal(ing) harmful sanctions…oppos(ing) all US intervention(s) into” other countries. She tweeted the following on Venezuela:
“A US backed coup in (the country) is not a solution to the dire issues they face. Trump’s efforts to install a far right opposition will only incite violence and further destabilize the region. We must support (efforts) to facilitate a peaceful dialogue.”
She opposes jobs-destroying, anti-consumer, anti-environmental trade deals, supporting programs for workers displaced by NAFTA and similar deals.
She outspokenly backs Palestinian rights, criticizing Israeli apartheid viciousness, falsely called anti-Semitic for being on the right side of this issue.
“I will use my voice in Congress and work with communities on the ground to center the ultimate goal of (Palestinian) self-determination and peace,” she said.
She supports Palestinians “demanding an end to the occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and end the siege of Gaza…oppos(ing) the killing of civilians in Gaza and the expansion of settlements into the West Bank” and East Jerusalem.
Omar and scant few others are voices in the wilderness among House and Senate members.
The vast majority support dirty business as usual, opposing what she backs and promotes.
The power of AIPAC and other big money already targeted her for elimination, sure to challenge her in 2020 and future elections if she retains her seat next November. That’s how the dirty system works.
Note: Omar was quoted accusing Obama of “murder,” adding he hid behind a “pretty face and the smile.” He stood for the status quo, not real “hope and change.”
“We don’t want anybody to get away with murder because they are polished. We want to recognize the actual policies that are behind the pretty face and the smile.”
[Global Research]

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