Rep. Ilhan Omar’s New Militarism-Cheering Election Opponent

Just like you should not judge a book by its cover, you should not judge a political candidate by his religion, sex, or place of birth. That is a lesson from Dalia al-Aqidi’s Thursday video announcing her campaign as a Republican in opposition to United States House of Representatives member Ilhan Omar (D-MN).

While al-Aqidi points to the two candidates’ shared religion, sex, and overseas births in the video, she also makes clear that the two candidates have very different views on foreign policy — particularly concerning the Iraq War and the assassination of Iran General Qassim Suleimani.

Omar has strongly criticized the Iraq War. For example, in March of 2019, she posted at Twitter her denunciation of the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the US as “leaving a trail of destruction and lives lost,” while calling for holding accountable the people who “repeatedly lied” in the run-up to the war.

Omar also has expressed harsh criticisms of both the US government’s recent assassination of Iran General Qassim Suliemani, upon an order by President Donald Trump, and the US military actions that followed. Omar, in a January 5 press release announcing her sponsorship, along with Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), of a resolution purposed to prevent a US war against Iran, stated the following:

‪Let’s not mince words: the assassination of Qasem Soleimani was an act of war undertaken without Congressional authorization, in violation of the Constitution of the United States of America. Following the assassination, thousands of additional troops were sent to the Middle East in one of the largest rapid deployments seen in decades. This follows years of saber-rattling and threats of war against Iran by President Trump and his accomplices. We in Congress must exercise our Constitutional duty—and do everything in our power to stop another disastrous war.

The message from al-Aqidi regarding the Iraq War and the assassination of Suliemani is just about the opposite. She declares in her campaign announcement video that the US government “had the courage to stand up to tyrants” while the images of soldiers riding in a tank and a statue of Iraq President Saddam Hussein being pulled down during the Iraq War are on display. Then, later in the video, al-Aqidi praises Trump’s ordering of the killing of Suliemani and disparages Omar’s criticism of the killing.

In the video, al-Aqidi makes one claim that will likely ring true for many people who disagree with her militarist perspective. She states that she and Omar “might seem nearly alike — both Muslims, both women, both refugees — but we couldn’t be further apart.”

Reprinted with permission from the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.

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