MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan on Sunday discussed a controversial tweet from Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and seemingly defended her comparison of the United States and Israel to terrorist groups.
Omar’s comments drew widespread criticism from members of both parties, but some still take the opportunity to decry actions of the United States when the opportunity arises.
Hasan took time to discuss the topic in a “60-second rant,” saying, “Look, Americans get very upset when our nation is accused of war crimes, but I’m sorry to break this to you, our nation has done some pretty awful things abroad and we have to be able to talk about them.”
“In my opinion we don’t prosecute enough war criminals in this country” pic.twitter.com/o7f4bMbvUg
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) June 14, 2021
Hasan went on to list examples such as events from the Korean War, “bombing of civilians in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia,” and Iraq.
“In my view, we don’t prosecute enough war criminals in this country,” Hasan said.
“This isn’t about saying the United States is as bad as the Taliban – of course it isn’t – it’s about saying war crimes should be condemned and prosecuted regardless of who commits them,” he added.
Hasan seemed to go off on pushback against the teaching of critical race theory in schools by slamming conservative criticism of the racially-charged doctrine.
Hasan said, “I mean, it’s bad enough that we have conservatives today who don’t want the crimes we’ve committed against black and Native Americans taught in our schools, but to have liberals say that our crimes abroad should also be censored and that those who raise them like Omar are apologists for terrorist groups? That is outrageous and that is unforgivable.”
As reported by The Daily Wire, Omar appeared to condemn the actions of the United States and Israel last week, saying that they had committed “unthinkable atrocities.”
“We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity,” Omar wrote on Twitter. “We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban.”
We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity.
We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban.
— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) June 7, 2021
The congresswoman included in the tweet a video of her asking Secretary of State Antony Blinken “where people are supposed to go for justice.”
After members of Congress spoke out against Omar’s comparison, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) discussed the situation in an interview over the weekend, saying, “Congresswoman Omar is a valued member of our caucus.”
“She asked her questions of the secretary of state. Nobody criticized those, about how people will be held accountable if we’re not going to the International Court of Justice. That was a very legitimate question. That was not of concern,” Pelosi said. “Members did become concerned when the tweet that was put out equated the United States with the Taliban and Hamas.”
The Daily Wire noted that when Pelosi was asked if she wanted people to let Omar’s comments go, Pelosi responded, “They can say whatever they want.”
“But what I’m saying is, end of subject. She clarified. We thanked her. End of subject,” Pelosi concluded. “Whatever people go out and say is up to them. But what we — what happened is a reflection of the respect we have for our member when she made her questions at the hearing, but the disagreement that we have to equate the United States of America with Hamas and the Taliban.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) also went on the defense for Omar, saying, “Well, I think, I believe that her comments were absolutely mischaracterized … She was very clearly speaking about the ICC investigations, which name these four actors in two suits. And they name them in context of events that happened in Afghanistan with the United States and the Taliban, and in Palestine with Hamas and the government of Israel.”
“And we know that these very intense news cycles, which, by the way, started, this whole hubbub started with right-wing news outlets taking what she said out of context,” AOC claimed without evidence, per The Daily Wire. “And when we feed into that, it adds legitimacy to a lot of this kind of right-wing vitriol. It absolutely kind of increases that target. And as someone who has experienced that, it’s very difficult to communicate the scale and how dangerous that is.”
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