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Ilhan Omar Refuses To Vote “Yes’ on Anti-Genocide Bill, Releases Statement Follows Massive Backlash

Opinion| Kirsters Baish| Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar has already been under fire in recent weeks for her greenlighting of the Turkish mass slaughter of the Kurds. Now, her name is back in news headlines after turning the other cheek when it came down to the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians.

“The House voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to formally recognize the Armenian genocide and denounce it as a matter of American foreign policy, a symbolic vindication for the Armenian diaspora made possible by a new torrent of bipartisan furor at Turkey,” reported the New York Times.

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Omar, already under fire for voting against imposing sanctions on Turkey, voted “present” for Tuesday’s vote, despite the 1915 genocide having led to the murder of an estimated 1.5 million men, women and children at the hands of Turkey’s regional and historic predecessor, the Ottoman Empire.

Because the empire is fundamental to Turkey’s history, the Islamic nation has long “denied that the atrocities [commited by it] amounted to genocide,” according to the Times.

That Omar voted “present” for Tuesday’s vote suggests that her loyalty to her close ally, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, outweighs any loyalty she maintains to justice

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In defending her widely panned decision, the congresswoman released a statement accusing her congressional peers of trying to use the genocide of 1.5 million people as a “cudgel” against Turkey, and suggesting that she’d only condemn Turkey’s genocidal actions if Congress first condemned the United States.

“I believe accountability for human rights violations — especially ethnic cleansing and genocide — is paramount,” Omar said. “But accountability and recognition of genocide should not be used as a cudgel in a political fight. It should be done based on academic consensus outside the push and pull of geopolitics.

A true acknowledgment of historical crimes against humanity must include both the heinous genocide soft he 20th century, along with earlier mass slaughters like the transatlantic slave trade and Native American genocide, which took the lives of hundreds of millions of indigenous people in this country.

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For this reason, I voted ‘present’ in final passage.”

Things aren’t looking good for Omar’s reputation.

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