Be a skeptic


Recently, a 2017 tweet from Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., surfaced in which she attacked the men who helped defend from starvation and civil war the country she abandoned in the early 1990s. In her tweet, Omar stated “American forces” killed “thousands of Somalis” during the Battle of Mogadishu in October 1993.

As the commanding officer of USS Rushmore (LSD 47), which provided much-needed aid that saved thousands of Somali lives during Operation Restore Hope and subsequently as a member of the Joint Special Operations Command, I have firsthand knowledge of her blatantly false and distorted allegations – I was there and “thousands of Somalis” were not killed.

The American soldiers Omar attacked in her tweet were not sent to Somalia for fame or fortune. Nor were they there because of a deep desire to visit the God-forsaken nation of Somalia. They were deployed to support coalition peacekeepers desperate to rescue the country from starvation and the ravages of an ongoing bloody civil war. Nineteen young men selflessly gave their lives defending her country – they deserve to be lauded by her for their service, not attacked for it.

I am indeed thankful Rep. Omar and her family and countless others were able to escape while American and coalition forces fought to protect those left behind, but I cannot fathom her outright distortion of the facts and ungrateful attitude toward the very nation that took her in as a refugee. Rep. Omar enjoys the fruits of American combat deaths, yet she refuses to acknowledge the ultimate sacrifice that was made on her behalf, either as a Somali or an American.

Unfortunately, this is not the first case of manipulation of the “facts” to fit a certain narrative by her and others (on both the right and left). The citizens of the valley will be constantly bombarded with “facts” as we ramp up for the next election cycle. Be a skeptic.

James R. Poplar III, Quicksburg