OPINION | This article contains political commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
The House of Representatives held a vote Tuesday on a resolution officially recognizing the Armenian genocide.
Speaking on the House floor in support of H.Res.296, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel D-N.Y., said the resolution “is an important measure to set the record straight on the atrocities suffered by the Armenian people at the hands of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century.”
For those who might not be too familiar with the Armenian genocide, it refers to the period between 1915 and 1923 when the Ottoman Empire systematically exterminated approximately 1.5 million Armenians, mostly their own citizens.
The House resolution passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. Only a small number of representatives failed to vote in favor:
Did you catch that last name? That’s right, esteemed progressive and human rights crusader Ilhan Omar merely voted “present.”
Her office issued a statement explaining her vote:
Oh. So a resolution specifically recognizing one of the worst genocides of the 20th century isn’t good enough because it doesn’t acknowledge ALL historic genocides. That’s some serious whataboutism.
Is anyone else reminded of that time the House Democrats were supposed to release a resolution condemning Omar’s anti-semitic remarks, but they basically watered it down into a condemnation of all forms of hate that didn’t even mention Omar? It sounds like she wanted something similar here.
Seriously, I think Omar just couldn’t stomach voting for a resolution recognizing the wrongdoing of a Muslim-majority regime. She also voted on Tuesday against sanctioning Turkey for its recent incursion against the Kurds. Way to fight for human rights, Omar.
Actually, Omar’s statement sounds eerily like one from Turkey’s President Erdogan, who said earlier this year that any country accusing Turkey (or its predecessor the Ottoman Empire) of committing a genocide should take a look at their own “bloody past.”
It’s never a good sign when American politicians start echoing foreign dictators.