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Pelosi rebuke hits both Trump and Omar for politicizing ‘sacred ground’ of 9/11
Though she’s only been in Congress for little more than four months, Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar has made a name for herself as one of the most controversial Democrats of the Trump era — and she once again sparked controversy earlier this month with a dismissive comment about the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Omar’s statement, wherein she diminished the attacks to merely “some people did something,” drew a sharp response from President Donald Trump — but though Nancy Pelosi chastised the president for supposedly politicizing what she called the “sacred” 9/11 attacks, the House speaker’s response can rightly be viewed as having equally damning application to the firebrand within her party’s own ranks.
Fanning the flames
Pelosi broke the widely understood, yet unwritten rule that American politics “stops at the water’s edge” by launching a rhetorical attack against the president on social media while visiting with U.S. troops and foreign officials in Stuttgart, Germany over the weekend.
“The memory of 9/11 is sacred ground, and any discussion of it must be done with reverence,” Pelosi tweeted. “The President shouldn’t use the painful images of 9/11 for a political attack.”
Her remarks came in response to the firestorm that began when Rep. Omar told the audience at a fundraising event for the Council on American-Islamic Affairs (CAIR) in Los Angeles that the group’s founders had admirably taken action to mobilize after 9/11, “because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”
In response, President Trump posted to Twitter — and pinned to the top of his page — a video that featured the remarkably tone-deaf comment from Omar about the attacks interspersed with clips of the horrifying tragedy and terror that rocked the United States on that fateful and historic day in 2001.
The tweet stated simply, but boldly, “WE WILL NEVER FORGET!”
WE WILL NEVER FORGET! pic.twitter.com/VxrGFRFeJM
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2019
Pelosi’s response came the next day.
“As we visit our troops in Stuttgart to thank them and be briefed by them, we honor our first responsibility as leaders to protect and defend the American people,” Pelosi wrote on Twitter. “It is wrong for the President, as Commander-in-Chief, to fan the flames to make anyone less safe.”
Unsurprisingly, it didn’t take long for the media to latch onto Pelosi’s rebuke of the president’s response — or for congressional progressives likd Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) to come swiftly to Omar’s defense. President Trump was accused of fanning the flames of hatred and even attempting to incite violence against the outspoken freshman, who has recently faced death threats.
But it’s worth noting that Pelosi’s sharp critique against the president over his reference to 9/11 is just as applicable to Omar — especially the reminder that the memory of the 9/11 attacks is “sacred ground” upon which everyone should tread lightly.
That is something that Omar failed miserably at with her callously insensitive remark that attempted to transform the horror of the attack into a lament about discrimination against Muslim-Americans, distracting attention from the wanton murder of thousands of Americans by radical Islamic extremists.
Omar’s use of the 9/11 terror attacks to make a political attack over anti-Muslim discrimination violated the “sacred ground” of that “painful” memory, and her “discussion” of that terrible event was most certainly not done “with reverence” for the thousands of lives lost that day, or tens of thousands of lives permanently changed thereafter.
The significance of the 9/11 terrorist attacks is indeed considered sacred to millions of Americans, and virtually everyone who was alive that fateful day will indeed “never forget” the horrific death and destruction that changed the course of history.
If Pelosi wants to criticize the president for politicizing that consequential day, she needs to specifically and directly shift her sights toward the individual who prompted Trump’s critical response in the first place: Rep. Ilhan Omar.
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