icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
13 Feb, 2019 23:33

WATCH Ilhan Omar grill US Venezuela envoy on war crimes of previous US-backed coups

WATCH Ilhan Omar grill US Venezuela envoy on war crimes of previous US-backed coups

Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar was the subject of cheers and jeers as she raked special envoy to Venezuela Elliott Abrams over the coals with questions about his role in Central American war crimes during the 80s.

Abrams, who was infamously charged with multiple felonies concerning his part in the Iran-Contra scandal that nearly tanked Ronald Reagan's presidency, came close to losing his temper at the Democratic representative, who seemed to be enjoying her chance to hold him to account for his past actions during Wednesday's House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Venezuela.

Omar described the El Mozote massacre, in which over 800 civilians were murdered by US-trained troops in El Salvador, and noted that Abrams had once called US policy in the country "a fabulous achievement."

"Yes or no – do you still think so?" she pressed.

Abrams stood fast in his defense, crediting that same policy with turning El Salvador into a democracy, which was "a fabulous achievement," he said. When she subsequently pinned him down with a direct question whether he believed the El Mozote massacre itself to be similarly "fabulous," he dismissed the question as ridiculous before finally shouting "no!" in response.

Also on rt.com House hearing on Venezuela: Military intervention no, regime change yes

"Would you support an armed faction within Venezuela that engages in war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide, if you believe they serve the US interests as you did in Guatemala, El Salvador or Nicaragua?" Omar asked.

"I am not going to respond to that question," Abrams replied, calling her line of questioning a personal attack.

Omar's performance was soon trending on social media, with the congresswoman polarizing the country for the second time in a week. While critics of the US' never-ending regime-change operations cheered her on, conservatives looked askance at the Somalian immigrant's accent and her mispronunciations of several key words central to her questioning – including "Communist" and "contra." Her addressing of Abrams as "Mr. Adams" – whether intentional or not – also rubbed some people the wrong way.

…though fans pointed out that winning an election in one's second language was no mean feat.

Another critic insinuated that Omar's grilling of Abrams was motivated by anti-Semitism, bringing up accusations against the congresswoman from earlier this week.

…and Abrams' fellow neocons leaped to his defense.

But, it was pointed out, Abrams did plead guilty...

Lest anyone think Omar was being too harsh – the Contra revolution in Nicaragua was just one war, after all – another user took the time to write up a quick summary of Abrams' role in the Guatemalan civil war, as well.