'Black Hawk Down' Veterans Slam Ilhan Omar over Comments: 'We Were There To Help Her People'


Veterans of the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu reacted strongly to Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota claiming they were responsible for deaths of “thousands” of people from her native Somalia, while serving on a United Nations peace-keeping mission.

“Danny McKnight, who was the Ranger colonel who commanded U.S. troops, and Kyle Lamb, who was a Delta Force operator, said they were in Somalia in part to protect the Majerteen, Omar’s tribe, from the ruthless warlord Mohammed Farah Aidid and his powerful Habar Gidir clan,” the Washington Examiner reported.

In a recently resurfaced 2017 tweet, Omar, then a Minnesota state legislator, wrote, “In his selective memory, he forgets to also mention the thousands of Somalis killed by the American forces that day! #NotTodaySatan.”

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The tweet was in response to another user charging that then-Democratic Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota was wrong when he wrote Somalia had just experienced its worst terror attack when Islamic terrorists killed 230 people.

Rather, the anonymous user wrote the worst attack was 24 years before during the Battle of Mogadishu, when 19 U.S. military were killed and 73 wounded.

This fight in October 1993 was the subject, in part, of the 2001 film “Black Hawk Down.”

The Twitter user explained earlier this week he meant “the worst in the sense it was US troops on a humanitarian mission. Any decent American citizen would agree with my sentiment,” The Daily Mail reported.

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On the day of the original tweet in 2017, Ron Harris, a Democratic National Committee leader, responded, “‘All lives matter,’ even though 230 is more than 10 times 19.”

It was to that tweet Omar replied, claiming Americans were responsible for the deaths of “thousands” of Somalis.

Fox News reported, though the number of deaths is uncertain, “Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War” author Mark Bowden estimated roughly 500 Somalis died in the Battle of Mogadishu, while the Rand Corporation put the number at 300 civilian deaths. The highest estimates are approximately 1,000.

Omar’s family immigrated to the U.S. during this time frame when she was 12, from a refugee camp in Kenya, where they had fled four years before to escape the violence and starvation in Somalia, Time reported.

“In helping her tribe, we had to eliminate those who were bad,” Lamb told the Washington Examiner.

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“She should be thankful we were there to help her people.” McKnight, who was shot in the neck and arm, added. “I really am offended, truly offended, by her comment and her thought that thousands were killed by us. Not true. Not true at all.”

Mike Durant — a Black Hawk pilot who was captured and badly beaten after his chopper was shot down — also took issue with Omar’s sentiment.

He told the Investigative Project on Terrorism: “As a nation, we and our political leadership should be proud of what we did there. We put our most precious resource on the line to help starving people. In return, my friends’ remains and those of my comrades were dragged through the streets.

“I do not hold all Somalis accountable for the actions of a few, but I certainly take issue with the remarks of Congresswoman Omar.”

Zuhdi Jasser — president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, who served as a U.S. Navy physician in Operation Restore Hope earlier in 1993 — says he cannot even watch the film “Black Hawk Down” because he knew some of the soldiers killed in the battle.

“My ship deployed to Mogadishu, and we were there to help after a famine,” he told Investigative Project on Terrorism.

Jasser believes Omar’s comments further a false narrative that the American military is a malforce in the world.

“I’m particularly offended as an American and as a Muslim that nobody is holding her accountable for these radical views that really view our soldiers as the problem rather than the solution.”

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 3,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith