The recent escalation in military tensions between the US and Iran caused Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar to be "stricken with PTSD," she said on Wednesday, after US President Donald Trump announced new sanctions against Iran.
"I think every time I hear about—I hear of conversations around war, I find myself being stricken with PTSD. And I find peace knowing that I serve with great advocates for peace and people who have shown courage against war," said Omar, according to Newsweek.
The Minnesota representative stated that the new sanctions "make no sense."
"Sanctions are economic warfare. They have already caused medical shortages and countless deaths in Iran. You cannot claim to want deescalation and then announce new sanctions with no clear goal. This is not a measured response!" tweeted Omar.
Omar has co-sponsored a bill with Rep. Barbara Lee which would use the War Powers Act to withdraw troops from hostilities with Iran.
"We in Congress must exercise our Constitutional duty—and do everything in our power to stop another disastrous war," said Omar. "Following the assassination [of General Qasem Soleimani on January 3], thousands of additional troops were sent to the Middle East in one of the largest rapid deployments seen in decades. This follows years of sabre-rattling and threats of war against Iran by President Trump and his accomplices."
Republican Rep. Jim Banks called Omar's PTSD comments a "disgrace," saying her remarks were "offensive to our nation's veterans who really do have PTSD after putting their life on the line to keep America safe," according to Fox News.
"I survived war as a child and deal with post-traumatic stress disorder—much like many who have served or lived through war," tweeted Omar in response to Banks. "It’s shameful that you as a member of Congress would erase the PTSD of survivors."
Omar was born in Somalia in 1981 and fled at the age of 10 near the start of the Somali Civil War in 1991, spending four years in a refugee camp in Kenya before arriving in the US.
Banks responded by referencing a video showing Omar, Rep. Rashida Tlaib and other Democrats appearing to laugh as Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee spoke about the over 4,000 US soldiers killed in Iraq over the years, according to Fox.
No @IlhanMN - you can’t change the subject. Your words and actions at today’s press conference reveal your feelings toward our soldiers serving abroad and the video speaks for itself. https://t.co/T2OREUaIm6— Jim Banks (@RepJimBanks) January 9, 2020
"No @IlhanMN - you can't change the subject. Your words and actions at today’s press conference reveal your feelings toward our soldiers serving abroad and the video speaks for itself," tweeted Banks.
Common Defense, a group of veterans who oppose Trump, backed up Omar on Twitter.
"Dear @RepJimBanks...Veterans like us know that people wearing uniforms aren’t the only ones impacted by war.@Ilhan is a refugee," the group wrote. "We stand with her against hawkish elites like you.