Rep. Ilhan Omar suggested on Thursday that she is as much of an authority on the “trauma of war” as anyone.
“The trauma of war is not only felt by the soldier on the battlefield. It is felt by the child huddled under the bed as bombs go off outside her window. I am that child and here in Congress I will always speak out against war,” the freshman congresswoman tweeted.
War trauma never leaves you.
Engaging in armed conflict never creates stability. It only costs lives and futures.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) January 9, 2020
Omar appeared to be responding to criticism over remarks she made earlier in the week, when she said discussions about tensions between the U.S. and Iran were triggering her post-traumatic stress disorder.
“I feel ill a little bit, because of everything that is taking place and I think every time I hear of conversations around war, I find myself being stricken with PTSD,” she said Wednesday during a press conference held by the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
Representative Jim Banks, an Afghanistan war veteran, said the Minnesota Democrat’s comments were “offensive” to military service members.
“Rep. Ilhan Omar complained she’s ‘stricken with PTSD’ because of recent events in the Middle East,” Banks tweeted on Wednesday. “This is a disgrace and offensive to our nation’s veterans who really do have PTSD after putting their life on the line to keep America safe.”
Conservatives also slammed Omar for laughing while her Democratic colleague, Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, spoke about the deaths of American soldiers in the Iraq War.
In a Washington Post profile published in July, Omar described fleeing war-torn Somalia with her family as a child and living in a refugee camp in Kenya before settling in the United States.
“I grew up in an extremely unjust society, and the only thing that made my family excited about coming to the United States was that the United States was supposed to be the country that guaranteed justice to all. … So, I feel it necessary for me to speak about that promise that’s not kept,” she told The Post.
Omar, who has expressed strong opposition to recent military action against Iran by President Donald Trump’s administration, said in a tweet on Thursday that “War trauma never leaves you.”
“Engaging in armed conflict never creates stability. It only costs lives and futures,” the progressive lawmaker tweeted.
On Wednesday, Omar shot back at Banks and other critics.
She said it was “shameful” of him to “erase the PTSD of survivors.”
- Rep. Ilhan Omar.: Screen grab