Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar said this week that she has found herself “stricken with PTSD,” amid America’s escalating tensions with Iran. While some have criticized her comments, others have chimed in in support.
“I feel ill a little bit because of everything that is taking place. I think every time I hear about…I hear of conversations around war, I find myself being stricken with PTSD,” she explained during a Wednesday press conference. “And I find peace knowing that I serve with great advocates for peace and people who have shown courage against war.”
Omar also tweeted Wednesday criticizing President Trump’s plans to impose harsh economic sanctions against Iran. Trump announced the plan several hours after Iran’s missile strike against two Iraqi bases housing American troops. It was a retaliatory strike after the U.S. killed Iran’s top general, Qassem Soleimani, last week.
This makes 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! https://twitter.com/buzzfeednews/status/1214951572251262977 …BuzzFeed News✔@BuzzFeedNewsTrump: The US “will immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions” on Iran as we evaluate options43.1K12:47 PM – Jan 8, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy32K people are talking about this
Omar’s comments were met with backlash from an Indiana congressman who served in Afghanistan.
“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,” Rep. Jim Banks tweeted.
Omar responded, saying it was “shameful” of Banks to erase the PTSD of survivors. Omar was born in Mogadishu, Somalia in 1981 and fled the country when she was 10 with her family at the beginning of the Somali Civil War in 1991. Her family spent four years at a refugee camp in Kenya before coming to the United States in 1995. She moved to Minnesota in 1997.
I survived war as a child and deal with post-traumatic stress disorder—much like many who have served or lived through war.
It’s shameful that you as a member of Congress would erase the PTSD of survivors.
152K6:36 PM – Jan 8, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy35.7K people are talking about this
PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a psychiatric disorder that can occur in those who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. It does not only effect combat veterans and the American Psychiatric Association gives natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, rape and violent personal assault as examples of events that can cause PTSD along with war and combat.
Others on Twitter expressed support for Omar’s PTSD comment. Jason Kander, a veteran and former Secretary of State in Missouri said “It’s not up to us to decide who is and is not ‘worthy’ of PTSD.”
“Trauma is trauma. A uniform is not required,” Kander tweeted.
Rep. Banks, You and I spent a few months in Afghanistan.
Rep. Omar grew up in war-torn Somalia before spending years in a Kenyan refugee camp on the Somali border.
It’s not up to us to decide who is and is not “worthy” of PTSD.
Trauma is trauma. A uniform is not required. https://twitter.com/repjimbanks/status/1215034549765312512 …Jim Banks✔@RepJimBanksRep. Ilhan Omar complained she’s “stricken with PTSD” because of recent events in the Middle East.
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.93.7K9:15 PM – Jan 8, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy16.6K people are talking about this
Common Defense, an anti-Trump veterans group, also came to Omar’s defense, saying Banks’ comments were “tremendously ignorant.”
“Veterans like us know that people wearing uniforms aren’t the only ones impacted by war,” the organization tweeted.
This is a tremendously ignorant thing to say.
Veterans like us know that people wearing uniforms aren’t the only ones impacted by war.@Ilhan is a refugee. We stand with her against hawkish elites like you. #VetsForIlhan #EndForeverWar https://twitter.com/RepJimBanks/status/1215034549765312512 …Jim Banks✔@RepJimBanksRep. Ilhan Omar complained she’s “stricken with PTSD” because of recent events in the Middle East.
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.6,7736:52 PM – Jan 8, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy1,752 people are talking about this