Republican Congressman in Hot Water over Nuclear Suggestion

( – Republican Rep. Tim Walberg of Michigan is facing backlash from critics over recent remarks about the war between Israel and the radical Palestinian militant group Hamas for implying that nuclear weapons should be used.

On Monday, March 25th, Walberg spoke at a town hall in Dundee, Michigan, and said the U.S. should not spend “a dime on humanitarian aid” in the Middle Eastern region. He then went on to say that the conflict “should be like Nagasaki and Hiroshima” and to “get it over with” quickly, referencing the two major Japanese cities destroyed by the American atomic bomb at the end of World War II, which killed hundreds of thousands of people.

A video from the town hall quickly spread around social media a week later, on Monday, April 1st, and inspired backlash against the congressman from many who found his remark concerning.

Walberg responded to his critics by claiming he was only using a metaphor in order to “convey the need” for the war, in Israel as well as in Ukraine, to be ended “as swiftly as possible” in a way that does not put U.S. troops “in harm’s way.” The congressman said his reasoning was opposite to what was reported, and that he actually meant “fewer innocent lives” would be lost “the quicker these wars end.”

Democratic Rep. Haley Stevens slammed Walberg for the remarks, stating that any suggestion of using nuclear weapons in 21st-century warfare is an “unacceptable” tactic. And Rep. Dan Kildee called the remarks “horrific” and “shocking.” Democratic Michigan State Sen. Darrin Camilleri said Walberg should resign.

Several other representatives, including Chris Deluzio of Pennsylvania and Andy Kim of New Jersey, had similar criticism, calling Walberg’s comments “disgraceful.”

In a statement from Muslim civil rights group CAIR-MI, executive director Dawud Walid called the congressman’s comments genocidal, and said all Americans should condemn a representative who “so casually calls” for actions that would kill “every human being in Gaza.” Walid said Walberg’s message is that the lives of Palestinians “have no value.”

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