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'Targeted Assassinations' Coming if Civil War Breaks Out: Adam Kinzinger

Newsweek logo Newsweek 2/11/2022 Jenni Fink
Representative Adam Kinzinger warned that a civil war in the modern day will include "targeted assassinations." Kinzinger talks to reporters follow a House Republican conference meeting in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center on May 12 in Washington, D.C. © Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images Representative Adam Kinzinger warned that a civil war in the modern day will include "targeted assassinations." Kinzinger talks to reporters follow a House Republican conference meeting in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center on May 12 in Washington, D.C.

If a civil war breaks out in the United States, Representative Adam Kinzinger believes it won't be reminiscent of the 19th century Civil War because it'll take the form of "targeted assassinations" and not state against state.

Once an unthinkable theory, growing political divisions have fueled speculation that a civil war could be looming. While some see it as inevitable, others have pushed for people to resist the possibility, and Kinzinger told The View on February 10 that it's not "too far of a bridge" to believe another civil war could happen in the United States.

However, if it does occur, he warned that it wouldn't take the same shape as it did in 1861. Instead of the traditional form of war the Civil War took, where it was "blue against gray," this time around, it would be "armed groups against armed groups," according to Kinzinger.

"Targeted assassinations, violence–that's what a 21st and 20th century civil war is," Kinzinger said. "We're identifying now by our race, by our ethnic group, we're separating ourselves and we live in different realities."

Kinzinger, a vocal critic of the GOP's loyalty to former President Donald Trump, was censured by the GOP alongside his colleague Representative Liz Cheney. During his interview on The View, he criticized the GOP for being a "once great party" that no longer stands for principles. Instead, he said the GOP stands for "loyalty to one man" and that it makes him "sad."

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Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene has advocated for Republican states to break off from Democratic states and Civil War experts believe there are "indicators" the United States could see another conflict.

Timothy Snyder, a history professor at Yale University, told Business Insider America "doesn't look good right now." He pointed to the high degree of polarization, people believing in alternate realities and the praise of violence.

During an interview with CNN, Kinzinger cited Trump as one of the leading factors in whether America sees another civil war. If Trump and his allies convince enough people that the election was stolen from the former president, it's not a "far off thought" that a militia and counter militia clash, sparking a civil war.

"I never would say that we would ever have ended in that position, but I now believe it is a real possibility that we have to be wide-eyed as we walk into so we don't have that happen again," Kinzinger told CNN.

Although Kinzinger believes civil war could be on the horizon, he urged people to fight hard "against it" and put the country over political parties. He acknowledged that he used to resist talking about civil war but said it's necessary to issue warnings and discuss the possibility so that the potential for it is "recognized" and we can alter course.

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