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08-02-2016, 03:49 AM #1
Broad array of military luminaries condemn Trump over attacks on Khan family
Broad array of military luminaries condemn Trump over attacks on Khan family
By Sean Sullivan August 1 at 6:57 P
A bipartisan constellation of decorated combat veterans, members of Congress and family members of slain soldiers admonished Donald Trump on Monday for criticizing the Muslim American parents of an Army officer killed in Iraq, threatening to undermine Trump’s support among core Republican voters.
The condemnations by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.), the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and dozens of veterans and family members of those killed in the line of duty served as the most forceful rebuke yet of the mogul’s comments and his anti-Muslim rhetoric.
The critiques lobbed at Trump on Monday were the latest turns in a bitter exchange that has dominated the presidential race since the close of the Democratic National Convention on Thursday in Philadelphia. It threatens to hurt Trump’s standing among voters he has been aggressively pursuing: those who aren’t fans of Democrat Hillary Clinton and who hold doubts about her record on national security. The standoff has also frayed Trump’s already delicate alliance with GOP leaders.
Trump did not address the controversy directly during a campaign stop in Columbus, Ohio, on Monday afternoon. But he signaled on Twitter earlier in the day that he was not backing down from his criticism of Khizr and Ghazala Khan, whose son Humayun Khan, an Army captain, was killed by a car bomber in Iraq in 2004. Trump said Khizr Khan had “no right” to assail him as he did in a speech at the Democratic convention Thursday.
Both Republicans and Democrats are publicly responding to the row between GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump and Khizr Khan. Khan's son was killed while serving in Iraq. Here's what politicians from both parties said. (Monica Akhtar/The Washington Post)
McCain, a respected figure on national security issues in the Republican Party, issued a written statement sternly reprimanding Trump.
“In recent days, Donald Trump disparaged a fallen soldier’s parents,” said McCain, who was taken prisoner during the Vietnam War. “He has suggested that the likes of their son should not be allowed in the United States — to say nothing of entering its service. I cannot emphasize enough how deeply I disagree with Mr. Trump’s statement. I hope Americans understand that the remarks do not represent the views of our Republican Party, its officers, or candidates.”
McCain, who has tangled with Trump before, most notably after Trump said last year that McCain was not a war hero because he had been “captured,” added: “While our Party has bestowed upon him the nomination, it is not accompanied by unfettered license to defame those who are the best among us.”
Aside from McCain, a bipartisan coalition of veterans, family members of military personnel killed in the line of duty, a veteran serving in Congress and an ex-diplomat sent a letter to Trump calling his criticism of the Khans an affront to each of them. It also called for him to apologize.
“Your statements are unacceptable, especially from someone seeking to serve as Commander in Chief,” the letter said. “The Khans’ sacrifice has earned them the right to ask hard questions of those seeking elected office.”
The list of signatories includes highly decorated combat veterans including Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer, who was a supporter of Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign. Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), who served in Iraq as a Marine Corps infantry officer, is also on the list.
Organizers said they plan to add many more signatures by opening up the letter online for broader national participation.
Brian Duffy, the recently elected commander in chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, released a statement saying that the organization “will not tolerate anyone berating a Gold Star family member for exercising his or her right of speech or expression.”
Duffy added that “there are certain sacrosanct subjects that no amount of wordsmithing can repair once crossed.”
While Trump pledged to take good care of veterans at his campaign stop in Columbus, he steered clear of the firestorm over his comments about the Khans. Attendees had their own opinions on the matter.
Josh Smith, 53, of Keystone Heights, Fla., said that he served in the Navy for 20 years and that he did not find Trump’s comments about the Khans to be distasteful. “It was bad that their son died, but to put that man on stage to say all those things was ridiculous,” he said.
Smith said that when Trump responded to the Khans’ remarks, “he was just making a comment back to someone who attacked him. He wasn’t being offensive.”
Larry Robinson, 71, of Columbus, who said he served in the Army during the Vietnam War, believes that Trump has a lot of empathy for veterans.
On Twitter on Monday morning, Trump lashed out again at Khizr Khan and the media. He argued that “radical Islamic terrorism,” not Khan, should be the focus of the exchange — just minutes after slamming Khan.
“Mr. Khan, who does not know me, viciously attacked me from the stage of the DNC and is now all over TV doing the same — Nice!” Trump said in his initial tweet.
Khizr and Ghazala Khan participated in a round of television interviews Monday in which they slammed Trump.
“This candidate amazes me — his ignorance,” Khizr Khan said on NBC’s “Today” show. “He can get up and malign the entire nation — the religions, the communities, the minorities, the judges. And yet, a private citizen in this political process, in his candidacy for the stewardship for this country — I cannot say what I feel? That proves the point: He has not read the Constitution of this country.”
Ghazala Khan, who teared up during at least one TV interview, rejected Trump’s suggestion during an interview with ABC News that she may not have been “allowed” to speak during her convention appearance. She stood at her husband’s side as he spoke.
“It doesn’t have to do anything with my religion,” she said on “Today.” She wrote in a Washington Post op-ed over the weekend that she is still experiencing raw emotions about her son’s death and could not bring herself to speak at the convention.
Clinton has said that the Khan family paid the “ultimate sacrifice” for their country. Ahead of her rally in Omaha, the controversy was a top-of-mind issue.
“We’re both grandmothers; we both think it’s terrible,” said Jan Gleason, 79, as she stood with a friend waiting for Clinton to arrive.
“It’s just a person who served and died for our country. He made fun of his mother,” added Sharon Heck, 72. “It’s just sad.”
Speaking to the Disabled American Veterans’ annual convention in Atlanta, President Obama did not mention Khan’s parents or their speech. But he said he had asked to be introduced at the Democratic convention last week by Sharon Belkofer, whose son was killed in combat. And he called on Americans to support those who have lost loved ones to war. “We have to do everything we can for those families, and honor them, and be humbled by them,” Obama said.
Some Trump allies fought back hard Monday against the criticism the mogul has faced over his remarks about the Khans.
Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s former campaign manager, argued that the Khans’ son would still be alive if Trump had been president.
“Their son is a hero. And every person who has ever died fighting for our country and their families are heroes,” Lewandowski said on CNN, which employs him as a paid contributor. “The difference is, we’ve got 7,000 soldiers who died, $6 trillion wasted in wars overseas, and if Donald Trump was the president, we would never have had, and Captain Khan would be alive today.”
Trump regularly casts himself as an early critic of the Iraq War. The Post’s Fact Checker found that there is “no sign that Trump opposed the invasion or was vocal about it prior to the invasion.”
Lewandowski was fired by Trump in June.
Former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani said McCain’s response to Trump was probably motivated by the longtime senator’s anxiety over his reelection race in Arizona.
“I think you’re hearing a guy who’s worried about whether he can be reelected in Arizona,” Giuliani said in an interview with The Post. “John wouldn’t be saying this if he were running two years from now. He’d just keep his mouth shut.”
James Waters, a former George W. Bush administration White House aide and Navy SEAL, was among the 40 who signed the bipartisan letter to Trump. He is a Republican, but he is not voting for his party’s nominee.
“I think this situation speaks quite well to Trump’s blatant lack of fitness for office,” Waters said.
Kathy Lynn Gray in Columbus; Greg Jaffe in Atlanta; Katie Zezima, Dan Lamothe and Robert Costa in Washington; and Abby Phillip in Omaha contributed to this report.
08-02-2016, 03:59 AM #2
Yeah, the same "luminaries" who got PUNKED by false reports of WMD's in Iraq got PUNKED by a disgruntled Muslim immigration lawyer upset with Trump over his ban on Muslim immigration because it will hurt his business selling visas and US citizenship to foreign Muslims.
I say "wow", but this is no surprise. We have STUPID PEOPLE throughout our government and so-called institutions.
So I wonder about this little thing called "integrity". How soon will they admit they rushed to judgment? How soon will they admit they allowed political bias and jealous prejudice to cloud their judgment? How soon will they admit they got PUNKED by a self-serving immigration hack lining his pockets selling entry papers to foreign Muslims using his dead son as his political prop at the Democratic Convention?
I imagine no sooner than they admitted they got PUNKED on Iraq to begin with.
So, "wow"? No, not "wow", just sad and pathetic how truly STUPID our so-called leaders of our country and many of our organizations really are.
08-02-2016, 05:28 AM #3
The media has jumped on this like a dog on a bone. The attack was initiated by Khan, an immigration lawyer with questionable motives, deep Clinton contacts and ties to Saudi Arabia. If immigration is stopped from regions that appear to be breeding terrorists, Khan might lose a lot of business. Khan is an advocate for Sharia Law in the US. This is unacceptable and in conflict with the very Constitution that he was waving around as a prop.
The Clinton News Network,All Clinton Channel, Clinton Before Sanity Network,Never Betray Clinton Channel, and of course the publicly funded Push Basic Socialism channel have proven to be nothing but, in my opinion, socialist propaganda purveyors. One only has to look at the connections between the Democratic Party and the Executives of these media sources to see that they are pushing an agenda. Even the entertainment that these media sources produce have become Social Justice lessons and societal indoctrination tools. JMO
Last edited by Newmexican; 08-02-2016 at 08:15 AM.
08-02-2016, 05:50 AM #4
MOTHER OF ACTIVE DUTY SOLDIER Destroys Hillary’s Anti-Trump Muslim Dad With This VIRAL Letter
By 100% FED Up -
Aug 1, 2016
Only a military mom could write such a fantastic testimony and rebuke to the Muslim pawn used by Hillary’s campaign at the Dem Convention to trash Donald Trump. The Facebook letter below is so great and so powerful that it’s gone viral. We hope you will read and share because it’s time to support our military 100% in this war against terror!
To the Muslim Gold Star father that spoke at the DNC…..I have some thoughts on your comments. I am a Blue Star mother. My deepest condolences on the loss of your son. No family should have to endure such a loss. That being said….while your son is a hero, you Sir, are NOT.
My son has served three tours of combat in the countries you and your family came from. Iraq and Afghanistan were his introduction to adulthood and service to something bigger than our individual selves. He was blown up by an IED set by your countrymen. His Purple Heart is a testament to his love of America and our freedoms. I have suffered through his multiple combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan….never knowing from moment to moment if he would return home in a flag draped coffin. It is torture when a mother wakes up to this day after day and sees the atrocities happening over there on the news and being helpless to change a thing. My comments to you will probably offend you. I do not apologize. These things need to be said. Unlike you, I could NEVER use my son’s death as a pawn piece in support of a woman that left “America’s treasure” (Hillarys words) to die unaided in Benghazi. The same woman that says vile things to her military details there to protect her. You, Sir, are supposed to be a witness to your son’s bravery and sacrifice. Instead you stood on a stage and promoted the woman that upholds the very people that killed your son. You became a political PAWN that promotes pandering to our enemy. You desecrated your son’s memory by your words. You did not utter one word of outrage at anyone but Donald Trump. Are you forgetting that Trump did not kill your son. He had nothing whatsoever to do with these wars. His memory should mean more to you than five minutes of fame on the stage of the party that voted to send your son to war. The same party that for eight years has denied and cheated our veterans out of their deserved medical care. Who for the last three years has cut our veterans pay.
Of note…your wife stood SILENT. She stood with her head covered, never uttering a word about her loss. She submitted to you being her voice in front of the country. She abdicated her free voice to you…..as would any good Sharia wife and mother. Let me say, this was not lost on the other American military moms….myself included. Had it been my son being “used” as a political PROP, no one could have silenced me. I would be voicing my grief, my pride, my love of him to the world. A man cannot speak to a mothers loss. No man knows her heart at the loss of a child. She did her heroic son a disservice by her silence. She should have uncovered her head and her heart to be the American mother you claim. And last if all….you dared to flash your picket Constitution and ask if Trump has read it. I dare to ask you, Sir….HAVE YOU READ IT? If you say yes, then I dare ask you HOW you could represent that party? HOW can you support this woman? How can you affiliate your family with a party and candidate that cannot even call the radicals that killed your son what they are? How can you support a current administration that diminishes your son’s death by denying he had an enemy? And if you have read our Constitution, how could you cover your soulmate in colorful submissive sheets and have the audacity to speak FOR her? Your son died for that Constitution you so carelessly waved around on national TV in support of the very party that exists to destroy it. As a soldier’s mother….NO ONE could ever speak for me. I find your outrage artificial. I find your party affiliation offensive. I find your wife’s silence atrocious and offensive. I find YOU a political FOOL. I find your son to have been your greatest accomplishment, and you, Sir, have dishonored him. I hope you memorize that picket constitution so you will understand what it means to be a REAL American and hero. You are not one. You were USED. Your son WOULD NOT be proud of you. My only hope is that when MY son goes a fourth time to combat radical Islamic terrorist’s, ( and he WILL) he will know that his mother never stood submissively SILENT about an American hero. Yes, your son was a hero that could not be manipulated but, you, Sir, are a weak minded FOOL. I would love to hear your thoughts this morning about the 1500 American soldiers on the air base in Turkey being held as basic hostages as I type. Not a word from this president or party you adore…or the media that so thoroughly manipulated and used you and your wife. So…what say you Sir??? What will you say to a Blue and Gold Star family if these heroes die? In my opinion, you will say NOTHING.
08-02-2016, 05:57 AM #5
An Open Letter to Khizr Khan
July 31, 2016
Posted by Chris MarkDear Mr. Khan,
I want to preface this letter by stating that I respect your son’s sacrifice for this great nation. By all accounts, he is a true hero that sacrificed himself in service to our country. For that I am thankful.
As a veteran, I watched your comments at the Democratic National Convention with a mixture of sadness, and anger. The United States has a military comprised of volunteers. Every single member has made the conscious choice to join the military and serve. There is not a single service member who has been forced into service. It is important for all service members (and apparently, their families) to understand that service to this great nation does not imbue one with special privileges or rights. I found your comments troubling when you said: “Have you ever been to Arlington cemetery? Go look at the graves of brave patriots who died defending the United States of America. You will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities. You have sacrificed nothing and no one.”
Does it matter whether Mr. Trump has sacrificed “…nothing and no one?”…has Ms. Clinton “..sacrificed” for this nation? How about Mr. Obama? Your comment stating that Mr. Trump “…has sacrifice no one” is alarming. Are you intimating that YOU sacrificed? Sir, your son willingly sacrificed himself. As a father I cannot imagine the pain you must feel but his sacrifice is his own. He was not forced to serve.
I am troubled that you would allow a party that has little more than contempt for the US Service Member to parade you into the DNC to denounce Donald Trump. Did you watch when protesters at the DNC booed and heckled Medal of Honor recipient Capt. Florent Groberg? Did you notice your party interrupting the moment of silence for slain police officers? Your own hypocrisy in not denouncing these acts and instead using the DNC as a platform to make a political point is disgraceful. The simple fact is that whether one served or sacrificed does not give greater power to their statements. One vote is as valuable as another. That sir, is why our Country is great. Your condemnation of one person for a statement while standing idly as your party disparages veterans and police officers is the height of hypocrisy.
To conflate the need to prevent potential terrorists from entering our country with the belief that ‘all Muslims’ should be banned is simply wrong and disingenuous. As a reminder, Mr. Trump said: ” “Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life,” The irony of your son’s own death at the hands of these very people in Iraq should not be ignored. I have little doubt that your son would have recognized the need to protect our country from these very people. In fact, he held is own troops back so that he could check on a suspicious car. Your son understood sacrifice and how to protect “his people”…’his soldiers’….’his fellow Americans’…
As you continue to make the media circuit and bask in the glow of affection cast upon you by a party that has little regard for your son’s own sacrifice, and veterans in general, I would ask you to consider your comments and your position more closely.
US Marine and Navy Veteran.
08-02-2016, 06:08 AM #6
Outstanding letter, Chris Mark. Thank you very very much. Thank you for posting the letter, Newmexican!! Very well stated. And WOW, was the letter from the mother in the first article outstanding as well. Thank you both so much for speaking up as the Real Americans you are!
08-02-2016, 06:53 AM #7
- Join Date
- Aug 2014
An open letter to Mr. Khizr Khan
By Ray Starmann
Published August 01, 2016
Dear Mr. Khan,
I, like millions of Americans saw your speech at the DNC on Thursday night.
I wish to offer my sympathy for the death of your son, Captain Humayun Khan, who was killed in action in Iraq.
As a former US Army officer, and a veteran of the Gulf War, I can certainly understand the pain and anguish that you and your wife endure every day.
Your son died saving the lives of his fellow soldiers. As Jesus told his disciples, according to the Gospel of John, Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Captain Khan is a hero. I am sure the soldiers he served with regard him as one. I know you and your wife do. Rest assured that millions of veterans regard your son as a hero as well.
To paraphrase from the Book of Ecclesiasticus, your son’s name liveth for evermore.
Your son made the ultimate sacrifice for his country, a country that was new to you and your family and one which you openly embraced and certainly love.
When you and your family arrived to America from Pakistan, you assimilated into our country. You adopted American ways, learned our history and apparently you even acquired a pocket Constitution along the way. Good for you sir.
But, there are many Muslims in America who not only have no desire to assimilate, but wish to live under Sharia Law.
That is unacceptable to Americans. There is only one law of the land. That is the U.S. Constitution.
As you well know, Mr. Khan, we live in violent times, dangerous times. Muslim madmen from ISIS and other radical Jihadi groups are on a murder and terror spree across the globe.
Your religion of peace, Islam, is anything but that in 2016. That is a fact that is confirmed every time a Muslim shoots, bombs, beheads and tortures innocent men, women and children. This does not mean that every Muslim is a terrorist, but most terrorists, sir, are indeed Muslims.
A Muslim terrorist attack has become the sign of the times.
Regardless of what the feckless, naïve, leftist ideologue Barack Obama and his dimwitted colleagues John Kerry, Francois Hollande and Angela Merkel state, the United States and the West are at war with Radical Islam. It is the job of the president of the United States to protect his nation from all enemies; foreign and domestic. Unfortunately, Mr. Obama romanticizes Islam and refuses to accept reality, which has resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent people across the world.
Groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda have one goal, the complete destruction of the Judeo-Christian culture, our religions and our way of life.
Many Americans have families that have been here for decades, even centuries. Many families like mine have relatives who fought in the Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam and Desert Storm. Some families have relatives who fought in the American Revolution.
We don’t plan on letting our country be devoured by Muslim maniacs. We are Americans sir, and not unarmed, socialist European zombies. We will do what is necessary to protect the United States. While many Democrats and liberals see the world through rose colored glasses, conservatives understand that there is good and evil in this world. Evil must be destroyed before it destroys us.
Strong measures, wartime measures, must be taken to protect this country from those that wish to annihilate us and our way of life.
Mr. Trump’s plan to temporarily halt immigration from Muslim countries that are known to either support terrorism or harbor terrorist groups is not only pragmatic, but indeed it is constitutional. It is the constitutional duty of the president of the United States to protect this nation.
There is simply no way to vet hundreds of thousands of Muslim refugees from war zones like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Europe is being destroyed because reckless leaders like Angela Merkel have opened the continent’s doors to a flood of over one million undocumented Muslims arriving with nothing more than a bad attitude and a haversack of Jihad.
Do you think Americans are stupid? While the left lives in a dream world, the right does not. Mr. Trump understands the threat to his nation and the threat, sir, is not from Swedish Lutherans named Anna and Lars. The threat, sir, is from radical Islam.
How in God’s name are U.S. immigration authorities supposed to know the true intentions of a 22-year-old Syrian man? It is impossible. You know it is impossible.
How in God’s name are U.S. immigration authorities supposed to know the true intentions of hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees and thousands of other sundry Muslims who wish to arrive on our shores?
It is impossible. You know it is impossible.
Whether you, your wife, the Muslim world and millions of Democrats are offended by Mr. Trump’s realistic view of the world is irrelevant.
Whether you, your wife and son would have been prohibited from emigrating from Pakistan to America under Mr. Trump’s wartime plan is irrelevant. The security of this great land supersedes your desires and the desires of others who wish to come here now. The United States of America has no obligation to open its doors in order to placate foreigners and liberals in our government.
To adopt any other course but Mr. Trump’s would be a cause for further endangering the lives of Americans every day. That, sir, is unacceptable.
You attacked Mr. Trump in front of a worldwide audience, yet you can’t understand the fact that he defends himself against attacks from you, Hillary Clinton and the left. What else is one to do sir?
We must live in a world of reality, not a world of denial, delusion and fantasy the Democrats inhabit every waking day of their lives.
Radical Islam is the enemy of everyone on this planet who believes in freedom and justice. Until it is destroyed, this nation must protect itself from enemies both foreign and domestic.
Ray Starmann is the founder of US Defense Watch. He is a former U.S. Army Intelligence officer and veteran of the Gulf War, where he served with the 4th Squadron, 7th Cavalry, 3rd Armored Division “Spearhead!” Mr. Starmann was a contributing writer for several years at SFTT.org, founded by the late Colonel David Hackworth.
08-02-2016, 07:15 AM #8
WOW! Another excellent letter to the Khan family laying it on the line. Yes, we are Americans and we will protect our nation and each other from all enemies, foreign and domestic. Thank you Ray Starmann, thank you very very much for standing up for America and the American People.
Thank you Scott-In-Fl for posting this great response by Ray Starmann.
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