Khizr Khan campaign ad for Hillary Clinton finishes off Trump

Captain Khan | Hillary Clinton

Juan Cole from July 31 at Informed Comment:

Donald Trump lashed out on Saturday against Ghazala and Khizr Khan over their speech Thursday night in which they criticized the casino and hotel moghul for his unconstitutional tirades.

The Khans said at the Democratic National Convention in a speech they crafted, that Trump had ‘sacrificed nothing’ for America. It was read by Khizr because his wife said she would break down if she had to talk about her son Capt. Humayun Saqi Muazzam Khan’s death in action in Iraq. The Khans are originally from Pakistan but came to the US in 1980 from the United Arab Emirates, where Pakistanis make up about 12% of the population. Khizr Khan did a masters in law at Harvard University and works as a legal consultant in Charlottesville, Va.‚ÄČ

In response, Trump said,

“I work very, very hard. I’ve created thousands and thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs, built great structures. I’ve had tremendous success. I think I’ve done a lot.”

I never see anyone point out that some of those ‘great structures’ have been casinos, which are a way for the rich to steal from poor and middle class people. (Most games in a casino are rigged 8-11% for the house. If you keep playing, over time the house will end up with more and more of your money. Some games are rigged a third for the house. Gambling doesn’t help people– it redistributes wealth upwards, acting like a Robin Hood in reverse. That vast act of theft from people who can’t afford it is what Donald Trump gave as his sacrifice for the country.

Trump’s reply demonstrated that he simply cannot conceive of the idea of sacrifice. His response was about himself. How he worked hard. How many jobs he created. Hotels and casinos he had built. His success. How much he has done.

He did not say what he had sacrificed for the country.

Trump alleged that he avoided being drafted to serve in Vietnam because of a high lottery number. But by then he had had four college deferments and a medical examination that downgraded his eligibility because of a bone spur in his heel.

I don’t think you had to agree with the Vietnam War or want to serve in it to be a patriotic American (I didn’t, either). But I do think that not having served should make you cautious about making blanket criticisms of those who did and do. Trump dismissed Sen. John McCain’s sacrifices as a POW on the grounds that he was captured (implying that McCain is a yuuj loser.)

Trump attacked American Latinos as criminals, but they comprise 11.4% of those on active duty in our armed forces.

Trump, given his four deferments and his alleged bone spur, doesn’t get to do that. He doesn’t get to dismiss the sacrifices of those who did serve and do serve.

He doesn’t get to diss on Muslim-Americans like the Khan family, who gave us their son, Capt. Humayun Khan.

Trump implied that the Khans didn’t write their own speech. He attacked Mrs. Khan for not having spoken, saying maybe her Muslim family had kept her silent. (The Khans replied that she had felt too much grief over her son to speak publicly about his sacrifice, but had been key to crafting the speech). Trump clearly doesn’t know any Pakistani women.

Attacking a grieving mother with an easy racist piece of stereotyping was just about Trump’s speed.

Late Saturday Trump’s handlers managed to convince him to praise Captain Khan as “a hero to our country and we should honor all who have made the ultimate sacrifice to keep our country safe.”

But Trump has to square that statement with his assertion that Capt. Khan should have been kicked out of the United States or never allowed to come here in the first place, because of his faith.

Trump also remonstrated with Khizr Khan over his allegation that Trump hadn’t read the constitution. Trump insisted that he has.

But Mr. Khan did not say Trump had not read it. He asked Trump if he had read it, and offered to share his own copy.

The Donald still doesn’t get it. Khan is not interested in merely reading the document. He is talking about abiding by it. He was implying that Trump makes one unconstitutional proposal after another, in contravention of the constitution.

The constitution forbids cruel and unusual punishment. Trump wants to torture people with blowtorches to the genitals.

The constitution forbids a religious test for office and forbids Congress from installing or ‘establishing’ an official US religion that would be favored above others. The 14th Amendment mandates equal protection of the law to all Americans. Trump wants to ban Muslims.

Khan’s emphasis on the constitution shows that he thinks the idea of America is rooted in a rule of law. It is rooted in duty to country. It is rooted, as well, in principled dissent, as he demonstrated in his speech.

Trump dismisses the rule of law. Indeed, he is a serial scofflaw, as with his phony university and other scams. Trump displays no sense of duty to country and never has. He clearly wants to be president to stroke his own ego. And, Trump’s discourse is at the level of a self-absorbed five-year-old, so he wouldn’t recognize principled dissent if it ran him over in a Mack truck.

The Muslim Khans are a thousand times better Americans than Trump will ever be, because they understand what America is about, and because one of their own made the ultimate sacrifice. If we have to expel somebody, as Trump insists, I know which I’d choose.

7 Responses

  1. Let’s not allow the spectre of Khan divert attention away from the illegality and immorality of the invasion of Iraq, which, as we know, has spawned more mayhem than Hussein could have ever wanted to dream of. Capt Khan is dead because of the poor decisions and choices made by the administration and the conscientious objecting warmongers of the time. As we know, none of the warmongers was actively involved in the military, real servicemembers only fools and tools used to satisfy the martial pornographic needs of those too cowardly to fight themselves. Endorsement of Mister Khan is a tacit approval and endorsement of the Iraqi Debacli, Mister K a tool for the Democratic nominee to somehow legitimise the “cakewalk.” Trump, himself, has made it clear that the reason for Mister K’s son’s death has been and always will be the blood-lust of the vampirish imperialists. As for Mister McCain, there are alternative views of his service while incarcerated in Hanoi. Don’t forget that “Patriotism” in the era of the Vietnam “police action” was defined by resisting the “war.” Don’t forget that some of the largest assemblings of people – ever – demonstrated against the impending invasion of Iraq. “Sacrifice?” John Kerry had some words to say about that way back when …

    Trump on Khan link to

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    15 Feb 2003
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  2. The sad thing about Hillary’s “approval” of the message is that she was a big part of the cause of the American troops being sent and killed in Iraq, for spurious reasons known even then to be false.

  3. This won’t even make the short list of things that should have finished off Trump but didn’t.

    While the gist of this article would be regarded as quite uncontroversial in many if not most parts of the world, it would seem to go against the grain of mainstream U.S. culture infatuated with the Titans of Business. Even when pitting this ideology against the religion of military service and sacrifice, this will be a tough sell.

    (And since this blog is about the Middle East, please would someone explain to me again what good those “ultimate sacrifices” of “the finest fighting force” have done for anybody apart from war profiteers?)

    Mitt Romney not only never built anything, but his “investment funds” regularly dismantle businesses to sell for scraps, think Richard Gere in Pretty Woman. He got close to 50% of the vote. Likewise George Soros never built anything in his life. These figures are widely respected apart from those who regard them as too liberal.

    Trump looks like a Henry Ford by comparison. It is only because he is an obnoxious loudmouth that we’re even talking about this. Good luck explaining that a casino economy is but a parasite on the real economy. (Perhaps don’t plan on visiting Las Vegas – or the NY stock exchange – anytime soon, lest people take offense.)

    The unwritten logic of U.S. “Democracy” is:

    1) The very few who happen to exclusively own and/or run major businesses are primarily to be thought of as job creators, and secondarily as celebrities. They are agency, ingenuity, and grit personified, and their wealth and power are their just rewards.

    2) We may attain similar status if we’d only started pulling harder at our shoelaces.

    I think one of the main developments of the last decade is that people have wised up that a stable middle class life – let alone 2) – isn’t in the cards anymore (if it ever was).

    Occupy was the only movement to openly question 1) that had a visible impact on mainstream discourse in a generation. Even so, I had long talks with actual Occupiers in Zuccotti Park whose main reason for discontent was that the wrong kind of people have been made CEOs. Replacing them with the right kind was the limit of their radical imagination.

  4. A “big part”, Rosemerry? I think not. This is not about Iraq, it’s about the devotion to one’s country.
    Besides, anyone who refused to vote for making war on Iraq had to wonder “What if I’m wrong and there is something there?” Or, “What if I’m wrong and end up a pariah for not voting for war, even though my instincts say I’m right that there is no there there? ”

    Mrs. Clinton’s was one vote among many. In our house we could read the true message of Colin Powell, that he was making things up, that there was no there there. But what if…?

    I prefer to give Mrs. Clinton the benefit of the doubt and not question the motives or emotions of the Kahns. That their son died for “nothing there” is even more tragic than ever, IMO.

    • I must differ with you on when a country is allowed under international law to go to war. Only when it’s attacked or when the UN Security Council votes a Chapter 7 threat to peace. In this case the UNSC voted explicitly against the war. Other than those circumstances the war would be deemed illegal. You can’t just attack a country because you don’t like the leader or you THINK he may have some bad weapons! Equally important the worst war crime of all is conducting an illegal war, more so than battlefield atrocities.

      I mean our hearts go out to the Khan and the thousands of other American families as well as the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi families, but that’s quite separate from the prosecution of the war itself.

  5. The big problem with both criminal ventures – Vietnam and Iraq – was that there was no accountability. We talk about them as mistakes, and not crimes. Black African leaders get carted off to the Hague, while Bush (and LBJ before him) get to enjoy their retirements.

    True one needs to be sensitive to the great losses suffered by our Gold Star parents, but let’s not lose sight of the bigger picture.

    Oh yes, Trump is a buffoon and worse, and deserves to be rejected, but let’s not let off both criminal parties. In Trump’s own stupid rating system, Clinton is a three and Trump is a one. Pretty pathetic!

  6. why do you not remember the name of the president that ordered the invasion of Iraq. it was Bush Jr., he was a Republican……Hilary was in no position and by the time she was all the average uninformed American wanted to do was ‘nuke’ them, meaning the Iraqi and the Afganistan people… now, it is all Hilary’s fault, the war in Iraq, oh no dear American people, it is your fault, you supported Bush after nine eleven like frightened children and still as children you need someone to blame, also wonder how much money the members of Bush’s cabinet reaped in as most of them came from the big American corporations part if the republican old boy’s club and for them war meant money. America invaded Iraq – it had no UN mandate – and Hans Blix of Sweden, ex-head of the international atomic energy organization who served in an honorary capacity to inspect for the united nations Bush’s claim of Iraq hiding weapons of mass destruction in his final report established for sure that this was not true. so Bush, his republican advisors got America into Iraq way before Hilary Clinton arrived on the scene. Also, asked trump supported it as well but his was the opinion of a private person after the initial invasion.
    I remember, visiting America at the time and being informed as I worked with Blix, it was almost dangerous to voice any other opinion except go to war. It was the airport taxi driver who to my horror expressed the feeling of the average American, just ‘nuke’ them. so on that visit i just listened and have never wanted to to visit America again, or at least the America i found at the time.

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