Clinton's Khan: Who is trashing whom?
By Mark Alexander
Since Donald J. Trump announced his presidential candidacy, no week has passed when he has not said something thoughtless, if not "yugely" absurd, which derails his political momentum and sends all of his handlers and backers into damage control mode — and his endorsers into some state of buyer's remorse.
Last week was no exception.
Trump was asked by former Clintonista George Stephanopoulos to respond to criticism from Khizr Khan, who, with his wife Ghazala, were given center-stage billing by Hillary Clinton at the recent DNC confab.
Unfortunately and predictably, Trump took the bait, and the issue was both what he said and what he did not say — notably he failed to properly acknowledge and honor their son, Army Captain Humayun Khan, who was killed in Iraq in 2004.
Capt. Khan served our nation and the soldiers under his command with honor, and died with heroic dignity. His service and sacrifice trumps any religious, ethnic, cultural and political distinctions.
But that is not why Clinton gave his parents center billing on a stage where one lone American flag had been posted as an afterthought.
In 2003, President George W. Bush launched Operation Iraqi Freedom, endeavoring to keep the war against Islamist terror on their turf and off of ours. Between 2003 and Barack Obama's politically motivated retreat from Iraq in 2011, there were 4,497 American military deaths in Iraq — 3,836 of which were combat related.
So why was this particular Gold Star family chosen to speak rather than any of the 4,496 other Gold Star families? Because they are Muslim parents, whose son died in combat.
Clinton could have invited the Gold Star parents of military personnel killed on Obama's watch by Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the Islamist Jihadi who murdered 13 American soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, and wounded 33 others. Or she could have invited Gold Star parents of soldiers killed while searching for Muslim convert deserter Bowe Bergdahl — heralded as a hero by Obama and Clinton.
Of course, those parents, nor the vast majority of other Gold Star parents, would fit Clinton's political narrative.
Who is Khizr Khan and what did he say?
The Khans are Pakistanis, who immigrated from UAE in 1980. He is a Harvard Law grad and went on to work for major power firms in Washington, with lots of Clinton connections. His firm handled Hillary Clinton's taxes. Notably they represent the government of Saudi Arabia — which donated millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation while Clinton was secretary of state, in addition to underwriting the malignant spread of Wahhabi Islamism. Khan was also a key legal adviser for EB5 immigration visas, which provide wealthy foreigners a method for buying their way into the U.S. — though Khan removed that legal specialty from his website. Of course, members of Khan's firm have been major donation bundlers for Clinton's campaign.
You can listen to Mr. Khan's brief and contentious remarks here, but allow me to address a few of his assertions and accusations, with the understanding that Mr. Khan's remarks are not unimpeachable by virtue of the fact that his son was killed in Iraq.
Khan: "Donald Trump, you're asking Americans to trust you with their future. Let me ask you: have you even read the United States Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy [pulling one out of his pocket]. In this document, look for the words 'liberty' and 'equal protection of law.'"
However, Obama and Clinton have done more to undermine constitutional Rule of Law than any administration in American history. And they have, likewise, completely disregarded their oaths "to Support and Defend" our Constitution — the same oath Capt. Khan defended with his life.
(For the record, the word "liberty" does appear — once in the preamble. The words "equal protection of law" appear nowhere.)
Khan: "Hillary Clinton was right when she called my son 'the best of America.' If it was up to Donald Trump, he never would have been in America."
That latter assertion is not true, but it is worth noting that in 1980 when Mr. Khan immigrated, Jimmy Carter had banned Iranian immigrants who could not demonstrate their opposition to Shiite Islamism. That ban was motivated by concerns similar to those of Trump, who has stated that if we can't establish whether Syrian immigrants are friends of foes, we should not let them in. Though our Constitution gives Congress virtually unlimited authority to enact legislative restrictions on immigration, Obama has unilaterally undermined those laws with extra-constitutional executive diktats, subsequently overturned by the federal courts.
Khan: "[Trump], 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."
I wonder if Mr. Khan has come to terms with the fact that another Muslim murdered his beloved son Humayun — and the other 3,836 Americans with whom Capt. Khan served in Iraq.
Khan: "What sacrifice have you made for your country?"
That question would be better asked of Hillary Clinton. As OIF Army veteran David French observed, "Hillary Clinton hasn't sacrificed — she's lived the progressive dream. And she's certainly not a 'public servant' — she's a cynical, grasping, and ambitious politician. Her accomplishments are meager, and her one guiding star is her own self-advancement."
Khan: "I request to honor the sacrifice of my son — take the time to get out and vote for ... Hillary Clinton."
Sadly, I believe that vote would dishonor the service and sacrifice of Capt. Khan.
What did Trump actually say about the Khans?
For the 10 years Trump hosted his successful reality show "The Apprentice," prior to his candidacy announcement, he controlled the script — what did and did not make it to air. It seems that Trump has yet to figure out that he has NO control over the script of his "Make America Great Again" reality show. His unfiltered comments are often tactless when not outright asinine, unlike the politically astute Hillary Clinton, whose remarks are always cunning and calculated.
Whether on stump speeches, or when he takes media bait, there is no filter between Trump's stream of consciousness and any live microphone (or Twitter feed) in his proximity. And he has yet to grasp the concept, "When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging."
Consequently, the endless cycle of his inane insults is the greatest obstacle to recruiting enough voters from #NeverTrump to #NeverClinton in order for him to win. Trump is, truly, his own worst enemy, and if he wins in November, it will be on Clinton's plethora of weaknesses, not his strengths.
In the interview with Stephanopoulos, Trump was asked, "Khizr Khan, speaking at the Democratic convention, his son Captain Humayun Khan was killed serving in Iraq, and he had some very tough questions for you. He said you wouldn't have even let his son in America."
Trump: "He doesn't know, he doesn't know that. I saw him. He was very emotional and probably looked like a nice guy to me."
But then Trump's stream of consciousness diverted to Khan's wife: "His wife, if you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say, she probably — maybe she wasn't allowed to have anything to say. ... She was extremely quiet and it looked like she had nothing to say, a lot of people have said that and, personally, I watched him, I wish him the best of luck, George."
Stephanopoulos: "What would you say to that father?"
Trump: "Well, I'd say we've had a lot of problems with radical Islamic terrorism. That's what I'd say. We have a lot of problems where — you look at San Bernardino, you look at Orlando, you look at the World Trade Center, you look at so many different things. You look at what happened to the priest over the weekend in Paris where his throat was cut — 85-year-old beloved Catholic priest — you look at what happened in Nice, France, a couple of weeks ago. I'd say you've got to take a look at that because something is going on and it's not good."
Stephanopoulos: "He said you have sacrificed nothing and no one."
Trump: "Well, that sounds — who wrote that? Did Hillary's scriptwriters write it?"
Stephanopoulos: "How would you answer that father? What sacrifice have you made for your country?"
Trump: "I think I've made a lot of sacrifices. I've created thousands and thousands of jobs — tens of thousands of jobs."
Again, Trump just can't shut it off. Instead of responding with humility, honoring Capt. Khan's death, he diverted to an implication that his mother did not speak because of her subordination, according to Muslim custom. And then he compared his "sacrifices ... creating thousands of jobs" with the loss of a family member in service to our country.
What Trump should have said is what his running mate Mike Pence said: "Donald Trump and I believe that Captain Humayun Khan is an American hero and his family, like all Gold Star families, should be cherished by every American. Captain Khan gave his life to defend our country in the global war on terror. Due to the disastrous decisions of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, a once stable Middle East has now been overrun by ISIS. This must not stand. By suspending immigration from countries that have been compromised by terrorism, rebuilding our military, defeating ISIS at its source and projecting strength on the global stage, we will reduce the likelihood that other American families will face the enduring heartbreak of the Khan family. Donald Trump will support our military and their families and we will defeat the enemies of our freedom."
Trump may believe every word of that, but he did not have the ability to say it. When Pence released that statement, it was too little too late to rescue Trump from his own words.
Khan offered good advice to Trump on that Purple Heart?
In the days since Trump's interview, Mr. Khan has been making all the Leftmedia circuit rounds, and to his credit, he had some advice for Trump that was on the mark.
Trump fumbled a great recovery opportunity from the Khan flap, when Army LTC Louis Dorfman, an OIF veteran, presented his Purple Heart to Trump. Trump responded, "I always wanted to get the Purple Heart. This was much easier."
Mr. Khan said, "You should have pinned that back to that veteran's chest and should have hugged him and thanked him."
He is right.
Khan also criticized Trump for avoiding military service. "You had the time. You did not serve." As was the case with Bill Clinton, Trump "avoided" military service with student deferments, though unlike Bill Clinton, he did not join anti-military protests on foreign soil.
Trump responded, "I've regretted not serving in many ways. So many of the greatest people I know have served."
What about featuring Pat Smith's condemnation of Hillary Clinton at the GOP convention?
Gold Star Mother Pat Smith, whose son Sean was killed in Benghazi, has been a leading voice among family members seeking the truth from Clinton — as has the House Select Committee on Benghazi for more than two years. She was invited to tell her story at the GOP confab, and some have suggested that an equivalence between her invitation and that of the Khans.
The fact is Smith's issues with Clinton are a matter of record.
Clinton lied about the attack in Benghazi in order to provide Obama political cover in advance of his 2012 re-election bid. She is on the record in 2012 claiming, "We've seen the heavy assault on our post in Benghazi ... the rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful internet video that we had nothing to do with."
Clinton has yet to own that lie or apologize to the family members of those killed in Benghazi. Of Pat Smith's convention remarks, Clinton said, "I don't hold any ill feeling for someone who in that moment may not fully recall everything that was or wasn't said." Again, it is a matter of public record what Clinton said.
As for how she was portrayed after her remarks, Pat Smith said, "I was treated like dirt. I don't think the Khan family was treated that way. But I was treated like dirt. I was called a liar. [Hillary Clinton] went on TV many times, nodding her head, thinking that she's so wonderful and she knows everything and I know nothing."
Gold Star Father Charles Woods, father of Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods killed at Benghazi, was asked if Trump should apologize to the Khans. He responded, "I know who should apologize, and that would be Hillary Clinton, for lying to the American families who lost their loved once as well as to the American public. She hasn't apologized for that yet."
Naturally, Mr. Khan's remarks at the DNC convention have received far more major media coverage than Mrs. Smith's remarks.
National Review's Jim Geraghty remarked on the MSM coverage: "Remember when the first night of the Republican convention featured Patricia Smith, mother of Sean Smith, one of the Americans slain in Benghazi? Remember how her speech was called a 'cynical exploitation of grief'? Or the 'unabashed exploitation of private people's grief' or 'the weaponization of grief'? Remember how she 'ruined the evening'? How it was, 'a spectacle so offensive, it was hard to even comprehend'? How some liberal commentators said, 'Mrs. Smith was really most interested in drinking blood rather than healing'? How her speech represented an 'early dip into the gutter'? Remember how a GQ writer publicly expressed a desire to beat her to death?"
Finally — Barack Obama on Trump's fitness for office
It is no small irony that, while at a convention for disabled vets, Obama declared, "As commander in chief, I'm pretty tired of some folks trash-talkin' America's military 'n troops."
The fact is, nobody in America has done more to trash American military personnel than Barack Obama, whose failed foreign policy is leaving an extremely dangerous world that military Patriots will be tasked with cleaning up under the next administration. God forbid that be a Clinton "third term" for Obama's colossal failures.
Obama laughingly asserted, "[Trump] is unfit to serve as president. ... He keeps on proving it."
Obama is history's leading authority on being unfit to serve, and he proves it every day.
Mark Alexander is the executive editor of the Patriot Post.